In this article, we’ll compare two popular investment platforms, Interactive Investor and Interactive Brokers. Our goal is to help you decide which platform might be the better fit for your investment journey.
We’ll examine various aspects, such as their pros and cons, market focus, fees and commissions, trading platforms and apps, customer service, regulation, and security. We hope to give you a comprehensive overview of each platform, allowing you to decide based on your investment goals, preferences, and risk tolerance.
It’s worth noting that both platforms have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, so there’s no clear “best” choice. Ultimately, the best platform for you will depend on your individual needs and circumstances.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the differences between Interactive Investor and Interactive Brokers!
Interactive Investor VS Interactive Brokers – Our Verdict
Ultimately, the choice between Interactive Investor and Interactive Brokers will depend on your specific investment goals, portfolio size, and preferences.
Interactive Investor: The Home-Grown Champion
For UK-based investors with smaller portfolios, Interactive Investor emerges as the clear winner. Boasting an extensive range of investment options, a user-friendly platform, and a competitive pricing structure, it caters perfectly to those looking for a straightforward, cost-effective way to invest in their local market.
Interactive Investor’s fixed-fee model is especially attractive to investors with smaller portfolios, allowing you to keep more of your hard-earned returns. Additionally, the platform’s strong focus on UK-based investments ensures that you’ll be well-equipped with the right tools and resources to make informed decisions about your local market.
(capital risk applies)
Interactive Brokers: The Global Heavyweight
If you’re an investor with a larger portfolio and a desire to access a wider range of trading instruments and international markets, Interactive Brokers is the better choice. This platform is renowned for its comprehensive selection of global investment products, advanced trading tools, and competitive pricing.
Interactive Brokers’ tiered pricing structure rewards investors with larger portfolios, and its powerful trading platform allows you to customise your trading experience to suit your needs.
The platform’s extensive research resources and real-time data will ensure you stay ahead of the game, no matter where in the world you’re trading.
Interactive Investor VS Interactive Brokers – Pros and Cons
|Feature||Interactive Investor||Interactive Brokers|
|💵 Shares & ETFs Fees||Up to £7.99 per trade||Up to 1% of the trade value|
|🪙 Non-Trading Fees||£0||£0|
|👪🏻 Social Trading||No||Yes|
|🔬 Copy Trading||No||Yes|
|🛍️ Tradable Assets||Shares, Funds, Investment Trusts, ETFs, Bonds and Gilts, IPOs,||Stock, Fractional Shares, ETFs, FOREX, Funds, Bonds, Options, Future, Cryptos, CFDs|
|📖 Research Tools||Adequate||Adequate|
|🆘 Customer Support||Phone support only available on weekdays from 7:45 AM to 5:30 PM||Phone support on weekdays from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM|
|💳 Minimum Deposit||£0||£100|
|💰 Funding Options||Debit Card, Credit Card, Bank Transfer, Cheque, Direct Debit||Bank Transfer only (UK)|
|👨⚖️ Regulation||FCA, FSCS, LSE, AIC||FCA, FSCS, LSE, AIC|
|🔒 Security||Segregated Funds, Deposit Protection, 2FA, SSL Encryption||Segregated Funds, Deposit Protection, 2FA, SSL Encryption|
|⭐ Trustpilot Rating||4.7/5||3.8/5|
Interactive Investor VS Interactive Brokers – Key Differences
While those platforms share some similarities, there are some key differences between the two platforms that you should be aware of before making your choice.
One of the main differences is their pricing structure.
Interactive Investor offers a simple pricing structure, with a flat fee of £9.99 monthly for their Investor Plan. This fee includes one free monthly trade, with subsequent trades costing £7.99 each. There are no account opening or closing fees or charges for dividend reinvestment or regular investments.
On the other hand, Interactive Brokers charge a per-trade commission, which can vary depending on the size of the trade, as well as other fees for services such as data feeds and market data.
