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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.
Freedom Finance is one of the biggest names in online stock trading around the world. Freedom Finance Europe Ltd is the European subsidiary of the Nasdaq-listed Freedom Holding Corp. Since 2008 they have offered access to big-name IPOs and are the only NASDAQ-listed, EU broker to allow this access to retail traders.
They have more than 1 million instruments in total to offer. Focusing first on the product and aspect of the broker that appeals to many traders, you can gain access to certain IPOs at their initial prices prior to public trading. The minimum amount required for this is $2,000 and allocations will be individually calculated based on supply and demand, but it still represents an excellent opportunity for EU retail traders.
Beyond that, you will find some 35,000 shares, 147,000 bonds, and 3,100 ETFs to be traded in addition to 500 futures and a mammoth 855,000 options instruments in an asset offering that is continuing to expand all the time. It provides ample possibility for traders across 15 global exchanges in the US, Europe, and Asia.
Trading Costs: Fees vary by investment type, for example Brokerage commission, per trade 0.12% and Clearing fee per trade – 30 USD.
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.
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.
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.
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.