Compare the Best Investing Apps
Compare share dealing apps with ease with our comparison
Only quality platforms featured
Regulated in the UK or EU
Trading for 5+ years
Compare the cheapest investing apps
Take your pick of the best apps for buying shares. All apps featured offer low-fee share dealing, exchange-traded funds and more to UK investors.
We earn commission for referring new customers. We give equal prominence to investing apps that don't pay to be featured. Commission doesn't impact scoring or the order of providers. Risk warning: all trading carries a risk of loss. Fees were correct at the time of publishing, however these can change. See our disclaimer.
Top stockbroker pick for 2021
The broker that we personally use to buy stocks & shares. Why?
- Zero commission on all share dealing
- Zero platform fees / periodic account charges
- Trade via a simple web or mobile app
An eToro account is ideal for any investor who wants to build an investment portfolio without seeing it eroded by the account charges levied by traditional stockbrokers.
eToro is an international stockbroker registered in the UK which has over 20 million clients. On 16 March 2021, eToro's parent company announced a deal which will see it float on the US stock market in late 2021.
You can open an investment account with just £150, and you could be making your first free trade within a few hours.
Why not try the platform today and put it to the test?
Trading212 is the home-grown UK investing app which was the first to offer zero commission stock trading service in the UK and Europe, unlocking the stock market for millions of people. Trading 212 is a London based fintech company that democratises the financial markets with free, smart and easy to use apps, enabling anyone to trade equities, Forex, commodities and more. The Trading212 mobile app has been downloaded more than 14m times, making it one of the most popular trading apps in the world.
Trading212 is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in underlying stocks and trading CFD assets. Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investors 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.
Freetrade is the UK stockbroker app that made buying shares for zero commission feel like the norm. Freetrade is a simple app for buying and selling shares. Create your own portfolio by acquiring fractional or full shares at the tap of a button. With over 500,000 registered users, Freetrade is inspiring many new investors to join the stock market for the first time.
A Comparison of the Best Investing AppsFinancial Expert™ tips on choosing the app that meets your needs
Trading with a tap: the right app interface will simplify your trading experience
Why pick an investing app over a full broker service?
In reality, this question is moot. Most of the best investing apps also offer complimentary full web-browser experiences. They're one of the same.
But why use an investing app? The answer is that the simple functionality offered by a streamlined investing application makes the process of investing a breeze.
- Search for a company or fund
- Decide how much you'd like to invest
- Click buy
When it comes to selling your shares, that operation is usually as quick as bringing up your portfolio onscreen, tapping on your holding, and tapping 'sell'.
Fingerprint authentication means that you can be inside your preferred app within seconds, not minutes. Gone are the days of marching up to your PC with scraps of paper with a login and separate trading password.
Modern apps offer biometric security, resulting in almost seamless accessibility. What could be better, when you want to quickly trade based on some news. With an investing app right at your finger tips, you are never more than a few seconds away from the open or closing of a trade.
Frequent trader? Make a forecast to calculate the real cost
To open any investment position, you'll need to make a trade. But you actually commit yourself to two trades, as all open positions need to be closed.
If you're using an investing app which charges a commission on per trade, then you should factor 2x the trading fees which calculating the transaction costs.
The perks of trading frequently
Trading costs don't tend to rise in a linear fashion the more trades you place, because investing apps like to reward regular traders with discounted fees.
For example, a single trade per month might cost £11.95 per trade. But if you place over 20 trades per month, your broker could charge as little as £5.95 per trade. That's a 50% discount on trading costs.
Investing apps are able to provide enhanced rates, because of the economies of scale of serving one high volume client, compared to 20 low volume clients.
Before you choose an investing app which charges a trading commission per trade, you should calculate the total trading fees you will expect to incur over the course of a year.
Number of trades x trading commission x 2 = total transactional costs. This is the best figure to compare and contrast with other investing apps, as trading commissions will vary between providers.
