What Are The Best Share Trading Platforms – Top 2021 Picks
Looking for a share trading platform that ticks all your boxes?
We have selected our 2021 top picks for traders:
- Cost per trade
- Mobile features
- Investment coverage
- Advanced tools
The online share dealing platform you select should be aligned with your investment requirements.
eToro – Offer 0% commission free trading for UK and European traders on shares and ETFs.
eToro is the world’s largest community of traders and investors, numbering more than 10 million from more than 140 countries.
When you trade, a minimum deposit of $200 is required. eToro do charge fees if you are inactive for 12 months with a fee of $10 pm. There is also a $5 fee whenever you withdraw funds from your account.
Capital is at risk.
- 0% commission when you buy shares
- Free account
- Inactivity fee after 12 months
- Editors choice: Great for new traders!
67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
One of the attractions of eToro as a platform is the ability to participate in copy and social trading.
CopyTrader is eToro’s most popular feature and allows you to view what traders are doing in real time and copy their trading automatically.
If you are a beginner learning the basics or simply don’t have time to watch the markets, this feature allows you to leverage other traders expertise.
With eToro you can benefit from ‘fractional ownership’. One of the few UK brokers to offer this where you can buy a ‘fraction’ of a share.
This can be beneficial for a number of reasons particularly where company shares are expensive e.g. the Amazon share price at the time of writing is $3,123. So for a minimum trade of $50 you can buy a piece of Amazon without blowing your budget on one trade.
eToro follow the strict regulations of several regulatory authorities including the FCA (UK) and FINRA (United States)
Capital.com – Offer 0% commission free trading & no hidden fees
This cutting-edge CFD trading app is the ultimate choice for those looking for the most effective trading experience.
Capital.com is an FCA and CySEC-approved fintech company committed to building the world’s best trading experience. It’s that simple.
The AI-enabled technology that powers their platform isn’t just unique – it’s award-winning:
Trusted by over 1,770,216 registered clients worldwide, Capital.com has an intuitive, easy-to-use interface with a quick signing up process. It will take you just 3 minutes to create an account and to delve deeper into the world of smart investments.
- 0% commission & no hidden fees
- 3,000+ markets to trade
- Market leading spreads
- Educational apps & trading guides
71.2% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
AI powered app with personalised trading insights:
One of the features of the Capital.com trading app is the use of AI to alert you to your trading behaviour to improve your decision making.
Capital.com offer traders their “Investmate” interactive guide to world trading providing short interactive courses and video comics to help improve your trading knowledge.
Fineco Bank – Offer low cost trading from £2.95 per trade.
Access to over 26 markets Fineco bank offer a serious online trading platform for serious traders.
Get 100 Free Trades to be used within 3 Months*
*Terms Apply (See Fineco Bank website for details)
Voted “Best Live Trading Events 2020” by ADVFN, they have a top rated mobile app which is perfect for traders on the go (although maybe not so necessary during lockdown!).
They offer professional trading tools which for serious traders takes your trading to the next level offering interactive charting, customisable timeframes and technical indicators.
They offer access to UK, EU and US markets. They offer news feeds from Reuters, MF-DJ, Twitter and more.
Founded in 1999 Fineco are one of Europe’s largest banks listed on the Euro Stoxx 600. They are a authorised bank by the Bank of Italy and fully regulated by the FCA and PRA. With 1.3 million clients in Italy they have financial assets of €81bn.
- £0.00 fees on Shares CFDs and no additional spread. Fixed commissions on Shares and ETFs, low spreads on Indices and FX and much more.
- Free account
- Special Offer: Get first 100 FREE trades to be used within 3 months (when you open an a/c – T&Cs apply)
All trading involves risks. Losses can exceed deposits.
IG – offer a low cost trading platform.
Voted winner “Best Trading App” Investors Chronicle Investment Wealth Management Awards, IG offer extensive functionality through their trading platform.
IG provide advanced platforms and charting including L” dealer, ProRealTime and MT4 with a full suite of alerts and risk management tools. IG also provide free trading courses and webinars as well as an online community where you can share ideas.
Founded in 1974, IG are a FTSE 250 company authorised and regulated by the FCA. They have 1,5500+ employees and a £1.98bn market cap.
- Fast easy to use web platform
- Free account
- Enjoy flexible access to more than 17,000 global markets, with reliable execution
- Free demo account
71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.
Hargreaves Lansdown – Offer trading from £5.95 per trade.
Looking to invest in shares only? Then Hargreaves Lansdown are worth a closer look.
Voted “Best For Share Dealing” in 2019 by Boring Money. With HL you get free live share prices with stop loss and limit order functionality, with access to a range of technical analysis tools. HL provide expert research and share alerts. Their trading platform offers 8 customisable display options.
HL was founded in 1981 and serves over 1.2m customers with £105bn under administration. HL are a FTSE 100 Company based in Bristol employing over 1500 people.
- Buy & sell shares from £5.95 to £11.95
- No charge if you trade only shares
- No 1 investment platform in UK for private investors
How do you select a trading platform?
Trading platform services offered vary widely, and so do the costs.
5 things to think about:
1. How do you want to trade ?
There are different ways to trade shares online:
Looking to take advantage of short term opportunities in the market? Then spread betting and CFDs allow you to speculate on share prices using leveraged trading products without owning any assets.
You wish to take a longer term position with more traditional investments
a. Short term trading – Spread betting & CFDs
With derivatives trading you can use products such as CFDs and spread bets to speculate on a share’s price increasing or decreasing without having to take direct ownership of the shares themselves.
CFDs (Contracts For Difference) and spread betting are leveraged products, which means you can gain full exposure to company shares while only putting down a small deposit. While this magnifies possible profits, it does the same for losses.
CFDs & spread bets are popular among short term traders as profits and losses are realised immediately – making it faster to open and close trades. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t use them for longer-term positions too. You’d just need to consider the costs involved in maintaining a position – such as overnight funding – and the bet duration as spread bets do have fixed terms.
They also enable you to buy and sell shares online without ever owning the underlying asset. This has tax benefits and means you can trade both rising and falling markets (Tax laws are subject to change).
a. Long term trading – Investing in shares
Share dealing services enables you to invest in company shares with a view to selling them for a profit at a later date. When you buy shares in NIO you become a part owner of that Company and gain shareholder rights including any income that is paid as dividends.
Different share dealing services have different charging structures. Some platforms offer commission free share dealing, but most operate on a fixed fee per trade with usually a reduction in this fee if you carry out more than a certain number of trades per month.
With profits you make on share trading capital gains and dividends earned may be subject to tax at your personal rate. Tax can be mitigated if you trade within an ISA or Self Invested Personal Pension account.
2. Do you want to do a lot of trading?
Active investors will want to look for a platform that offers the lowest fees for volume trades.
If you are going to trade stock regularly most trading platforms will offer lower trading prices based on volume.
3. Types of trading account offered shares?
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).
4. Do you want to trade just in shares, funds, or shares & 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 for new traders/investors?
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.
Some platforms such as eToro offer customers the option of copying trades of successful traders. This can be an attractive option for new traders where you don’t have to decide when to buy or sell. For more info on what is copy trading and how does it work click here.
Improve the way you pick shares
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.