Paper certificates (UK shares only) stored a safety deposit box? I am wincing at the thought of the associated admin and dealing costs!
I think the point you and @Adam make is really important, and always worth keeping in mind when choosing a company to manage your money or act as administrator to your investments. It’s so easy to get swept up in the hyperbole surrounding particular trends or businesses, and let our optimism bias take over.
It would be awesome if Freetrade produced a handy primer to explain how assets are held, managed and ‘protected’, and how Freetrade mitigate loses (with usual caveats) in the event of winding up, should holdings exceed the guarantee offered by the FSCS. I think it would help with the whole ‘demystification’ of investing, enhance trust and grow confidence.
FWIW, I think the biggest risk to wealth erosion for most private investors will be from market turmoil and the Next Big One, rather than say Freetrade running a bucket shop. [edit to add: Freetrade is NOT a bucket shop outfit]