Compare investment options

Find out how to choose what kind of investment suits you and compare investment options.

See the features and fees Compare investment services
Find out how to choose How to choose a provider

There are loads of different ways to invest, all suited to different types of people depending on how much you’ve got to invest, how much time you want to commit to investing and how much risk you fancy taking. We’ve compiled some different types of investments to help you understand what it is you’re after and help you get the most out of your money. You can also find out some key things you’ll want to consider when deciding how to invest.

The table below shows the price per trade, the frequent trader rate, which is the rate that you’ll get if you trade often, and any platform fees. You can switch between share dealing platforms, stocks and shares ISAs and pensions. You can scroll further down to understand what type of platform works for you. When you’ve chosen, hit “Go to site” to get started.

Compare investment services

Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Data updated regularly
Name Product Price per trade Frequent trader rate Platform fees Brand description
Fineco
UK: £2.95
US: $3.95
EU: €3.95
N/A
£0
Your first 100 trades are free with Fineco (T&Cs apply)
Fineco Bank is good for share traders and investors looking for a complete platform and wide offer. The minimum deposit with Fineco is £0. Capital at risk.
eToro Free Stocks
£0
N/A
£0
Capital at risk. 0% commission but other fees may apply. The minimum deposit with eToro is $200.
Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account
£11.95
£5.95
£0
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's number one platform for private investors, with the depth of features you'd expect from an established platform. The minimum deposit with HL is £1. Capital at risk.
Degiro Share Dealing
UK: £1.75 + 0.014% (max £5)
US: €0.50 + $0.004 per share
N/A
£0
Degiro is widely seen as one of the best low-cost share brokers, for people who are looking to trade regularly. The minimum deposit with Degiro is £0. Capital at risk.
interactive investor Trading Account
£7.99 (with one free trade per month)
N/A
£9.99 per month
Interactive Investor offers everything most investors need. Its flat fees makes it pricey for small portfolios, but cheap for big ones. The minimum deposit with ii is £0. Capital at risk.
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Data updated regularly
Name Product Minimum deposit Maximum annual fee Price per trade Brand description
Moneybox stocks and shares ISA
£1
0.45% and £1 monthly subscription fee (free for first 3 months)
£0
Moneybox offers a smart and simple way to invest. Sign up in minutes and start investing with £1 via their award-winning app. Capital at risk.
interactive investor stocks and shares ISA
Any lump sum or £25 a month
£119.88
£7.99
Interactive Investor offers everything most investors need. Its flat fees makes it pricey for small portfolios, but cheap for big ones. Capital at risk.
Nutmeg stocks and shares ISA
£100
0.75%
N/A
Nutmeg offers three types of portfolios. Choose the one that goes with your investment style. Capital at risk.
Hargreaves Lansdown stocks and shares ISA
£100
0.45%
£11.95
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager. It's got everything you'll need, from beginners to experienced investors. Capital at risk.
InvestEngine stocks and shares ISA
£100
0.25%
£0
Offer - £50 welcome bonus for new customers. Subject to minimum investment. T&Cs apply. Capital at risk.
Moneyfarm stocks and shares ISA
£1500
0.75%
£0
Moneyfarm helps you meet your investment goals with fully-managed portfolios designed around you. Capital at risk.
Fidelity Stocks and Shares ISA
£1000 or a regular savings plan from £50
0.35%
£10.00
Fidelity is another good all-rounder, offering a good package at a decent price. Not suited for trading shares. Capital at risk.
Legal & General stocks and shares ISA
Legal & General stocks and shares ISA
£100 or £20 a month
0.61%
N/A
Legal & General is a big financial services company which offers insurance, lifetime mortgage, pensions and stocks and shares ISAs. Capital at risk.
AJ Bell Stocks and Shares ISA
£500
0.25%
£9.95
AJ Bell is a good all-rounder for people who to choose between shares, funds, ISAs and pensions. Capital at risk.
Saxo Markets stocks and shares ISA
No minimum deposit requirement
0.12%
£8.00
Saxo Markets offers a wide access to a range of stocks, ETFs and funds. Capital at risk.
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Data updated regularly
Name Product Minimum investment Choose from Fee for a £50,000 pension pot Brand description
Interactive Investor Pension
Any lump sum or £25 a month
Over 3,000 funds
Annual fee: £239.88, fund fees: £50-500
interactive investor is a flat-fee platform, which makes it cost effective for larger portfolios. Capital at risk.
Moneyfarm Pension
£1,500 (initial investment)
7 funds
0.35%-0.75%
Moneyfarm has pensions that are matched against your risk appetite, goals and planned retirement date. Capital at risk.
AJ Bell Pension
£1,000
Over 2,000 funds
Annual fee: £125, includes fund fees
AJ Bell has two different pension options, a self managed pension and one that is managed for you. Capital at risk.
PensionBee Pension
No minimum
9 funds
Annual fee: £250-475, includes fund fees
Pension Bee is a newbie in the pension market. It helps consolidate your pension plans into one place. Capital at risk.
Hargreaves Lansdown Pension
£100 or £25 a month
2,500 funds
Annual fee: £225 (£200 cap if holding shares), fund fees included
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager. It's got three different retirement options. Capital at risk.
Saxo Markets Pension
Saxo Markets Pension
£10
Over 11,000 funds
No annual fee
Saxo Markets gives flexibility and control over your investment strategy. Capital at risk.
Penfold
Penfold
No minimum
4 portfolios
Annual fee: £375-455, fund fees included
Moneybox Pension
£1
3 funds
Annual fee: £225, fund fee: £60
Manage your money with an easy-to-use Moneybox app. Capital at risk.
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All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

