There are people content on placing their hard-earned money into a stable fund for the long run. On the other hand, some prefer a more active approach and trade stocks.
Sure, it can get confusing at first with all the numbers and terms, especially when you’re viewing all the movements in the stock market during particularly volatile days.
But you don’t have to do everything by yourself.
In today’s fast-paced society, digital tools are crucial for efficiently navigating the market.
They might help you make the right moves at the right time — even when you’re on the go. You can assess what’s going on without moving from one device or platform to another. It’s all in one place.
Best Stock Trading App UK 🇬🇧
However, not all apps perform as well as they should. Some may be more detrimental than beneficial for your financial goals. This is where HostingData steps in.
We’ve dedicated much time and energy to identify the 5 best apps for stock trading. From our top picks, we hope you’ll find one that suits your stock market objectives.
So, how did we come up with this list?
For one, we looked at their features. Are they really useful? Are they just gimmicks made to stand out? Likewise, the interface matters. Users have to find exact pieces of information and perform actions fast whether they’re on their phone or laptop.
Last but definitely not least, fees and the overall value matter, especially with regards to upfront charges and minimum deposits.
Now then, scroll down to see what we’ve uncovered in our journey to determine the best stock trading platform UK investors should consider.
Note: One of our entries, Plus 500, is CFD-only. Thus, it’s just for CFD trading — not actual trading.
Renowned Leader in Social Trading 💡
Established in 2007, eToro was designed from the get-go to innovate stock trading. Today, it’s the biggest social trading platform in the world — praised for forgoing commission fees and trade limits alike.
If you want to learn the ropes without risking any real money, eToro can set you up with a demo account containing $100,000. This is why it’s often viewed as the best practice stock trading app UK users can try.
Plus, the trading platform is brimming with daily news and analyses on the financial industry aside from its educational podcasts and videos.
With its competitive rates and heft in its knowledge database, eToro has no signs of slowing down from its user base already reaching 13 million.
Features and Interface
Likewise, eToro ensures high-reliability to millions of users with its offline trading function: As one of the best stock trading apps, it executes particular trades and investments even during platform maintenance periods.
Speaking of stocks, eToro sets the high standard for reading up on stock markets:
You can filter markets by exchanges and industries. The app tracks over 360 stocks at the London Stock Exchange and more than 800 NYSE stocks, among others. Likewise, viewing movements of currencies, commodities, and indices is as straightforward as a click or two.
Still, arguably the biggest pull of one of the best stock trading platforms is its exclusive CopyTrader tool.
Instead of working your way around the market by yourself, you can use the patented feature to peruse real-time positions taken by the most successful eToro traders in the world — and copy their activities.
CopyTrader will automatically copy your preferred investor’s trades in real-time.
The app interface is clean and responsive. Instead of a screen cluttered with labels and statistics, eToro carefully segments its features and extensive stock market data. In other words, you’ll only see exactly what you’re looking for at a time.
Fees and Value
Traders need not worry over any commission fees for stock investments. From rollover fees to ticket fees, eToro explicitly states no such charges for these. Understandably, while you normally also won’t have to pay for them, broker fees still apply for short and leveraged trades.
Registering an eToro account is free while withdrawals cost a mere $5. However, since the platform uses USD as its default currency, you have to pay a conversion fee of 50 Pips when you deposit money in GBP.
There’s a $10 monthly charge to your remaining balance if you don’t log in after 12 months. Thankfully, CopyTrader is free, but you need to invest at least $200.
All in all, the eToro app is a social trading system and the removal of certain fees have made stock trading accessible to more investors.
Excellence in Trade Strategies 🌟
76.4% 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.
Plus 500 ReviewTo reiterate, the CFD trading in this app is not actual trading.
But if CFD trading is what you’re looking for.
Our second pick for the best stock trading app is noteworthy.
The Plus500 company is headquartered in Haifa and has more than 2,000 instruments in its portfolio.
It has authorization by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to provide and execute CFD trades.
