Lightyear Investing Review 2024: Big Pros & Few Cons

Authored by:
Adam Woodhead
Adam Woodhead

Adam Woodhead

Co-Founder

Adam is a Co-Founder and content creator for The Investors Centre. His key areas of interest and expertise are cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

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Reviewed by:
Dom Farnell
Dom Farnell

Dom Farnell

Co-Founder

Dom is a Co-Founder of TIC, a passionate investor and seasoned blog writer with a keen interest in financial markets and wealth management. "My goal is to empower individuals to make informed investment decisions through informative and engaging content."

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Last Updated 04/02/2024
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It’s important to be aware that the value of investments can fluctuate, potentially decreasing as well as increasing. There’s a possibility that you might not recover the entire amount you have invested. The information provided on this page does not constitute a personal endorsement of any investment. If you’re uncertain about whether an investment or financial service is appropriate for you, it’s advisable to consult with a licensed financial advisor.

4.3/5

Please bear in mind that the value of investments can decrease in addition to increasing and there is a possibility of receiving an amount lower than your initial investment. It is generally advisable to retain your investments for a minimum of five years in order to maximize the likelihood of achieving your desired returns. Capital at risk.

Lightyear Investing at a Glance

What is Lightyear Investing?

Lightyear Investing or Lightyear Financial Ltd is a modern investment platform that’s shaking up the traditional brokerage scene. Launched in 2020 and regulated by top-tier authorities like the FCA in the UK and the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority, Lightyear is designed with today’s investor in mind. 

It offers a straightforward, mobile-first investing experience, allowing users to trade stocks and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) across global markets, including Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia. Notably, Lightyear supports fractional shares, making it possible for investors to start small.

Available both on the Apple App Store and Google Play, the Lightyear investing app is designed to meet the needs of a wide range of investors, from those looking to trade UK, US, and EU stocks to individuals aiming to manage a multi-currency account or explore money market funds. Its commitment to serving as a low-cost, high-interest investing platform is evident across its offerings, from the Lightyear web trading platform to its comprehensive mobile app.

What do Lightyear do?

he platform stands out for its cost-efficiency, boasting low stock trade fees, commission-free ETFs, and zero charges for inactivity or account maintenance. Additionally, it offers attractive interest rates on uninvested cash, enhancing the value for users keeping a cash balance. Security is a priority, with protections up to €20k for non-US assets and $500k for US securities, ensuring peace of mind for its users.

In essence, Lightyear Investing caters to those looking for an easy-to-use, cost-effective way to access the stock market. Its blend of low fees, a wide range of investment options, and robust security measures positions it as an appealing choice for modern investors looking to grow their portfolios

"Lightyear Investing is great for those new to investing or even seasoned investors looking for a straightforward, cost-effective platform. Its user-friendly app, competitive interest rates on uninvested cash, and low fees make it especially suited to investors who prioritize accessibility and efficiency in their trading experience."
Co-Founder
Investing Options
Stocks 3000+, ETF's 1000+
Interest on Uninvested Cash
4.5% £
FCA Regulated
& EFSA
Founded
2020
Investor Protection
*
Demo Image
4.8/5 (480)
ISA Account
Mobile App
Inactivity Fee
Monthly Fee
Base Fiat
£ $ €
Min Deposit
Withdrawal Fee
Demo Account
Available in UK
* €20k non-US assets and cash, $500k US securities

Lightyear Investing Review 2024

4.3/5

In assessing the performance and capabilities of investing platforms like lightyear Investing, our review grading system offers a structured and objective way to evaluate various aspects of the service. This system uses specific criteria that are crucial for users when reviewing choosing an investing platform. Our goal in our Lightyear Investing review is to provide a comprehensive and balanced perspective, highlighting its strengths and areas where it can improve. Let’s see how Lightyear measures up. 

What We Liked and What Could be Improved

Quick Summary

Lightyear Investing presents a commendable package for investors, reflected in an overall review score of 4.3 out of 5. It stands out as a reliable and user-friendly platform, particularly for beginners and intermediate investors. Its strengths in cost efficiency, security, and user interface are particularly noteworthy. This balanced approach positions Lightyear as a new but highly competitive player in the online investment platform market.

