So, you have done some research and have decided that you want to invest in Vanguard-managed funds on their platform. Not a bad idea, after all, Vanguard is the second-largest asset management firm in the world and they certainly didn’t get there by mismanaging their funds. They also offer Stocks and Shares individual savings account (ISA), which might be of particular interest to investors, since it also provides tax benefits up to a certain annual amount.
However, one thing is certain: Vanguard does not have an app available in the UK. You are now probably wondering how is it possible that a company of that rank has no mobile App. Well, you are not the first one! However, we’ve identified three standout alternatives that we believe serve as the best replacements!
- eToro – Best For Beginners & Social Trading
- Interactive Brokers – Best For Advanced Traders & ISAs
- InvestEngine – Best For Commission-Free ETFs
In this article, we will discuss the Vanguard mobile App, offer some significant points for reflection, some tips and tricks on choosing the best platform for you, and much more!
Is the Vanguard mobile App available in the UK?
Sadly, the answer to this question is no; Vanguard app is not available in the UK. Vanguard is fully operational as an investment broker in the UK (and only in the UK if you are reading from any other part of Europe) but the mobile App is currently only supported in the US.
Having an App in 2024 almost feels like a requirement, especially for a company with the size and reputation of Vanguard. How would the lack of such affect our investment experience?
It is worth noting that the Vanguard core website works very well on mobile devices. So ask yourselves: “Do I really need an App?” There is of course a good case that an application will be optimised specifically for a smartphone and it will be even better, BUT if the website is well-optimised and fully functional, the difference is down to pretty much what the user is used to.
You can find some additional points to consider related to the Vanguard App at the end of the article.
Does Vanguard have any plans to launch an app in the UK?
Yes, they are planning to launch an App, but it is not something that they are focusing on. There is no time set and there is also no guarantee that it will ever be released. According to their words, they are focusing on fund offerings and lowering costs for their clients.
Vanguard UK Alternatives for investing using a Mobile App
Let’s say it like it is. The mobile App is not the most crucial thing to an investor, but it’s always nice to have the option, especially if it is a well-functioning and easy-to-navigate App. Below is a summary of potential brokers that might interest you, all of which have fully functional and well-rated mobile Apps.
|Beginners & Social Trading
|Real Stocks, ETFs, Forex and CFDs on Stocks, ETFs, Cryptos and Commodities
|0% commissions on stocks and ETFs (spreads apply)
|Advanced Traders & ISAs
|Stocks, ETFs, Bonds, Forex, Funds, Commodities, Options, Futures and CFDs
|Up to $0.0035 per stock (min: $0.35)
|0% commissions on ETFs (spreads apply)
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
eToro in a nutshell
Founded in 2006, eToro is a well-known worldwide fintech startup and the leader in the social trading field (following other people’s trades), with over 30 million users worldwide and that offers commission-free stock and ETFs trading in the UK (not all ETFs are commission-free).
Their user-friendly platform allows beginners and individuals seeking a do-it-yourself approach to explore various investment options, including CFDs, commodities, Forex, and cryptocurrencies. This intuitive and straightforward platform facilitates investment in a wide range of products, making it an appealing choice for those looking to diversify their portfolios or delve into alternative assets.
Opening an account and depositing is easy, and you can even try it out with a Demo Account (virtual money). On the downside, spreads can be high for some products. The only base currency accepted is USD, which means that you’ll be charged currency conversion fees upon deposit and withdrawal if you deposit in another currency.
eToro has a well-functioning mobile App that has millions of users and scores 4.4 out of 5 on Google Play and 4.7 out of 5 on the Apple Store.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Interactive Brokers in a nutshell
Founded in 1978 and publicly listed in NASDAQ (ticker: IBKR), Interactive Brokers has a long-standing reputation as a leading online broker in the financial industry. by surpassing major financial crises, showing resilience and a rigorous risk management process.
Interactive Brokers offers an advanced investment platform that includes a wide range of products (stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, futures, bonds, and currencies) from 150 markets, solid trade execution (IB SmartRouting), and a set of technical and fundamental tools to help you in your investment decisions.
Interactive Brokers caters to a broad range of clients, from individual investors to institutional traders, and is renowned for its global reach, offering access to various international markets. Besides, customer service gives crystal clear answers to your doubts, so there is no need to go back and forth.
On the downside, Interactive Brokers’ fee structure is quite complex, the registration process is lengthy but fully online, and the broker doesn’t offer commission-free trading. However, when considering FX fees, narrower spreads, and the stock loan program, Interactive Brokers’ clients still get significant savings compared to most brokers.
Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks, Options and ETFs, ideal for beginner investors. Some of the features of IBKR GlobalTrader include automatic currency conversions, fractional shares, demo account, and more.
The IBKR GlobalTrader App has 4.4 out of 5 stars on Google Play and 3.5 out of 5 on Apple Store.
When investing your capital is at risk.
InvestEngine in a nutshell
InvestEngine is a UK-based broker and robo-advisor launched in 2020. It provides users with access to low-cost, diversified portfolios of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) designed to meet their investment goals and risk tolerance. InvestEngine offers both managed portfolios and a do-it-yourself (DIY) option for investors who prefer to build and manage their own portfolios.
On the plus side, the charm of low-cost investing is hard to ignore. InvestEngine provides a streamlined solution, offering competitive fees for managed portfolios and the do-it-yourself option. If you’re pinching pennies and still looking to make a splash in the investment world, this platform could be right up your alley.
But don’t think InvestEngine is just about saving a buck. With a wide range of ETFs, investors can create a diversified portfolio tailored to their risk tolerance and investment objectives. It’s like having a financial wardrobe with the perfect outfit for every occasion.
Keeping things balanced, InvestEngine’s managed portfolios come with a nifty auto-rebalancing feature. It keeps your investments in tip-top shape, ensuring the risk and diversification levels are where you want them. You could say it’s like having a personal financial trainer keeping you in line.
Speaking of personal touches, navigating InvestEngine is as easy as pie, thanks to its user-friendly interface. Helpful tools like risk assessment questionnaires and educational resources are there to guide you every step of the way.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. InvestEngine’s limited selection of ETFs might leave some investors wanting more. If you’re looking to cast a wider net, this platform might feel like it’s holding you back a bit.
Additionally, for those who wish to invest in individual stocks, bonds, or other types of instruments, InvestEngine’s ETF-only focus which might not be suitable for investors who wish to invest in individual stocks, bonds, or other types of instruments.
InvestEngine has a fully operational mobile App. Still, it has no classification on Google Play, but an impressive 4.8 out of 5 stars on Apple Store (low ratings yet).
Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and is subject to change.
Additional points to consider
The next several points will give the reader some additional information and points to consider when thinking about the Vanguard App.
How often does an investor check their positions?
Most of us are not full-time traders that spend vast amounts of time analysing and making numerous investments with every new information available. We are investing so that we can have a healthy mid to long-term passive return. So after you have done your research, built your portfolio and made your investments, how often are you going to check its value? Because surely you wouldn’t check the price movement every 5 minutes if your goal is to have a 10% return on investment until the same time next year, meaning that you’d only care what the price would be in 365 days and NOT after every single micromovement. So you would probably end up checking your investments several times per week (maybe even less) for which a well-functioning website will most probably suffice, even on a smartphone.
The App that Vanguard currently has does not seem great
The Vanguard App is rated very poorly. If you are thinking “Well I don’t mind going on a website from my browser, but I’d still prefer to have an App, or at least have the option to download one”, think again. The Vanguard App is rated 2.7 out of 5 on Google Play! That number doesn’t shout happy customers, with the biggest complaint being a BIG lack of features. So if they would make the App available in the UK, you might just end up not using it anyway. The one thing that reviewers seem to agree on is that the App looks great (and indeed it does). But do you really care about how it looks?
Having or not having an App might not be a top priority for most investors
At the end of the day do not forget that you are in it to earn! With or without the App there are probably 100 things that you need to consider when choosing a broker and I wouldn’t say that having an App is a top priority. Vanguard is very transparent with its fee structure, which is also very fairly priced, and they also have pretty good customer service. If you think that their profile as a broker matches your preferences you might want to overlook the detail of not having an App.
You can turn to a third-party provider for an App that will track your investments. Alternatively, you could even do that yourself by using Excel or Google Sheets. It is needless to say that both of those options are rather time-consuming and it might be simpler and faster to just use the Vanguard website from a browser. Nevertheless, some people do it and it is a possible solution to the no-App problem.Modern Investors
Lastly, it is worth noting that the investment demographics are changing and there would be a small (but increasing) percentage of modern investors without computers (Desktop or Laptop). For those people, the lack of an App (or the lack of a good and functional App) might be more important. If you are one of those modern investors you might want to look for alternatives to Vanguard, at least in the short term.
Which platform should you choose?
One thing worth noting, if you are planning to invest on the Vanguard platform, is that they only offer their funds. That being said, Vanguard has over 70 funds, which should normally suffice, but while Vanguard doesn’t allow you to invest in other funds, other brokers allow you to invest in both Vanguard and non-Vanguard funds.
Whether you decide to invest in stocks through Vanguard, eToro, Interactive Brokers, InvestEngine or any other trading platform, you should take the time to compare the platforms before you decide which trading platform you would like to use. Having a functional App is a positive thing, but many other things should also be considered.
Be sure to compare education resources, pricing information and the products offered before pressing the trigger and opening an account. This process will help ensure you do not need to maintain multiple accounts to access all the necessary tools.
Choosing an Investment platform is a serious commitment. The best online broker in your specific case will depend on your profile, preference, and objectives. Explore the websites above and decide for yourself. Having an App is important to some people, but might be of no relevance to others. Make sure that you have your priorities straight and I wish you successful investing ahead!
A reminder that the above should not be construed as investment advice and should be considered information only. Investors should do their own research and due diligence about the services and opportunities best suited for their risk, returns, and impact strategy.
Hope we helped, and leave your comments below.
Is there a Vanguard app in the UK?
As of the latest information, Vanguard does not offer a mobile app in the UK. While the company is fully operational as an investment broker in the country, the mobile app is only supported in the U.S. UK investors can access Vanguard’s core website, which is well-optimized for mobile devices.
Can UK residents use Vanguard?
Yes, UK residents can invest in Vanguard-managed funds through their platform. Vanguard offers various products such as Stocks and Shares individual savings accounts (ISAs) in the UK, which provide tax benefits up to a certain annual amount. It is a reputable choice for many UK-based investors.
How can I open a Vanguard account in the UK?
Opening a Vanguard account in the UK is a straightforward process. You can start by visiting the Vanguard UK website, exploring the available investment options, and selecting the one that best suits your needs. Then, you’ll be prompted to provide personal information, select your investment funds, and complete the online application. Once your application has been approved and you have funded the account, you can begin investing in the Vanguard funds that align with your financial goals and risk tolerance. Be sure to review their specific requirements and guidelines, as they may vary based on the type of account you are opening.