Today, money is changing fast. Some economic experts are even calling cash trash. And more investment opportunities are increasingly moving onto financial exchanges.
“Free” trading apps let you play in global marketplaces with fewer barriers. This means you don’t need to first be a famous stock investor to participate.
It’s no wonder these popular free trading apps are growing in demand. People are seeking to put extra money to harder work. They know that banks give abysmal interest rates by comparison.
This guide covers the top trading apps today.
Table of Contents:
Our Top Pick of Best Free Trading Apps (UK) 🇬🇧
Considering trading stocks? Use the best financial common sense first. Stocks can give just as much as they can take. So click the link above before rushing in.
Ready? A few points to note before considering your ideal free trading app:
- Choosing stocks shouldn’t be based on timing unless you’re ready to take big risks, in order to make fast cash. If this is your personality type, gains are made in these two ways:
- If share prices grow during your ownership, such as NVIDIA stock, you can sell for greater value than you paid (day trading does this too).
- If shares that you bought online give dividends on a steady basis to shareholders (every quarter), some profits come to you.
Top Free to Download Trading Apps – Reviews 2023 📘
|Service Provider||Rating||Sign up|
|*1. eToro||★★★★★||Open Account|
|**2. Plus500||★★★★★||Open Account|
|3. Vanguard||★★★★★||Open Account|
|4. Interactive Investor||★★★★★||Open Account|
* eToro disclaimer: eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk. 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
** Plus500 disclaimer: 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
Note: Some of the platforms on our list, Plus500 for example, are CFD-only.
1. eToro – Best Overall Trading App
If you’re hard-pressed on making a more independent decision, then you’re ready for the risk that comes with this.
Times are morphing. Risks are unavoidable. New opportunities are popping up everywhere. Managing all of this is impossible.
But eToro (review) can give you an advantage, by offering copy-trading and social trading powered features targeted at newbies still acclimatising to the world of trading.
Adapting to a Volatile World, by Copying Top Traders
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.
Other than this passive approach to trading, eToro is also known for being a tight platform that eliminates suspicious accounts by necessitating user verification, Know Your Customer (KYC)— making it hard for suspicious users to start trading or to influence the platform before verification.
While a certain number of free trading apps do not have two factor authentication: eToro isn’t among them. As well as requiring minimum account deposits, eToro also offers a more viable means of accessing the stock market independently compared to robo-advisors, seeing as you are mirroring actual humans as opposed to artificial intelligence.
MIT found that this created a 6 to 10% increased outcome of success. You’ll also get more exposure to global markets, including over 2,700 stocks without 0% commission for each trade, covering many different sectors, from shopping platforms to cybersecurity companies — their fractional shares means that you don’t need a lot in order to begin investing in blue-chip stocks.
Their platform not only eliminates suspicious scam artists, it also gives you access to real people in a global community, all talking about decisions before they happen. So the eToro platform is good for security as well as engaging in the community.
It won’t be a surprise considering their brand recognition across Hong Kong to London and New York that eToro has a large global network and exchange connections to numerous markets. Which means you’ll be able to find many opportunities, whether it’s in Chinese or London firms.
Lastly, account opening is quick. What more excuse is there to sign up?
2. Plus500 – Best Free to Download Trading App for CFDs
Plus500 is an expert contracts for differences (CFD) shares dealing broker, so allows users to indirectly speculate on the rising and falling value of shares in stocks rather than directly bidding on them.
Overall, this makes is very different to directly buying shares or bonds. You can go long or short, but dividends are not on the table or any other associated benefits from being a shareholder.
Instead, the platform lets you trade contracts (CFDs). The vast majority of traders who use this mechanism end up losing in the long run.
81% 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.
A crucial safeguard to make sure you have is the Plus500 ‘Negative Balance Protection.’ This feature was enforced by regulators (ESMA regulators) in 2018, for retail investors. In essence, it means you can’t lose more cash than is actually in your account. It’s overall a studier system to standard stop-losses. If the market takes a nosedive, your damage is limited.
Also, you can use leverage with most trades. In a similar way to fractional shares, you have the option to buy blue-chip stocks with only a small amount of capital. However, CFDs have a much more extreme amount of risk because the broker loans out a portion of the total value of the number of shares you’ve purchased. Which means you could easily multiply your gains should your prediction be correct. But this also swings the other way, and could lead to big losses.
Plus500 has more than 10,000 user reviews on Trustpilot, with most of these positive. But they also have ‘Negative Balance Protections.’ To add to this, their security is tight. They are fully regulated by the FCA, with insurance for accounts as well as segmentation from the finances of the brokerage.
Overall, this means a good dose of safety while also giving great exposure, including a direct connection to the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
3. Vanguard Review – Best Free Trading App for Mutual Funds
The trick to operating in crazy circumstances is to find a place of peace and principles. Like a fighter before battle. Or a patient teacher with a brash student.
Which is exactly where Vanguard comes in. This counter-intuitive approach is less aggressive than betting the house on one particular stock. However, in the long-term it’s unbeatable.
Vanguard will eliminate an immense amount of the risks facing beginner investors in stock markets. ,
Firstly, Vanguard comes recommended by the likes of renowned economist Ray Dalio and Warren Buffet to major personal success coach Tony Robbins—who himself grew up in poverty and was seeking a way for the everyday person to get much higher returns on their savings annually and was advised by Ray himself to go look no further than Vanguard.
But are they so heavily reputed?
To repeat, Warren Buffett says that he would personally advise investing in the Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral shares, which has recently seen annualised compounded returns of 7.1% on funds. It’s also worth repeating that Buffett even said this would be the single piece of investment advice he would give to his wife if he ever were to depart from this world!
Fast cash is seductive. But you need lots of energy and the right temperament. Which is why younger investors look over mutual funds in order to select their own stocks instead. The former is not as exciting, but holds up more long-term. According to Buffett, the key behind funds like this is in avoiding the temptation to select the perfect stock; but rather to batch by a selection of large companies and to constantly trim for as cheap as possible.
With tons of changes coming to Western economies like Britain, even up to No. 10 Downing Street being hacked by malware - the UK looks to already be in the midst of a recession. Dalio, for this reason, released a YouTube animated video called ‘Principles Are Dealing with the Changing World Order’ with the aim of building awareness of how economies are shifting in power.
There has scarcely been a more important time to consider these things, as the world’s powers are shifting in their influence and dominance.
Very Low Cost and Starting Capital Needed
Vanguard charges one of the lowest management fees, at only 0.15% yearly. Once again, each individual trade made by Vanguard for you does not have any associated commissions. And to get started, you can pay £500 or opt for a membership plan per month of £100.
Buffett’s advice is to not attempt to find the perfect company, as this is too fleeting; but companies like Vanguard instead buy shares in all of the major companies (eg. using the S&P 500 index), while constantly reevaluating positions and keeping things as low-fees as possible.
The S&P 500 (VOO) dates back to 1926. This composite index, since, has offered impressive annual returns, which is why it's Warren Buffett’s favourite fund, with an expense ratio of only 0.03%. While each time positions are entered and exited, there is 0% commission, as with eToro).
Which makes this one of the best free trading apps. That particular fund has seen a 7.1% annualised compounded return, however there are specific funds designed to help people with low understanding of markets and low cash, who want a way to invest.
So while this isn’t the best for super-fast cash, such as seen with crypto, history reveals that Vanguard is one of the best free trading apps around, capable of beating the market average.
4. Interactive Investor – Best Discount Share Dealing Account
In 1995, Interactive Investor started out as a communications app aimed at retail investors— offering basic communication services for traders, but has since evolved into a top free trading app.
Over 300,000 people have used Interactive Investor. These traders seem to reflect well on the choice, because the platform has a high amount of positive reviews on review sports like TrustPilot. Which gives us good reason to put them into the number four spot for this article on the best free trading apps.
This broker is execution-only: there’s a lot of ease of transactions, tight pricing plans, and strong capabilities.
Trading Account costs £9.99 a month. Your first trade each month is free. The charge for UK and US trades on the standard Investor plan and Pension Builder (SIPP) plan is £5.99. This commission also applies to members of ii’s Friends and Family service, who benefit from a free ii subscription. Customers on the Investor and Super Investor service plans will continue to get their first trades free each month. Super Investor service plan users will also benefit from trades in non-US international shares for £5.99 per trade.
Concerning security, Interactive Investor has tons of experience as an industry-leader. They’re regulated by the FCA. Your digital trades are kept in electronic stores, which ultimately means that each and every trading accounts falls under protection and provisions of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which overseas emergency plans such as reimbursing users if the company needs to liquidate, and this also ensures that account funds are Segmented away from company finances. Insurance for each account with guaranteed up to FSCS caps.
Overall, Interactive Investor cannot dip into any of your money. In addition, all digital transactions go through tight encryptions (encryptions have been a hotbed of debate in the UK) meeting robust to P&P standards for regulating and ensuring the accuracy of account ledgers. And, to repeat on the high number of positive reviews on TrustPilot, users see this as an excellent free trading app.
Best Stock Broker – Guide 📊
Shares are best used with a diversified approach, and are infrequently suited to short-term investment strategies. Even if you are a professional day trader who trades full-time with a ton of experience, you will typically be making small earnings that add up across time. Let’s review.
Best Free Trading App Markets
There are many ways to trade in the markets. You could choose to use a reliable index fund. You could also use an ETF or invest in stocks or crypto.
In either case, it is your capital at risk; so there are certain principles to keep in mind considering whether you should or what to venture into. Some of these wisdoms include knowing that:
- ☑️ Investing is not a short-term thing – most of the time. For instance, stocks usually require an investment of at least five years. This gives some time for market changes to properly turn over. During this time, different companies managed to convince more investors that their holding is lasting in value. So if you quickly need to dip into your funds, you’ll want to choose more aggressive markets like crypto.
- ☑️ Spread your eggs into more than one basket – this is a double-edged sword. And the truth of this statement will vary according to who you ask. For instance, some investors believe spreading around only a few holdings is best, because otherwise it becomes too complicated to manage, whereas others spread to hundreds or even thousands of firms. Either way, most investors hedge against risks by allotting their capital in tactful ways such as shorting. The GameStop crisis shows that this has its own risks.
- ☑️ Markets always involve risks – professional fund managers such as Vanguard our hyper- specialised in being able to know who to allocate to and when, as well as how to hedge ahead of market twists and turns. Their primary goal is to keep ahead of the market in the long run, and to outperform it. And a few funds have proven this across decades, or even as much as a century of annualised returns.
- ☑️ Avoid online tips – some of these are scam artists pumping stocks. Think of the story of the Wolf of Wall Street, who sold tons of penny stocks by pumping up their actual worth by hyping the truth of things. Avoid buying shares from cold callers. Some of these fraudsters scan forums, or use blog sites that advertise certain companies using targeted ads. Their goal is to get you into a state of mind where you are hyped up about a firm you know little about so that you rush to invest before the window totally closes.
Using Crypto Exchanges
Crypto exchanges work similarly to traditional stock markets. However, these digital marketplaces allow you to exchange cryptocurrency coins and tokenized forms. They also keep information on how the global crypto market is moving across time.
Prospective investors can, for instance, look at the financials of a particular coin today. They can sign in, or check out the latest news, pricing information, charts and figures, learning materials on a specific crypto vehicle such as tokens - before making a transaction.
Big crypto exchanges include Gemini, Kraken, Coinbase, and Poloniex. These platforms are not too different to stock brokerage apps seen in traditional financial exchanges.
Top crypto exchanges
Tens of thousands of coins are available, with a sum market capitalization of nearly $2 quadrillion.
With the ongoing exponential adoption of crypto, this number (including the total amount of exchanges) is also growing exponentially. CoinMarketCap for instance tracked over 400 as of March, with even more coming onto the scene weekly… (this number was in the 300s in December).
But, the largest crypto exchange is Binance, which handles around £20 billion of trades daily, seeing visits weekly in the tens of millions and hundreds of coins to trade. Which makes it one of the most popular crypto exchanges on the planet.
This represents tons of liquidity. Nonetheless, the majority of people still do not treat crypto as something interchangeable for hard cash. Although the proportion of those who have at least purchased one cryptocurrency is higher for younger people. And to be fair, there’s a significant amount of terminology to learn, which means making the transition from traditional financial exchanges into cryptocurrency exchanges somewhat of a challenge. For instance, you need to understand terms like cold versus hot wallets, unless you use a fully automated crypto training app such as PayPal.
So for those who even already have some awareness, there are many things to learn that are specific to this form of digital transaction. Indeed, crypto platforms are designed to streamline each stage, so that things are much simpler compared to the process, say, in 2005…
What’s the Safest Cryptocurrency in the World?
Both Bitcoin and Ethereum are the most popular, and therefore the most stable crypto coins available on the market. Whereas, “altcoins” have much smaller capitalisations and so are more volatile, although this means that there is enormous potential for ROI if they become bullish.
How Can I Trade Crypto?
- Register. For instance, to Coinbase or Binance.
- Deposit. Your choices according to the provider.
- Trade. Swap fiat currencies for coins, or crypto coins for other coins.
- Make sure you’re secure. This would be depending on your risk-tolerance and preferences. For instance, using a crypto wallet or the exchange’s hot wallet.
What Types of Stocks Exist?
The two main types of stocks are preferred and common.
For those who choose common stocks, you get certain returns that come in the form of dividends, usually as a result of shareholder meetings. But these typically are cut down in size by that stage. Common shareholders don’t have many voting rights.
However, preferred shareholders get bigger dividends, they are also given more perks if a company goes into liquidity. By the time the process is done, common shareholders usually don’t get any payouts, whereas preferential stock owners are prioritised.
How Do I Buy Stocks?
The most common way is to purchase them directly by going through a broker that is connected to stock exchanges, for instance, the NYSE or NASDAQ. Once you are connected, you can directly trade on assets electronically, once those shares have “gone public.”
Electronic exchanges also have certain insurance privileges. And the accuracy of market movements will be dependent on the speed of your Internet and accuracy of your select free trading app. Figures are live but aren’t always the most recent. The most important market values that you will want to look at are the buying prices (bid price) and selling price (offer or ask fees). And these actual values will be dependent on the accuracy and market decisions.