As for its CFD trading platform, Plus500 outdoes the competition with its customizable charts, real-time alerts, and risk management tools.
Features and Interface
Plus500 provides versatility in keeping its users informed whether they’re on their tablet or desktop. You can determine which alerts you want to receive — and how you want to get them.
For one, you can have the CFD trading platform tell you about changes in the buy or sell price by mobile text, email, or push notifications. If fluctuations in hourly percentages or buyer-and-seller ratios matter more, Plus500 can instantly notify you about them too.
Other than its alert system, the app went all out with its chart tools: You can organize charts according to the kind of price, chart, and time interval. Plus500 has over 90 technical indicators and tools for drawing and analysis, to efficiently plan and implement CFD trading strategies.
CFD trades are highly risky, which is why strict regulation by the FCA is essential. To help users mitigate risks and potentially huge losses, Plus500 gives options to indicate stop limit, stop loss, guaranteed stop, and trailing stop orders.
To learn more about CFD-only trades, users can access well-formatted and detailed articles — and they have accompanying videos too. If you’re already quite knowledgeable in such matters, you can browse the Plus500 economic calendar to not only refine your strategy but also be informed about corporate events.
Fees and Value
This CFD trading app won’t charge any amount for deposits, rolling positions, deposits, and opening and closing positions. On top of that, Plus500 doesn’t lock its convenient chart and graph customization tool behind a premium.
Similar to eToro, however, the company will charge you for currency conversions and account inactivity. In fact, it will consider you inactive after three months of not logging in, not one year.
Plus500 offers 24/7 customer support. Sadly, this is hampered by its lack of phone support. Questions related to CFD trades and the platform itself are often better addressed by direct conversations rather than email.
Overall, Plus500 more than compensates for its limited customer support and lack of third-party plugin support with its advantageous charts, calendars, and notification tools — all of which are available for free.
Plus500UK Ltd authorised & regulated by the FCA (#509909)
Advanced Mobile Trading App 📱
Founded in 1974, the London-based IG platform has since built a global presence with its offices spread out across five continents and serving more than 230,000 clients. Its growth didn’t come out of thin air:
IG built its reputation by constantly innovating its great online trading platform and adhering to regulations.
It also protects client funds using tried-and-tested approaches such as client-segregated bank accounts and ring-fencing.
With sleek, feature-packed platforms for both Android and iOS, is IG the best stock trading app for those who are always out and about?
This seems to be the case — and the trading app can only get better as it further improves the mobile trading experience for those on iPad and iPhone devices.
Features and Interface
In contrast to the CFD-only Plus500, IG doesn’t forbid third-party apps, particularly MetaTrader 4 and ProRealTime.
It even explicitly recognizes their benefits to stock traders.
For example, MetaTrader 4 enhances IG with 12 add-ons.
One such add-on is the trade terminal, which enables traders to turn on account activity-based alerts and manage their positions in just one window.
Analyzing the Market
You can analyze market correlations and compare current trader sentiments to historic stock price data using the correlation trader and sentiment trader add-ons, respectively.
MetaTrader grants IG many technical analysis tools like the Renko, pivot points, and freehand drawing indicators. If those weren’t enough, stock traders can automate their next moves with Expert Advisors algorithms.
With the two aforementioned third-party apps, IG stock traders gain access to over 100 indicators or tech analysis tools. This is significant for formulating trade strategies, given that there are more than 17,000 markets on the platform.
The progressive web app (PWA) of IG for iOS devices is decent. But the IG Android version is arguably the best stock trading app UK people can download right now. It’s filled with as many features as a desktop stock trading app.
You can track positions, make trades, and apply basic, guaranteed, and trailing stops on the IG Android app. The company utilized every possible pixel on mobile screens by having full-screen price charts, all of which work with 28 technical indicators.
With an average execution speed of 0.014 seconds, orders are more than likely to be executed using the stock price you clicked on. If the stock changes to a value you don’t prefer by the time IG can fulfill your order, it won’t proceed with the trade unless you grant permission.
