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Stocks & Shares Platforms to Invest Watch

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    Hi,

    I've been meaning to invest a few thousand into the market for a while, although I have always had the trouble of being picky on the platform I wish to use.

    I've had practice trading accounts on sites such as Investopedia for a few years, and have recently finished a trading challenge a company setup in my university, both of which I have had good experiences in.

    Now is the time that I have time on my hands, and money in my pockets, and I want to know if anyone here has been there and done that and could give advice.

    I have looked at platforms such as plus500, and eToro, although after looking at these, they do not seem to offer a wide variety of shares/stocks to invest in, and with eToro they only have a select few big brand public firms and even these are CFD's (Contracts for Difference) meaning that you only make profit from the difference in the buy and sell price.

    What I'm really looking for is a platform where the whole market is available to me, whether it be a large firm or a small firm. I'm not really interested in FOREX, just stocks and commodities.

    So any help would be hugely appreciated,

    Cheers!
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    Open up an ISA (now NISA) and invest in stocks and shares within it.

    You need to watch out for fees though. I signed up with HL.co.uk with a charge of £11.95 per deal (quite high) but it's payable both on purchase and sale of shares, so it's really £24. Find one with a low dealing charge and no ongoing fees (or very little fees).

    If you're just interested in building a portfolio then you can open a share builder account which charges £2 a trade, but only buys on 4 days a month (ish).
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    (Original post by Runninground)
    Open up an ISA (now NISA) and invest in stocks and shares within it.

    You need to watch out for fees though. I signed up with HL.co.uk with a charge of £11.95 per deal (quite high) but it's payable both on purchase and sale of shares, so it's really £24. Find one with a low dealing charge and no ongoing fees (or very little fees).

    If you're just interested in building a portfolio then you can open a share builder account which charges £2 a trade, but only buys on 4 days a month (ish).
    I thought if you put money into a stocks and shares ISA, you have no control over where your money is invested, rather the company that offers the ISA uses your money themselves?

    Yeah I have noticed that there are various fees involved. I've looked at the share builder accounts and due to the fact that you can only buy (and assuming sell) on certain dates, it would be more useful for a long term investment/portfolio rather than day trading.

    And is the only difference between the share builder account and platforms like HL.co.uk the fact that you can buy and sell immediately on the latter?
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    Depends what type of trading you are doing and what stocks. If you are doing a more long term approach, maybe a trade every few days then execution isnt really important and you can get away with the slow web based platforms etc but if you are day trading and looking for great execution you definitely need a faster desktop platform like DAS trader. If you want to trade REAL shares for US and UK companies then you need a proper broker (NOT spread betting or CFD's) some banks like Halifax have built in share trading on their online banking etc so maybe check that out. If not your other option is spread betting and CFDs as you mentioned before like IG index offer a wide range of markets for you to trade from £1 a point but since you dont actually own the shares you wont get any dividends etc and sometimes might get charged inactivity if you dont trade for so long.
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    (Original post by Ryan44)
    I thought if you put money into a stocks and shares ISA, you have no control over where your money is invested, rather the company that offers the ISA uses your money themselves?
    Nope, that is completely wrong.

    The Stocks & Shares ISA is just a tax wrapper. You put your money into the wrapper and then decide where that money then gets invested. You could in theory leave all your money as cash within the wrapper, or you could invest it (or a combination thereof).

    Check out: http://monevator.com/compare-uk-chea...nline-brokers/
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    (Original post by Reue)
    Nope, that is completely wrong.

    The Stocks & Shares ISA is just a tax wrapper. You put your money into the wrapper and then decide where that money then gets invested. You could in theory leave all your money as cash within the wrapper, or you could invest it (or a combination thereof).

    Check out: http://monevator.com/compare-uk-chea...nline-brokers/
    Thanks for the link, there is a lot of information on there that I will try and get my head around.

    So with the stocks & shares ISA are there fees involved when purchasing/choosing where your money is invested at all? If not, why would people go elsewhere and pay a commission (i.e. £10 per execution)?

    Which stocks & shares ISA have you used and reccommend?
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    (Original post by Reue)
    Nope, that is completely wrong.

    The Stocks & Shares ISA is just a tax wrapper. You put your money into the wrapper and then decide where that money then gets invested. You could in theory leave all your money as cash within the wrapper, or you could invest it (or a combination thereof).

    Check out: http://monevator.com/compare-uk-chea...nline-brokers/
    Spread betting is tax free here anyway, so no real need to waste your ISA allowance in the majority of places.
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    (Original post by Ryan44)
    So with the stocks & shares ISA are there fees involved when purchasing/choosing where your money is invested at all? If not, why would people go elsewhere and pay a commission (i.e. £10 per execution)?

    Which stocks & shares ISA have you used and reccommend?
    Some platforms charge an execution fee, some a commission fee on the amount stored within and some a monthly fee.

