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 trading apps in the UK. These apps allow you to buy, sell and gift UK and overseas stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), investment trusts (ITs) and other trading products.
Capital at risk. Other charges apply.
Here are some of the best trading apps in the UK:
Freetrade is a UK mobile trading app that gives you access to thousands of UK and overseas stocks, ETFs and investment trusts covering different sectors and markets worldwide. The Freetrade mobile app can be accessed on iOS and Android and offers a slick and easy-to-use user interface and experience. The app is also a great choice for both beginners and experienced investors. With Freetrade, you can invest in fractional shares of even the most expensive US shares with as little as £2. Depositing, trading and withdrawing on Freetrade are commission-free (other charges may apply). FX rates also apply for US stocks at the spot rate + 0.45%. Freetrade’s products include a Stocks and Shares ISA, General Investment Account and SIPP.
Promo: Get a free share worth between £3 and £200.
Please note: When you invest, your capital is at risk. The value of your investments can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you invest. ISA rules apply. SIPP eligibility and tax rules apply. Free share terms and conditions apply. The reward probability is weighted, so more expensive free shares will be rarer.
eToro is a multi-asset platform that offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs. It is entirely free to open an account with eToro, and all registered users receive a US$100,000 demo account for free, which you can use to practice trading until you become confident. eToro gives you real-time access to thousands of stocks, ETFs and cryptocurrencies from top exchanges worldwide. If you prefer to select a ready-made portfolio, eToro has over 40 fully allocated, balanced investment portfolios, focusing on market segments you can understand and to which you can relate. Some of the portfolios include MetaverseLife, BigTech, GoldWorldWide, Vaccine-Med, BitcoinWorldWide, Diabetes-Med, Driverless, GigEconomy, and many more. These portfolios are a grouping of several assets, such as stocks, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, and even people, bundled together based on a predetermined theme or strategy. Withdrawals incur a fee of US$5, and FX rates apply to non-USD deposits and withdrawals. eToro does not offer an ISA or SIPP.
Please note: Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product with no UK or EU investor protection. Your capital is at risk. Additionally, 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit eToro.
InvestEngine is a UK low-cost investment platform providing a choice of managed portfolios tailored to you and commission-free DIY investing to help you build long-term wealth. Users can invest in over 500 exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from iShares, Vanguard and other leading brands. With InvestEngine, you can invest in two ways depending on your investing savviness: Beginner investors or those who prefer to choose a ready-made investment portfolio can select from one of the Managed Portfolios on offer where the team of experts at InvestEngine will take care of the day-to-day investment decisions for you. These portfolios attract a platform fee of 0.25% per year. Advanced or more confident investors can choose from 500+ commission-free ETFs and build their portfolios themselves. With the DIY Portfolio, there are no platform fees. All InvestEngine portfolios are free of setup fees, dealing fees, ISA fees or withdrawal fees.
InvestEngine allows you to invest via a Stocks and Shares ISA, Personal Account or Business Account. Capital at risk.
Promo: £25 welcome bonus for new customers who invest at least £100. Terms apply.
Interactive Investor has more than 40,000 investments to choose from, including UK and overseas shares, funds, investment trusts, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). You get a free trade every month, which you can use to buy or sell any investment. The site has lots of expert ideas, research and insights, which can be helpful when choosing investments. Interactive Investor's services include a Trading Account, Stocks and Shares ISA, SIPP and Junior ISA.
Capital at risk.
FinecoBank is one of Europe's largest banks, with 20 years of leadership history in brokerage and over 30 million orders processed every year. Its core mission is to make online trading simple by providing direct access to the markets in just one click. With Fineco, you can access 26 global markets and trade over 20,000 financial instruments worldwide on a single account, including UK and overseas shares, ETFs, funds, bonds, and CFDs. Users can also invest and trade directly in GBP, EUR, USD, Swiss Franc and 20+ currencies. FinecoBank's products include a Trading Account and Stocks and Shares ISA.
Promo: Apply with the link below by the 29th of July 2022, and trade commission-free up to a maximum commission amount of £500. Terms apply.
Please note: When you invest money, your capital is at risk. 68.16% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Hargreaves Lansdown has thousands of investments to choose from, including UK and overseas shares, funds, investment trusts, and ETFs. It does not charge a platform fee on its Fund and Share Account but charges 0.45% (capped at £45) a year on its ISA and 0.45% (capped at £200) a year on its SIPP. It offers most products, including Fund and Share Account, Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, Junior ISA, and SIPP. These services are intended for investors happy at making their own decisions.
Capital at risk. Other charges apply.
DEGIRO is an award-winning investment broker that allows you to trade in stocks, bonds, ETFs, options, futures, warrants, certificates and more across 50 international exchanges. It offers tens of thousands of regulated financial instruments that enable investors to diversify their portfolios worldwide. With DEGIRO, you can invest in up to 200 commission-free ETFs. This means you may not have to pay a dealing charge when you invest in just ETFs (terms apply). Dealing in UK stocks costs £1.75 + 0.014% per deal, while US stocks cost €0.5 + $0.004 per share and Irish stocks are €4 + 0.05% per deal. To make sense of the charges, click here. DEGIRO currently has over 1 million customers across 18 countries. It is suitable for both beginners and advanced investors, and you can access the platform on any device via the web portal or mobile app. DEGIRO does not offer an ISA or SIPP.
