Best investment platforms in the UK

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Interested in investing? You can start online by signing up for an account at a reliable investment platform in the UK. In this article, we’ll talk about the best UK investment platforms and help you pick the right one.

Let’s get started:

What is an investment platform?

Investment platforms, also known as brokerage houses and fund supermarkets, are websites, apps, or tools designed to allow investors to trade (buy and sell) a variety of assets. Supported assets include funds, bonds, shares, cryptocurrencies, commodities, etc.

Most investment platforms UK allow investors to even use their mobile devices to buy and sell assets and keep an eye on changing prices. These apps work 24/7 and some platforms may even support international stocks.

While investment platforms UK are usually free to join with no sign up fee, there may be a variety of charges including withdrawal fees, maintenance fees, etc. It is important to compare different platforms so you can identify the best investment platforms UK according to your requirements.

What are the main types of investments in the UK?

Here are the main investment types in the UK:

Stocks and Shares

Stocks give you partial ownership in a company. You will benefit when stock prices rise or when the company pays dividends, however, remember that this is a very risky investment.

Commodities

Examples include natural gas and oil. Since natural resources are a necessity, their prices keep on fluctuating but they aren’t as flexible as shares and stocks.

Precious Metals

Gold, silver, and platinum are traded like shares. You can buy physical metals or invest in companies that trade in precious metals.

Bonds

Bonds are safest but not very rewarding. They are usually issued by governments and large organizations.

Cryptocurrencies

Cryptos such as Bitcoin and Ethereum can be bought and sold for a profit. They are very volatile and their value may decrease or increase by around 20% in a day.

Forex

Forex includes international currencies against each other. You can trade Forex but it can be a very risky investment.

Other than this, you can trade ETFs, indices, and even real estate. These days, CFD trading is very popular. It uses leverage and allows you to buy more stocks than your investment would allow.

How to choose an investment platform

Here are a few things to consider when selecting an investment platform UK:

Assets

Pick a broker that supports assets that you wish to trade. Not all brokerages offer the same list of products so keep an eye on this factor.

You should also see stocks that it supports because not all platforms offer international stocks and some may have a limited number of companies to trade.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Here are a few things to pay attention to:

  • Methods: Pay attention to deposit and withdrawals methods a platform supports. Most popular options include cards, e-wallets, bank transfers, and internal transfers.
  • Minimum and Maximum: See the minimum and maximum deposit and withdrawal amounts so that you know how much money you will need to invest.
  • Fees: See if the company charges a fee for deposits and withdrawals. In most cases, deposits are free but withdrawals can often cost about £10 each.
  • Timeline: See how long it takes for money to appear in your account. Deposits are usually instant but withdrawals typically take up to 48 hours.

Fees

These days, there are a lot of no commission brokers but still, investing is not 100% free. Investment platforms charge a variety of fees, in addition to commissions, including withdrawal charges, inactivity fees, and currency conversion charges.

Ease of Use

Make sure to pick an option that is easy to use. Keep these factors in mind:

  • It must have a well-designed app.
  • Customer support must be good.
  • It must be licensed and registered.
  • The platform should support a variety of orders.
  • There should be a demo account so you can learn.

Keep these factors in mind when selecting an investment platform.

Best Investment Platform UK – Full Reviews

Now without much ado, let’s have a look at some of the best investment platforms UK:

eToro

eToro is one of the most popular trading platforms in the UK. Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Cyprus and the UK, eToro offers a variety of account types including Standard Accounts, Islamic Accounts, and Professional Accounts.

It is one of the cheapest investment platforms to try and covers a wide variety of assets. Moreover, the platform is safe and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission and United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority. You will be covered under the FSCS – up to £85,000 in case of a mishap.

The chart below provides some important details:

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Available Assets
 
Minimum Deposit


 
Mobile App
 
Fees Demo Account
Forex, CFDs, and Real stocks


 
£100
 
Yes Starts as low as £0.006 per share
 
Yes

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Assets

eToro allows users to trade with leverage through CFDs. You can invest in Forex as the company supports a variety of pairs such as USD/TRY and GBP/CAD. Stocks are also available including international markets such as London, Madrid, New York, Milan, and Frankfurt. However, remember that you’ll be able to trade these only during open hours. The company even supports CFD trading for stocks.

