Best Stock Trading App UK 2021 – Cheapest Apps Compared

Most UK brokers now give you access to a free stock trading app. In its most basic form, this allows you to buy, sell, and trade shares on your mobile phone. This ensures that you have unfettered access to your investment account no matter where you are.

In this guide, we discuss the best free stock trading apps UK of 2021. We also explore what trading apps allow you to do – and what you need to look out for before installing one on to your phone.

The Top Stock Apps Available in the UK

We review the best stock apps in more detail further down this page, but if you’re just looking for a quick summary, here’s a list of the top apps for stock trading in 2021.

  1. eToro – Best Stock Trading App UK with 0% Commission
  2. Libertex – Low-Cost CFD Trading App with ZERO Spreads
  3. Fineco – Buy Stocks From £2.95 or Trade at 0% Commission
  4. Plus500 – CFD Trading App with Low Spreads
  5. Capital.com – Cheap CFD Stock App with Over 3,000 Markets

Best Stock Apps UK for 2021

Want to find out more about the best stock apps in the UK? Check out our expert reviews below!

1. eToro – Best Stock Trading App UK for Beginners with Zero Commission

eToro is a free stocking trading app in the truest form. That is to say, not only is its stock trading app free to use – but you can purchase shares without paying any fees or commission. This makes eToro one of the most cost-effective share dealing apps in the space.

Best of all, not only will you have access to UK shares, but heaps of international markets, too. For example, you can buy US shares on a commission-free basis, as you can with companies based in Germany, Sweden, Japan, Canada, and more. The commission-free offering available at eToro also extends to ETFs and cryptocurrencies.

If you are looking to ‘trade’ stocks on a short-term basis, you will also have the option of applying leverager and going short. The mobile application itself is available on iOS and Android devices, and you can perform all of the same account functions as found on the broker’s desktop website. In terms of payments, eToro supports UK debit/credit cards and bank accounts, as well as e-wallets.

You will need to meet a minimum deposit of $200 (about £160), which comes with a small conversion fee of 0.5%. This is because the entire platform is denominated in US dollars, meaning you can trade stocks without worrying about fluctuating exchange rates. Finally, eToro is licensed with the FCA, CySEC, and ASIC – and you can set up 2FA as an additional layer of security.

Pros:

  • $200 minimum deposit (£160)
  • Super user-friendly online stock broker
  • Buy stocks without paying any commission or share dealing charges
  • 800+ stocks listed on UK and international markets
  • Deposit funds with a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or UK bank account
  • Ability to copy the trades of other users

Cons:

  • Not suitable for advanced traders that like to perform technical analysis

75% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site

 

2. Libertex – Low-Cost CFD Trading App with ZERO Spreads

Libertex is one of the only trading apps that we have come across that charges no mark-up on the spread. This is revolutionary, as spreads sit at the core of brokerage fees. For those unaware, this is the difference between the buy and sell price that you see on your chosen asset.

For example, if the spread amounts to 1%, this means that as soon as you place an order, you will immediately be 1% in the red. Although Libertex does charge commissions, this will typically sit between 0% and 0.5%. As such, if you are looking for a low-cost trading app – Libertex might be the way to go.

We should note that Liberex is more than just a competitively-priced broker. On the contrary, this CFD trading app gives you access to heaps of popular markets. To name a few, this includes stocks, commodities, forex, and digital currencies. Libertex also offers lots in the way of research and analysis tools. There is also a great educational section on the app, which is great for newbies.

If you already know what you are doing in the online trading scene, you might also consider using MT4 at Libertex. All you need to do is download the MT4 app and log in with your Libertex credentials. In terms of reputation, Libertex has been offering online trading services since the late 1990s. In addition to this, the app is heavily regulated – which includes a license with CySEC.

Pros:

  • Zero spread CFD trading
  • Good educational resources
  • Long established broker
  • Compatible with MT4
  • Competitive spreads

Cons:

  • Only offers CFDs

3. Fineco Bank – Buy Stocks From £2.95 or Trade at 0% Commission

Fineco logo

Fineco Bank is a multi-purpose online broker that offers a fully-fledged stock trading app. What we really like about the platform is that you have access to both traditional shares and stock CFDs. As such, you can benefit from short-term and long-term trading strategies.

Regarding its share dealing offering, you can buy stocks via the Fineco Bank app at just £2.95 per trade. On top of UK stocks, the platform also gives you access to international markets. The fees here will vary slightly depending on which exchange you are interested in.

