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15 Best Investment Platforms UK for 2024

Tobi Opeyemi Amure
Reviewed by:
Best investment platforms UK

In a nutshell, the best investment platforms in the UK are eToro, interactive investor, and Freetrade. eToro is popular for its social investing features and a broad range of asset classes, making it versatile for different investment styles. Interactive investor offers robust research tools and a wide variety of investment options, while Freetrade provides a user-friendly interface and commission-free stock trading, making it accessible for newcomers.

Looking for your perfect investment platform?

I’ve tested, scored, and ranked the best investment platforms in the UK.

Whether you’re searching for security, user-friendliness, or low fees, I’ve got you covered.

15 Best UK Investment Platforms Ranked

Here is a quick list of the best investment platforms to use in the UK based on my hands-on analysis:

  1. eToro – Overall best investment platform UK for beginners
  2. interactive investor – Best investment platform for a large selection of assets
  3. Freetrade – Best investing platform for free share upon signup
  4. Hargreaves Lansdown – Best UK investment platform for access to personal financial advisors
  5. AJ Bell – Best investment platform UK for user experience
  6. InvestEngine – Best platform for ETF investing
  7. Bestinvest – Best for access to expert financial coaching
  8. Moneyfarm – Best for hands-off investment with tailored portfolios
  9. Fidelity – Best for automated portfolio management
  10. Vanguard – Best for low-cost, long-term investment strategies
  11. Nutmeg – Best for managed portfolio diversity
  12. Wealthify – Best for beginners & simple robo-investing
  13. Moneybox – Best for effortless micro-investing & savings
  14. Plum – Best for automated micro-investing
  15. Saxo Markets – Best for experienced investors & diverse portfolio options

Best Investment Platforms Compared for UK Investors

Here I’ve compared the investment platforms based on four key rating criteria you must consider and compare.

What are the best investment platforms in the UK?

RankInvestment platformTypeMinimum depositInvesting/trading feesTypes of investmentsISAs
1eToroInvestment platform£7.50£0Stocks, indices, ETFs, currencies, commodities, cryptoYes, with Moneyfarm
2interactive investorInvestment platform£0£3.99Stocks, funds, trusts, warrants, ETFsYes
3FreetradeTrading app£0£0Stocks, ETFs, investment trusts, REITs, SPACs, IPOsYes
4Hargreaves LansdownInvestment platform£100£11.95Stocks, funds, trusts, ETFsYes
5AJ BellInvestment platform£500£1.50 – £9.95Stocks, funds, trusts, bonds, ETFsYes
6InvestEngineInvestment (ETF) platform£100£0 (DIY)
0.25% (Managed)
Investment fundsYes
7BestinvestInvestment platform£500% – 0.4%Shares, funds, ETFs, investment trustsYes
8MoneyfarmRobo advisor£5000.25% – 0.75%
Annual average
investment fund fee 0.15%
Investment funds, stocks, ETFs,
mutual funds
Yes
9FidelityInvestment platform£0Free US stock & ETF tradingInvestment funds, stocks, ETFs,
mutual funds, bonds, options
Yes
10VanguardInvestment platform£5000.20% (average) ongoing costs fee
0.15% account fee
Investment funds, stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, options, CDs, money marketsYes
11NutmegInvestment platform£500Up to 0.45% for fixed allocation
Up to 0.75% for other portfolios
Investment portfoliosYes
12WealthifyRobo advisor£10.60% (Managed)
Fund charges (an average of 0.16% for original plans and 0.70% for ethical plans)
Portfolios of shares, bonds, property, commoditiesYes
13MoneyboxRobo advisor£1£0Investment fundsYes
14PlumInvestment platform£1£0
0.06% – 0.90% (managed)
Funds, stocksYes
15Saxo MarketsInvestment platform£0£8 per share and ETF trade or 0.10% of the transaction amount (whichever is higher)Stocks, indices, ETFs, currencies, commodities, bonds, trustsYes

Best Investment Platform UK Reviews

Research shows in 2023 around 2 in 5 Brits (42%) invest, up from 36% in 20211.

Choosing the best investment platform is crucial for newcomers in the market.

Having worked in the retail investment sector in London over the last four years, I had the opportunity to experience the rise first-hand.

Additionally, in my role 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”, I was able to work with and test some of the biggest investment platforms on the market.

Using my experience in this field, I’ve compiled a list of the best investment companies in the UK based on four key criteria:

  1. Minimum deposit
  2. Investing/trading fees
  3. Types of investments
  4. ISA availability

Factors such as usability, education materials, and additional features were also considered.

All the investing platforms I’ve reviewed below are regulated by the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

You can read about how we test platforms here.

This article was reviewed by Tobi Opeyemi Amure, an investing expert and writer at Investopedia and Investing.com.

1. eToro – Overall best investment platform UK for beginners

eToro - Overall best investment platform UK.

The overall winner on my list of the best investment platforms and what I recommend to beginners is eToro.

eToro stands out for its commitment to commission-free trading on stocks, making it a top choice for cost-conscious traders.

The investment platform fosters a social trading community, benefiting newcomers who can learn from experienced traders. Its user-friendly trading accounts provide easy access to the stock exchange, simplifying the trading process.

With a sleek design optimised for web and mobile devices, navigating the platform is effortless.

eToro offers a diverse range of assets, including stocks, forex, CFDs, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies.

Beginners can take advantage of over 40 pre-constructed Smart Portfolios to start investing hassle-free. The platform features both a free ‘Demo Account’ and a ‘General Investment Account,’ allowing users to explore without financial constraints.

While eToro has many benefits, it lacks tax wrappers like SIPPs and has high fees for forex trading.

Overall, I recommend eToro for its comprehensive offerings, which have been tailored to meet the evolving needs of investors in the United Kingdom.

Finally, it’s worth noting that as of 2023, eToro announced that they reached 30 million registered users worldwide2.

On top of this, they have an ‘Excellent’ rating on Trustpilot, with over 18,000 reviews.

Read my eToro review.

eToro Trustpilot review.