The platform can be excellent for cryptos as well. It supports 40+ coins including some popular and some not so popular options such as Litecoin, Bitcoin, and Ethereum. Moreover, you can even try eToro’s own wallet that can be used to store digital currencies. However, the platform doesn’t currently support CFDs for cryptos. This means you can only long digital coins and not choose the shorting option.

In addition, it supports commodities including oil, natural gs, silver, copper, and more. Some indices such as FTSE 100 and NASDAQ 100 are also available.

Etoro

Deposits and Withdrawals

The minimum deposit is only £10 for users in the UK, however, the amount goes to £50 for succeeding deposits. You can use a variety of deposit methods including digital wallets such as PayPal and Skrill, cards including MasterCard and Visa, and even bank transfers.

Some of these options are instant and some can take up to 48 hours. Deposits are free but there’s a £5 withdrawal fee. The fee is waived for platinum account holders. You can reach platinum status by investing and trading more. In most cases, withdrawals are approved within 48 hours.

Fees

eToro is free to use and the company charges no commission. It makes money through spread. However, there’s an inactivity fee of £10 per month. It’s charged after 1 year of no activity.

Ease of Use

The platform is very easy to use. It will take you only a minute to sign up, however, approval can take a while as the platform requires users to verify their identity. This can be done by submitting a copy of your valid documents such as a passport or driver’s license. In addition, address proof may also be needed.

You can start with a demo account to see how it works or start playing with real money. The platform is user-friendly and highly intuitive. You can even copy trades from popular investors and search for your required asset by using the search feature.

The mobile app is excellent and easy to use. It works on both iOS and Android devices.

Capital.com

Launched in 2016, Capital is a new trading platform yet it enjoys a good reputation. It is regulated locally by authorities, like the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus. Users in the UK are covered up to £85,000.

The chart below provides some important details:

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Available Assets
 
Minimum Deposit
 
Mobile App
 
Fees
 
Demo Account
 
Stocks, Bonds, ETFs, Commodities, Funds, Indices, Cryptos, and Forex
 
£100
 
Yes
 
0%
 
Yes
 

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Assets

With Capital, you will be able to trade more than 6,000 assets and 5,000 shares. In addition, there are 23 indices, over 130 Forex CFDs, and more than 400 digital coins CFDs. Plus, the platform even supports nearly 30 commodities including oil, natural gas, and precious metals. On the downside, crypto CFDs are not an option in the UK.

The huge number of options makes Capital one of the best UK investment platforms.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Capital hits the bull’s eye when it comes to deposits and withdrawals. Both are free and you can choose from a variety of options including e-transfers, wire transfers, credit cards, debit cards, and bank transfers.

Credit cards are the fastest. Money will show in just a few minutes and bank transfers can take up to 48 hours. Withdrawals, on the other hand, usually take up to 48 hours. On the plus side, it supports British Pounds, in addition to Euro and USD.

capital.com

Fees

There are no monthly or yearly fees as Capital is one of the free investment platforms UK. The company makes money through overnight charges and spreads.

Ease of Use

Ease is one of Capital’s strongest assets. For starters, it offers three mobile apps including the standard Trading app, the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) app, and the Investment app for education. All these apps are well designed and work smoothly on iOS and Android devices.

Signing up is as easy as any other platform and can be done through a mobile device or computer. Like any other site, you will be asked to verify your identity, which can take up to 48 hours.

Consider starting with a demo account and learning more about the app before investing real money. Doing so will reduce the risk and allow you to make big money.

Interactive Investor

Many call Interactive Investor the best investment platform UK due to its affordability and ease. Founded in 1995 and headquartered in the UK, Interactive Investors is said to be suitable for large portfolios and is very safe to use. The platform is regulated and franchised by FCA with full FSCS protection.

