Freetrade is a well-priced investing platform founded in 2016. It allows you to invest, commission-free, in over 6,000 UK, US and European stocks and ETFs, via a general investment account, ISA or SIPP.
This article will look closer at Freetrade, evaluating its safety, product range, educational resources, and more.
Our goal is to help you decide whether or not it is the right platform for you based on expert, impartial advice.
Freetrade Pros and Cons
|Free Stock and ETFs Trading||Basic Product Range|
|User-Friendly App||Limited Research|
|Free Basic Plan||Expensive for Small Portfolios|
|App-Only (Except for Plus Plan Users)|
Is Freetrade Safe?
Freetrade is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, which means it is held to strict standards and regulations regarding the security of your funds and personal data.
Freetrade uses a third-party custodian to hold its customers’ assets. These financial institutions hold and safeguard assets on behalf of another party.
In the case of Freetrade, the custodian is a company called DriveWealth, which is based in the United States.
DriveWealth is regulated by the FCA in the UK. This means that Freetrade’s customers’ assets held by DriveWealth are subject to multiple layers of regulatory oversight, which helps to ensure their safety and security.
DriveWealth holds the assets in segregated accounts, meaning they are kept separate from the company’s assets.
The broker is also a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which protects your assets up to £85 000 if Freetrade goes out of business.
Finally, Freetrade ensures daily controls and processes are conducted to protect your funds.
- Daily cash and stock reconciliations between their records and the bank or custodian
- Due diligence over all their third-party suppliers
- Confirmation that all trades are acknowledged and matched with the other side 24 hours before settlement
- Ensuring Freetrade has the correct legal agreements in place with their banks and custodians confirming that your assets do not belong to the broker
How to Open an Account with Freetrade?
- Go to Freetrade’s website at www.freetrade.io
- Click on the “Get App” button in the top right-hand corner of the screen
- Download the app (available on iOS and Android)
- Enter your email address and create a password for your account
- Verify your email address by clicking on the link sent to your email inbox
- Enter your personal details
- Answer some questions about your investment experience and risk tolerance to help Freetrade recommend appropriate investments.
- Enter your National Insurance number.
- Choose the type of account you want to open
- Link your bank account to your Freetrade account
- Wait for your account to be approved, which can take up to a few days depending on the volume of applications.
- Start trading.
Free Trade Account Types
Stock and Shares ISA
A Stock and Shares ISA account is an individual savings account that allows you to invest your money in the stock market without paying taxes on any income or capital gains you make.
With a Stock and Shares ISA, you can invest in various stocks, shares, investment funds, and other assets. The amount you can invest in a Stock and Shares ISA is limited each tax year, but any returns you earn on your investments are tax-free.
For 2022/23, the maximum ISA allowance is £20,000. For Junior ISAs, the current cap is £9000.
Freetrade ISA account gives you access to over 4,000 stocks and ETFs (exchange-traded funds) listed on various stock exchanges worldwide. This gives you a wide range of investment opportunities and allows you to build a diversified investment portfolio.
Freetrade ISA Key Features
- Commission-free Investing – Buying and selling stocks on Freetrade is free of charge
- Instant Trades – During stock market opening hours, all trades are processed instantly
- Fractional Shares – Freetrade allows you to invest as little as £2 on expensive stocks to purchase fractions of shares in large companies
Freetrade ISA Charges
|Fees||Standard Plan||Plus Plan|
|Overseas Share Dealing||Spot Rate +0.45%||Spot Rate +0.45%|
|Transfer Out – UK Stock & Cash||Free||Free|
|Transfer Out – US Stock||£17 per Holding||£17 per Holding|
Self-Invested Personal Pension
A SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension) account is a type of pension account that allows you to have greater control over your pension investments.
With a SIPP, you can choose from a broader range of investment options, including stocks, shares, and funds, and make investment decisions.
The account is held in your name; you can contribute to it yourself or have contributions made by your employer or another third party.
The funds within the account are invested in growing your pension savings over time, which you can use to provide an income in retirement.
Freetrade SIPP account allows you to contribute up to 100% of your salary and receive tax relief on contributions up to £40 000 per year.
You can also gather all your existing pensions into a single Freetrade account.
Freetrade SIPP Charges
Freetrade SIPP account is automatically included in the Plus Plan, which means you can manage your pension for just £9.99 a month.
Freetrade General Investment Account
Unlike tax-advantaged accounts like Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) or 401(k)s, GIAs do not offer any specific tax benefits, meaning that any investment gains earned within the account may be subject to taxes.
With a GIA, you only have to pay capital gains and dividend tax on profits above your allowances.
For 2022/23, the CGT allowance is £12 300, and the Dividend Tax allowance is £2000.
GIAs are an excellent option if you have already maxed out your contributions to tax-advantaged accounts or who want more flexibility and control over your investments.
You can transfer your investments or cash from a different broker directly from the app.
Freetrade GIA is entirely commission-free.
Freetrade Deposit and Withdrawal Options
Depositing and withdrawing funds on Freetrade is simple and straightforward.
Deposit Options and Fees
Bank Transfer – you can use Faster Payments or CHAPS. Faster Payments are free and take up to 4 hours to process, while CHAPS transfers take up to 3 hours to process and cost £25 per transfer.
Card Transfer – You can use a debit card to deposit funds instantly, but Freetrade charges a 0.3% fee for this service.
Apple Pay & Google Pay – As Freetrade is exclusively an app, you can also use Google Pay or Apple Pay to deposit your funds instantly. However, there is a £250 lifetime limit with these methods.
Withdrawals Options and Fees
Withdrawals can only be made via bank transfer and take 2-5 business days to process.
Freetrade does not charge any fees for withdrawals.
Freetrade Plans and Fees
One of the reasons Freetrade is so popular is its affordability: their commission-free trading and free basic plan make it an excellent choice if you’re a beginner investor. Let’s break down the broker’s fees.
|Basic Plan||Standard Plan||Plus Plan|
|£0.00 per month||£4.99 per month||£9.99 per month|
|General Investment Account||General Investment Account|
Stocks and Shares ISA
|General Investment Account|
Stocks and Shares ISA
Self-Invested Personal Pension
|Commission-Free Trades||Commission-Free Trades||Commission-Free Trades|
|Automated Order Types||Automated Order Types|
|Advanced Stock Fundamentals||Advanced Stock Fundamentals|
|1% Interest on Uninvested Cash (Up to £2000)||3% Interest on Uninvested Cash (Up to £4000)|
|Priority Customer Service|
|Freetrade Web Beta|
Warning – From May, monthly subscription fees will change to £5.99 per month for the Standard plan and £11.99 per month for the Plus plan.
Trading stocks priced in USD and EUR come with an additional fee of 0.99% (Basic Plan), 0.59% (Standard Plan) or 0.39% (Plus Plan).
Freetrade Product Overview: What can you Trade?
Stocks – Freetrade offers access to over 6,000 US and UK stocks, including well-known companies like Apple, Tesla, Amazon, and more.
Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their low fees, flexibility, and transparency. They offer investors an easy way to gain exposure to a particular market or asset class while providing diversification and liquidity.
With Freetrade, you can invest in over 400 ETFs, covering different sectors, regions, and themes. You can invest in ETFs tracking popular indices like the S&P 500, FTSE 100, and NASDAQ.
Investment Trusts – Investment trusts are typically traded on stock exchanges, making them easily accessible to individual investors. They are a good way to gain exposure to a diversified portfolio of assets while also benefiting from the expertise of a professional fund manager.
Freetrade offers over 150 investment trusts that invest in various assets, including equities, bonds, and property.
Fractional Shares – Buying fractional shares of US and UK stocks allows you to invest in companies with high share prices without buying a whole share. It is an excellent option for diversification, and Freetrade allows you to invest as small as £2.
Freetrade also offers access to OTC stocks, SPACs and REITs investments.
Freetrade Educational Resources
To help users make informed investment decisions, Freetrade provides several educational resources that cover a wide range of investment topics.
Freetrade’s Invest Hub provides users with various educational content on investing. It includes articles, videos, podcasts, and other materials designed to help users better understand how to invest their money.
One of the key features of the Invest Hub is the “Basics” section. This section provides a comprehensive guide for beginners on how to start investing, including an overview of different investment types or how to choose a broker.
Another section of the Invest Hub is the “Building your Portfolio” section, where Freetrade provides deeper information and tips for confirmed investors.
The broker’s comprehensive blog features articles on various investment strategies, stock market trends, and financial news. It is regularly updated with fresh content, making it a valuable resource for investors looking to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in finance.
Freetrade also has an active community forum where users can share their investment strategies, ask questions, and get advice from experienced investors.
The forum is an excellent resource for investors of all skill levels, as it allows users to learn from each other’s experiences and insights.
Finally, Freetrade offers a series of webinars on various investment topics, which are led by industry experts. These webinars are free to attend and allow users to ask questions and interact with the presenters.
Freetrade Research and Analysis
One of the leading research tools available through Freetrade is the in-app newsfeed, which provides you with the latest news and analysis from trusted financial sources.
This includes everything from market updates to company-specific news, allowing you to stay on top of significant developments that could impact your investments.
Freetrade also provides users access to real-time market data, including stock prices, charts, and historical performance.
In addition to these features, Freetrade provides various investment research tools, including company reports and analyst ratings. This information can be accessed through the app and gives a comprehensive understanding of the companies you are considering investing in.
Freetrade Customer Service
The platform offers several ways to contact the support team:
Help Hub and Community – Since some of your questions might already have been answered, you can visit the help hub and the forum to look for solutions, support and advice.
In-App Chat – Freetrade live chat feature lets you speak with a customer service representative in real-time. This option is available 24/7 and is a quick and convenient way to get help with any questions or issues.
Email support – If you have a less urgent inquiry, email Freetrade’s customer support team at email@example.com. You can expect a response within 24 hours.
Social Media – Freetrade is active on social media platforms like Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and Facebook. You can use these channels to ask questions or to get updates on the latest news and market events.
Freetrade Reviews: How Does This Broker Measure Up?
Freetrade receives mostly positive reviews on Trustpilot, with a current score of 4.0 stars over 3 016 reviews.
68% of users award the platform 5 stars, citing the ease of use for beginners traders.
14% of users give negative reviews of only 1 star, citing raising costs.
Is Freetrade the Right Platform for You?
Freetrade is an excellent platform for beginners who want to start investing in stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The platform is easy to use, and its simple design makes it perfect for those just starting out.
Freetrade’s zero-commission model means that you can buy and sell shares without worrying about fees. This makes it an excellent choice for investors just starting out and wanting to keep their costs low.
Freetrade is also an excellent choice if you are looking for a mobile-first platform. The Freetrade app is available on iOS and Android, making it easy to manage your investments on the go.
If you are an experienced investor who’s looking for more advanced features, Freetrade may not be the best platform.
While Freetrade offers a good range of stocks and ETFs, it does not offer access to options or futures trading.
The platform’s research tools are somewhat limited, which may be a turn-off if you rely heavily on fundamental or technical analysis.
Is Freetrade safe?
Freetrade is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and your investments are protected up to £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
What are the fees for using Freetrade?
Freetrade offers a basic account with no trading fees but charges fees for its Freetrade Plus service. Freetrade also charges fees for some account actions, such as transferring investments to another provider.
What stocks can I trade on Freetrade?
Freetrade allows you to trade stocks, ETFs, and investment trusts listed on UK and US stock exchanges. Freetrade is gradually expanding its offering to include more international markets
Can I invest in fractional shares on Freetrade?
Yes, Freetrade allows you to buy fractional shares, which means you can invest in a company or ETF with just a portion of the cost of a total share.
How easy is it to use Freetrade?
Freetrade has a user-friendly interface and is easy to navigate, making it suitable for both experienced investors and beginners.
How can I fund my Freetrade account?
You can fund your Freetrade account using a debit card, bank transfer, or Apple/Google Pay.
Can I use Freetrade outside of the UK?
Currently, Freetrade is only available in the UK, but the company has plans to expand to other countries in the future.