eToro: Buy Shares with 0% Commission

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Best Share Dealing Account UK – Cheapest Accounts Revealed

Thinking about buying, selling, and trading stocks online? If so, you will need to open a share dealing account with a reliable broker. In this guide, we explore the best share dealing platforms UK of 2021. We also compare share dealing accounts in terms of fees, commissions, share markets, customer support, and regulation, to help you find the right account for you.

Key points on share dealing accounts

  • Share dealing is a type of investing that involves purchasing company shares. Investors then earn a profit if the stocks appreciate in market value or through dividend payouts. 
  • Every share is a single unit of ownership in a publicly-traded company. 
  • When a company’s market value increases so does its share price and market cap. 
  • Shares are traded on stock exchanges that are fully regulated and place standards on both the companies that list their stocks and investors who trade shares. As such, the majority of retail share dealers will exchange shares through an intermediary, otherwise known as a stockbroker.

 

Best Share Dealing Account UK List

If you don’t have time to read our guide in full, here’s a list of the best share dealing account UK and the top alternatives.

  • eToro – Social and copy trading share dealing platform with 0% commission
  • Libertex – Trusted CFD Broker with Zero-Spread Offering
  • Fineco Bank – Low-cost share dealing platform with ISA accounts
  • Plus500 – Affordable CFD trading platform known for low spreads.
  • AvaTrade – Top-rated Global CFD and Forex Broker with Commission-Free Trading
  • IG – Share dealing broker with over 10,000 shares
  • Hargreaves Lansdown – Renowned UK share dealing platform
  • Halifax – Best Share Dealing Account UK with Low Non-Trading Fees
  • Lloyds – Top-rated Share Dealing Account with Access to UK, US, and EU Exchanges
  • Capital.com – CFD share dealing broker with more than 2,000 shares

What are Online Share Dealing Accounts?

Put simply, if you want to buy and sell stocks online, you will need to open a share dealing account with a broker. In doing so, you will be able to access the UK and international stock markets from the comfort of your home. In turn, your chosen broker will charge you a fee every time you place a trade.

Below we list the typical process associated with online share dealing accounts.

  • First, you need to choose a stock broker that meets your needs
  • You then need to open a UK share dealing account with your chosen broker
  • Deposit funds with a UK payment method (debit card, bank account, etc.)
  • Choose which company you wish to invest in
  • Enter the number of shares that you want to purchase

As you can see from the above, the best share dealing accounts make it super easy to buy stocks online. In fact, the process of selling your shares and withdrawing the proceeds back to your bank account is just as straight forward. With that being said, the most difficult part of the process is knowing which share dealing account to open.

After all, there are literally hundreds of providers active in the UK, so you need to spend some time thinking about what your priorities are. In our view, the best share dealing accounts are those that offer heaps of stocks, low fees and commissions, and top-notch customer support. Most importantly, you’ll need to ensure that your chosen share dealing account is regulated by the FCA.

Cheap Share Dealing Accounts UK

To help you navigate your way through the Wild West of the best online share dealing accounts, we are now going to discuss our top picks of 2021. Each of the platforms listed below offer low fees, give you access to the several UK and international markets and have a strong regulatory standing.

Let’s take a look at the best and cheapest share dealing accounts in the UK.

1. eToro – Best All-Round UK Share Dealing Account

eToro is our top-rated share dealing account for several reasons. First and foremost, the online broker is one of the most user-friendly share dealing platforms in the space. You don’t need to have any prior knowledge of buying shares, as eToro makes it easy to invest. Once you have opened an account and made a deposit, you will have access to 800+ stocks.

This includes companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, as well as 16 international markets. As such, you can access stocks in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Germany, France, and more. eToro also makes our pick as the best share dealing account as it allows you to invest on a commission-free basis. Ordinarily, online brokers charge a fee every time you place a trade. But, in the case of eToro, you can invest without paying any fees at all.

Share dealing accounts - eToro offers a wide range of stocks as well as fractional share trading

Additionally, eToro allows you to invest from just $50 per trade. As the broker supports fractional ownership, there is no need to buy full shares. For example, even though Facebook might be priced at $250 per stock – you can buy just $50 worth. This means that you are buying 1/5 of a share. We should also mention the eToro Copy Trading feature that the platform offers. Put simply, this allows you to select a seasoned investor and then copy their trades. This is great for passive investing.

The Copy Trading feature is also ideal if you want to invest in the stock markets, but you don’t know which companies to choose. In terms of getting started, it takes just minutes to set up a share dealing account. You will need to meet a $50 minimum deposit, which you can do with a UK debit/credit card, bank account, or e-wallet. Finally, your funds at eToro are protected by the FSCS. The platform also holds a license with the FCA, CySEC, and ASIC.

eToro fees:

Commission 0%
Deposit Fee Free
Withdrawal fee $5
Inactivity fees $10 a month after 12 months of inactivity

Pros:

  • 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
  • FCA and FSCS protections
  • Access to zero commission trading
  • User-friendly mobile trading app offering the same functionality as the web-based platform
  • Broad range of investment options from CFDs to real stocks and ETFs

Cons:

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

67% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site

2. Libertex – Trusted CFD Broker with Zero-Spread Offering

If you want to trade CFD derivatives and speculate on the underlying prices of assets such as forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies, (exchange traded funds) ETFs, and more, Libertex is a name to remember. Is Libertex the best CFDlibertex broker for your trading needs?

Libertex was established in 1997 and has been providing CFD trading services to its clients ever since. This well-known investment platform has more than two decades of financial market and online trading experience, with just under 3 million clients worldwide, including both retail traders and expert investors. 

Best share dealing accounts - Libertex offers Stock CFDs

 

Tradable assets

First and foremost, keep in mind that trading on Libertex is not the same as traditional investing in the sense that you do not own the underlying asset. Instead, you’ll be trading CFDs on the fundamental price of an asset like forex, stocks, ETFs, options, and more. A contract for difference, also known as a CFD, is a sort of financial derivative that allows you to trade market price movements without owning the underlying asset. 

With a Libertex live trading account, you’ll have access to over 50 stock CFDs with the highest liquidity and market volatility. These include blue-chip companies listed on the US exchanges as well as major stocks listed on EU and Latin American markets. 

Payment options

Libertex accepts credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, SEPA/international bank wire transfers, Skrill, Neteller, and other payment methods. With no deposit fees to worry about, your funds are credited to your account immediately. Wire transfers, on the other hand, can take between 3-5 business days to process. 

Is Libertex safe? 

Libertex is a CFD trading platform used by Indication Investments Ltd. a Cyprus Investment company that is regulated by CySEC (the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission) with CIF licence number 164/12. 

Libertex Fees: 

Commission Variable commissions and zero-spreads
Deposit Fee Free
Withdrawal fee From £0 based on the withdrawal method
Inactivity fees 10 EUR per month after 180 days.

Pros

  • Low commissions and zero-spreads
  • No deposit fees and low non-trading fees
  • Supports a wide range of payment methods
  • Regulated by CySEC
  • Access to MT4 and MT5
  • Wide range of investment options

Cons

  • Lack of fundamental data
  • Only offers CFD trading

83% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

3. Fineco Bank – Low-cost Share Dealing with ISA Accounts

Fineco ETF brokerFineco Bank is a top share dealing platform for long-term investors. The brokerage firm offers over 10,000 shares from the UK, US, and mainland Europe, as well as thousands more funds to help you build a custom and diversified portfolio. It also offers an ISA (Individual Savings Account), so you can invest your money without having to worry about capital gains tax.

This platform offers incredibly low prices for share dealing. UK share deals cost just £2.95 per trade while US share deals cost just £3.95. If you want to invest in funds, Fineco Bank charges a very competitive annual management fee of 0.25%. Fund dealing is completely free and you can get started investing with just a £100 minimum investment.

Share dealing accounts - Fineco offers 20,000+ financial instruments

Notably, Fineco Bank does a lot more than just share dealing. This brokerage also supports CFD trading, bond dealing, and options trading. So, you can easily develop a complex portfolio that includes stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, and even forex. Stock CFD trades are commission-free, while forex trades start with spreads as low as 0.8 pips.

Fineco Bank has an excellent desktop investment platform called PowerDesk. It includes dozens of technical studies and advanced drawing tools to help you monitor the market. However, one disappointment is that this platform isn’t available on mobile devices. Fineco’s mobile trading app is primarily designed to help you monitor your portfolio and enter orders, and it has few features for in-depth technical analysis.

Fineco Bank is regulated by the Bank of Italy and is publicly traded on the Milan Stock Exchange. The broker is also regularly rated as the #1 broker in Italy. Fineco Bank offers support by phone and email if you ever need assistance with your account.

Fineco Bank fees:

Commission As low as £2.95 per trade
Deposit Fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free
Inactivity fees None

 

Pros:

  • Dealing on over 10,000 global shares
  • Offers ISA accounts for tax-free investing
  • Very low fixed commissions for share dealing
  • Supports CFD trading on forex, indices, and more
  • Powerful desktop trading platform
  • Regulated by the Bank of Italy

Cons:

  • Mobile app doesn’t include technical analysis tools

Your capital is at risk.

