12+ Best Investment Platforms UK for 2024

Investment platforms allow you to buy shares, funds, and other popular assets. When choosing an investment platform, you must ensure the provider is regulated and offers competitive fees. In this guide, we reveal the 12+ best investment platforms in the UK for 2024. Our reviews cover the most important factors, including supported markets, fees, payments, regulations, and much more.

Best for beginners
eToro
  • Ideal for beginner investors
  • Copy trade successful investors
  • Stocks, ETFs, Crypto, Forex, Indices, Commodities
Best for 0% commission
XTB
  • Free demo account
  • 0% commission on all supported assets
  • Stocks, ETFs, Forex, Indices and Commodities
Best for leverage trading
Avatrade
  • Spread bet more than 1,000 markets
  • 0% commission on all supported assets
  • Stocks, ETFs, Forex, Indices, Commodities and Bonds

eToro, XTB and Avatrade are multi-asset investment platforms. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.

The Top UK Investment Platforms Ranked

Here’s a quick overview of the 12+ best investment platforms in the UK right now:

  1. eToro: Offers investing on thousands of UK, US, and international shares and ETFs, plus forex, commodities, and more.. Also supports smart portfolios and copy trading for passive investing.
  2. XTB: Invest in contracts-for-differences (CFDs) across thousands of markets including shares, ETFs, commodities, forex, and indices. Commission-free and no minimum deposit required.
  3. AvaTrade: Popular platform for spread betting on shares, indices, bonds, forex, and commodities without no commissions or capital gains taxes.
  4. Trade Nation – Low-cost spread betting platform that charges no hidden fees on trades. Access 1,000+ markets through the TN Trader platform or Meta Trader 4. 
  5. Pepperstone – CFD broker with more than 1,2000 tradable instruments. Offers industry-leading commissions and spreads, plus access to MT4, MT5, and cTrader. 
  6. Hargreaves Lansdown: Supports UK and US share and ETF investing through ISAs and SIPPs. Low ISA fees, but expect above-average commissions.
  7. Moneybox: Round up your debit card transactions and invest the balance into smart portfolios. Also supports investing in individual shares from the UK and abroad.
  8. IG: Low commission broker offering fees as low as £3 per trade for UK shares. Also supports CFD trading and investing through ISAs.
  9. Interactive Investor: Beginner-friendly investment platform supporting UK and international shares and ETFs. Requires a monthly subscription in addition to commissions.
  10. Trading 212: Mobile-friendly stockbroker offering thousands of UK and international shares at 0% commission. Offers fractional shares from just £1.
  11. Freetrade: Budget-friendly investment platform with minimum trade size of just £2. Offers a free investing account or paid ISA account.
  12. Nutmeg: General investing and ISAs with smart portfolios, themed investments, and fixed allocation portfolios. Account fees from 0.7%.
  13. Admirals – Multi-asset broker with fractional investing from as little as £1. Offers a very wide range of international shares and ETFs to invest in.

Best Investing Platforms for Beginners Reviewed

We’ll now move on to our full reviews of the 13 best investment platforms in the UK.

1. eToro – Overall Best Investment Platform for Beginners

eToro ranks number one on our list of the best investment platforms for beginners. This platform was designed with newbies in mind – you can get started with a small initial investment. Moreover, it’s easy to fund investments at eToro; the platform accepts UK debit cards. Bank transfers other e-wallets are supported too.

Once you’ve opened an account and made a deposit, eToro offers access to thousands of investment markets. Most investors opt for shares, as eToro supports over 3,000 companies from the UK and abroad. In the UK, you’ll be able to invest in HSBC, National Grid, Lloyds, Experian, Standard Chartered, and Vodafone. You’ll also find Tesco, Barclays, Natwest, and many other FTSE 100 shares.

eToro review UK

Past performance is not an indication of future results.

If you’re more interested in US companies, eToro covers shares from the NASDAQ and NYSE. This includes Apple, Amazon, Tesla, Microsoft, Ford, Disney, Nike, and plenty of others. You can also buy shares from companies listed in Hong Kong, Germany, Saudi Arabia, France, and other popular global exchanges.

Importantly, commission-free shares and ETFs include both UK and foreign markets. This is in contrast to investment platforms like IG, Interactive Investor, and Hargreaves Lansdown – which charge high fees to invest foreign assets. Moreover, eToro allows you to buy a small fraction of shares. This means that if you buy Tesla shares, you don’t need to invest over $250 (about £200). Instead, you can buy a small slice of one share.

eToro review UK

Past performance is not an indication of future results.

At eToro, you can also buy Bitcoin and dozens of other cryptocurrencies. For example, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Uniswap, BNB, and Ripple. As the best Bitcoin broker in the UK, you’ll only pay a commission of 1% on cryptocurrency purchases. eToro also supports commodities like gold and silver, plus dozens of forex pairs (instrument availability varies according to regions).

That said, one of the best investment markets for beginners is eToro’s smart portfolios. There are lots of smart portfolios to choose from and all are professionally managed. For example, if you want exposure to artificial intelligence, consider the AI-Revolution smart portfolio. This contains 35 companies that are actively involved in AI, such as Oracle, Workday, Splunk, and Palantir.

eToro review UK

Past performance is not an indication of future results.

There are also smart portfolios related to 5G technology, BigTech, renewable energy, and cryptocurrencies. Copy trading is also worth considering if you want to invest passively. You can choose an eToro trader that aligns with your goals and automatically copy their investments. You can select a trader based on their preferred assets, trading strategy, past performance, and other important metrics.

