The vast majority of investors simply don’t have time to sit in front of a computer all day to track the stock, bond, and commodities markets. But, with the best mobile investing app, that doesn’t have to mean that you can’t invest your money successfully.
UK investing apps are designed to help you manage your money on the go, allowing you to buy and sell assets instantly from anywhere in the world. Better yet, many of the top apps offer tools to help you come up with new trade ideas, so you can use your commute or any other free time to improve your investing strategy.
Best UK Investment Apps in 2020
There is an enormous number of investing apps you can use on your smartphone or tablet. Most major brokerages offer their own apps, and there are even more third-party investing tools that integrate with whatever broker you’re using to place trades.
From that pile of investing apps, we picked out top 7 investment apps in the UK that we think are worth a closer look, offering detailed information about them for our investor to make their choice.
- eToro – Best All Round Investment App for Stocks, ETFs and Crypto
- Hargreaves Lansdown – Best Investment App for ISAs
- AvaTrade – Best Investment App for Technical Trading
- IG – Best Investment App for Shares
- Fineco – Best Investment App for Bonds
- Wealthify – User Friendly Investment App
- Nutmeg – Investment App with Great Range of Investment Products
Table of Contents
1. eToro - Best All Round Investment App for Stocks, ETFs and Crypto
eToro is an extremely popular online brokerage around the world, and it has a lot to offer UK investors on the go. To start, the range of asset classes that you can invest in is extremely impressive. You can buy and sell stocks on most of the world’s major exchanges, including the London and New York Stock Exchanges. You can also invest in ETFs on the eToro platform.
One thing that particularly sets eToro apart from other investment apps is that it also allows you to invest in over 15 cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. eToro even has it’s own cryptocurrency wallet, available as a mobile app, which you can use to safely store these coins.
Another one of the best things about the eToro investment app is it’s low fees. It’s one of very few brokers on the market that allows you to buy shares and ETFs without paying any commission whatsoever, and the fees for investing in cryptocurrencies are also competitive.
eToro is a particularly good investment platform for beginners due to its social and copy trading tools. You can discuss strategies and tips with over 12 million investors, and you can even copy their entire investment portfolios at the click of a button! This means you can invest in stocks and crypto without doing any of the work.
The eToro mobile investment app is extremely user friendly, with a layout and menu design that feels intuitive as soon as you log in. Just beware that the app doesn’t offer much in the way of charts, market news, or other tools. You’re essentially on your own for researching assets, so you’ll probably want to find a stock screener app or something similar to support your mobile investing.
- Investment Assets: Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrencies
- Demo Account: Yes
- Trade Commissions: No
- Minimum deposit: £200
- Wide Asset Variety: Trade stocks, cryptocurrencies, forex, and commodities
- Social Trading: Copy other traders’ portfolios in one click
- User-friendly App: Intuitive design with simple watchlists
- Few Research Tools: No technical charts or market news
2. Hargreaves Lansdown - Share Dealing, ISAs, SIPP Accounts and More
Hargreaves Lansdown is a financial services provider that offers one of the best investment apps on the market. To start with, Hargreaves Lansdown offers a wide range of investment options that are sure to suit investors of all tastes.
If you’re looking for a regular share dealing account, you can trade thousands of shares, ETFs and bonds from around the world on Hargreaves Lansdown. Fees are competitive, too, ranging from £5.95 – £11.95, depending on how many trades you made in the previous month.
On top of a regular share dealing account, Hargreaves Lansdown offers a share and fund dealing account, a number of ISAs, and SIPP accounts. You can take charge of your investments yourself, or you can invest via the range of managed portfolios available on the Hargreaves Lansdown app.
The Hargreaves Lansdown investment app also has a range of useful features. You can login in quickly via fingerprint of face ID, use linked accounts to manage your family’s accounts in one place, access live share prices, and make use of the many news and research materials provided by the platform.
- Investment Assets: Shares, ETFs, Funds, Investment Trusts Bonds, Gilts
- Demo Account: No
- Trade Commissions: Yes
- Minimum deposit: £0
- Investment Options: Many account options
- News and Research: Keep up to date
- No Investment Limit: Invest as little as you like in shares
- High Commission: Up to £11.95
3. AvaTrade - Best Investment App for Technical Trading
AvaTrade stands out for offering some of the most rigorous technical trading tools of any mobile investing app. When you sign up for AvaTrade, you also get access to MetaTrader 4, a popular charting software with more than 100 included technical studies. You can access the mobile version of MetaTrader 4 through the AvaTrade app, meaning that you can create mobile trading alerts around custom-built trading strategies.
In terms of asset range, AvaTrade covers just about everything you could want to invest in. The platform enables stock, bond, futures, commodity, cryptocurrency, and forex trading, all through CFDs. That means that you can also trade with leverage, up to 20:1 for stocks, which is a plus for traders who want to take bigger positions without tying up more money. Just keep in mind that CFD trading means you won’t be eligible for dividends, and holding long-term stock positions can be more expensive.
fThe AvaTrade mobile app is well-designed. It gives you the ability to create multiple watchlists and portfolios and to access charts for individual assets with just a tap. You can zoom in on charts to look at detailed patterns as needed, and it’s easy to check your account balance and current holdings at a glance.
- Assets: Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, Forex, Commodities (all as CFDs)
- Demo Account: Yes
- Trade Commissions: No
- Minimum deposit: £100
- Leverage: Trade stocks at up to 20:1 margin
- Technical Charting: Access to MetaTrader 4 and mobile charts
- Copy Trading: Copy other traders’ portfolios with a single tap
- CFDs Only: You cannot buy and sell stocks directly
- No Market News: Only technical charts included in research
4. IG - Invest in Over 10,000 Shares, Funds and Trusts
If you’re looking for an investment app that provides access to a huge range of assets at competitive fees, IG is certainly worth checking out. This broker offers over 10,000 shares, funds and investment trusts, so there’s plenty of choice on offer.
When it comes to fees, IG doesn’t quite match up to eToro, but it is definitely competitive. UK shares have a commission of just £3 if you made three or more trades in the previous month and £8 if you didn’t. US shares, which you can trade out-of-hours, are free if you made three or more trades in the previous month and £10 if you didn’t, while all other shares have a 0.1% commission per trade at a minimum of EUR 10 or A$10.
IG offers several different ways to invest in the assets it offers. As well as a regular share dealing account, you can opt for a stocks and shares ISA, which allows for tax-free investing, or a SIPP account. This broker also offers professionally managed Smart Portfolios which allow you to invest with the help of expert guidance.
The IG investment app is one of the most impressive we’ve seen in terms of design and usability, and it offers charting tools and price alerts. There’s even the separate IG Academy app which is designed to teach beginners about the world of investing.
- Investment Assets: Shares, Funds, Investment Trusts
- Demo Account: Yes
- Trade Commissions: Yes
- Minimum deposit: £250
- Huge Range of Assets: Over 10,000 shares
- Competitive Fees: £0 - £10 commission
- Investment Options: Offers share dealing, ISAs, Smart Portfolios
- High Minimum Deposit: You need at least £250 to invest
- No cryptocurrencies: Can't invest in Bitcoin
5. Fineco Bank - Low-Commission Investment App
Fineco Bank is an Italian bank and financial services provides that, despite not being as well known as some other brokers, offers a fantastic mobile investment app for UK investors. The Fineco app offers shares, ETFs and funds from UK, European and US markets.
Fineco allows you to invest directly in the local currency, so you don’t have to worry about conversion fees. This platform charges an account fee of just 0.25% per annum, which decreases if you have a larger portfolios.
Trading fees are also competitive. For funds, you’re only charged the account fee, while for UK shares and ETFs you’re charged a fixed commission of just £2.95. This is USD/EUR 3.95 for US and European shares, and £6.95 for bonds.
The Fineco app is very easy to use and has some impressive features. These include push quotes, margin, Stop Loss, Take Profit and a range of other tools. There’s also the market-bar feature, which allows you to quickly switch from one portfolio to another.
- Investment Assets: Shares, ETFs, Funds
- Demo Account: No
- Trade Commissions: Yes
- Minimum deposit: £100
- Low Commissions: From 2.95 for shares
- Intuitive App: Easy to Use
- No Conversion Fees: Invest in Local Currency
- Account Fee: 0.25% per annum
- No Demo: Can't try the platform for free
6. Wealthify – Best Investment App for Ready-Made Portfolios
Wealthify is classified as a robo-investor integrated with a digital investment app, although the platform not fully automated. The company launch in 2016 and is headquartered in Cardiff. Wealthify are backed by Aviva, which are the largest shareholders.
The software is accessible both through a mobile and desktop interface. Customer services are available through the platform and over the phone.
The investment app places your money into a selection of diversified portfolios depending on your preferences. All portfolios spread the risk of the fund across a range of industries and countries. A typical portfolio will include low-cost and passive investments, such EFTs, mutual and other index tracking funds.
Costs associated with Welathify start with a flat rate of 0.6% on your investment, plus fees, which vary based upon the funds invested in, which generally start at around 0.22% with higher fees associated with specialist funds such as ethical investing at 0.66%.
Benefits of the platform
- Standard Buying and selling of investments
- Ongoing management of your plan
- Live chat, phone and email support
- News and insights on the blog and with a monthly market update
- Invest from just £1.
- No withdrawal charges
- Ability to select ethical investments
- Less control over investments – its managed for you
- An expensive option for large portfolios
7. Nutmeg – Best Investment App for ISAs
Nutmeg is a UK based investment platform offering users both a mobile app and desktop system. The platform is a robo advisor and suggested to be the UK’s largest provider with over £1.7 billion worth of funds invested for in excess of 70,000 customers.
A Robo Advisor invests on your behalf based upon your preferences. The basic investments you can choose with Nutmeg are a range of three ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) – Socially Responsible, Fully Managed and Fixed Allocation. These can also be invested in by UK customers in a Stocks & Shares ISA wrapper, which is a tax-free investment initiative that incentivises individuals to save for the future.
Nutmeg charge an annual fee of 0.17% for fixed allocation investing, 0.19% for the fully managed portfolio, and 0.33% for the socially responsible package.
The app is clean and simple use as would be expected from a sizeable regulated player in the investment space.
Nutmeg offers 5 products:
- Stocks and shares ISA
- General investment account
- Lifetime ISA
- Personal Pension
- Junior ISA
- Simple, clear and easy to understand
- Useful app and detailed browser options
- Good for passive investors
- The social responsible is expensive
- You can’t pick and choose individual stocks and share
What is an investment app?
Put simply, an investment app is a mobile application that allows you to invest in various financial products. Investment apps are usually available for free on iOS and Android devices and are typically provided by brokers and financial service providers that also offer desktop or web platforms.
There’s a huge range of assets available to invest in on your mobile depending on the asset you choose. For example, the best UK brokers offer everything from stocks, ETFs and indices to cryptocurrencies, forex and commodities. It’s important to remember that some while some brokers allow you to buy assets and own them, others only offer contracts for difference (CFDs), which means you can speculate on the price of assets without actually owning them.
As well as these financial instruments, some investment apps also offer a range of other services. These include ISA, such as stocks and shares ISAs and lifetime ISAs, and pensions. So regardless of what financial instrument or service you want to invest in, you’re bound to find a UK investment app that has what you’re looking for.
Best investment apps for beginners
When it comes to choosing an investment app, you need to find an app that suits your experience and skill level. Beginners are usually best of with more simple, user-friendly apps, while more experienced investors often prefer apps that are integrated with advanced platforms like MetaTrader 4, so that they can make use of the various trading tools available on the platform.
If you’re looking for the best investment app for beginners, we recommend eToro. This broker has a very well designed, easy-to-use app that makes investing a breeze. It also offers social and copy trading tools. This means you can learn from the top investors on the eToro platform and even copy the entire investment portfolios!
Of course, aside from the usability, you should also assess an investment app’s financial assets, fees, minimum deposit and special features. To help you out, here’s a look at how the best UK investment apps stack up against one another.
|UK Investment App||Investment Options||Commission||Yearly Account Fee||Minimum Deposit||Special Features|
|eToro||Shares, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, indices, bonds||0% Commission (CFD spreads on some assets)||£0||$200||Social trading, copy trading|
|Hargreaves Lansdown||Shares, ETFs, funds, trusts, bonds, gilts||£5.95 – £11.95||0.45%||£0||Managed portfolios, ISAs|
|AvaTrade||Shares, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, commodities, forex, indices, bonds (CFDs)||0% Commission (CFD spreads instead)||£0||$100||MT4/5, ebook|
|IG||Shares, funds, investment trusts||£0 – £10||£0||$250||Educational resources, market news|
|Fineco||Stocks, funds, bonds||£0 – £6.95||0.25%||£0||No conversion fee, market-bar feature|
|Wealthify||Shares, ETFs, funds, ISAs, pension||Fund charges, market spread||0.6% per year||£1||Managed portfolios, market news|
|Nutmeg||Shares, ETFs, funds, ISAs, pension||Fund charges, market spread||0.75% up to £100,000, 0.35% beyond||£500||Managed portfolios, financial planning|
What to Look for in an Investment App?
The investing app you choose will have a big impact on your success as an investor. There’s nothing more important than getting the right tools at your disposal at a cost that won’t compromise the margins on your trades.
So, let’s take a closer look at some of the aspects you should consider when choosing an investing app.
The first thing to look at when choosing a mobile trading platform is what types of assets are available for trading. While many traditional brokers have mobile apps, they largely limit you to trading stocks, ETFs, and bonds.
There are numerous other markets out there to trade. All three of the investing apps we recommended offer stocks, ETFs, and bonds, as well as cryptocurrency, commodity, and forex trading. Even if you aren’t interested in trading currencies or commodities right now, these assets can offer a chance to diversify your portfolio in the future.
Another thing to think about is whether your broker allows you to directly own assets you invest in or whether you can only buy and sell CFDs. This is an important difference. When you directly own stocks, you’re eligible for dividends and there are no fees associated with rolling over contracts from month to month if you want to hold a position for the long term. But, CFDs allow you to trade with leverage, so you can open larger short-term positions without tying up nearly as much cash as you’d need to with direct ownership.
Additionally, if you’re trading cryptocurrencies, commodities, or forex, taking direct ownership of an asset can be much more difficult for regulatory or logistical reasons. CFDs make it much easier to trade these assets since you are only speculating on the future price.
Among the best things that investing apps can offer aside from a variety of assets are research tools. These could be market news feeds or, more commonly, technical charting tools. Some mobile apps, like AvaTrade, integrate directly with the popular MetaTrader 4 mobile app to provide in-depth charts and pre-built technical studies. Other investing apps, like Investous, have their own custom charting software that’s optimised for small smartphone screens.
In any case, make sure that the research tools available fit your investing style. If you trade primarily based on fundamental financial data, having advanced charts probably won’t help you nearly as much as having access to recent corporate filings. On the other hand, traders who prefer to open and close positions quickly around market news will want access to an up-to-date news feed and the ability to create custom trading alerts.
A number of investing apps, like those of eToro and AvaTrade, offer some form of social trading. These two apps allow you to follow successful traders’ public profiles on the apps and to see how their portfolios are distributed at any time. More than that, you can instantly designate a set amount of money from your account to copy that traders’ positions.
This is extremely helpful because it allows you to follow a strategy that’s already working. Better yet, you can hedge your bets by copying multiple traders and trying out several different strategies at once. For beginner traders and investors who don’t have a lot of time to spend on developing custom strategies, this style of social trading is a major plus.
Another aspect of social trading that’s worth looking for is discussion boards, similar to the ones that eToro offers for every stock, commodity, and currency. These can be a great resource for following news developments or rumours around a company or other asset, as well as for gauging investor sentiment.
Low Commissions and Fees
Of course, your choice of broker also needs to take into account what kinds of fees you’ll be charged for using the investing app. Fees can be broken down into three categories: commissions, spreads, and other fees.
Trade commissions were once everywhere, but in recent years they’ve largely disappeared from mobile investing apps. That’s generally a good thing, since it means you’re not paying money simply to open and close a position. It also means that you don’t have to worry about trading with small amounts of money, since you’re not paying flat fees regardless of the size of your trade. None of the three investing apps that we recommended charge trading commissions.
That said, brokers do still make money off your trading through the spread. This is the difference between the price you buy an asset for and the price it’s sold for. Usually, the spread isn’t more than one to two percent of the value of any trade, but be on the lookout for investing apps that charge higher spreads. The lower the spread, the better, since you start off every trade with a slight loss as a result of spreads.
Finally, it’s important to look at account minimums and any other fees your investing app charges. None of the apps we recommended charge a monthly subscription fee, but some brokers do. On top of that, some brokers charge fees when you withdraw money from your account or if you don’t trade (and spend money on the spread) at least once every three months. These fees can add up quickly, so be sure to check what your investing app will be charging.
How safe are investment apps in the UK?
In the UK, trading apps are licensed and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Some of the FCA-set safety conditions that any trading app must meet before receiving an operating license include a commitment to the safety of client data and funds. A trading app like eToro, for instance, has to be vetted to guarantee that they don’t collect unnecessary or overly sensitive user data. And that the little they gather isn’t shared with third parties.
Additionally, eToro maintains separate bank accounts for their client funds. The broker has also instituted several trading-related safety measures to further protect user funds that include the guaranteed stop-loss feature.
How to invest in investment apps
You invest in these investment apps by committing funds to the online money-making projects they are involved in. When you choose eToro, for instance, you have the option to invest in thousands of trading opportunities that are spread across such asset classes as shares, stocks, indices, forex, cryptocurrencies, bonds, and ETFs.
And if you chose Hargreaves Lansdown, you would be exposed to such investment options as multiple saving ISAs, share dealing, ETFs, Bonds, and funds or even spread betting and CFDs.
How do investment apps work?
Investment apps can be DIY, semi-DIY, or Hands-free. DIY investment apps will only provide you with a trading platform but you will be responsible for all the trading/investment decisions like the product to invest in, when, and how much to invest.
Semi-DIY investment apps, on the other hand, give you access to investment support from other traders or the brokerage management who hold your hand and advice on the best investments. But you ultimately have to make the final trade/investment decisions.
Hands-free investment apps only require you to deposit cash and have another party – either an expert trader or automated trading software – take charge of the investment decision. eToro can be said to be an all-around investment app as you can choose to trade directly, solicit expert help via the social/copy trading tool.
Investing on the go is one of the best ways to make money during your commute or travel and to monitor your positions when you’re away from your computer. With the best UK investment apps, you can trade much more than just stocks to diversify your portfolio. eToro, for instance, makes it possible for you to invest in 2,000+ financial instruments from 8 asset classes. You can also take advantage of its rich social/copy trading, technical indicators, and research tools to discover new investment opportunities and develop a successful strategy. eToro also gives you access to a free demo account with 50,000 virtual funds, complemented by an expansive list of educational resources, regular live webinars, and customer support. And all are aimed at helping you help perfect your investment skills.
eToro: Best Social Investment App UK
- Huge range of assets
- Social and copy trading
- No commission
- Accepts PayPal
- Strictly regulated
Is there a monthly subscription fee to use an investing app?
Some investing apps charge monthly subscription or management fees, although this isn’t true for any of the apps that we recommended. Just watch out for inactivity fees, which may be assessed if you don’t place a trade with your app for a period of three months or longer.
Do I need to be connected to WiFi to trade from anywhere?
You do need to be connected to the Internet to place trades with any investing app. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need a WiFi connection. You can trade using mobile data in many places that don’t have WiFi available.
When trading stocks, should I trade CFDs or buy and sell stocks directly?
For stock trading, both direct ownership and CFDs have advantages. Direct ownership is typically better for long-term positions since you are eligible to collect dividends and don’t have to worry about contract rollover fees. CFDs are better for short-term positions when you want to trade with leverage.
Can I access my mobile trading account from a desktop?
Most brokers that offer mobile investing apps also have a desktop or browser-based platforms where you can access your account and make trades. However, some brokers are mobile-only, in which case you’ll have to use the app to access your account.