4. Plus500 – Commission-Free Share CFD Trading Platform

Plus500 is also popular with UK traders. The online platform specializes in CFD products, meaning that you will be ‘trading’ shares as opposed to investing in them. This is highly conducive if you want to actively trade on a short-term basis. For example, Plus500 allows you to choose from buy and sell positions on each of its 2,000+ stock CFDs.

In Layman’s terms, this means that you can profit from both the rise and fall of your chosen instrument. Plus500 is also suitable for short-term trading because it allows you to apply leverage. When trading stock CFDs, this stands at 1:5 for UK retail clients. As such, by holding a balance of £100, you would be able to trade with £500. Higher leverage limits are offered on other asset classes – such as indices, commodities, and forex.

share dealing accounts - buy share CFDs on Plus500

Irrespective of what stock CFDs you wish to trade at Plus500, the platform does not charge any commissions. Much like eToro, it’s only the spread that you need to pay. You will, however, need to pay overnight financing fees if you plan to keep your leveraged position open past market hours. This is why Plus500 is best suited for short-term trading. In terms of its investment platform, you can access Plus500 via its desktop website. You can also trade on your phone via the Plus500 mobile app.

If you do like the sound of Plus500, opening an account takes minutes. You will need to provide some personal information and then meet a minimum deposit of £100. The platform allows you to do this with a debit/credit card, bank transfer, and e-wallet. There are no fees to deposit or withdraw funds, which is great.  Plus500UK Ltd is authorized & regulated by the FCA (#509909), so you should have no concerns with safety. Its parent company is publicly-listed on the London Stock Exchange, too.

Plus500 platform fees:

Commission 0%
Deposit Fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free
Inactivity fees $10 per quarter after 3 months inactivity

 

Pros:

  • Commission-free CFD platform – only pay the spread
  • Thousands of financial instruments across heaps of markets
  • Retail clients can trade stock CFDs with leverage of up to 1:5
  • You can short-sell a stock CFD if you think its value will go down
  • Takes just minutes to open an account and deposit funds

Cons:

  • CFDs only
  • More suitable for experienced traders

72% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site.

 

 

5. AvaTrade – Top-rated Global CFD and Forex Broker with Commission-Free Trading

AvaTrade is a popular FX and CFD broker that was founded in 2006 and is authorised by several financial regulators, including the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Central Bank ofavatrade-logo Ireland. Users can trade forex, CFDs, and cryptocurrencies without paying a commission at AvaTrade. 

AvaTrade provides access to forex trading as well as a broad range of CFD derivatives, covering stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds, commodities, and indices. Furthermore, AvaTrade has a wealth of resources and tools for new traders, including a free paper trading account with $100,000 in virtual funds to practise your trading strategy in a risk-free environment, as well as access to more than 250 financial instruments, including crypto trading for professional traders. 

share dealing accounts - AvaTrade stock CFDs

Fees and commissions

The only trading fees you’ll pay with AvaTrade are the bid-ask spread and the overnight financing fee if you keep positions open past the usual trading hours. When it comes to non-trading fees, there are no deposit or withdrawal fees, as well as no account fees. However, after three months of inactivity, AvaTrade brokerage accounts are subject to a $50 inactivity fee. Following that, after one year of inactivity, a $100 annual administration fee is withdrawn from the trading account.

Payments 

As previously stated, AvaTrade offers a variety of payment options when depositing or withdrawing funds. Credit cards, wire transfers, and e-payments like Skrill, WebMoney, and Neteller are all supported.

Is AvaTrade safe? 

AvaTrade is a global CFD and forex broker that’s regulated in multiple jurisdictions by several top-tier financial institutions such as ASIC, and Japan’s Financial Services Agency. 

According to AvaTrade, client funds and data are protected by:

  • 256-bit SSL encryption throughout the site
  • Implements McAfee Secure to combat credit card fraud and identity theft
  • Embedded True-Site identity assurance seal
  • Client funds are held in segregated bank accounts   

AvaTrade Platform Fees: 

Commission 0% commission
Deposit Fee Free
Withdrawal fee None
Inactivity fees $50 per quarter after 3 months

Pros

  • Competitive non-trading fees
  • Broad range of payment methods to use
  • Low $100 minimum deposit 
  • Regulated by several top-tier financial authorities
  • Supports award-winning automated trading platforms such as Duplitrade and ZuluTrade

Cons

  • High inactivity fee
  • Lack of traditional instruments 

71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

6. IG – Trusted UK Share Dealing Platform With Competitive-Fees

IG covers multiple bases in the online trading space. Not only can you open a traditional share dealing account, but you can also trade CFDs. The platform also offers spread betting services – meaning that your profits will not be liable for UK capital gains tax. In the case of its share dealing services, you will have the ability to buy and sell over 10,000 equities.