Review Criteria
Review Rating
Investment Options
3.8/5
Cost & Fees
4.5/5
Desktop Platform
4.2/5
Mobile Platform
4.6/5
Research & Educational Tools
4.0/5
Customer Support
3.8/5
Security
4.7/5
Regulatory Compliance
4.4/5
Performance Tracking
4.7/5
Trustpilot
4.8/5
Overall Review Score
4.3/5

What follows in a more-depth look at Lightyear Investing against our review criteria. 

Investment Options: 3.8/5

3.8/5

Lightyear Investing scores a 3.8 out of 5 for its investment options, reflecting a diverse yet somewhat limited range. The platform’s strengths lie in offering a variety of stocks and ETFs, including fractional shares, across major international markets. However, its limitation in not providing bonds and more specialized investment choices slightly narrows its appeal.

At the heart of Lightyear’s offerings are a variety of investment opportunities, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, and a broad spectrum of stocks ranging from UK stocks to US and EU stocks. This diversity enables users to construct a diversified portfolio, essential for managing risk while pursuing growth. The platform supports trading in multiple currencies, providing a multi-currency account feature that adds a layer of convenience for investors dealing in foreign stocks, albeit with currency conversion fees to consider.

Lightyear Investing offers an impressive range of stocks and ETFs, catering well to a broad spectrum of investors. The provision of fractional shares is a significant advantage, enabling users to buy stocks with smaller amounts of money. This feature democratizes investing, making it accessible for those with limited capital. The platform’s focus on major international markets also allows for a diversified global investment portfolio, appealing to investors seeking exposure to different economies and sectors.

However, the most notable limitation is the absence of bonds. Bonds are a key component in many investment strategies, particularly for risk-averse investors or those seeking steady income streams. Their exclusion from Lightyear’s offerings may deter a segment of investors who prioritize fixed-income assets or seek to balance their portfolios with less volatile investments.

Cost and Fees: 4.5/5

4.5/5

Lightyear Investing’s fee structure has been commendably rated at 4.5 out of 5. This high score reflects the platform’s competitive pricing, which includes low cost transaction fees, free multi currency account and the absence of various common charges, making it an attractive choice for cost-conscious investors.

Fee Type
Approx. Cost
US Stock Fee
0.1% per trade, max $1
EU Stock Fee
€1 per trade
UK Stock Fee
£1 per trade
ETF’s
No trading fees
Foreign Exchange Fee
0.35%
Deposit Fee
Free for bank transfers; 0.5% for debit card/Apple Pay/Google Pay after €/£ 500
Withdrawal Fee
Inactivity Fee
Account Fee
Money Market Funds fee
0.09-0.30% Annually
For the latest and most accurate fee information, checking the Lightyear official website or contacting their support is advisable.

The 4.5 score in the Costs and Fees category is a testament to Lightyear Investing’s competitive edge in pricing. For US stocks, the platform charges a low fee of 0.1% per trade, with a maximum of $1. In the EU and UK markets, the fees are set at €1 and £1 per trade respectively. This structure is especially beneficial for active traders, keeping their transaction costs minimal.

Lightyear further enhances its attractiveness by not charging trading fees for ETFs. This decision significantly benefits ETF investors, making Lightyear a cost-effective option for diversifying portfolios with various ETFs. Additionally, the absence of inactivity fees, account maintenance charges, and withdrawal fees adds to the platform’s appeal, particularly for passive investors or those who prefer to hold their investments over longer periods. However, Lightyear does implement a foreign exchange fee of 0.35% for trades in currencies different from the account holder’s currency. This fee is relevant for investors trading in international markets and should be factored into the overall cost of investment. Furthermore, while deposits via bank transfers are free, there is a 0.5% fee for deposits made through debit cards, Apple Pay, or Google Pay after exceeding the initial €/£ 500 free bank transfer limits. Lightyear desktop screenshot for lightyear investing review

Desktop Trading Platform: 4.2/5

4.2/5

Lightyear Investing’s web trading platform garners a solid score of 4.2 out of 5, indicating a robust and user-friendly interface, but with some room for improvement. This score reflects its ease of use, functionality, and overall user experience.

The desktop trading platform of Lightyear Investing scores well in terms of user experience and reliability. It is well-suited for individuals who prefer a straightforward and stable trading environment. However, to improve its score beyond 4.2, the platform would benefit from incorporating more advanced features, enhancing customization options, and allowing integration with third-party tools. These improvements would cater to a broader range of trading needs and preferences, particularly those of more advanced traders.

