Alpha content predictions

That makes sense. Although there are ways to mitigate currency risk through hedging if you’re worried about that.

@LewisHarding it looks like they will launch with US and UK stocks and FCA protection along with a premium account. I haven’t dug into them too far as I am already on two platforms and see little benefit in adding a third unless they provide something truly unique. I think its important for us to remember that Freetrade are surviving and flourishing despite the competition from other brokers like T212 etc, and some of the funds raised in the last round will be put towards marketing if I remember - presumably the launch of Alpha will happen and that will be used for publicity and awareness raising I hope.


Has there been any mention of options?

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Probably best to start a separate thread if you want to discuss Robinhood - unless I’ve misunderstood and you mean options in the Alpha account?

I meant either or really… just curious as to whether options trading is going to become cheaper and more prevalent in the UK.

I don’t think FT is keen, and I’m not sure they are suitable for the market FT is targeting - while useful if you know what you’re doing they are too dangerous and not useful enough to retail investors to justify that. They’d also probably be quite complex to handle in the app (so lots of work), and cause more support load too.

See the recent Robinhood suicide for an example of the extreme situations they can put retail investors in. There are so many other areas Freetrade could look at first (limit orders, SIPPs, JISAs, other markets).


Ah okay I had not seen this so thanks. It seems a shame as options are a perfectly valid form of portfolio insurance and a cheap way to bet big on certain stocks. I don’t abide the argument that options are dangerous whilst at the same time listing shares like Nikola or some of the AIM stocks but I guess that is Freetrade’s discretion.

The Robinhood story seems to have more to do with the interface, which is something Freetrade could still learn from, rather than representing an actual loss incurred by the individual. However, it is just an incredibly tragic story which we will really never know, nor should we ever know, the details of.


Options can potentially be more dangerous than highly volatile stocks. If you allow selling calls for example, that puts you on the hook to buy the underlying share whatever the price, which may be more than you have in the account. So you are effectively trading on margin which I think Freetrade wanted to avoid.

If you only allow buying options not selling you don’t get the benefit of the various hedging strategies you can use them for

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I think at the moment asking Freetrade to do things like Options is asking it to sprint, before it’s learnt to run, or even walk or toddle :baby:

So much other stuff it needs to do first that would benefit 99.9% customers, not the one in a thousand that might use it.

Also I would bet that the trading experience of the average FT customer is low, so would lead to a lot of people getting burnt, if people don’t fully understand the tools. Something like a practice mode etc would be useful in training and vital if they plan to have a CFD section.

I mean atm we have things like converted £ instead of the actual GBX where you can’t see the actual amount, no clear bid/ask, no live prices, no limit/stops and squiggly charts that are fine for long term years of investment, but no good for day/swing trading or seeing any accurate movement.

So Options are about four thousandth on the list of things to do.


This is a fair point about risky AIM stocks. When FT do come to have more info on stocks it would be nice to see things like volatility and market cap so that people can make decisions based on that. Arguably there is a lot more risk in individual stocks than most realise, and that’s another point for encouraging indexes, even if they are far less exciting.

Re the problem with the Robinhood UI, this would be the biggest difficulty with including complex things like options - how to explain them and present them to the customer, when they are most useful used in complicated ways (like calls and puts in concert), and may put the account into a huge negative balance for days (over a weekend say) or lead to unexpected losses because of fees etc. It’s just very hard to get that right for people who don’t know what they’re doing (i.e. the majority of us).

Tagging some stocks as more risky/volatile is a lot simpler than trying to explain options like calls and puts and how to use them to retail customers, so I do think FT is best to concentrate on the many millions in the UK alone who should be investing but are not, rather than those who want to use sophisticated financial instruments. You probably know what you’re doing with options, but most people would have no idea where to start, just investing in stocks at all is a novelty to many.

Anyway, we’ll see what they decide, but complex trading strategies probably are not on the radar till they get the basics done so I doubt we’d see them in the first few years. I’d rather they spent time on things like autopilot which will benefit the majority.


I do like the idea of tagging specific stocks, on the FT rival you have popular, dividend, growth, high volatility, low volatility, speculative to group them.

What would be good is a simply wall st style of indicators that help give some insight into things like market cap, fair price, PE/PEG/PB/ROE etc

Just so it improves the random that one sounds good approach without any DD.


I tend to agree that options shouldn’t be a top priority and that most people who should be investing aren’t. That is why I don’t understand why Freetrade seems to lean more towards individual stocks rather than ETFs, which by definition are less risky.

I think it would be useful to see some more labelling but I don’t want Freetrade to start arbitrarily labelling stocks. What would be great would be the stock exchange clearly labelled in top left, or whatever, and a disclaimer about AIM (i.e. less disclosure etc.)

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pre-market and after hours session trading


Oh yeah… this is a must!

I agree that options shouldn’t be a priority and if they ever have them I would simply ignore the feature. But I think AIM listings are fine as they are, everyone has to manage their own exposure to risk.

Not if your domestic market is crashing out of EU :stuck_out_tongue:
That kind of uncertainty is just not good.


Have you looked at the FTSE 100? Much of their revenue comes from outside the UK.

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I wouldn’t use the word ‘crashing’ as the vote occurred in June 2016 it has been a known factor for quite some time.

There is an argument to be made that this will mean the UK will grow faster as the EU is behind the curve on a number of things. There is no single market for services within the EU and this has been a major handbrake on UK growth. The EU’s economic policies were set up to support a world of steel and coal manufacturers with little being done since to support the growth of new industries such as tech, biotech etc.


Let’s hope so. I am slightly worried that seemingly minor changes in economy may trigger fairly large backlash.

It is very telling that on all the replies to this thread the thing most people agree (see the likes on my post above) that they want to see on Alpha is a live pricing quote system. This is probably followed by stop losses and limit orders and holding currency in separate accounts. We already know that the currency account is not going to happen any time soon and I think that this is ok for now.

However, I feel that unless live quotes, stop loss and limit orders are there, the launch will cause serious disappointment for a lot of people regardless of any other bells and whistles.

I remember Adam or Viktor saying along the lines of “that we want Alpha to be so good you will just want to have it”.

I am probably not the only one who probably wouldn’t see any use for Alpha if it didn’t have those 3 things.