    If a platform has no commision/monthly fee.. the execution fee is likely to be higher, and visa-versa.

    Personally I use Hargreaves Lansdown. Its one of the more expensive platforms but is far more user friendly and the customer service has consistently been praised, perfect for beginner investors.

    I also like it because it charges no execution fee for buying funds (perfect for monthly saving/investing) and charges a commission of the fund value instead (About £1 per month for every £2500 invested in my experience).

    There are cheaper platforms, and it all depends how much customer service you want, and whether you will be saving/investing a small amount each month or buying in a large lump sum.
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    (Original post by samba)
    Spread betting is tax free here anyway, so no real need to waste your ISA allowance in the majority of places.
    What?
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    (Original post by Reue)
    Some platforms charge an execution fee, some a commission fee on the amount stored within and some a monthly fee.

    If a platform has no commision/monthly fee.. the execution fee is likely to be higher, and visa-versa.

    Personally I use Hargreaves Lansdown. Its one of the more expensive platforms but is far more user friendly and the customer service has consistently been praised, perfect for beginner investors.

    I also like it because it charges no execution fee for buying funds (perfect for monthly saving/investing) and charges a commission of the fund value instead (About £1 per month for every £2500 invested in my experience).

    There are cheaper platforms, and it all depends how much customer service you want, and whether you will be saving/investing a small amount each month or buying in a large lump sum.
    That monthly commission is next to nothing! I'll check them out, I've always liked the idea of day trading, earning a few percent and then closing the position, but the reality is that I don't think I have enough capital to invest as the fees seem to cancel out any small gains that are made. I guess that's the problem with learning from practice accounts and the "$100,000" they give you from the off :cool:

    Thanks for your help, much appreciated!
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    (Original post by Ryan44)
    That monthly commission is next to nothing! I'll check them out, I've always liked the idea of day trading, earning a few percent and then closing the position, but the reality is that I don't think I have enough capital to invest as the fees seem to cancel out any small gains that are made. I guess that's the problem with learning from practice accounts and the "$100,000" they give you from the off :cool:

    Thanks for your help, much appreciated!
    If you were to day trade, you'd be best off with a monthly fee broker or one which offers steep discounts for multiple trades per month.

    You also need to watch out for a dilution levy. Some funds charge this specifically to stop day traders.
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      (Original post by Ryan44)
      Hi,

      I've been meaning to invest a few thousand into the market for a while, although I have always had the trouble of being picky on the platform I wish to use.

      I've had practice trading accounts on sites such as Investopedia for a few years, and have recently finished a trading challenge a company setup in my university, both of which I have had good experiences in.

      Now is the time that I have time on my hands, and money in my pockets, and I want to know if anyone here has been there and done that and could give advice.

      I have looked at platforms such as plus500, and eToro, although after looking at these, they do not seem to offer a wide variety of shares/stocks to invest in, and with eToro they only have a select few big brand public firms and even these are CFD's (Contracts for Difference) meaning that you only make profit from the difference in the buy and sell price.

      What I'm really looking for is a platform where the whole market is available to me, whether it be a large firm or a small firm. I'm not really interested in FOREX, just stocks and commodities.

      So any help would be hugely appreciated,

      Cheers!
      What markets are you looking at? Best all rounder is Barclays Stockbrokers, their Market Master and International Trader is to die for in the UK. If you're looking at Middle Eastern markets then Mubasher Trade is a good one, if you don't want to use Barclays for Asian stocks then Standard Chartered Singapore offer a great service (HK, JP and SG exchanges plus others) at great costs.

      To recap; Barclays Stockbrokers for all major exchanges, Mubasher Trade for all Middle Eastern exchanges and Standard Chartered Singapore for Asian markets.

      Do your research on companies, pick a broker and then buy when there is blood on the streets
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      (Original post by Ryan44)
      I thought if you put money into a stocks and shares ISA, you have no control over where your money is invested, rather the company that offers the ISA uses your money themselves?

      Yeah I have noticed that there are various fees involved. I've looked at the share builder accounts and due to the fact that you can only buy (and assuming sell) on certain dates, it would be more useful for a long term investment/portfolio rather than day trading.

      And is the only difference between the share builder account and platforms like HL.co.uk the fact that you can buy and sell immediately on the latter?
      Yeah, there are some companies that offer ready made ISAs, such as Virgin Money. You buy into it and leave it. Others like HL allow you to buy and sell shares and funds within the ISA.

      You can buy funds within an ISA, which is basically where you buy into it and someone else controls what is bought and what is sold, so you're benefitting because it's a professional that chooses what to buy and sell, but you don't have any control over it (other than you can buy and sell the fund).
      (Original post by Reue)
      Personally I use Hargreaves Lansdown. Its one of the more expensive platforms but is far more user friendly and the customer service has consistently been praised, perfect for beginner investors.

