Best trading apps for beginners in the UK

10 min Read Published: 06 Oct 2021

Best trading apps for beginners UKIn this article we analyse the top 5 trading apps for beginners comparing the pros and cons of each. We reveal the features and costs of the best apps for share dealing including Freeview, eToro and Trading 212. Find out which trading app is best for you and how it compares to its competitors

How to pick the best trading app

There are a number of considerations when choosing the best trading app for you. Things to consider when trading shares include:

  • How user-friendly is the app?
  • Is there a minimum investment amount?
  • Does it charge commission on trades?
  • Does it charge currency conversion fees?
  • Does it charge withdrawal fees?
  • Can you invest tax-efficiently through an Individual Savings Account (ISA)?
  • Can you trade FOREX and CFD's?
  • Is your money protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?
  • Are there any other benefits such as a welcome bonus?

It would be wise to consider which of the above features are most important to you and select a trading app that is most suited to your needs.

Compare the best trading apps for beginners

Below, we provide a summary of the best trading apps for beginners, explaining the fees as well as the pros and cons of each. Later in this article, we provide a handy comparison table that compares 5 of the best share dealing apps for beginners.

eToro - Good for social trading

eToro was founded in Israel in 2007 and has over 20 million users worldwide. Its 'social trading' feature allows investors to copy the trades of other successful traders in real-time. While it is this feature that makes it particularly attractive to beginner investors, potential investors should keep in mind eToro's high minimum deposit ($200) as well as the fact that it charges inactivity and withdrawal fees.

eToro fees

  • 0% commission on share trading
  • 0.50% currency conversion fee
  • $5 withdrawal fee
  • $10 per month inactivity fee after 12 months of inactivity
  • Overnight funding fees apply and vary depending on your holding.

eToro Pros

  • Excellent social trading feature
  • Easy sign-up process
  • Advanced research tools

eToro Cons

  • High minimum deposit ($200)
  • $5 withdrawal fee charged on every withdrawal
  • $10 inactivity fee charged on inactive months after 1 year

Freetrade - Good for commission-free trading

Freetrade was founded in the UK in 2018 and provides commission-free trading on thousands of US and UK stocks. Investors can choose to invest via a General Investment Account (GIA), Individual Savings Account (ISA) or Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP). Freetrade offers a 'Freetrade Plus' account that provides access to additional stocks, priority customer service and 3% interest on cash holdings (up to £4,000). Freetrade does not offer CFD or FOREX trading as it doesn't believe in the model of encouraging investors to make the switch to high-risk, speculative products.

Freetrade fees

  • 0% commission on share trading
  • 0.45% currency conversion fee
  • £3 monthly charge for an ISA (or free with the 'plus' account)
  • No withdrawal fee
  • No inactivity fee

Freetrade Pros

Freetrade Cons

  • Limited research tools & tutorials
  • No CFDs
  • No desktop version

FinecoBank - Good for combining trading, investing and banking

FinecoBank is a relative newcomer to UK investors, having only launched in the UK in 2017, however, it has a solid history in Europe having started out in Italy in 1999. One thing that sets FinecoBank apart is that it is a fully-fledged bank which means investors can bank, trade and invest from the same account.

Finecobank fees

  • £2.95 charge per share trade
  • 0.25% platform fee per annum on the first £250,000 for funds held within a Stocks and Shares ISA. The platform fee reduces to 0.15% between £250,000 and £1m, 0.05% between £1m and £2m and no charge for anything over £2m.
  • No charge for fund trades
  • No charge for CFD trading with no added spread
  • 0% currency conversion fee
  • No withdrawal fees
  • No inactivity fees

Finecobank Pros

  • Bank, trade and invest from one account
  • No minimum deposit
  • No currency conversion fees

Finecobank Cons

  • Lack of videos and tutorials
  • Lengthy verification process
  • There are cheaper alternatives if just trading shares

Plus500 - Good for trading forex and CFDs

Plus500 was founded in Israel in 2008 and is used by approximately 270,000 users worldwide. It specialises in Contracts for Difference (CFD), a type of investment that is considered high-risk and isn't suited to all investors, especially beginners. New users can take advantage of Plus500's demo account where users are given a virtual £40,000 balance where they can place dummy trades. This can provide a valuable way of understanding how share trading works without having to take any risk.

Plus500 fees

  • 0% commission on share trading
  • Up to 0.70% currency conversion fee
  • No withdrawal fee
  • $10 per month inactivity fee after 3 months of inactivity
  • Overnight funding fees apply and vary depending on your holding. These can get expensive

Plus500 Pros

  • Useful demo account
  • Good for CFDs and FOREX
  • Can trade on mobile and desktop

Plus500 Cons

  • Overnight funding fees can be expensive
  • Inactivity fees of $10 per month apply after 3 months of inactivity
  • Limited customer support

Trading 212 - Good for video guides and tutorials

Trading 212 was launched in the UK in 2016 and was among the first of a new wave of share trading apps to offer zero-commission trading. The app provides a number of video guides and tutorials helping beginner investors to understand the process of buying and selling shares, as well as the riskier types of investments such as CFD and Forex trading. The app also has a demo trading account that allows investors to make dummy trades.

Trading 212 fees

  • 0% commission on share trading
  • 0.15%-0.50% currency conversion fee
  • No withdrawal fees
  • No inactivity fees

Trading 212 Pros

  • Useful video guides
  • User-friendly app
  • Commission-free trades

Trading 212 Cons

  • No phone support
  • Charges currency conversion fees

Trading apps for beginners - Features and fees comparison table

eToro FinecoBank Freetrade Plus500 Trading 212
FCA Regulated tick tick tick tick tick
FSCS Protected tick tick tick tick tick
Minimum Deposit $200 £0 £0 $100 £1
Currency Conversion fees 0.50% N/A 0.45% Up to 0.70% 0.15%-0.50%
Withdrawal fees $5 £0 £0 £0 £0
Inactivity fees $10 per month (after 1 year of inactivity) £0 £0 $10 per month (after 3 months of inactivity) £0
Welcome bonus N/A N/A Free share worth up to £200* N/A N/A
Stocks and Shares ISA? cross tick tick cross tick
Mobile App tick tick tick tick tick
CFD trading tick tick cross tick tick
FOREX trading tick tick cross tick tick
Trustpilot score 3.7 4.1 4.3 4.0 4.3
Visit Site Website Website Website* Website Website
Read review Review Review Review Review Review

Summary

Trading apps can provide a quick and easy way for beginner investors to gain experience buying and selling shares. Freetrade* is a trading app that stands out and is a good fit for most beginner investors. It has a low minimum deposit and new investors are given a free share worth between £3 and £200* when they sign up. It has a straightforward sign-up process and has received excellent reviews on Trustpilot.

It is worth remembering that the value of shares can go down as well as up and so it is wise to do your research. Comparing the best trading apps is a sensible first step but make sure that you do some further research into the process of buying and selling shares as markets can be volatile. Around 70% of people who trade complex instruments such as CFDs lose money, a fact that is made clear on the website of every leading platform. Always act with caution and consider the alternatives.

Further reading

We have provided some further reading below:

A beginners guide to investing

How to buy shares for beginners

Best and cheapest investment ISAs for beginners

CFD trading explained

The dangers of day trading

 

 

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