If you haven’t heard of interactive investor yet, this article will give you a deep dive into what this platform is and who should use it.
Interactive investor is a versatile platform with an extensive number of products, excellent customer service, and a user-friendly interface.
The multi-award-winning platform is perfect for people who are looking for comprehensive services at affordable prices.
Table of Contents
Introduction to interactive investor
With over 25 years of experience, there’s little that you can doubt about interactive investor.
The platform is now the number one flat-fee investment platform in the UK, making it the go-to brand for people who are looking for an affordable start to investing.
Interactive investor boasts plenty of awards, such as Best Investment Account in 2023 from Good Money Guide, Best Online Stockbroker and Best Stockbroker for International Dealing in 2023 from ADVFN International Financial Awards, and Best Buy for ISA and Pension in 2023 from Boring Money.
The company now manages over 400,000 customers and £59 billion in assets including shares, funds, trusts, and ETFs.
How to Create & Close an Account at interactive investor
There’s nothing to complain about interactive investor’s sign-up process. It’s swift and can be done in minutes.
You will also need to prepare proof of identity such as your passport or driving licence, and proof of address such as a utility bill or bank statement.
You’ll then be required to answer a suitability test. The test is a requirement for any brokerage under the Financial Conduct Authority to gain knowledge on your level of experience.
Your account will take several days to approve, and afterwards, you’ll be able to trade.
When you open an account at interactive investor, you can choose between these options:
- General Investment Account (GIA): They’re also called trading accounts. This is a standard account without any tax benefit.
- Stocks & Shares ISA: You can use this account for tax-free investments up to £20,000 per year.
- Pension (SIPP): You can use this platform to prepare for retirement by setting up a personal pension fund. You can use their huge range of investment options and get a tax benefit too.
- Joint Trading Account: Two account holders can have access to money in the account.
- Company Account: The account can be managed by up to four people, and the client can access trading in the name of a UK limited company. Interactive Investor is one of the first platforms to offer this option.
- Junior ISA: You can open a Junior ISA for your children via Interactive Investor, where you can start planning for your children’s future.
When you want to close your Interactive Investor account, contact customer support.
The team will help you transfer your money to a savings account or another broker.
One of interactive investor’s strengths is the fact that they have a wide range of products such as stocks & shares, ETFs, investment trusts, investment funds, bonds & gifts, and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs).
Their line covers almost everything a UK customer needs and will satisfy almost anyone.
Here are some of the investment options that they offer on their platform:
- Quick start funds: Great for beginners who are looking for something that they can buy and hold. The portfolios are chosen by experts to accommodate passive trading, providing information that will aid investors make decisions based on the market condition. As clients, you can also choose your level of risk: cautious, balanced or growth.
- ii Super 60: This introduces a list of active and passive funds, investment trusts, and ETFs. You can also choose between equities, fixed income, or alternatives.
- ii ACE 40: This will introduce a rated list of ethical investments. This typically involves investing in green companies, or companies that are aligned with your values.
- Model portfolios: You can choose whether you want a growth or income portfolio. There’s the option of active growth, active income, low-cost growth, or low-cost income. For growth, people typically expect increasing value in their investment, while income means a steadier stream of money that can substitute your income.
Features Available on the interactive investor Platform
Here are some of the highlights of the features available on interactive investor’s platform:
- Free research account: This is a great place for novices to start and try trading without the risk of losing money. There are also free newsletters and discussions to expand your knowledge.
- Research Tools: There are watch lists, charting via integration with MorningStar, and screeners via integration with Recognia. It’s adequate for beginner to intermediate users, but experienced traders might find it a bit lacking.
- Knowledge Centre: If you think jargons are perplexing, then you should check out their knowledge centre. There are plenty of materials that can help you understand the investment world better – from how to invest in the stock market to how to pick stocks.
- Web Trading Platform: The web-based platform is well-designed and user-friendly. It also has a two-step authentication which increases its security points. You can also have notifications and alerts via email and text when you use the web version.
- Mobile Trading Platform: Similar to its web-based platform, the mobile version is well-designed. But some have complained about its responsiveness and it lacks advanced charting tools and customisable trading tools. Thus, advanced traders might be better off using the web version.
Is interactive investor Expensive?
Interactive investor has 3 payment structures for both ISA and trading accounts which are:
- Investor essential plan: Costs £4.99 a month, only for investments below £30,000, free regular investing, and UK & US trades are £5.99
- Investor plan: Costs £9.99 a month, free regular investing, first trade free every month, UK & US trades are £5.99
- Super investor plan: Costs £19.99 a month, first two trades free per month, UK & US trades are £3.99
Junior ISAs can only be accessed via investor and super-investor plans. You can start depositing for as little as £25 per month. If the account is still open when your child turns 18, it will automatically turn into an adult ISA account.