All of the markets and features discussed can be accessed on the eToro website or mobile app. In terms of reputation, eToro was launched in 2007 and it has over 30 million customers.

Supported Markets Pricing System Fee to Invest in Amazon Stock Min. Deposit Top Features
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Indices
  • Commodities
  • Stocks and ETFs can be traded commission-free.
  • Cryptocurrencies attract a 1% commission.
  • CFD assets can be traded on a spread-only basis.
  • Commission-free
  • Amount varies according to region.
  • Buy UK and international shares at 0% commission
  • Ideal for beginners – no prior experience is needed
  • Invest online or via the iOS and Android app
  • Invest in professionally managed smart portfolios without additional fees

Pros pros

  • Supports professionally managed smart portfolios for passive investing
  • Invest in hundreds of ETFs from various markets
  • Leading UK forex broker with tight spreads

Cons cons

  • Bank transfer deposits require a minimum of $500 (about £400)

eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.

Copy Trading does not amount to investment advice. The value of your investments may go up or down. 

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.

2. XTB – Popular CFD Trading Platform Offering 0% Commission on Thousands of Markets  

XTB is a regulated trading platform that allows you to trade CFD instruments. Put simply, CFDs track real-world asset prices, enabling you to trade without owning the underlying asset. At XTB, you can trade thousands of shares and ETFs, covering both UK and intentional markets. The latter includes more than a dozen European exchanges, such as Germany, France, and Italy.

You can also trade shares and ETFs from the US. This includes popular shares like Amazon, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Coinbase. When you trade shares and ETFs on XTB, you can apply leverage of 1:5. This will boost your position by 5x – meaning you’ll have £500 worth of capital for every £100 you deposit.

XTB review

XTB also allows you to trade commodities. This includes everything from corn, wheat, and gold to silver, oil, and natural gas. As a UK trader, you can apply leverage of up to 1:20 on commodities. Moreover, XTB also supports indices like the Dow Jones and S&P 500, plus dozens of currency pairs. XTB is also ideal if you want to short-sell an asset.

For example, if you believe that the price of Disney shares is likely to fall, you can place a sell order. And if the shares do decline in value, you’ll make a profit. In terms of fees, XTB doesn’t charge any trading commissions. This is the case across all supported UK and international markets. There are no deposit fees when using a debit card or bank transfer.

XTB review

E-wallet deposits attract a fee of up to 2%. XTB has its own native trading platform called xStation 5. This allows you to perform chart analysis with technical indicators. You can also trade via MT4. In terms of safety, XTB is regulated by the FCA. It also holds licenses in other jurisdictions. There is no minimum deposit requirement at XTB and you’ll also have access to a demo account.

Supported Markets Pricing System Fee to Trade Amazon Stock Min. Deposit Top Features
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Forex
  • Indices
  • Commodities
  • All supported markets can be traded commission-free
  • Commission-free
  • No minimum deposit
 
  • Trade thousands of assets with leverage
  • No trading commissions are charged on any supported market
  • Lots of charting tools – including technical indicators
  • Regulated by the FCA

Pros pros

  • Top-rated CFD broker that supports leverage trading
  • Go long or short on thousands of markets
  • More than 2,100 UK and international shares are supported
  • Free demo account allows you to practice trading risk-free
  • 0% commission on all supported assets

Cons cons

  • E-wallet deposit fees of up to 1%

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 80% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

3. AvaTrade – Spread Bet Over 1,000 Assets Without Paying Commission or Capital Gains Tax   

If you’re looking for a tax-efficient way to trade assets; consider AvaTrade. Put simply, AvaTrade allows UK investors to ‘spread bet’ more than 1,000 assets. When spread betting, you’ll be speculating on the future value of an asset, just like CFDs. However, unlike CFDs, spread betting profits do not attract capital gains tax. Spread betting comes with many other perks.

For example, you can trade assets with leverage and enter positions with a long or short order. This enables you to profit from rising and falling markets. Moreover, as one of the best spread betting platforms in the UK AvaTrade supports a wide range of spread betting instruments. This includes shares from the UK and US markets, plus ETFs and indices. AvaTrade also supports forex pairs and commodities like natural gas, oil, and gold.

AvaTrade review

Not only does AvaTrade allow you to avoid capital gains tax but you won’t pay commission on any supported asset. If you’re new to spread betting, AvaTrade offers a free demo account. Once you get comfortable with how things work, you can upgrade to a real money account. The minimum deposit is £100 and UK debit/credit cards are accepted. AvaTrade is licensed in nine different jurisdictions, so safety is assured.

Supported Markets Pricing System Fee to Trade Amazon Stock Min. Deposit Top Features
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Forex
  • Indices
  • Commodities
  • Bonds
  • Options
  • All supported markets can be traded commission-free
  • Commission-free
  • £100
 
  • Spread bet more than 1,000 markets
  • No commissions are charged on any supported asset
  • Licensed in nine jurisdictions

Pros pros

  • Spread bet financial assets for tax-free profits
  • Supports shares, bonds, indices, commodities, and more
  • No trading commissions are charged
  • Competitive spreads start at 0.9 pips on forex

Cons cons

  • Spread betting will not be suitable for long-term investment strategies

76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

4. Trade Nation – Low Cost Trading Platform with 1,000+ Markets 

The next UK-based investment platform on our list is Trade Nation. This platform allows traders to access more than 1,000+ markets and offers low-cost spreads. 

Trade Nation markets

On Trade Nation, users can access anything from FX pairs to shares, indices, and commodities. One can get started with the TN Trader, which is Trade Nation’s proprietary trading platform. Notably, there are zero commissions charged when using this platform. 

