Always remember that investments can go down as well as up in value, so you could get back less than you put in. We recommend hanging on to your investments for at least five years to give them the best chance of providing the returns you are hoping for.
Typically, your annual charge depends on whether you hold funds or shares in your stocks and shares ISA. Here, we assume you plan to invest in individual stocks and shares only.
The table below shows the annual charges (platform and dealing charges only) for holding individual stocks and shares in a self-select or do-it-yourself ISA.
Self-select ISAs are a type of stocks and shares ISA that give you the freedom to select the specific investments that make up your portfolio.
And depending on the provider you choose, you'll have the option to either select individual shares, bonds, funds, etc., and manage your portfolio yourself or choose from a range of managed and ready-made portfolios.
To make the best use of the table below, click on the column headers to sort from the most expensive to the cheapest online broker and vice versa.
For example, if you want to see the cheapest online broker for a lump sum investment of £20k, click once on the £20,000 lump sum header. To see the most expensive broker for a lump sum investment of £100k, click twice on the £100,000 lump sum header.
Continue this exercise on all the headers until you find what you are looking for. Then scroll down to read our assumptions and to learn more about self-select ISAs and online stock brokers.
We haven't included any calculations for regular investing, but we note the regular investor charges in the second column.
The third column shows the share dealing charges for ad hoc investments.
And the fourth and fifth columns show the annual charges for lump sum investments of £20k and £100k, respectively.
If you need some help choosing a share dealing account provider from the table below, click here to view our top picks.
Capital at risk. ISA rules apply.
Click here to view our top picks.
The calculations above are based on the following scenarios:
We also assume that you will make 12 ad hoc deals in the same year.
A deal is either one of buying or selling an investment. It is also called a trade.
We use the colours green, amber, and red to indicate how expensive or cheap a share dealing platform is compared to the others. The cheapest share dealing platforms are coloured green, the more expensive ones red, and the others amber.
That a platform is green doesn't make it the best online trading platform for you as cheap doesn't always equal good. Some of the more expensive trading platforms could have a wider variety of stocks, bonds, funds, ETFs, etc., depending on what you are looking for.
If you are investing small amounts and choose to go with the cheapest share dealing platform for that amount, note that some of the more expensive share dealing platforms become cheaper as your pot increases. Consider Interactive Investor and Halifax Share Dealing, for example.
Additionally, we show the costs which apply to the first year only. It is important to mention this because, with trading platforms like iWeb, your charges reduce after the first year. Whereas with platforms like EQi, your charges might increase after the first year.
Finally, for each online stock broker listed in our stocks and shares ISA comparison table, your money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
If you have questions, please ask the community.
The best online stock brokers for beginners in the UK:
The best share dealing accounts in the UK:
Use our comparison table above to get a sense of how each platform charges for regular investing and ad hoc share trading.
Most investment platforms will allow you to start investing with as little as £25. Some even go lower. Freetrade, for example, allows you to start trading in the stock market with as little as £2.
A brokerage account is a taxable investment account used to buy and sell assets such as stocks, shares, bonds, funds and other investments. In the UK, a brokerage account is the same as a General Investment Account (GIA). Other types of accounts which you can use to buy and sell investments are Stocks and Shares ISA and Lifetime ISAs. You can transfer money in and out of your brokerage account just like a bank account.
Visit any of the online brokers in the comparison table above and open a General Investment Account (GIA) on their website. With the GIA, you'll be able to buy, sell and hold any investment of your choice.
A self-select ISA is a type of investment ISA that gives you the freedom to choose the specific investments that make up your portfolio. And depending on the provider you choose, you'll have the option to either select individual investments and manage your portfolio yourself or choose from a range of ready-made portfolios.
Self-select ISAs providers are also called Do-It-Yourself (DIY) investment platforms.
ISAs are entirely tax-free.
When you open a self-select ISA with an online trading platform, you can invest in a range of assets, including:
Use our investment platform comparison tool above to select the best trading platform for you. Then visit the platform's website to apply for an account. Once your account is open, you will be able to choose investments and start building your portfolio.
If you need help choosing investments, some trading platforms in the table above offer ready-made portfolios and financial advice. Financial advice typically attracts an extra charge.
If you are unsure about choosing a self-select ISA, it might be worth seeking independent financial advice from a suitably qualified financial adviser.