Investing > Best Stock Trading App UK

Best Stock Trading App UK

This guide outlines the top stock trading apps for investors in the UK — based on ease-of-use, investment offerings, account features, fees, and more.

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Apparently, destiny thought that a pandemic just wasn’t enough. As Murphy’s law dictates, many global economies have shrunk because of the COVID-19 crisis, but the UK is a very dominant leader with a whopping 20.4% drop in economic output.

Needless to say, this situation is making it increasingly hard to maintain a job, start a business, and even eke out a living in some cases. However, with calamity comes opportunity and many are looking to seize the day while it’s still here.

The stock markets are volatile and full of money-making potential – this is why millions around the world (especially Americans) are becoming day traders to stay busy — and entertained — during quarantine. Logically, if millions of Americans are doing it, it cannot be that hard.

Indeed, investing in the UK isn’t hard but only if you have a reliable UK trading platform, or even better – a reliable trading app. The mobile trading platforms that are out today offer more than a rudimentary UI – they are as easy to use as desktop software and let you research, buy, and sell stocks effortlessly. 

Whether you want to trade every day or just once in a blue moon, you will find something handy. There are even apps that let you follow expert traders and copy their trades and strategies, as well as platforms that allow unrestricted access to the US and other markets.

But then again, there are dozens of platforms that are simply unimpressive – this is why we’ve made you a list of the best stock trading apps for UK-based traders. Whether we like it or not, time is money, so without further ado, let’s see what the top 5 money-making machines in Britain are and what they can do for you.

Top Stock Trading Apps in the UK

Our picks for the best mobile trading software based on usability, fees, and more:

  1. eToro
    Best Overall
  2. Pepperstone
    Best for Beginners
  3. Plus500
    Best for CFD Trading
  4. Interactive Brokers
    Best for Investing in the US Market
  5. IG
    Easiest to Use

🇬🇧 Best Stock Trading Apps in the UK

1. eToro – Best Overall

eToro App

Pros

  • Copy-trading and discussion boards
  • Personalized news feed
  • Very easy to use
  • Full trading app functionality

Cons

  • No biometric ID login
  • Limited charting tools
  • No analyst recommendations
Visit eToro on eToro’s website
*Risk Warning: 75% of retail CFD accounts lose money. 

eToro Mobile is often used as an example of how an investing app should look and feel. The app is geared towards complete beginners and pros alike – maneuvering it is very intuitive and its functionality is broad.

Navigating the software is a simple matter of pushing colourful buttons and swiping to your desired menu. eToro’s search function works well and can help you find all stocks and products you want – this is the only typing you need to do on the platform aside from logging in.

Many apps are easy to use and have search menus, but eToro has a unique aspect – copy-trading. The platform allows you to follow expert traders and copy all the trades they make by pushing a button. This is a great introduction to investing for newcomers who haven’t yet acquired the confidence to make brave independent decisions.

Also, the eToro community is vibrant and full of useful insights – users have personalized news feeds and they can intercommunicate through the platform. Alongside eToro’s charting tools, copy-trading and news make this app a versatile market research tool for stock investors.

Thanks to its app, eToro is a favourite among beginners and experts alike – it is easy to use and doesn’t lack functionality on any front. The platform can be used for trading CFDs, stocks, and even cryptocurrencies among other things – all while being one of the safest pieces of trading software around.


2. Pepperstone – Best for Beginners

Pepperstone App

Pros

  • Very easy to use
  • Low prices and good education are great for beginners
  • Multiple apps

Cons

  • MT4 is outdated in many aspects
  • No two-factor authentication
Visit Pepperstone on Pepperstone’s website

If you are a rookie trader and want to start with the basics, Pepperstone might be a smart choice. The Australian broker offers the MetaTrader 4 mobile platform – this is the primordial soup of all trading apps, yet it’s still one of the most popular pieces of software around.

Unfortunately, the world-famous MT4 is a bit outdated and doesn’t have fancy features like copy-trading. However, it is possibly the most user-friendly and intuitive app in the UK broker-space. 

The software is available in 22 languages and has a good search function, as well as several alert types. You can set up notifications to let you know when a certain product you fancy has reached the desired price. That means you don’t have to look at your phone throughout the day to monitor your assets.

If the limited functionality of the industry-standard MT4 doesn’t compliment your skill set, do not worry – there are 2 more modern options to choose from. The first alternative is MetaTrader 5 which is similar to its predecessor but faster and with more functionality all-around.

