So my thinking has evolved and I am now gravitating towards Saxo. @alister.sneddon, thanks for that tip.
Their fees are dearer than I would like (£8 for US, £10 for UK) - cheaper than HL, more expensive than IG, definitely not a zero-commission. But as I am typically a Long investor and invest in £1-2k blocks, it should be manageable.
The main reason is that they got all the stocks and ETFs I want on their platform, can wrap them in an ISA, but then also have options (call/put) for hedging and long-term options, as well as CFD for intra-day exposure.
Their app is alright, functional enough, but not brilliant, but their desktop web app is brilliant and the downloadable Pro version looks crazy good.
Most importantly, it allows me to follow my revised investment strategy, which will be
- 70% a basket of ETFs that I rotate in and out on the basis of the economic cycle. Exposure will be across 7 asset classes (ie commodities, domestic equities, emerging markets, currencies, domestic fixed income, international equities, international fixed income), and across geographies.
- 30% will be high conviction stock picking
- both long ETFs and stocks will be complemented with medium to long term put options for hedging and extra income.
- opportunistically I will do intraday CFD
The idea is to move away from long stocks only, towards multi-asset with hedging in order to outperform but also risk manage as the economic cycle changes.