Are you an investor looking for the right trading platform to cater to your needs?
In this head-to-head comparison, I will review two popular investment platforms: Interactive Investor vs Stake.
Whether you’re an experienced investor or just starting, my guide will give you all the information you need to make a smart investment decision.
Table of Contents
What Are Interactive Investor & Stake?
Interactive Investor, often called ii, is among the biggest investment platforms in the UK.
Interactive Investor allows you to manage your funds and make well-informed investment decisions easily.
It’s a great platform for experienced investors and beginners looking to grow their wealth through trading.
Stake is a fintech startup that is available in New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
Through the platform, you can trade stocks and ETFs at low fees.
Moreover, the platform is well-designed and user-friendly and well-designed, making it a perfect choice for beginner investors.
As an Interactive Investor user, you can invest in several products that can help you grow your wealth.
- ETFs: Most investors like diversifying their investment portfolio by investing in several securities. Through Interactive Investor’s ETFs, you too can invest in bonds, commodities, and stocks at the same time. This way, you can reap the benefits of all three.
- Funds: If you’re new to trading or prefer to have professionals manage your money, you can invest in actively managed and index funds. By doing so, experienced fund managers will invest your money on your behalf and help you maximise your profit.
- Bonds: Interactive Investor allows you to invest in various types of bonds, including corporate and government bonds. This will enable you to diversify your investment strategy and potentially earn steady returns.
- Stocks: Owning shares in well-established companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google can offer numerous advantages. The good news is you can easily invest in these companies’ shares through Interactive Investor.
Unlike Interactive Investor, which offers several investment options, Stake only focuses on the following:
- Stocks: With Stake, you can access over 8,000 stocks and buy and sell shares in companies listed on major stock exchanges. These include tech giants like Apple, Google, and Amazon.
- Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs): Stake also offers ETFs that beginners can use to test different sectors and markets.
Although both have great investment options, Interactive Investor stands out since it has more investment products, making it perfect for investors who want to diversify their portfolios.
Account Features & Benefits
Interactive Investor offers three main accounts:
- Trading Account: If you’re looking for a standard investing account, Interactive Investor offers a trading account for £4.99. You can choose from more than 40,000 UK and global stocks from the account.
- Individual Savings Account (ISA): Interactive Investor is famous for its ISA accounts that offer tax exemption benefits to UK citizens. With an ISA account, you can invest in funds, stocks, and shares without facing tax deductions.
- SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension): As an investor, you know the importance of planning for retirement. Luckily, Interactive Investor offers a SIPP account starting from £12.99 a month. With this account, you can choose from several investment options based on your needs and access your money from age 55.
Meanwhile, Stake provides two account options for its users.
- Stake: This is the basic trading account with limited features.
- Stake Black: This is a premium plan that offers extra features, such as market trade data, for $9 a month.
If you’re a beginner, I would advise you to pick the Stake account type based on your budget and investment goals.
To get started, simply visit their website, fill out a simple form, upload your details, and choose your preferred account type.
Here’s how Interactive Investor charges for various transactions:
- $0 deposit fee
- $0 withdrawal fee
- No account inactivity fee
- No minimum trading deposit
Alternatively, Stake offers the following competitive prices:
- No account inactivity fee
- A minimum trading deposit of $50.
- A free basic trading account
- No withdrawal fee
- No deposit fee
Security & Regulatory Compliance
As an investor, you should understand the importance of choosing a secure trading platform with the best security features.
Here’s how the security measures of both platforms compare.
- Regulations: Interactive Investor is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. This ensures that they comply with the strict standards regarding securing funds and personal data.
- Secure Mobile App & Website: To encrypt user data, Interactive Investor uses secure HTTPS connections on their website and mobile app. This protects customers from phishing attempts to steal their credentials.
- Two-Factor Authentication for Verification: Interactive Investor requires users to use both their password and a unique code generated by their mobile app to access their account. This protects customers from hackers who might crack their login details.
- Regulations: Stake is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- Face & Touch ID: To further protect your funds from fraud, Stake also implements additional measures such as Face and Touch ID.
- Two-Factor Authentication: Just like Interactive Investor, Stake uses 2FA for advanced security so you can have peace of mind that your money is in safe hands.
Interactive Investor has several trading tools that can help you as an investor.
- Stock screening: With this tool, you can filter and search for stocks you want to invest in.
- Portfolio analysis: By using this tool, you can assess your portfolio and make smart investment decisions.
- Watchlists: Interactive Investor also provides watchlists, where you can create customised lists of stocks or other investments that you want to keep an eye on.
- Price alerts: Lastly, Interactive Investor offers alerts that inform you about any change that may affect your investments.
On the other hand, Stake offers some unique trading tools.
The platform offers three trading order types:
- Stop order
A trading order is an authorisation or a request you send to a platform when you want to sell or buy a stock. These orders can help you buy or sell stock when the market price favours you.
Stake also offers fractional trading, where you can buy a fraction of a share if you’re on a budget instead of a whole share. The minimum amount is $10 for this investment.
Interactive Investor offers several educational resources, including the following:
- Educational articles: These are divided based on experience level, meaning they range from the basics of investing to how to adopt advanced strategies.
- Comprehensive guides: These are more detailed than articles, and they give in-depth knowledge on specific investment topics. They also provide practical tips that you can apply as you trade.
- Market trends: These help investors stay up-to-date with the changes in the market and open them to potential investment opportunities.
Although Stake doesn’t offer as extensive educational resources as Interactive Investor does, it has a blog called Stake Academy, where they regularly share informative articles.
This lets you stay informed about the latest market trends and developments.
Stake also doesn’t offer demo accounts or any educational videos at the time of writing this article.
Interactive Investor has a mobile app with a clean interface design that’s responsive to devices like Android phones, iPhones, and tablets, making it perfect for non-tech-savvy investors.
Additionally, it offers features such as secure messaging, access to real-time market data, and the ability to manage your account.
Stake also offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android users. Whether you prefer using a smartphone or tablet, you can download the app and trade.
The app is also user-friendly, with simple navigation features. With the Stake app, you can manage your portfolio and transact from wherever you are.
Interactive Investor offers customer support through:
- Telephone: This is the fastest way to reach an agent since they can pick up your call in less than a minute. Additionally, they have special lines for their three accounts (Trading, ISA, and SIPP)
- Email: It’s a little slow, and I would advise you only to use this for non-urgent queries
The platform also has a rating of 4.7 on Trustpilot, one of the world’s most transparent review platforms.
Unfortunately, Stake’s customer service is sub-standard. They don’t offer phone or live chat support.
If you need to contact a customer support agent, try emailing them since they respond quickly.
You can also submit an inquiry ticket on the app or their website.
Pros & Cons of Each
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each platform:
Here’s why using Interactive Investor can be beneficial for investors like you.
- Customisable Dashboard & Watchlist: With Interactive Investor, you can customise your profile’s dashboard and create personalised watchlists. This way, you can track your stocks, monitor market movements, and stay updated on your investments.
- Several Investment Products: As a user, you can diversify your trading portfolio by exploring the different investment products that Interactive Investor offers.
- Research and Analysis Tools: Through the platform’s research and analysis tools, you can gain valuable insights into market trends and financial data to help you make smart investment choices.
- Dedicated Support: If you encounter a problem when using their platform, you can quickly reach their customer support team.
Here are some disadvantages of using Interactive Investor:
- Monthly Charges: To access the platform and reap its benefits, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee that’s separate from your trading fees.
- Location Constraint: The platform is only available to UK investors.
To sum it up, here are the advantages of using Stake as a trading and investment platform.
- Low Fees: With Stake, you won’t have to worry about withdrawal, deposit, or account inactivity fees.
- Advanced Security: Stake provides two-factor authentication and Face ID/Touch verification to ensure your investments are safe.
- User-Friendly App: Stake’s app is designed with you in mind, making it easy and intuitive to navigate, especially if you’re a beginner.
- Fractional Investing: One of the best features of Stake is that it allows users to buy fractional shares in reputable companies. If you don’t have enough funds to buy one whole share, you can start with an amount you’re comfortable with.
- Stock Filtering: The platform offers a filtering tool to help investors discover new ETFs and stocks
Some of the disadvantages of using Stake include:
- No Price Alert Feature: Stake doesn’t offer this feature, making it hard for its users to stay updated with market price fluctuations.
- Inadequate Educational Resources: Stake’s educational resources are not as extensive as those of Interactive Investor.
- Limited Investment Products: Stakes only focuses on ETFs and stocks. If you want to diversify your portfolio, you may need to explore other alternatives.
- Standard Customer Support: Although Stake provides customer support, it doesn’t compare to other platforms like Interactive Investor.
Alternatives to Interactive Investor & Stake
If you’re interested in exploring other options besides Interactive Investor and Stake, here are some great choices:
- Fidelity: This trading platform provides several investment product options for investors. One of the highlights of Fidelity is its educational resources. As a user, you’ll benefit from their market analysis, reposts, and educational content. The downside is it charges a high mutual fund fee.
- Webull: Webull recently announced its entry into the UK market. This is great news for UK investors since it is a completely commission-free trading platform. One of the highlights of Webull is it gives customers a 5% interest on the cash balance. The downside is it has a relatively high wire transfer cost.
Interactive Investor vs Stake – Final Thoughts
After analysing both Interactive Investor and Stake, I have reached the final verdict on the best platform for investors.
Considering factors such as investment options, educational resources, and a tax exemption account (ISA), Interactive Investor emerges as the better option.
However, Stake would be the best option if you only want to focus on trading US stocks and ETFs.
Hopefully, my review has given you some insight into what Interactive Investor and Stake have to offer. You can now decide which of them is best for your needs!