The second alternative is Pepperstone’s proprietary cTrader – a favourite amongst Pepperstone users. It is set apart from the MT family by its modern design and very fast execution. The app is not as seamless to understand as MT4 but is a boon for more experienced traders who want to trade quickly and often.

Aside from its very user-friendly app, Pepperstone has some of the lowest fees you’ll come across, as well as great educational resources. All things considered, Pepperstone is a full package for beginners but also a good choice for active traders who fancy fast and stable trading software.


3. Plus500 – Best for CFD Trading

Plus500 Mobile App

Pros

  • Easy to navigate
  • Many alert types
  • The “Trader Sentiment” feature

Cons

  • Basic charting and analysis tools
  • No direct ownership – stocks are only traded through CFDs
Visit Plus500 on Plus500’s website

One of the easiest ways to access and actively trade on the global market from the UK is by using CFDs. If you can predict where the prices will go, these derivatives allow you to profit – and Plus500 is probably the best place for CFD trading.

Plus500 offers a user-friendly app with a very logical workflow and an abundance of features that cater to active traders. You can find what you need with the platform’s search option and you can optimize your experience with many market, limit, stop, and trailing stop orders.

Users can set up alerts for email, SMS, as well as notifications that will pop up on your phone screen – this allows you to stay on top of the changing markets without keeping an eye on everything manually. Traders can also use the “Trader Sentiment” option that tells them what other traders are trading and thinking about.

Specifically, the “Trader Sentiment” feature will show you how many traders are buying and selling a certain asset – this often serves as a good tool to predict whether a stock price will rise or drop. At the end of the day, you can view a fee report that will tell you in detail how much you spent on fees and other expenses.

So, the app does what it says on the tin, but more importantly, it is more secure than your average trading software. Accounts have a two-step login with biometric authentication, which is considered safer than the industry-standard one-step login.

All in all, Plus500 is a CFD-friendly broker with an app that won’t leave beginners or experts wanting. But the broker is not a one-trick pony – it is also very popular amongst traders who focus on spread-betting, trading stocks, cryptos, Forex, etc.


4. Interactive Brokers – Best for Investing in the US Market

Interactive Brokers App

Pros

  • Access to the US market for a very low price
  • Excellent research and information
  • Two-step authentication

Cons

  • The app is harder to use than other platforms on this list
Visit Interactive Brokers on Interactive Brokers’ website

If you fancy what’s on the other side of the pond (we mean the American stock market), you need a broker that offers direct access to US financial assets. Not many companies in Britain can do this, which is why you might need an international broker.

Interactive Brokers is exactly such a service – it is one of the world’s top stock brokers and gives international users access to the US market at the lowest prices. Naturally, a good broker ought to have a great app, and IBKR doesn’t fall short in this regard.

IBKR was originally made for professional traders but has taken steps to make their platform accessible to new, inexperienced investors too. The mobile app has a broad functionality with numerous charting options, alerts, and order types. 

The app is very strong when it comes to research. When you pick a stock, the platform will present fundamental information, related news, analyst reports, and just about all other relevant info. This means that researching is as simple as selecting a product and reading about it.

IBKR’s app is also very secure – it has two-factor authentication which is tougher than the single line of defense most other brokers have. The only downside to IBKR’s platform is that the interface is a bit complex and not very welcoming to newcomers. Despite the app’s steep learning curve, Interactive Brokers has a lot to offer and is regarded as one of the world’s best brokerage services for international clients.


5. IG – Easiest to Use

IG Apps

Pros

  • Very intuitive
  • Many order and alert types
  • Wide range of tradable products

Cons

  • No two-step authentication
Visit IG on IG’s website

As one of the most prominent names in the UK investment sphere, IG offers a clean, user-friendly app with a bucket load of features and functions. IG’s investment menu includes just about everything – options, CFDs, spread-betting, and trading stocks are all available through the brokerage.

All these different assets can be managed with 7 order types and you can set up alerts to notify you when something interesting happens. Also, you can set up alerts for important news – this way, the app will really help you stay on your toes.

When it comes to ease of use, IG’s platform always gets praise from customers and reviewers alike. The workflow is very logical and barely takes any getting used to – everything is done by swiping and pushing big joyfully coloured buttons. 

The only typing you have to do is when using the search bar and logging in – the rest is as intuitive as breathing. At the end of your trading day, you can use the platform to see a clear fee report so you always know how much money is going in and out.

To make your trading experience homier, you can customize charts and set up watchlists to suit your preferences – in general, IG’s app doesn’t fall short in any aspect. If you’re interested in accessibility and versatility in trading, you will likely find that taking a look at IG’s brokerage is very valuable.