Key rating criteria:

TypeMinimum depositInvesting/trading feesTypes of investmentsISAs
Investment platform£10£0Stocks, indices, ETFs, CFDs, currencies,
commodities, crypto
Yes, with Moneyfarm

Additional fees: $5 withdrawal fee, $10 inactivity fee, currency conversion fees

Pros:

  • Commission-free trading for stocks and ETFs
  • Smooth and straightforward account setup process
  • Access to social investing features

Cons:

  • $5 charge for withdrawals

{etoroCFDrisk}% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Other fees apply. Your capital is at risk. For more information, click here.

2. Interactive investor – Best investment platform for a large selection of assets

Interactive investor - Best investment platform for a large selection of assets.

Interactive investor is a top choice for DIY investors.

With access to over 40,000 UK and international investment options, it caters to a wide range of portfolios.

The platform’s flat fee structure is particularly beneficial for larger portfolios. Its app is designed to empower users with the necessary tools for informed decision-making.

With various tax wrappers available, including the UK’s first online SIPP, investors can align their choices with their goals.

The flat fee covers all account types, and by utilising the monthly regular investing service, users can avoid trading fees.

Interactive investor also offers access to human financial advisors, providing valuable assistance when needed.

The platform excels in stock trading tools, offering fundamental and technical analysis tools, news and expert research, comprehensive charting, performance analysis, and returns breakdown.

Its user-friendly desktop trading platform seamlessly transitions to a mobile app, ensuring investors can stay up to date with their investments effortlessly.

Read my interactive investor review.

Key rating criteria:

TypeMinimum depositInvesting/trading feesTypes of investmentsISAs
Investment platform£0£3.99Stocks, funds, trusts,
warrants, ETFs
Yes

Other fees: Stocks & Shares ISA and trading account starts at £4.99/month. Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) starts at £12.99/month. £5.99 per trade, £40 bonds fee.

Pros:

  • Intuitive trading platforms for a user-friendly experience
  • Swift and hassle-free deposit and withdrawal processes
  • Excellent customer service via phone

Cons:

  • Basic charting and analytical tools
  • Incurs a monthly account fee

3. Freetrade – Best investing platform for free share upon signup

Freetrade - Best investing platform for free share upon signup.

Freetrade offers commission-free investing in US, UK, and European stocks, making it an attractive choice for investors.

Opening and funding an account with at least £50 grants you a free share worth £10 – £100.

The platform’s Standard Subscription Plan includes a wide range of stocks and Freetrade ISA investment, and you can even purchase fractional shares in US stocks for just £2.

Freetrade provides investment inspiration through performance analysis, returns breakdown, and curated stock insights. The user-friendly app is particularly suitable for novice investors.

With its commission-free trading and educational resources such as articles, videos, and community forums, Freetrade empowers users to make informed investment decisions.

The platform offers a diverse range of investment options, including stocks and ETFs, supported by intuitive search and analysis tools.

Real-time market data and comprehensive charts enable investors to monitor portfolios and make data-driven choices.

Overall, Freetrade is a top choice for UK investors seeking a user-friendly and accessible investment platform.

Its commitment to user experience, commission-free trading, educational resources, and regulatory compliance make it a reliable platform for investors at all levels of experience.

Read my Freetrade review.

Key rating criteria:

TypeMinimum depositInvesting/trading feesTypes of investmentsISAs
Trading app£0£0Stocks, ETFs, investment trusts,
REITs, SPACs, IPOs
Yes

Pros:

  • Commission-free trading for stocks and ETFs
  • Swift and user-friendly account registration process
  • Excellent mobile trading platform

Cons:

  • Limited product variety in the portfolio
  • Scarcity of research tools
  • Sole reliance on debit cards for deposits

4. Hargreaves Lansdown – Best UK investment platform for access to personal financial advisors

Hargreaves Lansdown - Best UK investment platform for access to personal financial advisors.

Hargreaves Lansdown offers a wide range of investment opportunities, including funds, curated portfolios, and expert recommendations, allowing users to effectively diversify their financial portfolio.

The investment platform’s standout feature is access to dedicated human financial advisors, showcasing its commitment to helping customers achieve their financial goals.

This personalised assistance is particularly valuable for novice investors, as it enables them to establish well-structured plans within a user-friendly environment, supported by exceptional customer service.

Hargreaves Lansdown’s simple interface makes it an excellent choice for novice traders, with easy search functionalities and convenient stock market alerts.

However, it is important to note that this investing platform is pricier compared to others. As such, it may not be the best option for experienced traders who engage in frequent trading.

While there is no platform fee, the cost per trade is relatively high at £11.95. Bonds and investment trusts also carry an £11.95 fee. Frequent traders are charged £5.95 per trade, and additional phone fees of £20-£50 apply. Furthermore, a yearly custody cost of 0.45% is also applicable.

Despite the higher costs, Hargreaves Lansdown offers a robust platform with comprehensive investment options and dedicated advisory support, making it a solid choice for investors seeking personalised assistance and a user-friendly experience.

Read my full Hargreaves Lansdown review.

Key rating criteria:

TypeMinimum depositInvesting/trading feesTypes of investmentsISAs
Investment platform£100£11.95Stocks, funds,
trusts, ETFs
Yes

Other fees: Annual platform fees of 0% – 0.45% for funds and 0.45% for shares (maximum £45/year).

Account Types:

  • SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension)
  • Junior SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension for minors)
  • Junior stocks & shares ISA (Individual Savings Account)
  • Junior investment
  • Stocks & shares ISA
  • Lifetime ISA
  • Fund and share
  • Active savings

Pros:

  • User-friendly trading platforms for effortless navigation
  • Access to top-notch educational resources
  • Excellent customer service for assistance

Cons:

  • Elevated fees associated with stocks and ETFs
  • The account opening process for clients outside the UK is limited to offline methods
  • Sole reliance on GBP as the base currency

5. AJ Bell – Best investment platform UK for user experience

AJ Bell - Best investment platform UK for user experience

AJ Bell has revolutionised the investment platform landscape by prioritising an exceptional user experience.

Their platform features a clean and well-organised interface, ensuring effortless navigation for users. AJ Bell takes pride in its responsive customer service team, providing reliable support when needed.

For frequent traders (10+ trades per month), AJ Bell offers cost-saving advantages. The utilisation of AJ Bell’s tax-efficient wrappers further enhances potential savings. With an impressive array of account types, AJ Bell caters to the diverse needs of investors, earning well-deserved accolades for its comprehensive offerings.

AJ Bell excels in serving investors who prefer a more hands-off approach to portfolio management and those uninterested in frequent trading.

The platform offers excellent accessibility on both mobile and web platforms, allowing seamless transitions and benefiting from user-friendly search functions and secure two-step logins.

However, it’s important to note that AJ Bell lacks price alerts, and the available order types may be considered too simple for some advanced traders.

AJ Bell’s pricing structure is attractive for individuals with modest portfolios and limited investment experience. However, frequent traders may find the share dealing fee discouraging.

The bonds, yearly custody, ETF, and platform fee are set at 0.25%. Additionally, each trade incurs a fee of £9.95, with a phone fee of £29.95 and a frequent trader cost of £4.95.

Despite these considerations, AJ Bell’s commitment to user experience, comprehensive account options, and responsive customer service make it a standout choice for investors seeking a platform with a user-friendly interface and cost-saving advantages.

Read my full AJ Bell review.

Key rating criteria:

TypeMinimum depositInvesting/trading feesTypes of investmentsISAs
Investment platform£500£1.50 – £9.95Stocks, funds, trusts,
bonds, ETFs
Yes

Other fees: Annual platform fee of 0% – 0.25% for funds and 0.25% for shares (maximum £3.50/month).

Account Types:

  • Junior SIPP
  • Junior dealing
  • SIPP
  • Dealing

Pros:

  • Competitive non-trading fees, keeping costs low
  • No withdrawal fees for added cost savings
  • Attractive pricing for mutual fund investments

Cons:

  • Incurs a custody fee, which may impact overall expenses
  • Stock trading fees are on par with industry averages

6. InvestEngine – Best platform for ETF investing

InvestEngine - Best platform for ETF investing

InvestEngine, established in 2019, has quickly become known for its innovative ETF-focused investment platform.

It offers over 580 ETFs, enabling diversified investments, and supports fractional trading.

The platform is user-friendly, making it suitable for beginners, and offers both DIY and managed portfolio options.

InvestEngine provides account types including GIA and ISA but lacks a SIPP option.

Key features include no platform fee for DIY portfolios and a modest 0.25% fee for managed ones. There’s no commission charge and no inactivity fee. However, it doesn’t pay interest on cash balances. The minimum deposit to start investing is £100.

InvestEngine’s focus on ETFs and affordability, along with its ease of use, makes it a compelling choice for ETF investors in the UK.

Read my full InvestEngine review.

Key rating criteria:

TypeMinimum depositInvesting/trading feesTypes of investmentsISAs
Investment (ETF) platform£100£0 (DIY)
0.25% (Managed)
Investment fundsYes

Pros:

  • Extensive selection of ETFs (580+)
  • User-friendly interface
  • Low-cost managed option with a 0.25% fee
  • Excellent customer support
  • Ability to invest within a business account

Cons:

  • Limited investment options, only ETFs

7. Bestinvest – Best for access to expert financial coaching

Bestinvest - Best for access to expert financial coaching

Bestinvest, with its recent relaunch, has established itself as a noteworthy investment platform in the UK, particularly for ETF investing.

They offer both DIY and ready-made portfolios, with an annual charge of 0.40% on portfolios up to £250,000, decreasing to 0.1% for amounts above £1 million.

For ready-made portfolios, the fee is even lower, starting at 0.2%. Bestinvest stands out for its free financial coaching sessions, providing valuable guidance for both customers and non-customers.

The platform offers a vast range of over 3,000 instruments, including shares, funds, ETFs, and investment trusts. Trading funds incur no dealing charges, while share and investment trust trading costs a competitive £4.95 per transaction.

However, they don’t offer reduced charges for regular monthly investments or cheap dividend reinvesting.

Bestinvest’s blend of low-cost investing, expert advice, and a user-friendly platform makes it an appealing choice for investors looking for a comprehensive and supportive investment experience.

Key rating criteria:

TypeMinimum depositInvesting/trading feesTypes of investmentsISAs
Investment platform£500% – 0.4%Shares, funds, ETFs, investment trustsYes

Pros:

  • Competitive fees for ETF and share trading, with no extra charges for portfolios over £1 million
  • Free financial coaching and bite-sized advice sessions offer valuable support
  • Wide range of investment options and a user-friendly platform suitable for both beginners and experienced investors

Cons:

  • Limited investment options with a focus primarily on ETFs
  • No support for bond investing

8. Moneyfarm – Best for hands-off investment with tailored portfolios

Moneyfarm - Best for hands-off investment with tailored portfolios

Moneyfarm, launched in the UK in 2016, has swiftly become a popular investment platform for hands-off investors.

It specialises in expert-managed portfolios, offering seven different portfolios tailored to individual risk tolerance, all actively managed by professionals.

The platform is known for its competitive fees, which range from 0.75% to 0.25% for larger accounts, and also includes additional average fund fees of about 0.15% and transaction costs up to 0.10%.

With a minimum initial deposit requirement of £500, Moneyfarm provides a variety of account options, such as Pensions, Stocks & Shares ISA, Junior ISA, and General Investment Accounts.

These accounts are accessible without any setup or trading fees. The platform is user-friendly, making it easy for investors to monitor and manage their investments. Additionally, Moneyfarm is praised for its excellent customer service.

Moneyfarm is an excellent choice for investors seeking a straightforward, reliable, and professionally managed investment platform, particularly for those who prefer a hands-off approach to their investments.

Key rating criteria:

TypeMinimum depositInvesting/trading feesTypes of investmentsISAs
Robo advisor£5000.25% – 0.75%
Annual average
investment fund fee 0.15%
Investment funds, stocks, ETFs,
mutual funds
Yes

Pros:

  • Tailored investment strategies managed by professionals, suitable for different levels of risk tolerance
  • Provides a range of account types, including tax-efficient options like ISAs
  • Excellent customer service and an intuitive user interface

Cons:

  • Minimum initial investment of £500
  • Limited investment choices, focusing mainly on pre-made portfolios and not individual stock selection

9. Fidelity – Best for automated portfolio management

Fidelity, a renowned global investment provider, is well-regarded for its comprehensive full-service platform, making it a top choice for investors seeking to transition from ready-made to self-selected investments.