Nevertheless, all traditional share purchases will attract an annual fee of 0.25%. If you are interested in shorter-term stock CFD trading, the Fineco Bank app allows you to do this commission-free. You will also have access to leverage facilities and be able to short-sell your chosen stock.

If you also want to trade other assets, Fineco Bank offers CFDs in the form of forex, indices, bonds, and more. In terms of compatibility, the app is available on iOS and Android and can be downloaded free of charge. When it comes to minimum deposits, this stands at just £100. The Fineco Bank stock trading app is licensed by the FCA, so safety should be of no concern. In fact, your funds are also covered by the FSCS.

Pros:

  • No commissions or inactivity fees
  • Includes portfolio management tools
  • Excellent fundamental analysis and commentary
  • Simple system for tracking investment performance

Cons:

  • 25% annual management fee

Your capital is at risk

4. Plus500 – Trade Stock CFDs with Cheap Spreads

Plus500 is a UK-based CFD broker that’s made a name for it’s very cheap fees. It has moving spreads that aren’t fixed and are some of the most competitive on the market. It also doesn’t charge any commission or deposit or withdrawal fees!

This CFD trading app has a wide range of instruments, including a great selection of stocks from all around the world. As well as stocks, you can trade ETFs, indices, forex, commodities and options on the Plus500 app.

One of the best things about Plus500 is that it offers an unlimited demo trading account, so you can take as much time to get used to the platform as you like. It also offers a fantastic range of payment methods, including PayPal.

Plus500 is a UK-licensed broker that’s listed on the London Stock Exchange, so it’s very safe and secure. The platform is easy to get to grips with, but if we had any criticisms, it would be that Plus500 has limited trading tools and features in comparison to other UK stock trading apps like eToro.

Pros:

  • Cheap spreads
  • Unlimited demo account
  • Very secure broker
  • Accepts PayPal

Cons:

  • Only offers stock CFDs
  • Limited trading tools

Your capital is at risk

5. Capital.com – Cheap UK Trading App with AI Trading

new capital.com logo

Capital.com is a relatively new stock trading app that has been making waves in the UK market. Top start with, this app offers over 3,000 instruments, including a great variety of stock CFDs. This includes over 2,400 shares, which is a great amount, so you can trade companies from all over the world.

This stock app is also very cheap, with no commissions and low spreads. Another plus is that Capital.com offers spread betting as well as CFDs, meaning any earnings you make from spread betting are tax-free.

Perhaps the best thing about this stock app is it’s excellent trading tools and features. It has an innovative AI-powered trading platform with personalised trading insights, tech indicators, analytic tools and advanced charts, and it also has excellent educational resources, including webinars.

Capital.com is licensed by the FCA, so it’s a very secure app. Although it doesn’t offer PayPal, it does offer some great alternative payment methods, including Apple Pay, Neteller and Skrill.

Pros:

  • Low spreads
  • Over 2,400 shares
  • Spread betting
  • AI trading platform

Cons:

  • Can’t own stocks
  • Doesn’t accept PayPal

Your capital is at risk

What are Free Stock Trading Apps?

The term ‘free stock trading app’ is somewhat of a broad one, as it can refer to a number of different things. With that said, at its core, free stock trading apps are simply mobile applications that allow you to buy and sell shares via your phone.

Behind the stock trading app will be a fully-fledged brokerage firm, which will likely have its main trading platform hosted at its desktop website. For example, let’s suppose that you opened an account with IG.

In doing so, you would be opening a brokerage account, meaning that you can buy and sell stocks at the click fo a button. Crucially, you can either do this at the IG desktop website or through the broker’s proprietary mobile app.

On the other hand, free stock trading apps can also refer to a brokerage firm that allows you to [A] buy shares on your mobile phone and [B] invest without paying any fees or commissions. In this respect, you have the likes of eToro and Robinhood – who both facilitate commission-free share dealing. The latter, however, requires new users to join an ever-growing waiting list.

How do Free Stock Market Apps Work?

In a nutshell, free stock trading apps work much the same as an online share dealing platform. That is to say, you will be required to open an account with an FCA-regulated stock broker, deposit some funds with a UK debit/credit card, bank account, or e-wallet, and then choose which companies you wish to invest in.

Ultimately, the investment process remains exactly the same regardless of whether you trade via your phone or desktop device.