What Stock Trading App Should I Use?

There’s no shortage of objectively great trading apps but you need not mind them all – you just need one perfect tool for your endeavors. First, you need to know what type of trading suits you, and only then should you search for the software that helps your cause.

Luckily, finance isn’t as complicated as love, and finding your perfect match will probably be quick and easy. There are excellent pieces of software of all sorts among the top investing and financial apps of the world. We will share some tips for getting started with investing in a moment.

💷 Cost of Getting Started

By definition, you need money to invest – but not all brokers agree on how much money is necessary. Most brokerages require a deposit you need to make before trading on their platform, but that deposit is usually not that high. A few hundred pounds is almost always enough to get you through the door (and sometimes ÂŁ0).

As Warren Buffet famously said, the first rule of investing is “Never lose money”, and the second rule is “Remember rule No. 1”. That’s why you need to be aware of fees and commissions that will gnaw on your account balance if not handled properly.

Brokers make money by charging commissions on your trades and they will also charge you inactivity fees if your account lays dormant for too long. If you want a sensibly priced but reputable broker, you can check out what the top discount brokers have sitting in the cupboard. 

📱 Are Stock Trading Apps Safe?

Most trading apps use government-level password encryption which is considered very safe. That’s why it’s very rare to see that a brokerage account has been hacked – essentially, your account normally has close to zero chance of being compromised unless you share your personal info with dubious people on the internet. 

However, non-normal circumstances exist. Recently, the Australian broker Pepperstone suffered a major data leak that exposed its clients’ information to the public. This seems like a terrible mishap, but the broker salvaged the situation quickly and publicly announced what had happened as soon as it did – they definitely get points for honesty. 

Pepperstone claims that no account info has been leaked and that the users’ accounts are completely safe. This kind of data breach is very rare but it’s not impossible. If you want to be truly safe, it’s best to use several brokers – even if one fails (which is extremely unlikely), the rest will be fine.

Which UK Stock Trading App is Best for Beginners?

Stock Trading App
If you’re looking to trade stocks through an app in the UK, there are several great options.

Every beginner needs an app that will let them learn without risking too much money. Ideally, you should find a broker with an easy-to-use app, low prices, good education, and transparency. 

Common sense dictates that you should go where the prices are low, but that approach is not without flaws. Some services, especially Forex brokers, have very convoluted fee structures normal human beings cannot easily understand. That’s why you should look for a transparent brokerage that provides a clear fee structure through its platform.

But even before that, you need to learn how to trade – and brokers can help with that too. Most brokerages offer some sort of educational material, but you need the ones that have courses, video lessons, and other great learning resources at disposal. All things considered, if you are just getting started in investing, try out one of the top brokers for beginners so you can get off the ground quickly.

How to Get Started in the Stock Market – 8 Steps

Investing isn’t a lake you can just jump into – a bit of preparation is needed beforehand. Luckily, preparing for the stock market need not take long at all and can be summed up in a few steps. Let’s see what these are.

1. Learn what the stock market is. The stock market isn’t just companies and their shares. Tradable assets also include ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, commodities, and an endless list of derivatives that hardly seem sane once you figure out what they are. Getting familiar with these and learning about how the markets respond to world events is a good first step.

2. Know the difference between active and passive investing. An active investor is a person who takes trading as a day job. On the other hand, a passive investor wants long-term assets like dividend stocks that will appreciate over time. Make your choice – do you want trading to be your main activity or do you want to make money more slowly, but with little effort?

3. Understand fees and risks. Betting logic often applies to the stock market – risky trades have the potential to make the most money. Measuring risk and preparing for the worst-case scenario is an important part of any investing plan. This goes double if you are an active investor since day trading is perilous in today’s volatile markets.

4. Come up with a plan. Ideally, choose an area of the economy you’re familiar with and start there. Make an investment plan and stick to it. Impulsive, reactionary trades are the scourge of portfolios – it’s best to approach investing with a cool head and trust in rationality.

5. Open a brokerage account. If you know how investing works and have a plan in your head, it’s time to open a brokerage account. Choose a good broker that caters to your needs and strategies.

6. Use the broker’s tools to accomplish your plans. For your plan to come to fruition, you need to know how to properly research stocks. This will help you make a profitable choice every time you buy or sell.

7. Buy, monitor, and sell your first stock – If you can buy a stock, and sell it at a higher price later, you will grow your portfolio in no time. Keep an eye on the movements of your stocks (and news associated with them) so you catch the perfect opportunity to sell.

8. Diversify your assets – No one can predict everything – that’s the idea. If you cannot predict what asset is going to fail and when, it’s best to hold many different assets to increase your chances of success. It’s common wisdom that having a single asset class in your portfolio is very risky and unnecessary. 

How to Invest in the US Stock Market From the UK

US and UK Flags Merged

If you’re an investor, it would simply be a shame to miss out on a piece of the world’s biggest pie – the American stock market. Besides, wise investors diversify portfolios, and owning assets in different countries certainly helps keep risk down.

UK-based investors do not have direct access to the US market but there are ways to get around that problem – 4 ways to be precise. These are:

1. Using an international broker. Certain brokers offer UK residents access to most of the world’s markets including the USA. Signing up with an international broker like Interactive Brokers is the easiest way to trade US stocks. However, the commissions are usually higher for non-US investors.

2. Using a UK brokerage with US stocks. Some British brokers have a huge number of US stocks on their menus – although probably not as much as international brokers.

Nonetheless, brokerages like AvaTrade and London Capital Group are very reputable and allow you to hold a part of your portfolio in the US market.

3. Invest in US stock ETFs. Numerous British brokers offer ETFs with American stocks. In case you don’t know, an ETF is a company that buys and holds a bunch of stocks.

Then, you buy a part of the company, and by extension, you own a part of each stock they have. ETFs are usually very diversified and grow steadily, which makes them very popular with long-term, passive investors.

4. Trade GDRs on American stocks. Global Depository Receipts are bank certificates that represent ownership of an asset in foreign businesses. You can trade these through all UK share trading accounts.

⚠️ What You Need to Know Before Trading

Oddly enough, Americans don’t like the GBP, so you will have to exchange any currency you’re using to USD when buying. This doesn’t mean you will have to manually exchange currencies – the brokers will do that for you, but the conversion fees will surely make a dent in your profits.

Then there’s the question of everyone’s favourite thing ever – taxation. The US and the UK have a trade deal that prevents “double taxation”, but dividend stocks are considered income and will incur taxes in the USA. In this case, you have options to reclaim the money that you lost on paying taxes to the US.

Lastly, you need the appropriate paperwork. The IRS requires you to file the so-called W-8BEN form if you’re making money on trading US stocks from the UK. This will also reduce the taxes you have to pay on your income from US stocks.

Trading in the UK During COVID-19

Trading During Covid-19

The world’s economies are shrinking while the stock market is miraculously growing. This has gotten people thinking – the system might not seem very predictable but there is ample opportunity. This is why many Britons have decided to take up trading.

The UK market is showing great volatility, which means that there are many options to invest little and win big – as well as invest whatever and lose everything. Although FTSE 100 is showing tame growth at the moment, the situation on the ground is far more exciting.

Even the biggest British corporations are on sale, so to speak. The economic collapse has lowered stock prices and some experts believe that this is the perfect time to buy UK companies for a fraction of their soon-to-be high price. All in all, the UK market today seems to be very fertile ground for investors who play safe and smart, but a potential trap for those who underestimate risks.

UK Stock Trading FAQs

Spread Betting vs CFDs in the UK

Both CFDs and spreads are essentially bets about whether the price of an asset will rise or fall. The key difference between these two types of bets is how they’re taxed. Spreads do not incur capital gains tax while CFDs do. The upside to CFDs is that you can get tax relief if you lose money.

Can I Use Robinhood in the UK?

No – Robinhood has not yet entered into the UK market. Recently, the company announced it will delay its expansion into the UK “indefinitely” because of the turbulent state of the markets. A good alternative for trading US stocks from the UK would be Interactive Brokers.

Who Regulates Stock Trading in the UK?

The UK stock market and securities trading are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). All UK-based brokers as well as foreign brokerages active in the country are under the supervision of the FCA.

Is Day Trading Legal in the UK?

Yes – day trading is completely legal in the UK. However, the brokerage industry is home to many dishonest companies that don’t obey the law. Only use brokers with a good reputation and you will avoid all possible legal inconveniencies. 

All reviews, research, news and assessments of any kind on The Tokenist are compiled using a strict editorial review process by our editorial team. Neither our writers nor our editors receive direct compensation of any kind to publish information on tokenist.com. Our company, Tokenist Media LLC, is community supported and may receive a small commission when you purchase products or services through links on our website. Click here for a full list of our partners and an in-depth explanation on how we get paid.

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