Fidelity’s platform provides access to a vast range of investment funds, stocks, shares, bonds, and other assets, catering to a wide array of investment needs.

For beginners, Fidelity offers the “pathfinder” tool, which helps users choose from ten ready-made growth portfolios or six income-focused portfolios.

This tool assists in determining risk levels and offers options ranging from low-cost to fully managed portfolios, complete with helpful projections of potential returns.

Key Features of Fidelity:

  • Annual charge of 0.40% on portfolios up to £250,000, decreasing to 0.2% up to £500,000, and further to 0.1% up to £1 million, with no extra charges above £1 million.
  • Free financial coaching from qualified planners, available to both customers and non-customers.
  • Access to a variety of account types, including ISAs and standard investment accounts.
  • No dealing charges for funds and a reasonable £4.95 fee for standard share and investment trust dealings.
  • Supports both DIY and managed portfolios.

Fidelity is an ideal platform for investors who value a mix of autonomy and expert guidance in their investment journey.

Its wide range of investment options, low fees, and excellent customer service make it a strong contender in the UK investment platform market.

Key rating criteria:

TypeMinimum depositInvesting/trading feesTypes of investmentsISAs
Investment platform£0Free US stock & ETF tradingInvestment funds, stocks, ETFs,
mutual funds, bonds, options
Yes

Pros:

  • Extensive range of investment options and tools, including shares, funds, and ETFs
  • Low fund fees and non-trading fees
  • User-friendly platform with a highly-rated mobile app
  • Excellent customer service, including in-person support

Cons:

  • Higher mutual fund fees and margin rates
  • Slow account verification process
  • High minimum deposit requirement for some services

10. Vanguard – Best for low-cost, long-term investment strategies

Vanguard - Best for low-cost, long-term investment strategies.

Vanguard stands out as an exceptional choice for investors focused on low-cost, long-term investment strategies, particularly those who prefer passively managed funds and ETFs.

As a major American fund management group, Vanguard has earned a reputation for offering one of the best value investment services, both in the UK and internationally.

Key Features of Vanguard:

  • Notable for its LifeStrategy portfolios, Vanguard provides investment options with an annual cost as low as 0.22%, complemented by a platform fee of just 0.15%.
  • Vanguard’s platform focuses on mutual funds and ETFs, specifically targeting investors who prioritise low-cost and long-term strategies.
  • The platform offers commission-free stock, options, and ETF trades.
  • Various account types are available, including Stocks & Shares ISA, SIPP, Junior ISA, and General Investment Accounts.

I’d recommend Vanguard for investors seeking an affordable, straightforward platform with a focus on long-term financial planning and investing.

Its low-cost structure and simple, efficient service make it a solid choice, especially for beginner investors or those interested in ready-made portfolios for long-term growth.

Key rating criteria:

TypeMinimum depositInvesting/trading feesTypes of investmentsISAs
Investment platform£5000.20% (average) ongoing costs fee
0.15% account fee
Investment funds, stocks, ETFs,
mutual funds, bonds, options, CDs,
money markets
Yes

Pros:

  • Vanguard’s no-commission policy for trading stocks and ETFs makes it highly cost-effective
  • Wide selection of low-cost mutual funds
  • Educational resources are top-notch

Cons:

  • Trading platform is somewhat basic
  • Research and data offerings are limited
  • Higher financing rates for margin trading

11. Nutmeg – Best for managed portfolio diversity

Nutmeg - Best for for managed portfolio diversity.

Nutmeg stands out as a premier investment platform in the UK, particularly appealing to those seeking ready-made portfolio options.

Launched in 2012, it has established itself as a user-friendly robo-advisor, offering an uncomplicated approach to investing, perfect for beginners or hands-off investors.

Nutmeg’s platform provides a variety of portfolio types, including Fixed Allocation, Fully Managed, Thematic Investing, Smart Alpha powered by JP Morgan Asset Management, and Socially Responsible options.

The platform’s fixed-allocation portfolios, where asset mixes are predetermined and annually reviewed, are its most economical choice, costing approximately 0.70% over 12 months based on a 0% return scenario.

In contrast, the Fully Managed, Thematic Investing, Smart Alpha, and Socially Responsible portfolios carry slightly higher fees, ranging from 1.01% to 1.15%.

Nutmeg is particularly noted for its fully managed portfolio option, where the investment team actively adjusts the portfolio, offering a more personalised investment management service.

This full-service approach, however, does come with higher fees compared to the platform’s fixed allocation portfolios.

Key features of Nutmeg include:

  • A straightforward and easily navigable platform.
  • Diverse investment options curated by experts.
  • Transparent pricing with no hidden fees.
  • Scaled account fees that reduce as your portfolio grows.
  • An efficient customer support system.

The platform requires a minimum deposit of £500 to open an account and offers various account types like General Investment Accounts (GIA), Individual Savings Accounts (ISA), Pensions, Junior ISAs, and Lifetime ISAs (LISA).

Nutmeg’s management fees vary based on the portfolio type, with additional average fund fees around 0.2% and transaction costs up to 0.10%.

While Nutmeg excels in providing a simple and effective investment platform, it does have some limitations. The platform’s investment track record is considered average, and it might not be the most cost-effective choice for all investors.

Additionally, it doesn’t offer the option to invest in individual stocks, limiting the choice for those who prefer a more hands-on investment approach.

Nutmeg’s platform is ideally suited for beginners or investors who prefer a managed portfolio approach without the need for in-depth knowledge of individual stock selection.

Its user-friendly interface and range of portfolio options make it an attractive choice for those seeking a simple, yet effective, investment solution.

Key rating criteria:

TypeMinimum depositInvesting/trading feesTypes of investmentsISAs
Investment platform£500Up to 0.45% for fixed allocation
Up to 0.75% for other portfolios
Investment portfoliosYes

Pros:

  • Expert management of portfolios for a hands-off investment experience
  • Provides portfolios focused on socially responsible investing
  • Includes fixed allocation, fully managed, thematic, and smart alpha portfolios

Cons:

  • Higher fees for managed portfolios
  • Limited to ready-made portfolios
  • Limited educational resources

12. Wealthify – Best for beginners & simple robo-investing

Wealthify - Best for beginners & simple robo-investing.