The chart below provides some important details:

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Broker
 
Minimum Deposit
 
Lowest Spread
 
Demo Account
 
eToro £185
 
3
 
Free and unlimited
 
Forex.com
 
£100
 
1.1
 
90 days free
 
IG
 
£250
 
0.6
 
Free and unlimited
 
Pepperstone
 
  0.6
 
Free and unlimited
 
FXCM Trading Station
 
£300
 
0.7
 
$20,000
 
AvaTradeGo
 
£100
 
0.9
 
Free and unlimited
 
XTB X
 
  0.5
 
£100,000
 
FXPRIMUS cTrader
 
£100
 
0.4
 
Free and unlimited
 

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Assets

Interactive Investor offers a wide variety of assets including international stocks, ETFs, and bonds. However, it doesn’t allow users to trade CFDs and crypto. This can be a major blow since a large number of users prefer to invest in cryptos, futures, and CFDs.

It impresses when it comes to funds as there are dozens of offers to choose from. Bonds, however, are limited.

Deposits and Withdrawals

There are a variety of payment and withdrawal methods including debit cards, wire transfers, cheques, and internal transfers. Unfortunately, e-wallets are not presently supported but you will be able to choose from 9 base currencies.

Deposits are free and some methods are instant and some can take up to 48 hours. Non-urgent withdrawals are free, urgent withdrawals will cost £15 each for sums above £100,000.

Fees

Unlike the other first two picks, Interactive Investors isn’t free to use. The company offers several plans with varying fee structures:

Investor Plan: This plan starts at £9.99 a month and comes with UK trades at just £7.99. You will enjoy one FREE trade per month. This is one of the Interactive Investor’s most popular plans and can be great for investors who want to learn about the market.

Funds Plan: A little more expensive at £13.99 a month, this plan will allow you to trade UK shares for £7.99 per trade. In addition, you will be able to trade investment trusts and funds for £3.99 each. With this plan, you will enjoy two free trades per month. This can be a good option for investors interested in building a solid portfolio.

Super Investor Plan: The most expensive plan costs £19.99 a month, with UK trades costing £3.99 each and US trades costing £4.99 each. With this plan, you will get two free trades per month. We suggest that you choose this one once you have gained some experience.

The company takes great pride in its fixed fee option. However, there is a £40 fee for large trades – above £100,000.

Ease of Use

This might not be the easiest platform out there as it doesn’t come with a demo account. Users still prefer it as it is the UK’s own and very reputable. Overall, the mobile app is easy to use and you will have no difficulty finding what you need.

The system provides some good research tools including charts that can help you predict patterns. Even educational material is good.

Fineco Bank

Fineco Bank UK needs no introduction. It’s one of the UK’s most popular banks, hence it doesn’t come as a surprise that its brokerage house is also well-known and among the best investment platforms UK.

It is regulated by the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (Consob) and the Bank of Italy. Moreover, it’s subject to limited regulation by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority.

The chart below provides some important details:

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Broker
 
Minimum Deposit
 
Lowest Spread
 
Demo Account
 
AvaTrade
 
$250
 
0.9 Pips
 
Available
Skilling
 
$100
 
0.1 Pips
 
Available
eToro
 
$500
 
1.5 Pips
 
Available
Capital.com
 
$20
 
0
 
Available
Libertex
 
$10
 
0
 
Available
Ally Invest
 
$100
 
1 Pips
 
Unavailable
 
Freetrade
 
$0
 
1 Pips
 
Unavailable
 
DEGIRO
 
$0
 
1 Pips
 
Available

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Assets

You will find 13 stock markets on the platform and more than 5,000 ETFs including international names. There are both European and North American exchanges and more than 50 currency pairs. However, there are limited mutual funds and no digital coins. On the other hand, you can choose from 5,600 bonds, CFD trading, and some futures markets.

Deposits and Withdrawals

There are no deposit charges and withdrawals are also free. There is, however, a single deposit method (bank transfer), which can be an issue for some users. On the plus side, more than 20 currencies are supported.

Fees

There is no fee to join the platform but you will have to pay a commission when you trade. Here’s a breakdown:

Stocks, Bonds, and ETFs: It will cost you £2.95 to trade UK stocks and ETFs. Expect to pay £3.95 for US stocks and ETFs; European ETFs and stocks will cost you €3.95 per trade. Bonds are fixed at £6.95 per trade.

Forex and CFDs: Like most brokers, Fineco Bank earns money through spreads that depend on the asset. There are no commissions on CFD shares.

