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Best General Investment Account UK

A general investment account (GIA) allows you to invest without limitations and is therefore the perfect investment vehicle for those who have already maxed out their ISA allowance.

In my best buy article, I have compared the best general investment accounts available including cost, investment options, and ease of use.

Also consider: Best Investment Apps UK

8 best general investment accounts at a glance

Below is my list of the best GIA (general investment accounts) available for UK investors.

eToro logo


  • Minimum deposit £10
  • 0% commission when you buy and sell stocks
  • One of the best investment apps in the UK for beginners and low-cost trading

Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit

Wealthify logo


  • Starting investing with £1
  • Ethical investments available
  • Choose an investment style that’s right for you

As with all investing, your money is at risk. The value of your portfolio can go down as well as up and you could get back less than you put in. The tax treatment of your investment will depend on your individual circumstances and may change in the future. You should seek financial advice if you are unsure about investing.

Bestinvest logo


  • Readymade portfolios available
  • Invest in 3,000+ funds, shares and ETFs
  • Get free expert coaching
Nutmeg logo


  • Start investing with £500
  • This investment app does the investing for you with ready made portfolios
  • 6 Months 0% Portfolio Management Fees
Capital at risk. Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may change in the future.
Freetrade logo


  • Zero account fees for the GIA
  • Commission-free investing
  • Stock universe of 6,000 stocks and ETFs

When you invest your capital is at risk, the value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than what you invest. *Other charges apply. Free share terms and conditions apply. The probability is weighted, so more expensive free shares will be rarer.

Moneyfarm logo


  • Best for “set-and-forget” investors
  • Diversification opportunities within your investment
  • Fees as low as 0.35% for balances over £100,000

Capital at risk.

Circa5000 logo


  • Get £5 free when you sign up
  • Quick and easy deposits and withdrawals
  • Great investment app for impact and ESG investing

Capital at risk.

Wombat Investment App logo


  • Get £10 FREE to invest when you open an account
  • Free to invest with sums over £500
  • Instant & standard GIAs available

Capital at risk.

Best General Investment Accounts in 2022 | Investing Reviews

Wombat – Best for instant investing

Wombat Investment App logo


Wombat are constantly updating and improving their offering and are now one of the lowest-cost investment apps available depending on how much you have to invest. Sadly Wombat have done away with zero account fees for small investment amounts and anything under £500 will attract a £1 per month account fee. However, for sums above £500, it is completely free to invest with Wombat.

The new instant GIA at Wombat provides an opportunity to buy and sell shares on the stock market during market hours with the unique option to earn 0.2% cashback on investments for all buy trades.

Capital at risk.

Nutmeg – Best for financial advice

Nutmeg logo


Nutmeg publish all past performance from their ready-made investment portfolios on their website, clearly illustrating the return on investments they have managed to achieve historically.

The access to a financial advisor really sets Nutmeg apart from a lot of the other platforms available and can be a blessing for those with more complicated finances or those looking to plan for retirement and other financial goals.

OFFER: Zero portfolio management fees for the first six months

Capital at risk.

MoneyFarm – Best performing portfolio

Moneyfarm logo


For the past four years in a row, Moneyfarm portfolios have beaten the average performance of the competition and Moneyfarm take extra steps to ensure you are matched with a portfolio that is right for your needs.

Navigating your general investment account at Moneyfarm is a breeze, with the app’s clear functionality and modern design. One of the things I particularly liked was the ability to open a separate investment portfolio for each of your goals and invest and withdraw at any time without incurring any additional fees.

Capital at risk.

Vanguard – Best for range of investment funds

Vanguard logo


Vanguard continue to offer a cost-effective proposition for smaller investment amounts with access to the popular Vanguard funds. Because Vanguard are solely owned by investor funds, the experienced investment team are able to manage in a way that prioritises positive outcomes for its investors. There are over 75 Vanguard funds to choose from as well as shares and bonds.

Capital at risk.

Freetrade – Best for a free share when you open an account.

Freetrade logo


When you open a Freetrade account using my link, you will get a free share, deposited straight into your account, worth up to £200. The lowest value share is £3 which isn’t as appealing, however, once you have signed up you can earn more free shares by referring your friends to Freetrade.

