INTERACTIVE INVESTOR REVIEW

Interactive Investor Review

In the investment platform world, Interactive Investor is a prominent member within the UK market. It has a distinctive flat fee structure, with a broad  range of investment options. 

Consequently, it is used by a lot of  investors. This article comprehensively reviews this provider, providing insights into its services, charges, and overall performance.

Table of Contents

Background to Interactive Investor

Interactive Investor entered the UK investment platform market in 1995. In the years since, it has become one of the largest investment platforms in the UK, with over 400,000 customers as of 2022. 

Due to its range of account types and investment options, it is a popular choice among UK investors.

Interactive Investor is headquartered in Manchester and currently part of ABRDN, one of the UK’s largest investment companies. Interactive Investor was previously owned by JC Flowers and before that, TD Waterhouse.

Interactive Investor offers various types of accounts. These include, but are not limited to, General Investment Accounts (GIA), Individual Savings Accounts (ISA), and Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPP). 

These accounts all cater to a wide range of financial goals, such as house saving, retirement planning, or wealth growth.

Accessibility is another prominent point within Interactive Investor. On its online platform, users manage their accounts and execute trades conveniently at any necessary point. This is a significant factor contributing to its widespread use among UK investors.

When considering investments, safety is an important aspect. Interactive Investor is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). 

Therefore, this means investments on the platform are protected up to £85,000, giving their members peace of mind.

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Interactive Investor Review

Interactive Investor provides an accessible online platform and mobile app. Furthermore, the interface is straightforward to navigate. It offers various research tools, such as company reports, market news, and analysis. 

It is also key to note that potential customers can access limited research via a demo account before opening an account.

Moreover, It offers a diverse investment options. These include UK and international shares, investment trusts, exchange traded funds (ETFs), and more. This wide choice array allows investors diversification of your portfolio, aligning with their investment strategies.

The flat fee structure of this platform can be seen as another beneficial aspect. Whilst many investment platforms charge a percentage of the trade value to its users, Interactive Investor adopts a monthly fee structure. 

Consequently, this can prove more cost-efficient for investors with larger portfolios.

Customer service is an integral part when evaluating any service provider, including Interactive Investor. 

The company offers robust customer support with this service, accessible on the phone and via email. Consequently, helpful responses from the support team are often commended by users.

Interactive Investor offers pre-made portfolios called Quick Start Funds. These diversified funds provide a simple way for beginner investors to get started. 

The Quick Start Funds offer exposure to various asset classes and regions, presenting a helpful feature for new investors looking for an easy introduction to investing.

Exploring the Investment Options

Users can invest in a range of assets on Interactive Investor, including over 40,000 UK and international shares, around 5,000 exchange traded funds (ETFs), and over 2,000 investment trusts. Additionally, both active and passive investment options are available.

The platform also highlights its sustainable funds, which is a growing focus for many investors. 

These funds focus on companies adhering to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) regulations. Consequently, this aligns the values of investments with where they put their money.

Interactive Investor’s selection of ETFs is also noteworthy. This offers a cost-savvy and flexible way of diversifying a portfolio, tracking a specific index, sector, or commodity. 

For investors interested in long-term growth, the platform offers a selection of investment trusts that are listed on the stock market. These have the potential for higher returns, consequently becoming a valuable addition to an investment portfolio.

Interactive Investor offers direct access to several trading venues, including the London Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, and NYSE Euronext. 

This allows customers to trade directly on these exchanges without going through a broker. This is because direct access can help to reduce trading costs for active investors.

How the Trading Platform Works

Interactive Investor operates online, accessible via a web browser or a mobile app. This means that users can access their accounts, execute trades, and monitor performance of investments from anywhere with an internet connection.

The interface is user-friendly, with its clear layout and easily accessible features. Additionally, it offers a variety of tools for trading, ranging from basic order to advanced charting types. This enables users to effectively execute their investment strategy.

Moreover, its research capability provides a standout feature of the platform. Users have access to detailed market analysis and reports, helping you to stay informed about trends and opportunities in the market. 

This feature is particularly beneficial for those who prefer to conduct their own research.

Users can fund their Interactive Investor account using direct debit or bank transfer. This requires a minimum deposit, varying depending on your account. Once the funding is set up, users can start trading immediately.

"Interactive Investor is headquartered in Manchester and currently part of ABRDN, one of the UK's largest investment companies."

The Costs and Fees Involved

Interactive Investor operates using a flat fee structure, rather than charging a percentage of the trade value like other investors. This covers maintenance of the account and trading fees. It is important to note that there are three pricing plans to choose from.

When you open a Stocks and Shares ISA, or Trading Account you will be placed onto the following accounts:

Investor Essentials plan

£4.99 a month. A low-cost plan for those investing up to £50,000. UK and US trades are £3.99.

Investor plan

£11.99 a month. This is the most popular plan, including the benefit of your first trade being free every month. You should move onto this if your investments grow above £50,000. 

You can add as many Junior ISAs as you have children, and 2 free friends and family members. Additional UK and US trades are £3.99.

Super Investor plan

£19.99 a month. You get two free trades each month. Add as many Junior ISAs as you have children and up to 5 free friends and family members. UK and US trades only £3.99. 

All plans allow you to invest as little as £25 a month using our free regular investing service.

In addition to account fees, Interactive Investor charges £25 for partial stock transfers out and £125 for full transfers. Account closure fees are £95 for a Trading Account and £150 for an ISA. Therefore, users should consider all costs before investing.

Evaluating Customer Service Experience

Customer service is a crucial part of the Interactive Investor experience. Interactive Investors’ platform offers support via phone and email, with dedicated teams to handle account-related queries and technical issues.

Interactive Investor provides customer support via phone, email, web chat, and an online help centre. In 2023, it scored 4.7 out of 5 for overall customer satisfaction on TrustPilot. 

These include guides on how to use the platform, articles on investment strategies, and FAQs. These resources can be helpful for both new and experienced users, providing valuable insights and information.

In addition, investors have the option to join the Interactive Investor community. This is an online forum allowing users to connect with other investors, share experiences, and discuss various trading tools and experiences. 

This provides a platform for users to learn from each other and enhance their investment knowledge.

It is also interesting to note that Interactive Investor publishes regular financial statements and annual reports with performance metrics and financial positions. 

As a publicly listed company, it is required to report this information transparently. This offers an added layer of visibility into the company’s financial health.

Security Measures and Regulations

Interactive Investor takes security very seriously, using advanced measures to protect the safety of users’ accounts and personal information. These measures include two-factor authentication (2FA), secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption, and regular security audits.

Interactive Investor is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), ensuring its adherence to stringent regulatory standards. 

It’s also a member of the London Stock Exchange, further establishing its credibility and bringing peace of mind for many users in terms of safety.

Furthermore, Interactive Investor is covered under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000 per eligible customer. 

This limit applies separately to holdings in Interactive Investor accounts and cash held in connected accounts with organisations like HSBC UK Bank.

In terms of data protection, Interactive Investor complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Consequently, this means it’s committed to protecting users’ personal data and protects it in accordance with the law.

The platform also provides guidelines on safeguarding their accounts. These include tips on creating a safe password, keeping software updated, and being cautious of phishing attempts. 

Therefore, it’s important that users follow this advice to ensure the security of their accounts.

Moreover, Interactive Investor protects client assets in segregated accounts at major banks. This means that client assets are held separately from Interactive Investor’s own corporate assets. 

This is because segregated accounts help safeguard investments if Interactive Investor were to fail.

Navigating the Trading Accounts

Interactive Investor provides many types of trading accounts, including a general trading account, a joint trading account, and self-invested personal pensions (SIPP). 

It is necessary to recognise that these different accounts cater to individual investor needs and financial goals of the users.

The General Trading account offers flexibility in investing in a wide range of investments including shares, bonds, and funds. It is not restricted through annual limits, making it suitable for both small-scale and large-scale investors. 

Alternatively, the Joint Trading Account allows two individuals to hold one account. Each account holder can independently use the account, with mutual funds. This may suit couples, family members or business partners who want to invest jointly.

In contrast, SIPP accounts are individual savings accounts where the account holder makes their own investment decisions. It provides a tax-efficient way for individuals to save for their retirement using stock markets

However, it is important to note that money invested in a SIPP cannot be withdrawn until the investor reaches a certain age.

Interactive Investor’s Investment Options

Benefits of Interactive Investor include active and passive funds, investment trusts, shares, and much more. The wide selection of investments available help investors to diversify and build portfolios which are specifically tailored to their personal  financial needs and risk tolerance. 

Active funds are managed by experts who actively select and manage the investments within the fund. On the other hand, passive funds, or index funds, aim to mirror the performance of a specific index. 

These passively managed funds typically come with lower costs and can be a great option for investors looking for lower-risk investments.

In addition to these, Interactive Investor also offers six low-cost funds. These are ready-made portfolios that spread your cash savings across different asset classes and regions. 

This makes interactive Investor good for providing a balanced and diversified investment approach. However, before jumping into an investment, It’s important to research account options. This will allow you to find the right one for you.

Exploring the Pension Builder Plan

Interactive Investor’s Pension Builder Plan is another offering that sets it apart from other options. This is a low-cost, ready-made pension plan designed for individuals who want a hands-off investment opportunities in retirement.

It is important to recognise that the Pension Builder Plan includes both active and passive funds. This aims to provide balance in their investment strategy, spreading money across different asset classes and regions. 

Consequently, this significantly reduces risk, but as with any investment, it does not eliminate risk in its entirety.

The Pension Builder Plan is part of the Interactive Investor SIPP. This means that it comes with the same tax benefits associated with SIPPs. The money which you contribute often comes with tax relief, effectively reducing the overall expense of your investment. 

Therefore, the Pension Builder Plan is just one of the many ways Interactive Investor works to provide a comprehensive investment platform. 

Whether you’re new to investing or an experienced investor, Interactive Investor offers tools and services to help you meet your financial goals.

Evaluating Customer Service Experience

The Interactive Investor Advantage

There are several advantages that make Interactive Investor an attractive choice for investors focusing on maximising their gains. 

Firstly, it’s safe and secure, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This offers tax-free benefits through its ISA and SIPP offerings.

Interactive Investor’s flat-fee structure can provide another benefit for investors with larger portfolios. 

While many platforms charge a percentage fee, Interactive Investor charges a fixed monthly fee not dependent on the size of your account. This can result in significant savings for those with larger investment pots.

Moreover, the comprehensive research tools offered by Interactive Investor are another significant advantage. 

Users have access to a large breadth of information, including market analysis and detailed reports. Consequently, this can help users to make informed investment decisions.

In addition, Interactive Investor offers access to a variety of investments including shares, bonds, ETFs, investment trusts and managed funds. This range of choice provides flexibility for investors to construct suitable portfolios.

Investing with General Investment Account

Interactive Investor’s General Investment Account (GIA) is a flexible trading account allowing investments into variable options of assets. This account is not subject to any annual limits, making it suitable for people who want to invest more than the limited ISA or SIPP allowances.

The GIA offers diversity in its investment funds, including those that are active and passive, investment trusts, and shares. You can tailor your portfolio to fit your personal goals and financial situation, regardless of whether you’re looking for growth, income, or both.

One of the key benefits of this account is the ability to withdraw your money at any time. This offers versatility for those who want the flexibility to access their investments when they need to. 

However, it’s important to remember that the value of investments can go down as well as up depending on the stock markets. Therefore, you may get back less than you invested.

The GIA is also covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This means that if Interactive Investor were to fail, your investments would be protected up to £85,000. Therefore, this provides additional peace of mind when investing with Interactive Investor.

A Visit to Interactive Investor’s Platform

When you visit Interactive Investor’s platform, you’ll find many features designed to help you to make informed investment decisions before jumping to any decisions. 

For instance, they offer extensive research tools which include market analysis, investment insights, and detailed reports.

It is crucial to note that the provider prides themself of a user-friendly experience, with an intuitive interface and clear navigation. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or a beginner, you’ll find the platform easy to use. 

Plus, with a dedicated customer service team on hand to assist with any queries, you’ll always have the support wherever you need it.

One of the standout offerings of the site is the Investor Essentials Plan. 

This cost effective option includes one free trade each month, making it a great money saving choice for those who trade less frequently. In addition, it includes access to the platform’s wide range of investment options.

Another key feature of the platform is the range of low cost funds. These include six ready-made portfolios that spread your investments across various asset classes and regions. Therefore, this can be a great way to diversify your portfolio and mitigate any risk.

Evaluating Interactive Investor’s Safety

When it comes to investing, safety for your money is paramount. Therefore, with Interactive Investor, you can rest assured that your investments are in good hands. 

Interactive Investor is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), acting as a safety net for all your investments.

It is important to recognise that Interactive Investor uses advanced security measures to protect their accounts and personal data of their users. 

This includes two-factor authentication, secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption, and continuous security audits. Consequently, this commitment makes Interactive Investor a secure choice for your investments.

In addition, Interactive Investor furthers their security by requiring a bank statement for account verification. This is part of the platform’s rigorous verification procedure, designed to prevent fraudulent activity and protect your account.

As with any investment platform, it’s crucial to keep your login details safe and secure. This is why Interactive Investor also provides many tips on how to do this.

Assessing Interactive Investor’s ISA Offering

Interactive Investor’s Individual Savings Account (ISA) is a great way to invest with tax relief. This type of account allows you to invest up to £20,000 each tax year without paying capital gains or income tax on the returns. Therefore, it is a popular choice for those looking for tax efficiency.

The ISA account offers access to a wide range of investment options, including shares, bonds, funds, and more. This variety allows diversification of portfolios and aligns them with your investment goals. Also, with the Investor Essentials Plan, you’ll enjoy one free trade each month.

Whilst withdrawing money from your ISA account is an easy process, it’s important to remember that any money withdrawn from your ISA cannot be replaced without using up part of your annual ISA allowance. 

Therefore, it’s worth considering your financial needs carefully before making a withdrawal.

Specifically in Interactive Investor’s ISA account covered by the FSCS, your investments are protected up to £85,000. Consequently, this provides added peace of mind when investing with Interactive Investor.

Security Measures and Regulations

FAQ

1. Is investing with Interactive Investor safe?

Yes, investing with Interactive Investor is considered very secure. It is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), meaning that it adheres to strict regulatory laws to protect its users.

Furthermore, Interactive Investor is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Consequently, this offers protection for your investments up to £85,000 in the unlikely event that Interactive Investor fails.

In addition to these protections, Interactive Investor also employs advanced security measures to protect your account and personal information. 

These include two-factor authentication (2FA), secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption, and frequent security audits. Therefore, all of these measures make Interactive Investor a safe platform for investors.

2. What are the fees associated with Interactive Investor?

Interactive Investor operates on a flat fee structure, meaning that it charges a fixed monthly account fee rather than a percentage of the trade value. The interactive investor fees vary depending on the plan chosen. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Investor Plan: £9.99 per month
  • Funds Fan Plan: £13.99 per month
  • Super Investor Plan: £19.99 per month

Each plan includes a specific number of free trades per month, with additional trades incurring a fixed rate. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of other charges, such as fees for transferring out funds or stocks and closing an account. To avoid unexpected costs, familiarising yourself with these charges is recommended.

3. Does Interactive Investor offer a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)?

Yes, Interactive Investor offers a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP). A SIPP empowers you to make your own investment decisions across a wide range of assets, including shares, bonds, funds, and more.

Furthermore, investing in a SIPP with Interactive Investor comes with tax benefits. As contributions to a SIPP are eligible for tax relief, this effectively reduces the overall cost of your investment. However, keep in mind that funds in a SIPP are typically locked until you reach retirement age.

4. What are the tax-free benefits of investing with Interactive Investor?

Interactive Investor provides tax-free benefits through its Individual Savings Account (ISA) and Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) options. Consequently, these accounts allow you to invest money without incurring tax on the returns.

An ISA permits you to invest up to £20,000 each tax year without facing capital gains tax or income tax on the returns. In contrast, a SIPP provides tax relief on contributions, reducing the overall cost of your investment. 

Despite these advantages, funds invested in a SIPP are generally inaccessible until retirement age.

5. What are the pros of investing with Interactive Investor?

There are several advantages to investing with Interactive Investor. For example, the platform offers a wide array of investment options, including shares, bonds, funds, and more. This enables you to diversify your portfolio and align it with your investment strategy. 

The platform’s flat fee structure is another significant benefit, particularly for investors with substantial portfolios. Unlike many platforms that charge a percentage fee, Interactive Investor charges a fixed monthly fee, potentially resulting in significant savings.

In addition, Interactive Investor offers extensive research tools providing detailed market analysis and investment insights. Consequently, this assists in making informed investment decisions.

 Furthermore, with robust customer service and advanced security measures, Interactive Investor provides a secure and supportive environment for investors.

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