Best UK Stock Trading Programs for the Average Investor

by Nancy

The novel coronavirus impacted certain financial markets in England as hard or harder than it did in the United States. Some stocks on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) maintained or even increased in value. Others slid in value by five to thirty percent as COVID-19 rapidly took its toll. Britain itself saw a twenty-percent+ reduction in economic output as a result.

The top UK trading platforms for average investors successfully navigated murky times in 2020. What do the best UK stock trading platforms offer? Are there signup fees for new accounts? Trustworthy, credible trading programs and/or apps help overcome hard financial times and move forward with stability after a challenging year. Read ahead for an informative guide on the best UK trading programs for the average investor in 2021.

London Stock Exchange (LSE)

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is the main UK stock exchange today. The LSE is also the largest exchange in Europe. Located in London, the LSE is 300+ years old and has comparable functionality & prowess to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The most powerful index on the LSE is the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) 100 Share Index, which holds one hundred of the LSEs best-performing blue-chip stocks. Trading stocks on the LSE has many benefits for average UK investors, especially when using one of the top stock trading programs available today.

Stock Trading Programs 101

UK stockbrokers help investors make decisions about where to invest money on the LSE and other markets. Proprietary stock trading programs are often provided by brokerage companies as digital tools for investors to use in place of in-person or phone-based transactions. Stock trading programs, also referred to as trading platforms utilize computerized algorithms, which allow investors to make a wide variety of investing transactions at fast paces. Automated investments are programmable/customizable. Bulk investments into baskets of stocks are also possible.

Two primary types of trading platforms exist. Commercial platforms are best suited for the average UK investor. For example, commercial platforms focus on retail investors and day-traders. Prop platforms are facilitated by larger brokerage firms to accommodate their proprietary styles of trading and investing.

UK Trading Programs, Benefits

Average UK investors are able to take advantage of the many benefits provided by trading programs/apps in 2021. Safety is important during a global pandemic and investing through digital programs negates the need for in-person interactions with brokers. The best UK stock trading programs allow almost complete control over accounts and strategies. Automated investing is possible. Push notifications and alerts are customizable. The convenience offered by the use of stock trading programs helps heighten their popular with UK investors. Many of the best programs also provide additional perks such as live quotes, tools for charting, news feeds, research, extra resources and more.

Top UK Trading Programs, What Are They?

Signing up with a UK stock trading program requires a touch of research in order to get your decisions sorted. Are you an average investor with some experience? Are you a beginner investor, or someone with years of experience investing in stocks? Choosing the best UK trading program for you is largely dependent on your experience, goals and needs. The best UK trading programs combine versatility, reliability, low fees and extra features. Some of the top UK trading programs in 2021 include:

  1. IG.
  2. Hargreaves Lansdown.
  3. eToro.

1. IG

The IG trading platform is considered one of the best overall programs in the UK due to its highly user-friendly environment, low rates and top-tier research. HTML charts, drawing tools and convenient mobile trading are all available. IG charges commission to its clients based on various scenarios. Per-trade commission is £8 when 0-2 trades were placed during the most recent month. Per-trade commission drops to £8 if 3+ trades were made in the prior month and so on. No minimum deposit is required. A custody fee, fees for market data and varied scenario pricing also apply. Mobile push notifications and alerts are customizable and capable of syncing with the main platform, which allows investors to make real-time decisions and maximize returns.

2. Hargreaves Lansdown

Opening a low-cost share dealing account with Hargreaves Lansdown takes less than five minutes online. In-house research is one of the platform’s strengths. Charting is average compared to other programs but its mobile app is fine-tuned and full of advanced, beneficial features. Pricing is tiered based on the number of investments made during each calendar month. No trading fees are assessed for funds. Annual management fees are charged, however, and are scaled based on the amount of funds in holding per annum. Additional strengths of the Hargreaves Lansdown trading program include its large amount of investment options and a full-screen mobile chart view for its app users. Hargreaves Lansdown is also one of the best UK trading programs for beginning investors.

3. eToro

EToro offers 100 percent stocks with a zero percent commission for its clients. This low-cost program is also considered one of the best in the UK. The eToro program offers:

  • A trading platform for average investors,
  • A Contracts for Difference (CFD) platform for investors with more experience.
  • The eToro virtual portfolio.

A minimum initial deposit of $200 USD is required. Each subsequently made deposit has a lower minimum of $50 per. Other charges and fees also apply for various scenarios. Top popular features include solid research, convenient one-click trading, offline trading and professional-grade charting. Fractional shares and unlimited trading are two main popular eToro features.

Runner-Up UK Trading Programs

Additional UK trading programs qualify for honorable mentions. Each has qualities making it noteworthy and unique. Top runner-up UK trading programs and their best attributes are: