rtmark
LearnBonds UK

UK Stock Brokers – Compare the Best Brokers for 2020

Looking for a list of the safest UK stock brokers? We've picked out the best, low fee platforms to help you decide.
Kane Pepi
Author: Kane Pepi

Last Updated: September 1, 2020
Comparing best Stock Brokers in the UK | Learnbonds
Comparing best Stock Brokers in the UK | Learnbonds

Are you looking to dabble into the stock market, but are unsure of the best UK stock broker? If so, you’ve certainly come to the right place. There’s a new wave of zero and low fee platforms such as eToro and Freetrade, competing against older institutions such as IG and Hargreaves Lansdown. Then there’s the likes of eToro which sit somewhere in the middle by offering a slick, beginner-friendly interface with a comprehensive list of blue chip stocks to boot.

The key is finding a stock broker platform that is right for you. This might be a broker that lists thousands of shares across multiple markets or a platform that offers super-low trading fees. Either way, we’ve got you covered.

Within our guide, we’ll start by explaining what a stock broker actually is and how they work. After that, we’ll then list the best UK brokers currently active in the market. We’ll also give you some handy tips on the factors you need to look out for prior to joining a new platform.

The Top 10 UK Stock Brokers Available in 2020

In case you’re in a rush and don’t have to time to read our full guide, here’s a quick look at the best stock brokers available in the UK.

  1. eToro – Best all round stock broker with 0% commission
  2. Moneta Markets – Top high leverage stock broker
  3. Capital.com – Great educational resources
  4. Pepperstone – Top spread betting stock broker
  5. FXCM – Reputable and trusted broker
  6. Plus500 – CFD stock broker with tight spreads
  7. IG – Over 10,000 stocks to trade
  8. Barclays – Long established UK broker
  9. DEGIRO – Low-cost European stock broker
  10. Markets.com – Ideal for advanced traders

Table of Contents

    eToro: Best UK Stock Broker 2020 (0% Commission)

    Our Rating

    • 0% commission on stocks
    • Buy stocks or trade stock CFDs
    • Fractional stocks available
    • Social and copy trading tools
    • No mark up, ticketing or management fees
    75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

    Note: While we have covered the ins and outs of what you need to look out for when choosing a new stock broker, the most important thing is that the platform is regulated. In the UK, investment platforms need to hold a license from the FCA to offer online brokerage services.

    Best UK Stock Brokers

    Who are top online brokers for 2020? We cast our eye on these six FCA regulated platforms.

    If you’re a newbie investor, then we would suggest using one of the following online stock brokers, most of which also offer investing apps to facilitate your trading experience. So we have listed the top UK stock brokers with brief overview of their product offer along with platform update.

    1. eToro – Best and Reputed Stock Broker for Beginners

    Although eToro was only launched in 2006, it is now one of the most popular online stock brokers in the UK - with millions of traders under its belt.

    The platform lists thousands of stocks and shares across heaps of markets. This includes the London Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, and the New York Stock Exchange. You can also buy and sell shares from less popular markets such as those found in Scandinavia, Spain, and Canada. Among its most coveted offerings are tech stocks such as Netflix, Amazon and Apple, and big British blue-chip stocks such as British Airways, BT and Tesco. The coronavirus pandemic has seen it add a host of pharmaceutical stocks to its platform.

    eToro is also popular because of its industry-leading fee structure. Long (BUY), non-leveraged stock purchases do not incur any commission or spread. This means you can buy a physical, underlying stock asset and you won't get crippled with trading fees. These orders incur small conversion and withdrawal fees instead.

    Leveraged positions (the max leverage for UK customers is 5x) and short selling orders (a great option if you feel a stock is going to lose value) incur standard overnight and weekend fees.

    eToro permits deposits and withdrawals via multiple channels, including debit/credit cards, e-wallets, and a bank transfer. It allows you to deposit up to £2,000 without submitting id. Its most novel feature is it's copy trading functionality, which allows you to mirror the trades of successful stock investors on the platform.

    Our Rating

    • Pay zero commission and stamp duty
    • FCA regulated and very respected in the UK
    • Option to copy successful stock traders
    • Copy trading involves higher spreads
    • Customer support does not operate 7 days per week
    CFDs are complex financial instruments and 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs.

    2. Moneta Markets - High Leverage Broker with Copy Trading

    Moneta Markets was established back in 2009 and hosts over 300 assets in the form of CFDs. This includes over 180 shares from the UK, US, Europe and Hong Kong, in addition to forex, commodities, indices and cryptocurrencies.

    One of the best things about Moneta Markets is that it offers high leverage – all the way up to 1:500. This is much higher than that offered by many other brokers and means you can use this leverage to make larger trades than your budget would otherwise permit.

    This award-winning, regulated broker also offers some fantastic features and trading tools. These include platform videos and Moneta TV, daily technical analysis, and the innovative Duplitrade tool, which allows you to copy the portfolios of top traders!

    On top of that, Moneta Markets is very competitive in the spread and fees department, so you don’t need to break the bank to trade at this broker. It even offers a 50% deposit bonus, in addition to a ‘refer a friend’ bonus, to help you kickstart your trading endeavours!

    Our Rating

    • Up to 1:500 leverage
    • Copy other traders via Duplitrade
    • Offers 50% deposit bonus and referral bonus
    • Not compatible with MT4
    There is no guarantee you will make money with this provider.

    3. Capital.com - Stock Broker with highly advanced and AI-Powered platform

    Founded in 2016, Capital.com has gone on to create a highly advanced and highly intuitive stock trading platform that’s specially designed for the confident trader. Traders have access to over 2000 financial instruments traded in the form of CFDs. Among the variety of instruments that can be traded are local and international stock and shares available with leverage up to 1:200.

    Capital.com trading platform has three key selling points: First is its highly advanced, feature-rich, and AI-powered trading platform. It features not just a wide range of tradable securities from multiple markets but also a wide array of technical indicators, risk management tools, and an intuitive interface with advanced charting tools. Plus it can also be customized.

    Secondly, Capital.com is authorized and regulated by the FCA in the UK and CySEC in Cyprus. Lastly, it employs high-quality security standards in keeping user accounts safe in addition to maintaining client funds in segregated bank accounts.

    To activate a Capital.com stock trading account, you need a minimum initial deposit of £100. Trading stocks is commission-free and you get to enjoy market-leading spreads.

    Our Rating

    • Follow market data and prices for different products in real-time while enjoying fast order execution speeds
    • Trade a highly advanced and AI-powered proprietary trading platform
    • You also get to monitor your portfolio and trade on the move via the broker’s mobile trading app
    • Capital.com accounts can’t be hosted on the conventional MT4/MT5 trading platforms
    • The maximum leverage for non-professional traders is 1:30

    4. Pepperstone – Most versatile CFD Stock Broker

    Pepperstone is a highly regulated online brokerage that launched its U.K branch in 2016. The broker is a stock and CFD specialist that has over the years morphed into one of the most versatile and highly advanced, yet easy to use trading platform. You will especially be drawn to the ease of opening an account with the online brokerage, its affordable minimum initial deposit (£200), and highly intuitive trading platforms.

    These are integrated with numerous premium technical indicators, trading and market analysis tools, and educational resources to ease your trade. Retail traders also gain access to the maximum share and stock trading leverages of up to 20:1 while forex traders can access the full FCA-set trading leverage of 30:1.

    You are also free to use the MT4, MT5, or the cTrader trading platforms. They are all highly advanced, featuring the most up to date trading and hosted on multiple devices and operating systems. The MT4 platform is, for instance, accessible via the webtrader as well as a desktop and mobile apps.

    Pepperstone gives you access to over 14 world markets spread all over the U.S, Europe, and Asia. It also gives you access to hundreds of individual stock CFDs. You are also exposed to several payment-processing methods, and they do not charge any deposit or withdrawal fees.

    Our Rating

    • Presents you with highly sophisticated trading and market analysis tools
    • Has an easy and straightforward account registration process
    • Gives you access to three highly advanced trading platforms (MT4/MT5/cTrader)
    • The broker supports the creation of expert advisors for automated stock trading
    • You can only trade CFDs and not actual dividend-yielding shares or stocks
    • One may consider the trading and analysis tools basic as they don’t provide you with fundamental data
    • The broker spreads are highly variable with no fixed spread accounts

    5. FXCM – Highly reputable online stock broker in the UK

    FXCM, also referred to as Forex Capital Market, is an established share and stock CFD broker. Founded in 1999, the CFD brokerage has over the years undergone significant adjustments that have seen it come off as one of the most reputable brokerages in the UK. FXCM is, for instance, the major shareholder of Jefferies Financial Group – a Fintech company that’s listed and publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

    On the broker’s platform, you get to trade a wide range of securities, including the stock and share CFDs, drawn from all the major money markets in the world. Among its unique features include the fact that it is highly regulated by FCA in the UK, ASIC in Australian, and South Africa’s FSB.

    Additionally, the many years FXCM has been in operation has allowed the broker to improve on its trading platforms and come up with one of the most advanced trading platforms. Here traders get access to highly sophisticated trading, market analysis, and risk management tools.

    To activate an account here, you will need a minimum initial deposit of £50. The broker doesn’t charge deposit/withdraw fees, and it’s trading fees are variable but highly competitive.

    Our Rating

    • Supports a wide range of trading platforms including MT4/MT5, Ninjatrader, Zulutrader, and Trading Station
    • Access up to four types of stock trading accounts with highly competitive spreads
    • Interact with the brokers easy to use the platform and the host of both trading, research and market research tools
    • One may consider the number of securities supported by the trader to be rather limited
    • There is no guarantee you will qualify for the maximum leverage when trading stock CFDs

    6. Plus500 – FCA regulated UK Stock Broker

    Plus500 is a well-reputed online stock brokerage with its headquarters in London. It is a pure CFD brokerage specializing in a variety of financial assets, including shares and stocks from different local and international exchange markets (such as the U.S, Germany, and entire Europe).

    Established in 2008, the online brokerage has come up with one of the most sophisticated trading platforms. It integrates highly advanced technical indicators, customizable charts, and trade/market analysis tools. More importantly, Plus500 doesn’t charge trade commissions and maintains variable but highly competitive stock CFD spreads.

    And all these have positioned Plus500 as the perfect choice for the experienced stock CFD traders.

    To start trading share/stock CFDs with Plus500, however, you first need to create an account with the broker, complete the KYC and AML verification processes, and fund it with a minimum of £100 if depositing via debit/credit card and £500 when making a bank transfer.

    Our Rating

    • Plus500LTD UK is authorized and regulated by the FCA in the UK and seven other top-tier financial regulatory agencies across the world.
    • Plus500 supports several popular payment processors for deposits/withdrawals - including PayPal.
    • Plus500 enjoys a global reputation especially since its parent company - GAIN Capital - is listed with the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
    • The online broker features 2000+ CFDs, allowing for portfolio diversification.
    • The account registration and identity verification is straightforward and takes less than a day.
    • The broker is biased towards experienced stock CFD traders.
    • Charges inactivity fee of £10 per quarter after three months of inactivity
    • Plus500 pays little attention to trader education and training.
    CFDS are complex financial instruments and 80.5% of all retail CFDs lose money

    7. IG - Globally Regulated Stock Broker in the UK

    There are literally hundreds of brokers offering their services in the world, typically the most impressive ones are even publicly traded companies and that is the exact same case of IG. With a market capitalization in the billions, this is a firm that has been offering securities trading since the 70s. If you are interested in trading with a local regulated institution in the UK, IG might be the overall best option currently available in 2020.

    The main and only complaint that is commonly heard when it comes to this firm is the high compliance review in order to open an account. If you are opening the account directly from the UK you won't have to deal with much trouble, other citizenships and nationalities might open a case for discussion. Another aspect to mention is that while the firm is strong in terms of Stock, CFD Trading, it lacks in other markets. If you are interested in an active management of bonds or commodities you might be positioned better with another broker.

    • Amazing charting package
    • Impressive educational library
    • Cheap trading cost
    • Limited research and educational tools
    • No tax-advantaged account options

    8. Barclays - Reputable Stock Broker with Ready-Made Portfolios

    Barclays is best known for its banking services, but it is also a stockbroker. There are three Barclays stockbrokers accounts - the Investment Account, the Investment Account and the SIPP Account. The Investment Account is the standard share dealing account and provides access to a wide range of shares, in addition to funds and bonds.

    Barclays charges £6 per stock trade and £3 per fund trade, in addition to a 0.1% annual account charge, so its not the cheapest. It is, however, a very reputable and reliable stockbroker, and it also has some useful features. These include ready-made investment portfolios, educational and research materials, and the Barclays Smart Investor, which is designed to help you keep track of the markets and make smart investment decisions.

    Our Rating

    • Ready-made investment portfolios
    • Wide range of shares and funds
    • User-friendly platform
    • Expensive trading charges
    • Limited analysis tools

    9. DEGIRO – Best for Diversification and Low Fees broker

    DEGIRO is an excellent option if you are looking for access to a highly extensive number of asset classes. Firstly, the platform hosts tens of thousands of stocks and shares. This covers major markets in the UK and US, as well as emerging markets that are often difficult to access.

    DEGIRO is also strong outside of the stocks department. This includes mutual funds, bonds, futures, and indices. Although the broker does not accept debit/credit cards or e-wallets, you can easily deposit funds with a UK bank account. We also like the educational tools available at DEGIRO. This covers heaps of useful guides and explainers on key trading terms, which is ideal if you're still a trading newbie.

    • Access to global stock exchanges
    • Strong regulatory standing
    • Simple to deposit funds via a UK bank account
    • Platform could be more user-friendly

    10. Markets.com – Best for Advanced Traders

    Markets.com is a UK based trading platform that has an extensive list of assets. This includes a huge forex department, as well as commodities, stocks and shares, energies, and futures.

    In a similar nature to eToro, Markets.com does not charge any trading fees or commissions. Instead, Markets.com makes its money from the spread. The platform is best suited to those with advanced skills in trading, as you'll have access to more than 100 technical indicators.

    You will also have the option of trading with leverage, and the platform hosts a number of research tools that covers both fundamentals and technical analysis. Markets.com has an excellent regulatory standing, which includes a license from the FCA.

    Our rating

    • No fees or commissions other than the spread
    • Lists thousands of assets
    • Rigged with more than 100 technical indicators
    • One may consider their list of features quite limited
    • Has relatively high trading fees

    How We Compare The Top UK Stock Brokers

    With hundreds of UK-based stock brokers now active in the market, knowing which platform to go with is not easy. As such, we have a very strict criteria in place to ensure that platforms meet our super-high standards. If they don’t, they simply don’t make our list.

    Below we have listed the main metrics that we look for when reviewing a new broker.

    • Fees and commissions
    • Number of stocks and shares to invest in
    • Offers and promotions
    • Research and analytics tools
    • Trading platforms
    • User-friendliness and customer support
    • Number of markets offered to the trader

    Let’s take a look at how the best UK stock brokers measure up against each other in terms of the key metrics.

    UK Stock Broker Number of stocksInvestment optionsMinimum depositSpecial features
    eToro800+Share ownership, CFDs$200Social trading, copy trading
    Pepperstone60+CFDs, spread betting£0Social trading, MT4/5
    Capital.com2,000+CFDs$20 / £20AI trading, Capital.com TV
    FXCM100+CFDs£300MT4, stock baskets
    Plus5001,000+CFDs£100Basic charting, price alerts
    IG16,000+Share ownership, CFDs, spread betting£250MT4, algo trading
    Barclays1,000+Share ownership£0Smart Investor, ready-made portfolios
    DEGIRO10,000+Share ownership£0Investors academy, blog

    Video Tutorial To Find Out The Best UK Stock Broker

    What is a Stock Broker? Definition

    In its most basic form, a stock broker is simply a third-party between you and a publically listed company. In other words, a stock broker allows you to buy and sell shares with ease. In a time not so long ago, you would be required to call your stock broker up over the telephone and place a manual trade.

    The vast majority of brokers would also be required to physically buy and sell shares on the trading floor. This is what may newbie investors picture when they think of the traditional stock trading arena.

    However, fast forward to 2020 and things are a lot different. The industry is now dominated by cutting-edge technologies, meaning that you can buy shares at the click of a button. Not only does this include a desktop computer, but mobile trading is also a thing.

    When it comes to actually buying a stock, all you need to do is open an account with an online broker, deposit some funds, and choose the company that you wish to back. Once you have decided how much you want to invest, the stock broker platform will typically execute the trade instantly. In terms of selling your shares, the process is exactly the same but in reverse.

    How do online stock brokers work?

    Below we have outlined a more in-depth overview of how stock broker platforms work.

    i) Once you have found a stock broker platform that meets your needs, you will need to open an account. If you’re an everyday retail trader, you should be able to do this in a matter of minutes. You’ll need to provide the broker with some information about your identity, such as your full name, home address, date of birth, national insurance number, and contact details. You will also need to answer some questions about your experience in trading

    ii) You will then need to go through a KYC (Know Your Customer) process. This is to ensure that the stock broker complies with UK and EU laws on anti-money laundering. You simply need to upload a clear copy of your government-issued ID, which can be either a passport or driver’s license. Most investment platforms can verify the document automatically. Note: at eToro you can deposit up to £2,000 without submitting KYC.

    iii) Once your account is verified, you will then need to make a deposit. Most online stock brokers allow you to deposit funds with a local bank account. The best brokers will also support debit/credit cards and e-wallets like PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill. 

    iv) Now that you’ve funded your account, you are ready to buy some stocks and shares. You will need to search for the company that you wish to back, and then decide how much you want to invest. There is no longer a need to purchase whole shares, as stock brokers can split the difference with other investors on the platform. The platforms on this page allow you to buy the physical underlying stock, or trade them using leverage (which of course, means paying a spread).

    v) Once you have purchased your shares, you will then be entitled to dividends (if applicable). You can sell your shares at any given time. If you try to sell them outside of standard trading hours, you will need to wait until the market reopens in the morning.

    How do Stock Broker Fees Work?

    • Stockbrokers are in the business of making money, so you will need to pay a trading fee when you buy and sell shares. Some brokers will charge you every time you trade, meaning you’ll pay a flat fee at both ends of the transaction. This is beneficial if you are planning to trade large volumes.
    • If you are trading small amounts, then you are best off choosing a broker that charges fees on a percentage basis. For example, if the broker charges 0.5% per trade, and you purchase £300 worth of shares, you will pay £1.50 per trade. Once again, you’ll need to pay this when you buy and sell your shares.
    • A number of new-age platforms operating in the market now allow you to purchase shares on a commission-free basis. While most of these are in the form of CFDs (contract-for-difference), brokers like eToro allow you to own the share outright. This means that the only fee you will end up paying is the spread.
    • You also need to make considerations regarding deposit and withdrawal fees. While most UK stock brokers allow you to fund your account for free, this isn’t always the case. As such, check to see whether certain payment methods attract a fee and whether there is a minimum withdrawal amount in place.

    What Types of UK Stock Broker Accounts are There?

    If you’re just an everyday trader that is looking to buy shares in the traditional sense, you’ll just need to open a standard cashaccount. This means that you can only buy stocks to an amount equal or less to what you have in your account. This is the most sensible option if you are just starting out.

    If you have a slightly higher appetite for risk, then you might consider opening a margin account. This will allow you to trade with leverage, meaning that you can trade with more money than you actually have in your account. Take note, margin trading is especially risky. If your trade is liquidated because the trade went against you, you’ll lose your entire stake.

    A CFD account is ideal if you are looking to place more sophisticated trades. For example, CFDs allow you to go short on a stock, meaning that you are speculating on the asset going down in value. CFDs are also easier to trade, as you will never have any concerns regarding liquidity. Finally, CFD platforms are often fee-free, as the underlying asset does not actually exist.

    A Stocks and Shares ISA account allows you to invest in stocks as you normally would. The key difference is that you can protect some of your profits from tax. In fact, the 2019/20 tax year permits up to £20,000 in capital gains before capital gains tax is due, so it’s well worth opening an ISA account at your respective stock broker.

    What to Consider When Choosing a Best Trading Platform UK?

    As there are now hundreds of trading platforms competing for your business, knowing which broker to go with is no easy feat. You will first need to assess what it is that you are looking for from a platform. For example, are you looking for a platform that offers the lowest trading fees, or are you more concerned with the broker’s reputation? To help you along the way, we have outlined some of the main factors that you need to consider prior to joining a trading platform.

    • Regulatory Considerations – Is it FCA Regulated?

    You should only join a trading platform if the broker is in receipt of a license. In the UK, trading platforms are governed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This is a minimum requirement for trading platforms that wish to offer their services to the UK market.

    You can check if a platform is FCA regulated on the register here: https://register.fca.org.uk/

    screengrab of FCA home page
    The FCA website provides a simple way to check if a firm is regulated here.
    • Platform Fees and Charges

    Fees are one of the most important factors that you need to look out for when choosing a new trading platform. Some platforms will charge you a flat fee every time you buy and sell an asset. For example, you might pay £7 per trade, regardless of how big or small the trade is. This option is best if you’re trading larger amounts. Other platforms will instead charge a variable fee. For example, you might pay 1% of the trade size, so a £100 trade would cost £1. This is the better option if you typically trade smaller amounts.

    • Financial Instruments Coverage

    There is nothing worse than joining a new broker, only to realize that the number of tradable assets is thin on the ground. Instead, you should go with a broker that covers thousands of instruments across dozens of asset classes. Alternatively, if you’re looking to trade a specific asset like cryptocurrencies, find a platform that supports multiple coins.

    example of different tradeable securities

    • Payment Methods

    You will first need to evaluate what payment methods the trading platform supports. Most brokers will allow you to deposit funds with a traditional debit or credit card, and bank transfers are usually an option too. Some platforms even allow you to deposit funds with an e-wallet like PayPal or Skrill. Just make sure that you understand what deposit and withdrawal fees you will be required to pay.

    • Customer Support

    While a trading platform might offer lots of payment methods, low fees, and thousands of financial instruments, you still need to assess what customer support is like. We prefer trading platforms that offer 24/7 support across a number of different channels. This should include live chat, phone, and email support.

    • User-Friendliness

    If you are just starting out in the world of online trading, you will want to choose a platform that is suited for beginners. This should start at the very offset with the deposit and verification process. The platform should also make it easy to buy and sell assets to those without any prior experience in the space.

    • Technical Indicators

    If you are a seasoned online trader with lots of experience under your belt, then you should have a firm grasp of how technical analysis works. This is a fundamental part of trading, as you will be basing your decisions on historical data. As such, you’ll want to choose a trading platform that offers a good number of technical indicators. This includes the likes of Fibonacci levels, Parabolic Stop and Reverse, Exponential Averages, and Bollinger Bands.

    Example of trading chart showing diferent indicators

    • Scalping

    Scalping is the process of ‘scalping’ profits from small price movements. It can be utilized in virtually any asset class, as long as there are sufficient levels of liquidity. Scalping is especially useful when an asset is going through a period of consolidation.

    This is where an asset moves sideways between two key points of support and resistance. In order to be successful in scalping, you will need to install strict entry and exit points. In a similar nature to day trading, scalping requires you to be sat at your screen for the duration of your trades, as you’ll rarely hold on to an order for more than an hour.

    If you’re looking to be a scalp trader, you need to sign up with a trading platform that allows this type of trading. Many platforms prohibit scalpers because of the difficulty in liquidity and balancing quick traders in their order books.

    Am I Eligible to Join a Trading Platform?

    Most trading platforms will cater their services to both retail and institutional investors. You can join a trading platform as long as you are 18 years of age, a UK resident, and in possession of a UK bank account. If you are a tax resident outside of the UK, you will also need to supply your tax identification number. As per anti-money laundering laws, platforms will need to identify each and every user that joins its platform.

    sample Proof of identity requirements

    This is known as KYC (Know Your Customer). You will need to upload a copy of your government-issued ID (passport or driver’s license), as well as a proof of address. This can include a bank statement, utility bill, or tax statement. Once you have passed the KYC process you will have your trading limitations removed.

    What Financial Instruments can you Trade?

    Trading platforms typically offer thousands of financial instruments that can be traded across heaps of asset classes.

    While the extensiveness of the trading arena will vary from platform-to-platform, we have listed the most commonly supported asset types below.

    • Trading platforms for stocks

    Most trading platforms will support stocks and shares from multiple markets. This includes well-known stock exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Nasdaq, London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE). Some platforms will also host stocks from less liquid exchanges. This includes markets from Spain, South Africa, Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong.

    Learn more about buying stocks and shares here.

    • Commodities Trading

    If you’re looking to trade commodities, most trading platforms in the UK will support precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum. You’ll also have the option of trading energies like oil and natural gas. The commodity scene is especially useful if you’re looking for a highly liquid marketplace that operates on a  24/7 basis.

    • Indexes

    A stock market index allows you to invest in the wider economy, as opposed to trading a single stock. For example, if you wanted to gain exposure to the LSE, you could invest in the FTSE100. This consists of the 100 largest companies that make up the LSE. Other popular indexes include the NASDAQ 100, S&P 500, and Dow Jones.

    • Futures and Options

    If you’re an advanced trader that seeks sophisticated investment products, then you might want to consider futures and options. These allow you to speculate on the future price of an asset without actually owning it. Most contracts come with a maturity of 3 months.

    • ETFs

    An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a financial product that seeks to track an asset, or group of assets. For example, if you wanted to invest in the global marijuana industry, but you don’t want to trade individual stocks, you could purchase an ETF that tracks the largest companies operating in the space. ETFs are available on virtually every asset class, and they even allow you to go short.

    • Trading platforms for bitcoin and cryptocurrency

    If you’ve got a slightly higher appetite for risk, you might consider trading cryptocurrencies. Trading platforms typically offer pairs against the USD, and supported coins will include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple. Take caution when trading cryptocurrencies, as the market is extremely volatile.

    Learn more about cryptocurrency trading here.

    Investment Banker vs Stock Broker

    If you’re new to the world of investing, it’s easy to get muddled up with the many terms, such as invest banks and stock brokers. There are several key differences between the two.

    For starters, while stock brokers assist individuals and companies to buying financial assets for a small fee, investment bankers help companies and governments raise capital through initial public offerings (IPOs) or by borrowing money.

    Investment bankers also advise companies and mergers and acquisitions, so the service they provide is totally different to stock brokers.

    Stock Brokers Near Me

    By leveraging technology, popular online stock brokerages have managed to bridge the gap between the service providers and their clientele. Over the past few years, leading brands like eToro, FXCM, and Capital.com have established a global online presence and expanded ways through which clients can get in touch with their customer support teams. Through emails, social media messaging, telephone, and live chat correspondence, anyone with a phone now has near-instant access to their favourite brokerage.

    Others, like Barclays and Saxo, have a broad online and high street presence. In addition to addressing different customer queries and offering trade assistance via email, live chats, social media, and even over-the-phone, they also have physical offices that you can walk into looking for stock trading assistance.

    The establishment of an online global presence and opening up the banking halls to offering stock trading assistance is an appreciation of the consistent rise in the number of people who are directing their investments towards stocks.

    Conclusion – The Safest UK Stock Broker

    Our top broker for buying stocks is eToro due to its favourable fee structure (0% commission and stamp duty on purchasing the underlying asset), beginner-friendly platform and FCA regulated license. It also gives traders the option to trade stocks with leverage and to copy the moves of successful stock investors. There’s a vast array of blue-chip, tech, pharmaceutical and LSE stocks to buy.

    If you’re looking for more flexibility with order execution, then IG and DeGiro are worthy platforms. Meanwhile, Plus500 has built a strong reputation as a stock CFD website.

    Ultimately, you need to ensure that the broker is in receipt of the required regulatory licenses and that it does not have any hidden fees. Moreover, it’s also important that the broker puts the customer experience at the heart of everything, and that trades are executed in good faith. eToro does just that.

    eToro: Best UK Stock Broker 2020 (0% Commission)

    Our Rating

    • 0% commission on stocks
    • Buy stocks or trade stock CFDs
    • Fractional stocks available
    • Social and copy trading tools
    • No mark up, ticketing or management fees
    75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

    Glossary of Stock Brokers

    Trading Platforms Glossary
    Platform Fee

    The trading platform fee refers to the amount a trader pays to use the platform and access its integrated platform features and tools. It can be a one –time fee paid for the acquisition of the trading platform, a subscription fee paid monthly or annually. Others will charge on a per-trade basis with a specific fee per trade.

    Trading Platforms Glossary
    Cost per trade

    Cost per trade is also referred to as the base trade fee and refers to the fee that a broker or trading platform charges you every time you place a trade. Some brokers offer volume discounts and charge a lower cost per trade for voluminous trades.

    Trading Platforms Glossary
    Margin

    Margin is the money needed in your account to maintain a trade with leverage.

    Trading Platforms Glossary
    Social trading

    Social trading is a form of trading that allows for the interaction and exchange of trade ideas, signals and trade settings between the different classes of traders.

    Trading Platforms Glossary
    Copy Trading

    Copy trading, also known as mirror trading is a form of online trading that lets traders copy trade settings from one another. In most cases, it is the newbies and part-time traders that copy the positions of pro traders. The copiers -in most cases - are then required to surrender a share of the profits made from copied trades – averaging 20% - with the pro traders.

    Trading Platforms Glossary
    Financial instruments

    A Financial instrument ideally refers to the proof of ownership of financial commodities of monetary contracts between two parties. In the money markets, financial instruments refer to such elements as shares, stocks, bonds, Forex and crypto CFDs and other contractual obligations between different parties.

    Trading Platforms Glossary
    Index

    An index is an indicator that tracks and measures the performance of a security such as a stock or bond.

    Trading Platforms Glossary
    Commodities

    Commodities refer to raw materials used in the production and manufacturing of other products or agricultural products. Some of the most popular commodities traded on the exchange markets include energy and gases like oil, agricultural products like corn and coffee, and precious metals like gold and silver.

    Trading Platforms Glossary
    Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

    An ETF is a fund that can be traded on an exchange. The fund is a basket containing multiple securities such as stocks, bonds or even commodities. ETFs allow you to trade the basket without having to buy each security individually.

    Trading Platforms Glossary
    Contract for difference (CFD)

    CFDs are a form of contractual trading that involves speculating on the performance of a particular trade in the market. CFD’s will basically allow you to speculate on the future value of securities such as stocks, currencies and commodities without owning the underlying securities.

    Trading Platforms Glossary
    Minimum investment

    The minimum investment simply refers to the lowest amount of capital injection you can deposit into a brokerage or a trading platform. Different brokers demand varied minimum investment amounts from their clients either when registering or opening trade positions.

    Trading Platforms Glossary
    Daily trading limit

    A daily trading limit is the lowest and highest amount that a security is allowed to fluctuate, in one trading session, at the exchange where it’s traded. Once a limit is reached, trading for that particular security is suspended until the next trading session. Daily trading limits are imposed by exchanges to protect investors from extreme price volatilities.

    Trading Platforms Glossary
    Day traders

    A day trader is a term used to describe a trader who is constantly opening trades and closing them within a day. It is a common term used to refer to forex traders who open trade and only hold onto it for a few minutes or hours before disposing and having to leave no open trades at the time the trading day closes.

    FAQs

    What is a stockbroker platform?

