Best ISA account provider

Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

A quick reminder of how Stocks & Shares ISA work

There are many different types of ISAs. Here, for clarity, we are going to focus only on Stocks & Shares ISA, expecting that you already made the choice of investing your money hoping to make the most of the years ahead of you.

Best Self-Selected Stocks & Shares ISA providers

Woo, that was quite of a long title to type. That is because there are many types of ISAs and many types of SS ISA funds. But if you are here it probably means you have already decided that you want to pick your own Stocks and ETFs, and want to waste as little money as possible doing so by paying unnecessary transactions costs and subscription fees. [Let me be clear here: EVERYWHERE you go, you will still be paying some sort of price to invest your money, that’s why your broker is there and why they are paying so much money to put their ads first under the google searches].

  • Commission-free trading platforms;
  • Flat-fee platforms;
  • Percentual-fee platforms.

What to choose

I am 24, plan to invest at least £20k per annum for at least the coming 25 years, looking to have 75/80% of my portfolio in Common Stocks and ETFs, and 20/25% into Bonds. I will probably hold my stocks for an average of 5 years, planning to make around 2/3 trades (BUY) per months and very few SELL.

Broker suggestion chart: X-axis is the expected money to be invested, Y-axis is the expected frequency of the transactions.

High Investment, High Frequency: Interactive Investor

If you are going to be contributing >£5k a year into your ISA for at least the next 5 years, and want to keep stocks for a relatively short amount of time, your best option might be Interactive Investor.

  • are going to make a very elevated number of trades each month. But probably this is not why you’re getting an ISA…
  • are hoping to have a clear deep analysis of the market on your platform. Interactive Investor has some good educational material but misses the former.
  • are opening an account “just to try” for a while before getting seriously into investing. The £120 fee will keep eating into your fund even if you put just a little bit of money in it to try it at first. Freetrade is completely free to open an account with and to trade and would be a better option to start with.

High Investment, Low Frequency: Freetrade

If you expect to be charging up your ISA every year with over £5k and are planning to hold on your stocks for over a year on average, Freetrade might be the best choice for you.

  • want to trade from your laptop. They only have a mobile app for now.
  • are looking for a wide offer of products. They do not have a very wide range of stocks and indices, and they do not offer you the change to trade options.
  • need educational material.
  • want comprehensive graphs. Freetrade has a neat and clean style, presenting minimal information to the user.

Low Investment, Low Frequency: Vanguard

In case you know you will contribute less than £5k per year into your ISA and are going to just make few trades per year, then Vanguard is a good option for you.

  • are looking for a wide offering of products. Vanguard has many funds itself and is cheap to invest in them for amounts lower than £80k, but has got a smaller offer of stocks and other products.
  • are looking for an advanced environment to trade. Vanguard offers simple and clear analytics, that might be a pro or a con for you.

My choice

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Federico Sanna

Federico Sanna

Autonomous Driving Systems Engineer at Arrival— Imperial College Bioengineering Graduate — 12challenges patient zero