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Interactive Investor launches gift subscription for customers’ friends

Interactive Investor launches friends and family plan: Existing customers pay extra £5 a month to gift free membership to up to five people

  • For £5 extra a month, ii customers can gift a free subscription to five people
  • Friends and Family plan includes free regular investing for up to £30,000
  • Newbies have access to full range of investments and educational guidance


Interactive Investor is looking to lure in more novice investors by launching a new offer for members wishing to introduce friends and family to the world of investing.

For £5 extra a month, existing ii customers can each gift up to five people a free monthly subscription to the investing platform that would otherwise cost them £9.99 a month.

The new ‘Friends and Family’ plan includes free regular investing, the full range of investments and ‘exclusive’ educational guidance and support, ii said.

Investment gift: Existing members pay £5 extra a month, which covers the monthly membership of up to five people

‘Friends and Family is a game changer for ii and for our customers, who can now offer their friends and family a safe and free initiation into a life of investing,’ said Interactive Investor’s chief executive, Richard Wilson.

Interactive Investor charges a flat fee of £9.99 a month for its members, which can be off-putting for those starting out investing small amounts. 

‘Flat fees don’t lend themselves so well to smaller amounts invested, where a percentage fee can be more competitive – at least in the early days,’ Wilson said. 

‘Our Friends and Family launch solves this problem and opens up our great value tools and services to a much wider audience.’

How does it work? 

Existing members pay £5 extra a month and that covers the monthly membership of up to five people, who will join the DIY investing platform for free.

The newbies will be able to invest up to £30,000 each in an Isa, Jisa or general investing account that gives them access to funds, investment trusts, ETFs and popular UK shares, without having to pay any fees.

However, if they wish to invest more than £30,000, they will be moved to ii standard investor plan and charged £9.99 a month. 

And if they want to buy and sell investments, they’ll pay ii’s normal investing fee, which is usually £7.99 per trade. 

Existing members need to first get their friends to open an account with ii and then link them to their own account, which will be charged an extra £5 a month. 

Novice investors are mostly women and young people

The launch of the new gift subscription plan comes after a year-long pilot, which found that over a quarter of people who had opened an account after being referred were aged between 18 and 24.

They were the biggest group of new investors, with 25 to 34 year olds making up 19 per cent of the total, while 35 to 44 year olds and 45-45s each representing 16 per cent. Some 12 per cent were 55-64, while just 9 per cent were over 65s. 

II also said that the majority of customers referred, or around 67 per cent, have been female.

It comes as there has been a sizeable rise in new investors in Britain during the pandemic, especially among younger generations. 

That came as savings rates plummeted and people decided to go hunting for a bargain amid the stock market turmoil last year. 

The rise in novice investors prompted the Financial Conduct Authority to warn around excessive risk taking and little awareness of around protections available for investors. 

Earlier this year, it published results of its research that found that a new breed of young investors are attracted by the thrill and novelty of high-risk products rather than investing for the long-term. 

And this summer, it launched a new multi-million pound campaign warning younger investors about making financial decisions from sources such as social media and ‘finfluencers,’. 

The City watchdog has long warned people of the dangers of speculative and illiquid assets but is looking to further educate newer investors amid concerns they view it as gambling.

Moira O’Neill, head of personal finance at ii, said: ‘The results of our Friends and Family year-long pilot are encouraging, not least the very high percentage of female referrals. 

‘We are pleased that this pilot has so far strongly resonated with female and younger audiences, and we look forward to delving more into this – we certainly hope it is a theme that continues.’ 

Compare the best DIY investing platforms and stocks & shares Isa

Investing online is simple, cheap and can be done from your computer, tablet or phone at a time and place that suits you.

When it comes to choosing a DIY investing platform, stocks & shares Isa or a general investing account, the range of options might seem overwhelming. 

Every provider has a slightly different offering, charging more or less for trading or holding shares and giving access to a different range of stocks, funds and investment trusts. 

When weighing up the right one for you, it’s important to to look at the service that it offers, along with administration charges and dealing fees, plus any other extra costs.

To help you compare investment accounts, we’ve crunched the facts and pulled together a comprehensive guide to choosing the best and cheapest investing account for you. 

We highlight the main players in the table below but would advise doing your own research and considering the points in our full guide linked here.

>> This is Money’s full guide to the best investing platforms and Isas 

DIY INVESTING PLATFORMS AND STOCKS & SHARES ISAS 
Admin charge Charges notes Fund dealing Standard share, trust, ETF dealing Regular investing Dividend reinvestment
AJ Bell YouInvest 0.25%  Max £3.50 per month for shares, trusts, ETFs.  £1.50 £9.95 £1.50 1% (Min £1.50, max £9.95)  More details
Bestinvest 0.40% Free £7.50 n/a n/a More details
Charles Stanley Direct 0.35%  No platform fee on shares if a trade in that month and annual max of £240 Free £11.50 n/a n/a More details
Fidelity 0.35% on funds £45 fee up to £7,500. Max £45 per year for shares,  trusts,  ETFs Free £10 Free funds £1.50 shares, trusts ETFs £1.50 More details
Hargreaves Lansdown 0.45% Capped at £45 for shares, trusts, ETFs Free £11.95 £1.50 1% (£1 min, £10 max) More details
Interactive Investor  £119.88 as £9.99 per month £7.99 per month back in trading credit £7.99 £7.99 Free £0.99 More details
iWeb £100 one-off £5 £5 n/a 2%, max £5 More details
Freetrade Free for standard account £3 month for Isa  Freetrade Plus with more investments is £9.99/month inc. Isa fee No funds  Free  n/a  n/a  More details 
Vanguard  0.15%   
Only Vanguard funds
Free  Free only Vanguard ETFs  Free  n/a  More details 
(Source: ThisisMoney.co.uk July 2021. Admin charges quoted annually, may be monthly or quarterly)
 

 

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