The platform charges a fixed spread on any trade without adding hidden fees. Thus, investors know the exact fee amount before even making the trade. Trade Nation also offers negative balance protection. This feature ensures that if your trading balance falls into arrears, the balance is brought up to zero by the next trading session. 

Users can also access the Meta Trader 4 (MT4) trading account to access CFD (Contract for Differences) trades on FX pairs and other instruments. Users can sign up and open accounts on both MT4 and the proprietary trading platform. 

Trade Nation features

Payments can be made using multiple options such as VISA, MasterCard, AstroPay, Skrill, and Neteller. There are no withdrawal or deposit fees charged on Trade Nation. There is no minimum deposit on Trade Nation, making it a potential choice for beginner investors. 

This popular trading platform has been regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) since 2014 and is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK. 

Supported Markets Pricing System Fee to Invest in Amazon Stock Min. Deposit Top Features
  • Stocks
  • Forex
  • Indices
  • Commodities
  • Low cost spreads charged on trades
  • Zero commission on the TN Trader account
  • Fixed spread cost
  • No minimum deposit 
  • FCA-regulated and covered by the FSCS
  • Offers zero commission on the proprietary trading account
  • Offers MT4 trading
  • Multiple payment options

Pros pros

  • No minimum deposit
  • Regulated by the FCA
  • Offers negative balance protection
  • Multiple payment methods 
  • No withdrawal or deposit fees

Cons cons

  • Does not offer cryptos or indices

67.3% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

5. Pepperstone – CFD Trading Platform Supporting More Than 1,200 Instruments 

One of the most popular investment platforms, Pepperstone, is used in more than 174 countries. This is a solely CFD trading platform, so Pepperstone may be attractive to skilled traders. 

Pepperstone home

However, beginners can take advantage of Pepperstone’s educational resources and access multiple webinars and articles on learning how to trade CFDs. Pepperstone offers over 1,200 instruments, such as Forex, crypto, shares, commodities, and indices. UK investors can access more than 100 UK-based shares on Pepperstone. 

Traders can connect their accounts with TradingView to access advanced charting tools to help with their trades. For those looking to access other technical indicators on their trades, Pepperstone allows one to connect with Meta Trader 4 & 5. The platform also supports cTrader, which can be used to make customized trades. 

Pepperstone assets

On UK share CFDs, Pepperstone charges a fixed commission of 0.10%, or £7. A spread of 1 pips is also charged for the trade. By getting the Pepperstone Razor account, users will not be required to pay any spreads on their trade. 

Payments can be made via VISA, MasterCard, bank transfers, and e-wallets like PayPal and Skrill. There is a $20 fee for bank withdrawals. 

Supported Markets Pricing System Fee to Invest in Amazon Stock Min. Deposit Top Features
  • Stock CFDs
  • Forex CFDs
  • Indices CFDs
  • Commodities CFDs
  • Cryptos CFDs
  • Commission + spreads (No spreads on Razor account) 
  • $0.10 + 1 pip
  • No minimum deposit
  • Offers CFD trading 
  • Provides MT4 , MT5, and cTrader 
  • Educational resources supported

Pros pros

  • More than 1,200 CFD trading instruments
  • Offers crypto CFD trading 
  • No minimum deposit
  • Multiple account types are supported

Cons cons

  • Charges a $10 fee on bank transfer withdrawals 

79.7% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

6. Hargreaves Lansdown – Invest in Shares, Bonds and Funds via One Investment Account             

Founded in 1981, Hargreaves Lansdown is an established investment platform based in the UK. It offers a huge range of traditional assets from the UK and abroad. This includes more than 3,600 investment funds, which will appeal to passive investors. Hargreaves Lansdown offers a ‘fund finder’ tool that allows you to find the most suitable investments.

For example, you can filter by strategy, provider, historical yield, and income type. Hargreaves Lansdown also supports thousands of shares. This includes shares from the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250, not to mention the AIM. Shares in the US are also supported. Hargreaves Lansdown charges £11.95 per share trade. You’ll also need to pay 1% if you buy shares from overseas.

Hargreaves Lansdown review

Hargreaves Lansdown is also one of the best investment platforms for buying bonds. This includes UK-listed corporate bonds issued by Halifax, Yorkshire Building Society, Lloyds Bank, and Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust. You can also buy gilts, which are issued by the UK government. Do note that most bonds need to be purchased over the telephone.

Supported Markets Pricing System Fee to Invest in Amazon Stock Min. Deposit Top Features
  • Stocks
  • ETFs/Funds
  • Investment Trusts
  • Bonds/gilts
  • ISAs
  • £11.95 per trade. Reduced to £8.95 when trading 10 times in the previous month
  • 0.45% annual charge on ISAs 
  • £11.95 commission
  • You’ll also pay a 1% foreign exchange fee

 

  • £1
 
  • One of the best investment platforms in the UK for buying bonds
  • Supports more than 3,400 funds
  • Also supports ISAs

Pros pros

  • Buy UK-listed bonds and gilts
  • Supports more than 3,600 investment funds
  • Invest tax-efficiently via a Stocks and Shares ISA
  • Established in 1981

Cons cons

  • You’ll pay £11.95 per trade – which is very expensive
  • Most bonds can only be purchased over the telephone

7. Moneybox – Automatically Invest Spare Change via Debit Card Round-Ups             

Moneybox is a popular UK investment platform aimed at casual investors. It supports debit card round-ups, allowing you to invest small amounts every time you transact. For example, suppose you buy something online for £14.50. Moneybox will debit £15 from your card and invest the 50p balance on your behalf. While this might sound insignificant, the process is repeated on all debit card transactions.