What is investing?

Investing is where you put your money into shares, property, government bonds, commodities and other financial instruments with the hope of making a profit. Some people like to choose individual company shares and instruments to invest in and create their own “portfolio”. Other investors aren’t interested in creating a portfolio themselves and prefer to choose a ready-made portfolio and pay an additional fee for an expert to manage it on their behalf.

INVESTING JARGON EXPLAINED

Robo-advisor. A robo-advisor is an investment platform that has ready-made portfolios – often ones that are fully managed on your behalf. These cost a little more but require very little work.
Commission. This is the cost of a trade, if you were to choose a DIY option. It’s how much the provider will charge you for buying shares, on top of the cost of the shares you’re buying.
Individual savings account (ISA). This is a wrapper for your investments that means you can invest a certain amount each year without paying tax on your profits. The allowance for the 2020/2021 tax year is £20,000. It’s typically best to opt for an ISA before a general investment account (GIA) if you haven’t used your annual allowance yet.

How to choose the right investment platform

You need to ensure that you make smart decisions about your investments so they match what you’re looking for.

  1. Figure out which investment option suits you. Do you want a hands on approach or would you prefer to sit back and let the experts manage your investments? We’ve detailed some of your choices below.
  2. Compare providers. Take a look at our comparison table below to compare investment providers.
  3. Choose between your chosen provider’s choices. Some providers have a series of different risk profiles to choose between. You may also get the choice to invest in an ethical portfolio. If you choose to create your own portfolio, check out some of their tips to choosing investments.

Key considerations when comparing investment options

There are a couple of things you need to consider when choosing the best investments.

Have you got an emergency fund?

If you have a bit of cash floating about and don’t have an emergency fund, it could be worth putting it aside in an easy access savings account to make sure you can get hold of it if you need it.

Ideally you have a couple of months worth of living expenses set aside in case anything goes wrong, just to ensure that you’re covered.

Do you have any debt?

If you have any expensive debt like credit cards, loans, payday loans or anything else in that category, consider paying it off first. The likelihood is that you’ll save more money in interest on these balances than you’d earn on your investments.

How much money do you have to invest?

The amount you have available to invest makes a huge difference in what you’ll want to invest in – it’s partly due to risk, which we get onto a bit later, but also about how well you diversify your portfolio.

How long do you want to invest for?

This is a huge consideration when investing. If you reckon you’ll need the money in the next three years, it’s probably not a good idea to invest it. You’re better off looking for a high interest savings account to put it away. If you’ll need it soon, make sure it’s easy access.

WHAT'S A DIVERSE PORTFOLIO?

This is ultimately the entire definition of not putting all of your eggs in the same basket. It’s basically spreading your money between a bunch of different investments instead of investing all of your money in one thing.

It’s easy to think that giant established companies can’t fail, making them safe investments. But think about companies like Blockbuster. It was well ahead of its competitors but failed to adapt and, ultimately, failed as a company. Nowadays all that remains of Blockbuster is memories, and, for those who haven’t cleared their wallets out in a while, a dog-eared laminated card.