Fees and Value
IG doesn’t charge commissions for trades in the US, UK, Germany, and Ireland. However, there is a small commission if you change to a manual currency conversion setting from the default instant conversion. If you have existing stocks on another platform, IG will allow you to transfer them for free.
ProRealTime will cost $40 a month, but you get a refund if you make at least four trades in that period. IG could be better if it developed its own automated trading tool instead of relying on a third-party app, but this is a minor issue. Plus, UK clients can contact support by toll-free phone.
All things considered, IG is a well-established trading platform with a keen eye on execution speeds and mobile reliability.
Ultimate Flexibility and Control 🤖
Amusingly, Pepperstone takes third-party support to another level than the rest. The brokerage firm has no trading platform of its own.
Instead, its WebTrader and mobile app versions are designed to run three third-party online platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader. It’s an unusual approach but its numerous awards over the years indicate that many people see it as the best stock trading app.
Pepperstone has 150 instruments, more than plenty for clients to evaluate price charts from different perspectives. Traders can customize both charts and indicators. And with two of its trading platforms offering variable spreads, clients trading stocks in liquid markets gain a competitive edge.
Features and Interface
The three trading platforms offer flexibility to clients. Stock traders with some programming background can use cTrader to code in C# and utilize the open API. Granted, cTrader has no platform for macOS, but that’s where the two versions of MetaTrader come in:
MetaTrader 4 has a market scanner called Autochartist, which does the job of detecting promising price movements for you.
To prepare you for stock market activities, its Risk Calculator informs clients about the degree of market movements in the coming hours. Furthermore, the scanner can provide regular stock market reports and assess market volatility.
On the other hand, MetaTrader 5 could be one of the best stock trading platforms in the near future.
It has 38 built-in indicators, object-oriented programming, an economic calendar, and the capacity to execute 500 total orders. Essentially, it has the strengths of MetaTrader 4 but also introduces a great processing output and more advanced trading tools.
Is Pepperstone Ideal for Active Trading?
Its order execution speed isn’t as quick as IG’s average of 0.014 seconds, but approximately 0.03 seconds on average is remarkable in its own right.
Clients hoping to improve trading strategies can use any of the three trading platforms for backtesting, but cTrader has no access to historical data.
Lastly, the company offers demo accounts. Yes, you can request multiple demo accounts. We think it’s the best practice stock trading app UK traders should consider, especially when you combine practice accounts with all the learning materials.
Fees and Value
Customer support is nearly perfect:
Pepperstone can reach out to clients by:
- Live chat
The only issue is that it’s only available 24/5.
For stock traders that need quick assistance at any time of the week, this can be an issue.
Are commissions free on Pepperstone? No.
However, you can choose what’s best for your wallet. Razor account commissions for MT4 and MT5 are almost the same except for the USD currency. On the bright side, Pepperstone doesn’t mind if you don’t log in for months or years. There’s no inactivity charge.
All in all, Pepperstone could be the best stock trading app UK free account users have at this point. From multiple practice accounts to the range of tools provided by three trading platforms, Pepperstone knows how to entice clients with different trading styles and experiences.
#5 Interactive Investor
Top-Notch Value and Pricing 💵
Interactive Investor Review
Considered by some traders as the best stock trading app in the UK, Interactive Investor charges a flat monthly fee of at least £9.99. This can deter some would-be clients, but it’s a move that offers financial transparency: It forgoes charges that become more expensive the more stocks you trade on the app.
Now, the Interactive Investor website is compatible with 128-bit SSL encryption. It works with browsers that only support 128-bit SSL encryption too, but online stock traders shouldn’t use such a risky browser in the first place.
The Manchester-based platform has access to more than 40,000 stocks in 17 global exchanges — and Interactive Investor is regulated by the FCA.
Features and Interface
Interactive Investor covers everything from pensions to savings allowance, but its trading platform deserves the most recognition:
The mobile app works on both Android and iOS devices.
Instead of typing your account details, you can log in by face and touch ID methods.
Using the Interactive Investor app, clients can add funds, manage orders, and check the day’s best and worst-performing stocks in the UK and beyond.
The app interface has a modern look and the navigation is smooth.
However, the charts need functionality improvements. It should have a wide array of drawing tools and technical analysis tools.
The charts themselves are visually competent, but clients need ways to evaluate the stocks and the market overall.
Lastly, Interactive Investor can be a go-to platform for traders looking to learn more about trading and keep up-to-date with financial developments around the world. Anyone can sign up for free to use a Research Account, which grants access to online forums, newsletters, and multiple portfolio tracking.
Fees and Value
Interactive Investor allows traders to convert their money early on to any of nine currencies available for more efficient trades. The margin rate of the foreign exchange cost does go down the higher the value of your trade is.
But even if your transaction reaches £22,000, the margin rate stays at 1.50 percent. A 0.25 percent margin rate is amazing, but that’s only for transactions valued at at least £600,000.
Starting at £9.99 a month for the Investor plan, Interactive Investor traders are eligible for many financial perks. Clients can develop portfolios without worrying about percentage fees.
Also, you won’t pay any trading fees — and you get one trade at no cost each month. If you want more trades, the highest fee for each UK equity won’t exceed £9.99. Furthermore, regular investing has no trading fees.
If you choose the most expensive flat monthly fee (£19.99), you get two free trades instead alongside more benefits.
Overall, Interactive Investor is a trustworthy, highly regulated platform that offers a unique set of trading services for a flat monthly fee.
What You Need to Know About Stock Trading Apps ✍🏻
How Do I Start Trading?
Stock trading has its risks, especially since it typically has short-term objectives rather than the long-term goals inherent in passive investing.
Learning the ins and outs of the stock market and the financial world can be tedious, but it’s crucial if you want to make better trades and minimize losses.
1. Create Your Brokerage Account
The first thing you should do is set up a brokerage account, which will then allow you to deposit investments with a top investment firm. Research about the best stock trading app available in your region.
Basically, you own the assets — it’s just that the broker does the actual work of executing your trades. This step generally takes minutes and you won’t have to shell out anything yet.
2. Know the General Types of Trade Orders
Now that you have an account, you can log in to the website or trading app of your broker. This is where you can make your trades.
You’ll see different order types, but for now, you only have to be acquainted with the two general types: market order and limit order.
A market order is the most common type of trade:
You’re immediately buying or selling a stock at its present rate. A stock you want to buy will cost equal or approximate to the ask price (or offer price) set by the seller. Consequently, a stock you’re selling will get offers equal to or near the bid price, which is typically lower than the ask price.
Thus, the market order is relatively straightforward to understand. However, the price you sell or acquire a stock for may differ from when you actually placed the trade (i.e., at the last traded price) if the market is fluctuating or shifting fast. If you want to purchase or sell stocks as fast as possible, go for market orders.
On the other hand, a limit order is when you trade stocks at either a particular price or an even better deal.
Now that you know about market orders and limit orders, get a demo account and make practice orders. Your brokerage firm or platform will provide your practice account with virtual money.
3. Set a Budget and Goal — Then Make Your First Order
Before you execute orders, think about your financial position. Don’t rush into the stock market with all the money you have. Similarly, determine the maximum level of risk you’re willing to take for each trade.
Think of an objective as well. Create your first stock market goal. Doing this can help narrow your stock picks from possibly thousands of options. At this point, go ahead and make your first stock order on the brokerage firm’s website or trading platform.
What Is Stock Trading?
The process of purchasing and selling company shares is what we call stock trading. From an investment perspective, a stock is the same as one’s partial ownership of any publicly-traded company or corporation.
Thousands of people can buy stocks of the same company, giving them each a share of ownership. The best stock trading apps in the world are designed to handle millions of stocks being traded each day.
For short-term stock traders, movements in the stock market matter a lot whether they happen by the week, day, hour, or even by the minute.
In stock trading, you have to understand active trading. Simply put, it refers to buying and selling stocks depending on cursory price fluctuations. You don’t keep your positions open for long.
There are four general kinds of active trading, and you can practice more than one at a time:
When you say you’re an active trader, some people will immediately think that you’re a day trader. This just goes to show how well-known this approach is, with its defining characteristic being that positions are opened and closed on the same day.
Not everyone thinks this is a form of active trading because the timeframe can extend to months. But highly experienced position traders do partake in active trading: They can close their position just within a few days if their trend analysis of charts supports the short-term move.
If position traders look for trends, swing traders focus on the exact point a trend stops. Why? Whenever a trend reaches its end, the market experiences a degree of volatility as fresh trends develop. Swing positions often stay longer than day-trade positions but they don’t match the longer period of position trades.
This refers to making strategic positions based on price gaps. In other words, you buy a stock for its bid price and then offer it to traders at its offer or ask price, which is generally higher than the bid. Due to the risks inherent in this approach, trades are only held for a short duration.
How to Trade Stocks
Answering the question of how to trade stocks is quite simple, there are 2 unique options.
The two general ways of trading stocks are pit trading and electronic trading. From their names, you can guess that the former is conducted in a physical setting while the latter occurs in a digital space.
Pit trading happens, well, in the pit — a specific section in the trading floor of a stock exchange building. This is where brokers buy and sell stocks.
However, pit trading is no longer the major form of stock trading. Some argued that the physical aspect of it offered transparency, but most major stock exchanges today have since shifted to electronic trading, which is not only less expensive to operate but also better in terms of speed and efficiency.
Our five picks for the best stock trading app are a form of electronic stock trading. You still have a broker executing your orders, but for the most part, you just need your computer or smartphone (and capital) to participate.
How to Risk-Manage
Stock trading isn’t about winning all the time. You may face losses significant and small — and you will make mistakes. These are normal, but nobody wants to crash and burn in the financial industry all the time. Here are a few tips on reducing risks while navigating the stock market:
Find a Reputable Broker
Individual brokers and brokerage firms all have the same responsibility, but they differ in performance and quality. Once you’ve grasped your experience level in trading and realized your preferred strategies, find a top forex broker, or any other that suits them.
For example, if you’re going to be a day trader or an active trader in general, you might want the best stock trading app UK traders can get in terms of low or even zero-percent commission fees.
Also, a platform or brokerage firm that offers top-tier execution speeds and mobile notifications will benefit your trading style.
Don’t Forget About Backtesting
Top online trading platforms and algorithms, in particular, allow people to automate their actions in the stock market. However, you shouldn’t take this pre-programmed approach just because you feel good about the results.
Before doing any sort of automatic stock trading, backtest your strategy. This means gathering historical data to perform trading strategy simulations. Backtesting can then reveal how likely (or unlikely) it is that your plan will lead to favorable outcomes. There are software applications and programmers that can do this for you.
Beware of the Internet
Gossip and rumors are prevalent online — and they can be dangerous for your wallet. On one hand, forums dedicated to trading can be beneficial. But it’s common to see internet users talking about unknown stocks that they argue will exceed expectations soon.
Most of the time, these so-called anonymous financial tips are from malicious people. They do
this on forums and social media because they secretly already bought a ton of shares from the company they’re hyping up. So when others take the bait and create fake demand, their shares skyrocket in value.
If you want to find an online community to discuss stocks, check if the best stock trading app online has an exclusive forum where only verified clients (i.e., people who provided real personal information to set up their accounts) can participate.
Top trading jargon words decrypted 📔
When a big company has been around for a long time and has a proven track record in financial growth, then it can be called a blue-chip stock. These companies are at the top of their industry and each has billions in stock market value.
Granted, a company doesn’t have to do dividend payments to be considered a blue-chip stock. Nonetheless, the majority of them have done so for many years.
Your stocks, cash, exchange-traded funds, and bonds, among others (even including real estate), comprise your portfolio.
Think of it as the main folder keeping everything that you can offer to the market. Traders can opt to store and develop their own portfolio, but they can also pass its management to a finance expert.
