What is the cheapest investment platform?
The cheapest investment platform for you will depend on how much money you want to invest and what you want to invest in.
We’ve estimated the cost of investing various sums in investment platforms over the course of a year.
Which? members can exclusively read our detailed comparison of leading investment platform costs, with suitability ratings for eight sizes of portfolio, for both funds and shares.
What is the cheapest platform for small portfolios (under £50,000)?
Look for platforms with a low-percentage-based annual fee and no fixed fees.
A small portfolio shouldn't mean you receive inferior customer service: many top-rated platforms now allow you to invest from just £1.
Which? members can exclusively read our summary of the cheapest investment platforms for small portfolios.
- Find out more: our investment platform reviews
What is the cheapest platform for large portfolios (over £50,000)?
Fixed-fee platforms are likely to work out cheaper for larger portfolios, where differences in fees can add up to the thousands of pounds.
Don't ignore percentage-fee platforms completely however, as some stop charging for amounts over certain thresholds.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme only protects sums up to £85,000 in the event of platform failure, so you may wish to divide large pots between platforms.
Which? members can exclusively read our summary of the cheapest investment platforms for big portfolios.
What is the cheapest platform for buying and selling shares?
Some platforms will include a certain number of 'free' trades per month.
Which? members can exclusively read our summary of the cheapest investment platforms for trading shares.
- Find out more: the best investment platforms for customer service
What is the cheapest 'do-it-for-me' investment platform?
You can now find investment platforms that pick a portfolio of investments for you, based on a questionnaire about your investing aims and attitude to risk.
Do-it-for-me platforms (sometimes referred to as 'roboadvisers') tend to be more expensive than DIY platforms, though bear in mind do-it-for-me platform fees tend to include fund fees, whereas DIY fees do not.
Which? members can exclusively read our summary of the cheapest do-it-for-me ('roboadviser') investment platforms.
Do investment platform fees matter?
In a nutshell, yes.
The fees applied by your investment platform apply, whether or not your investments are doing well. Over time this can make a huge difference.
Here’s how £1,000 in a platform costing 0.1% and a platform costing 1% would perform in three investment performance scenarios, ranging from poor (5% loss), to neutral (0% growth) to good (5% growth):
Note: example for illustration only. Assumes consistent loss or growth each year.
Ultimately the cheapest platform for you will depend on your investment style and the size of your portfolio.
- Find out more: read our guide to the best and worst investment platforms
Should you only consider fees?
Investment platforms aren't just divided by price, but also by customer service, investment choice, investment information and ease of access.
- You can find out which are the best and worst investment platforms here.
- Or read reviews of the leading investment platforms here.