For the SIPP account, interactive investor charges £12.99 a month, but it will only cost £10 for investor plans and super investor plans, and UK & US trades are £5.99. Unfortunately, it’s not available on the investor essential plan.
As I mentioned beforehand, other account types that you can choose are joint trading accounts and company accounts.
The joint trading account has a flat fee of £9.99 per month and the company account incurs an additional £30 operational costs.
Savings Account & Withdrawal
The platform provides a very straightforward account that’s easy to use.
You can fund your interactive investor account by using your debit card, bank transfer, or cheque. For those who have multiple interactive investor accounts, the platform also serves inter-account transfers.
If you want to withdraw your money from your account, log into your account and then select the Cash and Transfers tab. Then you’ll click the Withdraw/transfer cash option. You’ll receive your money within a few days.
Safety & Security
In terms of safety and security, there’s no faulting interactive investor.
The platform is authorised and regulated by the UK FCA or Financial Conduct Authority. This means their investor protection policy applies to interactive investor’s clients, or in other words you could be eligible for up to £85,000 if the company closes.
Another thing that will put you at ease is the fact that they deposit all money invested into a nominee account and hold Trust status.
What this means is they will not be able to touch investors’ money if the company goes bust. They also scatter clients’ money into several different banks for diversification purposes; this lessens any risks involving banks.
Customer Support Review
One of the sites I often use to find out about a platform’s customer service performance is Trustpilot.
As you can see, interactive investor achieved a very high score of 4.7 out of 5.0 or excellent standing.
Plenty of users even compared their customer service to other platforms, praising their team’s better support and extensive knowledge.
The platform provides customer service via live chat, email, or phone. Live chat is exclusive to existing customers who already have an account with them. To access it, you need to log into your account and choose the secure messages feature.
I tried contacting them through all three channels and have nothing but rave reviews. It took them only a few minutes to answer my query via phone and chat, and my email was answered in under an hour.
Who Should Use interactive investor?
The platform is one of the most versatile available in the market, so it’s great for a wide range of customers.
Their low-cost strategy and great customer service mean they can cater to those looking for affordable trading. The flat fee also makes it suitable for people who are more active traders who make regular transactions.
On the other hand, their research content might be a bit lacking, especially in their mobile version. This can turn off advanced traders as they often look for more sophisticated tools.
Alternatives to interactive investor
Although the platform is one of the best in the game, other alternatives may be more suitable for you.
Here are other options to consider:
- AJ Bell: Another leading investing platform that is often used by the UK market. It’s a very beginner-friendly platform that is suitable for those who love choosing an already set portfolio. Not suitable for active traders, as they have relatively high transaction costs.
- Hargreaves Lansdown: This platform also serves as an alternative for people who have the buy-and-hold strategy in their investments. Their platform is user-friendly and the company also provides great customer service.
- Freetrade: Another UK-based company that offers no commission trading in stocks and ETFs. They have a simple platform that’s easy to understand and has won awards for the best trading app. If you want something mobile-friendly, this is a great alternative for active traders.
- Vanguard Investor: A top American investing company that has reached the UK-based market. The platform is another low-cost option with a low starting point. It’s suitable for a more passive investor, as its strengths are in asset management. So you let them do their expertise and only check on your assets from time to time.
Pros & Cons of interactive investor
- Offers a flat fee
- Low-cost options available
- Great range of products and portfolios available
- Responsive and helpful customer service
- They have a knowledge centre, great for beginners
- Lacking advanced tools in Research
- Some accounts do not have access to the low-cost Investor Essentials plan
interactive investor Review – Final Thoughts
Interactive investor is a great platform with an extensive range of products and a selection of portfolios. They also give you several tiers of trading account fees that can apply to different target markets.
Overall, the platform is suitable for active and passive traders from beginner to intermediate levels.
Hopefully, my review has provided you with valuable insights into what interactive investor has to offer.
You can make a more informed decision about whether it’s the right trading platform for you.
Is money in interactive investor safe?
Interactive Investor is a reputable investment platform regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. As a regulated entity, it must adhere to strict financial and operational standards to safeguard client assets. You are also protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Is interactive investor worth it?
The value of using interactive investor depends on your individual investment needs, preferences, and goals. It offers a range of investment options, competitive pricing, and various tools and features that may be beneficial to certain investors. However, it’s important to evaluate your specific requirements and compare them with other investment platforms to determine if it aligns with your needs and offers good value for you.