On the 4th December, I invited the readers of the Small Cap Value report to share their experiences of the platform they use to trade. 123 investors responded and completed the brief online survey by 9am on the 5th December. 

The summary findings are as follows:

1. Trading frequency


Perhaps unsurprisingly given they are readers of Paul and Graham's blog, the majority are 'frequent traders". For the trading platforms, this readership therefore is gold dust, as frequent traders represent the most attractive and profitable segment of the market. 

"On average I trade" (123 respondents)

Daily 11%
Weekly 41%
Monthly 49%

None traded less frequently than this.

2. Which trading platforms do you use mostly to trade?

  • 17% iii/TD Direct
  • 16% Hargreaves Lansdown
  • 13% AJ Bell/Youinvest
  • 10% Barclays
  • 10% IG Index
  • 7% Selftrade
  • 7% i web
  • 4% The share centre
  • 3% i dealing
  • 2% XO
  • 2% Charles Stanley
  • 2% Halifax
  • 2% Lloyds
  • 2% Alliance Trust
  • 1% Internaxx International
  • 1% Bank of Scotland

3. How long have you been using this platform as your primary trading platform?

The vast majority have been using their preferred platform for 3 years+. 

  • 74% 3 years +
  • 19% 1-2 years
  • 2% More than 6 months less than a year
  • 4% Last 3-6months
  • 1% Less than 3 months

4. Relative satisfaction and intention to switch (or not). 

I asked five questions about how they rated the following: : Ease of use; Customer service, market information, market prices achieved and value for money. I then asked if they had considered leaving their provider recently. 

There seem to be gripes about every supplier, often related to very specific issues. But there are clear patterns relating to individual providers. 

  • iii/TD Direct (17% of respondents), it scored the average for ease of use, customer service and value for money but below average for market information and prices achieved. Customers seem torn about whether to stay or leave after the recent acquisition of TD by iii with some  29% saying they'd leave but 38% saying they'd stay.
  • Hargreaves Lansdown (16% of respondents) scored above average on four measures but was let down by its value for money. It was 1= for ease of use. The loyalty of its customers was extremely high with 70% saying they had not considered leaving and only 10% saying they had. 
  • AJ Bell/You invest (13% of respondents) also scored above average ratings for four measures but was let down by prices achieved. Its market information had the best score out…

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