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I have had my DirectShareDeal account for 6 months now and I am moving my deals from Halifax to here. It is a crest sponsored account which means that it you own the shares personally in a nominee account (ie. in your own name not the brokers). This means that you get the benefits of certificate owned shares ( like dividends, reports, company information sent to you personally) without the hassle of having to post certificates etc. I like to receive dividends and reports and company information and that is why I chose this type of account.
The account costs 0.5% per trade with £12.50 minimum (£30 maximum) so reasonable for small investor. There is NO management costs for your account and CREST memebership is FREE.
You do have to send your money to the account before you can buy but you can do this by a simple bank transfer (no CHAPS costs) which is great.
The website is quite fast and you get a real time quote for the price. There is a reasonable portfolio summary and valuation facility. You get statements from the bank (bank of scotland) for your cash account and from DirectShareDeal for your portfolio.
The first time I tried to transfer money from my online bank account the money disappeared but ShareDeal tracked it down for me. I have since changed bank accounts and my new one transferred money without any problems. I was impressed with the email support from the company. Ringing the company is OK but of course they are in Scotland so costs are not cheap if you are not local, but most questions can be dealt with by email which is good.
I will continue to use ShareDeal for most of my longer term share deals where I want company information. (I am considering idealing.com as a short-term cheap facility). I would recommend having a CREST sponsored account and DirectShareDeal seem to be a good way of getting one.
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