Choosing an investment platform. Method 1: using the one we have chosen
We asked a specialist consultancy called The Lang Cat to analyse the pricing structure of all the major platforms to determine which was likely to be cheapest, taking into account the composition of the portfolios and the pattern of withdrawals involved. Both of these factors significantly affect the amount you will have to pay the platform each year in fees.
We then looked at the cheapest options identified by The Lang Cat and used our own knowledge of the industry to identify a platform that could be expected to provide good service, offer the right range of investments and be around for the long term.
Interactive Investor (www.ii.co.uk*) came out on top. This is one of the larger and more established platforms. It is not the very cheapest platform in all circumstances, but is among the lowest-cost for the approach we are using and for the sums of money that most people will be investing.
We appreciate that some people will already have their money with a particular platform and may not wish to change. For larger portfolios The Share Centre (www.share.co.uk) would be fine as an alternative to Interactive Investor. At the lower end (portfolios of up to about £50,000) Hargreaves Lansdown (www.hl.co.uk), AJ Bell Youinvest (www.youinvest.co.uk) or Charles Stanley Direct (www.charles-stanley-direct.co.uk) would suit most investors.
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