Best Online Trading Platforms UK

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Are you ready to invest a portion of your savings but you're not sure where to begin buying stocks online?

Or are you a seasoned trader, scouring the market to find the perfect stock trading platform that will allow you to want to swap brokers?

Best Online Trading Platforms in 2022

No matter which of these applies to you, you are in the perfect place – I have compared some of the best trading platforms in the UK to help you navigate the stock market.

It's important to diversify your portfolio, and maximise your gains. Read on to learn about some of the best trading platforms, and all you need to know to make a smart, informed decision and start trading stocks, shares, and ETFs along with other related trading products.

Table of Contents:


10 Best Trading Platforms UK (2024)

Our list focuses on the best trading platforms with an excellent level of customer service, easy navigation, transparent pricing and commission structures, and portfolio-creation features.

You will also find trading platforms that require a very low minimum-starting account balance – perfect for newbies to the stock market and general trading. You can often use live demo accounts to get the hang of things, allowing you to build confidence in trading stocks and getting to grips with an investment platform, as well as an understanding of the stock market.

* eToro disclaimer: eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.

Service ProviderRating
*1. eToro★★★★★Open Account
**2. Plus500★★★★★Open Account
***3. Pepperstone★★★★Open Account
4. IG★★★★Open Account
5. Interactive Investors★★★★Open Account
6. Hargreaves Lansdown★★★★Open Account
7. Vanguard★★★★Open Account
8. Capital.com★★★★Open Account
9. Trading 212★★★★★Open Account
10. AvaTrade★★★★★Open Account

** Plus500 disclaimer: 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

 

*** Pepperstone disclaimer: Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75.6% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.


1. eToro - Best All-Rounder UK Platform

Here are some of the main features and fees of eToro:

Features & Fees:

  • No hidden trading fees – know exactly how much you are spending and trading at any given time.
  • Leading social copy trading platform – ideal for new traders who are learning the ropes.
  • Regulated By ASIC, FCA & CySec for added peace of mind and reassurance.
  • CopyTrade Mirroring System – makes it easier than ever to copy the trades of experts.
  • US/UK & international stocks available – essential for building a diverse portfolio.
etoro logoOpen Account

Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees.

PROS

  • Around for 14 Years - offers extra peace of mind and reassurance to users.
  • UK Headquarters - this can be reassuring to some traders.
  • Copy portfolios makes this an accessible trading platform for new traders.

CONS

  • No Virtual Private Server - this can be an issue for those worried about the security of their trading account.

eToro Review

So, just what can an eToro trading account offer you? I took a closer look at all you need to know.

0% Commission Charges Per Trade (eToro Pays UK Stamp-Duties FOR YOU) 🆓

Commission-free trading is one of the major selling-points of this platform, and this means that you will not pay a broker fee when making or closing your order. Traders can enjoy zero stamp duty, zero commission, and unlimited trades, with no dealing charges or management fees. 

It should be noted, however, that commission-free trading applies only for real stocks investment, not for CFDs trades, and that this does not apply to leverage or short stock trades.

There are also some withdrawal fees to be aware of, but these are the only charges you will come across in most cases. In essence, this means that you get what you actually paid for. In addition, eToro pays your UK stocks and shares stamp duties for you (as this is FCA-regulated).

CopyPortfolios 👔

Another great benefit that helps make eToro one of the best trading platforms, is that this next-generation investment product has virtually thousands of minds working for you. You can invest in two types of portfolios, Market Portfolios or Top Trader Portfolios.

If you use Market Portfolios, you'll get a bundle of complicated CFD stocks, ETFs or commodities – all of which are structured around a specific marketing strategy, on your behalf.

If you choose Top Trader Portfolios, you get access to traders on the platform who have proven longevity, and top-performing results, with the aim of minimising your long-term risks in stock trading, and diversifying your portfolio.

To get started with CopyPortfolios, you need to:

  • ☑️ Select the CopyPortfolio that you think looks good.
  • ☑️ Choose the amount of money you want to invest.
  • ☑️ Hit the “Copy” button and your assets will be managed automatically.

This is all that you need to do to access the best trading options and it makes this one of the easiest investment platforms for new traders. With just a few clicks, you have access to experienced traders and a professional committee.

Your performance is analysed automatically, and the team uses world-leading, financial analysis companies to get technical data on your performance and projections, as well as advanced trading strategies to ensure that your investment is always in the best possible hands.