This makes IG one of the most comprehensive in the space. Crucially, you will have access to thousands of UK companies across both the London Stock Exchange and the AIM. You can also trade international shares from several markets. This includes the US, Australia, South Africa, and more. When it comes to fees, this depends on the underlying instrument. For example, buying shares at IG costs £8 per trade.

Share dealing accounts - IG shares trading

But, if you managed to place 3 or more orders in the prior month, then this is reduced to £3. If you want to trade share CFDs, then you will pay a variable fee. This will vary depending on the market. For example, UK stock CFDs come with a commission of 0.10% (£10 minimum). US share CFDs cost $0.02 per stock, at a minimum of $15. Both the CFD and spread betting departments offer leverage facilities, as well as the option of ‘going short’.

This is ideal if you think that a stock is overpriced. It is also important to make reference to the platform’s long-standing reputation in the brokerage scene. Not only was IG launched back in 1974, but its parent company is listed on the London Stock Exchange. The platform has since attracted over 239,000 clients worldwide, and it is in possession of multiple regulatory licenses. This includes the FCA – so your money is safe at all times.

IG fees:

Commission £8 per trade. Reduced to £3 when you place 3 or more trades in the previous month.
Deposit Fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free
Inactivity fees £12 a month after 2 years inactivity

 

Pros:

  • Trusted UK broker with a long-standing reputation
  • Good value share dealing services
  • Leverage and short-selling also available
  • Spread betting and CFD products
  • Access to UK and international markets
  • Great research department

Cons:

  • Minimum deposit of £250
  • US stocks have a $15 minimum commission

7. Hargreaves Lansdown – Best Share Dealing Account for Reputation

Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the most recognized share dealing account providers in the UK arena. This is because the platform has amassed a loyal following over the past few decades – especially those that wish to enter the stocks and shares space for the first time.

For example, it takes just minutes to set up an account at Hargreaves Lansdown, and you can deposit funds instantly with a UK debit card.  Then, you will have access to thousands of financial instruments across several markets. On top of UK and international shares, you can also invest in UK Gilts and corporate bonds. Investment trusts, ETFs, and mutual funds are also available.

Hargreaves Lansdown is also popular with UK investors that wish to gain access to IPOs. The online broker offers some of the best market insights and analysis pieces, too. For example, it offers in-depth research on major shares – covering everything from earnings reports to dividend payments, and even market projections. This is great if you want a share dealing account that also offers top-notch research.

Share dealing accounts - Hargreaves Lansdown

On the flip side, Hargreaves Lansdown can be an expensive option. For example, you will pay an entry rate of £11.95 per share investment – which you will need to pay at both ends of the order. You can get this price down, but you will need to be actively trading. Crucially, although a fee of £11.95 might not be an issue if you plan to invest large volumes, it will if you want to start off with small amounts. Finally, Hargreaves Lansdown is licensed by the FCA and your funds are protected by the FSCS.

Hargreaves Lansdown fees:

Commission £5.95 – £11.95 per trade
Deposit Fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free
Inactivity fees N/A


Pros:

  • Thousands of UK and international shares supported
  • Also offers bonds, investment trusts, ETFs, and mutual funds
  • Gain access to newly launched UK IPOs
  • Easily deposit and withdraw funds without being charged
  • Industry-leading research and analysis department
  • Telephone customer support is highly rated

Cons:

  • Entry-level commission of £11.95 per trade
  • Doesn’t allow you to trade CFDs or apply leverage

Your capital is at risk. 

8. Halifax – Best Share Dealing Account UK with Low Non-Trading Fees

Launched in 1996 as a subsidiary of Halifax Bank and was later bought by Lloyds Banking Group. Halifax Share Dealing is a UK-based stockbroker that is authorized by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. To uselogo-halifax Halifax’s services you need to be a permanent resident in the United Kingdom. 

Halifax has low non-trading fees, offers free deposits and withdrawals, and supports a seamless onboarding process with the option to sign up to a tax-exempt ISA account. 

Fees and commissions

On the flip side, Halifax has above-average trading fees for stocks and ETFs. For example, to trade US stocks you’ll be charged £9.50 per trade and a 1.25% exchange rate for international trades. But, if you use the ShareBuilder to create a regular savings plan and invest a minimum of £20 a month, then trades cost just £2 each. 

Share Dealing accounts - Halifax investing in shares

While there are no inactivity fees, deposit or withdrawal fees associated with this best share dealing account, there is a £36 annual administration fee. The minimum deposit at Halifax is $0, which is ideal for beginner traders who want to start buying and selling assets with a low-cost share dealing account. 

Payments and regulations

At Halifax, GBP is the only available base currency. This means that if you buy and sell international assets, Halifax will charge a 2.99% conversion fee. Halifax does not charge any deposit fees and you can add funds to your account via a debit card, credit card, or bank transfer. Wire transfers can take a few business days, while credit/debit card deposits are instant and more convenient. 

