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Table Of Contents
With a huge range of brokers to choose from, it has never been easier to get started in stock trading. If you are trading in the UK, then there is also an excellent range of top stock broker choices.
Here we will take a closer look at 5 top UK stock brokers for you to get started trading if you are new to the industry, or that can also be ideal if you are a more experienced trader. Alongside that, we will also cover a few important points for you to consider when choosing your broker.
Things to Think About Before You Start Trading
It is important before you start trading to do some due diligence on key areas even with the top brokers. Here are a few of the most important key points you should take into account before deciding on a broker:
Fees and Commissions: Most stock brokers do extremely well in offering commission-free trading and very low costs and fees. This is something to keep an eye on and research though before you sign up.
Broker Features and Trading Platform: If you are a new trader you will want a trading platform that is easy to use and understand. If you are more experienced you may want more in-depth charting, tools, and indicators along with a wider range of assets.
Trading Style: There are now many ways to trade stocks. This could mean a more hands-off approach from you with the ability to invest in ETFs and similar basket type products, or a completely automated trading experience. There is sure to be a broker out there catering to your trading style.
Fineco is an Italian bank founded in 1999 and they have been offering online trading services since 2004. They are also publically listed in Italy and regulated in the UK by the FCA making them a hugely transparent and trustworthy stock broker. They currently offer service only to UK and Italian traders and you will find very low fees, a great range of assets, and easy to use trading platform.
You can trade a wide variety of assets here including more than 5,000 stocks and ETFs from major exchanges in the US, the UK, and Europe. Mutual funds, bonds, options, futures, and some stock CFDs are also available.
You will also find both web-based and mobile trading platforms that are very intuitive and user-friendly that, while not being customizable, still provide a positive overall trading experience. The broker also provides an excellent depth of research tools including extensive fundamental data on each asset and trading recommendations.
Trading Costs: For UK traders there is a fixed flat-fee of $3.95 commission per trade. Other asset fees are generally tiered using a volume-based system that can benefit you the more you trade. Non-trading fees are very low with no inactivity, deposit, or withdrawal fees charged.
For more information, you can head directly to Fineco to open your account.
Interactive Investor is another longstanding stock broker offering a wide range of services in the UK where they are well-regulated by the FCA for the most trusted experience. The broker was founded in 1995 and has been a popular choice since.
The asset offering at this broker is slightly more restricted than some others though you can still trade stocks, ETFs, Bonds, and mutual funds with almost 2,000 assets to choose from major exchanges around the world.
You will also find a user-friendly trading platform that is available as both web-based and mobile. The account opening process here is also extremely convenient and the broker does very well in supporting multiple base currencies though the withdrawal process for some can be lengthy. Debit and credit card deposits are facilitated but you will need to use a bank transfer to make a withdrawal.
Trading Costs: Interactive Investor has a fixed monthly fee that they charge from £9.99 to £19.99 per month based on your account type. The trading fee is then typically £3.99 to £7.99 depending on the asset, while a fee of £15 is applied to urgent withdrawals that can arrive the same day. Deposits are fee-free.
For more details, you can see the Interactive Investor website directly.
Stake is our current top pick and the reason for this is they enable investors to directly trade over 3,800 US stocks and ETFs from the UK from major US stock exchanges such as the NASDAQ and NYSE. These are where the majority of the world’s tech stocks are traded, and this opens up a world of opportunity to UK traders.
With Stake, you are able to buy and sell securities in fractional amounts. This means that you can buy a whole dollar amount of a security (i.e. $1000 of Berkshire Hathaway Class A).
The broker is FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulated and they have partnered with members of the SIPC, in return securities in your account are protected up to US$500,000.
Trading Costs: Make as many trades as you like, and never pay a cent on brokerage fees. Best of all transactions are commission free with no FX on trades.
For more details, you can see the Stake website directly.
Interactive Brokers is one of the biggest names in online stock trading around the world. They are also one of the most trusted names in the industry have offered services since 1978. Their UK operation is well-regulated by the FCA and you can expect the same great quality to be available across the board here.
More than 10,000 assets in total are offered for trading as stocks, ETFs, bonds, mutual funds, and more for UK traders. Spread betting is also offered to UK traders on a number of assets. You will also have access to the state-of-the-art TWS trading platform from Interactive Brokers which is one of the most comprehensive in trading when it comes to depth of research tools while also being extremely easy to use.
At IB even as a UK trader, you will also be able to access their excellent range of educational content including articles, tutorials, and webinars that are particularly focused on different areas of the brokers own offering.
Trading Costs: Tiered or fixed pricing can be chosen with IB UK. With tiered pricing, the fee starts from 0.05% of trade value with a £1 minimum. With the fixed system £6 is charged per trade up to £50,000 and £6 + 0.05% above this. There are a number of inactivity fees that range from $3 per month for those under 25, to $20 per month is under $20 commission is earned.
Head over to Interactive Brokers UK if you would like to open an account and start trading.
Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the most respected stock brokers in the UK. They are also one of the most longstanding having been around since 1981. They are well-regulated by the FCA and remaining competitive across the board on costs and fees having evolved their offering well over the years though only UK traders can open their account fully online.
Once set-up you will find a good range of total assets with more than 2,000 available for trading including many stocks from around the world, ETFs, mutual funds, and bonds. Since the broker still retains some aspects of a traditional stock broker you can also opt to have your portfolio managed by one of their own professionals though the minimum deposit for this account type is £1,000 compared to no minimum deposit with a standard investing account. One of the many available account types is also an ISA account that allows for a certain amount of tax-free investing.
Aside from spread betting and trading CFDs, you will use Hargreaves own trading platform on mobile and as a web-based platform which is also very user-friendly and easy to navigate for a good trading experience. The broker also provides a good depth of educational content.
Trading Costs: Fees range from £5.95 to £11.95 for stock trades depending on volume. Fees on mutual funds are also low while there are no deposit, withdrawal, or inactivity fees.
For more about this broker or to open an account, you can see the Hargreaves Lansdown website.
Anthony is a financial journalist and business advisor with several years’ experience writing for some of the most well-known sites in the Forex world. A keen trader turned industry writer, he is currently based in Shanghai with a finger on the pulse of Asia’s biggest markets.