Community Streams 🎿

community streams

eToro trading community streams are like social media feeds, but exclusively for traders. It’s a live feed of trade ideas from traders all around the world, which allows you to see what other traders are doing in real-time. In addition to observing trades, traders can also post messages or questions on these streams and get immediate feedback from fellow investors.

eToro trading community streams offer traders an excellent opportunity to keep updated regarding trending news within their respective fields and gain insight into how seasoned professionals are approaching particular financial products. These useful data points make it possible for beginners or seasoned investors alike to invest smartly while staying ahead of market trends at all times – making this tool perfect for anyone looking to trade successfully while minimising risk!

Fractional Shares Available ➗

The 0% commission comes in very handy if you want to partake in fractional shares. As an example,  consider that a share price unit is a thousand pounds.

Share orders can be divided into “Lots” – essentially, a small percentage of the total share value. Each “0.1” or “lot” is a fraction of £250. So, using fractional shares, you can purchase a fraction of the share’s total value – for, say, only £50 or much less (under a pound).

Wide Range of Stocks 🏔️

Investing with eToro offers access to a surprisingly large number of financial markets, making this a great solution for:

  • ☑️ Currency Forex
  • ☑️ Majors
  • ☑️ FTSE
  • ☑️ Indices
  • ☑️ Nikkei
  • ☑️ ETFs
  • ☑️ Bitcoin
  • ☑️ Dax
  • ☑️ Agriculture
  • ☑️ Energies
  • ☑️ Metals

CopyTrader System 👫

I've already mentioned the CopyPortfolios investment strategies, and CopyTrader works in a similar way, allowing you to follow the traders who are very successful long-term, decide how much you want to invest, and simply copy everything they do.

As an added bonus, you can do this automatically – with just a single click of the button.

Conclusion

Although there are some downsides associated with using eToro as a trading platform, it still remains an excellent option for both newbies and experienced traders looking for a single social trading platform that integrates diverse asset classes under one roof.

The platform is easy to use, and offers financial market knowledge building opportunities through social interactions within community-driven spaces – all while being one of the cheapest trading platforms on the market.


2. Plus500 - CFD Wizard

Here's what you'll find when using Plus500:

Features & Fees:

  • Regulated by FCA, ASIC, CySEC, ISA, MAS, FSCA, EFSA, FMA, DFSA to give traders the ultimate peace of mind.
  • Free and unlimited demo – this is great for newbies to get comfortable with the trading platform in a safer, risk-free setting.
  • 2,800+ CFDs to pick from, allowing you to create a super diverse portfolio.
Plus500 logoOpen Account

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.

PROS

  • Easy-to-use platform - everything is straightforward and accessible, making this one of the best UK trading platforms for beginners.
  • Excellent Customer support - in the event that something goes wrong with your investment account, you will be able to reach support and advice quickly and easily.
  • Guaranteed Stop-Loss Orders to help you keep your money safe and protected.

CONS

  • CFDs can be risky and difficult to manage.

Plus500 Review 🕵️

An Israeli-based trading platform established in 2008, Plus500 has risen up in the ranks in the last few years when it comes to CFD trading and investment.

Lots of Investments on Offer 🤗

Probably one of the best things you can expect from Plus500 is their diversity and range of CFDs. They provide access to more than 50 different countries, as well as access to CFD on trading Forex, ETFs, stock indices, options, and individual shares.

Secure Platform

Even better, Plus500 is SSL encryption secure. When it comes to regulatory oversight, it’s not only regulated by the FCA, but also by the ASIC, CySEC, ISA, MAS, FSCA, EFSA, FMA, and DFSA regulatory bodies. That means Plus500 isn’t only regulated by one government-backed body, but a quite few, providing extra security and peace of mind for any potential user.

Also, since it is regulated in this manner, Plus500 offers negative balance protection. This is actually mandated by ESMA since 2018, wherein a user cannot lose more money than they’ve put into their account.

Easy-to-access Platform 🛗

Plus500 uses its own proprietary platform, called Webtrader, which is easy to access from a variety of devices, whether that’s a PC or even on a mobile device through its browser.

Webtrader’s interface is sleek and easy-to-use, and allows you to complete tasks such as analysingcharts, placing and monitoring trades and even creating watchlists. Their technical analysis charts have nearly 100 indicators for you to pick and from a variety of time frames.

Advanced traders will find some nice features, such as a familiar layout, customisable technical analysis chart, and the ability to place a trade in a few clicks. That being said, it’s sadly a system that doesn’t allow for external third-party tools, and this may be a major drawback for some people who are used to those tools on other trading platforms and investment platforms.

Good Customer Support 🤝

While Plus 500 doesn’t offer phone support, their chat and email support is available 24/7. Response times are really good and are often within a few minutes.

It should be noted that the chat does seem to be initially manned by a bot, but that’s not necessarily an issue if you’re asking about a simple common issue. In addition, reaching a human being is relatively easy if you need them, so this is not a major concern.