    A stockbroker platform is an online trading arena that allows you to buy and sell shares at the click of a button. Everything at an online broker is automated via cutting-edge technologies, so there is no longer a requirement to speak with somebody over to the phone to trade!

    Do I need to choose my own investments?

    You will be required to choose your investments when using an online stockbroker. Platforms will not be able to give you any advice unless they are legally qualified to do so. If you do want somebody to manage investments on your behalf, you will need to go with a mutual fund.

    What is the minimum deposit required at a stockbroker?

    This will depend on the broker in question. While some brokers require a minimum deposit of £100 or more, others allow you to get started with just £10.

    Are UK stockbrokers regulated?

    All stockbrokers operating in the UK must be regulated by the FCA. This ensures that the platform operates within the law and that it utilizes segregated bank accounts for client funds.

    Should I trade with leverage if I am confident about an investment?

    Leverage allows you to trade with more money than you have in your stock broker account. While this can amplify your profits, it can also amplify your losses. As such, you should only trade with leverage if you are an experienced investor and you know how to set up sensible stop losses.

    What if I need to cash my stock investments out quickly?

    You can sell your investments at any given time during standard market hours. The specific hours will depend on the stock market the shares are listed on. If you try to sell the shares outside of standard trading hours, you will need to wait until the markets reopen.

    Will I receive dividends at an online stock broker?

    Stockbrokers are legally required to distribute dividend payments as soon as they receive them from the respective institution. Don't forget, if you're trading CFDs, you won't be entitled to dividends as you do not own the underlying asset.

    What trading platform is best for beginners?

    There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as there are heaps of platforms that cater to newbies. We have suggested eToro as a notable user-friendly trading platform, although many others exist.

    How are trading fees calculated?

    This depends on the trading platform in question. Some platforms charge on a fixed-fee basis, while others will charge you a percentage of the trade size. Others charge no trading fees at all, other than the spread.

    How do I short assets on a stock broker?

    If you are looking to short assets, you will need to use a platform that specialises in CFDs. The process works largely the same as longing an asset, albeit, in reverse.

    All trading carries risk. Views expressed are those of the writers only. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The opinions expressed in this Site do not constitute investment advice and independent financial advice should be sought where appropriate. This website is free for you to use but we may receive commission from the companies we feature on this site.
    Kane Pepi

    Kane holds academic qualifications in the finance and financial investigation fields. With a passion for all-things finance, he currently writes for a number of online publications.

    10 Comments

      • Hi Winnie, there are several risks one is exposed to while trading stocks. These are; market risks, liquidity risk, concentration risk, credit risk, reinvestment risk, inflation risk, horizontal risk, and longevity risk. Ideally, stocks are classified as a high-risk investment. However, with these higher risks comes bigger profits.
      • Steff, the most common types of stock brokers include; Full-Service Brokers, Discount Brokers and Online Brokers. Full-Service brokers charge a percentage of assets or higher commissions. Discount Brokers generally have smaller commissions for trades. Online brokers, as the name suggests provide platforms with direct access to the market, fully equipped with charting and routing capabilities.
    1. Involving a third party in my stock exchange process seems to be complicating the entire process, or at least to me. Why, then, would I need such a party as a stock broker?
      • Yes, you are right; a stockbroker is a third party between you as a trader, and a publicly listed company, but contrary to popular opinion, a stock broker actually allows you to buy and sell shares with ease. With stock trading now a click of a button away, a stockbroker is more necessary than ever to supply you with sound advice and create worthwhile trades.
    2. I am interested in investing in some stock, but I do not have any foundational knowledge on how to go about it. What is the process to buying or selling shares?
      • The process is actually easier than you might imagine. With buying a stock, you will need to open an account with an online stock broker, deposit funds and choose the company you wish to invest in. After deciding on the amount you wish to invest with, the stock broker platform will execute the trade instantly. The same goes for selling your stock, only that this time it will be the reverse.
    3. Being an investor that wishes to trade with small amounts, what type of stockbroker would I need, and what are the factors am I to consider in choosing that stockbroker.
      • When trading small amounts, it is advisable to go for a broker that charges fees on a percentage basis. Typically, you would be interested in knowing the minimum account deposit as required by that broker. Additionally, it would be important for you to know the fees or commission structures for any broker before signing up with them.

    Reply

    Your email address is not published.

    X

    eToro: Our Recommended UK Stock Broker

    eToro: Our Recommended UK Stock Broker

    eToro: Our Recommended UK Stock Broker

    Visit eToro

    Your capital is at risk.

    eToro: Our Recommended UK Stock Broker
    Visit eToro

    Your capital is at risk.