Why I've decided to stop using FreeTrade for now - And what I think can be done better!

Hello everyone.

After some consideration, I’ve decided to stop using FreeTrade for the time being and use DEGIRO instead, but I wanted to voice why I’ve decided to move, and offer some constructive criticism regarding some things that I believe FreeTrade could improve upon, rather than posting some stupid rant like some people would do.

The main reasons is DEGIRO, and other brokers, offer far more stocks. Not only do they allow you to purchase stocks from many stock exchanges around the world, but you don’t have to request them to be added! This is one thing I noticed when I started using FreeTrade, is that people had to request stocks to be added. While I don’t know the ins and outs of the process, but I really do believe FreeTrade should simply add every stock that they possibly can from exchanges they currently have access to, such as LSE and NYSE.

Secondly, and I know people will hate me mentioning this, but I am very interested to see what happens in the event of another huge event surrounding $GME. Having seen how buying and selling of $GME and other US stocks was previously suspended on the platform, I didn’t want to risk that happening to me in the event of a larger short squeeze. (I’m sure I’m not the only one in this position) Nn my opinion, FreeTrade has the chance to really prove themselves as a really reliable broker people can trust, if they don’t block the buying and selling of $GME in the event of a larger short squeeze.

I really do believe FreeTrade has a huge amount of potential, and I will still keep a close eye on its development over time, as I think overall it is a great platform.

Cheers :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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The GME stuff is getting a bit dull.

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What did degiro do during GME hype? I know Freetrade only suspended it because of their partners (Drivewealth and Barclays I think)

Other brokers suspended it as well, T212 even suspended new account creation, not sure if it’s even back yet.

Regarding the number of stocks Degiro has been around a lot longer, Freetrade is adding them in chunks and has added thousands since I signed up. They’ll get there eventually

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They allowed people to buy and sell as usual.

Absolutely.

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Good luck to you.

You’ll pay £1.75 per trade for UK stocks, plus more for the stocks available from round the world:

Also as Degiro isn’t based in the UK, it’s not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for £85k. Instead, it’s covered by its home regulator in the Netherlands – the Dutch Autoriteit Financiele Markten (AFM) and I don’t know how much that cover is for.

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You get what you pay for.

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Also Degiro doesn’t have an ISA so make sure you set aside capital gains tax money when GME hits 25k.

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Why do you not spread the risk and use multiple brokers?

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I have to agree with the original poster, in the past year I have gone to build a £3k position in multiple stocks & etf’s, only to find they are not on FreeTrade at the time I wish to begin the investment.

By choosing to use freetrade I have held back on 10+ investments that I wished to start inside the isa and all those investments were great entry points. Paying £1.75 is well worth it if the investment you wish to build positions in actually exists.

Reits in isa’s is another pain.

For investors with an investment strategy, the past year has been a pretty poor choice when using freetrade. I’m sure 5 years from now the offering could be much better.

Having a strategy has simply not worked on this platform for me personally, and I’m not trying to achieve much of complexity. Just kinda wanted to make specific investments, intentional investments. Though like I said, I have held back on 10+ investments.

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The amount of times I get fed up with Freetrade’s poor stock list is ridiculous. Over and over and over again stock after stock is not there, and requesting over and over often gets nowhere.

Another thing that is infuriating is by the time Freetrade does add a stock, almost every single time it’s after the stock has blown up and the main gains have gone.
In comparison with T212 in my experience, they have the stock every time.

Completely agree with your point. Freetrade seriously needs to improve in this area. It is the main reason I’m in process of moving all my holdings to another broker.

And still not having a web version is also frustrating.

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It’s over a year since I searched for a stock and it wasn’t there, it does make me curious about some people’s strategies. Are you looking for penny stocks or extremely small caps?

(I’m aware some big names like Rolls Royce still aren’t there because of nationality declarations)

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Same here, Dave - I can’t remember the last time I looked for a stock that wasn’t there, unless it was something brand new like Vanguard’s ESG Global All Cap ETF (V3AM), which only came out in March 2021.