Conclusion

With a good range of investment options, attention to security, and the ability to access support, this is amongst our top picks when it comes to the best trading platforms in the UK. Although it’s missing out on some of the features advanced traders might look for, it’s great for those who want a more straightforward experience.

Plus500UK Ltd authorised & regulated by the FCA (#509909)


3. Pepperstone - All-Around Superstar ☑️

Below are some of the features and fees of Pepperstone:

Features & Fees:

  • Min Deposit of £180 – this is a pretty accessible amount, making this a platform for all kinds of traders.
  • No Deposit Fees – easy to get started, and allows you to keep more of your cash.
  • Works on Windows and iOS for the ultimate flexibility.
  • The price alert feature keeps you on top of the information you need, as it happens.
  • Scalping trading – great for experienced traders.
  • Trading signals for up-to-the-minute information, giving you the information to make the best trades.
  • Live Chat ensures that you are always connected to help.
Pepperstone logoOpen Account

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75.6% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

PROS

  • Strong Reputation - offers reasuurance and peace of mind to traders.
  • Segregates your funds from other users for addded security of your investments.
  • Regulated by both the FCA & ASIC for added peace of mind - you can trade stocks knowing that your investments are safe, secure and protected.

CONS

  • No Crypto payments - this can be frustrating for those who use crypto as part of their investment strategy.
  • No Penny Stocks - if these form a key part of your investments, this may not be the best investment platform.

Pepperstone Review

Pepperstone doesn't stand out as the best share dealing account in any specific area. And they’re not the oldest provider on the list. But, Pepperstone is very strong all-around, including being fast and low cost.

Compatible & Capable ⚙️

They use high-speed processing and have eight years worth of market intelligence, allowing them to offer traders great guide-points and advice that you can use to make informed ordering decisions.

Quality Trading Platforms

They also have MetaTrader 4&5, cTrader and TradingView which are world-class trading platforms. These instruments make it possible for you to mirror other people's trades, though it's not as intuitively integrated as something like eToro.

I recommend you using the split-screen function on your smartphone or computer, allowing you to access the source of your trade information, while having the trading screen also open on one section of your device.

Segregates Your Funds 🏃🏽‍♀️

Another pro of Pepperstone is the segregation of your funds – but just what is fund segregation in the world of online trading?

Essentially, this refers to the practice of separating the various uses of funds on a brokerage. This prevents brokerage firms from combining company assets with client investments.

If a brokerage firm liquidates for some reason, the client's assets can be immediately returned. This stops businesses from illegally using client investments for their own purposes (and putting clients at risk).

All risk-managements are decided by the client, without any third-party pressures. This differs from something like a mutual fund, where a portfolio manager will be responsible for managing the asset as one; dividing it amongst the co-owners.

If an online trading platform does not use funds segregation, it is not suitable to use and should be avoided – the best trading platforms in the UK should offer this as standard.

Good Customer Service

If you get stuck or run into an issue, Pepperstone offers a UK phone line and the option to contact via email support, but the swiftest (and simplest) method for getting customer support is usually via live chat. You'll find 24/7 help, as they have international bases – these range from Australia to the UK.

Also check out the FAQs section, which is well-organised and gives you quick answers to the most common questions around setting up accounts and various conditions of trading with Pepperstone.

Price Alert Feature 🌐

price alert feature

Smart Trader tools are expertly-designed tools that allow you to trade in the optimal and most informed way, and are a great addition to any trading platforms.

Some of the most popular names in the space are MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.

Both are available if you open an account with Pepperstone. They have a ton of in-built features, that include live charts, useful tabs, and an alarm manager. The platform has a lot of advanced tools, but the best trading tools it offers include:

  • ☑️ Live charts – keep up to date with the market as changes occur.
  • ☑️ Alarm manager – never miss on an important trade again.

Conclusion

Pepperstone may not be the most famous name on our list, but it is a great option for investors looking for diverse, reliable trading platforms, with the added bonus of a host of tools and tips to help you make the most of every trade.


4. IG - Great for Activity & Diversity (Discounts) 📈

Below are some of the main features of IGMarkets:

Features & Fees:

  • Fund segregation protects your investments.
  • Headquartered in UK for added stability and security.
  • Min Deposit of £200 – this is one of the more accessible platforms for investors of all types.
  • FCA-Regulated for added security.

PROS

  • In business for 46 years - this is one of the older trading platforms, and can be relied upon for trustworthiness and value.
  • Wide array of trade types - perfect for diversitying your portfolio.
  • Highly compatible apps - very user friendly and convenient.

CONS

  • No Skrill or crypto payments - this could be frustrating for some traders.
  • Not the cheapest, despite discounts.

