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Helpful advice about investment platforms, please?
John Nixon
Posted: 17 October 2017 19:16:12(UTC)
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I think about 18 years ago, I invested in a single managed fund equities ISA, without really knowing anything about investments. The platform that I used has been more than satisfactory, and the fund managers have made my money grow far better than would have happened in a cash ISA. A couple of years ago, a subsidiary paltform was created, with the intention that all future trading would be via the new platform. Meanwhile my modest investment remains with the original company. Recently, I have started to move some of my cash savings into their system, to buy more and varied managed equities ISA funds. I was surprised to find that transactions are taking upwards of a week or two to complete. I recently asked them to retrieve a cash ISA from a building society, and it was two weeks before they responded to ask me whether I wanted them to retrieve the ISAs or have them sold and import the cash. Although their website has been in existence for a couple of years, there are still several links which fail to work. Now I am being shoehorned into being solely connected to the newer company, the original one moving into a clients' advisory role and proposing to transfer my assets to the new company. With my very limited knowledge and experience, I feel little confidence in the new company. My question is, is it normal for a dealer to take so long to execute a transaction with managed funds ISAs? Am I being unreasonable? I recall purchase and sale of individual equities taking minutes to complete, in bygone times.
Mr Helpful
Posted: 18 October 2017 18:13:52(UTC)
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John Nixon;52078 wrote:

Recently, I have started to move some of my cash savings into their system, to buy more and varied managed equities ISA funds. I was surprised to find that transactions are taking upwards of a week or two to complete.
My question is, is it normal for a dealer to take so long to execute a transaction with managed funds ISAs? ....... I recall purchase and sale of individual equities taking minutes to complete, in bygone times.


Yes; the ISA transfer process can take several weeks. .
Mickey
Posted: 18 October 2017 20:54:51(UTC)
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Buying funds from your cash holding should be completed (in most cases) overnight. Dealing is usually once a day at a given time. In the case of Hargreaves Lansdown I believe orders for funds need to be made by 8 am.

Retrieving a cash ISA from another provider can take a little time but waiting a week for your company to simply ask if you want to transfer as cash or not does seem strange.
John Nixon
Posted: 19 October 2017 13:58:29(UTC)
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Thank you, Mr Helpful and Mickey. That has given me a much better perspective on the situation. Now I need to find a reliable platform provider who does trades and has a website that is up and running.
Much obliged to you both.
John
2 users thanked John Nixon for this post.
Mickey on 19/10/2017(UTC), Mr Helpful on 19/10/2017(UTC)
Mr Helpful
Posted: 19 October 2017 14:54:06(UTC)
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Did you see this recent very comprehensive article on Citywire?

http://citywire.co.uk/in...insider-latest-news-list
colin overton
Posted: 20 October 2017 12:03:32(UTC)
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I thought before replying to this thread.
Dear John, You need to be clear that your investments are your responsibility, no-one else's, ever.
Which platform you use will depend on what mixture of investments you hold or wish to hold in the future. Cost is important but value is more important. Do you always buy the cheapest car, phone, laptop?
Having glanced at the attached article mentioned above, I would point out that the charges are estimates and are perhaps somewhat misleading.
Today, due in part to the deregulation of ~3 years ago, charges are separated:
1. Platform cost ~0.45% (e.g. HL have tiered platform %), or less. The actual charge depends on what % levels you hold of UTs/ITs/cash/bond or Shares. This is relatively new (~3 years), but seems to apply however you buy UTs or ETFs, even via "investment accounts" at the UT management company themselves. The platform charge is controversial, since it didn't exist in the past as a separate line item to the investor. HL is relatively expensive, but they are large, dependable (in my experience) and offer second to none service. I pay much less that the often quoted 0.45% and don't recognise the 1.41/0.62% mentioned in the article's table. I just calculated my actual platform cost and it's 0.1%, FOR THE BALANCE OF INVESTMENTS I HOLD. I have both an ISA and non-ISA accounts, 0.1% is the total and doesn't include discounts and bonuses, which I estimate pay for ~ half this cost. I'm not aware that there are differential charges for ISA and non-ISA accounts, at HL at least. The HL cost structure is complicated and impossible(?) to calculate.
2. There may be a purchase cost (in addition to the UK shares 0.5% stamp duty) and this may be "hidden" as the spread (buying price higher than selling price). Generally this cost will be small or non-existent for larger Cos' shares or large UT's or even IT's(?). The spread will be very large for little known(or foreign) shares. I think there's no stamp duty on foreign shares.
3. There will be a separate "stockbroker" charge for shares and ITs (~£12 on-line at HL), this applies to buying and selling.
On the plus side there may be "discounts/bonuses" offered by some platforms. HL often get rid on any initial cost of buying UTs ,real or apparent (?). There may be a reduction in the on-going annual fee for UTs (what the UT manager charges for stock picking/research).
There is also a cost effect depending on the type and amount of investment you buy/sell at one time. UTs can be bought or sold in as little as £100 amounts at the same %, whereas the fixed costs of buying Shares/ITs become prohibitive at much below £1000,and I would only buy these in £3000-5000 lumps. The stockbroker costs usually vary with volume (and possibly value) of trades and which platform you use
I hope this reply helps you and perhaps others. My responses are based on what I have experienced over many years of investing. I'm slightly surprised how low my platform costs are, but are actual the average of the last 3 months, annualised. They don't depend on value of my accounts to any great extent(!). Initially I wasn't even going to mention the bonuses at all. These of cause depend again on the balance of types of investment.
The above may be controversial and I would be amazed if there were not several "correcting" contributions.

1 user thanked colin overton for this post.
John Nixon on 20/10/2017(UTC)
John Nixon
Posted: 20 October 2017 13:41:12(UTC)
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Mr Helpful - thank you for drawing my attention to the article, which I will study carefully this evening.

Colin Overton - my goodness, what an enormous effort you put in to your your very detailed and helpful article. As a complete novice in this field, I shall spend a long time absorbing the contents, and hopefully will make the right informed choice when I have finished. Thank you so much.

Thank you both for your efforts - investments are a scary place for a novice to venture, and advice from the cognisenti is most welcome.

John
chubby bunny
Posted: 20 October 2017 14:52:29(UTC)
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Have a play around with this useful tool - http://www.comparefundplatforms.com/compare.aspx - it may help you to decide on what platform to use.
5 users thanked chubby bunny for this post.
Guest on 20/10/2017(UTC), colin overton on 21/10/2017(UTC), John Nixon on 31/10/2017(UTC), Chris Dean on 31/10/2017(UTC), Alan Selwood on 31/10/2017(UTC)
colin overton
Posted: 21 October 2017 08:39:02(UTC)
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Dear John, No problem. I always read threads on platform charges/efficacy. I hadn't looked at the charges I "suffer" under HL for a while, but knew they had decreased as I have moved partially from UTs to shares in the last 1-2 years. HL occasionally get a bad press, but they remain "successful". About 3 years ago I considered moving away from HL, as least in part, for a nominally cheaper platform. HL eventually persuaded me to stay and I have not regretted this. I find as I age I want an easier to use platform that allows all (most) investments I consider, easy on-line trading and forward selling/buying at fixed values. I no longer keep an up-to-date personal spreadsheet on all my investments and so don't capture cumulative divs., as least immediately I do note capital gains, even this is easy with HL.
However everyone's investment portfolio is different and there maybe better platforms for you.
John Nixon
Posted: 31 October 2017 17:25:43(UTC)
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Dear Chubby Bunny
Sorry it's taken a while - been away for a few days. That was a really helpful comparative program you showed me - given me more food for thought, plus ways of contacting various platform providers. Thanks a lot
John
Alan Selwood
Posted: 31 October 2017 20:14:25(UTC)
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chubby bunny;52175 wrote:
Have a play around with this useful tool - http://www.comparefundplatforms.com/compare.aspx - it may help you to decide on what platform to use.


A useful platform, if you can only predict the amount of dealing you will do and the changing composition of your portfolio over time!
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