Mobile Trading Platform: 4.6/5

4.6/5

The Lightyear Investing mobile trading platform or Lightyear app earns a high rating of 4.6 out of 5, reflecting its excellent usability, comprehensive features, and overall user satisfaction. This score indicates that the lightyear app is well-designed, offering a seamless, trading app experience that caters to the needs of modern investors.

The Lightyear Investing mobile trading platform stands out for its user-friendly interface. The design is intuitive and clean, making it easy for beginners to navigate while still offering enough depth for more experienced traders. This approach to design ensures that users can manage their investments effectively without a steep learning curve.

In conclusion, the Lightyear Investing mobile trading platform is highly regarded for its ease of use, range of features, and overall performance, justifying its high rating. To achieve perfection, further enhancements in advanced technical analysis tools, customization options, and ensuring real-time data reliability would be beneficial. These improvements would address the needs of a broader range of users, particularly those with more advanced trading requirements.

Research & Education Tools: 4.0/5

4/5

Lightyear Investing’s Research and Education Tools have been given a score of 4.0 out of 5. This rating signifies that while the platform offers a good range of resources for investor education and market research, there is still some room for improvement, especially when catering to more advanced investors.

Lightyear Investing provides a solid foundation for investor education and market research, which is reflected in its 4.0 rating. The platform’s educational resources are particularly commendable for beginners. They offer accessible and informative content that helps new investors understand the basics of investing, market dynamics, and how to make money market funds and navigate the investment landscape.

However, to enhance its appeal and utility for a broader range of users, particularly those seeking more advanced insights and interactive learning experiences, the platform would benefit from expanding its research tools and educational content. This expansion would not only cater to the needs of experienced investors but also enrich the learning journey for beginners.

Lightyear desktop screenshot get started for lightyear investing review
Lightyear desktop screenshot get started

Customer Support: 3.8

3.8/5

Lightyear Investing’s customer support system is rated at 3.8 out of 5, indicating a satisfactory level of service but highlighting areas for improvement. This score reflects the platform’s efficiency in handling customer queries, but it also points to limitations in terms of support channels and response times.

Lightyear Investing offers reliable customer support, primarily through email. Users generally report receiving helpful and detailed responses to their queries. This method of support, while effective, may not always offer the immediacy that some users require, especially in time-sensitive situations.

The platform’s FAQ section is a strong point, providing answers to a wide array of common questions. This self-help resource allows users to quickly find information and solutions without needing direct support, making it a convenient first stop for addressing many issues.

One notable gap is the lack of real-time support options. The absence of live chat or phone support can be a drawback for users who prefer immediate assistance or have urgent issues. Real-time support channels are particularly important in the financial services sector, where timely assistance can be crucial.

Security: 4.7/5

4.7/5

Lightyear Investing’s security measures have been rated highly at 4.7 out of 5, indicating a strong commitment to protecting user data and funds. This high score is reflective of the robust security protocols in place, though there is always a small margin for enhancement in the ever-evolving landscape of online security.

Lightyear Investing’s strong security rating is underpinned by its use of high-level encryption and data protection measures. These protocols are crucial in safeguarding users’ personal and financial information from unauthorized access and cyber threats. Users have generally expressed confidence in the security of the platform, which is a testament to the effectiveness of these measures.

Regulatory Compliance: 4.4

4.4/5

Lightyear Investing’s regulatory compliance earns a solid score of 4.4 out of 5. This rating indicates that Lightyear is highly compliant with industry regulations, showing the investment firm has a strong adherence to legal and financial standards, which is essential for investor trust and platform integrity. Lightyear Financial Ltd, operates under the vigilant regulation of Risksave Technologies Ltd, ensuring a robust framework for retail investors seeking to navigate the complexities of the stock exchange. As with any investment endeavour, potential Lightyear customers are encouraged to seek qualified advice to understand the risks associated with stock trading fully.

Lightyear, operating as an appointed representative of Risksave Technologies Ltd, emphasizes the importance of informed decision-making in the investment journey.

Lightyear Investing demonstrates a strong commitment to regulatory compliance. The platform adheres to the regulations set by authoritative bodies such as the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. This compliance ensures that Lightyear operates within the legal framework, offering services that meet the required standards for financial practices and investor protection.

The investment industry is subject to continuous regulatory changes, and Lightyear shows a proactive approach in adapting to these changes. By staying informed and compliant with the latest regulations, Lightyear maintains its integrity and trustworthiness as an investment platform. This aspect is crucial for both investor confidence and the platform’s long-term sustainability.

Performance Tracking: 4.2

4.2/5

The Performance Tracking feature of Lightyear Investing is rated at 4.2 out of 5. This rating reflects a strong but not perfect financial performance tracking capability within the platform, indicating that while it offers useful tools for investors to monitor and analyse their investments, there is room for some enhancements.

Lightyear Investing’s performance tracking tools are highly regarded for their user-friendliness and effectiveness in providing essential, investment advice and metrics. The platform’s interface is designed to allow investors, especially beginners and intermediates, to easily monitor their portfolio’s performance. Real-time updates and notifications ensure that users are promptly informed about significant changes in their investments, which is crucial for timely decision-making.

Lightyear Investing’s performance tracking feature is efficient and user-friendly, meriting its rating of 4.2. To further enhance its capabilities, the platform could benefit from introducing more advanced analytics, customizable options, and comprehensive benchmarking tools. These improvements would cater to a wider range of investor needs and preferences, making the platform even more appealing to both new and experienced investors.

Lightyear Logo Blue
4.3/5

TIC Review Score 4.3/5

Lightyear - Best Mobile App

Lightyear Investing is a modern, app-first investment platform that simplifies access to global stocks and ETFs with low fees.

Please bear in mind that the value of investments can decrease in addition to increasing and there is a possibility of receiving an amount lower than your initial investment. It is generally advisable to retain your investments for a minimum of five years in order to maximize the likelihood of achieving your desired returns. Capital at risk.

Lightyear Investing Review: Key Features

lightyear ETF Mobile Screenshot for Lightyear Investing Review
lightyear ETF Mobile Screenshot

Lightyear Investing, a platform designed for the modern investor, stands out with several key features that cater to a wide range of investment needs. Here’s a rundown of what makes Lightyear a compelling choice:

  1. Global Stock and ETF Access: Lightyear offers access to over 3,000 stocks and 1,000 ETFs across major global exchanges, including markets in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia.

  2. Fractional Shares: Investors can purchase fractional shares, enabling them to buy into high-value stocks with smaller amounts of money, making investing more accessible.

  3. Low Fees: With low stock trading fees, commission-free ETFs, and no inactivity or monthly account fees, Lightyear is designed to be cost-efficient for its users.

  4. Interest on Uninvested FIAT: The platform offers attractive interest rates on uninvested FIAT balances, allowing users to earn returns on cash not currently invested in the market.

  5. Robust Security Measures: Lightyear prioritizes security with protections up to €20k for non-US assets and cash, and up to $500k for US securities through SIPC protection.

  6. Regulated by Top-Tier Authorities: It is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority, ensuring compliance with stringent financial standards.

  7. User-Friendly Mobile App: The platform’s mobile app is highly rated for its ease of use, designed to provide a seamless investing experience.

  8. No Minimum Deposit: Making it accessible to a wider audience, Lightyear does not require a minimum deposit to start investing.

  9. Price Alerts: For those keen on staying informed, Lightyear provides price alerts, ensuring that investors are always aware of the current market price and can make timely decisions based on analyst ratings and market movements. This feature, alongside advanced trading tools, positions Lightyear as an appealing choice not only for retail investors but also for advanced traders looking for depth in their trading strategy.

  10. Modern Payment Methods: Lightyear’s integration with major payment systems like Google Pay and Apple Pay for account and deposit funds underscores its commitment to providing a user-friendly experience. Furthermore, the ability to withdraw money seamlessly via bank transfers adds to the platform’s appeal.

These features collectively make Lightyear Investing a suitable platform for individuals seeking a straightforward, cost-effective, and secure way to access the stock market. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced investor, Lightyear’s comprehensive offerings and user-centric approach provide a solid foundation for building and managing a diversified investment portfolio.

