Nick Britton blog: Platform change?


Originally published at:

Why it’s important to review whether you’re getting value for money from your investment platform. Changing your investment platform is like changing your bank: a process you’d probably prefer not to contemplate. I have done it three times in my life, so I know it can be a bit painful, and there are often associated…


This is useful because platforms are actually really hard to compare, they make it difficult by throwing in bespoke terms and conditions. A less kind man than I might think they were making it difficult to compare with with rival platforms in order to keep business!

Any chance we could get this in spreadsheet form so its even even easier to read @Nick_Britton @ @whichinvest


The Government should step in as they have done with bank accounts and pensions by making it simpler, quicker and less expensive to switch platforms. I’d love to move from mine but frankly it’s a pain in the bum to go through.

Too many platforms don’t cater for investment trusts very well and in my experience, once you start managing your own investments you eventually find and in my case basically settle on trusts as a slightly better option.

Come on FCA - get involved here.


I agree with you @casper it would be so helpful and so much fairer too if the Government made it easier to switch your investments from one platform to another. Also the platforms should be forced to be more upfront about how many investment types they don’t allow, like trusts.

You should be able just to change the name of your platform easily online instead of doing those bloody impossible forms, what do you call them, share transfer forms or stock transfer forms, something like that.


We’ll have a look in to that for you @andre. It might not be a spreadsheet but maybe a larger image would help.


Hi Andre, thanks for your comment and I’m glad you found the research useful. There is more detail on our platform research at the link below including a spreadsheet with detailed charging info for each platform. Have a look at that and if you need anything else specific let me know.


Thanks @Nick_Britton much appreciated.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea to put that same page on the WhichInvestmentTrust website too. I say this only because most people might not know it’s on the AIC website unless they read this post here. Surely it wouldn’t be too difficult to replicate it here and you would be helping investors make a decision, no?


I’d be more than happy for everything that’s on the AIC site to be replicated on here, but I’ll leave it up to WhichInvestmentTrust’s editors to make that call. The research on our website will be kept constantly updated so the link may be as useful as replicating everything on another site.


I think it would be a good idea to replicate it here too because the casual visitor won’t know about it being on the AIC site. I’d no idea it was there either and I use the AIC site (very good website it is too).

How about doing something about this @whichinvest ?


I will pass this one on to the bossman to look at @Nick_Britton @andre @harjinder Thanks to you all :grinning:


Are you Alex Simpson who sent me through all the chart information?


Yes @harjinder it’s usually me taking control of this account, sometimes @RichardOwen, rarely @dice.

Hope the information was useful.


This is useful information but I find it a little bit too small for comfort to read. It would be useful if you could make it bigger.

Be a good idea to get something similar on here @whichinvest if you could keep it up to date.

These things in honestly though are a bit of a buggar to compare, and that’s how the platforms like it.


Yeah it is a bit small. I had to rummage through my drawers (not those drawers, I’m not that kind of lady!) for my pound shop glasses, you know, the ones I keep for reading things that are just a little bit too wee for me to read.

Just make it bigger (as the actress said to the Bishop), or give us an excel sheet as someone else said.

It is really useful though. Thanks to @Nick_Britton - he’s a good lad!


The AIC review is slightly more comprehensive than other reviews, but I think the only true way to compare is to look at the current value of your account & number of monthly regular trades vs normal trades you intend to make over a year. You can then try and price each platform from a short list.

Even then you will encounter problems with the platform potentially restricting what trusts you can invest in on a monthly basis (HL offer FTSE 350 only, and the new Interactive Investor site is more restricted than the old), or even online trades (HL don’t offer Tetragon for example). Fidelity probably stands out, by claiming to offer trusts - but their actual selection is quite limited.

Having done 4 transfers of ISA/trading accounts/SIPPS - two went smoothly, one involved claiming compensation and one involved the ombudsman. So you really do have to factor in the hassle and potential for the transfer to take up-to 6 months.

Actually kicking off a transfer is usually quite simple and doesn’t involve much paperwork, but chasing down problems by phone is tedious and the paper trail is usually quite poor. Trusts will disappear from one account and appear in the new account (but generally with no information in the transaction logs). Also I don’t think there is any way of tracking whether dividends paid during the transfer period are credited correctly. So a degree of trust(:face_with_raised_eyebrow:) is required.