Best Trading Platform For Buying US Shares
If you are looking to buy US shares then a trading platform is a great way to do this.
What the right platform is for you will depend on your requirements.
- Why use a trading platform to buy US shares?
- How do you pick a trading platform?
- How do you buy US shares using a platform?
How do you buy US shares using a trading platform
Our view: The next generation of online trading platform means you can get setup & buy US shares in as little as 10 minutes!
- Select a share platform – See below our 3 top platform picks
- Open your share account – To do this you will need your bank details and national insurance number
- Fund your account – You will need to fund your a/c with a debit or credit card or bank transfer
- Search for the share using the stock code – Type in the stock code into the search box
- Check out the latest info and price for the selected share – Some platforms offer free research and analysis
- Buy the share – Nice and easy!
See our 3 top picks for buying US shares below:
Capital is at risk.
- 0% commission on stocks
- Free account
- Inactivity fee after 12 months
Buy & Sell US Shares
- Buy & sell US shares commission FREE
- Invest in over 12,000 shares
- Out of hours US share dealing (unique service!)
Buy & Sell US Shares
- Trade over 3,800 US stocks & ETFs
- 0% commission free and no fx on trades
- Create account in under 5 minutes
Why use a trading platform to buy US shares?
You don’t have to buy and sell US shares using a share platform to manage your investments.
You could go down the old-school route using a stock broker directly to buy and sell investments.
This can involve lots of paperwork and waiting for the postman to send you paper statements which for some people may be perfectly adequate.
Your preference may be to deal with a real person to make things happen – whilst this can work it can be slow and cumbersome and potentially more expensive.
The good news is that with advances in technology, investors now have significant choice when buying shares abroad.
Benefits of using a trading platform include:
- Lower trading costs
- Easy access to the North American market
- 24/7 access to your investments
- You can hold all your tax efficient investments such as ISAs and SIPPs in one place: including lifetime ISAs, right to buy ISAs and junior ISAs
- Plus any other fund holdings or shares that you’re trading outside of a tax-free environment, from a general trading account
How do you pick a trading platform?
Trading platform services offered vary widely, and so do the costs.
5 things to think about:
1. Do you just want to trade US shares?
Not all investment platforms allow you to trade shares.
If your focus is on US shares then not all platforms will provide comprehensive access.
If you are looking to trade the US stockmarket check with the platform they can offer what you are looking for e.g. Some platforms focus just on US shares.
2. Do you want to do a lot of trading in the USA?
Active investors will want to look for a platform that offers the lowest fees for volume trades.
If you are going to trade north American stocks regularly most share trading platforms will offer lower trading prices based on volume.
Some platforms such as eToro do not charge when you trade, but there may be fees incurred if you do not trade within a 12 month period.
3. Types of trading account offered
Some trading platforms offer as well as general trading accounts, ISA accounts and Self Invested Personal Pension Accounts which offer tax free trading benefits (no tax on dividends or capital gains tax on realised profit). Trader accounts which offer ISA and SIPP accounts include Interactive Investor, AJ Bell, Hargreaves Lansdown and IG
4. Do you want to trade just in US shares, US funds, or US shares and US funds?
Some platforms don’t offer collective funds.
If you also interested in investing or trading in funds then this again may determine who you go with.
If you are interested in ETFs, Investment Trusts, Open Ended Investment Companies (OEICs) or Unit Trusts then you will need to check with the platform provider what is available. E.g. Some platforms only offer a limited number of collectives such as OEICs.
Charging structured for funds held on the platform will vary. Over time the impact of such charges can be significant. Check the platform charging structure carefully.
5. How easy to use is this trading platform: what kind of tools and customer service does it offer?
How easy is the platform to use to buy and sell shares? Platform functionality is becoming the key battleground in persuading traders which platform to go for. Mobile app features are also key in offering traders alerts and buy/sell signals whilst on the move.
These are often the criteria that count most highly with users, so do some research and read the reviews.
Many investors are prepared to pay a bit more in fees for a platform that offers really useful apps and services.
Other Trading Platforms To Consider:
You can also review what other platforms have to offer below to UK traders looking to trade US stocks.
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No fees for share dealing
No news, feature article or comment should be seen as a personal recommendation to invest. Prior to making any decision to invest, you should ensure that you are familiar with the risks associated with a particular plan. If you are at all unsure of the suitability of a particular product, both in respect of its objectives and its risk profile, you should seek independent financial advice.
The value of shares, ETFs and ETCs bought through a share dealing account, a stocks and shares ISA or a SIPP can fall as well as rise, which could mean getting back less than you originally put in. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 67%-75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Professional clients can lose more than they deposit. All trading involves risk.
Tax treatment of ISAs depends on your individual circumstances and is based on current law which may be subject to change in the future. ISA transfer charges may apply, please check with your provider.