Investing Top Tip

Consider Exploring Diversification: Many investors find value in diversifying their portfolios across a variety of asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and commodities. It’s often suggested that diversification can be a good strategy to spread potential risks, as it avoids putting all of your eggs in the same basket.

How to Open an Account with Lightyear

The process of account opening with Lightyear is streamlined for user convenience, requiring no minimum deposit to get started. Once an account is established, users can deposit funds through various methods, including bank transfer, Google Pay, and Apple Pay, making the initial steps towards investing as straightforward as possible.

  1. Verify Eligibility: Ensure you are at least 18 years old and reside in a country where Lightyear’s services are available.

  2. Choose Lightyear Account Type: Business or personal general investment account.

  3. Download the Lightyear App: Go to Lightyear’s website or your phone’s app store to download the Lightyear app.

  4. Register: Start the registration process on the app. Provide your phone number to receive a confirmation code.

  5. Fill Out Your Details: Enter your personal information, including name, date of birth, email address, home address, nationality, and tax details.

  6. Source of Wealth: Provide information about your source of wealth as part of the financial compliance requirements.

  7. Verification: Complete the verification process by uploading the required documents. You’ll need a form of ID (national ID, passport, driving license, or residence permit) and proof of residency (utility bill, bank/credit card statement, signed rental agreement, or a document issued by a public authority).

  8. Await Lightyear Account Verification: Lightyear typically verifies accounts within 0-2 business days. The mobile investing app will update you about your account status, but you can reach out to support if verification takes longer.

  9. Make Your First Trade

Account Opening Email Screenshot
Account Opening Email Screenshot

Investing Platform Comparison Table

Trading 212
Lightyear
Interactive Investor
Etoro Logo
Etoro
IG
Regulator
FCA
FCA
FCA
FCA
FCA
Mobile App Usability
4.5/5
4.6/5
4/5
4.2/5
3.5/5
Variety of Assets
12,000+ global stocks & ETFs, commodities, forex
Stocks 3000+, ETF's 1000+
1,000+ ETFs, Stocks (UK & International), Bonds, Ethical Investments
Stocks, cryptocurrencies, CFDs
18,000+ markets, stocks, ETFs, commodities, currencies, bonds, funds
ISA Available
Yes
No
Yes
Yes (in conjunction with Moneyfarm)
Yes
Trust Pilot Score
4.6/5
4.8/5
4.7/5
4.3/5
4./5
Fee Score
4/5
4.5/5
4.2/5
3.5/5
4/5
Overall Review Score
4.5/5
4.4/5
4.4/5
3.9/5
3.9/5

Lightyear Review Key Takeaways:

    • Overall rating: 4.3/5, indicating high user satisfaction and platform efficacy.
    • 4.5% £ interest on uninvested cash 
    • Trustpilot rating: 4.8/5
    • Stocks 3000+, ETF’s 1000+
    • Investor protection: €20k non-US assets and cash, $500k US securities
    • No inactivity fee
    • No monthly fee
    • No minimum deposit
    • No withdrawal fee

Lightyear Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Lightyear is considered reliable and is regulated by the top-tier Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK​​.

You can make money with Lightyear by investing in a wide range of stocks and ETFs the platform offers. Lightyear also allows earning interest on uninvested cash, offering another avenue to generate returns.

Comparing Lightyear to Trading 212 depends on individual preferences and investment needs. Lightyear is praised for its user-friendly interface and low fees, while Trading 212 offers a wider range of investment options. Each has its unique features, so the better choice depends on your specific investment goals and preferences.

Yes, Lightyear is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and is considered a secure platform​​.

Lightyear pays interest on uninvested cash, but the frequency of interest payments may vary. For specific details on how often interest is paid, it’s best to consult Lightyear’s official resources or customer support.

Lightyear is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which means investments may not be protected if Lightyear were to go out of business​​.

Yes, if you invest in dividend-paying stocks or ETFs through Lightyear, you are eligible to receive dividends. The dividends will be credited to your account based on the holdings that distribute them.

Yes, Lightyear offers access to UK stocks, allowing investors to invest in companies listed on the London Stock Exchange among other international markets​​.

Lightyear does not charge commission for ETFs and offers low fees for stock investments. However, there are currency conversion charges and other fees under certain conditions. While many features on Lightyear are free, it’s essential to review the full fee structure for specific activities​

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