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Robinhood app was the first 0% trading app that let everyday people invest in big marketplaces. By not charging commission fees, it became a budget-friendly way to test small pools of cash.

That’s important in today’s crazy marketplace (remember when Netflix fell 25% a while ago?).

Investment up

Brits are also going through the tightest crush to their living expenses in seven decades, and so every pound matters more.

With all of this, people are more savings-aware. So in this guide, we teach you how to get free stocks & shares for the best rates possible on the market.


Determining How to Get Free Stocks and Shares (UK)

Considering trading stocks? It looks like we’re currently in an ever-unpredictable and unstable world. When assessing your Trading Data, take a breather and work from principles rather than emotions.

Have a read about ‘How to Budget.’


Top Free Stock & Shares Brokerages – Reviews 2022 🆓

Service ProviderRating
1. eToro★★★★★Open Account
2. Plus500★★★★★Open Account
3. Capital.com★★★★★Open Account
4. Vanguard★★★★★Open Account
5. Trading 212★★★★Open Account
6. Hargreaves Lansdown★★★★Open Account


1. eToro – The Best Free Stock & Shares App for CFDs

Ever since Robinhood, a bunch of platforms made 0% trading offerings, so everyday traders could invest in the hottest and biggest shares today, with minimal amounts of cash. 

eToro is one of them. While it doesn’t have Robinhood’s GameStop infamy, it’s no less well-recognised by the public, particularly for its CopyTrading app.

Once again, every trade carries 0% percent commission. It also features the top social trading capabilities for all experience levels—making this our guide’s overall favourite go-to when seeking how to get free stocks & shares.

I typically recommend Vanguard for beginners learning how to get free stocks and shares. That particular mutual fund comes recommended by both Warren Buffett and Ray Dalio with Buffett himself saying making this the single piece of advice you would give to his wife before he died—that is, to use the Vanguard S&P 500 Admiral Fund.

But keeping in mind that a large number of millennial traders have entered the stock markets, and take more aggressive stances, Vanguard has reduced to 4th place.

If your goal is to take on more risk than traditional banking, then the platform harnesses crowd wisdom through social trading, to give its traders a close sense of the pulse of the market on a social level. Rather than focusing on numbers alone.

Its CopyTrade feature outstrips any other broker, particularly when it comes to usability for beginners who are completely new to trading and do not know how to get free stocks and shares.

Which means, you could do a combination of knocking heads with other groups of speculators, as well as directly automatically copying the market decisions made by successful traders on the platform. You can check up on their track-record and also copy portfolios that contain an assortment of stocks from a variety of firms.

This possibly makes eToro the nearest competitor to Vanguard with a larger risk but greater independence and upside opportunity. So if 7.7% annualised returns seems way too low, then this is the best way to get free stocks and shares.

We’ve overviewed eToro (review) in more detail, such as its levels of security, trading licences, and its two factor account authentication, which not all free stock trading apps offer. 

Remember that there isn’t really any such thing as a “free” trading platform. Some are optimal for frequent traders, due to all position making being commission free. But at some point during the process, there will be charges.

eToro is an all-in-all user-friendly way to invest, with over 2,700 stocks existing in countries across the globe—ranging from Tesla to NVIDIA and Twitter. Account opening is non complicated. Overall, this is a solid way to buy free stocks and shares.

PROS

  • Ideal for beginners
  • Top news
  • Excellent social trading features
  • Auto-mirror the best traders

CONS

  • No VPS

2. Plus500 – Best for Beginners Learning How to Get Free Stocks & Shares

Plus500 also uses ‘contracts for differences’ (CFDs), which once again means buying derivatives rather than underlying stocks and shares.

Overall, this makes it 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 bet on how things move in the same way to a bookie. The vast majority of gamblers who use this mechanism end up losing in the long run.

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.

They have more than 10,000 user reviews on Trustpilot, with most of these positive.

PROS

  • 0% commission
  • Use CFD and leverage
  • Tight interface
  • Positive reviews

CONS

  • CFDs dangerous

3. Capital.com – How to Get Free Stocks & Shares for Aggressive Traders

The hunter’s way to get free stocks and shares... Capital.com harnesses contracts for differences (CFDs) that can be done through a mobile phone on a fuss-free platform.

CFDs are an aggressive way to get free stocks and shares, or more accurately returns from their movements, using small starting capital (thus the name). Rather than actually buying underlying stocks and shares, traders buy contracts speculating on their price movements. 

Capital.com works as a third party broker who creates up a contract on the result. If shares climb in the way you predicted, to a significant amount that makes up for broker fees, then the platform lets you exit your position taking the profits as the full difference.

This works either way.  Because these investment vehicles often use leverage, this means that portion of your contract will be made up of a loan from the broker. For instance, which means, if your prediction is correct, your returns are amplified by the amount of leverage (for example, five times over), as well as any losses. 

Which obviously means that if your prediction goes in the wrong direction, you could swiftly see all of your  investment wiped out. This can happen if market conditions are volatile and swings in the wrong direction. You can even lose more than was initially invested (or even a greater amount than was loaned to you through leverage).

So it’s strongly recommended that if you use this platform, make sure you activate ‘Negative Balance Protection,’ which is a safeguard for retail investors created several years ago in order to instantly consumers from big losses.

In terms of the app, it’s well-designed. And accounts only need £20 minimum to begin trading, which can be done using cards or e-wallet.

It’s worth noting that bank wires result in a much greater minimum of £250. And you can also expect longer times for funds to arrive. Be aware that the Capital.com CFD trading platform has a native simulator that mimics real data from the financial markets. Which is a strongly recommended way to try out the tool, before putting any real cash on the line. 

As for exposure, Capital.com feeds into the LSE and several exchanges worldwide. Our instruments range from crypto to indexes, stocks and bonds, and more.

PROS

  • Almost 3,000 free stocks & shares
  • Zero commission
  • Start with £20

CONS

  • CFDs dangerous ⚠️

4. Vanguard Review – How to Best Free Stocks & Shares for Safe Investors

Now we can finally get to our third entry…A surer way to get free stocks and shares.

Vanguard streamlines things along several different vectors. Along the time-investment vector, the investment fund managed by Bridgewater associates features a professional team of investors.

Throughout the year, this team curates a specialist portfolio of traditional stocks on your behalf - so that you won’t have to. Some Vanguard funds date back as far as the 1920s. They are the second largest mutual fund company in the world.

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 ways to get free stocks and shares. 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.

Community thinkers like Tony Robbins, who is no stranger to extreme poverty, became aware of this fund management company when seeking ways for struggling households to invest small starting amounts in stable ways.

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.

So Vanguard may not be as aggressive as eToro or Robinhood or crypto, but history has shown that for the last hundred years it’s been able to beat the market average.

PROS

  • Next-best to buying property or land
  • Returns since 1926 and accelerating
  • Recommended by Warren Buffett
  • Lots of funds available
  • Low annual fee

CONS

  • £500 minimum deposit

5. Trading 212 – How to Best Free Stocks & Shares for Very High Returns

Trading 212 is currently Germany’s #1 trading and investing app. Its pricing plan best suits frequent traders, especially for trying things out.

For example, there aren’t any commissions for ETFs and stocks (via CFDs). This is the same for withdrawals and any account inactivity.

This fintech firm actually is based out of London, United Kingdom. And since being founded in 2006, has amassed 14 million downloads, making it one of the most popular ways to get free stocks & shares. Over 40,000 user reviews average a very high rating. 

From registration to account verification, everything typically takes under 24 hours. As long as you have your tax information ready, just fill out some questions concerning your personal finances (e.g. in brief, your investor and job history). Within a day, the first deposit can be made and your account will be good to go. 

And it’s also able to do social trading. Trading 212 offers copy-trading and a series of indicators and alerts to flag about changes in stock prices and more, according to your own markers for the instruments that your account is tracking.

The user interface is sleek, working with mobile and desktop, for iOS and android. Get a modern, clean dashboard, also featuring a useful filter to find specific instruments, navigate markets, and open or close positions from a single portal.

As a reminder, CFDs amplify your risks and reward potential. Also keep in mind, your exposure to global markets is lesser compared to a few other free trading platforms and apps, with substantially larger higher forex fees and more basic support.

Nevertheless, Trading 212 is the most used trading app in Germany with the vast majority of reviews being positive. The main tripping point is to avoid approaching this app as something like a game, particularly not relying on mobile trading technical analysis tools.

Check out our top stock trading courses guide for more on building trading awareness.

PROS

  • Great automations
  • Top research
  • Fast setup

CONS

  • Reduced exposure and support

6. Hargreaves Lansdown – How to Best Free Stocks & Shares for Retirement

To end with, Hargreaves Lansdown has been a player in the retail investment game since 1981. They provide a selection of stocks and shares investment choices.

Similar to Vanguard and Bridgewater associates, you can opt for active self-management of portfolios or opt for management by professionals, for example for retirement or pension.

Their clientbase it is now more than 1.2 million, with this firm managing more than £100 billion in retirement, savings, and investments. Indeed, its market capitalization has now reached the point that Hargreaves Lansdown is listed in the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 (FTSE 100) index. 

This is a way to get free stocks and shares from a well-established firm who can also manage your holdings. As for the range of shares on offer, these cover the US, Canada, and Europe. And regardless of its reputation, Hargreaves Lansdown still ranks as one of the best ways to buy free stocks and shares at a discount broker rate.

In short, a well-established way to get 0% commission stocks and shares with lots of capabilities.

PROS

  • Founded in 1981
  • Ease of use
  • Top rates
  • Great exposure

CONS

  • Less compounded annualised returns compared to Vanguard

How to Get Free Stocks & Shares – Guide 📊

While there isn’t any way to actually get “free stocks & shares,” a great deal of trading forms offer trading at 0% commissions per order.

For the Caesars, because entering and closing trades is no charge, this saves money – particularly your objective is to frequently move around smaller amounts. Across time, these savings compound.

This section is useful if you want some context to help you learn how to get free stocks and shares:


Getting Free Stocks and Shares

Particularly millennials, the onset of the pandemic saw multitudes of new users diving into online trading and seeking ways to get free stocks and shares, however without fully appreciating the risks. Indeed, most younger traders started online trading for the first time in 2020, and used smartphones.

While smartphones have seven conveniences, it ignores the importance of thousands of hours of studying and analysing financial markets with detailed technical tools at hand used for everything, day trading courses, and so on.

Let’s overview some of the advantages & disadvantages of using smartphone apps as a way to get free stocks and shares:

How Smartphones Make Trades

The majority of online trading brokerages offer apps that you can download from the relevant store, such as Google Play. These are designed to quickly install. And are fully operational, as long as the brokerage account has an FCA licence.

After registration, by completing the online forms in order to confirm your identity, residence, and more, your account information is forwarded to your email. After that stage, you are able to load your account with the minimum amount of money required to start trading.


Mobile Trading

What Can You Exchange On a Smartphone?

#1. Stocks & Shares

Of course. The vast majority of trading apps allow you to invest in various firms (who each hold different stocks for the firm) across global and UK exchanges, such as the London Stock Exchange (LSE). the variety of shares on offer will vary according to your stockbroker. For example, eToro currently has over 2,700 stocks available spanning 17 exchanges.

#2. Forex 💵

This is where currencies are swapped for one another. Foreign exchange is in fact the most high liquidity (most used) financial exchange. Your smartphone will reveal the list of available and tradable currency pairs, such as USD/YEN, at the most accurate exchange rate available.

Each time one currency is bought another is simultaneously sold. Any time you convert money at the airport or post office, you are using the foreign exchange market (forex). However, a number of trading platforms let you exchange currencies using contracts for differences rather than the underlying asset. 

#3. Commodities

Smartphones also give you access to commodities, such as oil, gold, silver, and more, ranging from soy to cocoa. The agricultural industry commonly uses futures contracts between manufacturers and businesses, as a way to hedge against seasonal fluctuations in commodity values. Commodities futures contracts are agreements between two entities to exchange goods at a prearranged cost and volume, and even set future time and day. 

#4. ETFs

On the other hand, Exchange Traded Funds represent market conditions for specific commodities, sectors, or indices. Investing into an ETF that follows the LSE, for instance, means you’ve invested your pool of cash across that specific index. The performance of your money depends on how well the 100 largest firms on the LSE do.

Time for the advantages and benefits of smartphones.


What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Your Smartphone to Trade?

Pros

#1 Alerts: For instance, a professional trader will rely on their desktop or laptop device. If they are away from their desk for a moment, an alert flagging an opportunity or risk, such as ‘take profit’, could happen without you realising. But this doesn’t happen if you have your phone to the ready.


Mobile Trading buy-sell

#2 Flexibility: Which means smartphones can be more convenient. Regardless of your location, you can make a trade. By comparison, a professional trading workstation requires being fixed to an office or at home for the most part.

Cons

#1 Screen Size: Despite this, professional retail traders and day traders always use technical analysis such as charts in order to read market conditions and to determine what decision to make, before making any trade. Compared to this, the screen size of a smartphone simply does not have the ability to represent these crucial charts adequately. 

#2 Mistakes: For the reason above, it’s a much simpler matter to make mistakes or inaccurate orders that are slower. 

#3 Alerts: Indicators expand the amount of extra insight you have to make decisions. For example, an essential indicator is the ‘moving average’ works to help you figure out patterns in share prices. By comparison, it’s precarious and inefficient to gather multiple indicators if using a smartphone. Which instantly means that smartphone traders have reduced insight compared to computer based traders. Many fortifications would swiftly restrict a smaller screen. On top of this, the amount of CPU needed to undertake this optimally means a slow process by many factors.

#4 Lags: Tighter restrictions on CPU also mean greater latency, overall impacting how well you can make executive decisions according to market timing; although this has much less impact if you are an investor who works from fundamental economic principles as opposed to technical analytics.

#5 Overtrading: Smartphones lure you into a world of convenience, simultaneously warping the way you see the best way to get free stocks and shares - until the process seems more like a game rather than a serious enterprise where substantial focus is key. Traders who rely on a smartphone to trade tend to also take higher unnecessary risks. Some even trade just because they are bored, or in order to win back some costs. Professional traders know when to close the laptop and leave it until the next day.


FAQs

Smartphone or No Smartphone?

In short, it’s a bad idea to rely on a smartphone for trading because the tools available for inferring market movements are limited. Users tend to also take more unnecessary risks by overtrading. 

So it’s best to view smartphones as an accompaniment to a full trading workstation featuring a laptop or computer. 

What Are Key Free Stock Trading Features? 

☑️ Reputation-- Ensure your stock trading system has an FCA licence. And be aware of specific risks for each investment roadmap. For example, contracts for differences have an extraordinary loss rate. 

☑️ Support -- Does you app explain to you as the user how to best operate it? Once again, this becomes the most important for high-risk vehicles like CFDs, but also matters for things like copy-trading. 

☑️ Negative Account Balance -- Which is strongly advised if you intend to trade CFDs. This captures losses so that they cannot reach beyond the size of the account.