Here’s a super-basic example of how free stock trading apps work in practice:

  • You find an FCA-regulated share dealing platform that you like the look of
  • You download and install its mobile app to your phone
  • You register by providing some personal information
  • You instantly deposit £250 with your UK debit card
  • You buy £50 worth of Royal Mail shares, leaving the rest of your balance for a later date

As you can see from the above, you were able to buy Royal Mail shares via your mobile phone in a matter of minutes. Crucially, free stock trading apps typically give you access to hundreds, if not thousands of companies – both in the UK and abroad. This allows you to invest in popular US companies like Microsoft, Nike, Ford, Facebook, and Twitter at the click of a button.

What are the Benefits of Using Free Stock Trading Apps?

If you’re used to trading stocks or buying shares on your desktop device – there are several reasons why having a fully-fledged mobile brokerage app is important for your long-term investing goals.

For example:

Close a Losing Position Without Delay

Let’s suppose that you are out of the house and you have just found out that BP has announced the suspension of its dividend policy.

Naturally, negative news such as this will typically result in a mass-market sell-off, subsequently resulting in the value of the stocks going down – and in quick fashion.

As such, a seasoned investor would have their finger at the pulse by closing their BP stock position via a share app.

Those without a free stock trading app at their disposal would likely need to wait until they get back to their desktop device to close the position, which could result in extended losses.

Never Miss a Trading Opportunity

This point follows on from the section above – but in reverse. In simple terms, let’s suppose that Tesco has just released its latest quarterly results, which are significantly better than the markets had anticipated.

This would likely result in the value of Tesco stocks shooting up – and quickly. Once again, by having a free stock trading app installed on your phone, you can place a market order in a matter of seconds.

Stay in the Loop With Real-Time Stock Alerts

The best free stock trading apps come jack-packed with useful features and tools. At the forefront of this is real-time pricing alerts.

For example:

  • Let’s suppose that you are analyzing HSBC shares
  • The shares are currently priced at 380p per stock
  • Your research points to a possible market upswing if the price surpasses 400p
  • As such, you set up a pricing alert via your stock trading app
  • If and when HSBC shares hit 400p, you will receive a real-time pricing alert via your mobile phone

Check the Value of Your Portfolio With Ease

Having a free stock trading app installed onto your mobile device is also great for keeping tabs on your portfolio. Ordinarily, you would need to load up your desktop device and head over to your chosen trading platform. However, by downloading a share app onto your phone, you can check the value of your portfolio in seconds.

Are Stock Apps Safe?

In order to determine whether or not your chosen share app is safe, you first need to look at the credentials of the broker. At the forefront of this should be a fully-fledged brokerage license with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). If the underlying broker isn’t FCA-regulated, you should avoid it.

The benefits that this presents include:

  • Stock apps that are licensed by the FCA are required to keep your funds in separate bank accounts from its own. You can read more about segregated bank accounts at FCA brokerage firms here.
  • The brokerage firm must also ensure that it complies with UK anti-money laundering regulations. As such, you and your fellow investors will be required to upload a form of ID before having the capacity to make a withdrawal.
  • FCA-regulated stock apps are also required to present the risks of investing in a clear and easy-to-understand manner.

Security Features

On top of ensuring that your chosen free stocking trading app is regulated by the FCA – you should also explore what security features are offered. For example, the eToro trading app allows you to install two-factor authentication (2FA). This means that on each login attempt – whether that’s on your phone or via the main desktop website, a unique code will be sent via SMS.

Additionally, withdrawals can only be sent back to the payment method that you used to make a deposit. For example, if you loaded your stock app with a debit card, funds must be sent back to the same card. You will also benefit from the security features that you already have in place on your phone – such as a screen lock or TouchID.

Are Free Stocking Trading Apps Really ‘Free’?

In terms of downloading, installing, and subsequently using your free stocking trading app – you will not need to pay any fees. After all, the underlying brokerage firm wants you to use the app to buy, sell, and trade assets. With that being said, stock brokers and CFD platforms are in the business of making money, so you will always need to pay a fee of some sort.

For example:

  • Share Dealing Charge: If you are looking to use your stock trading app to invest in shares, then it’s likely you will need to pay a share dealing fee. This is charged when you buy shares and again when you sell them. The good news is that eToro’s free stock trading app allows you to invest in shares on a commission-free basis.
  • Stock Trading Commission: If you are looking to trade stock CFDs via your phone, then you might need to pay a trading commission. This is typically implemented as a variable percentage rate – which often comes with a minimum charge. eToro and Plus500 do not charge commissions when you trade stock CFDs, although spreads and overnight financing still applies.
  • Non-Trading Fees: Always check whether or not any non-trading fees apply. In particular, look out for inactivity fees, currency conversion fees, and deposit/withdrawal fees.

Getting Started With the Best Stock Trading App UK: Step-by-Step Walkthrough

If you’re ready to take the plunge by downloading and installing a free stock trading app, we are now going to show you what you need to do. T

he step-by-step instructions outlined below are based on popular broker eToro, which allows you to download its stock trading app for free and is our pick for the best trading app UK. You can also get your account set up in minutes and easily deposit funds with a UK payment method.

Step 1: Download and Install the eToro App

Your first port of call will be to head over to the eToro website and navigate to the mobile app section of the site. You will then be presented with the respective link for the Google Play and Apple stores. This is the safest way to install the eToro trading app – as you can be 100% sure you are downloading the official version.

Step 2: Open Account and Upload ID

Once you have installed and opened the eToro app, you will then be asked to open an account. The process takes minutes and simply requires some personal information from you. This includes your name, address, date of birth, national insurance number, and contact details.

As eToro is licensed by the FCA, it is also required to request some ID from you. You will be instructed to take a picture of your passport or driver’s license, alongside a proof of address. This can be a utility bill or bank account statement – as long as it was issued within the last three months.

Step 3: Deposit Funds

You will now be asked to fund your account. If you want to benefit from an instant deposit – opt for a debit/credit card or e-wallet. If you want to transfer the funds from your bank account, it might take a couple of working days before this is reflected in your account.

Step 4: Place a Trade or Invest

As soon as your eToro account has been funded, you can start trading stocks. With more than 800 companies listed at the broker, it might be worth browsing through its stock library to see what equities you can trade. Otherwise – if you already know which stock you want to trade, enter it into the search box.

In our example, we are looking to trade GlaxoSmithKline stocks.  After clicking on the ‘Trade’ button, you will be shown an order box. If you simply want to invest in stocks then leave this set as a buy order, and enter the amount that you wish to stake (in US dollars). As you can see from the example below, we are looking to buy $50 worth of shares.

Alternatively, if you want to short-sell a company or apply leverage – your order will transition in a stock CFD trade. This means that you will not own the underlying asset. You can read more about stock trading via CFDs here.

Finally, click on the ‘Open Trade’ button to complete your stock trade or share purchase!

Best Stock Trading App UK – The Verdict

In summary, free stock trading apps ensure that you never miss a trading opportunity again. Not only can you make that last-minute investment at the click of a button, but you can also ensure that you are able to exit a losing position without needing to wait until you get home.

With that said, you still need to ensure that the broker behind the free stock trading app is credible. On top of a fully-fledged FCA license, you need to look at things like security, tradable assets, and fees.

All in all, if you are looking for a free stock trading app that ticks the right boxes – including that of commission-free share purchases, eToro has proven popular with UK investors that are just starting out in the space.

eToro – Best Stock Trading App UKwith 0% Commission

75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

FAQs

What are free stock trading apps?

Free stock trading apps allow you to buy, sell, and trade shares on your phone. You will be doing so via a dedicated mobile app that is backed by an FCA-regulated broker or CFD platform.

What operating systems are free stock trading apps available on?

In the vast majority of cases, online brokers will only develop mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. As such, if you're using Windows, Blackberry or any other device for that matter - you will need to use your standard mobile web browser to trade.

Are free stock trading apps safe?

Largely, yes - but you still need to your homework on the underlying broker. Most importantly, make sure that the broker is regulated by the FCA - and that your funds are protected by the FSCS.

How do I fund a free stock trading app?

Most free stock trading apps allow you to deposit funds with a UK debit or credit card, as well as a bank account. Some platforms even allow you to use an e-wallet like Paypal.

Do free stock trading apps come with technical indicators?

Typically, yes - but this will vary from broker-to-broker. This is why you need to explore the merits of the broker in question before downloading its mobile app!

Kane Pepi

About Kane Pepi PRO INVESTOR

Kane Pepi is a British researcher and writer that specializes in finance, financial crime, and blockchain technology. Now based in Malta, Kane writes for a number of platforms in the online domain. In particular, Kane is skilled at explaining complex financial subjects in a user-friendly manner. Academically, Kane holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, a Master’s Degree in Financial Crime, and he is currently engaged in a Doctorate Degree researching the money laundering threats of the blockchain economy. Kane is also behind peer-reviewed publications - which includes an in-depth study into the relationship between money laundering and UK bookmakers. You will also find Kane’s material at websites such as MoneyCheck, the Motley Fool, InsideBitcoins, Blockonomi, Learnbonds, and the Malta Association of Compliance Officers.

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