The round-up feature is supported by most UK banks. This includes challenger banks like Revolut and Monzo. If your bank isn’t supported, you can make regular investments via a direct debit agreement. Either way, Moneybox gives you three fund options when selecting a suitable investment strategy. This includes ‘Cautious’, ‘Balanced’, and ‘Adventurous’.

Moneybox UK review

All three options invest in diversified tracker funds. Alternatively, you can also invest on a DIY basis. This enables you to choose individual shares and ETFs. That said, only US-listed shares are supported, meaning you won’t be able to invest in FTSE 100 companies. Moneybox charges a £1 monthly fee plus 0.45% on the value of your investments. US stocks attract a 0.45% currency conversion fee. You’ll also pay up to 0.58% when investing in funds – which is charged annually.

Supported Markets Pricing System Fee to Invest in Amazon Stock Min. Deposit Top Features
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Automated portfolios
  • ISAs
  • £1 per month
  • Monthly platform fee of 0.45%
  • 0.45% currency conversion fee on non-UK assets
  • Fund fees of between 0.12% and 0.58%
  • Commission-free but you’ll pay a 0.45% currency conversion fee

 

  • £1
 
  • Debit card round-ups allow you to invest your spare change
  • Choose from automated portfolios or DIY investing

Pros pros

  • Debit card transactions are rounded up and invested in the share markets
  • Choose from three automated portfolio strategies
  • You can also choose your own share and ETF investments
  • No commissions are charged

Cons cons

  • Only supports US-listed shares, so you can’t invest in UK companies
  • Monthly fees of £1 + 0.45% of your investment value

8. IG – Low Investment Fees for Active Traders – Starting From £0 on US Shares            

IG is one of the best stock investment platforms in the UK for active traders. Put simply, you’ll benefit from low trading fees if you place at least three trades every month. This includes both buy and sell orders. If you meet this criteria, you can invest in thousands of US-listed shares at 0% commission. Otherwise, you’ll pay £10 per trade.

When you invest in UK-listed shares, you’ll pay £3 per trade. But if you don’t meet the minimum monthly requirement, this increases to £8. IG also supports a huge range of ETFs and investment trusts. What’s more, IG allows you to invest in UK IPOs. This enables you to buy shares in a company before it is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

IG share dealing review

IG is also suitable if you want to invest via a Stocks and Shares ISA. You can avoid paying ISA fees by trading at least three times per month or having £15,000 or more in your portfolio. If you can’t meet this threshold, you’ll pay £24 per quarter. IG also charges a 0.5% fee on non-UK assets. There is also a 0.5% (MasterCard) and 1% (Visa) charge on debit/credit card deposits.

Supported Markets Pricing System Fee to Invest in Amazon Stock Min. Deposit Top Features
  • Stocks
  • ETFs/Funds
  • Investment Trusts
  • IPOs
  • CFDs
  • Spread Betting
  • UK investments are charged £3/£8, depending on monthly trading volumes
  • US stocks cost £0/10
  • EU/Australian stocks cost 0.10% of the investment amount
  • £10 commission unless you trade at least three times in a month
  • You’ll also pay a 0.5% foreign exchange fee

 

  • £250
 
  • Buy US shares commission-free when trading frequently
  • Avoid ISA management fees when trading three times per quarter

Pros pros

  • One of the best investment platforms in the UK for active traders
  • Buy US-listed shares at 0% commission when trading at least three times per month
  • Avoid paying ISA fees when trading three times per quarter
  • Invest in UK-listed IPOs

Cons cons

  • £10 commission on US-listed shares when trading less than three times per month
  • Minimum deposit requirement of £250

9. Interactive Investor – User-Friendly Shares Investing Platform Supporting Over 40,000 Markets           

Interactive Investor is one of the best investment platforms in the UK for beginners. You won’t need any prior investment experience here, as the platform is very user-friendly. Moreover, you can make investments online or via the Interactive Investor app. This is available on both iOS and Android smartphones. We like that Interactive Investor supports more than 40,000 global markets.

This means you can choose assets that align with your financial goals. For example, you can invest in UK and international shares, not to mention bonds, funds, and investment trusts. If you’re not sure which investments to make, Interactive Investor also supports automated portfolios. These are hand-picked by industry experts and cover a wide range of strategies.

Interactive Investor review

However, while Interactive Investor is suitable for newbies, it’s also one of the most expensive platforms for fees. For example, there is a minimum monthly fee of £4.99. What’s more, you’ll need to pay a £3.99 commission on UK and US shares, or £9.99 on other international markets. You’ll also pay 99p to automatically reinvest dividend payments.

Supported Markets Pricing System Fee to Invest in Amazon Stock Min. Deposit Top Features
  • Stocks
  • ETFs/Funds
  • Investment Trusts
  • Hand-picked portfolios
  • Monthly platform fee of at least £4.99
  • £3.99 commission on UK and US shares
  • £9.99 commission on other international shares
  • 99p on dividend reinvestments
  • £3.99 commission

 

  • No minimum deposit
 
  • Supports more than 40,000 markets, including shares, funds, and trusts
  • One of the best investment platforms in the UK for beginners

Pros pros

  • User-friendly platform will appeal to beginners
  • No minimum deposit requirement
  • Hand-picked portfolios built by industry experts
  • More than 40,000 global markets are supported

Cons cons

  • Minimum monthly fee of £4.99
  • £3.99 commission on UK and US shares

10. Trading 212 – Fractional Investments of £1 Without Paying Trading Commission          

If you’re only looking to invest a few pounds into the share market, consider Trading 212. This investment platform allows you to buy a fraction of a share from just £1. For example, suppose you’re investing in a share that trades for £100. If you invest £1, you’ll own 1% of the share. This means you can diversify your portfolio even if you don’t have a lot of money to invest.

