Investing your money is one of the best ways to grow your wealth over time. Choosing the right investment company to partner with can make all the difference in successfully meeting your financial goals. The UK has plenty of reputable investment firms to consider. This article explores the ten best investment companies in the UK based on fees, investment choices, platform features, and more.
1. Hargreaves Lansdown
Founded in 1981, Hargreaves Lansdown has become the UK’s most prominent investment platform, with over £135 billion in assets under management and 1.7 million clients. Its sizable selection of investments includes:
- Over 4,000 mutual funds
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- Stocks and shares
- Government and corporate bonds
Hargreaves Lansdown offers DIY investing through its slick online platform and managed portfolios. Customers appreciate the investment research and tools available. While fees are on the higher side, the quality of service often makes it worthwhile.
2. AJ Bell YouInvest
AJ Bell entered the investment platform space in 2016 with the launch of YouInvest. It has quickly become a top choice for low-cost investing.
YouInvest stands out for its:
- Low platform fees starting at 0.25%
- Over 3,000 funds with no trading fees
- Intuitive website and mobile app
- Quality research and insights
YouInvest supports ISAs, SIPPs, general investment accounts, and more. Fractional share investing is also available for greater flexibility. The platform makes it easy to construct a globally diversified portfolio.
3. Interactive Investor
With over £55 billion in assets under administration, Interactive Investor has established itself as a leading online broker since its founding in 1995. Key features include:
Low Account Fees
- £9.99 monthly fee
- No trading commissions
Diverse Product Offering
- Stocks and shares ISA
- SIPP (self-invested personal pension)
- General investment account
- Junior ISA
Robust Research and Tools
- Trusted magazine resources
- Handy quick-rank tool
- Multi-factor portfolio modeler
Interactive Investor appeals to active traders and long-term buy-and-hold investors alike. The flat monthly fee covers stocks, funds, trusts, and ETF trades.
Vanguard brought its low-cost index fund approach to the UK in 2009. Investors can access:
- Hundreds of Vanguard index funds
- Thousands of non-Vanguard ETFs
- Select mutual funds
Vanguard stands apart with its ownership structure, where investors in the funds own the firm. This mitigates conflicts of interest and results in rock-bottom fees.
For indexing strategies, Vanguard offers a highly competitive platform. The account minimums tend to run higher than some other platforms, however. Still, Vanguard remains a top choice for low-cost, long-term investors.
5. Fidelity International
Part of the extensive Fidelity Investments group, Fidelity International provides investment services tailored to UK and European investors. Core offerings include:
- Stocks and shares ISA
- Investment trusts
- Direct equity investing
Fidelity International also offers a robo-advisor service called Fidelity Wealth Expert. This provides automated investing combined with human oversight. Overall, Fidelity International caters well to active investors seeking international reach.
6. Charles Stanley Direct
Charles Stanley has been managing investments since 1792. Its Charles Stanley Direct platform debuted in 2010 as a way for DIY investors to access the firm’s professional-grade tools and resources.
Charles Stanley Direct clients gain access to:
- Award-winning investment research
- Over 2,700 funds without trading fees
- FTSE 350 stocks
- ETFs, trusts, and bonds
- Easy-to-use website and mobile trading apps
While fees tend to run higher than some discount brokers, the quality tools and guidance appeal to many investors.
7. Halifax Share Dealing
As one of the UK’s largest banks, Halifax offers a solid investment platform in Halifax Share Dealing. Standout features include:
- £12.50 flat quarterly fee
- Discounts for account holders
- No fees for regular investing or dividend reinvesting
- Wide range of UK and international stocks
- Robust research from Morningstar
Halifax Share Dealing makes trading stocks inexpensive while providing access to funds, ETFs, bonds, and investment trusts. It’s a user-friendly option.
Primarily known for its trading platform, IG also provides an excellent share dealing service and forex, derivatives, and CFDs. Highlights include:
- Low £3 trading fees
- Powerful trading platform with technical analysis tools
- Abundant educational resources
- Managed portfolios available
- Cryptocurrency trading
IG is hard to beat for low fees and an extensive feature set tailored to active traders. The platform enables scaling into sophisticated trading strategies.
Founded in 2011, Nutmeg focuses on fully automated investing for longer time horizons. Key features include:
- Easy online sign-up
- No minimum investment
- Globally diversified portfolios
- Fully managed approach – no hands-on investment selection required
- Socially responsible options
- Low management fee of 0.25%-0.75%
For beginners seeking an affordable robo-advisor, Nutmeg provides a solid solution. Portfolios comprise ETFs and funds to fit any risk profile.
Like Nutmeg, Moneyfarm utilizes sophisticated algorithms to select investments and manage portfolios tailored to each client’s preferences. Benefits include:
- Free consultation with investment advisors
- Easy online onboarding with a minimum investment of £500
- Globally diversified portfolios
- Responsible investment options
- Management fees from 0.7%
Together with Nutmeg, Moneyfarm has helped popularize robo-advisors in the UK. The hybrid approach combines automation with human oversight for the best of both worlds.
Selecting the best investment platform in the UK necessitates matching your needs to each provider’s strengths. Factors like account fees, investment selection, tools, and approach should dictate your choice.
Low fees matter but should be one of many considerations. Paying more for quality investments and service often makes sense for buy-and-hold investors.
Active traders have more need for robust research and tools. Automated investing works well for hands-off investors focused on long-term returns.
By identifying the mix of investments, features, costs, and services that align with your goals, you can pick an excellent UK investment company to help grow your wealth.
What are the main types of investment companies in the UK?
The UK’s main types of investment companies include traditional brokerages, robo-advisors, investment platforms, wealth managers, and financial advisors. They offer capabilities ranging from DIY investing to fully managed portfolios.
What should you look for in a promising investment company?
Key evaluation factors include account fees, investment choices, account services, platform tools, customer support, transparency, and reputation. Your needs and preferences will determine what is most important.
How do you choose investments within an investment account?
Most self-directed investment accounts let you choose stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and cash. Robo-advisors will create a portfolio for you based on algorithms. Wealth managers will recommend a portfolio after assessing your goals.
What are the primary account types offered by investment companies?
Common account types include individual general investment accounts, Stocks & Shares ISAs for tax-free investing, SIPPs for retirement savings, and Junior ISAs for under 18s. Companies offer different products catering to various investing needs.
What are the average fees charged by investment companies?
Account fees vary widely in the UK. Robo-advisors tend to charge 0.25% to 0.75%. Traditional brokerages often have account and trading fees of 0.5% to 1% or more. Cheaper options are available but usually with fewer features and services.