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LearnBonds UK

Best Trading Apps UK – Find a Beginner Friendly App

Looking to start trading stocks, forex, commodities, and more? These best UK trading apps offer the tools you need to trade successfully.
michaelgraw
Author: michaelgraw
Last Updated: May 27, 2020
Best Trading Apps UK | Learnbonds
Best Trading Apps UK | Learnbonds

Active trading is one of the best ways to make money on the side or grow your wealth for retirement and other big financial goals.

Getting started with trading is easier than ever before thanks to the introduction of numerous user-friendly and low-cost trading apps. But, at the same time, deciding which of all these brokerage platforms is right for you has become more of a challenge.

To help you get started, we have reviewed five of the best UK trading apps on the market in 2020. We also discuss what features you should be looking before registering with a trading app.

Table of Contents

    The 5 Best Trading Apps UK Currently Avaliable

    The advent of so many new brokerages has been great for traders. It means more variety of trading apps, lower trading fees, and commissions. However, there are still significant differences between brokerages, and choosing the right brokerage app is essential to your success as a trader. Here are our top picks for the best trading apps in the UK:

    1. eToro - Best App for Social Trading

    eToro is one of the most popular trading apps in the UK, and deservedly so. This broker allows trading on a wide range of assets, including stocks, ETFs, forex, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.

    What really sets eToro apart from the competition, though, is the platform’s emphasis on social trading. From the eToro app, you can see what assets other traders are holding in their portfolios and how successful their trading strategy has been. Even better, if you like what they’re doing, you can copy their trades or entire portfolio with a single tap. eToro’s trading app also allows you to follow and contribute to platform-wide discussions about whether the price of an asset is likely to go up and down or comment on other traders’ positions.

    While there’s not much to dislike about eToro, we do wish this trading app had more in the way of technical and fundamental research tools. There are built-in technical charts, but the variety of included indicators and studies is fairly limited. It’s also hard to get access to data about company financials or analyst reports through eToro.

    • Assets: Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, Forex CFDs, Commodities CFDs
    • Demo Account: Yes
    • Trade Commissions: No
    • Research Tools: Basic charts, Social discussions
    • Minimum deposit: £150

    Our Rating

    • Highly advanced proprietary trading platform available as a web trader and mobile app
    • Social Trading: Follow and copy other people's trades and portfolios
    • Start Conversations: There are discussion boards for every asset
    • Limited Charts: Relatively few technical indicators available
    • Minimal Research: eToro doesn’t offer access to analyst reports
    CFDs are complex financial instruments and 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs.

    2. Plus500 - Trade a wide range of CFDs commission-free

    Plus500 is specially designed for experienced yet cost-conscious traders who want to spend as little as possible on any trade position. This brokerage doesn’t charge trade commissions and though the spreads are variable, they are also highly competitive.

    Traders on the Plus500 app have access to over 2000 tradeable financial instruments spread in several asset classes - all traded as CFDs. Additionally, some of these trades opened here are eligible for trading leverages of up to 1:300.

    Plus500 isn't compatible with conventional trading platforms like the MT4/MT5 but uses a proprietary trading platform. The proprietary app is, however, light on research and technical trading tools. It also hosts a wide range of technical analysis tools on an easy to use user interface while leaving little room for customization. Our recommendation is that you use Plus500 to place your trades, but invest the money you save to purchase a high-quality research tool to use alongside this broker.

    • Assets: Shares and Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, Forex, Commodities, Indices(all as CFDs)
    • Demo Account: Yes
    • Trade Commissions: No
    • Research Tools: Basic charts on the proprietary platform
    • Minimum deposit: £100

    Our Rating

    • commission-free trades with variable and highly competitive spreads
    • High Leverage: Up to 300:1 for some CFDs
    • Stock Options: Trade CFDs for stock options
    • Few Research Tools: Basic charts and no analyst reports
    • CFDs Only: No direct ownership of stocks
    80.5% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

    3. Forex.com – Highly regulated and reputable online broker

    Established in 2001, Forex.com is the trading name of GAIN Capital – a U.S-based online financial services provider. Over the years, Forex.Com has morphed into one of the largest, most popular, and highly regulated online trading platforms. In the UK, Forex.com is licensed and regulated by the FCA and CFTC in the U.S.

    Registering a Forex.com account is straightforward and only requires £50 in minimum initial deposit. Traders on the platform are treated to different types of accounts,have access to leverage of up to 1:200, and don’t pay trade commissions. They also have access to a wide range of trading and market analysis tools, technical indicators, a free demo account, and competitive spreads.

    Forex.com accounts are accessible via the broker’s proprietary platform as well as the conventional MT4 trading platform. You can, therefore, access your forex.com account on the desktop or mobile trading app.

    • Assets: Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, Forex, Indices, Commodities (all as CFDs)
    • Demo Account: Yes
    • Trade Commissions: No
    • Research Tools: Wide range of trading tools, financial and market news
    • Minimum deposit: £50

    Our Rating

    • Trade on Forex.com or MT4 trading platform downloadable desktop and mobile trading apps
    • Forex.com is a highly regulated broker licensed in the U.K, U.S, Canada, Cyprus, and Japan
    • Gives you access to one of the broadest range of tradable securities including stocks, forex, indices, crypto and ETFs
    • Forex.com doesn’t charge deposit or withdrawal processing fees
    • There are no trade commissions and charges highly competitive spreads
    • Charges inactivity fees
    • There is no guarantee you’ll qualify for the maximum leverage

    4. Capital.com – Features a highly advanced and AI-Powered Trading App

    Capital.com, though relatively new, has gone on to become one of the most popular online brokerage available today. This can be attributed to its advanced proprietary trading platform that features sophisticated technical indicators and trading/market analysis tools.

    Registering a Capital.com trader account is easy and straightforward as you only need £100 in minimum initial deposit. You then get to enjoy highly competitive spreads and fast order execution as well as real-time updates on market news and events. Additionally, the broker doesn’t charge any trading commission nor impose such hidden fees as deposit or withdrawal processing charges.

    All Capital.com accounts are hosted on the broker’s AI-Powered web trader, Desktop, and mobile app trading platforms. The highly intuitive platforms give you access to 2000+ tradable securities, real-time market data/financial news, a demo account, and a host of hedging and risk management tools.

    • Assets: Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, Forex, Commodities (all as CFDs)
    • Demo Account: Yes
    • Trade Commissions: No
    • Research Tools: Wide range of trading tools, financial and market news
    • Minimum deposit: £100

    Our Rating

    • Features one of the most user-friendly mobile trading apps
    • The app gives you access to a wide range of financial CFDs from all the leading global marketplaces
    • The broker’s trading platform features sophisticated risk management tools including negative balance protection, stop-loss orders, and price alert systems
    • Capital.com app provides you with real-time access to financial news and markets
    • The broker is highly regulated with operating licenses from FCA in the U.K, CySEC in Cyprus, and the National Bank of Belarus
    • Doesn’t host tax-advantaged investing accounts like the share/stock ISA
    • Capital.com is not compatible with the conventional MT5/MT4 trading platforms
    • The maximum leverage a retail trader can access is capped at 1:30

    5. FXCM – Maintains a wide range of risk management tools

    FXCM, the major shareholder for Jefferies Financial Group is one of the largest and highly popular London-based online brokers. It was established in 1999 and specializes in forex, crypto, stock, and commodity CFDs. The broker is also highly reputable as top-tier financial authorities regulate it in the U.K, Australia, and South Africa.

    The broker has one of the easiest and straightforward account registration and verification processes. The minimum initial deposit is £300, there are no deposit/withdrawal fees, doesn’t charge trading commissions but maintains highly competitive spreads.

    The account supports three base currencies GBP/EUR/USD and supports some of the most popular payment processing services – including credit cards and wire transfers. You can use their proprietary trading platform – TradeStation – available as a web trader or the conventional MT4 platform, both of which are available in desktop or mobile app versions. Both feature highly sophisticated technical indicators, trading/market analysis tools, and real-time financial news.

    • Assets: Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, Forex, Commodities (all as CFDs)
    • Demo Account: Yes
    • Trade Commissions: No
    • Research Tools: Wide range of trading tools, financial and market news
    • Minimum deposit: £300

    Our Rating

    • Both the desktop and mobile trading apps are user-friendly and highly versatile
    • FXCM doesn’t charge trade commissions and maintains highly competitive spreads
    • Traders get to interact with a wide array of risk management tools orders like trailing stop and one-cancel-other
    • Charges a monthly £50 inactivity fee after12 months of inactivity
    • FXCM’s proprietary trading platform is not so user-friendly

    6. AvaTrade - Best App for Technical Trading

    If your trading strategy depends on technical studies and charts, AvaTrade offers the best trading app for you. This brokerage has its own well-designed charting and research interface that’s chock full of technical studies and works seamlessly on mobile devices. Even better, AvaTrade gives you access to MetaTrader 4, one of the most widely used technical trading platforms. You can access MetaTrader 4 right from within the AvaTrade mobile app, so there’s no need to switch back and forth between apps and lose time during critical trading moments.