Trading 212 is also one of the best investment platforms in the UK for low fees. You can invest in UK and international shares without paying any trading commissions. However, non-UK investments attract a 0.15% FX fee. Nonetheless, we like that Trading 212 offers Stocks and Shares ISAs without management fees. We also like that deposits up to the first £2,000 are processed free of charge.

Trading 212 review

After that, there’s a 0.7% charge. You can deposit funds in various ways, including debit/credit cards, instant bank transfers, PayPal, and Google/Apple Pay. The minimum deposit requirement is just £1. Trading 212 also offers a beginner-friendly app for iOS and Android. The app supports free demo accounts, allowing you to practice trade with risk-free funds.

Supported Markets Pricing System Fee to Invest in Amazon Stock Min. Deposit Top Features
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • CFDs
  • ISAs
  • No commissions on any supported markets
  • Commission-free, but you’ll pay a foreign exchange fee of 0.15%

 

  • No minimum deposit
 
  • Invest in shares from just £1
  • No management fees on Stocks and Shares ISAs

Pros pros

  • Get started with a minimum deposit and investment of £1
  • 0% commission is offered on all supported share markets
  • Open a Stocks and Shares ISA without management fees
  • Regulated by the FCA

Cons cons

  • Fee-free deposits are only available on the first £2,000
  • Experienced investors may find the platform too basic

11. Freetrade – Free General Investment Accounts Supporting 1,500+ Shares and ETFs            

If you’re looking for a free investment platform that offers a broad range of shares and ETFs, Freetrade could be right for you. While it also offers paid plans, its fee-free account supports over 1,500 markets. This includes shares from the UK, US, and Europe. It also offers access to popular ETFs from Vanguard, Invesco, and iShares.

Best of all, you won’t pay trading commissions on Freetrade. What’s more, you can invest in shares and ETFs from just £2. This means you can invest in expensive shares like Amazon and Tesla without breaking the bank. However, the fee-free account on Freetrade does come with limitations. For example, you’ll need to pay £5.99 per month to invest in a Stocks and Shares ISA.

Freetrade review This account type is also required to earn interest on uninvested cash and access automated order types. That said, the paid plan offers access to an additional 4,500 shares and ETFs. There is also a £9.99 monthly plan, which you’ll need if you want to invest in a SIPP. This account type also offers lower FX fees on non-UK assets and priority customer support.

Supported Markets Pricing System Fee to Invest in Amazon Stock Min. Deposit Top Features
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • No commissions on any supported markets
  • FX fee on non-UK assets of up to 0.99%
  • Paid plans offer additional markets and features, starting from £5.99/month
  • Commission-free, but you’ll pay a foreign exchange fee of up to 0.99%

 

  • No minimum deposit
 
  • Supports free general investment accounts
  • No commissions are charged on UK and international markets

Pros pros

  • Free general investment accounts with commission-free trading
  • Also supports Stocks and Shares ISAs and SIPPs
  • Invest in fractional shares from £2
  • Paid accounts offer 1-3% interest on uninvested cash

Cons cons

  • The free plan limits your investment choices to 1,500+ markets
  • You’ll need to pay £9.99/month to invest in a SIPP

12. Nutmeg – Invest in Thematic Smart Portfolios or Fixed Allocation Portfolios

Nutmeg is a long-term investment platform that offers both general investing accounts and stocks and shares ISAs (and junior ISAs). It’s a great option if you prefer to invest in ready-made portfolios rather than pick and choose what shares to buy.

Nutmeg has a variety of different ready-made portfolios to choose from. Fully managed portfolios are tailored to your investing goals and time horizon. Socially responsible investing portfolios are fully managed, but focus on companies with environmental, social, or governance chops.

Nutmeg Investing UK

Thematic portfolios let you invest in specific areas such as healthcare innovation or machine learning. Smart Alpha portfolios are designed for risk-tolerant investors who want to maximize their returns.

Finally, fixed allocation portfolios are more traditional portfolios that invest in preset amounts of stocks and bonds – for example, 60% shares and 40% bonds.

Fees at Nutmeg vary based on the type of portfolio you choose. Fixed allocation portfolios have the lowest fee, 0.7% per year, while fully managed portfolios have the highest fee at 1.1% per year. You’ll pay an additional 0.2-0.25% for fund management fees.

Supported Markets Pricing System Fee to Trade Amazon Stock Min. Deposit Top Features
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Bonds
  • Annual management fee from 0.7%-1.1%
  • N/A
  • £500
 
  • Multiple pre-made portfolios available
  • No need to choose individual shares to buy
  • Supports UK and international shares
  • Offers general investing, ISA, and junior ISA accounts

Pros pros

  • Wide selection of ready-made portfolios
  • Offers fully managed portfolios with auto-rebalancing
  • Transparent account fees
  • Excellent resources for retirement investors

Cons cons

  • Cannot buy individual shares

13. Admirals – Access Fractional Trading with just £1 on this Multi-Asset Exchange  

Another one of the best investment platforms in the UK is Admirals. The Admirals Market UK LTD is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. The platform offers thousands of CFD instruments, along with spot trading options.

