Which Investment Platform?

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Hi,

I have at least one stock I want to invest in. It is an American company.

I have other stocks in mind that I potentially want to invest in, some in China, some in Australia.

I guess it's best to open a Stocks and Shares ISA with a broker or bank.

I currently bank with Santander, but I'm not sure how 'advanced' Santander's platform is, if it's restricted to UK companies, or just very basic. I just don't know what to expect with it compared to something like Hargreaves Lansdown which I expect has everything you need, all the international stocks, data, etc...

If I can select any stock on Santander....for example: The one I am interested in is Under Armour (UA), would I be able to select this?

I am not too fused about looking at date, charts etc....I just want to be able to simply buy a stock.

I probably will invest up to £5000 in total, spread over several companies.

Which Investment Platform would be right for me?

Thanks.

Comments

  • bowlhead99
    bowlhead99 Posts: 12,295 Forumite
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    edited 2 February 2017 at 1:30PM
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    I have held international stocks on the markets you mention (plus others inc HK, Europe and Canada) with TD Direct Investing. They cover 17 markets and allow you to hold sale proceeds in the foreign currencies rather than having to keep getting them changed back to GBP.

    You can hold inside an ISA too although no currency cash can be held so you would keep losing a couple of percent on fx fees for each round trip. Not a major problem for long term holds rather than frequent trading.

    An alternative would be IG.com, their sharetrading product covers fewer markets than TD but still has US and Australia and others. Trading costs seem OK. I haven't tried their share trading service but their spreadbet service is a good product with a decent IT platform.
  • BananaRepublic
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    If you are asking which platform to use, that suggests you are new to investing, in which case you would do well to ask yourself if you really want to trade in shares. Shares are high risk. I suggest you do some background reading on investing, and inparticular about collective investments, diversification and risk. If you are experienced, please ignore my post.
  • surfer9
    surfer9 Posts: 120 Forumite
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    If you are asking which platform to use, that suggests you are new to investing, in which case you would do well to ask yourself if you really want to trade in shares. Shares are high risk. I suggest you do some background reading on investing, and inparticular about collective investments, diversification and risk. If you are experienced, please ignore my post.


    I am not at all experienced. I got a C at maths GCSE, I have no financial background.

    -I am a risk taker though.

    -I can learn and have been doing hours of research over the past 2 weeks.

    -I am only looking at investing long term, 5 - 20 years. I definitely do not possess the experience or understanding to do live trades. I am going to pick a stock and stick with it long term.

    -I am in no financial debt, I am more than comfortable financially. I can afford to lose money.

    -I do not plan to put anymore than 15% of my savings into stocks, currently I am looking at putting around 7% into stocks bit by bit as I find stocks and commodities etc that I like. Maybe I will eventually top my stocks portfolio up to 15% of my savings.

    -My money is sitting in the bank doing nothing. Has been for years. Houses are now at ridiculous prices so that isn't an option for me. Buy to let isn't an option for me. P2P isn't an option for me as any money lent is at risk. Becoming a Gigalo is also not an option.

    -People buy brand new cars - I would say that is more risky as you car depreciates pretty quickly and you've lost a tonne of money as soon as you drive it home. I will never buy a new car unless I am rich enough.

    -People live for every pay cheque, they go down the pub every Friday night, buy new clothes the weekend after payday and are skint halfway through the month, they get to age 30 and they are still living with their mum. Did they really 'live for every cheque' or did they screw up?


    Isn't it relatively common for people to invest in stocks? - they see a company they like and can see it developing, expanding, growing over time.

    You make sure the company is in good standing and you understand where it will be in 5, 10, 15, 20 years time.

    I have done my research, Under Armour is going to at least quadruple over time.
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 116,655 Forumite
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    -I am a risk taker though.
    Everyone is. Walking down the street is a risk. It is the degree of risk and your ability to afford it that matters.
    -I am only looking at investing long term, 5 - 20 years.
    5-20 covers short, medium and long term.
    I am going to pick a stock and stick with it long term.

    That is pretty high risk. A single company share is rarely a good idea.
    P2P isn't an option for me as any money lent is at risk.
    Yet it is lower risk than what you propose to do.
    -People buy brand new cars - I would say that is more risky as you car depreciates pretty quickly and you've lost a tonne of money as soon as you drive it home. I will never buy a new car unless I am rich enough.

    I only ever buy new cars. Nothing to do with making money though. It is because I like cars and I prefer new ones. Risk is not an issue as it is out of disposable income.
    Isn't it relatively common for people to invest in stocks?

    Not really. Fund based investments are the dominant method.
    You make sure the company is in good standing and you understand where it will be in 5, 10, 15, 20 years time.

    Like BP, Tesco, BHS, Polly Peck, Marconi etc.
    I have done my research, Under Armour is going to at least quadruple over time.

    They probably will when you are not defining a timescale. Inflation alone will take care of that.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • AnotherJoe
    AnotherJoe Posts: 19,622 Forumite
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    "You make sure the company is in good standing and you understand where it will be in 5, 10, 15, 20 years time."


    That is embarrassingly naive.

    All I can say is regarding single companies, been there, done that, wouldn't recommend it for any beginner but if you fancy a gamble and can afford to lose what you invest, I'd second TD Direct if you do trade foreign shares, I have an account with them (with as it happens the remaining single company shares from my days of very high risk trading.

    If you do go for single company shares, no company is guaranteed for 20 years.
    There are some interesting stats around about for example how many of the FTSE100 or any similar exchange are still in existence from 20 years ago and also how many were even in existence 20 years ago, let alone how many were far smaller then or are much smaller now.
  • steampowered
    steampowered Posts: 6,176 Forumite
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    The share centre (share.com) has a platform which is extremely easy to use for novice investors. Trading fees might be a bit higher than TD direct but that won't be a big factor if you are looking to hold the shares some time.

    It is a good idea to split your investment across a few high quality shares in different sectors, so that if one of your shares tanks you have a good chance of balancing that out on the others.

    Good luck and have fun!
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