Barclays Stock Brokers

Barclays Stock Brokers offer a range of financial services and information, all backed by the name of Barclays. Barclay Stockbrokers offers a wealth of exclusive research and analysis, as well as questionnaires and information that will help you to decide on the right financial instruments for your situation.

Cash accounts can be held in sterling, US dollars, and Euros, and you can buy and sell stocks in an ISA, a SIPP, or a Pension Trader Account (PTA), as well as a straight trading account. The homepage offers a variety of financial news in an easily digestible form, and is worth bookmarking for this whether or not you open an account with Barclays Stock Brokers.

Barclays provides a funds list which has more than 2000 different funds that can be bought through an ISA, a SIPP, or their MarketMaster trading account. There are administration fees associated with the tax advantaged accounts £30 per year for the ISA, and £38.75 a quarter for the SIPP.

The funds cover many different asset types, including shares and bonds, over different geographical regions. Barclays selects the funds that are available according to a prescribed minimum performance level, although they are not to be viewed as recommendations, as funds can go down as well as up.

In addition to regular stock trading, Barclays offers access to bonds, CFDs, ETFs, ETCs, foreign exchange and spread betting. A substantial part of the site details the ways of investing, including warnings about losses and about consideration of your own financial situation before committing to any particular type of investment. In this respect, Barclays Stock Brokers does not represent the usual trading site, but takes on the role of investment advisor, even though disclaimers will make it clear that you should not regard any of the information as specifically applicable to your situation.

Rates and Charges

Because of the variety of ways that you can invest through Barclays Stock Brokers, there are a number of rate schedules. As a typical example, for an ISA account the charge is £11.95 per online deal for up to nine deals in a month, with the charges reducing for more trades. If for any reason you deal by telephone, the costs are significantly greater, starting at £17.50 for a deal up to £500, and £50 for deals between £1500 and £2500. Fuller details are on the site.

Fund administration charges are a reasonable 0.35% per year, with a minimum charge of £35 per account. Of course stamp duty is also levied where applicable. There is a half yearly account charge of £15, regardless of the value of your ISA. In general, you need to acquaint yourself with the fee schedules to minimize your out-of-pocket expenses and ensure that you don't have any surprises.

Summary

If you're looking for an online broker simply to trade stocks, CFDs, or to spread bet, there are more reasonable choices that contain the specific information you need, and don't include the amount of other detail that Barclays Stock Brokers provides.

But if you want a total investment overview that includes regular trading facilities, then Barclays Stock Brokers deserves a second look. A great deal of information is available without opening an account, allowing you to take a view on whether it is of interest to you.

Advantages

  • All your financial needs under one roof
  • Reassurance of Barclays name
  • Extensive details for investors as well as traders
  • Covers special types of accounts, such as SIPPs and ISAs
  • Many different types of investments available

Disadvantages

  • More expensive than other basic online brokerages
  • Costs can mount with hidden fees
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