IG Review

With rewards for active traders, good security, and the chance to manage and control your own trades, IG has a lot to offer – and I took a closer look at their best features.

Rewards Based on Activity-Tracking 📛

IG really shine when it comes to the wide array of trading types, and their active trader incentive.

Essentially, if you are active, they lower their price, and an £8 per UK trade drops to £5 - if you make at least ten trades on a monthly basis. In addition, US shares are completely zero-commission, as long as you have made three trades in the last month - this is a real pro compared to other online platforms.

Headquartered in UK (FCA-Regulated) 📍

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the independent administration organisation responsible for regulating financial markets and financial services that reside in the UK.

They protect finances, but are also admired for being reasonably lenient and allowing a diverse possibility of trading. Some countries have stricter regulations, as they fear money laundering. Because of this lenience, there is healthy competition and a stable industry.

The FCA also protects you against any fraud on the part of the brokerage firm. They can hand out – and do hand out – fines in the hundreds of millions. For example, in 2019, the FCA handed out almost 400 million pounds worth of fines.

Highly-Compatible Apps 💻

Pennystone uses cTrader, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, which all work on Android and Mac devices, and all of which are world-class systems that let you customise the way you trade.

The most skilled traders in the world use these platforms – in order to manage teams and share trades. This is also available on desktop for Windows and macOS. Alternatively it works on mobiles or tablets, or you can use web app, which is called WebTrader.

Conclusion

While you may find yourself yearning for the commission-free trading of other trading platforms, IG nonetheless has plenty to offer – and is a great brokerage account choice for those new to playing with stocks and online trading.


5. Interactive Investors - Great for Investment Funds 💰

Features & Fees:

  • Fund segregations protect your investments.
  • FCA regulation - with UK headquarters, traders are reassured that funds are safe.
  • One-Click trading for ease and convenience.
  • Stop-Loss Orders offer extra security and protection.

PROS

  • Great for diversification thanks to a wide range of products.
  • £1 Deposit for a live account - perfect for new traders.
  • Free live demo account - great for those new to trading.

CONS

  • No standalone desktop platform - this can make it trickier to manage your brokerage account compared to other trading platforms.
  • No price alerts - there is a risk that you could miss out on a great deal.

Interactive Investor Review

With diverse investments and reasonable costs, Interactive investor offer a great option for those new to stock trading and have a lot to offer would-be investors.

Reasonable Costs

A Trading Account costs £9.99 a month and each month you get a first trade for 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.

Great for Diversification (Diverse Products) 🦜

Interactive Investor really stands out as of the best share dealing accounts that allow you to make diverse investments. This is a sort of platform you would use if you wanted to make long-term decisions with your money, based on in-depth research.

Traders can access a host of products, including SIPPs, ISAs, regular trading accounts, junior ISAs, regular trading accounts, company accounts, free research tools, cash trading and pension trading.

Trading Central (Recognia) 💸

recognia logo

Interactive Investor use Trading Central – a comprehensive research tool that gives you information on shares, investment trusts, funds, and ETFs. In most cases, you can find professional-level PDF reports.

The research tools available are world-class, and consist of a host of articles and podcast episodes discussing the ways in which the markets will be affected by various events happening around the world.

If you are somebody who loves technical insights, then this will be one of your most-loved aspects of this platform.

Live Demo Account & £1 Minimum Account Deposit 💵

With a minimum account deposit of just £1, this is perfect for beginners who are investigating stock trading and trading platforms for the first time. The inclusion of a free live demo account is another bonus; this allows you to practice against live markets in order to get use the platform.

And No Standalone Platform 🤐

One downside of the platform is a lack of standalone platform; you are forced to use the Interactive Investor website, and this can be frustrating if you are used to standalone platforms on other online brokers. There is, however, an application that you can download onto your phone, which is efficient and does the job.

Conclusion

What Interactive Investors lack in technical prowess, they make up for in ease of use and functionality, as well as a diverse range of investment opportunities, and this is a large element of their popularity as an online broker.

Related Read: Best Online Trading Platform for Beginners


6. Hargreaves Lansdown - Nice Automated Self-Ed Tools 👨‍🏫

Features & Fees:

  • Fund segregation to protect your finances.
  • Headquartered in UK for additional peace of mind for investors.
  • In business for 39 Years – you can rest assured that this is one of the most experienced trading platforms on the market.
  • Works with Android & iOS for added convenience.

PROS

  • Solid Reputation - this is one of the most reliable trading platforms on the market.
  • Great mobile app makes it easy to manage your trades.
  • Compatible across devices for added convenience.

