Review process

Testing and scoring all your options.
By: Invezz
Invezz
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Updated: Jun 25, 2021

Invezz publishes in-depth reviews of a range of different financial products. This page takes you through our criteria for selecting which companies we review, our process, and how we score each of them to help our users determine their best options.

Types of products we review

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

  • Brokers. 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 and 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

In order for our users to make wise decisions, it’s pivotal that our reviews are accurate and up-to-date. To ensure this, our team goes through a thorough 6-step process on every review we write. The steps are as follows:

  1. Investigate. First, we look into any brand to see if it has a strong enough reputation to review. We only want to be bringing our users’ attention to reliable and reputable brands, so if a product doesn’t pass this test, we don’t review it.
  2. Research. If a product has a good reputation, we then investigate further. Looking around at various online forums and customer reviews, and examining each detail of the platform’s advertised services, we get a clearer picture.
  3. Test. In order to check the service works as described, we then test each product by signing up and using it. 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, making it ready to publish for our users to read.
  6. 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.

How we test

As mentioned above, we test each product before starting to write a review of it. This process has its own 6-point structure, and is an essential part of ensuring that we’re recommending reliable platforms and services to our readers. This is a break down of how each brand is tested:

  1. Register. One of our team will register 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 team will then deposit the minimum deposit amount specified by the platform using one of its advertised payment methods.
  4. Explore different features. We will then 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 team will come up with a number of queries and contact the product’s customer service team to get answers. 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.

How we score each service

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 out of 100 – which is then also represented as a star rating on each page and comparison table. 

There are 10 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 100.

Range of options

In the online investing space, there is a growing demand for platforms that offer a variety of services to users. 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.

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.

User-friendliness

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.

Fees and spreads

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.

Customer service

Every reliable company should have a responsive and helpful customer service team. As part of our testing of each brand, our team will send a number of queries to its customer services department to see how quickly they respond and if their advice is useful. It’s important to know that if things go wrong, it’s easy to get them fixed.

Each product’s score out of 10 for customer service is impacted by how fast they get back to us, how effective the advice they supply is, and the number of different ways there are to contact the team.

Security 

As our users might end up entrusting the company being reviewed with their hard-earned money, it’s centrally important we check that the service has up-to-date and robust security services. From checking the SSL certificates of each product’s website, to assessing how they secure any personal data and manage payments, our team ensures that every product we review is safe and secure.

The more security features a product has in place, the higher it will score in this section. In addition to this part of the scoring, there is also a full breakdown of how each product keeps its users secure in our written reviews.

Payment methods

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.

Mobile and desktop functionality

The best brands will have products that work equally well on desktop and mobile – ideally in the form of a well-designed website and mobile app. As users want access to their investments wherever they are, we rate every product (where applicable) on how easy it is to use on both desktop and mobile devices.

To score highly in this category, the user experience of a product should be equally smooth on both desktop and mobile – with no major functionality differences between the two. For products for which this doesn’t apply (e.g. hardware wallets), an average score is awarded in this section.

Number of countries served

Invezz is an international brand, and therefore we place a strong emphasis on products that are available in multiple countries and languages. We believe that everyone, regardless of nationality, should have access to great tools for improving their finances. Brands have a responsibility to cater towards more than just the English-speaking world and to be regulated in multiple jurisdictions.

The score for each product in this section is simply determined by the number of countries in which it can be used – with 2 points scored for each country (meaning brands available in 5+ regions the maximum 10 points)

Reputation and regulation

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.

Additional features

Lastly, all our reviews incorporate a rating for any additional features offered by a product that go above and beyond its competitors. Examples of such services are cryptocurrency wallets that offer integrated exchange platforms and stockbrokers that support spread betting services.

A brand that scores highly in this section will offer a variety of features that set it apart from the competition and make it particularly attractive to users.

Where can I see each service’s score?

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?

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


Fact-checking & references

Our editors fact-check all content to ensure compliance with our strict editorial policy. The information in this article is supported by the following reliable sources.

Risk disclaimer

Invezz is a place where people can find reliable, unbiased information about finance, trading, and investing – but we do not offer financial advice and users should always carry out their own research. The assets covered on this website, including stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities can be highly volatile and new investors often lose money. Success in the financial markets is not guaranteed, and users should never invest more than they can afford to lose. You should consider your own personal circumstances and take the time to explore all your options before making any investment. Read our risk disclaimer >