If your stock surges in value for a while, it’s experiencing a rally. Likewise, a sudden rise in the price of a bond or index is a rally. This usually occurs when the stock market is in a period of stagnant or falling prices, but it’s possible to happen when the opposite occurs.
The stock market is described to be bullish if the value of a considerable number of stocks increases or is foreseen to do so in the coming months — or even years.
Professionals in the stock market have not set an official number for determining a bull market run.
However, there’s a general notion that a bull market run happened if the stocks increased by a fifth of their value after having lost the same percentage, only to then lose the same value gained afterward.
And when the stock market is in decline for a relatively long period, then it’s said to be a bear market.
In simple terms, this is the difference between the selling price and the buying price. For example, if you’re selling a stock and set the ask price to £40 and the bid price is £32, then the bid-ask spread is £8. Now, if the bid-ask spread is significantly thin, it’s called a haircut.
Each year, companies craft detailed reports about their business. Shareholders
of publicly traded companies read them to get an overview of financial and executive matters.
If the figures and narrative highlights inside indicate a strong annual performance, shareholders have a good reason to keep their shares longer — or even acquire more.
Initial Public Offering (IPO)
When a private company transitions into a public one, it can declare a public share issuance or an IPO. This just means that the public (such as stock market traders) can now purchase a stock of the company as well.
This typically occurs when the stock market is volatile and you can spot signs of a significant decrease in the value of a specific stock.
The process begins with a trader asking another entity to lend their shares to them. If the other party grants the request, the trader sells those shares. And then when the stock value dwindles, the trader buys enough shares (now at a price lower than what they sold them for) to give back to the other party.
What’s the Difference Between Stock Trading and Investing?
Stock trading and investing involve active participation in the financial market. Some people may argue that trading is essentially investing as well since it involves the allotment of cash or capital to meet an economic objective.
However, stock trades and investments are two different things — and time is the distinguishing factor.
Stock trading is primarily a short-term process. It’s more attuned to the day-to-day market fluctuations. Unless you’re a position trader that will wait as long as investors, you typically open and close positions many times over a short period.
On the other hand, investing takes a lot of time.
Daily, weekly, or even monthly market volatilities won’t make investors budge — they’re in it for years or decades because they have long-term goals. Investors will keep on buying and holding onto more stocks, mutual funds, and bonds over a significant portion of their lives to expand and diversify their portfolios.
Thus, you can think of investors as those who accept defeat in battle so long as they can claim victory in war. More often than not, the best stock trading app can double as the best investment app.
What Is the Best Stock Simulator App?
Rushing into the world of stock trading is a big no-no, especially if you have no background in financial literacy whatsoever. Still, you’ve probably asked yourself the following question:
How Can I Practice Stocks Without Using Real Money?
Well, your best option is a stock simulator app, which is designed to replicate stock market apps. While it can offer real-world market information and help you learn about stock trading, you’re not spending any real money or making actual trades in the stock market.
If you have an Android device, try Stock Trainer: Virtual Trading. It includes 20 world stock markets and stock charts spanning a decade. You’ll learn about limit orders, guaranteed stops, and portfolios in no time.
Similarly, MarketSim is available on iPhone and iPad devices. It was released back in 2016, but the app still receives regular updates. In this app, you have $10,000 in virtual cash to make your trades. There’s no trading limit and you can choose among more than 5,000 stock symbols.
Innovations in digital and financial technology have made stock trading more accessible to any person with a computer device and Internet connection (and a budget).
The apps are even competing among themselves for the title of the best online trading platform for beginners, showing that trading apps are trying to make their craft newbie friendly.
Stock trading apps help people manage their portfolio, execute orders, and browse market charts no matter where they are — and the best ones look ahead to the future of online trading:
The world-famous eToro unraveled the potential of social trading with its patented CopyTrader system. Moreover, Plus500 and IG continue to push the boundaries of CFD trading and on-the-go stock trading, respectively.
eToro might be our top pick, but we hope that our comprehensive review of stock trading apps will help you find one that best matches your trading strategy and goals.