The more you spread out your investments, the less risk you are exposing yourself to. Of course, this means that your potential returns are lower.

Robo advisors

Suitable for you if: You don’t fancy managing your own portfolio. Maybe you’re a beginner and don’t quite know the ins and outs of the stock market just yet or you don’t have a huge amount to invest.

Typical features of a robo-advisor:

  • Round ups. This is where the provider links to your bank account with open banking and “rounds up” any purchases you make to the nearest pound and puts it into your investment account.
  • Portfolios. There will usually be a selection of portfolios to choose from. There will always be some indication of risk and sometimes you might be able to choose ethical choices.
  • A risk questionnaire. Platforms with a risk questionnaire might give you an indication of which portfolio you should choose based on your answers to questions about risk and investing.
  • Managed portfolios. Most robo-advisors have experts that manage portfolios on your behalf.
  • ISAs. Typically robo-advisors let you invest in an ISA.

Income investing

Suitable for you if: You have a large sum that you want to invest and you’re willing to put some thought into which investments pay a regular income.

Some stocks and shares might pay dividends – this is where they share some of their profits with the shareholders. If you have a large sum invested in a diverse range of dividend stocks, you might be able to receive a regular income from your investments.

It’s worth noting that just because a stock paid dividends in the past, it doesn’t guarantee dividends in the future.

Share trading

Suitable for you if: You’re willing to put some time and effort into choosing companies to invest in. These platforms tend to cost less as you can bypass any experts that manage portfolios for you.

Also known as share dealing – this is where you buy shares in companies with the hope that they’ll grow over time and you can sell them for a larger amount in the future.

Typical features of a share trading account:

  • Charting tools. These let you see the performance of the stocks you’re interested in and analyse them in detail.
  • Commission per trade. Sometimes a provider has a lower commission when you trade a certain amount of times in the previous month.
  • Company financial information. Providers often provide details about company financials to help you decide if you want to invest.
  • Expert research. Trading apps often give some sort of expert research or information about trending stocks.
  • Watchlists and notifications. Sometimes a provider will let you put some stocks you’re interested in into a watchlist or let you set notifications of price movements.

WHAT ARE SHARES?

Shares are little pieces of companies. Sometimes, when a company is doing really well and wants to grow even more, it floats on the stock market, also called “going public”. This means that the average day to day person (like you) can purchase little parts.
The price of stocks is part of how the company is valued and can range from pennies (penny stocks) to thousands of pounds.

If you choose to invest in shares, make sure you diversify your portfolio (read more about diverse portfolios above). You’ll need to find a trading platform that lets you buy and sell shares.

Most platforms let you search for shares in specific industries, or you can look at ones that have performed well recently.

Financial advisors

If you’re lucky (or hard working) enough to have a large amount of money to invest (we’re thinking sums above £50,000), you might want to consider getting yourself a financial adviser. Not that you couldn’t do it yourself, of course, but with such a large chunk of money, you might find value in someone else’s expertise (and save yourself a few headaches!). A financial advisor will help you build a portfolio that suits you, your investment needs and desires and that matches your attitude to risk. They can keep track of it and make changes to it to make sure it stays on track.

Pensions

If you’re not planning on touching the money until you retire and it’s quite a tidy sum, you could opt for a pension. Your money would be locked away until you turn 55, so you’ll need to be pretty sure that you won’t need it anytime soon. Maybe keep some of it back for a holiday. You can opt for a personal pension – you’ll still have a lot of the same options as above, just with the added bonus of getting a nice little top up from the government.

Pros and cons of investing

Pros

  • With savings rates only going as high as 2% at the moment, there’s the potential of much higher returns on your savings with investing. But this isn’t guaranteed.
  • With income investing or dividend stocks, you have the chance to receive a regular income when investing.
  • If you invest in an ISA, you aren’t taxed on your profits (if you invest up to £20,000 per tax year)

Cons

  • It’s risky. Investments can go down in value as well as up, so it’s important to consider the risks and only choose ones that you’re comfortable with.
  • It can be time consuming to keep track of your investments and balance your portfolio
  • For those interested in robo-advisors, it can be pricey to have an expert manage your portfolio for you.

Ready to compare investment options?

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

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