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority regulates Halifax making it one of the best ISA share dealing accounts across the board. Should Halifax go into liquidation, users are eligible for compensation up to £85,000 by the FCA. 

Halifax Fees: 

Commission £9.50 per trade on US stocks
Deposit Fee Free
Withdrawal fee None
Inactivity fees None

Pros

  • Regulated by the FCA
  • Easy and fully digital onboarding process
  • Access to UK tax-exempt ISAs.
  • Low non-trading fees
  • No inactivity fees

Cons

  • No desktop platforms or mobile trading apps available
  • High stock trading fees and currency conversion fees

Your capital is at risk.

9. Lloyds – Top-rated Share Dealing Account with Access to UK, US, and EU Exchanges

Lloyds is one of the largest global financial institutions. As well as offering banking, lending, and insurance services, Lloyds also provides retail share dealing accounts for active trading. With Lloyds, you can access thelogo-lloyds full UK stock market as well as those in the United States and Europe. Even better, this broker offers over 2,000 mutual funds for trading as well as pre-built portfolios for passive investing. 

What can you buy with a Lloyds Share Dealing Account? 

Lloyds currently offers stock trading on all major shares listed on the LSE (London Stock Exchange), and all FTSE 250 constituents. This includes some of the hottest shares such as Tesco and Royal Mail. 

Share dealing accounts - Lloyds investing in shares

Lloyds Share Dealing Charges, Fees and Commission

Lloyds share dealing accounts charge a £40 annual fee, but you can set up an individual savings account (ISA) without any added fees. In addition to that £40 annual fee you’ll need to pay £11 per trade. 

Alternatively, it costs just £1.50 per trade to buy or sell funds, and £1.50 to buy assets if you use the Lloyds scheduled investment service. 

Is Lloyds safe? 

It’s worth noting that Lloyds is highly regulated and under quite a lot of public scrutiny. All investments are regulated by the UK’s FCA. Furthermore, given the fact that Lloyds is a publicly-traded equity, making up the FTSE 100, it publishes its finances quarterly for market analysts to review. 

Lloyds Fees: 

Commission £11 per trade to buy and sell stocks
Deposit Fee Free
Withdrawal fee None
Inactivity fees None

Pros

  • Access to UK, US, and EU stock markets
  • Offers over 2,000 mutual funds
  • Enables low-cost regular share trading
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Lloyds Banking Group PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LON: LLOY)

Cons

  • Lack of a mobile trading app
  • High commission for share trades

Your capital is at risk.

 

10. Capital.com – Trade Over 2,000 Shares with Tight Spreads

Capital.com shares a lot of similarities with Plus500, not least because the platform also specializes in CFD products. In the equities department, this covers over 2,000+ stock CFDs. Not only does this include heaps of UK-based shares, but firms in the US, too. This means that you can easily trade share CFDs like Amazon, Apple, and Disney.

On top of stocks, you can also trade CFDs in the form of commodities, cryptocurrencies, forex, and indices. Much like in the case of the Plus500, Capital.com allows you to trade on a commission-free basis. This is the case with all of the asset classes supported by the platform. We should also note that Capital.com offers some of the best spreads in the online trading scene. This is especially the case with major stocks and currencies, as well as commodities like gold and oil.

In terms of its target market, Capital.com is arguably suited for traders of all skill-sets. For example, seasoned traders are looked after as Capital.com offers heaps of technical indicators and chart reading tools. At the other end of the spectrum, newbies will have access to a fully-fledged educational department. In fact, the platform even offers a dedicated mobile app that teaches you everything you need to know about online trading.

On top of top-notch research and educational tools, Capital.com is also rated in the analysis department. This is because the platform offers everything from fundamental news, market insights, webinars, and even its own Capital.com TV. This ensures that you are kept up to date with key market developments. In terms of getting started, Capital.com allows you to open an account with a minimum deposit of just £20. You can do this with a debit/credit card, bank transfer, or e-wallet.

Capital.com platform fees:

Commission 0% (spreads on CFDs)
Deposit Fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free
Inactivity fees $10 a month after 12 months of inactivity

 

Pros:

  • Trading on hundreds of US and UK shares
  • Educational app for new traders
  • Minimum deposit of just £20
  • AI assistant identifies your weak points
  • Trade ideas generated daily
  • Excellent charting and analysis interface
  • 100% commission free trading

Cons:

  • Cannot build custom trading strategies

Best Share Dealing Account – Comparison

Broker Number of Shares CFDs or Real Shares? Pricing Structure Price for Trading Amazon Shares Account Fee
eToro 800 stocks Both Market Spreads 0% commission, spread fees are included in the buying price None
Libertex 50+ Stock CFDs CFDs Commission -0.0003% commission None
Fineco Bank Covers 13 stock markets Both Commission & bid-ask spreads $3.95 fixed commission per trade None
Plus500 1,000+ stocks CFDs Spreads Spread of 24.16 pips or 0.75% None
Capital.com Provides commission-free real stocks from 7 exchanges and 3,700 stock CFDs Both Spreads Spread of 24.09 pips None
AvaTrade 600+ stock CFDs CFDs Spreads Typical spread of 0.13% None
IG 16,000+ stock CFDs plus UK-traders can trade real stocks from 8 markets Both Trading commission for share CFDs, real shares, and options. Spreads for forex, stock index CFDs, commodity CFDs, and bond CFDs Minimum spread of 0.10% None
Hargreaves Lansdown Covers stocks listed on 21 international exchanges Real shares Fees for stocks are volume-based. For example 0-9 trades in the last month equates to £11.95 commission per trade Fees for stocks are volume-tiered.  None
Halifax Offers stocks listed on 9 stock markets Real shares Flat fee of £9.50 per trade £9.50 per trade. £36 administration fee per annum
Lloyds Supports stock trading on 9 exchanges Real shares £11 per trade to buy and sell stocks £11 per trade. For basic accounts there is no fee, for premium accounts the total annual account maintenance fee is £336. For a breakdown of all the account types and their relevant fees click here

How does share dealing work?

Share dealing is a way to buy and sell shares in publicly-traded companies, allowing you to manually build a diversified investment portfolio. 

A share is a unit of ownership in a business. The value of a share is calculated by dividing the company’s market value by the number of shares available for purchase. This is a key metric to consider when selecting the best shares to buy right now. 

Let’s look at an example

If a company listed on the London Stock Exchange is valued at £100 million and there are 50 million shares available to buy, the share value is £2. However, this figure can increase or drop depending on market volatility, conditions and macroeconomic events. 

Share dealing is a type of investing. It allows you to trade shares in publicly listed companies using a stocks and shares ISA

Purchasing shares

The two most popular UK stock exchanges that allow you to buy and sell shares are:

  • The LSE (London Stock Exchange) – This stock market lists more than 3,000 companies, covering both multinationals and smaller-cap UK firms. 
  • The Alternative Investment Market (AIM) – This stock market lists more than 3,500 companies, and provides access to shares in smaller, start-up companies that are still in the research and development stage. 

London Stock Exchange

AIM-listed companies are subject to less strict regulatory requirements in contrast to LSE-listed shares. In comparison, this means AIM shares inherently carry greater risk and volatility. 

Some of the best share dealing accounts allow you to buy and sell shares in companies listed on international exchanges including the NASDAQ, NYSE, and Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKG). 

Choosing the right type of share dealing broker

When opening a share dealing account with a stock broker you’ll get unbridled access to the trading platform, but you can also choose how much they participate in the trades.

  • Execution-only Brokers allow you to buy and sell shares independently without any investment advice. This means you have full custody of your portfolio of stocks. 
  • Advisory brokers give you support and financial advice on which shares are best to buy and sell right now. Nevertheless, the decision-making process is still up to you. 
  • Discretionary brokers make trades on your behalf and typically come with a portfolio management charge and a financial adviser.

How to Choose the Best Share Dealing Account for You

So now that we have covered the best providers of 2021, we now need to discuss how you can compare share dealing accounts and find the best share dealing account for yourself. This will ensure that you are 100% certain the platform meets your needs prior to signing up.

Invest in Shares or Trade Stock CFDs

Choose a share dealing accountThe first question that you need to ask if the provider is whether you will be ‘investing’ in shares or ‘trading’ stock CFDs. If it’s former, this means that you will be buying the shares in the traditional sense, meaning that you retain full ownership of the stock.

You will be entitled to dividends and will remain a stockholder until you sell the shares. The best option in this respect is eToro, as the platform does not charge any commissions or monthly/annual fees.

If you join a platform that specializes in stock CFDs, then you will be trading the shares on a short-term basis. You can choose from a long or short position, and even apply leverage. Stock trading is focused on smaller profits, but on a much more frequent basis. CFD platforms like Plus500 even allow you to earn dividends on your long positions.

Licence

Once you have established the type of investing/trading that your share dealing account provider offers, you then need to look at regulation. Put simply, you should never join a trading platform if it is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Crucially, FCA brokers must follow a range of regulatory standards, such as:

  • Keeping client funds separate from their own working capital
  • Asking all clients to upload ID
  • Clearly present the risks associated with investing and trading
  • Ensuring that your leverage account does not go into negative territory

Ultimately, the best share dealing accounts will ensure that your funds are kept safe at all times.