Funds: There is no fee to buy and sell funds but expect to pay an annual fee of 0.25 percent on the first £250,000 of funds.

Ease of Use

The platform is overall easy to use but expect account opening to take up to 3 days. We must mention that signing up for an account will result in opening a bank account with Fineco Bank.

Customer service is excellent and the app works well. You will even have access to real-time market data and some charts. The platform allows users to search for what they need and choose from a variety of order types.

Plus500

Founded in 2008, Plus500 is now a publicly traded company with subsidiaries in the UK, the US, and many other countries.

It is one of the few investment platforms UK that allow investors to buy real shares. The business is well-known and your money will be safe as it is licensed and regulated.

The chart below provides some important details:

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Fee
 
Amount
 
Crypto Trading
 
Spread of 0.75%
 
Inactivity
 
$10 after a year
 
Withdrawal
 
$5
 

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Assets

Plus500 is essentially a CFD trader. It will not let you buy crypto but you can use it to trade crypto CFDs, for example. Other options include more than 70 currency pairs, and international stocks. The range of assets isn’t as wide as some other platforms but it does win the medal when it comes to CFDs.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Supported deposit options include credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers. The last option cannot be used for deposits less than £500.

Some methods offer instant deposits and some can take a while. Withdrawals will cost you £10 each and can take up to 7 days to appear in your account.

Fees

The fee structure can be a little complicated to understand. You will be charged £0.006 per share when trading US stocks. For European stocks, there’s no fee and the company makes money through spreads. In addition, you will be charged £10 per month if you go inactive for 90 days. This fee can be avoided by being active, i.e.: logging into your account.

Plus500

Ease of Use

You can start with a demo account for free and move to a Retail account that has a minimum investment of £100. A Professional account is also available that requires at least £500,000 in investment and offers high leverage of 300:1.

In addition, it is one of the few platforms that guarantees stop loss orders. This means your orders will be executed as desired even when market conditions are not favorable. Other than this, the app is excellent with great insights. You will have no difficulty finding what you need.

AvaTrade

Last on the list is AvaTrade that has carved a niche by offering excellent customer support and a great app. Headquartered in Ireland and founded in 2006, AvaTrade is regulated by a number of authorities including ASIC.

The chart below provides some important details:

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Fee
 
Amount
 
Crypto Trading
 
Commission starts at 0.1%
Inactivity
 
Free
 
Withdrawal
 
0.80 EUR (SEPA bank transfer)
 

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Assets

You can trade up to 55 Forex pairs with AvaTrade. We must mention that the company is essentially a Forex broker but it does support some other products as well. You can trade CFDs including more than 10 digital currencies and hundreds of shares from different markets including the US and the UK.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Both withdrawals and deposits are free. You can use electronic wallets, bank transfers, and cards. Supported currencies include GBP, USD, EUR, and more. Deposits are instant and start as low as £100 based on your deposit method. Withdrawals, on the other hand, can take up to 4 days.

Fees

AvaTrade doesn’t charge a commission and fees are built into spreads that depend on the asset and keep on changing. In addition, there is a £50 per quarter inactivity fee and £100 administration fee. You will be charged this fee if you do not use your account for 12 months.

AvaTrade

Ease of Use

AvaTrade is among the easiest to use. You can use its own mobile app that works well on both iOS and Android, the web portal, or the MetaTrader app to manage your portfolio. It supports a variety of orders that are easy to set up.

The app lets you do everything from open and close positions, get in touch with customer service agents, and withdraw or deposit money. Agents are available 24/7 and are quite informative.

Information is available in the form of charts and historical data. Moreover, the company even has a news section and push notification system to keep you up to date.

Best investment platforms for beginners in the UK – Conclusion

These were some of the best investment platforms UK for beginners. It can be hard to pick the right one so make sure to compare these options and select a platform that works for you.

It might be a good idea to start with a paid demo so you can understand how a platform works.

How much should I invest?

Start as low as possible, especially if you have no prior experience, and make sure to only invest money you can afford to lose. CFD trading is very risky and you can lose a large portion of your investment so make sure to understand the risk factor before you invest.

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