Ask your peers and friends for the best place to put your money, ‘stock markets’ would most definitely be the reply! Stocks have been the essence of investment for almost all types of people. You could go small or big or set up a monthly scheme for your investments; the opportunities are enormous!
Over the years, the stock market has been the perfect spot to increase the value of your money and beat the inflation which your savings attract while piling up at the bank. However, it’s not as simple as collecting money in your piggy bank.
Moreover, you can’t simply buy stock via your bank account or call any company to buy their shares – you need to connect with a stockbroker.
There are several factors to consider while looking for a new stockbroker, especially if you’re an investor from the UK. The country is often regarded as one of the world’s leading financial capitals because of its compliance and regulations by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). So it’s no secret that you’ll need a high-quality service for trading and investing your money. After all, you want to ensure that every investment you make is stable and robust to maximize your profits while minimizing your risk.
That is why it is critical to select the best stock broker in UK. And in case you’re confused amidst all the numerous options, consider this blog to be your final answer. In this piece, we have walked you through the different stages of selecting top brokers UK while suggesting some top platforms. Let’s get started!
How To Get Started With Stocks In The UK
Those who want to become serious about investing might benefit significantly from learning how to start trading or investing with the help of a broker. In the United Kingdom, there are many sorts of best online stock brokers in UK to pick from, and each of these brokers may provide quite specific services to interested individuals.
Therefore, beginner investors and traders must learn about the short and straightforward way to get started. We have walked you through a quick and precise blueprint to get you started with stock investments and trading in the section below.
- Decide where and what you want to invest in: To begin your investment journey, you’d like to determine what you want to invest in: bonds, stocks, commodities, mutual funds, or real estate. The majority of newcomers start with stocks.
Note: Avoid the effort of purchasing stocks or other assets directly or worrying about diversifying your portfolio. They are also safer and less expensive than individual stock investments since the risks and expenses are shared with other investors.
2. Choose your platform: Robo-advisors, building societies, fund supermarkets, stockbrokers, banks, trading apps, and other financial organizations are all places where you may acquire assets. Your investment experience, goals, and personal circumstances will determine the provider you pick.
- Select your tax wrapper: Your tax-free ISA allowance can be invested in qualified investments such as corporate bonds, shares, funds, and government bonds (gilts) with Shares ISA and Stocks. With the set ISA limit of £20,000 for the current financial year, you may invest up to £20,000 in a Shares and Stock ISA to avoid taxes.
- Shares ISA and Stock: Your tax-free ISA allowance can be invested in qualified investments such as corporate bonds, shares, funds, and government bonds (gilts), with Shares ISA and Stocks. With the set ISA limit of £20,000 for the current financial year, you may invest up to £20,000 in a Shares and Stock ISA to avoid taxes on the profits you acquire.
- Lifetime ISA: Lifetime ISAs are convenience taxes for adults aged 18 to people under 40. This saving scheme allows you to save up to £4,000 if you are retired or have purchased your first home in the country. The government adds a 25% bonus to your account, up to £1,000 per year maximum.
- Pensions: The government can offer tax relief if you’re investing in your pensions. While you might not access the acquired funds until you’re 55, you might be able to access 25% of it as a tax-free lump sum.
- SIPPs: SIPPs, or Self-invested personal pensions, offer you a similar advantage to other allowances. However, SIPPs allow you to have a better opportunity to choose your underlying assets.
Given the differences between the two types of brokers, we hope you’ll now look into the types of commission and charges they include in their services. And now that you have an idea of how you start with the baby steps of your investments, the step is to start listing out your top brokers UK.
In the following section, we have talked about the different factors you should consider while curating a list of the best stock broking platforms in UK.
What To Look After In The Best Stock Broking Platforms UK
Well, to begin with, just avoid the thought that there’s one single best UK broker! Because if there is any, it won’t be the ideal fit for all types of traders.
When it comes to the best, some investors think about instructional tools or different research charts for your listed stocks, while others are less concerned and prefer a simple and user-friendly design. Let’s face it, no single broking platform or application would be able to meet everyone’s requirements. Still, you might just find one platform which you consider reliable and trade to your specifications.
And here are a few key pointers to help you make that decision. Check out the list of factors to consider when entering the stock trading market:
- Commission-free application
First on our list is the no commission approach! As the name suggests, you should always try looking for a broker with whom you could without having to pay extra for a service or a middleman in the process. This way, you’ll be able to save a lot of money. On the contrary, if the application charges commission, you should check the amount you pay (generally varies from trade to trade).
- Provision to trade options
Let’s accept it; once you’ve spent some time investing and trading in stocks, you’d want to move ahead to trying options. Options trading allows you (as a participant in the process) to sell and purchase stocks at a certain date for a specific price. Besides being a great choice to help you maximize your profit, it also gives you a chance to improve your portfolio. Therefore, ensure to check whether your selected stockbroker has such functions.
- Functionality to buy fractional shares of stocks
For novices, buying fractional shares is the perfect start to their investment journey. It implies that even if you don’t have enough money to buy the entire stock, you may own a portion of it. For instance, if a stock is sold for $100 and you only have $20, you can bargain with the trader/seller to acquire one-fifth of the stock, which becomes the shared stock. This is another crucial factor that you would like to keep an account of when selecting the best stock broker UK.
- Are the margin rates competitive?
Small-investor margin loan rates range from 1.6 percent to 8%, depending on the broker’s discretion. The cost of these rates is different over time since stock market rates are linked to federal funds rates. As a result, if you have access to strong competitive margin rates provided by a trader, you can easily pick and choose which offer suits you the best. This way, you’ll be able to save money while making some money in the process. Ensure that you keep a tab of the rates with your shortlisted broker.
- Clean UI and sophisticated tools
One of the most crucial aspects for newcomers is the UI! A clean UI helps you trade without dealing with the complexities of the process. Therefore, while you’re at it, ensure that your broker’s website and application are simple and require little technical expertise from visitors. On the other side, also try ensuring that it offers the best available encryption, ensuring safe trade and personal data security.
Additionally, being a beginner investor, you need to have access to the set of tools that you might require! This implies that the app should have resources such as margin loans, research sites, charts, and trading simulators, among other required tools. This allows you to thoroughly examine the market and determine which investment is the best possibility to maximize your investments.
- Availability of required educational tools
Being a beginner in the stock market, you’d want access to all the help you can, and this last option on our list of factors ensures just that! When looking for the top UK broker, look for the educational tools, particularly for beginners. This way, you’ll have the chance to learn the different aspects of the market by just learning and understanding a variety of indicators.
While some might be able to find their dedicated UK stockbroker using the mentioned screening factors, the chances are that many will end up confused with the numerous options available in the market. If you look at it, even the top 10 stock brokers in London claim to be at the top.
The mixed jargon and copied features make it way more confusing to finalize one single platform. Therefore, to help beginner investors better, we have listed some of the top UK brokers, based on their fees structure, features, and functionalities in the following section.
List Of Best Stocks Trading Platforms In the UK
First on our list of the top UK brokers is AvaTrade, a CFD broker running operations since 2006. What makes the platform stand out from the others on the list is its 0% commission trading service accessible in over 600 global exchanges. In addition, the platform brings you a slew of investment tools like stock, indices, EFTs, and forex, among other interests. Thanks to its clean and interactive UI, it is an excellent option for beginner investors to start with.
AvaTrade brings in a slew of features for both beginner and expert traders. Users can begin their journey for fees as low as a few dollars and operate regardless of their location. Additionally, besides using educational tools to learn more about the market, they can also use other experts’ social and copy trading skills on the platform.
Preferably one of the best highlights of AvaTrade is its % commission on trading, which highlights that the platform only earns income when the ask/bid price is crossed. Additionally, to reduce their trade costs, experienced traders can opt for a professional account, multiplying their maximum leverage without attracting any additional costs.
Range of offerings
Another notable feature of the platform is its extensive list of offerings for new and experienced users alike. Currently, the platform holds over 1250 financial instruments, including the likes of stocks, cryptos, forex, ETFs, commodities, options, indices, and bonds, among others.
The 24/7 availability of customer care at AvaTrade gives it leverage among other customer services. Widely popular for its real-time availability, customers are open to connecting with experts via chat, phone, or social media. All you need to do is formulate questions and connect with the agents.
Second on our list of the top best online stock brokers in UK is Skilling, a comparatively new but reliable stockbroker. This platform allows its users to invest and trade in tools like stocks, cryptos, forex, and CFD. Found in 2019, Skilling comes with a neat and clean UI, allowing easy navigation throughout the platform and its browser and desktop and browser applications.
What’s more? Users of all types can make the most of this platform with advanced tools and accessible indicators with advanced options like moving average and MACD. All of these features and advanced trading options make Skilling stand out.
Analyzing trading via history browsing
Preferably a unique feature of this platform, analyzing allows users to make the most of their investments via trading patterns. The intelligent UX uses your previous trade patterns to give you an insight into the future movement of the stocks. Users can also notice some improved features like better custom elements, better access to data, filters, and the ‘Explore Markets’ option to connect the right trader with the right investor.
Range of instruments
The wide range of instruments simplifies trading stocks, CFD, forex, cryptos, and indices, among other commodities. Further, the availability of both standard and premium accounts ensures better leverage and spreads, making it suitable for both new and experienced traders.
The Skilling Academy feature present on the platform looks over the educational support for its customers. The platform comes up with new topics every day, divided into sections like: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Level of Technical Analysis, basic trading lessons, and Fundamental Analysis.
eToro is another share broker which tops the list of top 10 stock brokers in London with its 17+ million user base. As a broker founded in 2007, eToro stands as a reliable platform for beginners and advanced traders alike. It brings you reliable options like commodities, stocks, ETF, forex, and currencies, among other possibilities. Backed by FCA, it is also available in 100+ countries.
It is an exceptional exchange because eToro allows its customers to exchange stocks and contracts for securing a profit. Additionally, the option to copy trade makes it more reliable and straightforward to ensure profits over the platform.
Thanks to the simple steps, opening an account with eToro is simple and can be done online. Moreover, the application allows free account opening for its users in the UK. On the contrary, traders from the US need to pay a minimum account opening fee of $50. Besides, you must link your bank account to eToro to execute trades.
Because it is cleverly created with a user-friendly interface, trading with eToro is rather straightforward. You just click the “trade” button, which is also next to the “sell” and “purchase” buttons. As a result, users may construct watchlists with their hands-free, which can then be tailored for mobile apps. Although the mobile application has fewer analytical features than the desktop version, placing a trade is straightforward.
eToro brings you a variety of trading alternatives to make the most of your investments. The most popular of these options are FX and crypto trading. Interestingly, the platform has no restrictions for its users in the UK, although there are certain restrictions for non-UK customers.
Capital.com is a relatively new stockbroker which marks its operations for a few years now. Founded in 2017, the platform has been regulated by several industry titans like FCA, CySEC, and NBRB, adding to the authenticity of its users. Based in Cyprus, the platform provides reliable services throughout Europe.
The platform introduces its users to one-of-a-kind cutting-edge instruments. Regarded as a unique platform in the market, it allows users to automate trading assessments and offers competitive commission rates better than its competitors. In addition, you can begin trading as cheap as $20 and the depositing alternatives, which are accessible in 43 different currencies and stocks.
Regulation and security
The regulation and security of the platform are what make Capital.com outperform others in its segment. Its backing by several prominent authorities worldwide makes the platform your ideal investing experience. Moving to the transaction aspect, they’re protected by the PCI Data Security Standards, keeping up with its spotless regulatory record.
Capital.com offers a well-balanced portfolio of assets that exceeds 205. Aside from that, the program allows you to exchange unusual currencies, including the Hungarian Forint, Mexican Peso, and Belarusian Ruble. Traders may also examine the necessity of CFDs’ great value with Capital.
Capital.com offers excellent research and instructional products, such as Investmate, accessible for Android and iOS mobile devices. A webcast also provides answers to a variety of commonly asked topics. After each of the five classes on a specific topic related to stock trading, you can take the supplied tests.
Fifth on our list is Libertex, one of the oldest trading and investment brokers since 1997. With over 2.4 million customers in its repertoire, Libertex stands as a reliable. In addition, this award-winning broker comes with a user-friendly design and reliable trading options for both beginner and experienced traders alike.
Customers can use the company’s analytical tools, which have been shown to provide excellent outcomes in the trading process. Furthermore, each customer may select what best suits their needs and personalize tools from the available options. The platform was originally intended to be a desktop program, but it is now accessible for iOS and Android-based mobile devices.
An integrated platform is what allows Libertex to stand out from its competitors! Its combined services with Metatrader, in addition to having its own proprietary stocks, simplifies the trading journey of making users. Customers can also utilize MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 in addition to the current platform.
Cryptos are currently one of the most popular trading instruments and equities. The best aspect of trading crypto with Libertex is that they provide over 50 currencies to trade with, and there is no spread involved. You can make the most of your trade without hitting losses.
A demo account and an actual trading account make the job easier for both types of users! This way, beginners can make the most of their strategies risk-free and accurately match genuine market circumstances. Adding to it, the live trading account comes with better tools and charts to match the efforts of advanced traders.
Ally Invest is another broker in the UK that has earned its name around the slew of offerings that it brings along. The platform brings its users some robust research tools, including the likes of experienced traders. Further, its no account minimum structure makes it an excellent source for users of all sizes.
What’s more? Ally Invest has an excellent brokerage structure, allowing you to invest in stocks from the US, EFTs, and other commodities without paying any commissions. In addition, customers can access different types of portfolios and a $100 minimum fee to open their accounts over the platform.
Low Fees And Cost
Competitive fees, commissions, and minimums are what define Ally Bank. You need not pay any commission for ETF/stock or foreign exchange trading, along with the options reading costs of $0.50 per contact. This is far lower than other brokers you can find in the market. Additionally, there is a commitment toward any minimums for self-directed investment accounts. However, robo-managed account holders need to pay a minimum of $100, where 0.30% is charged as a fee annually.
Interactive User Interface
The design was worth appreciating despite the initial website being a non-streaming platform. Quick updates ensured greater responsiveness with a cherry on top in the form of intuitive menus enabling effortless searching functionality. However, one has to acknowledge the distinct offerings of the primary website that include trading products, screeners, and education. Besides that, you also get a user-friendly interface equipped with the streaming version of the website running simultaneously with the primary website.
Earning Interest On Cash Balance
They ensure relatively higher interest rates of up to 50% on cash. Also, balances up to $250,000 can be transferred seamlessly between bank accounts and Ally’s investment daily. Securing the interest generated on the cash balances is reliant on the investor. They are responsible for moving cash in between bank accounts and investments. This also helps secure the moving funds revert to the investment account for investment.
When talking of the best UK stock brokers, you can’t miss out on Freetrade, an easy-to-use stockbroking platform that has created a robust user base around its ‘Freemium’ model. The platform allows users of all types to make the most of their trading journey with different trading models. Moreover, users can select from three different types of models, to begin with.
Freetrade’s clean UI and reliable standards make it more secure for users of every type. Besides, it also keeps updating its platform with a slew of features to add to the trading experience for its users.
Wide Range Of Global Stocks
The platform brings you over 500 different types of stock to choose from. Users can start trading among favorite stocks from companies like Apple, Amazon, and Tesla, among other names. You can also deal with other investment tools like fractional shares, transfers in pension pots, and tax relief funds.
The wide structure of accounts allowed over Freetrade makes it appealing to many users. You can start with a minimal amount of £3 or go up to £9.99. This way, beginners can start for free and keep unlocking new features as they learn more about the industry.
Reliable Customer Support
Freetrade has earned its name around the real-time availability that it has. Rated 4.1 of 5 on Trustpilot, users can reach out to the platform for technical assistance and resolve their queries without much hassle.
DEGIRO is an online broker that allows you to trade stocks, options, futures, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), among other things. DEGIRO was created in the Netherlands in 2013 and has now expanded to 18 European nations, including the UK.
DEGIRO’s global presence allows it to provide an extremely competitive commission structure and complete access to the global market. DEGIRO can also provide costs that are 85% cheaper than local competitors, allowing users to make the most of the platform.
Reliable Security Measures
DEGIRO uses reliable safety measures for its users. They can make the most of the platform using the security firewall that is further enhanced by adding Face ID, Touch ID, and two-factor authentication.
Users can trade real-time quotes when opting for the platform. This feature allows them to access more trades without going through the hassle of listing them. This way, they can maximize their investments in a better manner.
Carry Out Combined Orders
DEGIRO’s unique feature is its combined orders which allow investors and traders to deal with multiple financial instruments at any given time. This way, they are at a better chance to diversify their portfolio among stock, ETFs, and other commodities.
That’s our list of the top stock brokers in UK. And to wrap it up, when it comes to selecting the best broker for you, remember to look for:
☑️ Low-to-zero commissions
☑️ Market credibility
☑️ Clean UI & UX
Challenges Of Trading In The UK
Because the UK and the US have extensive commercial ties and our economies are intertwined, even minor changes in the US economy can impact the UK markets. Similarly, as a multi-nation economic organization, the EU substantially affects UK markets.
The impact on the British market has not always been favorable since the Brexit discussions began in 2016.
Despite the issues in the UK markets, the general financial situation is quite beneficial for traders. This is because UK brokers have a long tradition of being extremely helpful and fair when dealing with clients.
When trading with a UK broker, however, you need to ensure that they are an LLC (Limited Liability Company) that is FCA regulated. It probably doesn’t sound effortless if you’re interested in investing in shares or other financial instruments, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply put, an online broker in the UK will allow you to invest in financial instruments like stocks and currencies from all over the globe.
Therefore, if you want to invest in stocks or other financial instruments, it may appear complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply put, an online broker in the United Kingdom allows you to trade financial items such as stocks and currencies from across the world.
Best Stock Broker UK Conclusion
When it comes to finding your ideal stock broker in the UK, there’s no one specific platform to match the needs of individual users. However, based on our extensive research on the list, we suggest you begin your investor journey with eToro!
The platform has all the required tools and functionality that new users might require to begin their journey and mature as a trader overtime. While the fee might be competitive for other platforms too, the tools and features make it stand out.
Shrey Jain is a Chartered Accountant who holds a forte in creating informative content on niches like Finance, Blockchain, crypto, and Taxation. He is a contributor on Hackernoon and Publish0x, where the audience has highly appreciated his articles. In addition, his knowledge in the finance field has helped both beginners and experts gain valuable insights into the domains of Blockchain and finance.