    AvaTrade offers roughly the same breadth of financial assets as eToro, including stocks, ETFs, forex, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. You can also trade forex options through the brokerage but not stock options. It’s important to note that for all transactions on AvaTrade, you’re buying CFDs rather than underlying assets. This is generally only an issue for stocks and ETFs since you can’t collect dividends. The platform, however, more than makes up for this by offering attractive leverages of up to 30:1 for CFD trading.

    The downside to AvaTrade is that their trading fees can be punitive to retail traders. While this brokerage offers extremely favorable terms to professional traders, spreads and fees for the majority traders aren’t quite friendly. Expect to pay a bit more on the spread for your trades with AvaTrade than with some other commission-free brokerages. Then again, this extra cost isn’t extreme considering all the research tools included with the app.

    • Assets: Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, Forex, Forex Options, Commodities (all as CFDs)
    • Demo Account: Yes
    • Trade Commissions: No
    • Research Tools: Custom charting, MetaTrader 4
    • Minimum deposit: £100

    Our Rating

    • Research Tools: Includes MetaTrader 4 access
    • Options Trading: Trade forex options through CFDs
    • Leverage: Up to 30:1 leverage when trading stock CFDs
    • High Spreads: Pricier than other commission-free brokerages
    • CFDs Only: Cannot collect dividends when trading stocks

    7. Libertex – Best for Low Minimum Deposits and Zero Spreads

    Libertex is an online CFD broker that has been offering trading services since 1997. The platform's mobile app - which is available on both Android and iOS phones, gives you access to a number of different asset classes. These include indices like the NASDAQ and FTSE 100, share and stocks for blue-chip equities, commodities like oil and gas, currencies, and hard metals. We also are drawn in by the fact that you won't have to pay any spreads when trading on their mobile app.

    Instead, Libertex operates a commission-based pricing model, which starts at just 0.03%. The specific commission rate will depend on your account type and the asset you are trading. Libertex is also a great option if you are just starting out in the world of mobile trading. Not only will you have access to a fully-fledged demo account that comes pre-loaded with £50,000, but minimum deposits start at just $10 (£8).

    This means that you can trade with really small amounts. The only drawback to using Libertex is that it only hosts a few hundred financial instruments. The likes of Plus500 and eToro are in the thousands, so you have much more choice at your fingertips. Nevertheless, the most traded markets in the world are covered at Libertex, so it's only the less liquid assets that you are missing out on.

    • Assets: Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, Forex, Commodities (all as CFDs)
    • Demo Account: Yes
    • Trade Commissions: Yes
    • Research Tools: Heaps of technical indicators
    • Minimum deposit: $10 (£8)

    • Minimum deposit of just $10 (£8)
    • Deposit funds with a debit/credit card
    • Zero spreads on all assets
    • Number of financial instruments is somewhat limited
    • Limited educational resources

    8. Investous – Best for Those Wanting to Trade via MT4

    Investous is an online broker that offers a fully-fledged mobile app that is compatible on iOS, Android and even Windows phones. The broker offers heaps of asset classes, and spreads are super-competitive. This starts at just 0.3 pips when trading major currency pairs like GBP/USD. In even better news, Investous does not charge any trading commissions.

    One of the best advantages of using Investous is that you will be able to trade on your mobile phone via MT4. This is a hugely popular trading platform that is best suited for those with experience. As such, not only will you be able to customize your trading screen, but you'll also have access to multiple technical indicators and advanced chart reading tools.

    • Assets: Stocks, Cryptocurrencies, Forex, Commodities (all as CFDs)
    • Demo Account: Yes
    • Trade Commissions: No
    • Research Tools: As supplied via MT4
    • Minimum deposit: $250 (£200)

    Our Rating

    • No trading commissions and low spreads
    • Mobile app available on Windows phones
    • Full support for MT4
    • Small number of financial instruments
    • Minimum deposit quite high

    What should you look for in the best trading app?

    Getting the right trading app is essential to your success as a trader. You need an app that not only lets you trade the assets that you want to invest in, but that can help you spot opportunities for profit in real-time by putting key tools at your disposal. Plus, your trading app needs to do all of this without charging an arm and a leg every time you open or close a position.

    With all that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the things you should be considering when choosing the best UK trading app.

    What Assets Can You Trade?

    The first and most important factor you need to consider is what assets a trading app allows you to buy and sell. There are tons of trading apps for investing in stocks and ETFs, but these asset classes make up just a small part of the total investment market. All of our featured trading apps let you trade stocks and ETFs along with forex, cryptocurrencies, and commodities. Even better, look for brokerages that offer options trading for stocks, forex trading, or both.Best UK Trading Apps...

