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See below our selection of the UK's best stockbrokers. Read reviews and analysis, and choose the right one for you.
eToro is the world’s largest social broker, in operation since 2006. The broker ranks amongst the most established providers on the market. eToro stands out by offering traders the opportunity to automatically copy other successful traders instead of choosing their trades themselves. For months, the eToro community requested eToro to provide Bitcoin trading. This has now been implemented by eToro and is already massively popular.
eToro is regulated by the financial regulator CySEC. The regulator ensures that traders are treated fairly by the broker and that their credit is secured with a deposit guarantee. eToro has been active since 2006 and is as such considered one of the established names on the market. To date, more than 2.8 million traders from over 190 countries have chosen eToro for their trades. The platform has been rapidly growing after eToro started to offer Litecoin trades. The platform is especially popular amongst beginners, as the trades of experienced traders can be automatically copied. In addition, traders can invest simultaneously in all major crypto currencies (such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Ripple and Litecoin) at eToro’s CryptoPortfolios.
"The social trading elements makes eToro stand out from other mainstream brokers."
Traders do not need to install software on their computers and can access the platform directly through their Internet browser. eToro additionally offers its customers a mobile version. This version is also free of cost. This makes it very easy to trade on the go. New customers can convince themselves of the trade platform without risk by using the demo account. This account type comes without a usage period limit. Traders can trade with a virtual credit of £10,000.
It only takes a few minutes to open a new eToro account. Customers need to pay in at least 200 pounds to open an account. This minimum deposit amount is lower than with other brokers.
Traders who deposit 20,000 pounds or more receive a Premium account. This offers them advantages such as a personal account manager. There are a host of different payment methods available to make deposits. Aside from classic pay ins with credit card or bank transfer, the broker also supports Giropay, Skrill, WebMoney, 1-Pay, and Neteller. It is also possible to deposit money through PayPal. Traders have the same payment methods at their disposal when withdrawing credit.
eToro traders enjoy professional customer support. The broker’s support employees can be reached via email and live chat. The answers to many – more common – questions can also be found in the expansive FAQ section. The company’s own trading centre offers traders a large selection of information and training options. This includes free training programs and webinars.
eToro has an established reputation. The option to automatically copy successful traders is particularly interesting for new traders. A new account is set up within minutes. Traders can use all common payment methods with eToro. The trade platform the company itself developed has a very beginner-friendly interface and it offers traders many useful functions. The customer support quickly and professionally answers questions. The social trading elements makes eToro stand out from other mainstream brokers.
eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.Past performance is not an indication of future results. Cryptoassets are volatile instruments which can fluctuate widely in a very short timeframe and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Other than via CFDs, trading cryptoassets is unregulated and therefore is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.
DEGIRO was founded by a team that had previously worked together at another online brokerage. The group set out to provide a trading platform that allowed clients to trade easily without incurring sky high fees. The result is a fee structure that is low in comparison to its competitors. However, those low fees come at the expense of in house research. Additionally, the lack of Forex trading is a great shame.
DEGIRO is Dutch so is regulated by the Dutch financial authorities. They are the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets and the Dutch Central Bank.
“Its low cost fee structure is a huge draw for customers who want to trade in a variety of asset classes.”
DEGIRO’s platform has been overhauled this year to offer ratios, results, news, analysts’ recommendations, and much more. Customers can place orders quickly and easily in various types. Additionally, finding shares to trade is quick thanks to a highly effective search tool that even allows clients to search according to asset class. The platform is also available in a wide range of languages so that English does not have to be your defacto language of choice. The software can be accessed through a mobile or through the web. Two factor authentication is an added security feature as an option, which you can enable with Touch ID.
Opening an account with DEGIRO is a painless and seamless process thanks to being fully online. It is quick too with account verification taking around a day and no minimum amount required as the initial deposit. There are many different types of accounts that can be opened with DEGIRO, ranging from basic to a day trader. Day trader is the account which offers the most amount of services which in practice means different types of trades are made available. Clients will need to provide a copy of a government issued ID and bank account details.
Despite a no frills approach to its online trading platform, customers can expect an above average customer support service from DEGIRO. While it can certainly improve, with particular respect to its lack of live chat function, it is a support service available in almost 20 languages. Customers can access the support through phone call or via email, though email response times are known to sometimes be slow.
Without doubt, the most attractive feature of DEGIRO is its low cost fee structure. Plus, while it does not provide the most technologically advanced platform with limited added features, what it does provide is effective and efficient. Clients can trade quickly and easily through the platform, plus they do not require a large deposit at all to start trading through DEGIRO. If you like to read investment research from professionals, this may not be the platform for you, but if you know what you want to trade already - the low commissions fees make this a very attractive prospect.
Investing involves risk of loss.
Plus500 is headquartered in Israel with subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Cyprus and Australia. Plus500 Ltd is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.
"Plus500’s trading platform is totally reliable and boasts an impressive execution rate which is reassuring to all traders."