Tradable Assets

Trade markets and heaps of financial assets with eToro

You then need to explore what assets you will be able to gain exposure to. In the case of stocks, explore what markets the broker covers. For example, is it just UK shares that you can invest in, or can you also buy international stocks?

If you are interested in other asset classes – such as investment trusts, ETFs, or mutual funds – you will need to check whether this is offered before opening an account.

Fees

Potentially one of the most important metrics to consider is that of fees. In the vast majority of cases, UK share dealing account providers will charge you a commission every time you make a purchase or sale. This can vary considerably, which is why you need to do some homework.

For example, Hargreaves Lansdown charges £11.95 when you buy shares, and again when you offload them. eToro, on the other hand, charges no commissions at all. If you are trading share CFDs, you can normally do this on a commission-free basis. But, you do need to pay attention to the spread, as this is an indirect fee.

Share dealing fees – admin and maintenance fees

Most brokers will charge a fee to keep your share dealing account open. The frequency of these fees varies depending on the stock trading platform. Some charge a fee every month, quarter, or year. Furthermore, the charge could either be a percentage of your portfolio’s total worth or a fixed fee. 

For example, while eToro does not charge an account maintenance fee, Lloyds charges a premium account monthly account maintenance fee of £28, or a total annual account maintenance fee of £336. 

Best share dealing accounts - eToro fees

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Commission fees

Most brokers nowadays facilitate commission-free trading on real stocks and stock CFDs. Some popular and trusted examples include eToro, Capital.com, AvaTrade, and Plus500. This 0% commission offering has given rise to the so-called discount brokers or free trading platforms. 

You’ll also get some global forex and CFD brokers like Libertex that charge low trading commissions but zero bid-ask spreads. But, for the most part more traditional brokers charge a fixed commission such as Lloyds, Hargreaves Lansdown, and Halifax. For example, Halifax charges a flat fee of £9.50 per trade, and Fineco Bank charges a fixed commission of £2.95 per trade on UK shares and $3.95 per trade on US shares. However, when it comes to share CFDs Fineco Bank charges a fixed commission of £0 on FTSE 100, US and EU share CFDs. 

Halifax Commission charges

Volume-tiered commission

Some top-rated stock brokers like Hargreaves Lansdown charge less commission if you execute higher trading volumes each month. To see this volume-based pricing model in action let’s examine Hargreaves Lansdown’s share dealing charges:

Trading volume previous month Dealing charge
0-9 deals  £11.95
10-19 deals £8.95
20 or more deals £5.95

The type of commission you pay can be broken down into three main categories: 

  • Frequent trader rate – some stock brokers charge lower fees if you trade frequently in high volumes as we saw with the example above from Hargreaves Lansdown. 
  • Telephone trading – this is typically a percentage fee of the total amount you trade. Online trading is more cost-effective in comparison. 
  • Regular investing – a handful of brokers offer lower fees by combining your stock investment with other trades to qualify for cheaper rates. 

Transfer fees

If you transfer existing stocks from your old brokerage account to a new broker you could be charged a fixed fee per holding. 

Inactivity fees

The majority of brokers charge an inactivity fee after a set period, such as three or twelve months. For example, eToro charges $10 per month after 12 months of inactivity, while Capital.com does not charge a penalty for inactivity. This is something you need to pay attention to when choosing the right share dealing account for you. If you plan to make a handful of stock investments and then hold them for the long term, you’ll want to opt for a broker that doesn’t charge inactivity fees. 

What is Stamp Duty Tax?

Every time you buy shares listed on UK exchanges, you’ll have to pay a 0.5% stamp duty tax on the total buy price. Investors use an online system dubbed CREST to declare and pay this tax. However, eToro absorbs Stamp Duty and Financial Transaction Tax for its users where applicable. This translates to an extra saving of 0.5% in the UK, 1% in Ireland, 0.3% in France, and 0.1% in Italy. 

share dealing accounts - trade real stocks and stock CFDs with eToro

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

What is Capital Gains Tax (CGT)? 

Capital Gains Tax is the tax charged on profits made from trading assets. CGT is only chargeable on realised profits, not the intrinsic value of an asset. For example, let’s say you buy £10,000 worth of shares in Tesco stock and later sell for £50,000. This means a return of £40,000. You’ll then pay Capital Gains Tax on £40,000 only. 

You pay Capital Gains Tax on any shares purchased that aren’t held in an Individual Savings Account (ISA) or a Personal Equity Plan (PEP). 