Wealthify is an innovative and accessible investment platform in the UK, ideal for beginners and those seeking a hassle-free investing experience.

With a minimum deposit of just £1, Wealthify opens the door to investing for a broad audience.

The platform is known for its expert-managed portfolios, offering a range of risk levels from Cautious to Adventurous, including ethical investment options for environmentally conscious investors.

Key features of Wealthify include an annual platform fee of 0.60% and varying fund charges, which depend on the chosen investment plan.

The platform is celebrated for its engaging and user-friendly app interface.

Registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and safeguarding investments under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), Wealthify ensures a secure investment environment.

Backed by Aviva, a leading financial services institution in the UK, Wealthify gains additional trust and credibility.

The platform is particularly attractive to those preferring a hands-off approach to investing, offering penalty-free withdrawals from ISA and General Investment Account (GIA) accounts, which adds to its flexibility.

While Wealthify may not appeal to investors interested in selecting individual stocks, its simplicity and diverse investment options make it a strong contender in the UK’s investment app market.

Key rating criteria:

TypeMinimum depositInvesting/trading feesTypes of investmentsISAs
Robo advisor£10.60% (Managed)
Fund charges
(an average of 0.16% for original plans
and 0.70% for ethical plans)
Portfolios of shares, bonds, property, commoditiesYes

Pros:

  • Minimum deposit of £1 makes it highly accessible
  • Offers a range of portfolios, including ethical options
  • Penalty-free withdrawals from ISA and GIA accounts

Cons:

  • Not suitable for those wanting to pick individual stocks
  • Fees, particularly for ethical portfolios, can accumulate

13. Moneybox – Best for effortless micro-investing & savings

Moneybox - Best for effortless micro-investing & savings.

Moneybox stands out as a distinctive investment platform in the UK, tailor-made for beginners and casual investors.

Its unique selling point is the automated investment of spare change through debit card round-ups, which effortlessly turns everyday transactions into investment opportunities.

For instance, if you spend £14.50, Moneybox rounds this up to £15, investing the 50p difference. This seemingly small amount accumulates over time, creating a significant investment pool from daily spending.

The platform is compatible with most UK banks, including modern challengers like Revolut and Monzo. For banks that aren’t supported, regular direct debit investments are also an option.

Moneybox offers three main fund options for investment strategies: ‘Cautious’, ‘Balanced’, and ‘Adventurous’, each investing in diverse tracker funds. For those who prefer a more hands-on approach, there’s also the option to pick individual US-listed shares and ETFs.

Moneybox’s fee structure includes a £1 monthly fee and a 0.45% platform fee. Additionally, investing in funds incurs charges between 0.12% and 0.58% annually. While commission-free for trading, investing in non-UK assets entails a 0.45% currency conversion fee.

Moneybox is particularly appealing for its ease of use, offering automated portfolio options and DIY investing. However, it’s limited to US-listed shares, potentially narrowing investment choices for those interested in UK companies.

The platform’s fee structure, while competitive, can accumulate, especially for ethical portfolios.

Moneybox is a robust choice for those new to investing, providing a simple, engaging way to grow savings through everyday transactions.

With its low entry barrier and flexible investment options, it’s well-suited for modern investors looking to build wealth without the hassle of traditional investment methods.

Read my full Moneybox review.

Key rating criteria:

TypeMinimum depositInvesting/trading feesTypes of investmentsISAs
Robo advisor£1£0Investment fundsYes

Pros:

  • Effortless and automated saving through transaction round-ups
  • Multiple portfolio options for different risk levels
  • Start investing with just £1

Cons:

  • Limited to US-listed shares, excluding UK markets.
  • Cumulative fees
  • Spare change investment may yield slower returns

14. Plum – Best for automated micro-investing

Plum - Best for automated micro-investing

Plum stands out as an innovative and user-friendly investment platform in the UK, ideal for those new to investing or interested in micro-investing.

The app’s standout feature is its ability to automatically invest your spare change, making it effortless to start investing. It links to your bank account, analysing spending habits to determine how much can be comfortably saved or invested.

This feature, along with the ability to make manual transfers, positions Plum as a convenient tool for passive saving and investing.

For a minimum investment of only £1, Plum offers a wide range of investment options, including over 3,000 stocks and funds, catering to various investment preferences, including ethical and ESG-focused options. This extensive selection makes it accessible and appealing to a broad audience.

The app operates on a subscription model with fees ranging from £2.99 to £9.99 per month, in addition to a 0.45% product provider fee. The fund management fees vary between 0.06% and 0.90%, depending on the investment choice.

Despite these costs, Plum’s ease of use and the convenience of automatic investing make it a compelling choice for many users.

Plum’s investment products include Stocks and Shares ISA, General Investment Account, and Personal Pension, offering a range of options for different financial goals. The app’s high ratings on major app stores reflect its popularity and user satisfaction.

Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Plum provides a secure platform for users to manage and grow their investments. Its approachable interface and functionality cater well to those looking for a straightforward and effective way to manage money and invest.

Read my full Plum review.

Key rating criteria:

TypeMinimum depositInvesting/trading feesTypes of investmentsISAs
Investment platform£1£0
0.06% – 0.90% (managed)
Funds, stocksYes

Pros:

  • Low entry barrier with just £1 minimum investment
  • Automatic round-ups and AI-driven analysis facilitate effortless investing
  • Diverse investment options, including ethical choices

Cons:

  • Monthly subscription fees ranging from £2.99 to £9.99
  • Limited appeal for advanced investors seeking more sophisticated tools

15. Saxo Markets – Best for experienced investors & diverse portfolio options

Saxo Markets - Best for experienced investors & diverse portfolio options

Saxo Markets stands out as a sophisticated investment platform in the UK, particularly suitable for experienced and professional investors.

It offers an extensive range of over 22,000 instruments, including shares, ETFs, funds, and bonds across 50 global stock exchanges, catering to both long-term investors and short to medium-term speculators.

