Richard Montana | August 2, 2022
With the award-winning Freetrade investment app, you can invest in a wide range of over 6,000 stocks commission-free. The Freetrade app is modern, sleek and very user friendly which makes it suitable for traders of all experience levels. The app has some handy features and a clear design. It is simple to navigate, with all necessary information easily accessible. If you are looking to trade shares (including fractions), exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and investment trusts with minimal hassle and in a regulated environment, I think that Freetrade can be a great option to consider. However, you may want to consider another trading broker if you are planning on day trading as this app is catered more towards investing for the long term.
Pros & Cons
- Sophisticated and user-friendly investment app
- Commission free stock investing
- Very welcoming online community
- Fractional shares available from just £2
- No minimum deposit to open an account
- Excellent personalised customer support
- Not really suitable for day trading
- No desktop or web based platforms
- Limited charting capabilities
- Limited account funding options
- No contact telephone number on website
- Not that many asset classes covered
Founded in 2016, Freetrade is an intuitive stock trading platform that offers commission free investing for everyone through a simple yet highly effective app. It is great for beginners and experienced investors alike. You can choose from a very impressive selection of thousands of stocks listed on the London Stock Exchange, NYSE, NASDAQ and beyond. This mean that you can build and track your very own bespoke portfolio that suits you from the comfort of your mobile device. You can even invest from only £2 in fractional shares to own a piece of even the most expensive US shares. They can also provide individual savings accounts (ISAs) for a fixed monthly fee. This is backed by fast and friendly support where you are minutes away from speaking to a human rather than getting passed from pillar to post.
When it comes to choosing a broker, regulation is of the utmost importance in my opinion. It is always one of the first things that I look for as I would always prefer to use a regulated broker. It just gives me that reassurance that they will operate in an honest and fair manner as they need to comply with the regulations that have been put in place to protect investors. Freetrade is a trading name of Freetrade Limited, which is a member firm of the London Stock Exchange and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom. As an FCA-authorised entity, I like how Freetrade must abide by all of the rules and regulations in the conduct of an investment business set forth by the FCA and provide all of the client protections that those regulations require. I personally consider this to be top-tier regulation and would therefore have no problem trusting them with my funds.
Freetrade is covered by the provisions of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which means that in the unlikely event something was to go wrong, the value of eligible client assets held with Freetrade is protected by the FSCS. This does not cover any losses due to movements in market prices. I recommend going through the terms and conditions since they’re pretty specific on who is eligible for the compensation. Freetrade also segregates funds and assets so that they cannot be used for any other purposes such as day to day business running costs and to pay off creditors.
Freetrade is primarily for UK users although they are slowly expanding within the EU as well. If your country is not accepted, please feel free to take a look at our broker comparison tool for some alternative options.
All of the investing activity is done through the brilliant Freetrade app. I found the app to be very user friendly, making it quick and easy to find my way around and see what investment opportunities are available. I like how you can do everything you need to via the intuitive app. In just a few taps you can be search for and filter stocks according to your preferences. This makes it very simple to find what you are looking for. Once you are ready to invest, you can choose your amount and start building your portfolio within minutes. From then on, you can keep track of your investments at any time you feel like it by simply firing up the app. Really, it doesn’t get much more convenient when it comes to investing online. I guess the downside to that is that you won’t find a ton of complex tools for analysing instruments but there is still enough there to get some inspiration for your investments.
You will have to make do with the limited tools that are built-in the Freetrade app as I wasn’t able to find any additional tools provided on the website. There are some analytical tools but don’t expect to fire up lots of fancy indicators on your charts to identify possible try opportunities. For that, you would probably need a desktop trading platform such as MetaTrader. If you are looking to conduct in-depth market analysis, IG are a regulated broker who have an excellent range of platforms and tools for you to choose from.
If you are new to investing, they have everything you need to know how to start today – from free guides to market analysis and more advanced topics for knowledgeable investors. I was pleased to see that Freetrade has an active community where you can learn, discuss and share ideas with other investors. This is through an online forum that includes various topics and is open to everyone, regardless of your investment experience. I like how you can even make suggestions that you would like to see included within the Freetrade app and the developers are more than happy to listen to user feedback. This is the sort of personalised approach that I feel we do not see often enough in the brokerage industry.
