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Interactive Investor Stock Broker
Interactive Investor: On-line Stock Broker Review
Interactive Investor (www.iii.co.uk) is a free investment web site that gives a very wide range of investment services, advice and news. Interactive investor web-site can be used just as a portfolio tool, with excellent interactive charting and technical analysis features or as a full on-line broker. The trading tools are sophisticated and reasonably priced, with a good basic share trading account and low-cost regular investment options, CFD trading and even LSE level 2 data for very active traders or "day-traders". They also provide tools to help choose the best mortgage, credit card, life insurance and loan deals available and ISAs and Personal Pensions or SIPPs can be opened and operated through this web site.
Here is a full review of this excellent stock-broker:
Disclaimer: Information in this and other linked articles is unregulated and for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon in making specific investment decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision.
Interactive Investor Web Site
The home page of the web site gives an overview of the current state of the markets, some links to important news articles, login links for the various tools offered by Interactive Investor and a constant stock-ticker for popular shares. It is easy to navigate around the site from this page, whether you use the more sophisticated investment tools and analysis or just want some market news or data quickly.
The portfolio tool was the reason I started using www.iii.co.uk I had previously used the FT portfolio tool, but there were technical problems, so I had to find a new provider. The reason for using a tool like this is you can type in all of the investments you have, maybe spread between many providers, the numbers of each share owned, cash etc. and each time you access the portfolio or hit refresh and the value of the portfolio is recalculated at the current market price (delayed by 20 minutes) You can also add estimated property values and other investments or create sub-portfolios, such as ISA, pension, bank deposit and view them individually or as a total summary. This is not only quick and convenient and means that you don't need to keep updating a spreadsheet, but it also means you don't need to log into your individual broking accounts unless you want to trade, making it a more secure way of accessing the data. Another use for this portfolio is for learning to trade shares; you can practise trading without putting any money at risk.
Interactive Investor: www.iii.co.uk
Charting and Technical Analysis Tools
Perhaps the most useful feature of the Interactive Investor Portfolio tool is the ability to click on an entry in the portfolio and instantly get information about that asset. You don't need an actual trading account to have access to this. Tabs across the top of the web-page allow you to cycle through the following: Summary, News, Chart, JavaChart, Discussion, Technical Insight, Users' Holdings, Trades, Users' Consensus, Profit Point and Fundamentals
If you are a Value Investor the Fundamentals tab gives many useful ratios such as PE, Yield, Cover etc. for each share. Alternatively there are several very useful Charting options for < ahref="https://hubpages.com/business/trading-vs-investing-day-trade-vs-buy-and-hold">Growth or Momentum traders: The basic Chart tab allows a wide variety of Technical Analysis charts to be overlaid so you can do your own analysis. The Technical Insight tab provides another chart and some automatically generated buy/sell signals or the new, excellent JavaChart allows far more interactive charting experience.
Interactive Investor web-site features
News, Markets and iBall TV
The web site gives good coverage of business news, which, although also available on other sites such as the Reuters business pages, is convenient to have accessible from the trading and portfolio pages. The news, however, is not as well laid out as Reuters, BBC or FT web sites and the lack of pictures makes it less satisfying to use or easy to navigate. Similarly coverage of the current state of the markets in numerical and graphical form is clearly laid out and useful, with important indices, such as FTSE100 and Dow Jones easily accessible. Again, better coverage is given by the dedicated newspaper sites, but if you need a quick overview this is useful. "iBall TV" is a daily downloadable video news item, if you feel like watching and listening instead of reading. Generally useful opinions about the state of a particular company in the form of a programme or interview lasting a few minutes, presented by Alison Bell.
In addition to the news and market data there are Expert Opinion articles and share tips. There is a huge range of articles covering model portfolios, stocks to watch, funds, portfolio strategy and sectors. You can also subscribe to a free email newsletter that lists new items and gives links to the articles.
The iii share dealing account is excellent. It is easy to use and reasonably priced at just Â£10 plus stamp-duty per trade (Â£15 for US Stocks) or Â£1.50 plus stamp-duty for "Portfolio Builder" regular investments made monthly. Logging in requires a different password to the www.iii.co.uk site in general, to which you must already be logged in, and takes you straight to the "My Holdings" page. This gives details of each position, percentage and total profit or loss. There are links across the top of the page to trading pages, regular investments, statements, help and live assistance. iii offer the option of using limits and stop-losses, e.g. to sell when your investment reaches a limit price or if it exceeds a certain maximum loss, which are essential in active trading. These cost Â£2 extra, each time you use them, but the dealing charge then drops to Â£8 if the stop or limit is activated. Trading unit trusts is free, as with most brokers.
The regular investment option is similar to the standard trading page and the range of shares, investment trusts and ETFs available is enormous, including some very obscure smaller companies, with four days per month on which the regular investment may be made and a minimum purchase of Â£30. It is one of the best regular investment deals available at the moment and allows a balanced portfolio to be built up more safely by drip-feeding the money into the market, rather than all in one go and at reduced cost, rather than paying the Â£10 fee for real-time trading. You will however need to pay Â£10 for sales of shares bought through the regular investment scheme, so you should take into consideration when making the investments.
Transferring funds in is easy using a bank card through the usual secure kind of internet payment, which gives immediate access to the funds or by direct debit from your linked bank account, which takes longer. Similarly, transferring out direct to the bank is easy.
July 2012: A new Â£20 per quarter fee has been added, but in exchange upto Â£20 worth of free trading per quarter is included (i.e. a kind of inactivity fee)
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Discussion Boards and Mailing Lists
Interactive Investor (www.iii.co.uk) Discussion Boards and Mailing Lists
Interactive Investor claims to have a community with "more people discussing UK investments and companies than any other web-site", so it's a bit like dooyoo, but with a slightly narrower range of discussion (Money!) I am not an active user of this discussion board, but there are certainly a lot of people who are, with tens of thousands of contributions per month on a wide range of investment topics from thousands of contributors. There are several mailing lists that can be subscribed to, such as a daily newsletter linking to various articles on the web site and news from Reuters, with graphs and market data arriving in your inbox instead of having to go looking for it. Share-price alerts, set in the portfolio tool, can also be sent by email automatically so you don't need to monitor your shares continuously.
Interactive Investor Summary
Interactive Investor Summary
Interactive Investor is one of the most useful financial web sites with a huge variety of information, useful investment tools and good value share trading. The "community" is not perhaps as varied or interesting as dooyoo.
Advantages: huge variety of services, investment tools, inexpensive share trading, news
Disadvantages: News pages look a bit boring
Summary: One of the best UK investment websites