If you want to shop for shares in a SIPP pension or ISA and like lots of choice, then a fund supermarket or platform is the place for you.
Fund supermarkets are like they say they are – funds and shares across a range of financial brands and charges including the platform’s own brand offers.
And just like supermarkets, some are cheaper than others.
With all the dazzling web sites and shiny sign-up deals, where do investors start with platforms?
Where you shop depends on what you want to buy and pay.
- DIY share trading
If you are going to try your hand at share trading to boost the value of your pension or ISA, then you need somewhere with shelves stacked the brim with options and trading charges that are not going to evaporate your profits.
· Guided funds
For investors who might lack the confidence or time to manage their own portfolio, platforms with fund managers to do the job for you are best even though you will pay extra charges.
· Share picks and tips
Supermarkets where you can self-manage with lots of share picks and tips and clear information about charges include Fidelity Personal Investing, Hargreaves Lansdown, AXA Self Investor and Charles Stanley Direct.
· Managing money online
Most fund supermarkets have sophisticated web sites and apps that allow easy online trading and account management.
· Cheap and cheerful
Some platforms charge fees based on a percentage of transaction values, while others are flat fees. If you are making smaller trades, percentage charges may work out cheaper for you – Charles Stanley Direct, Cavendish Online and TD Direct all have competitive charging
One of the banes of investing are SIPP and ISA offers. Firstly, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, so the discount or price of the incentive must be coming from somewhere and that’s more than likely your pocket.
Check out the terms and conditions, exit fees and charges before committing. One more thing to remember is the Financial Services Compensation Scheme covers £50,000 invested in each firm for each individual investor in the event of a crash and for expats, Gibraltar, Jersey, the Isle of Man and Guernsey have their own schemes with different limits, so don’t put all your cash in one basket,