      I also like it because it charges no execution fee for buying funds (perfect for monthly saving/investing) and charges a commission of the fund value instead (About £1 per month for every £2500 invested in my experience).

      There are cheaper platforms, and it all depends how much customer service you want, and whether you will be saving/investing a small amount each month or buying in a large lump sum.
      Me too. I had a management fee of 31p the other day and it's the first one I've had since I set it up just after April 6th!
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      That's great, going to spend a fair amount of time researching all this!

      Just out of curiosity, and don't answer if you don't want to, what returns have you yielded to date with Hargreaves Lansdown?
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      (Original post by Ryan44)
      Just out of curiosity, and don't answer if you don't want to, what returns have you yielded to date with Hargreaves Lansdown?
      Why would that be relevant at all? It would entirely depend on which shares/funds/whatever you'd invested in.. not which platform you'd used.
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      (Original post by Reue)
      Why would that be relevant at all? It would entirely depend on which shares/funds/whatever you'd invested in.. not which platform you'd used.
      I worded that wrong, just interested in the differences in returns yielded from a stocks & shares ISA in comparison with a standard cash ISA. And yes I know the differences can vary due to your decisions within the former, just wanted to see the differences in both your experiences.
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      (Original post by Ryan44)
      I worded that wrong, just interested in the differences in returns yielded from a stocks & shares ISA in comparison with a standard cash ISA. And yes I know the differences can vary due to your decisions within the former, just wanted to see the differences in both your experiences.
      Personally my Stocks & Shares ISA is currently listed as being up just over 4%.

      I've been running it since last August and drip feeding in each month. That 4% is of the fund total value so I've actually had about 6-7% growth considering the full amount hasnt been in there the whole time.
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        (Original post by Ryan44)
        That's great, going to spend a fair amount of time researching all this!

        Just out of curiosity, and don't answer if you don't want to, what returns have you yielded to date with Hargreaves Lansdown?
        It has nothing to do with the broker, it has everything to do with how you invest and in what. Personally I consider ISAs to be a waste of time, the majority of dealings you can do through an ISA can be done through an offshore business at similar costs and deductions, you still owe tax were applicable on international shares and UK shares are tax free up to a certain threshold that you can't hit in an ISA anyway.

        Personally I do the majority of trading through my Dubai Holding Company with offshoots in Singapore and the UK for tax efficiency, then again I'm dealing with larger trades with more money at stake than those playing with ISAs.

        Once again I must recommend Barclays Stockbrokers for the UK and all major exchanges as it's the most cost effective within the UK from what I can tell especially if you intend to day trade, Mubasher Trade for all Middle Eastern exchanges as it's the only way to get direct access to them and Standard Chartered Singapore for Asian markets as there are no fees bar a flat 0.20% commission, it may also be useful to trade UK stocks through Standard Chartered Singapore as the flat rate commission works out a lot cheaper than the £11.95 Hargreaves Lansdown charge per trade, likewise it's cheaper than Barclays Stockbrokers, the main differences are international market access of which it's less with Standard Chartered Singapore.
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        My ISA is currently up 0.05% hahaha. It's only got three investments in it though, one of which I will sell when it breaks even (another stupid investment!)

        All of my investments together though are up 6.92%, and that's only because I have Royal Mail shares which I bought at the IPO.
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        (Original post by tehFrance)
        It has nothing to do with the broker, it has everything to do with how you invest and in what. Personally I consider ISAs to be a waste of time, the majority of dealings you can do through an ISA can be done through an offshore business at similar costs and deductions, you still owe tax were applicable on international shares and UK shares are tax free up to a certain threshold that you can't hit in an ISA anyway.

        Personally I do the majority of trading through my Dubai Holding Company with offshoots in Singapore and the UK for tax efficiency, then again I'm dealing with larger trades with more money at stake than those playing with ISAs.

        Once again I must recommend Barclays Stockbrokers for the UK and all major exchanges as it's the most cost effective within the UK from what I can tell especially if you intend to day trade, Mubasher Trade for all Middle Eastern exchanges as it's the only way to get direct access to them and Standard Chartered Singapore for Asian markets as there are no fees bar a flat 0.20% commission, it may also be useful to trade UK stocks through Standard Chartered Singapore as the flat rate commission works out a lot cheaper than the £11.95 Hargreaves Lansdown charge per trade, likewise it's cheaper than Barclays Stockbrokers, the main differences are international market access of which it's less with Standard Chartered Singapore.
        I'm in two minds about Hargreaves Lansdown, and Barclays Stockbrokers. Looking at Barclays it does seem more down my street, with the possibility of higher returns (and losses), it seems similar to what I've learnt from practice accounts. And day trading is something I am keen on, especially with plenty of time over the Summer. The Barclays Stockbrokers Price Improver is a good selling point too!
       
       
       
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