Admirals trades

CFDs are contracts taken by the investors, in which they are predicting the future value of an asset. While CFDs can offer good returns due to the high margins, they can also trigger larger losses. Therefore, this particular asset type may be better suited for investors with a higher risk tolerance. 

On Admirals, users can trade 80+ forex pairs and over 40 indices. Users can also trade bonds, and commodities, such as Metal, energy, and agriculture. Over 3,000 share CFDs and spot trading shares can also be traded with this popular platform. 

While the minimum deposit on Admirals is £25, users can access fractional sharing. This feature allows one to purchase a portion of a single share. The minimum amount to invest is just £1. 

Admirals assets

Payments can be made using VISA, MasterCard, and bank transfers. When using bank transfers, only 1 withdrawal per month is free. The rest results in a fee of £10. Through Admirals’ educational resources, one can participate in webinars and increase their knowledge on CFDs and investing. 

Supported Markets Pricing System Fee to Invest in Amazon Stock Min. Deposit Top Features
  • Stock 
  • Forex 
  • Indices 
  • Commodities 
  • ETFs 
  • CFD options are available on all markets
  • Standard commission (Spread charged on CFDs)
  • $0.02
  • £25 
  • Offers CFD trading on all assets
  • Provides educational resources
  • Supports fractional investing

Pros pros

  • Trade thousands of stocks, FX pairs, commodities, and more
  • Access CFD trading 
  • Fractional sharing offered
  • Supports multiple payment methods

Cons cons

  • $10 charge on bank transfer withdrawals (1 free withdrawal per month)

How to Pick the Right Investment Platform for You

We’ll now discuss what factors you should consider when researching the best investment platforms in the UK.

FCA Regulation and FSCS Eligibility 

The most important aspect when choosing an investment platform is the safety of your funds. There are two core metrics to check in this regard.

First, you should only consider a UK investment platform if it’s authorized and regulated by the FCA. This is the UK’s financial watchdog and it helps keep consumers safe. FCA-regulated brokers must follow many guidelines, such as keeping client funds in segregated bank accounts. They must also clearly present the risks of investing and ensure that your withdrawals are processed in a reasonable timeframe.

Second, you should only sign up with a UK investment platform if it’s eligible for FSCS protection. The FSCS covers brokerage collapses up to the first £85,000 per client. In other words, if your chosen investment platform goes bankrupt, your capital is protected up to this amount. If you’re planning to invest more than £85,000, it’s wise to spread your investments across at least two brokers. Otherwise, your capital is at risk.

Range of Assets 

The best investment platforms in the UK provide access to many different assets. You can check what assets are supported by checking out the provider’s website.

If you’re looking to invest in shares, eToro is the best platform in the market. You can access thousands of UK and international shares without paying any commission. eToro also supports investment funds. For example, you can invest in the FTSE 100, S&P 500, or Dow Jones. Once again, there are no premiums to pay when gaining exposure to foreign-listed assets.

eToro review

If you’re looking to trade alternative assets, XTB might be more suitable. You can speculate on currency exchange rates, such as GBP/USD or EUR/USD. You can also trade commodities like gold and oil, not to mention indices.

If you’re looking to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, eToro is also the best option. You can invest in cryptocurrencies for just $10 and commissions are very competitive.

Ultimately, it’s best to choose an investment platform that supports all of the markets you want to trade. This removes the need to sign up with multiple platforms.

Fees 

Understanding fee structures can be complicated. Some UK investment platforms have many different trading fees that can vary depending on the account type and market. Moreover, some providers aren’t transparent with what they charge, so you might need to do a lot of digging.

The main fees to look for when choosing the best investment platform in the UK are as follows:

  • Commissions: Many investment platforms make money by charging commissions. This will be charged when you buy and sell an asset. For example, IG charges £3 when you invest in shares. And when you sell your shares, you’ll also pay £3. At eToro, you can invest in shares and funds without paying any commission.
  • Spreads: UK investment platforms also make money from the spread. This is the difference between the buy and sell prices offered by the platform. This small gap in pricing ensures the investment platform makes a profit regardless of which way the markets move. If you’re investing in blue-chip shares, you shouldn’t pay a spread of more than 0.5% per slide.
  • Payment Fees: You might need to pay fees when depositing funds. The fee can vary depending on the payment method. Check this before opening an account.
  • FX Fees: If you’re planning to buy Amazon shares or any other international asset, you might be charged FX fees. This usually averages 0.5%-1% of the investment amount.
  • Platform Fees: You might also be charged platform fees by your chosen provider. For example, some platforms charge a flat fee that you need to pay every month. While others charge a fee based on how much you invest. Investment platforms like Moneybox charge both.

As you can see, there are many fees to check when choosing an investment platform in the UK. If you’re looking to save some time – we found that eToro is the overall cheapest option. Not only in terms of commissions and spreads, but also non-trading fees.

Research and Analysis Tools  

The best investment platforms in the UK allow you to make informed trading decisions. This means you’ll have access to research and analysis tools that can help you pick the best investments.

This should include financial news related to your chosen assets. For example, if you’ve invested in Apple shares, you’ll want to know when the firm declares a dividend. Moreover, you should also look for investment platforms that offer expert insights.

xStation 5

These are research articles that offer trading suggestions, based on the analyst’s view of the market. Another research tool we like is sell-side analyst ratings. This will show you whether your chosen shares are a ‘Buy’ or ‘Sell’, and what the estimated price target is. You can view sell-side ratings for free on eToro, as long as you have a verified account.

If you’re looking for chart analysis tools, XTB is the best option. It has its own proprietary trading suite called xStation 5. This comes with charting tools and technical indicators, such as the MACD, stochastic oscillator, and exponential function.

Minimum Deposit

Most investment platforms in the UK have a minimum deposit requirement. If you’re using a platform aimed at beginners, this might only be a few pounds.

For example, Hargreaves Lansdown and Trading 212 require just £1 from first-time customers.

However, you’ll find that AvaTrade requires a minimum deposit of £100. At IG, you’ll need to deposit at least £250.

What is the Minimum Number of Shares you can Buy?

  • Not so long ago, UK investors had to buy a full share. Some investment platforms had even higher minimum requirements, such as buying a full lot of shares.
  • Today, the best investment platforms support ‘fractional’ shares, meaning you can buy a slice of your favorite companies.

Demo Account

If you’re new to investments, consider choosing a platform that offers a demo account. You’ll get to buy and sell assets without risking your own money. After a few weeks, you’ll know whether or not you’re ready to trade with real funds. If not, you can continue practicing in demo mode.

Demo accounts also allow you to try the investment platform’s features. In particular, you can assess whether the investment platform is suitable for your experience.

On eToro, you can open a free demo account in under a minute. You’ll have $100,000 in paper funds to play with, which you can replenish at any time. Furthermore, eToro demo accounts never expire.

Investment App

Most investment platforms offer a mobile app. This will connect to your main account, allowing you to invest on the move. The importance of having an investment app should not be understated.

eToro app review

After all, you might be away from your desktop device and hear some bad news concerning one of your share investments. In this instance, you might want to sell the shares immediately. The best investment apps in the UK allow you to do this at the click of a button.

Payment Methods

Most investment platforms accept convenient payment methods. This makes it easy to deposit and withdraw funds.

For example, most accept Visa and MasterCard, which is the fastest way to fund your account. E-wallets are increasingly becoming popular too.

That said, we also came across UK investment platforms that only support bank transfers. This means you might need to wait several days for the funds to arrive in your investment account.

Customer Service 

We give preference to UK investment platforms that offer an all-round great customer experience. This means that you should have access to a support agent whenever you need one.

Traditional investment platforms like Hargreaves Lansdown and IG offer telephone support. However, most investors in the UK prefer the convenience of live chat. This is available at eToro, XTB, and many other top-rated investment platforms.

Types of Investment Platforms

You’ll come across many different types of investment platforms in the UK. Not only in terms of supported assets and markets but the account type offered.

It’s important you choose the right investment platform for your financial goals, so let’s explore what’s available in 2024.

General Investment Accounts

General investment accounts allow you to invest on a DIY basis. In other words, you will be selecting your own investments for your portfolio. In most cases, you can invest in shares from the UK and abroad. You’ll likely have access to funds and investment trusts too.

But this isn’t always the case, so you’ll need to assess what markets are supported by the investment platform. For example, eToro’s general investment accounts support thousands of shares and ETFs from over a dozen exchanges. This includes the UK, the US, Hong Kong, Germany, and Saudi Arabia. eToro also supports cryptocurrencies, forex, and commodities.

In contrast, some investment platforms only support UK-listed markets. This means that you will be missing out on popular foreign-listed companies like Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft.

What is the Best General Investment Account for US Shares?

  • When you invest in US shares from the UK, you’ll need to be wary of fees. Most UK investment platforms will charge you a premium to buy US-listed shares.
  • For example, IG charges up to £10 per US trade, plus a 0.5% FX fee. While Interactive Investors charges £3.99 per US trade plus a £4.99 monthly platform fee.

Automated Investing Accounts

Some investment platforms in the UK offer automated investing accounts. This means that you can invest without needing to choose your own investments. That said, you’ll still need to select a suitable strategy that aligns with your risk tolerance and financial goals. Moreover, there are many different types of automated investing options in the market.

For example:

  • Moneybox offers automated investments every time you use your debit card. It rounds each transaction to the nearest pound and then invests the difference into funds. You can choose from three different fund strategies, based on your risk profile.
  • Interactive Investor also offers automated investments. In this instance, you can choose from portfolios that have been hand-picked by industry experts. Each portfolio has its own strategy and risks, so all investor profiles are supported.

All that being said, we found that eToro’s smart portfolios are best for investing automatically. Each smart portfolio tracks a niche market, such as renewable energy, artificial intelligence, and even drone technology.

eToro smart portfolio for drones

The latter includes 35 companies actively involved in drones, such as United Parcel Service, NVIDIA, Microsoft, and Texas Instruments. Unlike other automated investment accounts, eToro doesn’t charge additional fees on smart portfolios. Moreover, smart portfolios are actively managed, meaning eToro rebalances them automatically.

In addition, eToro also offers copy trading portfolios. This allows you to follow a proven trader and automatically mirror their investments. There are thousands of traders to choose from and the minimum investment is just $200 (about £160).

Who is the Best-Performing Copy Trader in 2024?

  • One of the best copy traders right now is Dario Martiskovic – a value stock investor.
  • Martiskovic returned 10.6% and 28.9% in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
  • And in 2022 and 2023 year-to-date, Martiskovic generated 33.8% and 15.3%.
  • By copying Martiskovic, you would replicate the same returns.

Stocks and Shares ISAs

Another option to consider when investing online is a Stocks and Shares ISA. While similar to general investment accounts, Stocks and Shares ISAs come with tax benefits.

For example, in the current tax year, you can invest up to £20,000 in a Stocks and Shares ISA. Any shares, funds, or bonds you add to an ISA will not attract capital gains or dividend tax. In the following tax year, your ISA limits will reset. Although the UK government used to increase ISA limits annually, it hasn’t done so for several years. As such, 2024/25 limits will likely remain at £20,000.