Plus500’s uses a WebTrader platform as well as the Plus500 proprietary CFD trading platform which provides all necessary information on one screen so that there is no need to scroll to find necessary information. Four clearly-labeled top tabs make it possible to receive details about past trades and current positions without having to search for it.
Plus500’s excellent trading platform is available in two versions – a web-based platform and a mobile trading interface. What makes this platform unique is that unlike those offered by most other brokers, Plus500’s platform remains constant in all versions, which makes it possible to switch seamlessly between the platforms without having to regroup. Likewise, though most brokers offer out-of-the-box platform solutions that are limited in many ways, we’re always happy to see brokers build their own trading platforms to provide specific (and oftentimes upgraded) services to their traders.
Traders using Plus500 CFD trading platforms have access to a variety of trading features such as advanced technical analysis tools, guaranteed stop loss and more.
Plus500’s trading platform is totally reliable and boasts an impressive execution rate which is reassuring to all traders. It offers competitive spreads, no trading commissions and a leverage of up to 1:30. Remember that CFDs are a leveraged product and can result in the loss of your entire capital. Trading CFDs may not be suitable for you. Please ensure you fully understand the risks involved. Please consider the company’s Risk Disclosure Statement and User Agreement before using the services.
Plus500 offers a powerful CFD trading platform that adheres to the highest standards and allows thousands of traders to trade CFDs on over 2,000 instruments including 59 Forex pairs and ETFs, Shares, Commodities and Indices across more than 20 markets worldwide. A minimum deposit of £100 is required to open an account.
Unlike many brokers, Plus500 does not have a sales team, meaning there is no pressure selling. If you want to trade, you need only complete the application process, deposit funds, and away you go.
Plus500 was one of the first brokers to offer trading on bitcoins. The bitcoin is treated the same as the other Plus500 CFDs and can be traded in the Plus500 demo account.
The Plus500 website can be viewed in 32 different languages and visitors may be automatically redirected to the site in the language they come from even if they'd been previously browsing the web in another language and can then navigate back to another language if desired. This language switch is designed to make traders feel comfortable wherever they are.
Plus500 runs a free demo, which is unlimited in time and can allow traders to practise for as long as they need to. While an unlimited free demo is not entirely uncommon, it’s always welcome and appreciated.
Plus500 offers customer service 24/7 via email or online chat.
The Plus500 website has a user-friendly website and a user-centric approach which makes a pleasant trading experience for experienced traders. With nearly 10 years’ experience, they have a proven track record, and with no sales team, there's no pressure.
76.4% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
AvaTrade.com was set up in 2006 in Ireland and is now overseen by a number of financial authorities making it a reputable platform to trade on. Customers can use the platform to trade Forex but also CFD and Crypto. While this is not a massive range of products, it is highly competent at the services it does provide - though its Forex trading fees are not as low as its other asset class fees.
One of the ways that AvaTrade.com sets itself apart from some of its competitors is through its research arm. The research it produces is thought provoking as well as wide ranging so investors can benefit from many investment ideas. While its fees may not be the most competitive on the market, they are at least clear so that calculating trading costs is far easier than with other more complex structures seen at some competitors.
“A Forex platform that provides thought provoking research and investment ideas along with a clear and transparent fee structure”
AvaTrade.com has a website trading platform, a desktop trading and a mobile trading platform. All are user friendly making placing trades straightforward. All also have an excellent search feature, thus helping use of the platform even easier. The mobile platform is perhaps the broker’s strongest tool out of the three platform types, though it is disappointingly only available in English.
There is one glaring issue however for all three platform types, and that is the lack of two factor authentication at login. Given how sensitive much of the information saved on a user’s account is, having the most robust security procedures in place is hugely important. It is surprising to see the lack of two factor authentication on AvaTrade.com’s offering - particularly given how much development has gone into their otherwise excellent mobile trading app.
There is little to nothing to complain about when opening an account with AvaTrade.com. This online broker offers a fully electronic registration service that is lightning quick. While it does have a minimum deposit amount, it is at least low - only $100. Customers can make a deposit with a credit card - though debit cards are also accepted, alongside some electronic currencies. Customers can choose from a number of different accounts, though its Retail or Standard account is the most popular. It is possible to open a Professional trading account too, where leverage amounts are higher, but you have to prove your experience to do so.
Customer service at AvaTrade.com is sadly not open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is, though, open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, which is not bad - particularly in comparison to many of AvaTrade.com’s competitors. Plus, when it is available, it is excellent. Most notably, its live chat is great and users will find that they have their queries answered exceptionally quickly. There is also the option to make use of customer service channels through phone support or via email. Answers are always detailed and thorough. However, its LiveChat is by far the best way to get such answers.
AvaTrade.com is a highly competent broker that allows Forex specific traders to make trades quickly and efficiently - as well as answering any Crypto or CFD needs. However, its slightly clunky web and desktop platforms let it down slightly. This is a great shame as it excels in so many other areas - specifically how quickly opening an account is and its LiveChat customer support. Ultimately, if you only want to trade the small amount of asset classes it offers, it’s a good option. Many may find it too limiting not being able to access stock and bond markets however.