AD- paid post in collaboration with Lightyear
Thrifty Londoner will be paid a referral fee if you open an account and deposit funds through some of the links on this page, this includes financial promotion.
Sign up with a promo code THRIFTYLONDONER deposit at least £50 and get 10 trades for free.
T&Cs apply. Capital at risk
*Capital at risk
We love to take a look at a new investing app here at Thrifty Londoner, and today we are bringing you the Lightyear investing app review. Lightyear is a low cost investing and trading app. There is a wide range of investments (over 3,500 international stocks and ETFs ) and you can buy and sell in multiple currencies, across multiple countries. You can even totally avoid currency conversion fees should you wish to. Their mission? To bring a borderless mindset to the European investment world.
The team (Martin Sokk and Mihkel Aamer) who built Lightyear have experience at Wise, so they’re no strangers to the world of fintech. It’s no surprise that Lightyear is a great contender in the world of investing apps, and it’s got some pretty cool features which we will review in this post.
And if you want a second opinion? Check out this testimonial from Richard Branson:
“For too long, financial markets have been overly complex with high barriers to entry and confusing jargon. Martin, Mihkel and the Lightyear team are lifting the lid on the world of investing – making it more transparent whilst empowering people through education – to choose the products which are right for them.”
Read on to find out more!
Lightyear Investing App Review: Usability
As you’d expect, Lightyear is a fully digital experience and you can get started within moments. The app is slick, easy to use and understand. It’s available on Apple and Android and web and comes highly rated with great reviews on the Apple store.
Even if you’re a beginner investor, Lightyear has you covered. When you view an individual stock within the app, you can see key information at a glance, latest news, and third party analyst ratings which can help you to decide if you’d like to invest or not. It’s ideal if you’re looking to manage your investments for yourself instead of an expert-managed investment portfolio.
The only downside? Lightyear could do with having some educational content on the platform, or perhaps some interactive educational tools to make this app a little more beginner-friendly.
What range of investments are available?
There is a good range to choose from- with both stocks and shares and ETFs . There are over 2,000 US stocks, and a range of popular companies from other countries across the world such as the UK, including brands you’re probably familiar with.
You can also make use of Lightyear’s fractional shares (on US stocks), where you’ll buy a fraction of a share instead of the whole thing.
And if you’d prefer to invest in ETFs? There are over 200 ETFs listed on Lightyear, as well as all of the key index funds. There are no execution fees when you buy ETFs , however do note that you will pay fees within the ETF itself, and you might pay a LY FX fee if buying an ETF in a different currency.
Interest rates on uninvested cash
Interest rates on your uninvested cash are extremely competitive compared to other investment platforms, which is a key selling point of Lightyear. So even if you’ve not invested your money yet? It’s still making money in your account. At the time of writing the interest rate is 4.25% (GBP), but this changes if the bank base rate changes so do check your Lightyear account for the most up to date rates.
What fees do you pay with Lightyear?
The good news is that Lightyear is a lower cost investing app. You don’t pay to open an account, nor do you pay to deposit cash (unless you make a deposit by card). There are no management fees, and withdrawals are also free.
So what do you pay fees on? You’ll pay a fixed fee per trade you make if you are buying or selling shares, and you’ll also pay a fee if you’re making an investment that is not in your local currency or another currency in your account (FX Fees). But remember, you won’t pay execution fees on ETFs ).
At the time of writing, when you buy or sell an investment you’ll pay the following: US shares, 0.1% (capped at $1), UK shares- £1, EU shares- EUR1.00.
How much money do you need to invest to get started?
The barrier to entry at Lightyear is low. You can get started with no minimum deposit which is great news for beginner investors. Do remember that you can still earn a generous interest rate on uninvested cash, which is another attractive plus point of using Lightyear.
Is it safe to invest with Lightyear?
You can be assured that Lightyear have taken the necessary precautions and abide by regulatory obligations when it comes to safety. Your account is secure, all Lightyear customers have their assets protected up to EUR 20,000 by the Estonian Investor Protection Sectoral Fund and US investments under SIPC are protected up to $500k. Lightyear is an appointed representative of RiskSave, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
But do remember, while your money is protected, the value of your investments can go up and down.
Is Lightyear FCA approved?
Lightyear is an appointed representative of RiskSave, which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Does Lightyear have a Stocks & Shares ISA option?
Unfortunately Lightyear does not currently have a Stocks & Shares ISA option, which means you will pay tax on your investments. You will need to invest through their General Investment Account (GIA).