What is the cheapest investment platform?
Which? members can exclusively read our detailed comparison of leading investment platform costs, with suitability ratings for eight different 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 £100 a month.
Which? members can exclusively read our summary of the cheapest investment platforms for small portfolios.
What is the cheapest platform for big 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.
Don't ignore percentage-fee platforms completely, however, as some stop charging for amounts over certain thresholds.
Bear in mind that 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?
If you frequently buy or sell investments - particularly shares - than pay close attention to the cost per trade.
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.
What are commission-free share trading platforms?
You may have noticed smartphone apps such as Freetrade that promise 'commission free trading'.
These platforms don't charge transaction or platform fees for a basic general investment account.
However, Freetrade does charge for Isas, self-invested personal pensions (Sipps) and its Plus service, which has a wider choice of investments and pays interest on cash.
Both firms charge currency conversion fees if you buy shares of companies listed or based in other countries.
With the selection of investments offered by commission-free platforms expanding, it's worth considering whether you could replicate your current portfolio with one of these platforms.
If you can, and you're happy using a smartphone app, you could save a considerable amount of money by switching.
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 different 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.
Get top money-saving tips from Which?
Sign up to the Which? Money Weekly newsletter to get our latest news, tips and deals straight to your inbox.