Top 6 share dealing platforms in the UK.

I have mentioned before that, statistically speaking, DIY investing doesn’t work, especially during market downturns like 2020.

For those that are looking to DIY invest though, and feel they have the emotional self-control to do it, this article will cover some of the best online brokerages available in the UK.

If you are looking to invest, please contact me using  this form, or by using the WhatsApp function below.

Introduction:

Share – Share is nothing but a fraction of a company. When you buy a share, you are technically buying a portion of that specific company. Most people often misunderstand that stocks and shares are exactly the same.

A stock is a security that can have a portion of ownership in one or more than one company. Shares on the other hand are only a portion of ownership in one specific company.

A bunch of shares can also be referred to as stock, whereas, a share is just a share.

The value of a share can either rise or fall based on the performance of the company in the stock market.

Share Dealing – Share Dealing is a type of investing, which generates profits by trading with a company’s stocks. Each share is considered a unit of ownership of the company, which is usually presented in the form of a stock certificate.

Share Dealing is also known by the name of Share Trading. Any person who makes an investment in the stock market with the help of a trading account is generally share dealing.

If a company’s value gets a hike on the stock market, the respective share value increases, and similarly, if a company underperforms, the price of the share decreases.

There are two types of profits that can be generated with Share Dealing, which are Price Movement or Dividends. 

When the demand for the company’s shares increases in correspondence with the supply, then the value of a share will get increased than the actual price. The shareholders can take advantage of such a situation and could profit from the price movements.

For example, if a person bought a share for £100 and the price gets increased to £150 after the purchase, then the customer could sell that specific share for £150 and get the profits of £50.

Another form of profits that could be generated from the shares is a Dividend. As we have already discussed, the investor gets part ownership in the company that they make an investment in.

For that, the investors are entitled to a fraction of profits that the company decides to return to its investors, which is known by the name of dividends.

How to invest – The easiest and simple way for you to make an investment in shares is by buying shares with the help of a ‘share-dealing platform’, otherwise known as a ‘broker’ or ‘brokerage firm’.

However, you would have to consider an important aspect of share-dealing platforms, which is the availability of shares.

Most platforms will allow investing in shares of any company that has been listed on the stock exchange, anyhow, some platforms might have limited availability.

First of all, there is the London Stock Exchange, which consists of some corporate giants such as Barclays, Vodafone, EasyJet, etc. 

In order to get the list of top 100 highly performing companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, you can have a look at the 100 companies that are present in the FTSE 100 Index.

There is also the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), which consists of the companies that may not be widely known among all the individuals. AIM generally includes the companies that are new and growing.

Only the companies that have floated on the stock exchange could publicly sell the shares. If you could see a company is listed on the stock exchange, you can buy the shares of that particular company.

In order to buy the shares of the company that you like, you are required to have a share dealing account and get it linked to your bank account. After that, you would have to deposit the money enough to buy the number of shares that you want to buy.

Most of the share dealing platforms let you hold the shares. Even though you will be considered a legal shareholder, your name won’t be appearing on the company’s share register.

Usually, in the beginning, it often tempting to go check your share whenever possible. But as the time passes by and your portfolio gets bigger, you’re likely to ignore this. 

Therefore, it is highly suggested that even after growing your portfolio, it is better to keep track of all of your assets. If you don’t have enough time to do this on your own, you can hire a wealth manager/financial manager (like us) to accomplish this.

While you’re building your own portfolio, it is very essential to keep track of all assets that you own and make adjustments every now & then to cope with the financial events that take place.

Selling shares is also not as hard as many people think. Most share trading accounts let an investor sell shares in two different ways, which are ‘Selling shares based on the number of shares’ and ‘Selling shares based on the value of shares’.

After you have firmly decided to sell the share and place your deal, you’ll be presented with a quotation of the price. However, this price is not the finalized price, instead, it is just an estimation of the price at that particular time.

The money you will receive after selling shares won’t be exactly the same amount as the price that has been quoted.

How to choose – In order to choose the best share-dealing platform or a broker, you should be looking at some important information that has been given below.

  • How regular your trading activity is going to be, which means how regularly will you be buying or selling shares.
  • How much money are you willing to invest in trading with shares.

Different types of trading platforms have different fees, trading options available, availability of stocks, etc., adding to which, some types of platforms offer services only to specific types of customers.

It is advantageous to have a better understanding of your financial goals in order to choose a share-dealing platform that will be beneficial for you. 

We will get to the details regarding the type of platform that is suitable for you based on your needs in a few moments.

Types of Share-dealing platforms – There are three major share dealing platforms that a person can choose from, they are ‘Desktop Trading Platform’, ‘Web-based trading platform’, and ‘Mobile Trading Platform/Mobile Application’.

Most of the share dealing platforms that are available these days will let you have access to more than one of the above-mentioned options if not all the three. 

There is a possibility that some might only be available as just a desktop platform or a mobile application.

It is important to consider the fact that trading apps (mobile) are easy to use and the best option for beginners, whereas, desktop platforms might be specifically designed for investors on an advanced level.

Costs – There are some costs involved while trading with the help of a trading platform. These costs are generally categorized into two types, which are ‘Trading Fees’ and ‘Non-Trading Fees’.

Trading Fees are the types of fees applicable to a person while trading. The trading fees are different for each platform depending on the type of platform chosen by the investor.

Non-Trading Fees are the fees that are usually charged by the platform regardless of the trading activity. There are different types of non-trading fees such as Account Fees, Inactivity Fees, and other types of charges.

Other Aspects – even though the costs are an important factor and play a crucial role, there are some other factors that are needed to be taken into consideration while choosing a share-trading platform or an online broker.

If you are a beginner-level investor, you might have to consider choosing a platform that simple, easy-to-use, has excellent tools for education & research, etc.

However, if you are an investor with a great amount of experience and knowledge in this specific field, you might have to choose a platform that will offer real-time data, stock charts, advanced order types, etc.

Day traders should choose a platform that will allow them to make commission-free trades or offers discounts based on the trading fees or the number of trades you make.

Top 6 Share Dealing Platforms in the UK:

Coming to the best share dealing platforms available for investors in the UK, there are quite a few that offer a lot of benefits. 

However, we have compared the best options as per data acquired from multiple comparison websites and have provided the best-in-class options for you. 

These 6 share-dealing platforms are just listed in random order and you shouldn’t get confused that they are in ascending order or descending order based on their performance.

  1. IG

‘Fun Fact’ – IG got its name after the ‘Investors Gold Index’, which was the name of the business in the early days that used to let people trade gold as an index instead of buying it. And, no… it is not short for ‘Instagram’ or anything else.

‘IG’ is one of the share-dealing platform/trading platforms, which is known for the best services they provide and they of 24 hours support from Sunday to Friday.

Investors can open an account at IG in a few minutes with the help of their website or using their mobile application.

People can invest in more than 10,000 shares, funds, and investment trusts. The costs involved are also low compared to other platforms.

IG does not charge any platform fees and the trading costs become getting low as the volume of trade increases, which from £8 per trade to £5 per trade when an investor makes at least 10 trades per month.

It is also famous for the availability of a wide range of advanced as well as aggressive trading options, which allow you to speculate the market trends making it a riskier form of investment.

When a person makes at least 3 trades in the previous month, then there won’t be any commissions on trading with US shares. 

However, IG is not the cheapest available option when it comes to trading with small amounts of money.

  1. Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown offers lower costs on share dealing and is known to have specialized services for beginners. People can also find information regarding share prices online or with the help of the HL app.

Wide range of investment choices including overseas dealing. Stop-loss and limit orders can be set up to a time prior to 90 days. HL provides excellent charts and tools specifically for research.

With the help of their app, you can either choose a pre-selected portfolio or obtain suggestions from them and do investing on your own.

Hargreaves Lansdown is also similar to IG when it comes to lower costs when trading with more money and it is also not a good choice for the people who want to trade with small amounts.

You can be able to get more information about Hargreaves Lansdown by going through our specialized Hargreaves Lansdown review on it.

  1. eToro

With the help of eToro, people can invest in shares with 0% commissions. However, there are some other fees that should be considered such as mandatory withdrawal fees.

There is an availability of a wide range of stocks on eToro while having no trade limits.

Moreover, the CopyTrader feature of eToro lets you copy the movements of other traders, which is generally a good idea. You can also find useful information by asking questions regarding trades on their feed.

The account at eToro can be easily set up, but the verification procedure is a little bit complicated and the trading platform (sometimes) can be confusing.

To get a better understanding of eToro, you can go through our eToro review, which is provided on our website.

  1. Plus500

Plus500 is known to be an affordable CFD trading platform having lower spreads. Plus500 is famous, especially among UK investors for the CFD products, which means, you get to trade with share instead of investing in them.

Another benefit of trading with CFDs is that you will be able to profit from either a rise or a fall in the price of the asset owned. The leverage is also quite efficient, where CFD trading stands at 1:5 for the investors in the UK.

There is even availability of higher leverages, but it is for classes such as indices, forex, or commodities. There are commissions charged by Plus500 along with no deposit or withdrawal fees.

There is, however, an inactivity fee applicable to the investors where $10 is charged for 3 months of inactivity in the account. One of the major things to consider about Plus500 is that it only specializes in CFDs only. 

Adding to that, it is not quite beneficial to the investors having beginner-level knowledge as much as it is for advanced traders. 80% of investors tend to lose their money while trading with CFDs on Plus500.

Want to know more details about investing with the help of Plus500? Well, you can have a look at the detailed review on our website.

  1. Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers is one of the excellent trading platforms, which is known for its trading tools, range of investments, and other services.

On the other hand, some of the tools and services offered by Interactive Brokers might not be quite useful for beginners as much as they are advantageous for professional traders.

People who make a significant amount of trades can evade the inactivity fees as well. To make things a little easy-going for beginners, they offer the best research reports and analyst ratings.

They have a mobile app as well and also provide a demo account, however, there is no availability of ISA or SIPP accounts. To get more information, you can have a look at the Interactive Brokers review.

  1. Degiro

Degiro offers low costs while trading with stocks while charging an amount of £1.75 + 0.014% per trade (where the maximum charge is £5). In the case of US markets, the cost is €0.5 + $0.004 per share (no maximum).

Just like Interactive Brokers, Degiro doesn’t offer ISA or SIPP accounts to the investors. It also does have efficient tools for education and lacks in fundamental research as well.

Degiro is known as the cheapest broker for people who want to trade with stocks. Whereas, people who want to go for trading with funds have other cheaper options such as Lloyds Bank or FinecoBank.

We have some more information available in our Degiro review, which can be beneficial for you.

Some other honorable mentions:

  • Fineco Bank – Known as the best all-rounder trading platform/app.
  • Trading 212 – The best trading platform that has top-class tools for research.
  • Interactive Investor – Best platform for the people who want to make an investment in funds.
  • Fidelity – Best platform, especially good for beginners for using the features and services.
  • Capital.com – Best CFD share dealing platform, which has an availability of more than 2,000 shares.
  • Saxo Markets – The best trading platform for people in the UK with access to 30,000+ products across 36 exchanges worldwide.

DIY Investing – DIY investing is short for ‘Do-It-Yourself Investing’, which is a strategy for either a retail or an individual investor to choose to create and manage their own portfolios.

Investors who opt for DIY investing usually go for an online broker or a trading platform that will provide the discounts instead of going for a full-service brokerage or hiring a professional financial manager/wealth manager.

Online self-directed brokerage firms, either virtual or a traditional brick-and-mortar institution, have made the process of DIY investing easier than usual with the help of discounts, low fees, and portfolios managed by Robo-advisors.

DIY investing is often proved to provide more control and profits to investors while saving money in fees and commissions. 

However, the responsibility wholly resides within the investor and this type of investing is not much safe as it does not offer a high amount of protection against the volatile markets.

Tips for DIY investing – Let us now take a look at some of the important and useful tips for DIY investing.

  1. Financial Planning

First of all, you would have to check your financial details such as your income, how much could you invest, safe-side funds, etc.

  1. Focus on your investment goals

The next important thing is to focus on your investment goals. For example, some people have short-term investing goals, whereas, others want to profit in the long run.

By knowing what your financial needs and investment goals, you can easily be able to know the crucial details of an investment option that is suitable for you.

  1. Risk tolerance

You should also estimate the amount of risk that you can deal with. If the risk involved with your investment is high, then the probability of losing your invested money is high.

On the other hand, if your investment involves a very low amount of risk, you may not be able to gain more profits from your investments.

  1. Type of investing

It is also important to know about the type of investor you are. If you are an investor just trying it out as a hobby, then you might have to consider some key factors such as the time taken to gain profits, how much do you need to invest, etc.

Whereas, if you are an expert, you should be focusing on some other details such as the best type of platform to choose, managing the portfolio, rebalancing the assets in the portfolio, etc.

  1. Risk acceptance

One of the major aspects that need to be taken into consideration is that you should accept the fact that without the risk involved, you won’t be able to get higher profits. 

Even though a stable and reliable investment such as a savings account won’t get you anywhere near your financial goals. If you are determined to have great returns, you should be willing to take the risk necessary.

  1. Fees and Charges

Even if you have excellent knowledge & experience and you are even capable of achieving amazing returns on your investment… if you don’t pay attention to the fees and charges, you might lose a huge chunk of your profits in the form of fees or charges.

Know everything about the fees and charges that are involved with the trading as well as other types of fees. As a DIY investor, you might be able to save a considerable amount of money in fees and charges.

  1. Protect your investments from taxes

In many cases, most people opt for a stocks & shares ISA, which may help you in shielding your investments from a tax that has to be paid on income or profits. Not only that, but this account can also be used for the funds as well.

However, you would have to remember that the rules and regulations on taxation are based on a person’s individual circumstances and there is a probability for them to change in the future.

  1. Regular investing

Investing a huge amount of money can be a better way to start, however, another way to do it is by investing (even a little amount of money) often.

You can be surprised by knowing how much profit can be gained by investing the money rather than keeping it all in a bank account. Moreover, the price of your holdings will have a considerable amount of increase over time.

If the market experiences a crash, don’t panic and keep on investing. You might be able to get the shares at even lower prices in such situations. Moreover, it has been made clear many times that in the end, the market will have a rising hand.

  1. Regularly track your assets

It is advised to always keep track of your assets, but not too often. You should just have a look every now and then to get the necessary information on the performance of the assets.

Fluctuations are very common in the stock market and as a long-term investor (if you are), you should sit back and enjoy the ride.

  1. That’s it! Now, you are ready

After taking care of these necessary steps described above, you are now ready to decide the type of investing that suits your needs and jump in.

However, if you are not yet confident and require some assistance, advice, or guidance on this, you can contact us to get the personalized financial services you need.

Given below are the best DIY investing platforms available for investors in the UK. 

  1. AJ Bell YouInvest

Administrative charges – 0.25%

Charges Notes – the maximum is £7.50 per 3 months for shares, trusts, and ETFs.

Fund Dealing – £1.50

Traditional Share, Trust, and ETF dealing – £9.95

Regular Investing – £1.50

Dividend Reinvestment – 1%, where the minimum is £1.50, and the maximum is £9.95.

  1. Barclays Smart Investor

Administrative charges – 0.2% for funds and 0.1% for other investments

Charges Notes – the minimum monthly fee is £4, whereas, the maximum is £125.

Fund Dealing – £3

Traditional Share, Trust, and ETF dealing – £6

Regular Investing – £1

Dividend Reinvestment – free

  1. Charles Stanley Direct

Administrative charges – 0.25%

Charges Notes – Platform charges can be waived off on shares if the investor makes at least one trade per month. The annual fees are a minimum of £24 and a maximum of £240 on shares.

Fund Dealing – free

Traditional Share, Trust, and ETF dealing – £11.50

Regular Investing – N/A

Dividend Reinvestment – N/A

  1. Fidelity

Administrative charges – 0.35% on funds

Charges Notes – a flat fee of £45 up to £7,500 maximum. £45 annually for trusts and ETFs (including some shares).

Fund Dealing – free

Traditional Share, Trust, and ETF dealing – £10

Regular Investing – free for funds, and £1.50 on shares, trusts & ETFs.

Dividend Reinvestment – £1.50

  1. Hargreaves Lansdown

Administrative charges – 0.45%

Charges Notes – maximum up to £45 for shares, trusts, and ETFs.

Fund Dealing – free

Traditional Share, Trust, and ETF dealing – £11.95

Regular Investing – £1.50

Dividend Reinvestment – 1%, with a minimum of £1 and a maximum of £10.

  1. IG

Administrative charges – £96, which is £24 per every three months. This can be waived off if an investor can make at least 3 trades in each quarter or if the investor has more than £15,000 in a smart portfolio.

Charges Notes – Shares, ETFs, and Trusts only, there is no availability of funds.

Fund Dealing – N/A

Traditional Share, Trust, and ETF dealing – £8, which can be reduced to £3 if three trades have been made in the previous month.

Regular Investing – N/A

Dividend Reinvestment – N/A

Other honorable mentions:

Interactive Investor

Administrative charges – £119.88 in case of a standard account, which is £9.99 per month.

Charges Notes – £7.99 per month

Fund Dealing – £7.99

Traditional Share, Trust, and ETF dealing – £7.99

Regular Investing – free

Dividend Reinvestment – £0.99

Vanguard

Administrative charges – 0.15%

Charges Notes – no fees applicable for accounts having above £250k (£365 cap). Availability of only Vanguard funds.

Fund Dealing – free

Traditional Share, Trust, and ETF dealing – free

Regular Investing – free

Dividend Reinvestment – N/A

Conclusion:

The process of investing in shares or any other types of investment options can require a lot of time and effort from you. Especially, when you are thinking of doing everything on your own, things might go a little bit out of hand.

However, with some of the useful tips and details provided in this article, we hope that you might be able to find the right type of trading platform that will cater to your needs.

That being said, if you require further guidance or information on this topic, you can contact us. If you require services related to professional wealth management or financial advice, you can avail of the expert financial services offered by us.

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