Always remember that investments can go down as well as up in value, so you could get back less than you put in. A rule of thumb is to hang on to your investments for at least five years to give them the best chance of providing the returns you are hoping for.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best investment apps in the UK, divided into three categories - investment platforms, robo advisors (automated investing), and trading apps.
Compare our top ten investment apps below. Every app listed here is available on Android and iOS.
Capital at risk. Other charges apply.
Interactive Investor has more than 40,000 investments to choose from, including UK and overseas shares, funds, investment trusts, and ETFs. You get a free trade every month, which you can use to buy or sell any investment. It is free to top up your ISA each month, and there are no trading fees with its regular investing service. It also has several ready-made funds and expert ideas to make it easy to choose investments. Interactive Investor’s products include Trading Account, Stocks and Shares ISA, SIPP, and Junior ISA.
AJ Bell Youinvest has thousands of investments for you to choose from, including shares, funds, investment trusts, and ETFs. And you can manage them online or with its mobile app. If you need help choosing, it has four ready-made portfolios and other investment ideas. AJ Bell Youinvest offers Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, Junior ISA, Dealing Account, and SIPP.
Kickstart your investing with an award-winning ISA. Hargreaves Lansdown has thousands of investments to choose from, including UK and overseas shares, funds, investment trusts, and ETFs. Choose your own investments with expert research and ideas to help you, or simply pick a ready-made portfolio. Manage via website, app or phone. Hargreaves Lansdown's services include Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, Junior ISA, Fund and Share Account, and SIPP. These services are intended for investors happy at making their own decisions. Capital at risk. Other charges apply.
When you subscribe to Plum Plus or Plum Pro (from £1 a month), you can choose to invest your money in a variety of funds. Plum calculates how much you can afford to set aside and invests that amount automatically. You choose your investments based on what matters to you. For example, you could choose to invest in emerging markets as well as technology, ethical, American, British or European companies. Plum’s products include Stocks and Shares ISA, SIPP and other money management tools.
Moneyfarm has six investor profiles to choose from based on your risk preference - steady, focused, driven, exploring, adventurous and pioneering. You can work towards your goals with a personal investment consultant - chat, phone, email or meet them in person. Moneyfarm’s products include Stocks and Shares ISA, General Investment Account, and Pension.
Wealthify allows you to choose from five investment themes based on your attitude to risk - cautious, tentative, confident, ambitious or adventurous. Then it builds an investment plan to match your risk preference. Wealthify’s products include environmentally and socially responsible investments, Stocks and Shares ISA, Junior ISA, and SIPP.
Nutmeg has four investment styles to choose from based on your risk preference - fully managed, smart alpha, socially responsible, and fixed allocation. Nutmeg’s products include Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, Junior ISA, and Pension. Formal financial advice is also available.
Moneybox helps you invest your spare change by rounding up your card transactions to the nearest pound and investing the difference (e.g. if you spend £2.30 on a snack, MoneyBox invests 70p for you). It also allows you to make weekly or one-off deposits into one of three investment options based on your risk appetite - cautious, balanced or adventurous. Moneybox offers Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, SIPP, Junior ISA, General Investment Account and socially responsible investments.
OpenMoney is a new, affordable robo advisor. It is still relatively small but has a nice mix of investments. It also offers formal personalised financial advice and pensions.
It’s free to open a Freetrade account and trade shares on the app. When you open a General Investment Account (GIA), you pay no platform or dealing fees. The ISA costs £3 per month, which comes to £36 a year, but you pay no fees for buying and selling shares within your ISA. If you are a first-time investor and just want to understand how the markets work by investing in individual stocks and shares, this might be the app for you. Freetrade also offers SIPP.
You can invest as much or as little as you feel comfortable with. Most investment platforms and robo advisors will allow you to start investing with as little as £25 a month. Some even accept £1.
The best ways to start investing with little money:
These are some of our favourite apps for beginners in the UK:
Here are few suggestions for beginner investors:
There are two ways to buy stocks and shares. You can either buy individual company shares directly (through a stock broker or investment platform) or invest in a fund (which pools money from you and other investors to buy lots of shares).
Funds tend to be a cheaper and less risky way to invest in shares as you'll be spreading the costs and risks with other investors within the fund.
Most investment platforms and stock brokers are online and will allow you to invest in stocks and shares regularly (e.g. £25 a month) or occasionally (e.g. a lump sum of £1,000).
Whether you choose to go online or offline, you need the services of a stock broker or share dealing platform to buy shares. Stock brokers offer three types of services - execution-only, advisory or discretionary.
Here are some of the best stock trading sites for beginners in the UK:
Robo advisors are technology companies that provide automated financial planning with little or no human supervision. They use their algorithms to calculate your risk level and present you with a set of ready-made investments based on your risk profile. Many established investment platforms and fintech startups offer robo-advisor services.
In the UK, robo advisors are also called do-it-for-me investment platforms.
A ready-made investment portfolio is a diverse mix of investments created by fund managers to help reduce the burden of choosing individual shares or funds. With one ready-made portfolio, you could have access to hundreds of investments.
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