I thought it might be interesting / helpful to look back on how I’ve been using Freetrade over the last four months. Unlike the fantastic posts elsewhere (like this one) focusing on portfolio performance, I wanted to focus on the app itself.
My overall impression: amazing. It’s so cool to be able to trade from a phone and for things to just happen instantaneously. So impressed.
But nothing’s perfect, especially this early in the journey. So there are a few grains of sand in the sun lotion that I thought might be useful to discuss.
I think most of these come down to design. I love the visual design, but I find the service design (the user experience or smooth journey through the app to help me do what I want to do isn’t quite there yet). Some specific examples:
This morning I spent a good 3-4 minutes trying to find where pending orders were. It feels counterintuitive to me to have those a couple of taps down in the Account tab, and not on the Activity (or even Portfolio screens).
I want to be able to see my history with a stock in one place. I want to be able to see how many purchases I’ve made, what the price was when I scheduled the trade, what the buy value was, what the current value is - or what the sold value was, adding it all up to give me a nice overview of performance per stock. That isn’t readily apparent anywhere in the app - and finding the buy and sell prices for shares I’ve since divested is super hard.
Similarly, there’s nowhere I can go to to understand the performance of my portfolio as a whole. The graph still confuses me - I’m not sure how to see like-for-like performance excluding cash in. (Nutmeg have a neat little double graph, one showing funds in, one showing fund performance - you know things are good when the latter is moving up and away from the former!)
Edit: I forgot one final thing! Moving money in is a big headache for me. I understand why it’s done the way it is, but I really (really!) want instant money movement from Monzo to Freetrade. I wonder if there’s any mileage in partnering with someone like Monzo (or Starling, as they seem to be set up for it) to create a Freetrade cash account per user - with its own sort code and account number which could accept faster payments in. Maybe as part of Alpha, given it would cost?
Anyway, these things aren’t putting me off, and I’m still enjoying dipping my toes into the world of investing. Keep up the good work!