Sterling Savvy

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How We Test 

How we test page for Sterling Savvy

At Sterling Savvy, we empower you with all the information you need about budgeting, saving, trading, and investing.

There are lots of different brokers, investment, and trading platforms available in the United Kingdom.

However, choosing the best one for you without adequate information can be challenging, but we’re here to help.

We analyse top-tier and regulated brokers and platforms in the UK and provide unbiased reviews that are short, simple, and concise. 

But this doesn’t mean we compromise on providing quality information. Take a look at our review process and see for yourself. 

What We Look At

Our review process is based on using the same 9 factors for analysing different brokers and platforms. This fundamental element of the review process helps make all our reviews coherent. 

It also ensures that you’re able to compare different brokers and platforms with ease, helping you make informed decisions. 

The 9 factors we consider when reviewing brokers and platforms include: 

1. Fees 

This is the first factor we consider, and we make sure to check for all charges, which may include trading fees, deposit fees, withdrawal charges, and more.

We don’t just find this information on the broker or platform’s website. We look for reviews on TrustPilot and see if customers reported additional or hidden charges.

We also use and test each broker and platform for an accurate evaluation of the fees they charge. 

2. Safety

For this factor, we make sure to review the broker or platform’s legal history.

We also check with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that the broker or platform is regulated in the UK.

Furthermore, we even look at additional security measures the broker or platform has to protect its end users. 

3. Onboarding 

Next up on the list is the broker or platform’s account opening procedure. We start by opening real accounts.

We go through the entire process and pick out all the nitty gritty details for you.

We tell you how user-friendly the process is and even share with you a list of documents you’ll need to open an account. 

4. Deposit & Withdrawal Methods 

We also evaluate the broker or platforms’ deposit and withdrawal methods to see if they are user-friendly or not.

When doing this, we take into consideration the processing time for depositing and withdrawing funds to and from the account. 

5. Markets 

The next thing we look at when evaluating a broker or platform is the number of markets it provides access to.

Brokers or platforms that have more market options get a better rating. 

6. Tools

We also look at the research tools a broker or platform has for its users.

This can include things like market sentiment, tickers, company or asset information, and trends. Brokers or platforms with more options get a better score. 

7. Investment & Trading Platform 

When we’re evaluating brokers and platforms we focus on different factors like placing orders, customisation options that are available, and the overall user experience. 

8. Education 

Another factor we look at is the educational resources a broker or platform offers to its end users.

This may include things like educational content in the form of videos, blogs, guides, and more.

9. Customer Service

Lastly, we look at the customer service and support options the broker or platform has.

Customer service options may include things like live chat or calls. We check to see if the customer service is readily available and how valuable it actually is. 

Our Scoring Methodology 

At Sterling Savvy, we don’t confuse you with needless points and scoring systems. We believe that a review should be simple, easy to understand, and valuable.

That’s why we use an opinion-based scoring system, which is based on qualitative factors pertaining to each category mentioned above. 

These scores range from 1 to 10 points and are represented as star ratings. Take a look at the breakdown below for a better understanding. 

PointsStar rating
9.1 to 10 points 5 star rating 
8.1 to 9 points 4-star rating
7.1 to 8 points 2-star rating 
6.1 to 7 points 3.5-star rating 
5.1 to 6 points 3-star rating 
4.1 to 5 points 2.5-star rating 
3.1 to 4 points 1-star rating 
2.1 to 3 points 1.5-star rating 
1.1 to 2 points 1 star rating 
0.1 to 1 point No star rating

This rating system helps you better understand the quality of the broker or platform with regard to each category.

You can then use these category ratings to compare the broker or platform with other options and make an informed decision based on the categories that are most important to you. 

But that’s not where we stop. We use these points to calculate an overall rating for the broker or platform, too, which makes it easier for you to compare multiple options at the same time.

You already know that we score 9 categories from 1 to 10, meaning that a broker or platform can earn a maximum of 90 points. 

What we do is add all the points a broker or platform has earned throughout the 9 categories. Then, we divide that number by the maximum points to get a percentage score. 

Total Points Earned / Maximum Points Possible * 100 = Percentage Score

This percentage score is then represented as a star rating based on the following: 

Percentage score Star rating 
90% to 100%5-star rating 
80% to 89.99%4.5-star rating 
70% to 79.99% 4-star rating 
60% to 69.99% 3.5-star rating 
50% to 59.99%3-star rating 
40% to 49.99% 2.5-star rating 
30% to 39.99% 2-star rating 
20% to 29.99% 1.5-star rating 
10% to 19.99% 1-star rating 
0% to 9.99%No star rating

So, let’s say we were reviewing a broker called ABC Broker, and the broker has received the following points for each category: 

ABC Broker
Category Points 
Fees 9.4
Safety 8.8
Onboarding 9.6
Deposit & withdraw methods8.4
Market 9.3
Deposit & withdrawal methods8.8
Education9.2
Customer service 8.7
Tools8.2 

Given these scores, the star ratings for each category of ABC Broker would be as follows: 

ABC Broker
Category Points Star Rating
Fees 9.45-star rating 
Safety 8.84.5-star rating 
Onboarding 9.65-star rating 
Deposit and withdrawal methods8.44.5-star rating 
Markets9.35-star rating 
Investment and trading platform8.84.5-star rating
Education9.25-star rating
Customer service and support 7.84-star rating
Tools8.2 4.5-star rating 

Based on this analysis, you can see that ABC Broker has excellent ratings in each category.

Now, let’s look at the overall star rating for our hypothetical broker. To do this, we’ll add up all the points across the 9 categories, which would mean that ABC broker has earned 79.5 points. 

Let’s plug this number into our equation from earlier and see what the percentage score would be. 

Total Points Earned / Maximum Points Possible * 100 = Percentage Score

79.5 / 90 * 100 = 88.33%

As you can see, ABC Broker has a percentage score of 88.33%, meaning that the star rating would be 4.5 out of 5. 

Why Trust Our Reviews? 

We provide unbiased reviews based on a qualitative evaluation of brokers and platforms with regard to different categories that include fees, tools, customer service, and more.

You’ll be provided with a description of what the platform has in store for you in each category, the pros and cons, and how you can make the most of it. 

Our reviews are kept simple and informative and provide ratings for both individual categories and the broker or platform itself.

We believe in empowering you with this information so you can make an informed decision.

Check out our reviews page and choose a broker or platform that’s right for you today.

Will Fenton is the founder of Sterling Savvy. He is a personal finance expert and writes about trading, investing, budgeting, and other financial topics.

Along with his education in Economics & Finance, he has experience working in the financial services industry in London working for one of the UK’s leading financial companies, “a trustworthy and respected provider of news, education and market analysis for the everyday investor”.

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