Everyone’s got a different strategy I guess but I feel like I’m spoiled for choice already.

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Exactly, I was actually surprised when I realised the stock requests have to be submitted via a Google Form.

Which broker are you moving to?

Another reason I moved to DEGIRO.

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Exactly. I would rather pay £1.75 and have the stock available to buy rather than paying nothing but not having many stocks available.

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During the March/April 2020 correction I went to place £10k into VEVE and it was not on the platform, much recovered a quick 25% during that time and it’s been things like that which have caused huge obstacles when building up the investments.

The same with reits which also recovered before anything was available.

I simply chose the wrong platform the past year to build a consistent strategy. There are times and places to place investments and unfortunately lots had not been available.

I know this will be much better by 2025 and the offering will be awesome. I don’t want free, I want useable for the size of my portfolio, even if that means paying a little more than free to have access.

It’s only the £11.99 per trade fees that absolutely do not work for myself. I’m happy to pay £10/£14 pm to know that an intentional portfolio is available.

(And I have not touched a single meme stock).

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Interesting how different people’s requirements are. Almost all the stocks I’m interested in (large, stable well-capitalised companies) are on Freetrade already, plus a bunch of ETFs, they seem to me to have a good selection, though it can always be improved. I’m more interested in seeing stocks listed on other markets on there (China, India, Germany) than more smaller companies - DEGIRO has been around since 2008 so they’ve had a while to expand their offering on that score, it will take time for Freetrade to catch up.

Secondly, and I know people will hate me mentioning this, but I am very interested to see what happens in the event of another huge event surrounding $GME

I don’t care that you mention it, but personally I have no interest in stocks like GME, in fact I’d steer well clear of anything which is being actively manipulated (by shorts or subreddits), of companies which have already seen a massive boom and bust, and of companies in dying industries (game retail), and I certainly don’t want Freetrade to spend resources on the IMO fantastical stories about a GME short squeeze pushing the price so high when they could be expanding to Europe.

Likewise I do hope Freetrade steer clear of cryptocurrencies. I’m hoping that bubble bursts (as it appears to be at present), before they spend any time on it. They may see this as an onramp for lots of new customers, but I think the risks to customers outweigh any gains for them - a customer losing most of their money on crypto is not likely to then move on to stocks but give up altogether. It’s completely unregulated, full of fraud, and a dangerous market to get into IMO.

Nationality declaration would be nice, this doesn’t seem extraordinarily complex to me, so I’d like to see them tackle that sometime soon and get those aerospace stocks on there.

A web UI is also I feel essential at some point so I agree with you on that, it would be nice to see that, it is a significant investment of time and expertise though (both setup and ongoing) so I’m not surprised they have not started it yet.

It’s important to recognise that we are just a small part of the userbase, and the company has the best view of what is a pain point both for their business, and for the silent majority of customers. Perhaps Freetrade just isn’t a good fit for you as you know more about investing that many of their customers, and that’s ok.

What I’d most like to see Freetrade do is expand - both their userbase and their AUM, so that they can survive for decades as a reliable low-cost broker and introduce a huge number of people to investing (as opposed to speculating on penny stocks or crypto), and add unglamorous features like pension drawdown, employee contributions, or tax free savings accounts in different countries. That’s going to take time, none of this will arrive quickly.

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T212 still wont let you join

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It could be argued that Freetrade ironically saves a lot of people from making some poor investment choices.

Too many are desperate to jump on the next IPO and just get creamed.

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I agree it’s good there is a limit for me as I can just research the ones here more thoroughly

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If you went back to last year, it was not simply doable to create an isa on FreeTrade with:
• Vanguard FTSE Developed World ETF
• FTSE EM
• US Small Cap Value ETF
• Reits

Three of those choices were not available and still today reits are not available inside an isa.

To me, that’s the core I wanted to create but found hurdle upon hurdle to create it on FreeTrade. Instead of 3 specific reits I went with the the reit etf when that was added. Nowhere near the growth but hey…

I’m not bothered about ipo’s or meme stocks. But most of last year was a nightmare for intentional investing.

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