That said, Stocks and Shares ISAs won’t be suitable for all investors. In most cases, you’ll need to pay an annual ISA fee, which can make the process unviable. Moreover, ISA providers typically charge trading commissions. This means your investment fees could be more than what you’re saving in tax.

After all, you won’t pay any capital gains tax in the UK if your investment returns are below £6,000 this year. Plus, capital gains tax is only required after you sell your investments. In the meantime, you’ll be paying an annual ISA fee on the value of your portfolio.

Spread Betting and CFD Accounts

Spread betting and CFD accounts are another option to consider when choosing an investment platform. These account types are aimed at active traders who want access to:

  • Leverage
  • Short-selling capabilities
  • Super-low fees
  • Non-traditional markets such as commodities and forex

Both spread betting and CFDs allow you to speculate on the future value of an asset. You won’t own the asset that you trade. Rather, you’re merely speculating whether its value will rise or fall.

In the UK, spread betting and CFD markets can be traded with leverage of up to 1:30, depending on the asset. You can also place a ‘sell order’ if you believe the asset will decline in value. This allows you to profit when market prices are declining.

Spread betting and CFD trading also offer access to non-traditional markets, such as gold, natural gas, wheat, and currency pairs.

What’s the Difference Between Spread Betting and CFD Trading?

  • Spread betting and CFD trading both allow you to speculate on asset prices without taking ownership. Both allow you to go short and apply leverage.
  • However, one of the main differences is that spread betting markets always have an expiry date. You usually have the option of daily or quarterly markets. CFD markets never expire.
  • Moreover, HMRC notes that spread betting profits are exempt from capital gains tax in the UK. CFD profits, however, are subject to tax, just like traditional shares and funds.

How to Get Started With a UK Investment Platform

Before concluding this guide, we’re going to walk you through the investing process at eToro. In our view, eToro is the best investment platform in the UK.

Step 1: Open an eToro Account

First, you’ll need to visit the eToro website to open a general investment account.

Click ‘Sign Up’ to populate the registration form. Signing up is fast and simple; enter some basic personal information and contact details.

eToro registration

On the next page, you’ll be asked to confirm your mobile number. eToro will send you a text message; enter the code provided.

Step 2: Complete a Quick KYC Process

You will now need to complete a KYC (Know Your Customer) process.

Verify eToro Account

  • Upload a copy of your passport or driver’s license.
  • Upload a document showing your home address (e.g. bank statement).

As long as your documents meet the UK government’s KYC guidelines, eToro will verify them almost instantly. As such, you then deposit some investment funds into your eToro account.

Step 3: Deposit Some Investment Funds 

The deposit process at eToro is also very simple. You’ll first need to choose your preferred deposit method. If you’re looking to deposit funds instantly, choose a debit card or e-wallet.

eToro deposit methods

You can also deposit funds with a UK bank account. However, the minimum deposit increases to $500 (about £400).

Step 4: Search for an Investment 

The next step is to do some research on which investments to make. You can click on your preferred asset class to see what eToro supports, such as stocks, ETFs, or cryptocurrencies.

Buy Microsoft shares on eToro

You can also use the search box if you know which investments you want to make. In our example, we are searching for Microsoft shares. Click on ‘Trade’ next to your chosen asset to proceed.

Step 5: Invest in Your Chosen Asset 

Now that we’ve clicked on ‘Trade’, an investment box appears on our screen. This enables us to choose how much money we want to invest.

As we’re investing in Microsoft – which is listed in the US, we’ve entered our investment amount in US dollars. We’re investing $500 in our example.Buy Microsoft shares on eToro

You can place your trade by clicking on ‘Open Trade’ (if the market is open) or ‘Set Order’ (if the market is currently closed). In doing so, the shares will be added to your eToro portfolio.

Conclusion

In summary, we’ve reviewed and compared the 13 best investment platforms in the UK. Overall, we rank eToro as the best option for beginners.

You won’t pay a single penny in trading commissions when buying UK or international shares.

eToro is also popular for its smart portfolios, which enable you to invest passively without paying management fees.

eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk. Copy Trading does not amount to investment advice. The value of your investments may go up or down. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.

References

https://www.londonstockexchange.com/indices/ftse-100

https://www.wsj.com/market-data/quotes/DIS

https://www.handbook.fca.org.uk/handbook/CASS/5/5.html

https://www.fscs.org.uk/media/press/2019/apr/higher-protection-limits/

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/money-mentor/article/stocks-and-shares-isas/

https://www.gov.uk/capital-gains-tax/allowances

https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/business-income-manual/bim22015

https://www.ifa.org.uk/technical-resources/aml/uk-law-and-guidance

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/know-your-customer-guidance/know-your-customer-guidance-accessible-version

FAQs

What is the best investment platform in the UK?

What is the safest high return investment in the UK?

Which investments have the best returns in the UK?

What investing platforms are best for stocks?

Are investment platforms safe to use?

Kane Pepi
Editor

Kane Pepi is an accomplished financial and cryptocurrency writer who has an extensive portfolio of over 2,000 articles, guides, and market insights. With his expertise in specialized subjects such as asset valuation and analysis, portfolio management, and financial crime prevention, Kane has built a reputation for providing clear explanations of complex financial topics. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Finance and a Master's Degree in Financial Crime, and is currently pursuing his Doctorate degree, which focuses on investigating the complexities of money laundering in the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology sectors. Kane's wealth of knowledge and experience in the field make…