Trading Tools and Features

While some share dealing account providers offer a skin-and-bones service, others come jam-packed with features and tools. Some of the most important to look out for are:

  • Trading Platform: Look to see whether you can buy and sell shares through the broker’s website, or if you need to download and install software. If you plan to actively trade, you might be best choosing a platform that supports MT4.
  • Market Insights: Regardless of whether you plan to invest or trade, you should choose a platform that offers market insights. This might come in the form of fundamental news developments or in-depth research.
  • Educational Tools: If you are just starting out in the world of online shares, you’ll want to choose a share dealing account provider that offers educational tools. This will help you become a better investor – and should include guides, videos, explainers, and webinars.
  • Technical Indicators: Seasoned stock traders have a good understanding of the technicals – meaning that they are able to interpret chart trends. In order to do this, you will need to use an online share dealing platform that offers technical indicators. This should be complemented by chart drawing tools.

Usability & Mobile App

It is also important to assess whether or not the share dealing account is suitable for newbies. If it isn’t, you might find it difficult to navigate yourself through the site. If a user-friendly platform is what you are after, your best bet is eToro. This is because the broker is suitable for investors of all shapes and sizes – and so the prior trading experience is not required.

Similarly, you should also explore whether or not the broker allows you to trade on your mobile phone. The best share dealing platforms offer a native investment app, meaning that you can buy and sell stocks on the move. In most cases, the broker will offer support for both iOS and Android devices.

Best share dealing accounts - eToro mobile trading app

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Payment Methods

You will, of course, be required to deposit funds into your share dealing account. As such, you need to choose a broker that offers your preferred funding method. Most platforms allow you to deposit with a UK debit/credit card and bank transfer.

But, if you want to deposit with an e-wallet, fewer platforms support this. eToro, Plus500, and Capital.com each offer e-wallet facilities. You also need to check what deposit/withdrawal fees are applicable. You can normally check this out from the broker’s website before opening an account.

How to Get Started with a Share Dealing Account

So now that you know how to choose a provider, we are now going to show you how to get started with a share dealing account today.

The process of signing up, depositing funds, and making an investment is fairly similar across all UK brokers. However, in order to show you the process with step-by-step instructions, the following guidelines are based on top-rated share dealing provider eToro.

Step 1: Open a Share Dealing Account

All FCA-regulated brokers require you to open an account. The process takes just minutes, and simply requires some personal information.

eToro open a share dealing account

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

This includes:

  • Full name
  • Home address
  • Nationality
  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance Number
  • Email address
  • Mobile number

You will need to choose a username and password, as well as confirm your email address and mobile number.

Step 2: Identity Verification

eToro – and all FCA-regulated brokers for that matter, need to confirm the identity of each and every account holder. As such, you will be asked to submit some documents. This includes a copy of your passport/driver’s license and a proof of address.

You don’t need to upload the requested documents straight away if you do not plan to deposit more than £1,800-ish. You will, however, need to do this before you can make a withdrawal request. As such, it’s best to quickly do this now.

Step 3: Deposit Funds

You will now be asked to deposit some funds. As we covered earlier, eToro has a minimum deposit policy of $50.

You can fund your eToro account with a:

  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • Paypal
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Bank transfer

Irrespective of which payment method you use, eToro charges a currency conversion fee of 0.5%. This is because all eToro accounts are displayed in US dollars.

Step 4: Add Stocks to Your Share Dealing Account

Unless you opted for a bank account transfer, your eToro deposit will be credited instantly. This means that you can now add some stocks to your share dealing account.

If you don’t know which shares you want to buy, spend some time exploring the eToro stock library. There are more than 800+ companies to choose from across 17 markets.

How to search for shares on eToro

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Alternatively, if you know which shares you wish to purchase, enter the name of the company in the search box and click on the composing result. In our example, we are buying BT shares.

Then, you will need to click on the ‘Trade’ button.

How to trade shares on eToro

The final stage of the share purchase process requires you to enter the size of your position. In simple terms, you need to specify how much you wish to invest in your chosen stock – in US dollars. As per the example below, we are investing $50 into BT.

How to buy shares on eToroTo complete our share purchase, we need to click on ‘Open Trade’. In doing so, the stocks will be added to our share dealing account instantly!

Conclusion

In summary, buying and trading shares in the UK has never been easier. No longer do you need to call an old-school stock broker to achieve this goal. On the contrary, there are hundreds of top share dealing accounts available online. This means that you can buy shares at the click of a button.

With that said, knowing which platform is best suited for your investing goals can be challenging. This is why we have presented a selection of the best providers as of 2021. We have also shown you what you need to do to find a share dealing account yourself. If you want to get the ball rolling right now, eToro allows you to buy and trade shares without paying any commission.

 

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Frequently Asked Questions on Share Dealing Accounts

What is share dealing?

What is the best share dealing account in the UK?

How do you fund a share dealing account?

What are share CFDs?

Are UK share dealing accounts safe?

How do I open a shares account?

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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