AJ Bell takes on Freetrade with commission-free investing app

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C

ity stockbroker AJ Bell is going face-to-face with a new app-only investment platform and introducing its offerings to young investors.

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AJ Bell is launching a new commission-free investing app called Dodle. The app, set to launch in the first half of 2022, will allow savers to buy a range of UK stocks and funds from their phones, as well as “themed investments” covering areas such as healthcare, robotics and ethical investing. Will package.

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AJ Bell said the app will be for everyone but with a special focus on first-time investors. The look of the app – and the fact that it is commission-free – suggest that it will compete with the likes of Freetrade, a start-up UK investment app popular with Millennials. Freetrade, founded in 2016, recently reached £1 billion in assets under management on its platform.

Andy Bell, founder of AJ Bell, said: “Doddle by AJ Bell is perfect for anyone looking for a low-cost, easy-to-use investment app to help them meet their investment goals such as home deposits, vacations or Saving for Retirement The seamless investment journey and well-organized investment range will especially appeal to those who are new to investing and want an easy way to manage their investments.

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Doddle will initially offer a curated selection of UK stocks, with US stocks to follow. Through the app, investors will be able to take advantage of tax wrappers like ISA. Dodal has already launched several social media accounts, including Tiktok.

While clients will not be charged a fee when trading, AJ Bell will charge an annual fee of 0.15% of the value of a portfolio. This works out to £15 per year on a £100,000 portfolio. Bell said the cost makes Doddle “the cheapest and best value investment platform on the market.”

Doddle will sit alongside AJ Bell’s main investment platform, UInvest, which is primarily browser-based.

The commission-free trading was pioneered by US startup Robinhood, which went public in New York earlier this year at a valuation of $32 billion. Robinhood is credited with bringing a new generation of investors to the stock market and fueling the growth of trading in “meme stocks” such as Gamestop and AMC in early 2021.

Robinhood abandoned plans to launch in the UK last year, but other companies, including Freetrade, have copied some of its strategy to find success here. The growth of new platforms such as Freetrade and eToro has coincided with a boom in day trading and investing around the world during the pandemic.

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