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10/27/2019 Is fee-free share dealing any good?

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Could you buy and sell shares for free?


Trading 212 and Freetrade offer fee-fee
share dealing to take on Hargreaves FTSE 100
Lansdown and rivals 7,289.25
-39.00
The cost of trading shares has fallen steeply since the start of the 2000s POUND
Commission-free share trading offerings remove the broker charge  
I want to find…
But other costs, like bid-ask spread, means that share trades can't be free

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By MYRON JOBSON FOR THIS IS MONEY
PUBLISHED: 07:53, 2 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:54, 2 April 2019
All articles Share prices

8 10
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Stock market latest
Check shares, funds and investment trusts
A new breed of investment platforms has cropped up in recent years allowing users
to buy and sell company shares without incurring a broker charge. 
BE A SUCCESSFUL INVESTOR
Commission-free share trading is one of the latest exports from the US, where the This is Money's brilliant guide
rapid growth of zero-fee platforms like Robinhood is eating into the margins of Wall now available on the Kindle
Street banks. 
ADVERTISING FEATURE
At present, there are only two investment platforms in Britain offering this: Trading
212 and Freetrade.  Scottish Mortgage - Investing in progress

f a t
w

0:01 / 0:30

THE INVESTING SHOW

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Both Trading 212 and Freetrade offer zero-commission share trading as a carrot to prise
custom away from the more established rivals
How to invest in the new era of falling interest
rates
They will have their work cut out to prise market share from big established rivals, How to profit from green energy, reducing waste
and boosting recycling
such as Hargreaves Lansdown, which boasts £85.9billion of private investors assets How to get a near 6% yield by tapping into
under management.  Asia's dividends: Henderson Far East Income's
manager
The UK is cheap and shares could bounce back:
And investors tempted by the idea of not forking out £10 or more in dealing costs Fund managers' tips on picking funds and trusts
every time they buy or sell shares are likely to be sorely tempted. How to find the best British companies to invest
in and not worry about Brexit
What next for Neil Woodford and his investors?

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However, both services come without the bells and whistles of the big DIY investing They might be giants: Do US smaller companies
still offer rich pickings?
platforms and with potentially limited investment options.  +99 fund
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How to choose the best (and cheapest) DIY investing Isa - and our pick of the platforms
FTSE 100
DOW
OIL
GOLD
The cost of buying and selling shares has fallen steeply since the start of the 2000s
thanks to a digital revolution.

In the not too distance past, investors who wanted to buy and sell stocks and shares
would have to do this through a stockbroker or a financial adviser who took a
sizeable chunk of commission with every deal.
08:00 13:08

But times changed and online DIY investing platforms give investors the ability to
buy and sell at their fingertips, whether  from the comfort of their computer or even DON'T MISS
their phone. Why does Trustpilot
slam John Lewis while
The cost of buying and selling shares has fallen over time, but still remains sizeable Argos scores almost 5
stars?
at some platforms, with Hargreaves Lansdown charging £11.95, Interactive Investor We look at whether you
can trust reviews for firms
£10 and AJ Bell £9.95. Halifax-owned iWeb deserves and honorable mention as it that do AND don't pay.
charges just £5
Been billed for damage
to a rental car that you
The fee-free share dealing firms  didn't cause?
Here's what you need to
do if you want to dispute
Trading 212 and Freetrade both have an eye-catching offer designed to pull the charges.
customers in: neither charges a penny to buy or sell shares.

But why offer this and who are these two firms?  We eat food everyday
but would you invest in
improving it?
For Trading 212, it was a case of adding another string to its bow when  contracts for Protecting the planet and
wildlife is putting farming
difference (CFD) trading - one of its flagship offerings and main revenue driver -was on our radars, says
hit by a regulatory crackdown.  SIMON LAMBERT.

'The Just Eat battle is


A CFD is a form of derivative trading that allows you to speculate on the rising or a bonanza for
falling prices of global financial markets, such as forex, indices, commodities, shares shareholders but
choosing between
and Treasuries. It carries a higher level of risk compared to conventional shares and cashing in now and
gambling on a bright
bonds investments.  future is a tricky one'
ALEX SEBASTIAN
Crucially, investors do not buy shares but use derivatives to either simply mimic
Inside the £1.15m one-
prices, or magnify moves through the use of leverage, as borrowed money is bed London flat in a
converted tin box
known.  factory hiding cobbled
floors, internal wooden
New European rules, which came into effect in August last year, have reduced the shutters and park
benches being sold by
amount CFD traders can leverage, as concern grew that big losses were being film-making twins
The ultimate indoor secret
incurred by inexperienced investors.  Britain's financial watchdog, the FCA is also garden?
tightening rules. These measures have trimmed CFD platforms's prospectts.
Japan sees HUGE
tourism boom from
Britain
How sales of yen have
soared this year with
travellers still keen on
heading long-haul.

Tempted to invest in
Gazza the Movie?
Here's what to consider
before you back a niche
investment like this.

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you want change'
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Ryanair refused to
refund my flights after I
Trading 212 became the first retail broker in Britain to introduced a commission-free share was hit in the eye by a
dealing service in 2017. golf ball, operated on
and told not to fly
ASK TONY
In the case of Freetrade, commission-free share dealing, either through a standard
account or Isa, is the only service the digital broker currently offers. It plans to
Dunkirk veteran
expand into new areas in future. It's free to open an Isa account until July 2019. The Bernard Bannon, 98,
lost thousands to a
cost will be £3 thereafter. cynical junk mail
scheme
Both challenger investment platforms have adopted this model as a carrot to tempt So we tracked down the
firm behind it to a Cote
customers away from established rivals, such as Hargreaves Lansdown, Interactive d'Azur HQ and confronted
the owner.
Investor and AJ Bell.
Fleeced on the
The average commission charged by five of the largest online share-dealing freehold: The sale of
toxic leaseholds has
platforms run at £8.31 per trade, with leading brokers such as Hargreaves Lansdown been banned...
- but now property firms
and Interactive Investor charging £11.95 and £10 respectively, according to DJB are cashing in on costly
Research. clauses in freeholds too.

Would you have car to


Commission-free sharing dealing looks set to further disrupt a market that is already be repaired with
experiencing a downward pressure on investment fees amid regulatory pressure. recycled old parts to
save money?
It can cut waste, reduce
Where can you invest?  emissions and lower
premiums, says eBay.

It's worth noting that Freetrade's and Trading 212 respective investment universe is Investment manager
relatively small compared to that of more established rivals.  Vanguard slashes
tracker fees as it
launches a price war to
A total of 335 stocks, ETFs and investment trusts sit on the Freetrade platform. The cash in on Woodford
scandal
selection comprises of 122 US stocks and 136 UK securities - including 33 investment
trusts and 44 ETFs. The firm expects to increase this figure on an ongoing basis.  

Meanwhile, Trading 212 hosts more than 1,800 investment opportunities comprising SPONSORED CONTENT
shares in companies based in the UK, the US and in some European markets, as well Smart money in Asia is not
as ETFs.  in Hong Kong
Janus Henderson Investors
To put this into perspective, Hargreaves Lansdown offers 1,643 UK shares, 7,184
overseas shares, 1,170 ETFs and 386 investment trusts.
How to get the most out of
Crucially, neither Trading 212 or Freetrade allow you to invest in investment funds or your pension. Follow these
useful tips.
individual corporate bonds outside an ETF. 
Canaccord Genuity WM

Hargreaves, meanwhile, hosts 470 corporate bonds plus 7,099 funds from the UK
and abroad. 

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Both Trading 212 and Freetrade offer an Isa wrapper, but neither offer a self invested
personal pension.  +99
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How do these platforms make money?
Ivan Ashminov, co-founder of Trading 212, told This is Money that actual trading Share
costs are less than £1, so waiving trading commission does not have a detrimental
effect. 

The charges levied on the platform's other services should more than cover a
shortfall from these costs, he added. SAVING CALCULATORS
Monthly or lump sum savings calculator
Trading 212 adopts a 'freemium' model - Inflation savings danger calculator
like mobile games that are free to Things to consider Children's savings calculator
download but have in app purchases - in before moving platform Isa fund charges calculator
the hope that some customers will shell Pension pot calculator
How you can save more
out for additional services that it Investors are free to move DIY
develops down the line, such as robo- investing platform and should track INVESTING: DON'T MISS
advice on which stocks to buy.   down the one that is best for their
'Woodford should
needs. hang his head in shame,
Customers of newcomer Freetrade can I don't know how he
However, they need to be aware of sleeps at night'
only trade shares without incurring a Investors are boiling with
fees for moving from their existing anger and regret - here
broker charge if transacted outside an Isa
platform and from one they sign up to are some of their stories
wrapper through it's 'basic trade' service. 
if they don't like it. 
The impact of the
Basic trade means the buys and sells are Investors should calculate the Woodford debacle goes
far beyond people with
aggregated and dealt around 4pm every potential annual saving they would money locked-up in his
make by switching and a reasonable failed fund, says ALEX
day. 
SEBASTIAN
expectation of investment growth
This isn't a huge problem if you plan on under the new platform against the
holding shares for a long time, but more cost of moving and any exit fees. Should you ditch a
fund that axes its
experienced investors often want to be manager?
Things like customer services offered What investors should do
able to trade instantly at a set price.  when the captain jumps
by the respective platforms may seem
ship or gets pushed
like a small detail but can make the
Free trades are never quite world of difference. 
free The best tonic for your
portfolio?
Investing in the brands
There is no such thing as a free trade. you know can pay
dividends, even if there
Period. are bumps in the road

This is because of a concept called the bid-offer spread, which is essentially the gap
Property funds build
between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay you for shares and the lowest up 'war chests' of more
price a seller is willing to sell them to you for.  than 20% for market
volatility, with some
funds having almost a
You will pay closer to the higher price to purchase a share and sell nearer the lower third of their assets in
cash
price. 
Can you REALLY get
The size of the gap depends on how liquid a share is, ie how easy it is to buy and sell, richer by going green?
and larger companies therefore tend to have tighter spreads. How to make money and
stick by your principles

These prices are different to the mid-price, which is the one you will generally see
quoted in market reports and headline share data.
Savers tempted by
At the time of publication, shares in Tesco were trading at  234.05p, however, the risky investment
adverts that don't reveal
offer was 234.1 and the bid was 234p.  The spread here is 0.04 per cent. Another cost they could lose money,
in buying shares is stamp duty charged at 0.5 per cent.  Which? investigation
finds

When buying a foreign stock, you'll also have factor in the cost of the converting
currency. Trading 212 passes on the charge at the spot rate. Whereas Freetrade Fear of a stock market
crisis is preying on the
charges spot rate plus 0.45 per cent on these transactions.   'pension freedom'
generation living on
their investments

Can it ever be worth


spending £250k to

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invest?
PRUDENT INVESTOR on
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could protect your wealth
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Freetrade was founded back in 2015 but officially launched its commission-free share dealing Could your 16-year-old
app in September 2018. really run their own
Isa?
Teenagers can't cash in a
child trust fund until 18...
Will commission-free trading free trade last? but some can now control
where it is invested
That's dependent on whether the model can pull enough people for these
Fashion is bang on
companies to make money off other things they charge for. trend for profits, say
investment experts who
At some point, the platform's respective financial backers will want some return on believe buying shares in
high-end designers will
their investment, and zero commission trading removes a major source of revenue.  keep your finances in
vogue

Commission-free share trading is novel, but eventually investors might crave a more


Want to help tackle
expansive investment universe, with access to more shares, funds and investment gender inequality and
make a profit?
trusts.  We take a look at LGIM's
GIRL fund that's beaten
So the main challenge for these platforms in future may be to keep hold of the the market since launch

customers they've lured in through the zero-commission share trading service by


adding new features that complement their evolution as investors.   How many funds
should an investor
hold?
Both Trading 212 and Freetrade are legitimate digital stockbrokers, authorised and What's the ideal number
to suit YOUR strategy
regulated by the FCA.

If either platforms ever go under, your investments are covered by up to £85,000 (up
from £50,000 as of 1 April)  under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme How your investments
could be getting a Brexit
safety net.   boost
Fall in the pound lifts
returns from overseas
The saying 'there's no such thing as a free lunch' certainly applies here. While basic shares held in pensions
share dealing services are free any bells and whistles cost more and there is the and Isas, analysis shows

spread and tax to take into account. 


How the 20 top funds
have sunk by more than
Also, free trading may tempt you to change your investment style and invest more £29billion as they fall
hugely out of favour
frequently than necessary. Doing so can increase internal costs and potentially with savers
hinder your long-term returns. 

When weighing up the right platform to invest for you, it's important to look at the How your investments
service that it offers, along with administration charges and dealing fees, plus any could be getting a Brexit
boost
other extra costs. Fall in the pound lifts
returns from overseas
shares held in pensions
For more information, read our guide on How to choose the best (and cheapest) DIY and Isas, analysis shows
investing Isa.  
Are we on the brink of
a recession?
DIY INVESTING CHARGES SNAPSHOT Bond market moves
trigger global shock
Provider Admin charge Charges notes Fund Standard share, Regular Dividend waves - what does it
mean for your
dealing investment investing reinvestment investments?

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trusts, ETF Would you like an
expert's help with your
dealing investments and +99
savings? NEW
Free  Get ideas to improve your ARTICLES
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wealth in our Money Pit
Trading (investment trust More Stop
n/a  -  n/a  n/a  n/a 
212  trades details  Share
unavailable)
DIY INVESTING IDEAS
More
Freetrade  n/a  -  n/a  Free  n/a  n/a  INVESTING TIPS: Fund
details  and trust ideas for
beginner and cautious
investors
Capped at £45
Hargreaves a year for 1% (£1 min, More
0.45% Free £11.95 £1.50
Lansdown shares, trusts, £10 max) details
ETFs Hunting for income?
Fund and trust ideas for
income investors
Barclays 0.2% on funds, Min monthly
More
Direct 0.1% on other fee £4, max £3  £6  £1  Free 
Details 
Investing*  investments  £125  

1% Going for growth?


Share 1% 0.5%, More
£57.60 - £7.50 0.5%, min £1 Fund and trust ideas for
Centre £7.50 min min £1 details emerging markets
min

Free share dealing snapshot  Dumb tracker, cheap


do-it-all fund, or smart
beta? How you can
track the market
Trading 212
Trading 212, which was founded in Bulgaria 16 years ago, has operated an
online commodities and currency trading platform in the UK for five years. The
FUND JARGON BUSTER
firm became the first retail broker in Britain to introduced a commission-free
share dealing service in 2017. The investment industry's world of abbreviations...
Acc: Accumulation - any income generated by the fund
like dividends or interest is automatically reinvested.
The service, now called, Trading 212 Invest, provides access to stocks and Inc: Income - any income generated is distributed by the
fund instead of being reinvested.
ETFs across the world’s leading stock exchanges and currencies, including Dis: Distribution - any income generated is distributed by
cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, and commodities.  the fund instead of being reinvested.
R: Retail - the fund is aimed at ordinary investors.
I/Inst: Institutional - the fund is aimed at corporate
Costs  investors like pension funds.
A, B, M, X etc: Different fund houses use letters for
different things. Check with them what they stand for.
Trading 212 doesn't levy an administration fees on trades, The only costs to be NT/No trail: Some fund houses use this name on clean
funds which carry no commissions for financial advisers,
aware of are the bid-ask spread and the foreign exchange spot price when supermarkets or brokers, just the fee levied by the fund
trading shares overseas. Money held in an Isa incurs no additional charge. manager. But other fund houses use different letters - I, D
or Y, for example - so you need to find out for yourself
which are clean funds.
Freetrade   Gr: Stands for gross.
GBP/£: Fund denominated in pounds.
EUR: Fund denominated in euros.
Freetrade was founded back in 2015 by Adam Dodds, a former KPMG USD/$: Fund denominated in US dollars.
Compiled with online stockbroker The Share Centre
manager, but officially launched its commission-free share dealing app in
September 2018. MOST READ MONEY
The new mums like me
In order to offer fee-free trading, Freetrade got an FCA licence and joined the facing an agonising wait
London Stock Exchange in order to processes its own 'basic' orders in bulk for our cash...
- because the DWP has a
each day at 4pm.   woeful backlog of
maternity pay claims.

Costs 
Councils spend MORE
The online broker does not levy for trades that are aggregated and dealt on social care - but are
giving fewer elderly
around 4pm every day. UK and US shares cost £1 to trade instantly and a people help despite
being bombarded with
foreign exchange charge which comprises of the spot rate (the price quoted requests
for immediate settlement on a commodity, a security or a currency) plus 0.45
per cent. 
Britain's best workhorse
cars: We reveal the top
Isas are currently free until July 2019 but will cost users £3 a month thereafter. ten high-milers
There are more Skoda
Transferring money out of either an Isa or general account into a bank account Octavias with 250,000
miles than any other
cost £5 a pop. The bid-ask spread costs also apply.
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model
Coming soon? eToro and Revolut
+99
eToro could be the next the latest investment platform to launch a NEW
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commission-free share dealing platform.

Users will be able to trade 1,340 shares that sit on the platform without Share
incurring a broker fee. A spokesman for the firm said the service will land Metro Bank boss
before the end of summer and it won't cap users' amount of free trading. Vernon Hill steps down
but tells 'fans' the 'best
is yet to come'
Digital-only bank Revolut is also building a commission-free trading platform Immediate move

on its app, its latest bid to use technology to undercut traditional financial Ministers must step in
services.  to protect the home
ownership dream from a
freehold fees farce
Revolut said users will be able to buy and sell listed stocks in seconds, without VICTORIA BISCHOFF

paying commission. The firm said the product would generate income from
premium subscriptions, which will give perks to paying customers, as well as
margin trading, securities lending and interest on cash held. No release date Cost of home
insurance cover has
has been given. risen 25% in just three
years
More volatile weather
may keep driving up the
price

Nationwide scraps
TOP DIY INVESTING PLATFORMS popular loyalty
accounts held by 1.6M
Low cost portfolios customers in savings
'revamp'
Cheap funds fee But will offer limited
edition member-only
£1.50 fund dealing exclusives

Buying a home instead


of renting could leave
you £352,500 better off
over 30 years
Even if house prices
never rise

Free fund dealing


Wealth 50 Over 1,500 learners
were caught CHEATING
Investment ideas driving theory tests last
year
Using Bluetooth headsets
and having others
masquerade as them

I wanted to create the


cheapest way to buy
Fees back in trades make-up
The comparison website
Flat monthly fees founder trying to disrupt
the beauty market
From £9.99 a month

Could this prevent


more energy firms from
going bust?
New Ofgem rules will
force suppliers to provide
better customer service
Great service
Fixed monthly cost Fading star fund
Dealing from £7.50 managers should ask
how they can improve
their industry
MAGGIE PAGANO

I was a nurse for 12


years but the NHS can't
Model portfolios find my pension records
dating back to the 1970s
Free fund dealing - what can I do?
Tools and fund ideas Steve Webb replies.

One in four FTSE 100


firms are forecast to pay
a 6%-plus dividend this
year, but how safe are
payouts?
> Compare the best investing platform for you
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Should you back
shares where bosses
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Keeping track of director
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small dealing can pay off - and
commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to here's who's buying.
promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial
independence. With Brexit looming, is
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home?
Buyers have less
FTSE 100 negotiating power thanks
Search to lack of choice,
7,288.86 Rightmove boss claims.
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pot'
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After hubris finally


catches up with Neil
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10/27/2019 Is fee-free share dealing any good? Freetrade and Trading 212 | This is Money
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