    Even if you’re only interested in trading one type of asset right now, having multiple asset classes available can help you in the future. If market conditions change, you can immediately shift to trading a different type of asset or diversify your portfolio. Plus, you can take advantage of opportunities in other markets or diversify your portfolio.

    On top of asset variety, you’ll also want to consider how you’re allowed to trade with any brokerage. Some brokerages, like AvaTrade and Plus500, only let you buy and sell CFDs and not the underlying assets. Others, like eToro, let you directly own stocks and ETFs.

    CFDs are typically advantageous if you want to trade with leverage or for trading assets like forex and commodities. That’s because you don’t have to actually take ownership of currencies or commodities. Direct ownership is usually only advantageous for buying shares, and even then only for those stocks that pay dividends. When you trade CFDs, you’re not eligible to receive any dividends that a company pays out.

    What are the trading fees and commissions?

    Cost is another major factor when choosing a trading app. Thankfully, an increasing number of brokerages are doing away with traditional flat-fee trade commissions. All five of our recommended trading apps are commission-free.

    But, you still have to worry about paying for the spread. This is the difference between what an asset can be bought for and what it can be sold for at any time. Spreads can vary widely among trading apps, and this is one of the main costs you’ll pay as a trader. Spreads under 0.1% are typically considered moderate, while spreads higher than 0.25% are considered expensive.

    It’s also worth spending some time digging into other fees that a trading app charges. For example, some brokerages charge fees when you deposit or withdraw money to or from your account. Others charge an inactivity fee if you don’t place a trade at least once per month. These fees can add up quickly, especially if you’re not aware they’re there.

    What Tools Does It Include?

    Your trading app should be more than just a brokerage. For you to succeed as a trader, your chosen platform should have all the necessary research tools, technical indicators, feature customizable charts, and offer a platform for discussions with other traders. Best UK Trading Apps...

    The first thing that most traders will want to look for in a trading app is technical charts. Regardless of your trading style, these are essential to understanding recent and long-term price movements and predicting what’s to come.

    Most trading apps offer some form of technical charts, either through their own custom software or integration with third-party software like MetaTrader. If your broker has their own charting system, make sure it offers all of the indicators and technical studies you need. It’s even more promising if it includes an automated alert system.

    Other helpful tools to look for include news feeds, summarised financial data for companies and industries, and analyst reports. These resources are important regardless of whether you’re a technical or fundamental trader since news and analyst reports.

    Finally, consider whether social trading is important to you. Beginner traders especially can benefit from being able to see what other traders are holding and to copy their strategies automatically. But, even advanced traders can use copy trading to their advantage as a way to quickly diversify their portfolios. Social trading can also help you gauge market sentiment around specific assets or industries.

    Customer Support?

    While most traders will never need to contact their brokerage for assistance, it’s critical that help is there when you need it. Look closely at what types of support your trading app offers; whether it’s by phone, email, live chat, or another method of communication and when it’s available.

    Along the same lines, educational resources can be a big help for traders looking to take their profits to the next level. Many trading apps have a library of guides and articles to help you understand the intricacies of different types of assets or to explain new strategies.

    Conclusion

    Finding the best UK trading app is key to succeeding as a trader. With so many apps on the market right now, there’s never been a better time to jump into trading. But, it’s important to choose your trading app carefully so you get the one that’s most suited to your needs. Our five featured UK trading apps are a good place to start.

    Glossary of Investment Terms

    FAQs

    Can I access my trading account online, or only through the app?

    Most brokers that offer mobile trading apps also have browser-based platforms that you can access from your computer. Depending on the user interface, you may find the app easier to use for trading, but less ideal for charting and research.

    How much money do I need to start trading?

    Many UK trading apps require a minimum deposit of £100 or more to create a trading account. This is enough money to start trading CFDs in many cases, but it might not be enough to buy stocks and ETFs directly. In any case, it’s a good idea to have several hundred pounds available to start trading.

    How do CFD contracts work? Do they roll over automatically?

    With contacts for differences, you speculate on the price of an asset without actually owning the asset itself. If you don’t trade with leverage, returns are the same as if you actually owned the asset. CFDs are typically short term contracts, and most brokers automatically roll your contracts over into a new one month contract at the end of each month.

    What kind of commodities can I trade?

    The types of commodity CFDs you can trade vary between trading apps. However, most brokers that offer commodity trading have CFDS for the most popular commodities, including crude oil, natural gas, gold, silver, copper, and wheat, for trading.

    michaelgraw

    Michael is a writer covering finance, new markets, and business services in the US and UK. His work has been published in leading online outlets and magazines.