interactive investor: Huge choice but not a cheap option for most

interactive investor (ii) is the UK’s most popular flat-fee investment platform. For a monthly fee, ii customers can access pensions, ISAs and a general investment account. The platform has been in business for over 25 years and looks after almost £55 billion on behalf of 400,000 customers.

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The following dataset includes the performances of ready-made portfolios/funds offered by investment platforms and may include both actively and passively managed ready-made portfolios/funds. Performance indicated is also net of all fees to 31st January 2024, unless stated otherwise; any tiered fee structure will be disclosed. Ready-made portfolios/funds that include cryptocurrencies or any other securities outside cash and equities are not included in the dataset. The dataset only includes ready-made portfolios/funds which are explicitly advertised by their respective platforms as being for ‘beginners’, and which are exclusively offered by the platform itself. Funds which are managed by other providers and may be identically offered across multiple platforms were not included in this dataset. For example, the Vanguard UK All Share Acc. ETF was offered by Plum, but as it is not directly managed by Plum and customers could reasonably access it on multiple platforms, it was not included for the purposes of this research. Other discretely advertised securities or investments are not included.
Avg. 5-year performance across all interactive investor ready-made portfolios
The industry average is the median average of all fund/ready-made portfolio performance figures we collated from 23 investment providers. To see the full dataset, visit X page.
Industry avg.

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By Clare West

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Clare's view:

The Verdict

With interactive investor (ii), you get access to one of the widest ranges of global investments available in the UK investment market: more than 40,000 stocks, shares, funds, ETFs and trusts from 17 global stock exchanges. That said, there’s no chance to buy and sell fractional shares at ii, which is a shame for those of us who can’t afford ‘Magnificent Seven’ shares at upwards of $800 per single whole share.

For those not comfortable making their own investment decisions, ii offers a range of low-cost ready-made portfolios, managed by well-established fund managers, Vanguard and Columbia Threadneedle.

On cost, ii can represent good value for investors with large pots to invest, who stand to benefit most from the flat-fee structure and low trading fees. However, there is a cliff-edge cap of £50k for the lowest price plan in the ii pricing structure, which means anyone investing over that amount will find their subscription jumps from £4.99 to £11.99 per month. You will benefit from one free trade worth £3.99 per month, and it entitles you to free JISAs, but if you don’t want or need JISAs, you’re paying over the odds for that free trade. Added to which, not everyone wants to trade each month. If you’re a buy-and-hold investor you’re paying more for no reason.

Smaller portfolio holders also need to beware. Those flat fees are disproportionately expensive for you too. Anyone with less than £40k is likely to be better off with a percentage based pricing model offered by a competitor brand.

I’ll dive into this more in the full review but needless to say, ii's big pitch that their flat fee pricing can save you a small fortune over the long-term, really does seem to apply only to a narrow band of customers with somewhere between £40k - £50k to invest.

While it has plus points, including that extensive menu of available assets and products, a reliable customer service department, and comparatively low dealing fees, ii is only right for a specific group of investors holding just the right investment value to make it a cost-effective platform.
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  • Flat platform fees can be good value for large portfolio holders
  • Huge investment choice
  • Part of a FTSE 100 company
  • Low trading fees for UK and US stocks
  • Exceptionally low fees for actively managed, ready-made funds
  • General trading and SIPP accounts can be funded in multiple currencies


  • Fixed platform fees are expensive if you have a small portfolio
  • No fractional shares
  • Basic charting and analysis tools
  • 1.5% FX fee
  • Verdict4.0
  • Fees3.0
  • Trading Platform4.0
  • Research4.0
  • Safety5.0
  • Education4.0
  • Customer Service4.0
  • Corporate Actions3.0
  • Portfolio View
  • Promotions

Clare's view:

Who do I recommend it for?

arrow-down-orangeRead more


  • Flat platform fees can be good value for large portfolio holders
  • Huge investment choice
  • Part of a FTSE 100 company
  • Low trading fees for UK and US stocks
  • Exceptionally low fees for actively managed, ready-made funds
  • General trading and SIPP accounts can be funded in multiple currencies


  • Fixed platform fees are expensive if you have a small portfolio
  • No fractional shares
  • Basic charting and analysis tools
  • 1.5% FX fee
  • arrowVerdict
  • arrow Fees:
  • arrowTrading Platform:
  • arrowResearch:
  • arrowSafety:
  • arrowEducation:
  • arrowCustomer Service:
  • arrowCorporate Actions
  • arrowPortfolio View
  • arrowPromotions



September 2023 interactive investor raised interest rates on its ISA, Junior ISA, and trading accounts to

  • 1.75%on the first £10,000
  • 2.75%on £10,000.01 – £100,000
  • 3.75%over £100,000

July 2023 Customers wanting to vote on corporate actions can now do so via the app

May 2024 interactive investor adds a Managed ISA to its range

Who do I recommend interactive investor for?

interactive investor is that rare thing – an option that works for highly experienced investors as well as those brand new to the markets.

There is plenty of choice to satisfy experienced investors but for those not comfortable making their own investment decisions, the low-cost Quick Start funds offer hassle-free access to Vanguard’s popular LifeStrategy® funds. There’s also a great selection of educational materials, which are helpful in explaining your options if you’re just starting out.

Of course, what matters just as much is the cost. In this respect, the investment platform is best suited to investors with a substantial portfolio. For this group, ii offers a wide range of share dealing options plus the greatest potential cost-saving benefits. Investors looking to invest less than £40,000 may find the subscription charges prohibitive.

Read my full review to decide whether ii is the broker for you.


Account types and assets

Investors at interactive investor enjoy access to the following range of products:

  • General investment account
  • Stocks and shares ISA
  • Self-invested Personal Pension (SIPP)
  • Junior ISA

Here’s how that compares to other UK investment platforms:

ii also offers a cash savings account, which I’ll also take a look at in this section.


If you choose to build your own portfolio, you’ll have an enormous range of potential assets to consider:

  • UK shares
  • US shares
  • European shares
  • Rest of the World shares
  • Funds
  • Trusts
  • ETFs
  • Bonds and gilts
  • IPOs
  • Indices
  • VCTs

In total, ii offers investors a staggering choice of more than 40,000 investment options including over 3,000 funds, 1,000 ETFs, and more than 600 investment trusts.

The inability to buy fractional shares is a real shame, however, as it means investors on smaller budgets who cannot afford whole shares are prohibited from investing in the bigger name, more expensive stocks. While competitors such as Hargreaves Lansdown and Fidelity also don’t offer fractional shares, some newer competitors, such as Nutmeg, eToro and Freetrade, do.

Ready-made options

If you don’t want to select your own investment assets, there’s a range of ready-made options to consider instead:

Quick-start funds

These are six low-cost funds: 3 x Vanguard LifeStrategy funds, and 3 x sustainable funds from Columbia Threadneedle.

Vanguard’s popular LifeStrategy funds include options for three different risk profiles: lower (20% equity weighting), moderate (60% equity weighting), and higher (80% equity weighting).

These are passively managed funds that follow the performance of the market and don’t require a fund manager. That’s what helps to keep their charges lower.

The three Columbia Threadneedle sustainable funds are cautious, balanced, and growth and can, therefore, be chosen to align with your risk appetite as well as your sustainability values.

Investment Pathways

These ready-made options are designed for those moving into the pension drawdown phase.

The Super 60 investment list

These are a range of selected, highly recommended funds, including both active and passive funds. You can filter your search by asset group, investment group and performance to find a fund that suits your investment goals and styles. The list includes ETFs and investment trusts.

The ACE 40 ethical list

A list of rated and recommended sustainable investments to meet different risk profiles and goals.

With this large range of ready-made options, ii is a good place for those who have cash to invest, but either don’t feel confident choosing their own asset selection, or who believe that a fund offers the best way to meet their investment goals.

Stocks and Shares ISA

A stocks and shares ISA is what’s known as a ‘tax wrapper' – that means it can be wrapped around a wide range of different investment products. Any investment growth or interest earned within a stocks and shares ISA is tax-free, which makes them a popular way to invest up to £20k per year. You can only have one stocks and shares ISA open per tax year, however, so choose carefully (although it’s possible to transfer between providers once you’ve started saving).

ii operates a slightly unusual way of charging for the use of different products. It can be a bit confusing and might cloud decisions on which is the right provider for you, as comparing like-for-like isn’t easy when everyone charges differently!

With ii, when you open a Stocks and Shares ISA, you’ll start on the £4.99 a month Investor Essentials plan. Should your investments grow above £50,000, you will move onto the £11.99 a month Investor plan, which includes the ability to add as many Junior ISAs as you need for your children, plus 2 family members or friends for free. UK and US trades are £3.99 per month.

Managed ISA

interactive investors has recently added a Managed ISA to its range. A managed product is aimed at those who prefer an investment professional to manage their ISA for them. That means, ii's fund managers will choose your investments, monitor them, and adjust them over time to help keep you on track to your goals.

There are two options available – an index investing style ISA which focuses on low-cost funds, and a sustainable investing option which is invested in funds that follow ESG principles. Within each style, there are five risk levels. The Managed ISA application process will identify your appetite for risk and match you to the appropriate investing style and risk level.

While there's no minimum investment period, these portfolios are designed for long-term growth (a minimum of five years). In adding a managed option alongside the DIY option, ii has opened up the Stocks and Shares ISA to those who want more help with their investment decisions.

Junior ISA

You must have an ISA or GIA before you can add or transfer a Junior ISA.

Junior ISAs are not available on the Investor Essentials Plan so fees start from £11.99 as part of the Investor plan subscription. That plan includes free regular investing and your first trade free every month. It also allows you to add as many Junior ISAs as you have children. Additional UK and US trades cost £3.99 per trade.

Cash ISA

Although interactive investor offers a cash savings account, it does not offer a cash ISA which is a shame as, unlike the interest earned in a cash savings account, interest earned in ISAs is free from UK income tax. You’ll also have to pay a rate of 0.25% to access ii’s cash savings account. If you’re looking for a cash ISA, I'd suggest Trading 212.

Lifetime ISA

interactive investor does not offer a Lifetime ISA either. Again, this is a shame as it’s a tax-efficient way to save for your first home and later life with a 25% boost from the government.


For every £100 you pay into a self-invested personal pension (SIPP), the government will add to it with another £25 tax relief top-up which makes a SIPP a fruitful way to save for retirement. As it’s self-invested, it also means you have total control over how your money is invested.

ii offers a SIPP but you’ll need to pay extra on your subscription to add it. If you are on the Investor Essentials plan you can add a SIPP, making your total £9.99 per month. This allows you to invest up to £50,000 across your accounts.

If you want to invest more than £50,000, you’ll need to move onto the Investor plan + SIPP for £21.99. For smaller portfolios, that’s far higher than you’re likely to pay at most of ii’s competitors, although it could work out good value for larger portfolios.

Here’s how ii compares to other SIPP providers:

These estimated fees exclude any trading fees that you’d need to pay for buying and selling stocks/funds within the year.

As you can see, ii comes in higher on a £20k investment than any of the other providers listed, with the exception of Freetrade which also uses a flat fee model. With Freetrade, however, there are no dealing fees, so it would work out cheaper once you’ve factored in any trades you wanted to make. I should also note that Vanguard’s fees are inclusive of dealing fees. On the larger portfolio amount, ii’s flat fees are better value for money, with just AJ Bell and Freetrade coming in at a lower cost.

Cash savings account

ii’s standalone cash savings service could be a really good option if you have cash left over once you’ve maxed out your tax wrappers and want peace of mind that you’re going to receive a fixed rate of return. A couple of notes of caution, however: Firstly, remember that you may be liable for tax on any interest earned in a cash savings account. And secondly, ii charges for use of this service which is very unusual and hard to justify when no other provider I’ve reviewed makes a charge for a similar service. Flagstone, the operator ii uses to manage this service, charges ii customers a 0.25% management fee, so you’ll need to deduct this fee from any interest rates you see advertised by ii for cash deposits. Or, you could open a cash savings account at AJ Bell or Hargreaves Lansdown and do it for free.

In addition, you’ll need to deposit a minimum of £10,000 (it can hold a maximum of £250,000), which you can spread across different banks and building societies within the hub. This is a pretty high bar. For comparison, AJ Bell stipulates a minimum deposit of £1,000 and Hargreaves Lansdown doesn’t impose a minimum amount, although the savings account providers you access may have their own set minimums.

I do like the way the ii cash savings service works, however. It allows you to hold all your cash savings in one account but pick the best deal from over 25 UK banks and building societies – ensuring you’re able to access market-leading interest rates.

Corporate account

interactive investor offers a company share dealing account. There is an additional monthly charge of £30 for this service.

A company account allows you to trade in the name of a UK limited company in a diverse range of investments, including UK and international equities, funds, ETFs and investment trusts. You can authorise up to four nominated individuals to place trades and manage the account on behalf of the company. That’s helpful for those wishing to use their limited company status to take advantage of more favourable capital gains tax rates or offset losses against personal income.

Joint accounts

ii allows for joint trading accounts. You’ll each still have a private view of any personal accounts, such as ISAs or SIPPs.

Important: Your capital is at risk. Investments can go down in value as well as up, and you could get back less than you invest.


Trading platform

Web platform

ii’s proprietary platform is straightforward and user-friendly, although it’s not terribly pretty and definitely looks a bit outdated when compared to competitors’ designs.

Mobile platform

The ii mobile app is available on iOS and Android. As with the web platform, it’s relatively easy to get to grips with, although it’s not the greatest design. Having an app means you can check in on your investments, update account information, or buy and sell on the go. There are a couple of differences between the web platform and the app, however, which you’ll want to know about if you’re thinking of using it for trading on the go: You won’t have the ability to set price alerts on the mobile app, and you also won’t have access to the technical indicators, which is annoying.

interactive investor easyjet plc Demo account

Demo account

Unfortunately, ii no longer offers access to new clients to their demo account (called a research account), which is a real shame. I was directed towards the Watchlist feature instead when I contacted customer services about this subject, but it isn’t a replacement for a full demo account with virtual money that allows you to test trading strategies in real-time and makes this platform a less attractive proposition for new traders.



interactive investor’s fees are unlike most other platforms’. Firstly, ii uses a flat-fee pricing model. That can be beneficial if you are a high-value investor as it means you’re paying proportionally less, the more you invest. However, there are some idiosyncrasies in ii’s pricing that means that isn’t always the case. And small portfolio holders may want to think very carefully before investing with ii, as our calculations show it is often a very expensive way to invest your cash.

Subscription fees

All ii account holders pay a subscription fee – there’s no free basic account as there is with Freetrade, which also uses a flat-fee model.

There are three subscription plans available:

  • The Investor Essentials plan: This £4.99 a month plan is billed as a low-cost plan for those investing up to £50,000.

It is indeed a low-cost plan if you have £50k invested. However, it’s not if you have a small portfolio. That’s £59.88 over the course of one year. If you have a £5k portfolio, that’s the equivalent of a 1.20% custody rate. For comparison, AJ Bell charges 0.25% (capped at £3.50 per month), which on £5k would work out as £12.50 per year.

In addition, you’ll need to factor in trading costs. UK and US trades cost £3.99 per trade on this plan, which is actually pretty competitive. Hargreaves Lansdown charges £11.95 per trade and only reduces it to £5.95 when you've traded 20+ times in a month. Be mindful that, even at £3.99 per trade, your £4.99 per month suddenly becomes much more expensive if you plan on regularly trading, and that platforms such as Freetrade and Trading 212 offer trading without dealing fees.

  • Investor plan: This is ii’s most popular plan and costs £11.99 per month.

This plan includes your first trade free every month. You can add as many Junior ISAs as you have children, as well as two free friends and family members. Additional UK and US trades are £3.99.

Most providers reward you with a lower rate the more you invest. While the flat rates charged by ii become the equivalent of a lower rate as your portfolio size increases, there is a cliff edge which you'll tip over at the £50k mark.

While you do get one free trade per month and free Junior ISAs thrown in for the additional fee, that’s not a great deal if you don’t actually want any Junior ISAs. If you’re a buy-and-hold investor, you might not even want the free trade every month.

So again, this doesn’t seem like great value for money.

  • Super Investor plan: £19.99 a month.

On this plan, you’ll receive your first two trades free each month. You can add as many Junior ISAs as you have children and up to five friends and family members for free, too.

There’s no obligation to move onto this plan once your account reaches any kind of cap, so it’s really just for those who are regularly making two or more trades per month, and/or those who require multiple JISAs.

After your first two free trades, UK and US trades remain priced at £3.99, so there’s no discount, which you might expect on a top subscription level. You do receive a discount on non-UK/US trades, however, as they drop from £9.99 to £5.99 per trade on this plan.

Managed ISA charges

If you're investing under £50,000, then you’ll be paying £4.99 per month for the Investor Essentials plan.

If you have over £50,000, then you’ll be on the Investor plan, charged at £11.99 a month.

Portfolio investment costs also apply and range from 0.13% to 0.36% depending on whether you choose the Index style or the Sustainable option, and your risk level.

The verdict?

Interactive investor claims that its flat subscription fees can lead to savings of up to £85k over 30 years when compared to the percentage fees charged by competitors. These savings will only be achieved if you have a certain amount of capital invested, however and are based on contributions of £10k per year. Our figures suggest that it is only a narrow band of investors who will see these savings. Otherwise, this is an expensive way to invest.


ii’s arrangements for SIPPs are extraordinarily complicated – far more complicated than it feels like they need to be. Other platforms have straightforward pricing plans, so I’m not quite sure why so many different arrangements are necessary.

Your choices, if you want to open a SIPP, are:

  • A Pension Builder plan which costs an eye-watering £12.99 per month. You’ll need to join this plan if the value of your SIPP is over £50k.
  • A Pension Essentials plan. These are only open to people who have less than £50k invested, and costs £5.99 a month.
  • Existing customers with an ISA and/or Trading Account on the Investor Essentials plan can add a SIPP for an extra £5 a month. You can then invest up to £50,000 across your accounts. Above this, and you will move onto the Investor + SIPP for £21.99 a month – which is a massive amount to pay (you are paying £10 extra just for the SIPP).

In all circumstances, this cannot be considered a low-cost SIPP.

Currency conversion (FX) fees

You’ll need to pay these fees if you want to buy or sell assets that aren’t traded in GBP, so anytime you trade a USD stock, for example.

The fees you pay at ii will vary according to the value of your trade:

  • Less than £25,000 = 1.5%
  • £25,000 – £49,999 = 1.25%
  • £50,000 – £99,999 = 1.00%
  • £100,000 – £599,999 = 0.50%
  • £600,000 – £999,999 = 0.25%

At the lower end of the value scale, these are some pretty high steep fees, as this comparison table illustrates:

And look how that adds up and makes a difference to overall costs in this example:

It's easy to forget FX fees when calculating platform costs, but it's a costly mistake to ignore them if you plan to invest even moderately in non-GBP assets.

However, there is a possible way to avoid paying FX fees with interactive investors. It only applies to general trading accounts and SIPP accounts, so no get-out for ISA holders unfortunately, but ii allows you to trade in multiple currencies. Potentially, this means you could convert your currencies at a cheaper money exchange, and then deposit and withdraw in the same currency as the assets you want to trade. It's hassle, but it might be worth it if you trade large volumes of foreign assets or plan to make high-value non-GBP trades.

For more information on how to do this and which exchanges offer the best currency conversion rates, visit our dedicated FX guide.

I should stress, this isn't something you need to think about if you only hold assets listed on UK exchanges, but with FX fees as high as they are at ii, it's worth considering all avenues if you intend to trade non-GBP assets with this provider.

Trading fees

The monthly subscription fee for Investor Essentials, Investor and Super Investor plans include a Trading Account.

  • Whichever plan you are on, all UK and US shares, bonds, gilts and funds are £3.99 per trade.
  • Non-UK/US trades are £9.99.

If you’re on the Investor plan:

  • Your first trade each month is free.
  • All other UK and US trades are £3.99.
  • All non-US/UK trades are £9.99.

If you’re on the Super Investor plan:

  • Your first two trades per month are free.
  • All other UK and US trades are £3.99.
  • All non-US/UK trades are £5.99.

Although I’ve stated that ii can work out as good value for money for some larger portfolio holders, there are some cheeky additional charges for those making very large trades:

  • Trades of UK shares, funds (unit trusts and OEICs), bonds, gilts and exchange-traded products with a trade value of £100k or more incur a £40 charge.
  • Trades of US shares worth £100,000 or more incur a fee of 0.04% of trade value.
  • If you buy or sell other international shares with a trade value of £25,000 or more, it’s 0.10% of trade value.

I’ve not seen that kind of step-up in fees for large trades at any other provider.

Inactivity fees

There’s a tick in the box for inactivity fees as, unlike most of its competitors, interactive investor does not charge them at all. That’s handy if you plan on buying and holding assets for long periods of time, and don’t want to have to make a trade just to prevent the penalty kicking in.

Withdrawal fees

Requests for withdrawals can be made through your online account or app.

There is no charge for next-day UK (GBP & Euro) withdrawals. For same-day UK and EUR withdrawals, and other currency withdrawals, you’ll pay £15.

Deposit fees

It’s free to top up your investments each month with ii’s regular investing service.

Minimum deposit

The minimum deposit for an initial investment is £1. You can also invest as little as £25 a month using ii’s free regular investing service.

Interest paid on uninvested cash

ii currently pays interest on British pound and US dollar cash balances of between 1.75% and 4.00% depending on the value and type of account.

For ii’s ISA, Junior ISA, and trading accounts, cash balances will receive 1.75% interest on the first £10,000, 2.75% on the value between £10,000.01 and £100,000, and 3.75% paid values over £100,000.

For comparison:

All figures were correct at the time of publishing. While we attempt to update figures as soon as we become aware of changes, the most accurate way to obtain the latest data is to check with the provider directly.


Research and tools

ii's trading platform isn't designed for day-trading. Rather, it's set up for longer-term investors, so you won’t find all the sophisticated charting and analytic tools you’d reasonably expect to find on a high-tech platform for traders. But that's perfectly understandable as the average ii investor is just that – and investor, and not a trader.

Technical analysis comes courtesy of Trading Insights™, which you’ll be able to access when registered to use the platform. It’s engineered to be useful for investors of all skill levels and has tools for actionable technical analysis, educational guidance and customisable alerts.

Trading Insights provides valuable intraday data, some simple risk management tools, and a ‘technical score’ that displays the directional outlook of either bullish, bearish or neutral across short to long timeframes.

You can also set price alerts and notifications on the web version of the platform, although you can only set alerts for price movements; nothing else, and it’s not available on the mobile app.

  • interactive investor rolls royce holdings plc copy

Research tools include heat maps, the Relative Strength Index (RSI), which can help in determining potential overbought or oversold conditions in the market and determine a trend’s strength, and the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) indicator which can help traders identify potential trend reversals.


interactive investor heat maps

What I couldn't find, was a calendar for crucial dates, such as ex-dividend dates and earnings announcements. This could be a drawback for income-focused and event-driven investors.


interactive investor price candlestick chart

And there’s no demo platform any more, as ii has removed the feature unfortunately.

On the plus side, ii’s news service is great. There are real-time updates on market trends and events that may impact your portfolio and strategy, backed up by expert analysis and helpful commentary, as well as expert picks and news on IPOs. It’s all presented in a user-friendly, if not very pretty or innovative, way.


John Choong

Senior Equity Analyst

The platform provides basic trading signals through candlesticks, but lacks additional tools or patterns that could enhance the technical analysis for traders. That said, it’s sufficient enough for most long-term investors, which is the audience ii is mostly aimed at.

The ‘live’ price graphs actually have a 15-minute delay for UK and US shares. This delay may impact timely decision-making and, for comparison, AJ Bell allows live pricing to be toggled on and off so you can get genuine real-time pricing.

If you’re looking for graphs, the absence of a drag-and-compare feature is a limitation for those wanting to get a proper comparison of how much security has grown or declined in value, although there is a zoom function available.

The available charts could be better. On mobile, they are too compressed and messy, making them hard to read. With no P/S, EBITDA or balance sheet ratios, there are very few multiples to help investors make decisions. There is limited ability to customise charts, too, and no analysts’ consensus and ratings for stocks, which may leave investors without a third-party perspective on investment opportunities or how the general market feels towards a security.

The order execution process seems tedious, especially for buying US stocks, where users need to go through the login process again due to 15-minute delayed prices. The availability of limit orders and stop losses is a positive feature, and the ‘fill or kill’ option adds flexibility for traders.

Shorting stocks isn’t available, which makes this platform a trader’s no-go zone, but at least long-term investors can rest easy in the fact that the platform isn’t lending out their assets to traders.

Not having fractional shares is a big stumbling block for smaller investors who want to gain access to larger stocks that have bigger price tags. And the absence of pre-market/after-hours trading may limit opportunities for those who prefer to execute trades outside regular market hours, especially before or after an earnings release.

ii offers a rich source of news and in-house analysis, along with regulatory statements offering valuable information for investors.

In the valuation department, the lack of ratios and multiples is poor. The financials segment only includes market cap, dividend yield, and P/E ratio, which is very basic and doesn’t give an investor anything close to the big picture of an investment. What’s more, there isn’t any earnings or financial data either.



When selecting a provider for your investments, it is very important to first ensure they meet certain minimum safety standards. We judge interactive investor to meet the threshold for a ‘safe’ provider because:

  • interactive investor is regulated by the top-tier UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • Investors are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which protects investments up to a value of £85,000 in the event the company liquidates
  • ii has been in existence for more than 25 years and currently administers over £50 billion in customer assets
  • interactive investor is now a part of the larger FTSE 100 company, abrdn, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
  • ii holds a strong record where regulatory compliance is concerned with no major regulatory incidents or fines.

Account security

Two-factor authentication is required when you log in to the web platform from a new device or browser. You can then choose to switch to a two-factor login after that if you wish.

Remember that investing involves risk. The value of your investment can go up as well as down, and you could get back less than you put in.


Trade execution

Investors are well served by a good choice of trade execution tools at ii, although it should be remembered that this is primarily a platform for investors, and therefore isn’t set up with the range of tools a professional trader would expect.

A bar at the bottom of your screen allows you to search and get a quote for any tradeable asset listed on the platform. You can trade at the current market price via:

  • A market order

Or you can set up automated trading via either:

  • A limit order: a direction to purchase or sell a stock or other security at a specified price or better.
  • Or, a ‘fill or kill’ order: a type of order you can give to buy or sell at a specified price. If your order can't be ‘filled’ at this price, it will be ‘killed’ or cancelled.

Once you have set up a trade, you can keep track of your order within your account.

Your order status will show as either:

  • Executed
  • Pending
  • Failed (for example, a fill or kill order that could not be dealt at the limit price)
  • Cancel Pending (the order may have been in the process of being executed when you requested cancellation)
  • Cancelled

Risk management tools

ii customers can use stop-loss orders to help manage the risk of runaway losses.

A common fear among investors is that a stock they own goes into a downward spiral and they fail to get out in time, losing the gains they might previously have made. A stop-loss order can help you manage this risk by triggering a sale of your stock once the price reaches a certain point.


Social trading

interactive investor's trading platform doesn't incorporate any social trading features at present. There used to be a community forum where you could swap ideas, ask questions and gain inspiration. However, it's no longer available which is a shame.


Account opening

Account opening

Opening an account is a little on the clunky side with ii. I needed my National Insurance number and my bank account details, which ii assured me was just for identity verification purposes but, as ii is a subscription service, I was confused as to whether simply registering for an account meant that the first month’s subscription would be taken automatically from my bank account now the company had my bank details. That was fuelled by a message warning me that if I didn’t then go on to commit to which level of subscription I wanted, I risked being charged for a higher level than I wanted. I didn’t rush into a decision and, as it turned out, I wasn’t billed until I deposited some money and decided exactly what I wanted to do with my account, but it was all a bit off-putting and the messaging could definitely be clearer on that.

Transferring an account

The process for transferring an account was explained slightly better.

You might want to transfer investments into ii if:

  • you are paying too much in fees elsewhere
  • you want to explore the possibility of better returns from investing rather than cash savings (although, note, returns are not guaranteed)
  • Or, you have other products with ii and want to consolidate your investments within the same account.

ii’s online transfer process is pretty simple. When you open an account, you will be asked whether you want to transfer any existing accounts and given instructions to follow on how to do this. If you prefer, you can transfer later in your journey, instead. It’s free to do.

I don’t have personal experience of transferring an ISA to ii, however, ii states that transfer times are around 4 weeks if you’re transferring cash, and up to 6 weeks where investments are transferred across. Pension transfers to the ii SIPP are reported to take around 2 to 6 weeks to complete, although if you’re transferring in existing investments, that can take longer – typically 8 to 12 weeks.


You can add money to your ii account by debit card or by monthly Direct Debit. You’ll need to commit to a minimum of £25 if you want to set up a DD.


You can withdraw cash from your account by bank transfer. All you need is your bank details and the mobile phone you have registered with ii. Withdrawals generally go through by the end of the next working day if requested before 2 pm. If you request your withdrawal after 2 pm, you will receive your cash two working days later.

There is no charge for withdrawals in sterling or euros, but there is a £15 charge if withdrawing cash in any other currency.

If you need your cash urgently, you can request an urgent, same-day withdrawal. You’ll need to make your request before 2 pm and it costs £15.

Account closure

Account closure is easy and can be done online. That's a welcome change from some other big name providers which insist you go through customer service.



ii has picked up multiple awards in the past few years, including:



The ‘Knowledge Centre’ is a great place to start if you have questions about your SIPP, ISA, JISA, or you want to learn more about investing and build a strategy for growth. There are ‘Quick Guides’, videos, recorded tutorials, podcasts, useful articles and a whole section on investing for beginners. It is very much aimed at those who are still learning (aren’t we all?). There’s a great ‘Don’t be shy, ask ii’ message facility which actively welcomes all your ‘stupid’ questions, and which will, ii promise, be answered without fear or prejudice.

‘Lunchtime live’ sessions with Bloomberg’s Merryn Somerset Webb bring a live event aspect to the education offering too, with an expert’s take on moves in the markets.

ii uses simple language and explains jargon where it is used, which makes it a good platform for less experienced investors and traders. There is a glossary of terms so you can get to grips with the many acronyms and terms used by financial professionals.

ii also produces daily newsletters to help you stay on top of events that could impact your personal finances or investment outlook.

All in all, it’s a great place to start or continue, your financial education, and it’s all freely available.


Corporate actions

ii is an award-winner for the work it does to encourage shareholder engagement with investment companies, winning the ‘AIC Shareholder Engagement Award' for three consecutive years.

Assuming you want to vote on corporate actions is now the default setting. Those customers who don't want it as their default setting can opt out.

You can sign up to ii's free Voting & Information Service to receive information about shareholder meetings, subscribe for and receive shareholder materials, and get notifications for votes on decisions directly affecting your UK registered shareholdings.

As a shareholder, you can attend an AGM and vote in person. ii allows you to confirm your intention to attend through the customer portal. Alternatively, you can send someone to attend on your behalf – or vote online, which, again, you can do through the customer portal.

Customers wanting to vote on corporate actions can now do so via the portal. That's all great news if having your say on matters that could affect the share price of your stocks matters to you – no more needing to ask customer services to arrange for you to vote.


Customer Service

Customer service at ii has a good reputation.

Help can be accessed via:

  • The ‘Customer Hub’ and Common Questions areas of the website. There is a dedicated section for new customers’ commonly asked questions.
  • Secure message – For non-urgent enquiries. When I tested this, it took just over 24 hours to receive a reply. This service is only available for registered account holders, however.
  • Phone support – For immediate support that anyone can access, customer support is available via telephone between 7:45 am and 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday.
  • Social media – interactive investor is active on Twitter and Facebook.

interactive investor has an excellent score on Trustpilot. At the time of writing, it is 4.7/5, which, when based on more than 24,000 reviews, is a strong indicator of a well-trusted brand that most users are happy with. The telephone support is particularly highly praised. When I called ii’s customer service team, I was waiting less than one minute and found the agent very helpful.


interactive investor vs Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown and interactive investor are similar in their range of products, education offering and type of investment options offered (although HL offers a Lifetime ISA). Both are FTSE 100 companies with a strong legacy and use a proprietary web platform, with no desktop access.
The key differences between interactive investor and Hargreaves Lansdown mainly come down to pricing and number of investment opportunities.

interactive investor charges flat fees; it’s a flat fee of £9.99 per month for their Investor Plan. Hargreaves Lansdown, however, has a more complex pricing structure that varies depending on the amount invested and type of investments made. For investments up to £25,000, you’ll pay a platform fee of 0.45% per annum. This drops to 0.25% on amounts above £25,000.

Trading costs are also significantly higher with Hargreaves Lansdown. If you make fewer than 10 trades, you'll pay £11.95 per deal. At ii, most trades are £3.99, whatever the volume.

Hargreaves offers around 13,000 shares, funds and ETFs, compared to ii’s 40,000. It has a slightly lower score on Trustpilot (although still a good score) but it does offer in-house financial advice for those who don’t feel comfortable making decisions about their financial future on their own, something ii doesn’t offer.

Hargreaves Lansdown is also well-known for its excellent research alongside great educational resources.

What all this means is that interactive investor is more cost-effective for larger portfolios, while Hargreaves Lansdown may be more suitable for those with smaller portfolios. You may still pay a bit more for a portfolio with a value of £25,000 or under, at Hargreaves Lansdown, but you might be prepared to pay for the more personalised, premium service and access to in-house financial advice. For a large portfolio, the cost difference probably feels too large to justify.


interactive investor vs Fidelity

Again, interactive investor and Fidelity offer a very similar range of products and are both well-respected brands. Fidelity offers fewer investment choices and its education offering is not as comprehensive as ii. Nor does it feel as specifically targeted at beginners.

On price, again, interactive investor’s flat fee structure works out more cost effective for those with large portfolios. Fidelity charges based on a percentage of assets under management, meaning it is potentially more affordable for those with smaller portfolios.

What Fidelity offers that ii doesn’t, is personalised retirement planning services, making it an excellent choice for investors focusing on long-term retirement savings.


interactive investor vs AJ Bell

AJ Bell and interactive investor (ii) are two of the largest UK-based investment platforms. Both have been around for three decades and have reputations for high standard of customer service, bringing a sense of reliability and trustworthiness. The two providers offer the same product range, with the exception of the Lifetime ISA, which ii doesn’t currently offer its customers.

On price, both are known for being low-cost platforms. But how much it’ll cost you to become a customer does vary significantly depending on the amount you have to invest. While AJ Bell charges fees as a percentage of invested assets, ii is a flat-fee platform. That means that for those with larger portfolios, ii could work out cheaper. It also means that for investors with smaller pots, the inverse could be true. To test both theories, I calculated the costs of a SIPP and ISA, imagining I was investing, first £20k, and then £250k. Here are the results:

AJ Bell is cheaper for stocks and shares ISAs, assuming you invest in stocks and shares, whatever portfolio size you have. (If you invest solely in funds, AJ Bell is crazily expensive once you tip into a large portfolio because the £10 monthly custody fee cap that applies to shares, doesn’t apply to funds.) AJ Bell also works out cheaper for a SIPP, whatever portfolio size you have, unless you’re completely investing in funds.

In interactive investor’s favour, it is unbeatable on asset selection, offering 40,000 UK, US and international shares on 17 global exchanges plus funds, ETFs, investment trusts and VCTs. AJ Bell can’t compete with that range of assets although its offering is also plenty wide enough to satisfy the average investor, with almost every share from the London Stock Exchange and 24 other global markets.

Ultimately your choice will probably come down to how much you have to invest and which is therefore the best on price, as there isn’t much between them in most other respects.


interactive investor vs BestInvest

interactive investor is by far the bigger player out of these two UK investment platforms, serving a greater number of customers and offering a much larger number of tradable assets.

Both providers offer a SIPP, ISA, JISA and general investment account. Bestinvest also offers a Junior SIPP – something ii doesn’t. And Bestinvest also offers its free investment coaching to customers, again, something that ii doesn’t.

Overall, however, interactive investor is the stronger proposition, with a slicker platform, better research, education and trade execution functionality.

The choice between the two may come down to the size of your portfolio. interactive investor likes to talk about how their fixed fees can save you money. However, that only checks out once you reach a certain investment threshold (around £40k). So, for those with smaller portfolios, Bestinvest’s low annual fees could be a real draw.

If you have £10k invested in a ready-made portfolio with Bestinvest, you’ll be paying £20 per annum in fees (0.2%). For an interactive investor account holding £10k, you’re looking at £59.88 on even the lowest priced ii plan. If you want to open a SIPP, it’s a minimum of £71.88 in subscription charges. And with no dealing fees on US stocks and funds, and only a slightly higher dealing fee on UK stocks, Bestinvest’s fees are hands down the better offer.

It just comes down to whether you like the fees, or the proposition better.


interactive investor rates highly for safety. It is authorised and regulated by the UK FCA, and is owned by abrdn which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Any money you hold with ii is placed in a bank account with its own statutory trust status, and your holdings are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

interactive investor is a flat-fee online investment service. It provides general investment accounts, self-invested personal pensions, ISAs and Junior ISAs to over 400,000 UK customers.

interactive investor is a good option for beginners thanks to its user-friendly platform and wealth of education materials to help you get to grips with investing. If you’re not confident choosing your own stocks and other assets, ii offers rated, ready-made portfolio options that can also be ideal for beginners. Its flat-fees mean it can be expensive for anyone with less than £40k to invest though.

Ask the Insiders

Have a question about interactive investors that I haven't covered? Ask it here and we’ll come back to you with an answer.

This review is the result of my first-hand experience as an account holder at interactive investor and in no way represents financial advice.