Interactive Investor is primarily aimed at individual investors looking for a user-friendly platform to manage their investments. The platform is primarily focused on the UK market, although it also offers access to some international markets. The platform provides investors various investment options in UK-based assets, such as shares, funds, and investment trusts.
On the other hand, Interactive Brokers is geared towards more experienced investors, such as professional traders, institutional investors, and high-net-worth individuals. The broker is more internationally-focused and offers worldwide access to a wider range of markets. The platform allows investors to trade in multiple currencies and offers a range of investment options in global assets, such as stocks, bonds, options, futures, and forex.
Range of Investment Products
One of the unique features of Interactive Investor is that they offer access to Direct Investment, which allows investors to buy shares in companies directly rather than through a fund or trust.
Interactive Brokers provides access to a wider range of investment products, including stocks, options, futures, bonds, ETFs, currencies, and more. They also offer a variety of account types, including Individual, Joint, Corporate, and Trust accounts. The broker is known for its advanced trading platform and powerful trading tools that cater to experienced investors and active traders.
Interactive Brokers has a more extensive range of investment products and a more sophisticated trading platform for active traders. On the other hand, Interactive Investor offers a comprehensive range of investment products that cater to a broader audience and provides access to Direct Investment.
Interactive Investor VS Interactive Brokers – Fees and Commissions
The cost of investing with Interactive Investor or Interactive Brokers will depend on your investment account, the investments you choose, and the frequency of your trades.
Interactive Investor Fees Structure
Interactive Investor Trading Fees
- Individual Trades Fees – Trades are charged based on your account type. Trades cost £5.99 for Investor Essentials and Investor Plan. If you have a Super Investor Plan, trades will cost you £3.99.
Interactive Investor Non-Trading Fees
- Platform Flat Fee – The particularity of Interactive Investor is that the platform is based on a flat fee which depends on your account type. With this platform, you’ll have access to 3 account types: Investor Essential (£5.99 p/m), Investor (£9.99 p/m) and Super Investor (£19.99 p/m).
- Dividend Reinvestment Fee – If you reinvest your dividends, Interactive Investor will charge you a fee of £99p per share.
- Fund Charges – Interactive Investor charges a small fee on each fund, ETF and investment trust. These will depend on the Ongoing Charge Figure (OCF) and are charged annually.
Interactive Brokers Fees Structure
Interactive Brokers Trading Fees
- Individual Trades Fees – Interactive Brokers offers a tiered commission structure for trading stocks, ETFs, and options in the UK. The more you trade, the lower the commission rate you pay.
- Stock and ETFs: 0.05% of trade value, with a minimum of £1.50 per trade
- Options: £1.50 per contract, with a minimum of £1.50 per trade
- Futures: £0.25 per contract, with a minimum of £1.50 per trade
- CFDs: The commission rate varies by the product traded. You can find the full fee schedule on Interactive Brokers’ website.
Interactive Brokers Non-Trading Fees
In addition to trading fees, Interactive Brokers also charges a variety of non-trading fees, including:
- Financing Rates – If you borrow money to trade on margin, you will be charged interest on the loan. Interactive Brokers’ financing rates vary depending on the size of the loan and the type of security you are borrowing against.
- Forex Conversion Fees – If you trade in a currency other than your account’s base currency, you will be charged a forex conversion fee. The fee is typically around 0.2% of the trade value.
Interactive Investor VS Interactive Brokers – Platform and App
Interactive Investor’s Platform and App
Interactive Investor’s platform and app are designed to cater to both beginner and experienced traders. The platform offers an easy-to-navigate interface with a clean layout and simple menus. With its helpful guides and customer support, users can quickly learn how to use the platform and access its features.
Interactive Investor’s platform is known for its impressive trading tools that can help you automate your trading strategies and manage risk effectively. You’ll have access to various order types, such as limit orders, stop orders, and market orders.
Moreover, the broker has in-house features designed to support your daily trading activities, making your trading experience smoother and more enjoyable.
Model Portfolio – a range of investment portfolios tailored to meet specific investment goals. These portfolios are pre-built and managed by a team of experienced investment professionals. The team’s expertise and knowledge are utilised to carefully select a diverse range of investments designed to deliver excellent performance over the long term.
Super 60 – The Super 60 comprises a collection of investment funds that have been handpicked by the company for their exceptional potential to benefit investors. This list is refreshed every quarter and offers a variety of choices across diverse investment styles, asset classes, and geographic regions, catering to the diverse needs and preferences of investors.
Quick Start Funds – These investment funds are thoughtfully crafted to offer an easy and cost-effective way to begin your investment journey. The Quick Start Funds are expertly managed by BlackRock and provide a well-diversified portfolio of assets, ranging from equities to bonds and property.
You can choose from five Quick Start Funds, each with varying levels of risk and potential return. This means that you have the flexibility to select the fund that aligns with your investment goals and preferences.
Interactive Brokers Platform and App
Interactive Brokers is better suited for more experienced traders due to its advanced features and tools.
While it offers many functionalities, new users might find the interface somewhat overwhelming. However, once accustomed to the platform, users can appreciate the high customisation and efficiency.
Trader Workstation (TWS) – This powerful trading platform is packed with advanced tools, research, and customisation options, making it perfect for professional traders and active investors.
WebTrader – For those who prefer a simpler, more user-friendly experience, WebTrader offers an accessible web-based trading platform with essential features.
Application Programming Interface (API) – For traders looking to develop their own algorithms or integrate third-party software, Interactive Brokers offers a robust API.
Fractional Share Trading – Diversify your portfolio with ease by trading fractional shares of US-listed stocks, allowing you to own smaller portions of companies with lower capital requirements.
Global Market Access – IBKR allows you to trade across 135 markets in 33 countries, including stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds, and more.
Interactive Investor VS Interactive Brokers – Customer Service
- Interactive Investor offers customer support through telephone, email, and a secure messaging system accessible via their website or mobile app. They also provide a comprehensive FAQ section on their website to answer common queries.
- Interactive Brokers provides customer support through telephone, email, and live chat. In addition, they have a robust knowledge base and help centre that contains articles, videos, and guides, which users can access 24/7.
- Interactive Investor’s customer service team is available from Monday to Friday, 7:45 am to 5:30 pm (UK time), excluding UK bank holidays.
- Interactive Brokers offers 24/7 customer support, with their live chat and phone lines available around the clock. This feature is particularly helpful for users involved in international trading or those who trade outside of regular business hours.
- Interactive Investor aims to respond to queries within 48 hours, although actual response times may vary depending on the issue and the volume of inquiries.
- Interactive Brokers usually offer faster response times, with live chat and phone support often providing immediate assistance. Email response times may vary but are generally prompt.
Quality of Support
Both platforms are known for their knowledgeable and professional customer support teams. However, Interactive Investor’s customer service is often considered more personalised, focusing on the specific needs of UK-based investors.
Our Verdict – both platforms are known for their quality customer support, but we would give the point to Interactive Brokers on this aspect.
Interactive Investor VS Interactive Broker – Regulation and Safety
Here’s a comparison of the regulation and security measures offered by Interactive Investor and Interactive Brokers:
- Interactive Investor is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
- The broker guarantees and is part of the Financial Services Conservation Scheme (FSCS), which protects your funds in the unlikely event of InteractiveInvestor going under.
- Interactive Investor uses Two-Factor Authentication and SSL Encryption.
- Your funds are kept in segregated accounts to ensure their safety.
- Interactive Brokers is also regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
- The broker also is part of the Financial Services Conservation Scheme.
- As Interactive Investor, Interactive Brokers use Two-Factor Authentication and SSL Encryption to protect your account.
- Your funds will be kept in segregated accounts as required by the FCA.
Overall, and like most of the FCA-regulated brokers, Interactive Investor and Interactive Brokers offer a great level of security to protect your funds and data.
We strongly advise going for an FCA-regulated broker to keep a certain peace of mind.