Saying goodbye to trading commissions
In the last 10 years, an explosion of innovation and choice in the investing app market has left investors with excellent choices.
Due to the intense competition to attract new clients, some investing apps, such as eToro and Trading 212 have reduced trading commissions to zero (links in the investing app table above).
But how can some investing apps afford to charge nothing for trading? Surely this is the largest source of revenue for brokers?
While it's true that trading fees are a key source of income for traditional brokers, other business models exist.
eToro and Trading 212 generate income from other investment opportunities which they feature on their apps. These include Contracts for Difference (CFDs), which are a high-risk leveraged investment product.
If you want simple, low-cost trading, then it can make sense to use these investing apps, and take advantage of the profits the broker earns from their other products & services!
Use investing apps to reduce platform charges & account fees
Beyond trading commissions, the big one to watch for are platform fees.
Platform fee is another phrase for 'account fee, administration fee, custodian fee' and many more. It goes by many names, but it's the periodic charge applied to your account regardless of trading activity.
It's honest fee to charge - there are fixed costs to a broker of servicing a client account in such a tight regulatory regime. Any UK stockbroker comparison will demonstrate that platform fees are the norm, and not the exception.
But if you do shop around, you'll notice that several investing apps offered to UK investors have no annual charges.
As our investing app comparison table shows above, eToro (our top pick), Trading 212 and Freetrade have no annual account charge.
Other factors to consider when picking an investing app
With so many fees and charges to compare, it is all too easy to forget that other factors matter when you compare stockbrokers.
The investing app which you choose will be the custodian of a significant portion of your money over the next year, decade, or even lifetime. Therefore consider the following questions before you finally decide on an investing app:
- How large is the organisation? Are they capable of withstanding a financial shock?
- How long has the investing app been live?
- How is the app rated on the Apple App Store or Google Play?
- Does the company make it clear that they prioritise customer service?
When looking at reviews, you should be wary of the controversy and anger experienced by amateur investors during the Gamestop debacle of January & February 2021. Due to extremely high levels of trading, some investing apps were unable to allow further purchases of certain shares for a brief period of time.
This occurred for technical reasons, relating to how investing apps work on the back-end. When you buy a share, an investing app will show the share almost immediately appear in your account.
However, behind the scenes, shares take 1 - 3 days to formally 'clear' through the system. This is the process of transferring the registered ownership of the share from seller to buyer, and moving cash to complete the transaction.
Due to the extremely high levels of trading by amateurs in the start of 2021, the value of shares in transit at a point in time breached the agreed-upon limits which the brokers had with financial institutions. This meant that further transactions needed to be restricted, as the investing app had officially run out of bandwidth allowed for uncleared transactions.
The apps were responsive; Robinhood - the US trading app which suffered from this issue most prominently, immediately raised additional finance to bolster its assets and allow it to increase its trading capacity.
However, users of the app who felt that they missed out on the opportunity to buy additional shares in the Gamestop frenzy vented their frustration through 1 star reviews in the app stores.
As an armchair investor, watching from the sidelines. I could see why investors were frustrated, but I also recognised that trading volumes had broken all records and had exceeded what any investing app would have conceived as possible, so it didn't surprise me that they needed some time to make adjustments.
Those adjustments have now been made, and investing apps how have the ability to process more trading volume than ever before.
The bottom line of my investing app comparison
The investing app I personally use is eToro. I chose eToro after researching about 5-6 different investing apps, and after considering some of the best stocks & shares ISAs which didn't have dedicated apps for trading.
What I love about eToro can be summarised in two points:
- So much of their service is free.
- The interface is simple, easy and allows trades to be placed in seconds.
eToro doesn't levy an annual account charge, nor does it charge commissions for trading stocks & shares. This makes life simple, and cheap.
I'm a huge advocate for reducing your investing costs. Any investing cost saved, is the same as money earned!
That's why I trade guilt-free on the eToro app, knowing that I'm not incurring commissions each time I make a trading decision.