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Interactive Investor Review

Steve Miley

October 25th, 2021

Interactive Investor, or ii, is a good choice for investors who desire research reports and in-house recommendations for funds. But fees are high given the below-average tools, platform, and mobile app on offer. Interactive Investor struggle to remain competitive with commissions and fees, particularly for fund investors and active share traders.

Interactive Investor pros & cons

Pros:

  • A wide range of investing options.
  • A solid offering of news, research and fund recommendations.

Cons:

  • On the pricey side, particularly given the average platform and mobile app.
  • The trading tools, platform and mobile offering are below average in our survey.

Overall summary

FeatureInteractive Investor
Overall 3.5 Stars
Offering of Investments 4.5 Stars
Commissions & Fees 3.5 Stars
Platform & Tools 3 Stars
Research 3.5 Stars
MobileTrading 3 Stars

Commissions & fees

Somewhat a standout and alone in their pricing in the U.K. market, Interactive Investor uses a Netflix-like monthly flat-fee pricing model. Although Interactive Investor doesn’t charge any custody fees, pricing is average for share traders and below average for fund traders.

That said, when considering commissions, traders must also take trading tools and research into account. Traders only placing 1-2 trades a month might find discount brokers like Trading 212, Freetrade, Capital.com, DEGIRO and Finecobank more fitting. In contrast, traders who require more research than offered by those brokers might deem Interactive Investor worth the costs.

Interactive Investor offers three service plans, and the cost for U.K. shares and ETF trades varies according to which plan you choose:

  • Investor: £9.99 per month; £7.99 per trade; one free trade per month.
  • Funds Fan: £13.99 per month; £3.99 per fund trade, £7.99 per share trade; two free trades per month.
  • Super Investor: £19.99 per month; £3.99 per trade; two free trades per month.

U.S. shares cost £7.99 per trade on the Investor and Funds Fan plans, and £4.99 on the Super Investor Plan. There is no charge for account inactivity.

Interactive Investor also offers £0 commissions for regular investing, which allows you to invest as little as £25 per month into a designated share, ETF, or investment trust. You can have up to 25 "regular monthly investments," all of which charge £0 in commissions. Regular investing can be an effective way to increase your size in a position without paying commissions.

Market data: By default, customers receive free delayed market data for available exchanges. To access real-time streaming market data, customers must subscribe to Quotestream for £20 per month.

Scenario pricing: When calculating annual share dealing costs, trading frequency and account balance are the two most important factors to consider. Assuming a £30,000 portfolio in a traditional, taxable share dealing account, here are four scenarios of how much Interactive Investor would cost based on trade frequency:

  • 5 deals per year = £119.88 (Investor Plan = 1 free trade per month + £119.88 in monthly plan fees)
  • 12 deals per year = £119.88 (Investor Plan = 1 free trade per month + £119.88 in monthly plan fees)
  • 36 deals per year = £287.76 (Super Investor Plan = 2 free trades per month + £3.99 per trade x 12 + £239.88 in monthly plan fees)
  • 120 deals per year = £622.92 (Super Investor Plan = 2 free trades per month + £3.99 per trade x 98+ £239.88 in monthly plan fees)
  • 3 fund deals per year = £119.88 (Investor Plan = 1 free trade per month + £119.88 in monthly plan fees)

Interactive Investor pricing summary:

FeatureInteractive Investor
Minimum Deposit£0.00
Share Trading: 0-9 Deals/ Month£7.99 (Investor Plan)
Share Trading: 10-19 Deals/ Month£3.99 (Super Investor Plan)
Share Trading: 20+ Deals/ Month£3.99 (Super Investor Plan)
Annual Custody Fee: £0 - £250,000£119.88 (Investor Plan - £9.99 monthly)
Annual Custody Fee: £250K-£500K£119.88
Annual Custody Fee: £500,000 - £1m£119.88
Annual Custody Fee: £1m and over£119.88
ETFs - Fee£7.99 (Investor Plan)
Investment Trusts - Fee£7.99 (Investor Plan)
Telephone Dealing Fee£49.00

Mobile trading apps

Interactive Investor's mobile app is efficient, user-friendly, and straightforward, but is a little basic and certainly has room for improvement. The app allows you to place trades, access watchlists (which synchronise with the desktop watchlist), view very basic charts on various time frames, and read current news and analysis.

While this is all okay, the app would be far stronger if more of the research and fundamental data were integrated from the website, as well as more of the charting functionality. We hope to see Interactive Investor do better in this area in future. (See our 2021 picks for Best Mobile Trading Apps.)

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Other platforms & tools

While the fundamental research Interactive Investor offers is fantastic, technical research is hit or miss. Unlike industry leaders Saxo Markets and Interactive Brokers, Interactive Investor does not provide a standalone trading platform. Instead, the website is the platform.

Given the lack of a decent charting tool and customizable trading tools advanced traders desire, Interactive Investor will satisfy most casual investors but leave seasoned, technical traders disappointed.

Charting: With charting, Interactive Investor offers the bare-bones basics. Charts come straight from Morningstar, known for its vast array of fundamental research, not its technical analysis. A minimal, lone pointer tool is available, and only 12 technical indicators can be accessed.

Charts aside, Interactive Investor does provide automated technical analysis with Trading Central (Recognia), which is a strong addition — more on this below. Basic stock price alerts can be set as well.

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Interactive Investor trading tools:

FeatureInteractive Investor
Desktop Platform (Windows) No
Web Platform Yes
iPhone App Yes
Android App Yes
Stock Alerts Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies12
Charting - Drawing Tools1
Charting - Notes No
Charting - Display Corporate Events Yes
Charting - Stock Overlays Yes
Charting - Index Overlays Yes

Research

Interactive Investor utilizes Morningstar for most of its fundamental research and Trading Central for technical insights. Comprehensive research is available for shares, funds, investment trusts, and ETFs, with most assets having PDF reports.

Overall, the research tools Interactive Investor offers are exceptional. In addition to fundamental research, Interactive Investor features hundreds of articles and 15 educational videos. Articles discuss individual shares and funds and how the market will be affected by different events. Video content and podcasts are also available and are an efficient way to stay updated on financial subjects while commuting to the office.

Standard stock quote screens contain the following research tabs: chart, prices, performance, rations, financials, news, owners, and insiders. Here are some highlights:

Automated Technical Analysis (Technical Insights): Traders who often utilize technical analysis will love Interactive Investor's Technical Insights. Technical Insights, powered by Trading Central, analyze chart patterns to display potential bullish and bearish trading signals.

Quickrank tool: The Quickrank tool offers full screening capabilities for shares, funds, investment trusts, and ETFs. Traders can quickly sort results by sectors and industries. Additionally, Interactive Investor offers a screener specifically for stocks that focuses on filtering stocks by data such as market cap and dividend yield.

Miscellaneous tools: Index heat maps, risers and fallers, and market news are all available under the broader research tab. Morningstar powers the data for these tools, while a mix of third-party and in-house writers contribute news articles. Navigating to some of the news is a chore, but the content quality is exceptional. Discussion is also available on each stock, allowing traders to post their thoughts.

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Interactive Investor research:

FeatureInteractive Investor
Research - Shares Yes
Research - CFDs No
Research - Funds Yes
Fund Research - Research Reports Yes
Research - ETFs Yes
Research - Bonds No
Portfolio Allocation Breakdown Yes

Offering of investments

Interactive Investor enables clients to trade shares, ETFs, trusts, funds, and more. SIPP and ISA accounts are also available in addition to share dealing accounts. Interactive Investor also offers five ready-made portfolios, offering growth or income strategies and ethical growth options.

International trading: 17 different international exchanges are available for Interactive Investor customers to trade on, including exchanges in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Super 60 investments: Interactive Investor offers a set of curated “ii Super 60” investments, comprising a wide range of active and passive funds, investment trusts, and ETFs recommended by experts from the Interactive Investor team. Each investment comes with a rationale as to why it was selected and an investment strategy.

Quick start funds: Interactive Investor offers three premade Vanguard portfolios that cost 0.26% to 0.28% to invest in. These investments are a low-cost way for traders to get exposure to a broader range of assets recommended by professionals. Interactive Investor also offers three premade BMO portfolios that are inexpensive, for a total of six quick start funds.

Ethical investments: Interactive Investor offers 140 total ethical investments focusing on socially responsible stocks, funds, trusts, and ETFs. Each ethical investment is given a label to denote the ethical focus of the asset. Of those 140, Interactive Investor picked 40 for an “ii ACE 40” list; these reflect what Interactive Investor believes to be the best-in-class funds, investment trusts, and ETFs.

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Interactive Investor offering of investments:

FeatureInteractive Investor
Share Trading Yes
CFD Trading No
Funds Yes
ETFs Yes
Bonds - Corporate Yes
Bonds - Government (Gilts) Yes
Investment Trusts Yes
Spread Betting No
Advisor Services No

Education

Interactive Investor has a decent and sufficient education section, containing several articles and videos on how to get started trading, as well as articles discussing trading tips and ideas. My only complaint with the educational content is that you cannot access it from within your account login platform.

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Interactive Investor education:

FeatureInteractive Investor
Has Education - Share Trading Yes
Has Education - Funds Yes
Has Education - Retirement Yes
Client Webinars No
Client Webinars (Archived) No

Final thoughts

Interactive Investor highlights include fundamental research for stocks, funds, investment trusts, and ETFs, alongside exceptional automated technical analysis. Drawbacks center mostly around the lack of a rich charting platform, and commissions and fees that are on the higher side of the industry average.

About Interactive Investor

Founded in 1994, Interactive Investor (ii) acquired TD Waterhouse in October 2016 and acquired Alliance Trust Savings in 2019. Today, with £36 billion of assets under administration, 300,000 customers, and more than 1 million users, Interactive Investor is one of the largest retail investment platforms in the U.K.

Methodology

For the 2021 StockBrokers.com U.K. Review, we assessed, rated, and ranked 11 U.K. share dealing platforms over a 10-week time period. Each broker was exhaustively tested on all available platforms and graded on 53 different variables. In total, over 17,000 words of research were produced.

Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors with quality data they can trust. Our team.


About the Author

Steve Miley

With 30 years of experience in institutional financial markets, Steve has won multiple awards from Technical Analyst Magazine, including "Best Independent Fixed Income" and "Best FX Research." In addition to his work with StockBrokers.com, Steve is the founder of The Market Chartist, where he provides market research for institutional clients; and is editor-in-chief for FXExplained.co.uk.








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All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 10/22/2021 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The StockBrokers.com UK staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest pricing data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page.

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