Capital at risk.
Stake is a global commission-free brokerage that gives you access to 4,500 US stocks and ETFs via a mobile app and web interface. You can choose to upgrade to Stake Black to access more sophisticated features for US$9/month (or US$90 a year). Stake Free gives you access to all assets on the platform, unlimited commission-free trades, advance order types, and fractional trading. Stake Black gives you access to analyst ratings, price targets, full company financials, and trading on unsettled funds. FX rates apply to non-USD deposits and withdrawals. Stake does not offer an ISA or SIPP. Capital at risk.
Promo: Promo code: KOODY. Stake offers a free stock (Nike, GoPro, Dropbox or a mystery stock) for each new user that opens an account and funds it with at least £50 within 24 hours of opening the account.
AJ Bell Youinvest has thousands of investments to choose from, including individual stocks and shares, funds, investment trusts, and ETFs. Share dealing is cheap if you make 10+ trades a month. AJ Bell Youinvest's services include a Share Dealing Account, Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, Junior ISA, and SIPP.
Capital at risk.
Stock trading or share dealing is a way to buy and sell shares in publicly listed companies.
Publicly listed companies are companies listed on a stock exchange, such as the London Stock Exchange or the New York Stock Exchange.
To trade shares, you need to open a stock trading account with an investment platform or stockbroker. You can also use an Individual Savings Account (ISA), General Investment Account (GIA) or Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) to trade shares.
There are two ways to buy stocks and shares. You can buy individual company shares directly (through a stock broker) 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.
The first opportunity you'll have to invest in shares is when the shares are created and offered to the public for the first time. This is called an Initial Public Offering (IPO) or 'Going Public.'
Companies go public to raise money to fund their activities.
Once shares are created, they can be bought or sold on the stock exchange. This is called the secondary market because it comes after the IPO.
Most investment platforms are online and will allow you to regularly invest in stocks and shares (e.g. £25 per 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 stock trading app to buy shares. Stock brokers offer three types of services - execution-only, advisory or discretionary.
Deciding what shares to buy can be intimidating for the first-time investor, but it doesn't have to be. We've summarised our top five stock-picking methods below:
Stock trading apps charge several fees for using their services. The main ones are the annual platform fee, dealing fee, transfer out fee and inactivity fee.
When you sell shares or other investments, you may have to pay Capital Gains Tax if you make a profit (gain).
You may have to pay tax on:
You only have to pay Capital Gains Tax on your overall gains above your tax-free allowance.
This tax year, the capital gains tax-free allowance is £12,300. This means you won't have to pay tax on the first £12,300 profit you make from selling your stocks and shares.
Additionally, the first £2,000 you receive in dividend is tax-free.
A share is a unit of equity ownership of a public company. When you buy a share, you own a small unit of a public company.
If you bought a share in Apple, for example, you would become a part-owner of Apple. If it performs well, you will benefit from its success. If it doesn't, you may lose some money.
Companies issue shares to raise money to fund their activities. People invest in shares to benefit from the successes of companies they believe in.
You may also come across the word stock or equity. In most situations, stocks, equities and shares refer to the same thing. Stocks could also mean all your shares in one or more companies.
Investing in stocks and shares can be a great way to grow your money and can offer you higher long-term returns than leaving your money in a savings or current account. There are two ways you could benefit from investing in shares:
The easiest way to get into stock trading is to download a stock trading app like the ones below, research the stocks you want to invest in, deposit some funds into the trading app, and start investing. Today, many trading apps will allow you to start trading with as little as £1. Some apps like eToro, give you access to a demo account with US$100,000, which you can use to practice stock trading until you become confident enough to invest real money.
Here are some of the best trading apps in the UK:
eToro is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. Click here to have a look at eToro's permissions on the FCA register. Additionally, with eToro, your money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to a maximum of £85,000. This means you can get your money back if eToro were to go bust. Note that the FSCS does not cover losses arising from the performance of any of your investments.
Hargreaves Lansdown is the biggest investment platform in the UK and a FTSE 100 company (which means it is one of the 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange with the highest market capitalisation). Hargreaves Lansdown's Fund and Share Account offers a flexible way to trade in the stock market and manage your investments in one place. You can choose from over 3,000 funds, UK and overseas shares, corporate and government bonds, ETFs, investment trusts and more. The Hargreaves Lansdown app is available on iOS and Android.
You should invest as much or as little as you feel comfortable with. At Koody, we recommend using the 50-30-20 budget calculator to divide your monthly net income into three categories: needs (50%), wants (30%), and savings (20%). If you allocate 20% of your income to savings and investments, you can reasonably decide how much of that 20% you want to invest monthly. Budget by Koody is an excellent tool for sorting out your finances, categorising your spending and making plans for your future.
Here are some of the best trading apps for beginners in the UK:
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