Review process

Testing and scoring all your options.
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Updated: Mar 20, 2023
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Invezz publishes in-depth reviews of a range of different financial products. This page explains our criteria for selecting which companies we review, how we review each platform, and how we award a rating.

Types of products we review

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Invezz reviews any service that could help our users achieve their financial goals. This means our experts regularly publish reviews of the following types of products:

  • Online brokers & trading platforms. Online brokers can help users trade a wide variety of assets, including cryptocurrencies, stocks, and forex. Some platforms support a range of assets, whereas some focus on just one type of market.
  • Cryptocurrency exchanges. Exchanges allow users to swap different cryptocurrencies for each other, with each platform offering different coins, security features, and fee structures.
  • Cryptocurrency wallets. Security-focused cryptocurrency investors use private wallets to keep their coins safe. Different types of wallet include online, mobile, and hardware, with each having their own unique pros and cons.
  • Robo-advisors. These platforms allow people to invest their money with the help of technology – setting their investment preferences and monthly investment amount and allowing the platform to build them a portfolio.
  • Auto-traders. Auto-traders, or auto-trading robots, allow users to execute trades automatically. Some platforms follow their own tailor-made algorithms to try and make profits, whereas others allow traders to set their own parameters.
  • Signals providers. Many services provide users with trading tips in the form of trading signals, forex signals, and crypto signals – letting them know when to invest their money and in what. Some of these signal providers are more reliable than others and we help our readers find the best around.

    Our review process

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    Our reviews are designed to help users make wise investment decisions. To ensure the highest levels of accuracy, we review each service multiple times over the course of a year. Our expert panel follows a 6-step process during each reviewing cycle.

    1. Investigate. We only review reliable and reputable brands, so our first step is to investigate the service to decide whether it merits further research. If a product doesn’t pass this test, we don’t spend any more time on it.
    2. Research. If a product has a good reputation, we then research it in more detail. That involves a deep-dive into the company’s website, reading customer reviews, and conducting user surveys to build up a picture of the strengths and weaknesses of the service.
    3. Test. In order to check the service works as described, our experts test each product by signing up and using it. Their extensive testing results in a final score based on eight ranking categories which feeds into our overall ranking for the service. Our full process for how we test each platform is described in detail in the next section.
    4. Write. Once all our research and data from testing the platform is collected, one of our expert team writes a full review. These reviews are in-depth and break down every aspect of the services offered and prices involved.
    5. Edit. The finished review is then handed to our editorial team who edit it according to the guidelines in our editorial policy. This ensures the review is both accurate and easy to read. All reviews are fact-checked by an independent reviewer prior to publication.
      • Update when necessary. Once reviews are live on Invezz, they are assessed regularly to make sure they are still accurate and that no information has gone out of date since publication. We remain in contact with each individual brand to ensure the accuracy of all information, and re-review each service multiple times a year to ensure all of our reviews remain up to date.

      How we test

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      As mentioned above, our review process includes practical testing of every service. This process has its own 6-point structure, and is an essential part of ensuring that we recommend reliable platforms and services to our readers.

      As a result of this process, our panel assigns each service a score against 8 criteria: cost, reliability, user experience, deposit & withdrawals, investing options, range of products/markets, research & analysis tools, and the availability of educational & learning resources.

      This is a breakdown of how each brand is tested by our expert review panel:

      1. Register. Each member of our expert panel registers for an account, providing any details necessary such as their name, email address, and photo ID.
      2. Use demo account (if available). If the platform offers a demo account, we will first test this feature before depositing any money. It’s crucial that demo accounts give an accurate representation of what a user of the platform can expect, so they can decide before investing their money.
      3. Deposit. After the product’s demo account has been fully tested, our experts then deposit the minimum deposit amount specified by the platform using one of its advertised payment methods.
      4. Explore different features. We use a wide range of the platform’s services (e.g. buy some stocks, follow any automatic signals, or swap some cryptocurrencies for each other). This allows us to see how easy to use the platform is, and whether there are any hidden fees a user might encounter.
      5. Contact customer service. After testing the features, the panel contact the product’s customer service team to get answers to any queries they may have. In this test, we’re looking to see how quickly they respond and how helpful they are for users having difficulties.
      6. Withdraw. Finally, we withdraw our funds from the platform to make sure everything goes smoothly when you’re taking your money out of the platform and there are no unexpected fees/difficulties a user should know about before signing up.

      Our expert review panel

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      All our research is carried out on a regular, rolling basis by our specialist review panel, made up of industry experts, analysts, and traders. Together, our panel has 60+ years of experience across a range of disciplines, including crypto, the stock market, currency trading, and commodity markets.

      The panel includes Dan Ashmore, CFA, Data Analyst, Michael Charalambous, Director & CMO, Jayson Derrick, Lead Editor of News, James Knight, Lead Editor of Education. Prash Raval, Financial Writer and Trader, and Richard Stutely, Fact Checker and Economist.

      Find out more information about each member of our reviews panel below:

      Jayson Derrick
      Senior Editor of News
      2,769 contributions
      Jayson lives in Montreal with his wife and daughter, loves watching hockey, and is on a lifelong quest to perfect the art of Texas style BBQ.
      Prash Raval
      Financial Writer
      2,540 contributions
      When not researching stocks or trading, Prash can be found either on the golf course, walking his dog or teaching his son how to kick a football.
      Dan Ashmore, CFA
      Head of Research
      3,648 contributions
      Dan is currently living in Medellín, Colombia, where he is desperately trying to pick up just enough Spanish so that he can play live poker and enquire about where the peanut butter is located in the supermarket. He also enjoys playing sports, reading and suffering through Newcastle matches.
      Richard Stutely
      Fact Checker & Economist
      91 contributions
      Richard loves life, especially when it involves browsing in bookshops or traveling in the vibrant and varied countries of Asia. He is fascinated by the emergence of humankind, our history and future, and linguistics. He has a couple more books he will write “one day.”
      James Knight
      Editor of Education
      36,333 contributions
      James is the lead editor of education for Invezz. He's an avid trader and golfer, who spends an inordinate amount of time watching Leicester City and the Jacksonville Jaguars. His biggest claim to fame is that he once fed, rode, and ate an ostrich all on the same day.
      Michael Charalambous
      Director & CMO
      1,133 contributions
      Michael is keen on all things decentralised, cares deeply about the planet, and supports actions that lead to a fairer society. Mike's spare time is occupied by trading, travelling, and charitable projects.

      Alongside their work for Invezz, our experts’ work has been featured in publications such as Bloomberg, Business Insider, CNBC, Entrepreneur.com, the Financial Times, the Economist, the Independent, Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, and many more local and international outlets.

      How we score each service

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      As part of each review, no only do we write up an in-depth summary of everything a product offers, we also provide a unique score for the platform which is then represented as a star rating on each page and comparison table. 

      There are 8 different factors that go into determining a product’s rating on Invezz, with each service being assessed in each of the categories outlined below. A score out of 10 is determined for each of these categories, adding up to give each brand a score out of 80.

      Cost

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      To make sure our users get a good deal, we rate each product on how competitive their fees and spreads are when compared to other similar services. Fees can cover a range of things, including one-off payments, amounts charged per trade (either fixed or percentage-based), or overnight/inactivity fees. Spreads, on the other hand, are the difference between a product’s (usually a broker’s) bid and ask price – i.e. the amount they will buy an asset for, and the amount they charge when selling it.

      We review each product’s payment structure thoroughly to make sure that platforms don’t get away with charging ‘no fees’ when in fact they hide their true cost in high spreads. Simply put, the cheaper a service is to use, the better it will score in this section.

      Reliability

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      To ensure our users are only referred to reliable platforms and products, every review includes a rating for a service’s reputation – including which regulatory bodies oversee it. All our reviews clearly explain each product’s regulatory status along with the risks of using unregulated services.

      To score highly in this section, a product should have a strong reputation among its users and online review platforms, and also be overseen by a major regulatory authority such as the FCA.

      User experience

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      We are firmly of the belief that investment tools and products are there to make the process of investing as easy as possible. It’s no use for a product to offer a host of great options if its interface makes them difficult for a user to navigate. The best services today have user-friendly designs to help rather than hinder people on their investment journey.

      The simpler a product is to use, the higher it will score on Invezz in this category. Our aim is to make investing easy and effortless for everyone, and we’re happiest to recommend brands that help towards this goal.

      Deposits and withdrawals

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      Some of our users might want to use a specific form of payment when making their investments, so we rate each service we review on the number of payment methods accepted. By accepting multiple methods of payment, brands not only make themselves more flexible, but also cater better to users who might be new to investing and feel reassured by using a familiar form if payment.

      In this section, brands that accept a wide variety of the most common payment methods (particularly debit cards and PayPal) score highly – with credit also given to brands that accept payment in cryptocurrencies and popular e-wallet services.

      Investing options

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      Putting money into financial markets can take different forms. Someone looking to invest for the long term might want a platform that offers a tax-free ISA, while a trader might be more interested in using CFDs, futures, and options to try to make money. Many people want to be able to do both, with one pot for building long term wealth and another for taking advantage of short term trends.

      Platforms that are designed to meet the needs of both types of investor offer the greatest flexibility, and mean you don’t have to sign up to lots of different platforms to cater to your financial needs. Providing a wide range of investment options will see a product score highly in this category, whereas if a platform has a very limited offering it will be marked down.

      Range of products/markets

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      In the online investing space, there is a growing demand for platforms that offer a variety of markets. Whereas a few years ago people might have been happy using one broker for cryptocurrency purchases, and another for trading stocks, today more and more platforms are offering these services (among others) combined in one place.

      Our reviews system rewards the platforms that offer an all-in-one service, or that provide a lot of depth on one particular market. For example, a service that offers stock, crypto, and forex trading would score well, but so would a platform that offered only stock trading, if it allowed you to invest in thousands of companies from around the world.

      Research & analysis tools

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      For professional or high volume traders, in-depth analysis tools are a must if you want to identify potential trades. Likewise, things like live news feeds, economic calendars, and premium market analysis can help you research assets that you might want to invest in.

      While our reviews prioritise features that suit a beginner or a casual user, we include an analysis of pro-style tools and charts in our scoring. Services that allow you to follow news or perform your own analysis in-app, rather than using third party software, are scored highest.

      Education & learning resources

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      Educational resources include anything that helps you learn about trading and investing. Demo accounts, video walkthroughs, and blogs all qualify as learning materials and benefit someone who wants to learn how the platform works, or how financial markets work.

      We expect each platform to provide some form of educational resources. Those that offer a free demo account and lots of helpful materials receive the highest score, while those platforms with little or no materials scored poorly.

      Where can I see each service’s score?

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      The overall score each product attains can be seen in three different places: at the top of the in-depth review of the service, in any comparison table in which the product features, and in all banner ads for the brand (if applicable). In each of these places, the score will be represented by a star rating out of 5.

      How can I get more information?

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      If you still need more information or are unsure about any brand, then please get in touch and we will be happy to help.



      Sources & references
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