Freetrade are also well known for offering commission-free trading on over 1000 stocks and EFTs. This makes them an excellent option for active traders who can manage their own investments and would benefit from the wide range of tools available.

Capital at risk.

Circa5000 – Best for socially responsible portfolios

Circa5000 logo


You can get £5 completely free, paid straight into your general investment account when you sign up to Circa5000 using our unique link.

Circa5000 have dedicated their investment platform to providing access to environmentally and socially conscious investing so investors can invest in line with their values. The app is designed with a fresh, modern approach that would appeal to millennial investors and those just dipping their toes into the investment waters for the first time. With the excellent selection of ready-made socially responsible portfolios and slick functional app, this is a great option for passive investors.

Capital at risk.

Choosing the right investment account: GIA or ISA?

The difference between an ISA and a general investment account lies in the tax treatment on any gains made from assets held within the investment account.

An ISA is what’s known as a tax-wrapper, meaning any gains made from investments held within the ISA are protected from capital gains tax. There is an annual allowance of how much you can save into an ISA in any tax year, and this currently stands at £20,000 for 2022/23. Anything over this amount will be subject to tax at the normal rate.

Conversely, a general investment account is a means of investing without limits, however, the investment gains made from assets within a general investment account will be subject to capital gains tax at the normal rate for the account holder. Therefore, a general investment account is an excellent investment vehicle for anyone who has maxed out their ISA allowance.

What are investment platforms?

Investment platforms allow investors to buy, hold and sell a range of investments online. They usually aim to simplify investing in order to make it accessible to all walks of life, regardless of investment experience.

Most investment platforms will focus on making investing fun and accessible by cutting out financial jargon. There is usually a cost involved and the range of available investments, and accounts will vary between different platforms. Some investment platforms have gone fully mobile by offering an app from where you can manage your account.

Top five investment platforms for beginners

For complete beginners it is best to look for a platform with a good range of ready-made portfolios that are managed for you. Beginners will also want to be aware of costs, as this can start to eat away at your gains, especially for small investment amounts. My pick of the top five platforms for beginners are:

Nutmeg: Nutmeg offer a fixed allocation portfolio which would be one of the most cost-effective ways to invest. They are also on hand with financial advice should you require help with your selection

Vanguard: Vanguard retains its position as one of the cheapest ways to invest and their Lifestrategy portfolios continue to perform well and gain in popularity. This could cost you as little as 0.41% per year.

Freetrade: The free share you get when you join Freetrade can help instantly boost your investment pot and their simple, no-nonsense platform is a breeze for newbies to navigate.

Moneybox: Moneybox allows you to start investing with as little as £1 and the first three months are completely free from any monthly subscription fees.

AJ Bell: AJ Bell have a really well-designed app that continues to attract investors. For newbies, the lack of inactivity fee is a major drawcard and there is plenty to offer more experienced investors as your confidence grows.

How to choose an investment platform

There are plenty of options available which can make choosing difficult. However, when making your selection you should consider the following:

  • Is there a mobile app so you can manage your investments on the go?
  • What are the costs and how will they affect your pot?
  • What is the selection of ready-made portfolios like and what range of asset classes does the platform provide?
  • Is there the option to invest ethically?
  • What is the customer service like as this can affect your overall experience
  • Does the platform offer the account of your choice?
  • Is the investment provider safe and is it part of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Financial Conduct Authority?
  • Will you also require a savings account?
  • What is your investment style? Would you prefer to pick your own investments or sit back and have someone do it for you?
  • Are there any inactivity, deposit or exit fees to contend with?

General investment account FAQs

Do you pay tax on a GIA?

Yes, you have to pay tax on a GIA (general investment account). Income tax and capital gains tax is payable according to your personal tax status. Setting up a stocks and shares ISA is more tax efficient than a GIA.

Are general investment accounts good?

General investment accounts (GIA) are more suitable for people who have already used their tax-free allowance in a stocks and shares ISA for example.

Please note:

This article regarding general investment accounts is for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. All contents are based on my understanding of HMRC legislation, which is subject to change.

The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.

Trading fees will differ between each of the investing apps featured in this article, and the minimum investment shown is subject to change for each of these apps in the UK.

#1 Best Choice

Join eToro

Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit