Requesting more clarity on bid/ask price

As a new investor/trader Freetrade was great for getting started and placing my first few trades. However I’m trying to become a more active trader and Freetrade simply isn’t providing the information needed to do this.

I understand that asking for minute by minute candles, volume, positions, and orders might be a bit much at the moment. However something simple like providing the bid/ask spread would be a massive help. In most small cap stocks this spread may only be a few pence or cents but for larger companies it can mean a different of tens of pounds/dollars, which can be a drastic difference when selling a high volume of shares.

At £9.99 a month Freetrade is one of the more expensive platforms to use to trade global stocks and at the moment, the features available don’t seem worth it.

To confirm, I am requesting more chart information available on the app. In addition to this if anyone can confirm if the prices shown on Freetrade are the bid, ask, or an average or median of the two, that would be great.

Having recently signed up for Etoro, while they have been around significantly longer, their features are far more useful for a much lower price tag.

Edit - please only reply if you’re going to provide actual information, as I state at the start I am a new investor and may not be the most well informed. The replies so far are seriously making want to transfer from this app entirely.

Welcome. It’s always a good idea to search before posting ideas, or questions. Frankly, you’re unlikely to be the first to have a query about something. There have been plenty of threads about this particular topic. I’ve linked one below, but there are others.

With respect to Plus, no one is forcing you to pay. It’s a freemium offering and it costs money to run the platform. It’s a small company, so there’s a charge for some things. In the nicest possible way, the idea that Freetrade is one of the most expensive platforms for trading is laughable to me. Check out the traditional brokerages and their fees for a single trade of up to £12.95. Some charge a monthly fee and a fee per trade, plus higher FX fees. Much higher ISA and SIPP fees generally abound, too. Some order types and some stocks are pay walled here, to help the company get some revenue.

A quick search shows that eToro charges for withdrawals and requires a £40 minimum order for trading. Plus there’s that $200 equivalent first deposit. I’m in no way saying that :freetrade: is perfect and other platforms do charge less for some things, but there’s no withdrawal fees here, trades can be as low as £2 and deposits are instant. Again, it’s a freemium model. If you don’t wish to pay, you don’t have to do so.

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@beermoneytrader has already given a good response, but I’d also just counter with “at £0 per month Freetrade is one of the cheapest platforms to use to trade global stocks”.

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I agree, there is a free option. However, you can only trade UK stocks without paying for premium.

I agree, there is a free option. However, you can only trade UK stocks without paying for premium.

A small subset of stocks are Plus only. There would be a massive issue every single time a big American IPO happened if people could only trade UK stocks without paying. Feel free to show me evidence of that.

Again, some features are behind a paywall. You seem incredibly misinformed about what’s included at no charge and what’s Plus only. Please do some research before stating things like

Freetrade is one of the more expensive platforms to use to trade global stocks

like it’s a fact.

Again, please read up on things before confidently stating opinions as facts. We want to welcome new users here and make their experience good, but your post is riddled with inaccuracies.

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Hi there, thanks for your response.

I did a quick search for this question before I posted. As this post you’ve linked was from June 2019 it was unlikely to show up without me spending an awful lot of time scrolling and looking for it. It also has no replies, so the question hasn’t really been solved has it?

The whole point of a forum is to spark discussion, and if a topic hasn’t been brought up in over a year after there have been several updates to the app with so far no indication that they will be adding this, I think it’s a perfectly relevant question to bring up again.

I won’t go into a debate about the charges and minimums other online brokers have (minimum order amounts don’t bother me at all), but not having to pay £120 a year to trade stocks outside of the UK with Etoro, is so far making it much more worth it.

The thing I linked to was an idea. Ideas are voted on and might go forward. My main point was that you could search and find plenty of posts on the subject. There are likely more recent posts on the subject and I imagine others will chime in, too.

Again, you don’t have to pay a monthly fee to trade absolutely every non-UK stock. I don’t know why you think this is the case. Imagine if people had to pay for Plus for a month to buy Coinbase shares on launch and for every other big US IPO. The platform wouldn’t be taken seriously. Some stocks are Plus only and this is based on their exchange. I’ve linked the feature list of Plus - which includes which types of stocks are Plus only and which are not - below.

Again, we want to be welcoming here and are happy to answer questions. The cost of trading does matter and if you want to say that Freetrade is one of the most expensive places to trade stocks - be that UK or US - then be prepared to accept when you’ve been shown that you’re wrong. Otherwise it almost looks like you’ve been sent here by eToro to badmouth a competitor on their forums.

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You don’t have to tell every new user to search first, its okay to have similar discussions again.

It’s interesting how quickly @Aidmck moved from beginner trader to wanting more info. FT market themselves as straightforward and simple for beginners, and they are. But as the userbase gets more knowledgeable they are going to want more. I hope there is some sort of pro mode in the pipeline as I think the criticism is valid and keeps coming up. This would enable a lot of the other common suggestions to be available (candlesticks, level 2 etc) and not scare off newbies.

Btw you can trade most midcap US stocks without plus too.

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I’m not sure if you’re actually trying to advertise etoro here, because it seems like it, but giving you the benefit of the doubt, you’re wrong and you definitely can buy non-UK stocks on FT without plus. Certainly all the big name ones, but yes the smaller obscure ones need plus.

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Also, relating it back to the original question… If you’re needing clarity between bid and ask price, its probably because you’ve been caught out by a large discrepancy, and this happens with the low trade volume stocks that plus opens up, I was caught out by this myself a few weeks back when I was just starting out. On the more well traded stocks the spread is small enough that it’s not really much of an issue.

I would suggest you actually know what FT offer before criticizing them :+1: You seem to understand some features not on the app so are not clueless on the world of stocks. But, how you have allegedly used the app and don’t know you CAN buy US stocks for free is bizarre.

It does actually sound like trolling to be honest especially with 3 edits on the original post. In any case even if you are not then it is worth looking at the FT site as it does show clear guides on charges etc and it IS one of if not the cheapest available option. Obviously the actual price depends on how much and what people buy :+1:

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Out of everything I mentioned in my post, there is one inaccuracy - I have since discovered that you need to pay the premium fee to access roughly a quarter of the stocks available on FT. Given that 8 of the groupings of stocks shown on the Discover page are PLUS only (compared to 7 free groupings), it seems they are really pushing people to believe that you need PLUS to access most of the stocks.

I would recommend not assuming that everyone who criticises your favourite platform is a troll. I edited the post once and have made it clear where I have edited it.

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I’m not advertising Etoro, I’d be more than happy to discuss any of the other online platforms I have been using, however the above mentioned is the most closely comparable to FT in terms of accessibility and the level of new users they have gained since the surge of new investors entering the market this year has begun.

Do you have an answer to the question I have asked? If not, please let me know if you ever find out.

The price they show is the mid :+1:

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No worries :+1: Maybe you are not a troll but I would suggest anticipating people to react if you sign up to a community and claim that the product of the community is one of the most expensive which it isn’t. Then when you actually agree it has a free option claiming it is only UK stocks which is again very wrong.

As someone who claimed to have used the platform and not realise that many US stocks are indeed free I would suggest paying a bit more attention to detail in future. Also, it says “3 edits” on your first post but granted I did forget maybe someone else did that :+1:

Pricing is done in different ways for different platforms and FT usually works out one of the cheapest. Nothing is free in life and yes there are ways to end up paying on FT but it isn’t “one of the more expensive platforms”

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Perfect, thank you Adam.

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I genuinely don’t understand why it matters. You can’t change it - it is what it is and is the same on every platform - and in the long term should be utterly irrelevant. If you think a company has an attractive share price - knowing there is a 0.5% spread isn’t going to change that opinion is it? If it is - then you are buying the wrong shares.

The only people who should care are people day trading - and if you want to do that then you are far better off elsewhere.

To correct something else - small cap stocks may have the smallest £ spread (because they normally have low share prices) - but in % terms it will be far higher than the large caps. FTSE100 companies will have much tighter spreads than AIM companies, for example.

While I agree that it doesn’t really matter for long term investors, it would save a load of confusion for new investors. this forum has posts every week from newbies who don’t understand why the price they paid wasn’t the price on screen. Most of the time it’s due to the spread.

You’re correct about the spreads being much tighter on large caps. Most of the time when someone complains it’s because they bought a penny stock with a 5% spread

You are correct :+1: but so is Boom. You know what would be helpful and address these new members?