The platform is known for its advanced trading tools and direct market access, providing very low commissions. This makes it an ideal choice for large, active investors.

Saxo Markets charges a custody fee of up to 0.12% for stocks, bonds, ETFs, and ETCs, with a minimum monthly fee, making it more cost-effective for high-value portfolios.

For instance, VIP accounts with portfolios over £1 million enjoy lower fees and additional perks like direct access to experts and exclusive event invitations.

Despite its appeal to seasoned traders, Saxo Markets might be overwhelming for beginners due to its complexity and subscription fees for live pricing.

The platform’s mobile and web apps are highly rated for their user-friendly interfaces and comprehensive features, although they may lack some advanced charting tools available in the desktop version.

I recommend Saxo Markets for advanced traders and investors with substantial portfolios, offering a broad spectrum of global investment opportunities and professional-grade trading tools.

However, beginners and those with smaller investments might find the platform less suitable due to its cost structure and complexity.

Read my full Saxo Markets review.

Key rating criteria:

TypeMinimum depositInvesting/trading feesTypes of investmentsISAs
Investment platform£0£8 per share and ETF trade or 0.10%
of the transaction amount (whichever is higher)
Stocks, indices, ETFs, currencies,
commodities, bonds, trusts
Yes

Pros:

  • Direct market access with low commissions
  • Wide range of investment options and account types
  • Excellent research resources and educational materials

Cons:

  • High fees for smaller portfolios
  • May be complex for beginners
  • Limited chart features on the mobile app

How to Choose the Best Investment Platform for You

Choosing the best investment platform for yourself requires careful consideration of your investment goals, preferences, and specific needs.

Along with the key rating criteria I used to rank the platforms, here’s what to look for:

  1. Investment Options: Evaluate the range of investment options available on the platform. Look for platforms that offer a diverse selection of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs3, and other investment vehicles that align with your investment strategy.
  2. Fees & Costs: Pay attention to the fee structure of the platform, including account maintenance fees, trading fees, commission charges, and any additional costs. Consider your investment frequency and portfolio size to determine if the platform’s fee structure is cost-effective for your needs.
  3. User Experience & Interface: Assess the platform’s user interface, ease of navigation, and availability of features that suit your preferences. A user-friendly platform with intuitive tools and resources can enhance your investment experience.
  4. Customer Support: Consider the level of customer support provided by the platform. Look for platforms that offer prompt and reliable customer service, including access to financial advisors or live chat support when needed.
  5. Research & Educational Resources: Evaluate the availability of research tools, market analysis, educational resources, and investment insights offered by the platform. These resources can help you make informed investment decisions and enhance your knowledge.
  6. Mobile Accessibility: If you prefer managing your investments on the go, check if the platform offers a mobile app with features and functionality that meet your requirements.
  7. Security & Regulation: Ensure that the platform adheres to strict security measures and is regulated by reputable financial authorities such as the FCA. Look for platforms that offer features such as two-factor authentication and encryption to protect your personal and financial information.
  8. Integration with Tax Wrappers: If you plan to utilise tax-efficient investment vehicles like ISAs or SIPPs, verify if the platform supports these tax wrappers.
  9. Reviews & Reputation: Research the platform’s reputation by reading user reviews, industry rankings, and recommendations from trusted sources. This can provide valuable insights into the platform’s reliability and performance.

What Is an Investment Platform?

An investment platform refers to a digital service or online brokerage that allows individuals to invest in a variety of financial products and instruments.

These platforms provide a convenient and accessible way for UK residents to manage their investments.

Investment platforms in the UK typically provide the following:

Account Management: Users can open and maintain investment accounts, including individual investment accounts, tax-efficient ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts), and self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs). These accounts offer specific tax benefits and allowances for UK investors.

Investment Options: UK investment platforms offer a wide range of investment options, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), investment trusts, and other assets4. They provide access to both UK-based investments and international markets.

Trading and Execution: Investors can place buy and sell orders for various securities through the platform. The platform facilitates order execution, provides real-time market data, and offers trading tools to assist investors in making informed decisions.

Research and Analysis: Investment platforms in the UK often provide research tools, market analysis, financial news, and educational resources to support investors in conducting their investment research and analysis.

Portfolio Monitoring: Users can monitor the performance of their investment portfolios, track holdings, view historical data, and generate reports to assess the progress of their investments. Some platforms offer performance analysis and portfolio rebalancing tools.

Support and Services: Many investment platforms provide customer support, including access to financial advisors or investment specialists who can offer guidance and assistance based on individual needs. They may also offer additional services like cash management features or integration with financial planning tools.

UK investors need to consider factors such as platform fees, commission structures, available tax wrappers (such as ISAs and SIPPs), regulatory compliance, and the platform’s reputation when choosing an investment platform in the UK.

Assessing these factors can help investors select the most suitable platform that aligns with their investment goals, preferences, and unique aspects of the UK investment landscape.

Types of Investment Accounts

The right investment account for you will depend on your investment objectives and your favored strategy.

General Investment Accounts

For UK investors interested in taking the reins of their investment decisions, platforms with standard investment accounts are ideal. These platforms offer a flexible way to trade a broad spectrum of financial instruments.

When choosing a platform, be mindful of the markets it supports and any associated fees. For example, eToro excels in offering diverse general investment accounts that feature a vast range of stocks and ETFs from the UK, US, Europe, and Asia.

Moreover, eToro charges no commissions and offers the option of fractional investing, letting you get started with a minimum investment of just $10.

Stocks & Shares ISAs

Some investors prefer Stocks and Shares Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), which offer a tax-friendly route for investing in a mix of assets like stocks, ETFs, trusts, and bonds.

Here’s a quick overview:

For the 2023/24 tax year, you can contribute up to £20,000 to a Stocks and Shares ISA. Both capital gains and dividends within the ISA are tax-free, allowing your investments to grow without tax penalties.

These ISAs are typically geared towards long-term growth, often aimed at retirement savings. However, there are some drawbacks. Not every investment platform offers this type of ISA and those that do usually have higher fees.

For instance, opening a Stocks and Shares ISA with Hargreaves Lansdown comes with a 0.45% annual fee, plus a £11.95 trading fee per transaction. Thus, these fees might offset the tax advantages in the long run.

Also, UK investors have an annual tax-free allowance. For the 2023/24 tax year, there’s a £6,000 capital gains tax-free allowance and a £1,000 dividend tax allowance. Beyond these limits, a 0.5% stamp duty tax still applies to UK investments.

Although eToro doesn’t offer a Stocks and Shares ISA, it might be more cost-effective because it doesn’t charge trading commissions or ISA-related fees. Additionally, eToro doesn’t impose a stamp duty tax on UK investments.

Personal Retirement Accounts

If you’re focused on ensuring a financially secure retirement, you might consider establishing a personal retirement account as a strategic long-term move.

Note that these accounts are usually inaccessible until you reach 55 years of age, soon to be 57. Hence, only allocate funds that you won’t require in the near term.

You can manage this personal retirement account alongside an employer-sponsored pension plan and invest in both.

Be aware of specific contribution limits: You can contribute up to 100% of your yearly income. There’s a lifetime cap of £1,073,100 for total contributions. An annual contribution limit of £40,000 applies.

How to Invest Money in the UK

Investing money in the UK can be a strategic way to grow wealth and achieve financial goals.

Here are the general steps to get started with investing in the UK:

  1. Set Clear Financial Goals: Define your investment objectives and establish a clear understanding of what you want to achieve through investing. This could include saving for retirement, funding education, buying a property, or building wealth over the long term5.
  2. Create a Budget & Emergency Fund: Before investing, it’s important to have a solid financial foundation. Establish a budget to manage your expenses, save money, and create an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses. This ensures that you have a stable financial base before committing funds to investments.
  3. Educate Yourself: Learn about different investment options, strategies, and risk levels. Understand the basics of investing, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investment vehicles. Take advantage of educational resources, books, and online courses, or seek advice from financial advisors to enhance your knowledge.
  4. Determine Your Risk Tolerance: Assess your risk tolerance by considering your financial situation, time horizon, and comfort with potential investment volatility. Understand that higher-risk investments may offer greater potential returns but also come with increased volatility and the possibility of losses.
  5. Choose an Investment Account: Select the appropriate investment account based on your goals and circumstances. Options in the UK include individual investment accounts, tax-efficient ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts), self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs), and workplace pension schemes. Consider the tax advantages, contribution limits, and withdrawal rules associated with each account type.
  6. Determine Asset Allocation: Determine how to allocate your investments across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and cash. Asset allocation should be based on your risk tolerance, time horizon, and financial goals. Diversification across different investments helps spread risk and potentially enhance returns.
  7. Select Investments: Research and choose specific investments that align with your investment strategy and asset allocation. This can include individual stocks, bonds, index funds, actively managed funds, or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Consider factors such as historical performance, fees, fund managers, and the underlying assets.
  8. Open an Investment Account: Open an account with a reputable investment platform or brokerage firm that offers the investment products you wish to invest in. This can be done online or through traditional financial institutions. Provide the necessary information and complete the account opening process.
  9. Start Investing: Once your account is set up and funded, initiate your investment strategy by purchasing the chosen investments. Consider implementing a systematic approach such as dollar-cost averaging, where you invest a fixed amount regularly over time, reducing the impact of short-term market fluctuations.
  10. Monitor and Review: Regularly review your investment portfolio’s performance, make adjustments as needed, and stay updated on market trends and economic news. Revisit your financial goals periodically and adjust your investments accordingly.
  11. Seek Professional Advice: If needed, consult a financial advisor or investment professional who can provide personalised advice and guidance tailored to your specific financial situation and goals.

For a more detailed guide, check out my article on where and how to invest money UK.

Investment Platform Fees

Investment platform fees will vary depending on the provider and the specific services offered.

Here are some common types of fees associated with investment platforms:

Account Opening and Maintenance Fees: Some investment platforms may charge a fee when you open an account or maintain it annually. These fees can vary in amount and may be waived or reduced based on certain criteria, such as the account balance or the frequency of trades.

Trading Fees: Investment platforms may charge fees for executing trades, such as buying or selling stocks, bonds, or other securities. These fees can be a fixed amount per trade or a percentage of the transaction value. Some platforms offer discounted or commission-free trading for certain types of investments.

Fund Management Fees: If you invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or mutual funds, the funds themselves charge management fees, also known as expense ratios. These fees cover the costs associated with managing and operating the funds. The investment platform may pass on these fees to investors.

Custodial or Platform Fees: Some investment platforms charge a fee for holding your investments on their platform. This fee typically covers the costs of providing account administration, reporting, and access to investment tools and resources.

Inactivity Fees: Certain investment platforms may charge fees if there is no activity in your account over a specified period. These fees are designed to incentivise active investing or account usage.

Additional Service Fees: Investment platforms may offer additional services, such as access to financial advisors or premium research reports, for an additional fee. These fees are optional and depend on the level of service you choose to utilise.

Are Investment Platforms Safe? What to Look For

Investment platforms can be considered safe, but it’s important to assess their safety and reliability before choosing one.

Here are some factors you must consider:

Regulation: Ensure that the investment platform is regulated by a reputable financial authority. In the UK, this would typically be the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Regulation helps ensure that the platform operates within established legal and ethical guidelines, providing a certain level of protection for investors.

Investor Protection: Look for investment platforms that offer investor protection schemes. In the UK, this often includes the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which provides compensation to eligible investors if the platform fails or is unable to meet its obligations.

Security Measures: Evaluate the platform’s security measures to protect your personal information and assets. Look for features such as two-factor authentication, encryption, and secure socket layer (SSL) technology to safeguard your data and transactions.

Reputation and Track Record: Research the platform’s reputation and track record in the industry. Look for reviews, ratings, and user experiences to gauge the platform’s reliability, customer service, and overall satisfaction level among investors.

Financial Stability: Consider the financial stability and credibility of the platform. Look for platforms that have a strong financial background, transparent financial statements, and a solid reputation in the industry.

Transparency and Disclosure: Assess how transparent the platform is in terms of fees, charges, and terms of service. A reputable platform should provide clear and detailed information about costs, investment products, risks, and any potential conflicts of interest.

Customer Support: Evaluate the quality and accessibility of customer support offered by the platform. A reliable investment platform should have responsive customer service to address any concerns or queries you may have.

All the above should help you choose the safest investment platform.

Commonly Asked Questions About UK Investing Platforms

Here I’ll answer some common questions asked regarding investing and investment platforms in the UK.

What’s the difference between investing and trading?

Investing and trading are two distinct approaches to participating in financial markets.

Investing involves purchasing assets such as stocks, bonds, or real estate to hold them for an extended period. Investors focus on the long-term prospects of their investments, conducting fundamental analysis to assess the underlying value of companies or assets. Their goal is to generate long-term returns and build wealth over time.

On the other hand, trading involves more frequent buying and selling of financial instruments to take advantage of short-term price fluctuations. Traders employ technical analysis, charts, and market indicators to make decisions. Their objective is to profit from short-term market movements.

While investing is characterised by a buy-and-hold strategy, trading involves more active and frequent transactions. Each approach requires different skills, strategies, and risk tolerance levels, and individuals may choose one or a combination of both based on their investment goals and preferences.

What is the best investment platform for beginners in the UK?

Here are the best investment platforms for beginners in the UK:

  1. eToro – Affordable and beginner-friendly with options for pre-made portfolios.
  2. InvestEngine – Cost-effective, dedicated to ETF investing.
  3. Moneybox – Simplifies investing with automated, ready-to-go portfolios, ideal for beginners.
  4. Freetrade – Commission-free trading and investment services.
  5. Moneyfarm – Mid-priced, combines advisory services with ESG investing options.
  6. Wealthify – Offers mid-range pricing, focuses on ethical investments, and is beginner-friendly.

What are the best investment platforms UK for long-term investing?

For long-term investing in the UK, interactive investor and Hargreaves Lansdown are some of the best platforms. Interactive investor offers a wide array of investment options and robust research tools, making it well-suited for those planning for the long term. Hargreaves Lansdown provides comprehensive research, a vast selection of funds, and expert financial advice, making it a strong choice for long-term investors.

What is the best platform to invest in shares?

eToro and Freetrade are commonly recommended as the best platforms for investing in shares. eToro offers a broad range of shares from different markets and allows for social trading, where you can follow and copy other traders. Freetrade provides a simple, user-friendly platform that offers commission-free trading in shares, making it an affordable option. Both platforms are suitable for investors of varying experience levels.

What are the cheapest investment platforms UK?

In the UK, Freetrade and interactive investor are among the cheapest investment platforms. Freetrade offers commission-free trading, making it an affordable choice for those looking to invest in a variety of assets. Interactive investor has a fixed monthly fee structure, which can become cost-effective for investors with larger portfolios. Both platforms are popular among those seeking to minimise investment costs.

What are the best investment companies UK?

The best investment companies in the UK include AJ Bell and Hargreaves Lansdown. AJ Bell offers a user-friendly platform along with a wide range of investment options, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced investors. Hargreaves Lansdown is known for its comprehensive research tools, expert financial advice, and extensive selection of funds, making it a go-to for those looking for in-depth investment options. Both companies are well-regarded for their services and customer support.

What has the highest returns on investment UK?

In the UK, the asset class with the highest returns can vary depending on market conditions, risk tolerance, and investment strategies. Historically, equities or stocks have often provided high returns, although they come with increased volatility6.

Alternative investments like cryptocurrencies have also shown potential for high returns but carry significant risks. It’s important to consult with financial advisors and conduct your research to determine what investment may offer the highest returns for your specific situation.

What should beginners invest in?

Beginners looking to invest should gravitate towards ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds), as they offer a balanced mix of diversification, lower costs, and ease of trading.

ETFs track an index, commodity, or basket of assets like an index fund, yet trade like a stock on an exchange, providing flexibility and accessibility. This approach allows beginners to invest in a variety of sectors and asset classes, helping to spread risk and tap into the growth potential of different markets.

How to invest safely?

Investing safely typically involves a strategy that focuses on risk management and capital preservation.

You should:

  • Diversify your portfolio across various asset classes to mitigate risk.
  • Invest in stable, well-established companies or low-cost index funds and ETFs that track the broader market.
  • Avoid putting all your funds into high-risk investments, and be wary of schemes promising unusually high returns.
  • Ensure you understand the investment’s nature, including any potential risks.
  • Regularly review your investments to adapt to any market changes, and consult with a financial advisor for tailored advice.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to the best investment platforms in the UK, options like eToro, Hargreaves Lansdown, interactive investor, AJ Bell, and Freetrade stand out.

Ultimately, the best platform for you depends on your specific needs, preferences, and investment goals.

Consider factors such as fees, investment options, user experience, and customer support to make an informed decision and embark on your investment journey with confidence.

But, for beginners, I’d recommend eToro as the best investment platform in the UK.

FAQs

What is the UK’s largest investment platform?

The largest investment platform in the UK is Hargreaves Lansdown. With over 1.7 million clients and £123 billion invested for clients, Hargreaves Lansdown holds a significant market share in the UK investment industry. The platform’s wide client base and substantial assets under management contribute to its position as the largest investment platform in the country.

What is the cheapest online investment platform in the UK?

eToro is one of the cheapest online investment platforms in the UK. It distinguishes itself by offering commission-free trading on stocks, making it an appealing option for cost-conscious investors.

What is the best investment platform for beginners?

eToro is one of the best investment platforms for beginners. Its user-friendly interface, commission-free trading on stocks, and emphasis on social trading make it an attractive choice for those starting their investment journey. eToro’s platform allows beginners to learn from experienced traders, access a wide range of assets, and offers a demo trading account for practice. These features make eToro a beginner-friendly platform that prioritises simplicity and educational resources.

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Sources:

  1. https://www.finder.com/uk/investment-statistics ↩︎
  2. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1262787/etoro-registered-users/ ↩︎
  3. https://www.bayes.city.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2023/june/exploring-the-pros-and-cons-of-index-funds-and-etfs/ ↩︎
  4. https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/6818/1/ETF.pdf ↩︎
  5. https://www.investor.gov/introduction-investing/getting-started/investing-your-own ↩︎
  6. https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/032415/which-investments-have-highest-historical-returns.asp ↩︎
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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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