CONS

  • No PayPal/Crypto Pay Methods - this can be frustrating if you prefer to use these methods when investing.
  • Pricey compared to other trading platforms.
  • No Live Chat - this can be tricky if you run into issues.

Hargreaves Lansdown Review

Not many on this list will be able to say that they've been around since the 1980s. In that time, Hargreaves has had a whopping 86 billion pounds under its management, with more than a million clients.

Great Technical Insight

Hargreave's wealth of experience compared to other trading platforms has allowed them to develop a vast array of market analysis and technical insights – available on-demand. And they have excellent platforms, with a great array of compatibilities across devices, with easy-to-use apps.

Surprisingly Good Mobile App

One of the top features of this compared to other trading platforms is the mobile app, HL Live; make the most of charting functions, and access 2g drawing indicators, using them to add overlays to commodities or indices. Users can also tweak the charts to show financial results, forecasts and/or dividends; this is a feature that is surprisingly hard to get on trading platforms in the UK.

The app can be used on iPad, iPhone, and Android, and really is top-notch, giving you a simple way to trade while still being able to access key fundamental research.

Educational Content is Hit and Miss

What I really like about this platform is the automated guides and calculators that clients can automatically use to self-educate. You can learn about general topics ranging from SIPPs, ISAs, and how to select shares.

Educational guides are pretty good, but pale in comparison to eToro – the fintech hero – in terms of cutting-edge sharpness and market-relevance. For example, there is no community database to draw from, where you can engage in discussions and feeds. And there aren't any webinars or video tutorials, which is a let-down.

Can be Pricey

The main drawback is that they are pricey… You will pay over a tenner per trade, although this can half if you deal with at least 20 trades in a month. (Which is quite a bit of activity, and thus not for the casual user).

You're definitely at the higher-end in the industry with HG. But, fortunately, they do not charge if you are inactive on your account. Overall, you can get a better offering – in terms of value – from the other platforms on this list.


7. Vanguard ‘All Weather’ Review - Best Trading Platform for Funds 🌞

Features & Fees:

  • Very well-established for extra peace of mind and security for traders.
  • Low risk – this is a great option for those who are new to investing or simply dipping their toe in the water.
  • Invests for you – perfect for newbies.

PROS

  • One of the most trusted trading platforms in the UK.
  • Proven gains year-after-year for long-term investments.

CONS

  • £500 deposit minimum (or £100 per month) - this is pretty pricey compared to other online brokers.

Vanguard Review

Are you interested in online trading and investing? If so, then the Vanguard Trading Platform may be just the thing for you. With its wide variety of features and services, it’s an ideal choice for those who want to enjoy the benefits of online trading. Here’s a quick introduction to the Vanguard Trading Platform and what it can offer you:

Access Your Investment Portfolio 24/7

With real-time data authentication and continuous updates across all devices, you can access your entire investment portfolio whenever is convenient for you, anywhere in the world. The user interface is simple yet sophisticated and provides quick navigation through all areas of your portfolio, no matter where or when you view it.

Secure Transactions & Advanced Security Features

Your security is the utmost priority when online with Vanguard Trading Platform. All accounts come with advanced security features that protect against any misuse or hacking attempts. In addition, they provide industry-standard encryption protocols that safely complete every transaction over highly secure lines.

7.1% Returns Each Year 📅

Vanguard also have a remarkable track-record year-to-year. They actually succeed regardless of financial collapses, with their 7.1% average annual returns higher for other funds in recent years. 

What’s more, while holdings are particularly high for US firms, you’ll get global indexes too. Together, these make up 90% of all investments, the remaining 10% focus on bonds. And if you want to know other funds to opt for, Buffett himself recommends ‘Vanguard 500 Admiral’.

There’s no better trading platform for a beginner investor who understands their experiential limits but seeks a stable way to diversify into the financial markets. Vanguard promises minimal barriers-to-entry. As with Robinhood app, trading is 0% commission.

Very Low Manager Fees, Professionals Pick Stocks for You 🧲

Unlike many online trading brokers, individual trades made by Vanguard on your behalf are not charged a trading fee. With minimum deposits beginning from as little as £100 per month or a single payment of £500, this is an accessible online broker, even if you are new to stocks.

As one of the UK's biggest index funds providers, Vanguard also offer index funds or stocks and shares ISAs–without needing to have pre-existing knowledge of how to select between different stocks.

Conclusion

If you want to focus on stocks, bonds, ISAs, or both – Vanguard provides tons of different portfolios. All in all, this service provides a hassle-free, stable pathway into the financial markets, because your specific holdings are organised by Vanguard’s team of proven professionals. 

Open An Account Today, Earn for Years.


8. Capital.com – Best Stock Trading App for Aggressive Traders 🥊

Features & Fees:

  • Top user ratings – ideal if you are looking for an online broker you can rely on.
  • Trades CFDs – perfect for those looking to specialise.
  • Loss Protections – invest safe in the knowledge that your cash is protected.
  • 2,900 Stocks available – ideal for bringing together a diverse portfolio.

PROS

  • No commissions - this makes Capital.com accessible, and allows you to keep more of your cash.
  • Low deposit needed - you can break into trading without having to invest a huge amount of money.

CONS

  • CFDs are dangerous - this is only advised if you are experienced and confident in trading.

Capital.com Review

Capital.com is an online broker designed for experienced, aggressive traders, and it is important that you have the skills and abilities to manage what can be pretty dicey situations with a moment's notice. This is a great platform if you are an aggressive trader who likes a fast-paced environment, and has the confidence to back it up.

Apply Leverage to Your Trades 🐉

Captial.com specialise in CFD's, and these usually use leverage, which means the broker loans you enough for you to buy a single share or several. For example, a leverage of x5 means the broker pays 80% of the total share value.

All or Nothing

Pure risk-takers will love the all-or-nothing aspect of this trading platform. Actual bidding can be done through a mobile phone on an uncomplicated platform. It’s not too dissimilar to going to the bookies. In short, you’re guessing whether an asset rises or falls. If your guess is right, you win.

So why are these CFDs a risk? If the horse moves in the other direction, this could swiftly drain all of your account money. This can happen easily, if the market swings – it’s even possible to lose more than you actually invested.

Loss Protections In-Built 💪🏼

There are different breeds of traders. Some prefer speed. But to make it impossible to lose more than you invested, turn on ‘Negative Balance Protection.’ This consumer protection feature came into place a few years back, aiming to protect retail investors from big losses.

Demo Account

Capital.com also features a demo simulator that simulates live markets – it’s advised that you give this a test before risking real cash.


9. Trading 212 – Fast Account Opening

Features & Fees:

  • CFD based – perfect for those looking for specialists in a particular type of investment.
  • Tons of automation, making it super easy to trade and invest.
  • Negative loss protections – invest with peace of mind that your cash is in good hands.

PROS

  • Tight research - you can make smart, informed investments.
  • Fast opening - be up and trading in no time, allowing you to take advantage of profits.

CONS

  • Fewer assets - can be harder to create a diverse portfolio.
  • Less support - this is not the best option if you are new to trading.

Trading 212 Review

With an easy-to-use interface, attention to CFDs and great control over your investments, Trading 212 is a fast-growing choice – and it offers plenty of great features sure to appeal to experienced traders.

Ideal for Frequent Traders 💨

The free trading element of the platform suits traders who regularly trade in CFDs and stocks. They also offer free withdrawals and account inactivity, which is why this relatively new entry to the UK financial sector has gained lots of attention in a short span of time.

Easy to Get Started

Another major bonus of the platform is the quick account opening times – the time from landing on the homepage to getting your account verification takes just a day on average; just make sure you have your tax information to hand, and the information you need to answer a few questions about your personal finances (such as your employment and trading history). This platform moves fast: within a day, you make a deposit and begin trading.

Beginner Friendly Design for UX 📲 

Just as with AvaTrade, Trading 212 enables automated trades, and also alerts investors to key movements such as stock prices according to set markers.

The user interface is competitive, and compatible with mobile and desktop, working on both iOS and Android for the ultimate convenience. Enjoy a sleek, clean dashboard, which features a handy filter to search out instruments, explore markets, and enter and exit positions from one place.

CFD Risks and Over-Reliance On Mobile Indicators

As mentioned in the above section, CFDs inherently exaggerate your risks and gains when trading. There is limited access to a range of different markets, with noticeably higher Forex fees compared to other trading platform alternatives, and support is basic. 

Conclusion

It’s worthwhile noting that Trading 212 has a large number of positive user reviews. Just be wary of treating trading as like a game, which can happen when you trade CFDs on mobile phones, and depend on mobile indicators compared to desktop. 

Our best stock trading courses guide helps you to develop deeper trading skills.


10. AvaTrade – Best for Seasoned Traders Who Want Custom CFDs 💼

Features & Fees:

  • Top eToro alternative for investors looking to specialise in CFDs.
  • Social trading – this gives you insight into how the top traders are thinking and moving.
  • Automate trades to ensure the best results and the best opportunities.
  • Loss protections – rest assured that your investments are safe and secure.

PROS

  • Many social integrations - easy to make the most of your investments and keep on track.
  • Great research - make smart, informed trades and decisions.
  • Quick account setup - you can be up and running in no time.

CONS

  • Best for serious traders who want to learn and make the most of every trade - not great for newbiews.
  • Some conversion fees - these can quickly get pricey.

AvaTrade Review

AvaTrade may be the next best thing to eToro for social trading across global markets. There are many customisable options that make this less than optimal for traders still new to CFDs.

Create Special Agreements with Other Buyers and Sellers 👔

The key feature is being able to tailor trades in order to make your negotiations more personal with other buyers or sellers – a feature not always offered by online trading platforms, so it is notable. AvaTrade lets you develop negotiation and trade pathways, so that you can grow repeat trading opportunities across your network.

Worldwide Branches and Access to Global Markets, e.g. USA, Asia, European Stocks 🏰

AvaTrade (“Ava Capital Markets”) came about in 2006, founded in Dublin, Ireland and still regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

But they have since branched out globally, with relevant regulations to match their exposure to new markets: the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Financial Futures Association of Japan (FFAJ), and the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission (BVI FSC).

Licensed and Regulated To Access a Range of Markets

Licences include Europe, Asia Pacific (Japan included), and South Africa. The benefit is increased exposure to emerging markets, spreading across different instruments. These include commodities, ETFs, indexes, stocks and bonds. Cryptocurrency is also now offered, which makes this a versatile trading platform.

In terms of the actual platform, choose between WT, MT4, AvaOptions, Floating Spreads, and more, with broad compatibility and mobile.

Ideal for the Trader who wants to learn

Another great feature of AvaTrade is access to social trading and copy trading, which lets you mimic other successful traders, live. This feature can be particularly handy for students who want to learn from more experienced investors.

Easy to Customize and Manage

AvaTrade also allows traders to choose between more than 250 financial instruments, and switch the operating platform to MetaTrader 4 (MT4), if they are more comfortable with this. Combined with a top mobile app, this is a great option for traders who want to keep track of trades wherever they are.

Conclusion

All in all, AvaTrade has some superb advanced features that make it perfect for the discerning trader looking for an ideal platform that encourages learning as well as freedom to pursue more challenging trades.


Best Stock Trading Online Guide ⭐

CFD Trading How To “Mini-Guide” 💳

Let’s break down CFD trading into two parts, as this is quite a complex form of investment – and can be high-risk even if you're using the best share dealing account available.

First – What is CFD Trading? 🤔

CFD trading example

CFD training is a form of speculation on financial markets without making physical orders.

When you trade on the Forex market, you make buy and sell actual shares in assets.

On the other hand, CFD trading does not make orders on any real-time assets or capital. Another name for this is “derivative trading”.

These types of traders make speculations on how various markets will move, including physical shares, treasuries and the Forex.

CFD Trading: How To Get Started 📚

Okay, so now you know roughly about CFD trading. How to make the most of this?

The best thing to do would be to set up an account with any of our top five platforms such as eToro, which has a big user-base of experts who can share their know-how and answer questions. (For an app that will teach you CFD trading automatedly, consider Hargreaves Lansdown).

etoro virtual portfolioThis will get you started with all you need to know about CFD trades. Essentially, rather than buying a physical share or trading in currencies, you buy or sell units that relate to financial instruments; making a marginal speculation on whether the price will go up or go down.

I highly recommend that you set up a live demo account, which enables you to live trade using virtual funds on Next-Generation platforms (that includes doing “mirroring/copy trades”.

Is Online Trading Legal in the UK?

The UK has one of the most relaxed set of regulations and laws when it comes to being an online Forex trader – or an online Forex broker.

The independently-administered, regulatory body – the FCA, or Financial Conduct Authority – is to thank for that.

Image

You can find up-to-date trading Forex services that are very competitive on the online stage (admired, actually).

The UK's regulatory guidelines are ideal for somebody who wants to be a professional Forex trader.

Some countries are more strict with online trading – the main motivation behind this is to prevent money laundering – but the UK laws are very lenient, and there are no trade restrictions. For this reason, the best UK Forex brokers are highly sought after.

What is a Stock / Share? 🧧

Units of stock are referred to as “shares”. When you buy a stock you are buying a piece … or share of ownership. It's only a tiny portion of that corporation’s total value (usually).

But that ownership entitles you to a fraction of the corporation's assets. As well as their profits – all relative to how much stock you own.

We mostly buy stocks on the stock exchange. But you can also purchase stocks privately, which some corporations do with their employees, particularly co-founders. However it is done, stocks are under the jurisdiction of government regulations.

What is a Stock Broker, Exactly? 👴

stock broker icon

A stock broker is the middle-man in the stock exchange.

You give the broker a commission on every trade you make and they give you the order that you purchased. The order is sent onto the stock exchange, and the “market makers” take it in.

The market makers do the hard work of sorting through your buy/sell order, matching it up with somebody who wants to make the deal.

It's not possible to make a stock exchange without a broker, as there is nowhere to visit to make a trade yourself. Most trading is done this way, even though – on television – you see people making purchases in New York's financial district.

Types of Stock Brokers 🤠

We used to refer to any person or institution that manages stock exchanges as “stockbrokers.” Today, we divide stockbrokers into two main categories: full-service brokers for discount brokers.

Full-Service Brokers

These are the guys you would think of in the old days. Full-service brokers use human brokers who set about to find your trades, mutual funds, or retirement plans.

They are a more expensive alternative to using computers, as human stockbrokers will charge a high minimum fee to place stock trades. This is usually at least around £75. It can be in the hundreds.

Discount Brokers

We give the name “discount brokers” to anybody who brokers stocks online. They don't give you advice or personally message you to inform you of fluctuations in the market; instead, all of the information you receive is done through apps. In many cases, you are charged nothing to place a stock trade.

How Much Starting Capital Do You Need to Start Investing? 💰

Some platforms specify minimum account requirements to get started – essentially, you cannot set up an account until you have a certain amount of money transferred into it.

ETF vs mutual funds vs stocks

If the platform you choose does not have a starting minimum, then in most cases, you can invest in a fraction of the stock, which can be even as low as a pound or less. For example, if YouTube is selling at £2,000 per share, you could buy £9 worth of it immediately. Whether this is the case depends on the investment type/company:

Stocks

Usually, you will find that the minimum starting-cost is whatever you pay for a share. This also includes fractional shares (described above).

ETF

Exchange traded funds are similar to stocks, so your minimum investment level is whatever you pay for a share.

Mutual Funds

There’s lots of paperwork involved in setting up and regulating one of these accounts. So typically, you have to invest at least a grand. Fidelity is an exception, as it has no account minimums.


Best Stock Trading Online - FAQs 📈

What is the Best Online Trading Platform in the UK for Beginners?

The best online trading platform in the UK for newbies is probably eToro – this has everything that even new traders need to get started, and will walk you though the process while offering plenty of options to ensure a diverse portfolio.

What is the Best Online Trading Platform for “Social Trading”?

AvaTrade is a great option for seasoned traders looking to make the most of social trading; the site has a wealth of options to watch and copy seasoned traders, and to learn the best techniques and tricks to maximise your trades.

What is the Best Online Trading Platform for Investment Funds?

Hargreaves Lansdown have long held a strong reputation as one of the best options for investment funds; this is a safe, secure platform with a strong reputation, and has a history of successful trades and a supportive platform.

Is it Risky to Trade Stocks Online in the UK?

While there are always risks when trading any type of investment, stocks tend to be one of the safer options – especially when compared to CFDs – and so tend to be a solid option for beginner traders.

How Do I Choose the Best Trading App?

The best trading app will depend largely on your investment needs, strategies and interests – if you're new to the process, and want access to plenty of advice and automated trades, eToro is a great option. If, however, you are on the hunt for greater freedom and diverse investments, then AvaTrade is a great option.

What Platform Has the Lowest Fees for the UK?

Trading212 is the platform with the lowest fees in the UK, making it perfect to maximise your profit.

What Does it Cost for Online Trading Academy Courses?

Online Trading Academy course offer a range of free and paid for courses, meaning there is sure to be something to suit every budget. Paid courses can range to a few thousand dollars, depending on your selection.

What is the Online Trading Academy Lawsuit About?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleged that the claims made by the OTA were misleading, and that claims that the strategy could be used to generate a substantial income from trading were unsubstantiated. The OTA settled out of court.


Conclusion 💡

If you are looking for a platform that also allows you to make trades with zero commissions, eToro is the best online trading platform for you. It’s also exceptionally good for trade-mirroring (unique CopyTrader system) – where you copy the trade patterns of a more experienced user.

For the best in overall value – including speed, price, regulations, market intelligence and tools/features - Pepperstone is your go-to choice. All of the latest Next-Gen features are available with it.

IG is great for rewarding its traders with escalations in discounts if you trade on a regular basis, while Interactive Investors is more of a niche option. They have great tools for Investment Funds, access more diverse markets such as mutual funds and ETFs.

Finally, Hargreaves Lansdown is an alternative trading platform for beginners. While it doesn't have the social element of eToro, or CopyTrader, there is an automated self-education system to put you firmly in control of every trade.

Overall, there is something for everyone – make sure you know what you need from your platform, and use our guide to uncover the best option for your future investments.


They 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. These products are not suitable for all clients, therefore please ensure you fully understand the risks and seek independent advice.