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.

Best Trading Platforms in the UK

Updated On: Nov 22, 2022
Best trading platform UK 2022

Contents:

Best Trading Platforms in the UK

We've compiled a list of some of the best trading platforms in the UK. These are trading apps, websites and platforms where you can buy, sell and gift UK and overseas stocks and shares, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), investment trusts (ITs), and other trading products.

Please keep in mind that when you invest, your capital is at risk. The fees below are not exhaustive; other charges apply.

Compare some of the best trading platforms in the UK below:


eToro - 0% Commission on real stocks; 1% on cryptocurrencies

eToro Logo
Annual Platform Fee
£0
Dealing Charge
£0
Regular Investor Charge
£0

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: When you invest, your capital is at risk. 79% 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. Additionally, cryptoassets are highly volatile and unregulated in the UK. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply.

Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit eToro.

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FinecoBank - Commission-free trading up to £500; No platform fee

FinecoBank Logo
Annual Platform Fee
£0
Dealing Charge
£2.95
Regular Investor Charge
£0

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 31st of December 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. 71.97% 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.

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Interactive Investor - One free trade per month; 40,000+ Investments

Interactive Investor
Annual Platform Fee
£120 - £240
Dealing Charge
£5.99
Regular Investor Charge
£0

Interactive Investor, recently acquired by wealth management giant abrdn, is the second-largest investment platform in the UK. Interactive Investor is well known for its fixed charges (as opposed to percentage-based fees like most other investment platforms), and it has been providing investment services and financial information since 1995. If you choose to invest with Interactive Investor, you’ll gain access to over 40,000 investment options, including UK and overseas shares, funds, investment trusts, and ETFs. This is the widest choice of UK and international investments offered by any investment platform in the UK. You will also be able to access 17 global exchanges, including exchanges in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. These include markets such as the FTSE 100, FTSE 250, FTSE All-Share, NASDAQ, Dow Jones and more. In addition to the exchanges above, Interactive Investor offers Japanese, Indian and Chinese shares in the form of ADRs (American Depositary Receipts).

Interactive Investor gives you a free trade every month, which you can use to buy or sell any investment. After that, trades usually cost £5.99. Interactive Investor also offers a free regular investing service that allows you to invest regularly without paying a trading fee each time. The site also 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.

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Pepperstone - Low cost; Speedy execution; 1,200+ Instruments

Pepperstone logo
Annual Platform Fee
£0
Dealing Charge
From 0.10% (UK Stock CFDs)
From 0.6 pips (Forex)
Regular Investor Charge
£0

Pepperstone is a CFD and forex broker that allows you to trade a wide variety of instruments, including forex, indices, stocks, ETFs, commodities and other assets via contracts for differences (CFDs). The Pepperstone platform boasts low-cost spreads, fast execution speeds and access to over 1,200 trading instruments. The Pepperstone CFD trading accounts allow a minimum trading size of 0.01 lots and a maximum of 100 lots. Retail traders can access leverage up to 30:1 and over 60 currency pairs. Pepperstone also allows scalping, expert advisors, hedging, and news trading.

It is entirely free to open an account with Pepperstone, and all registered users gain access to a free demo account which you can use to practise CFD trading until you become confident. On Pepperstone, the spreads, which function as trading fees for CFD brokers, start at 0.6 pips for forex CFDs, 0.4 for index CFDs, 0.05 for commodity CFDs, and 0.10% per side for UK share CFDs. Pepperstone also charges a swap rate (overnight fee) for holding CFD positions overnight. Other fees apply. Pepperstone does not offer an ISA or SIPP.

Please note: When you invest, your capital is at risk. 78% of retail investor accounts 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.

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Freetrade - Good for beginners; Low cost; Commission-free trading

Freetrade
Annual Platform Fee
£0
Dealing Charge
£0
(+ 0.45% FX fee)
Regular Investor Charge
£0

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 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 £10 when you join Freetrade and fund your account with at least £50.

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.

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InvestEngine - Low cost; 500+ Commission-free ETFs

InvestEngine Logo
Annual Platform Fee
0% - 0.25%
Dealing Charge
£0
Regular Investor Charge
£0

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.

Promo: £25 welcome bonus for new customers who invest at least £100. Terms apply.

Capital at risk.

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Bestinvest - Low cost; Lots of investment options and research

Bestinvest logo
Annual Platform Fee
0.4% - 0% (DIY)
0.2% - 0% (Ready-made)
Dealing Charge (Online)
£4.95
Regular Investor Charge
£0

Bestinvest is a UK investment platform offering about 2,500 funds, UK shares, investment trusts and ETFs. With Bestinvest, you can invest in one of two ways depending on your investing savviness: Beginner investors or those who prefer to choose a ready-made investment portfolio can build their investment pot by selecting one of Bestinvest’s ready-made investments. These investments are fully diversified and created and managed by the team at Bestinvest. Once you’ve picked one, you don’t need to do anything else. Advanced or more confident investors can choose from a wide range of funds, shares, ETFs and ITs and build their investment portfolios themselves. Bestinvest also has an investment search tool that makes it easy to browse and filter all of the investments, and you can use their free guides and articles if you need any inspiration. They are quite popular for their Spot the Dog guide which shows a list of poorly performing funds you probably want to avoid. Bestinvest’s products include a Stocks and Shares ISA, General Investment Account and SIPP.

Capital at risk.

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Hargreaves Lansdown - Lots of research, ideas and tips

Hargreaves Lansdown
Annual Platform Fee
£0
‍‍(Fund & Share Account)
Dealing Charge (Online)
£11.95 - £5.95
Regular Investor Charge
£1.50 per deal

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.

Please note: The Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account is intended for investors happy at making their own investment decisions. Your capital is at risk. The charges quoted here are not exhaustive - other charges apply.

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AJ Bell - Cheap if you make 10+ trades a month; Wide product range

AJ Bell Logo
Annual Platform Fee
0.25%
(max £3.50 per month)
Dealing Charge (Online)
£9.95 - £4.95
Regular Investor Charge (Online)
£1.50 per deal

AJ Bell is one of the UK’s largest online investment platforms, and it is on a mission to make investing as easy as possible for you. The platform offers a wide range of investment options for the DIY investor, including shares, funds, investment trusts and ETFs. Beginner investors or those who prefer to choose a ready-made investment portfolio can get a little, or a lot, of help from AJ Bell’s specialists by selecting one of the investment ideas on offer. There are eight total fund ideas, each built by a specialist team, and you can pick the right one for you depending on your attitude to risk and whether you’re seeking to simply grow your money over time or receive an income whilst still growing your money.

AJ Bell charges an annual platform fee ranging from 0.25% to 0%. Dealing fees for buying and selling investments online are £1.50 for funds and £9.95 for shares (reducing to £4.95 if there were 10 or more online share deals in the previous month). AJ Bell’s services include a Share Dealing Account, Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, Junior ISA, SIPP and Junior SIPP.

Capital at risk.

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Saxo Markets - 60,000+ Investment options; Diverse product range

Saxo Markets logo
Annual Platform Fee
0.12% - 0.08%
(min €120 (~ £108))
Dealing Charge
0.10% (min. £8) UK Stocks
US$0.02 (min. U$10) US Stocks
Regular Investor Charge
£0

Saxo Markets is the UK division of Saxo Bank, a large European bank that allows you to invest in 60,000+ financial products from stock markets worldwide. With Saxo Markets, you can invest in UK and overseas stocks and shares, bonds and ETFs. If you are interested in more sophisticated products, Saxo offers advanced trading products such as forex, CFDs, futures, commodities and options. Saxo Markets allows you to invest in one of two ways depending on your investing savviness and attitude to risk: Beginner investors or those who prefer to choose a ready-made investment portfolio can select from one of the Managed Portfolios on offer where Saxo experts navigate the markets and manage your investments on your behalf. The average cost of this managed portfolio is 0.95% per year (including fund costs). Advanced or more confident investors can choose from the range of financial products on offer and build their portfolios themselves.

Saxo Markets has different transaction fees grouped into trading tiers. If you plan to trade high volumes, you can upgrade your tier to get lower transaction fees. The Classic tier, which attracts the highest trading fees, costs 0.10% (min. £8) per deal for UK Stocks and US$0.02 (min. US$10) per deal for US Stocks. Other fees apply. Additionally, other exchanges, such as those in Europe or Asia, have different trading fees, which you can find on Saxo Markets’ website. Saxo Markets’ suite of products includes a Trading Account, Stocks and Shares ISA and SIPP.

Please note: Capital at risk. 74% 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.

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XTB - Speedy execution; Market order depth; Trading academy

XTB logo
Annual Platform Fee
£0
Dealing Charge
£0
Regular Investor Charge
£0

XTB is an easy-to-use, fully customisable European trading platform and one of the largest stock exchange-listed FX & CFD brokers in the world. It provides retail traders instant access to hundreds of global markets. With XTB, you can trade in stock CFDs, ETF CFDs, forex, indices and commodities. XTB also has an extensive library of educational materials containing videos, webinars and courses suitable for both beginners and experienced investors, which you can find here. When you sign up, you will have access to a dedicated account officer who will help you understand your needs and how XTB works. It’s free to open a trading account with XTB. Deposits in GBP and EUR are free of charge, but withdrawals below £60 have £12 processing fee. Inactive accounts also attract a monthly fee of €10.

XTB has offices in over 13 countries, including the UK, Germany and France, and over 315,000 customers worldwide. XTB does not offer an ISA or SIPP.

Please note: Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are leveraged products and carry a significant risk of loss to your capital, as prices may move rapidly against you, and you may be required to make further payments to keep any trades open. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. These products are not suitable for all clients. Therefore please ensure you fully understand the risks and seek independent advice.

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DEGIRO - Cheap share dealing; 200 Commission-free ETFs

DEGIRO logo
Annual Platform Fee
£0
Dealing Charge
£1.75 + 0.014% (UK Stocks)
Regular Investor Charge
£0

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.

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Wealthyhood - Low cost; 50+ Commission-free ETFs

Wealthyhood logo
Annual Platform Fee
£12
Dealing Charge
£0
(+0.4% FX fee)
Regular Investor Charge
£0

Wealthyhood is a UK mobile trading app that gives you access to 50+ thematic ETFs, real-time guidance, insights and more than 120,000 personalised portfolio templates. With Wealthyhood, you can buy as little as £1 of your favourite ETFs with fractional shares.

The Wealthyhood Beginner plan costs £1 per month and allows you to invest in ETFs without commissions or limits. However, an FX spread of 0.4% applies to all international ETFs. The ISA plan (coming soon) costs £3 per month and offers everything included in the Beginner plan, plus ISA accounts. The Pro plan (also coming soon) costs £7 per month and gives you access to individual stocks, premium tools, analytics and insights.

Promo: Get a free share worth up to £200 when you join Wealthyhood and fund your account.

Capital at risk.

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Compare Trading Platforms for Stocks and Shares ISAs

The table below shows you a list of some of the best trading platforms in the UK and representative examples of their fees.

Typically, your annual fees depend on whether you hold funds or shares in your stocks and shares ISA. Here, we assume you only plan to invest in individual stocks and shares.

If you plan to invest in funds, use our dedicated investment fees comparison tool for funds or robo-advisors.

The table 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.

Depending on the provider you choose, you'll have the option to select individual shares, bonds, funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), investment trusts (ITs) and more 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 trading platform and vice versa.

To make the best use of the table below, click on the column headers to sort from the most expensive to the cheapest trading platform 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. 


Capital at risk. ISA rules apply. Other charges apply.


Platform Regular
Investor Charge
Dealing
Charge
£20,000 £100,000 Learn More
AJ Bell Youinvest1.509.95161161DETAILS
Barclays1.006.00120172DETAILS
Bestinvest4.95139459DETAILS
Charles Stanley11.50208378DETAILS
Close Brothers8.95157357DETAILS
EQI1.5010.99192407DETAILS
Fineco2.957171DETAILS
Freetrade0.003636DETAILS
Halifax Share Dealing2.009.50150150DETAILS
Hargreaves Lansdown1.5011.95188188DETAILS
iDealing9.90139139DETAILS
IG8.00192192DETAILS
Interactive Investor (Investor)5.99120120DETAILS
Interactive Investor (Super Investor)5.99240240DETAILS
InvestEngine10.0000DETAILS
iWeb5.00160160DETAILS
Strawberry7.50160340DETAILS
Willis Owen1.507.50170440DETAILS
X-O5.957171DETAILS
Primary Data Source: The Lang Cat

Notes

  1. InvestEngine: If you go for the commission-free DIY Portfolio service, the only costs are the annual charges and buy/sell market spreads of the ETFs you invest in. There are no platform or dealing fees.

Assumptions

The calculations above are based on the following scenarios:


  1. £20,000 lump sum (a year's ISA allowance)
  2. £100,000 lump sum (if you have some ISAs from previous years and are transferring in)


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 stock trading platform is compared to the others. The cheapest stock trading platforms are coloured green, the more expensive ones red, and the others amber.


Keep in mind that a platform showing up as green doesn't make it the best trading platform for you, as cheap doesn't always equal good. Depending on what you are looking for, some of the more expensive trading platforms could have a wider variety of stocks, bonds, funds, ETFs, and more.


If you are investing small amounts and choose to go with the cheapest trading platform for that amount, note that some of the more expensive platforms become cheaper as your pot increases. Consider Interactive Investor, 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) up to £85,000 per person.


If you have questions, send an email to hello@koody.co.

What Is Stock Trading?

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.

How to Buy Stocks and 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 share dealing platform to buy shares. Stock brokers offer three types of services - execution-only, advisory or discretionary.

How to Pick Stocks

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:


  1. Research: Investing in shares requires knowledge about the companies you invest in. The best way to acquire such knowledge is through research. Websites like Morningstar, Hargreaves Lansdown, Interactive Investor, and CNBC provide company news, financial research, analysis, and commentary. Additionally, you can take a look at our list of the best shares to buy now for a general idea of the kinds of stocks we are buying at the moment.
  2. Study economic cycles: The global economy will grow and shrink over time. When the economy is growing, most sectors tend to do well. But when the economy is shrinking, and things aren't as rosy, only certain sectors continue to do well. Industries that produce or sell everyday essentials such as food, beverages and pharmaceuticals tend to do well in every economic climate. In comparison, industries such as retailing and aerospace that provide non-essential products or services tend to mirror the health of the economy. Understanding these cycles can help you decide what shares to buy and when.


  1. Become comfortable predicting the future: If you can make predictions about how the world will change in the next 10 to 20 years and what industries are poised to benefit from this change, you can begin to invest in stocks and shares accordingly. For example, how will climate change affect energy companies and automobile manufacturers in the next 10 or 20 years? What changes do you anticipate in online retailing, financial services and healthcare?

  2. Have a look at your favourite brands: It might be worth looking at and researching brands you know, love and use often. The world's biggest, most popular and most loved brands tend to be the most profitable.

  3. Build a diversified portfolio: When picking shares, it is risky to invest in just one company. If the company gets into difficulty, you could lose all you invested. It is better to build a diversified portfolio. This means you should consider investing in multiple companies, across different industries and in various geographies. Most people, including experienced investors, use funds when investing. Funds give you access to a diversified portfolio, saving you the trouble of buying shares in multiple companies.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which trading platform is best for beginners in the UK?

Here are some of the best trading platforms for beginners in the UK:

  1. Freetrade - Low cost; commission-free trading; beginner-friendly
  2. InvestEngine - Low cost; 500+ commission-free ETFs
  3. eToro - 0% Commission on real stocks; 1% on cryptocurrencies
  4. FinecoBank - No platform fee; cheap share dealing + promo
  5. Interactive Investor - One free trade per month; lots of research and tips
  6. AJ Bell - Cheap if you make 10+ trades a month; Wide product range


2. Where can I invest with little money?

You can invest small amounts of money with UK trading platforms such as Freetrade, eToro and Interactive Investor. Today, 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.

3. What is a brokerage account?

A brokerage account is a taxable investment account used to buy and sell stocks, shares, bonds, funds and other investments. In the UK, a brokerage account is the same as a general investment account (GIA) or trading account. Like a standard bank account, you can transfer money in and out of your brokerage account whenever you want.

Other types of accounts which you can use to buy and sell investments include Stocks and Shares ISAs and Lifetime ISAs. ISAs or individual savings accounts are tax-free accounts, so you never pay taxes on the gains from any investments held in them.


4. How do I open a brokerage account?

To open a brokerage account in the UK, 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.


5. What is a self-select ISA?

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 ISA providers are also called Do-It-Yourself (DIY) investment platforms. 


ISAs are entirely tax-free.


6. What types of assets can be held within a self-select ISA?

When you open a self-select ISA with an online trading platform, you can invest in a range of assets, including:

  1. Stocks and shares
  2. Funds
  3. Gilts
  4. Bonds
  5. Investment Trusts (ITs)
  6. Units trusts
  7. Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)
  8. Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs)
  9. Structured products

7. How do I open an online stock trading account?

Here's how to open an online stock trading account:

  1. Compare fees and features and decide on the best trading platform for you.
  2. Visit the platform's website or download the app to apply for an account.
  3. Fund your account with GBP or the required currency.
  4. Research stocks, bonds, ETFs and other investment types.
  5. Choose your 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.


8. What are the advantages of a self-select ISA?

Here are some advantages of a self-select ISA:

  1. You have the freedom to choose the specific investments that make up your portfolio.
  2. You get greater control over the design and management of your portfolio.
  3. Your entire portfolio and its dividends are free of capital gains and additional income tax.
  4. You pay no advice fee.

9. What are the disadvantages of a self-select ISA?

Here are some disadvantages of a self-select ISA:

  1. It can be quite risky for inexperienced investors.
  2. You need to keep up to date with the markets, which can be tedious and time-consuming. 


If you are unsure about choosing a self-select ISA, it might be worth seeking independent financial advice from a suitably qualified financial adviser.

10. Which app is best for trading?

Here are some of the best trading apps in the UK:

  1. eToro - 0% Commission on real stocks; 1% on cryptocurrencies
  2. Freetrade - Best for beginners; low cost; commission-free trading
  3. FinecoBank - No platform fee; cheap share dealing + promo
  4. InvestEngine - Low cost; 500+ commission-free ETFs
  5. Interactive Investor - One free trade per month; lots of research and tips
  6. Hargreaves Lansdown - Lots of research, insights and tips


Use our comparison table above to get a sense of what each platform charges for regular investing and ad hoc share trading.

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