With the Freetrade app, you can choose from a wide range of financial instruments, covering different sectors and markets worldwide. Freetrade has a range of stocks available to trade including major European, US and UK stocks such as Amazon, Tesla, Pinterest, Google, Nike, Greggs, etc. There are over 50 exchange-traded funds (ETFs) including by Vanguard and iShares. Fractional shares make US stocks affordable. You can buy a fraction of a US share and invest the amount of money you want.
You can build and track the portfolio that suits your own individual trading preferences and goals, with no hidden fees or charges. It is quick and easy to buy and sell for free, taking just a few taps on the Freetrade app. I think there is a great variety with more than enough for everyone to great a diversified and bespoke portfolio.
Freetrade has a general investment account with commission-free instant orders and no minimum deposit required to get started. They operate based on an innovative freemium pricing model, where you can pay for some extra features. If you are unsure, there is a handy comparison table on their website where you can compare them with other investing brokers like AJ Bell Youinvest. They also have an individual savings account (ISA). You should know that the stocks and shares ISA has a small and reasonable monthly fee. There is a currency conversion fee at the FX spot rate +/- 0.45%. Thankfully, there are no inactivity fees which is important if you are planning to hold your investment for the long haul.
General Investment Account
This account gives access to flexible and unlimited investing with commission-free stocks and shares via the award-winning trading app. It enables you to buy and sell shares instantly during stock market opening hours.
Stocks and Shares ISA
This account is for those who are looking to invest tax-free with no UK capital gains or income tax. They charge a flat £3 monthly fee whilst again, there is no commissions for placing trades via the app. Tax treatment depends on your personal circumstances and may change in the future.
The Plus account offers 3% interest on cash, up to a max deposit of £4,000, more order types with limit orders and stop losses, stocks and shares ISA, and more stocks. It does cost £9.99 per month but I think it is certainly worth consideration for those of you who are looking for the best service they can offer with all the bells and whistles included.
Freetrade has a prompt and polite customer support team who are on hand and happy to answer your queries. If you need to speak to someone, you can reach them via the app by tapping on your account tab on the top-right of the portfolio screen, and scroll down to tap on ‘Chat with us.’ The team is available to chat between 8am to 21pm on weekdays and 10am to 17pm on weekends. Whilst this is useful for those who have the Freetrade app already installed, I believe they could benefit from providing a contact telephone number and online chat support as this would allow you to ask questions to see if the app is suitable for their requirements before downloading and installing it. However, this is by no means a deal breaker and the community is there should you want to peruse in your own time.
You can fund your Freetrade account via bank transfer. There is a small fee if you want a make an outgoing transfer on the same day. I like that they also support Apple Pay and Google Pay as deposit options which many of you may find useful especially considering you may already be using these app on your smartphones. Perhaps they could improve by adding support for card payments and even digital wallets to give us some more convenient options.
Bank transfers may take a few business days to clear whilst some methods can be instant. Freetrade strictly does not accept third-party payments. All funds deposited into your account must be under the same name as your Freetrade account which is a pretty standard rule that I like as it helps to eliminate any fraudulent behaviour. Keep in mind that accounts can only be opened in GBP which means that currency conversion fees will apply when not using an account in GBP.
Overall, I am genuinely impressed with the Freetrade app and abundance of investment opportunities it provides at your fingertips. It is very user friendly making it a smooth process to search for and invest in stocks or ETFs without any commission fees and no hidden costs. I like how Freetrade is regulated by the FCA and has an active online community with excellent support. They put great emphasis on transparency and state that their number one priority is ensuring your investments and money are safe. This is music to my ears! The account opening process is quick and easy with no minimum required to get started. For anyone in the UK who is looking for an easy way to invest for the long term, Freetrade can be a great option in my humble opinion. If on the other hand, you want to day trade, please feel free to browse our broker reviews for a more suitable option.