Freetrade Meetup: AI Portfolio Advisor, Mutual Funds + Proxy Voting

Freetrade Community Meetup 18th May 2023

Table of Contents

Yesterday, Freetrade held another Community Meetup event: "Meet the CTO" with Shahid Naveed their recently hired CTO (Nov 2022), Adam Dodds (CEO & Founder), Viktor Nebehaj (CMO & Co-Founder), James Bell (VP Product) and Omar Farag (Partnerships Lead).

Shahid shared his journey to Freetrade as an ex-Amazon employee and with James they shared some upcoming features.


Just Released

Freetrade have just released annual subscriptions for their different account tiers providing a 17% discount for customers who subscribe annually.

Due to the use of an external billing partner, this was made available much quicker than usual, saving the development team a significant amount of time from having to develop annual memberships themselves.

Coming Soon

The next set of features are "coming soon", hopefully within the next months:

  1. Direct Debits - Top-up the cash balance within your account
  2. Recurring Orders - Regularly buy the same stocks using your cash balance
  3. Percentage Allocations - Automatically buy stocks every month for your portfolio in order to match your pre-set percentage distributions
  4. Proxy Voting - For US investments only, you'll be able to take part in any shareholder votes that your stocks are holding

What's Next

The next big announcement was the introduction of mutual funds and eventually money market accounts too. I believe this has just been scoped out and development will start soon, with an internal target of Summer 2023.

This seems to have replaced the short-term goal of JISAs & LISAs as Freetrade believe the addition of mutual funds will allow more people to transfer across their full portfolio into Freetrade (especially SIPPs), helping to achieve Freetrades goal of being the "Long term & primary investing partner" of their customers.

Longer Term

There were many longer term features that were spoken about but not confirmed, such as:


JISA (Junior ISAs) and LISA (Lifetime ISAs) were the 2 high priority items at the last community event however it was announced that these will no longer be the imminent priority.

Of course, these will still be achieved but with the current markets, Mutual Funds were decided to be more valuable.

Adam Dodds did confirm on Twitter that JISAs should be available later this here.

Security Lending

Security lending is not too far away from being complete however it was put on hold due to some industry/regulatory decisions. Not too much was said as to what these were but it was confirmed that once these issues go away, security lending will start.

European Shares

UK access to more european shares still has a small amount of effort left due to the following issues. Hopefully these can be resolved quickly:

Options Trading

It was asked by a community member if Options Trading would be coming to the platform however as Adam summed up, it wouldn't be appropriate for the majority of their customers.

Adam did go on to say maybe in the future it would be offered to "advanced" users potentially through a pro tier plan. But it is not currently a planned feature.

AI at Freetrade

At the last community meetup, we heard how AI was being used internally at Freetrade to provide better efficiencies. That message was echoed again this time round with a trial of GitHub Co-Pilot being worked internally to see how AI can help write code. Currently they have found it useful for only writing boiler plate code and even then it struggles to write optimal code without being prompted multiple times by the engineer.

However, at this meetup an AI Portfolio Advisor proof of concept was demoed. This assistant would be integrated into both the "Discovery" page to ask questions on public stock data as well as the "Insights" page, to ask specific questions about your portfolio.

Here are the kind of questions you would be expected to ask about your portfolio:

This was only a proof of concept and still has a major concern to deal with first - how to ask questions about a portfolio to the OpenAI ChatGPT API without leaking user's portfolio data.

It was stated that a phased approach would be used, to focus on "public" data questions first with a potential to move to a B2B LLM (Large Language Model) in the future (potentially using Google Cloud) to better protect user data.

Cost Savings

The plan was to break even Q1 2024, however Freetrade are still on track to beat this time scale. Q1 2023 was their best quarter yet and Q2 is expected to be even better.

Not too much more was announced financially however the next community meetup, is expected to be hosted by Freetrade's CFO (Paul Brooking) with a focus on the company's financials.


Freetrade has always had pride in their fully-owned tech stack - providing a competitive advantage (through lower costs) over other providers.

Yesterday this was confirmed by the fact Freetrade announced they would continue to own the core trading platform themselves however to provide features quicker to their customers they will be using external providers for features that didn't overlap with their core trading platform.

Here are some of the currently announced partnership-enabled features:

As the CTO put it, "if you want to drink some milk, you don't need to buy a cow". Freetrade will continue to own their Core trading platform, but extra features can be provided by additional 3rd party providers.

Tech Savings

Shahid (the new CTO) appears to be in a great position to provide cost-savings and efficiencies for Freetrade through his past experience at Amazon.

One recent cost-savings that was announced was the move from directly purchasing from GCP (Google Cloud) to a Google Cloud Partner Reseller which has brought down cloud computing costs by 10-15%. For a cloud-native company, this would have been a huge savings.

As mentioned last time, Freetrade have moved internally from Notion to Confluence for their internal documentation site - is this another cost savings move?

EU Expansion

Within the next month or two, another community meetup is expected to take place in Stockholm, Sweden - potentially this would be where further EU expansion is announced?

In Hungary, Freetrade have completed the process to become their own company which means they can now start hiring engineers directly without having to go through a 3rd party agency first. 6 members of staff have already been hired in Hungary with engineering hiring ramping up in Budapest

In the future, more local locations may popup in order to help provide savings by utilising lower cost engineers.


The next community meetup is expected to be announced in 3-4 weeks and will be hosted in the UK again, this time with the CFO and a focus on finances. Potentially more information about future fundraising rounds & IPO will be announced here. The current plan for IPO however is to first break even, then wait for the markets to turn around before a London based IPO. Adam has been vocal on Twitter that any future IPO would be in London.

Another community meetup is also expected in Stockholm too within the next couple of months. This would be a perfect place to potentially announce further EU expansion.

New Content

Finally, there is expected to be a regular release of content by the team at Freetrade:

Thank you for reading this blog, please do connect on Twitter and feel free to ask any questions.

Also check out this blog of the last Community Meetup to see what has changed since then: