Best investment platforms (UK)

Investing

Our top picks for investment platforms

We've done the hard work for you. Here's our top picks:

Nuts About Money recommendation

eToro logo
Trophy icon
Best overall

eToro is easy to use and super popular. It's also commission-free (on stocks), has a huge range of investments (including crypto), an awesome app, and you can copy the pros.

Visit eToro¹

eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.

Free share worth up to £100. Promo code NUTS.

Trading212 logo
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Best ISA

An awesome investment platform suited to everyone from beginners to advanced traders. There's a huge range of investments and it's commission-free.

Visit Trading 212¹

Compare all investment platforms

Your investment platform options

Expert-managed personal pension

Investing managed by experts

Let the experts do all the work.

Self-invested personal pension (SIPP)

Investing managed by you

Take control and make the investing decisions yourself.

Compare investment platforms

Best investment platforms managed by experts

To help you decide, we’ve put together the average rating from Google, Apple, Trustpilot and Nuts About Money.

InvestEngine logo
Avg. customer rating
4.7 out of 5 stars
Trophy icon
Low cost
Visit InvestEngine¹

InvestEngine

InvestEngine is easy to use and very low cost.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Easy to use
• Very low cost managed option (0.25%)
• Great customer support
• Low minimum investment (£100)
• Offers an ISA
• Invest within a business account
• £25 free welcome bonus

Cons

• Only ETFs
• No personal pension (SIPP)
• No financial advice

Free investing! Or as close to it as possible. InvestEngine charges no fees at all if you want to manage your investments yourself, and a super low fee of 0.25% if you want their experts to handle things.

It’s more than just low cost though, there’s a huge range of investment options (ETFs only) and great service.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £100

Offer icon
£25 welcome bonus and chance to win £1,000
Moneyfarm logo
Avg. customer rating
4.6 out of 5 stars
Expert advice
Visit Moneyfarm¹

Moneyfarm

Moneyfarm is easy to use, has a great investment record and offers free advice.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Easy to use
• Free personal investment advisor
• Offers an ISA and a pension
• Great track record for growing money
• Socially responsible options

Cons

• Have to invest at least £500

Moneyfarm is one of the best options out there for saving and investing. It's super easy to use – the experts simply take care of everything. And, they're on hand to help you with guidance and any questions too.

They have one of the top performing investment records, and great socially responsible investing options. The fees are low, and reduce as you save more. Plus, the customer service is outstanding. Overall, a fantastic option to save and invest.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £500

Bestinvest logo
Avg. customer rating
4.1 out of 5 stars
Expert advice
Visit Bestinvest¹

Bestinvest

Bestinvest is well established and offers free advice and coaching from experts.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Free advice and coaching (from qualified experts)
• Easy to use
• Offer an ISA and Pension (SIPP)
• Offers a Junior ISA (and Junior pension)
• Great customer service

Cons

• A good but limited range of investments
• Not the cheapest overall, but not expensive

Bestinvest is very well established (over 35 years), and part of Evelyn Partners, one of the UK’s largest wealth management firms (nearly 200 years of experience).

With Bestinvest, you can get free advice and coaching from expert financial planners, while making your own investments, with a good range of investment funds (including ready-made options) and shares (UK and US).

It’s a great service, and is very popular (over 100,000 customers).

Nuts About Money rating: 4 stars

Fees: low-medium

Minimum deposit: £50

Offer icon
Up to £1,000 cashback on account transfers. Ends 30th Nov. T&Cs apply.
Wealthify logo
Avg. customer rating
4 out of 5 stars
Start with £1
Visit Wealthify¹

Wealthify

Wealthify is easy to use, and you can start with just £1.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Easy to use
• Great customer service
• Reasonable fees for original investment option
• Offers an ISA and pension

Cons

• Fairly high cost for ethical investment option
• No financial advice

Wealthify is a simple straightforward investment platform, with one low annual fee. Experts manage everything for you, and the customer service is excellent.

Nuts About Money rating: 4 stars

Fees: low (although ethical option is high)

Minimum deposit: £1

Offer icon
Get £50 - £200 cashback when you transfer a pension. Registration closes 3rd Nov. T&Cs apply. Capital at risk.

Best investment platforms with a Stocks & Shares ISAs

InvestEngine logo
Avg. customer rating
4.7 out of 5 stars
Trophy icon
Low cost
Visit InvestEngine¹

InvestEngine

InvestEngine is fee free, and has a great range of ETFs.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Fee-free investing (0% fees)
• Great range of ETFs
• Easy to use
• Very low cost managed option (0.25%)
• Great customer support
• Low minimum investment (£100)
• Offers an ISA
• Invest within a business account
• £25 free welcome bonus

Cons

• Only ETFs
• No personal pension (SIPP)
• No financial advice

Free investing! Or as close to it as possible. InvestEngine charges no fees at all if you want to manage your investments yourself, and a super low fee of 0.25% if you want their experts to handle things.

It’s more than just low cost though, there’s a huge range of investment options (ETFs only) and great service.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £100

Offer icon
£25 welcome bonus and chance to win £1,000
AJ Bell logo
Avg. customer rating
4.7 out of 5 stars
Best traditional
Visit AJ Bell¹

AJ Bell

AJ Bell is low cost with a huge range of investment options.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Well established
• Cheapest traditional broker
• Huge range of investment options
• Offers an ISA and a pension (SIPP)
• Ready made portfolios
• Great customer service
• Low dealing fee for funds (£1.50)

Cons

• Can be complicated to use
• No fractional shares

AJ Bell is a great traditional broker, with good customer service and solid reputation.

There’s a huge range of investment options.

AJ Bell is low cost – you'll pay a low annual charge and then fees per deal, which are £1.50 for funds and £9.95 for shares (online), which reduces to £4.95 if there were 10 deals or more in the previous per month. 

Plus, there's a great phone app too.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £500 (or £25 per month)

Trading212 logo
Avg. customer rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
Low cost
Visit Trading 212¹

Trading 212

Trading 212 is commission-free, and has a huge range of investment options.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Commission-free trading
• Huge range of investment options
• Hold and trade in multiple currencies
• Very low foreign exchange fees (0.15%)
• Offers an ISA
• Offers CFD trading (alongside regular investing)
• Great mobile app
• Lots of resources to learn
• Awesome customer service
• No minimum investment
• Fractional shares

Cons

• No personal pension (SIPP)

An all round awesome investment platform. It's suited to everyone from beginners to advanced traders – there's over 2,000,000 customers!

It's one of the cheapest out there, with commission-free investing and a huge range of investments to choose from, including CFDs for day traders.

The customer service is excellent too.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £1

Offer icon
Free share worth up to £100. Promo code NUTS.
Saxo Bank logo
Avg. customer rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most investments
Visit Saxo Bank¹

Saxo Bank

Saxo has a huge range of investment options and has a great trading experience.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Huge range of investments
• Expert-managed options
• Easy to use
• ISA and pension (SIPP)
• CFDs, forex, and more
• Great interest rate on cash
• Great trading platform
• Great mobile app
• Excellent customer service

Cons

• Fairly high fees overall
• More suited to high value portfolios

• Advanced platform can be complicated for beginners

Saxo is super popular around the world, with over 1,000,000 customers. It’s an investment platform built for regular trading (although you can simply buy and hold investments).

And in the UK, you can trade within an ISA and a pension (SIPP). This is pretty rare and a great option as you'll benefit from tax-free growth, while using an advanced trading platform with great trading tools.

The range of investment options is absolutely huge, and the platform comes packed with everything you’d need or want.

Nuts About Money rating: 4 stars

Fees: medium

Minimum deposit: £500

Bestinvest logo
Avg. customer rating
4.1 out of 5 stars
Expert advice
Visit Bestinvest¹

Bestinvest

Bestinvest is well established and offers free advice and coaching from experts.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Free advice and coaching (from qualified experts)
• Easy to use
• Offer an ISA and Pension (SIPP)
• Offers a Junior ISA (and Junior pension)
• Great customer service

Cons

• A good but limited range of investments
• Not the cheapest overall, but not expensive

Bestinvest is very well established (over 35 years), and part of Evelyn Partners, one of the UK’s largest wealth management firms (nearly 200 years of experience).

With Bestinvest, you can get free advice and coaching from expert financial planners, while making your own investments, with a good range of investment funds (including ready-made options) and shares (UK and US).

It’s a great service, and is very popular (over 100,000 customers).

Nuts About Money rating: 4 stars

Fees: average

Minimum deposit: £50

Interactive Investor logo
Avg. customer rating
4.1 out of 5 stars
Flat monthly fee
Interactive Investor¹

Interactive Investor

Interactive Investor has a huge range of investment options and charges a low flat month fee.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Flat monthly fee
• Great value for larger portfolios
• Huge range of investment options
• Offers an ISA and pension (SIPP)
• Great customer service
• No minimum investment
• No share dealing fee for regular investments

Cons

• Expensive for small portfolios
• Can be complicated to use
• Not commission-free (typically a fee per trade)
• No fractional shares

Interactive Investor is a modern broker with a huge range of investment options. It has a great website and app to manage your money, and great customer service. 

For an ISA, it's a flat monthly fee of £4.99 for a total investment value under £50,000 and £11.99 above this. This can make it cheaper than traditional options, but there's still a charge per trade (£3.99), unless you’re investing regularly, which is free.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low - medium

Minimum deposit: £1

Offer icon
£50 free trading credit
TILLIT logo
Avg. customer rating
4 out of 5 stars
Top funds
Visit TILLIT¹

TILLIT

TILLIT carries out in-depth research on investment funds, and only offers their best picks.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Well researched investment options (funds)
• Great insights on funds
• Fairly low cost and reduces every year (starting at 0.40%)
• Pretty easy to use
• ISA (tax-free saving)
• £1 minimum investment

Cons

• Currently no pension (SIPP)
• Reasonable level of investing knowledge required

TILLIT is more than just an investment platform – they carry out in-depth research on funds (including interviews with fund managers), to ensure that every investment they offer is one of the best options of its type (e.g. ethical funds) – they only list funds that meet their strict criteria.

This means the likelihood of your investments doing well, could be higher.

On top of that, it’s a great platform for long-term investing. It’s easy to use, with lots of information about each fund, and the account fees reduce every year (by 0.01%) until they reach 0.25% per year (fund fees apply).

Nuts About Money rating: 4 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £1

Best investment platforms for general investing

InvestEngine logo
Avg. customer rating
4.7 out of 5 stars
Trophy icon
Low cost
Visit InvestEngine¹

InvestEngine

InvestEngine is easy to use and very low cost.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Fee-free investing (0% fees)
• Great range of ETFs
• Easy to use
• Very low cost managed option (0.25%)
• Great customer support
• Low minimum investment (£100)
• Invest within a business account
• £25 free welcome bonus

Cons

• Only ETFs
• No personal pension (SIPP)
• No financial advice

Free investing! Or as close to it as possible. InvestEngine charges no fees at all if you want to manage your investments yourself, and a super low fee of 0.25% if you want their experts to handle things.

It’s more than just low cost though, there’s a huge range of investment options and great service.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £100

Offer icon
£25 welcome bonus and chance to win £1,000
AJ Bell logo
Avg. customer rating
4.7 out of 5 stars
Best traditional
Visit AJ Bell¹

AJ Bell

AJ Bell is low cost with a huge range of investment options.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Well established
• Cheapest traditional broker
• Huge range of investment options
• Offers an ISA and a pension (SIPP)
• Ready made pension portfolios
• Great customer service
• Low dealing fee for funds (£1.50)

Cons

• Can be complicated to use
• No fractional shares

AJ Bell is a great traditional broker, with good customer service and solid reputation.

There’s a huge range of investment options.

AJ Bell is low cost – you'll pay a low annual charge and then fees per deal, which are £1.50 for funds and £9.95 for shares (online), which reduces to £4.95 if there were 10 deals or more in the previous per month. 

Plus, there's a great phone app too.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £500 (or £25 per month)

Lightyear logo
Avg. customer rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
Great app
Visit Lightyear¹

Lightyear

Lightyear app is super slick, and low cost.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Awesome mobile app
• Can also use their website (web app)
• Low trading fees
• Very low cost overall
• Multi-currency account
• No minimum investment

Cons

• Not a huge range of UK stocks (although over 200)
• No Stocks & Shares ISA
• No personal pension

Lightyear is a great, low cost investing and stock trading app. There’s a good range of investment options (over 3,000 stocks and ETFs), you can store multiple currencies, and the app itself is modern and super slick.

Nuts About Money rating: 4 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £1

Offer icon
10 trades free: promo code NUTSABOUTMONEY (deposit at least £50). T&Cs Apply.
Trading212 logo
Avg. customer rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
Low cost
Visit Trading 212¹

Trading 212

Trading 212 is commission-free, and has a huge range of investment options.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Commission-free trading
• Huge range of investment options
• Hold and trade in multiple currencies
• Very low foreign exchange fees (0.15%)
• Offers an ISA
• Offers CFD trading (alongside regular investing)
• Great mobile app
• Lots of resources to learn
• Awesome customer service
• No minimum investment
• Fractional shares

Cons

• No personal pension (SIPP)

An all round awesome investment platform. It's suited to everyone from beginners to advanced traders – there's over 2,000,000 customers!

It's one of the cheapest out there, with commission-free investing and a huge range of investments to choose from, including CFDs for traders. The customer service is excellent too.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £1

Offer icon
Free share worth up to £100. Promo code NUTS.
XTB logo
Avg. customer rating
4.4 out of 5 stars
Low cost
Visit XTB¹

XTB

XTB is fee free (up to €100k) and a huge range of investments.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Low trading fees
• Awesome trading software
• Good range of investment options
• Offers CFD trading (alongside regular investing)
• Available on desktop, tablet and mobile
• Personal account manager and 24/5 support
• Demo account
• No minimum investment

Cons

• No stocks and shares ISA
• No pension
• Can be complicated to use (using the trading platform)

XTB offers commission-free investing (up to $100,000 per month, and 0.2% after that). The platform is easy to use, there's a huge range of investment options (stocks and ETFs), and the customer service is excellent.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £1

Shares logo
Avg. customer rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
Great community
Visit Shares¹

Shares

Shares is a great app where you can invest and learn from others.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Low trading fees
• Awesome mobile app
• Great community of investors
• Great for beginners looking to learn

Cons

• Mobile only
• No stocks and shares ISA
• No pension

Shares is a great app for investing – it's a super slick app, easy to use with transparent (and low) fees (£1 per trade) and has a pretty good range of investments (stocks). 

You can follow other investors, see their portfolio (investments), and their activity (when they buy and sell). Users can even create posts you can interact with - it's like social media for investing. All pretty cool.

Nuts About Money rating: 4 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £5

Offer icon
£5 free stock
Interactive Investor logo
Avg. customer rating
4.1 out of 5 stars
Flat monthly fee
Interactive Investor¹

Interactive Investor

Interactive Investor has a huge range of investment options and charges a low flat month fee.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Flat monthly fee
• Great value for larger portfolios
• Huge range of investment options
• Offers an ISA and pension (SIPP)
• Great customer service
• No minimum investment
• No share dealing fee for regular investments

Cons

• Expensive for small portfolios
• Can be complicated to use
• Not commission-free (typically a fee per trade)
• No fractional shares

Interactive Investor is a modern broker with a huge range of investment options. It has a great website and app to manage your money, and great customer service. 

For an ISA, it's a flat monthly fee of £4.99 for a total investment value under £50,000 and £11.99 above this. This can make it cheaper than traditional options, but there's still a charge per trade (£3.99), unless you’re investing regularly, which is free.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low - medium

Minimum deposit: £1

Offer icon
£50 free trading credit
TILLIT logo
Avg. customer rating
4 out of 5 stars
Top funds
Visit TILLIT¹

TILLIT

TILLIT carries out in-depth research on investment funds, and only offers their best picks.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Well researched investment options (funds)
• Great insights on funds
• Fairly low cost and reduces every year (starting at 0.40%)
• Pretty easy to use
• ISA (tax-free saving)
• £1 minimum investment

Cons

• Currently no pension (SIPP)
• Reasonable level of investing knowledge required

TILLIT is more than just an investment platform – they carry out in-depth research on funds (including interviews with fund managers), to ensure that every investment they offer is one of the best options of its type (e.g. ethical funds) – they only list funds that meet their strict criteria.

This means the likelihood of your investments doing well, could be higher.

On top of that, it’s a great platform for long-term investing. It’s easy to use, with lots of information about each fund, and the account fees reduce every year (by 0.01%) until they reach 0.25% per year (fund fees apply).

Nuts About Money rating: 4 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £1

* eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.

Best trading platforms

XTB logo
Avg. customer rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
Trophy icon
Great experience
Visit XTB¹

XTB

XTB trading experience is great, and it's low cost.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Low trading fees
• Awesome trading software
• Good range of investment options
• Offers CFD trading (alongside regular investing)
• Available on desktop, tablet and mobile
• Personal account manager and 24/5 support
• Demo account
• No minimum investment

Cons

• No 3rd party integrations

XTB is one of the best trading platforms out there. The software itself is super easy to use, fast and has great trading tools. There’s a good range of investment options, the fees are very low and the customer service is excellent.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £1

eToro logo
Avg. customer rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
Best for beginners
Visit eToro¹

eToro

eToro* is easy to use, low cost and you can copy the pros.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Low trading fees
• Awesome trading software
• Good range of investment options
• Offers CFD trading (alongside regular investing)
• Available on desktop, tablet and mobile
• Personal account manager and 24/5 support
• Demo account
• No minimum investment

Cons

• No 3rd party integrations

eToro is an awesome trading platform. It’s easy to use, low cost, and has a huge range of investment options.

If you want to, there’s a great community of investors to get involved in, and talk about and share investments. You can even copy the pros!

Alongside regular stock trading, eToro also offers CFDs (Contract For Differences), where you can trade with leverage (borrowed money), and both price directions (so trade the price going down as well as up).

The mobile app is great too (as is the website version).

Highly recommended for beginners all the way to advanced traders.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £10

Plus500 logo
Avg. customer rating
4.2 out of 5 stars
Popular
Visit Plus500¹

Plus500

Plus500** is super popular with a great trading experience.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Great trading experience
• Great mobile app
• Unique insights from all trades on the platform (+Insights)
• Low cost overall
• Good range of investment options
• Excellent customer service
• Free and unlimited demo account
• Trustworthy and reliable

Cons

• No 3rd party integrations
• Inactivity fee

Plus500 is a very popular trading platform (for CFDs). There's a wide range of investments to trade (including foreign exchange and options), and the fees are reasonable.

The platform itself is pretty great too – and offers unique insights into each asset (e.g. shares), and also trades on the platform itself. For instance, you can see trending stocks and things like the most profitable trades, alongside sentiment for each asset (if people are buying or selling).

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £100

* eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.
** Plus500: 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Best personal pensions

PensionBee logo
Avg. customer rating
4.9 out of 5 stars
Trophy icon
Best overall
Visit PensionBee¹

PensionBee

PensionBee is easy to use, low cost, and a great track record.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Easy to use
• Easy to understand pension plans
• They'll find all your pensions and move them over (consolidate)
• Low fees
• Great customer service
• Great for self-employed too
• Socially responsible investment option

Cons

• No financial advice

Let your pension worries disappear. PensionBee simplifies your pension – they move all your previous pensions into one easy to use platform, with one annual fee, simple fund choice and great customer service. You can start a new pension if you’re self-employed too.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £1

Offer icon
Get £50 added to your pension
AJ Bell logo
Avg. customer rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
Trophy icon
Best SIPP
Visit AJ Bell¹

AJ Bell

AJ Bell is an excellent option. It's low cost with a huge range of investment options.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Well established
• Cheapest traditional broker
• Huge range of investment options
• Ready made pension portfolios
• Great customer service
• Low dealing fee for funds (£1.50)

Cons

• Can be complicated to use

AJ Bell is a great traditional broker, with good customer service and solid reputation.

There’s a huge range of investment options.

AJ Bell is low cost – you'll pay a low annual charge and then fees per deal, which are £1.50 for funds and £9.95 for shares (online), which reduces to £4.95 if there were 10 deals or more in the previous per month. 

Plus, there's a great phone app too.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £800 (or £25 per month)

Interactive Investor logo
Avg. customer rating
4.1 out of 5 stars
Flat monthly fee
Interactive Investor¹

Interactive Investor

Interactive Investor has a huge range of investment options and a flat monthly fee.
More info
Arrow down – Grey

Pros

• Flat monthly fee
• Great value for larger portfolios
• Huge range of investment options
• Great customer service
• No minimum investment
• No share dealing fee for regular investments

Cons

• Expensive for small portfolios
• Can be complicated to use

Interactive Investor is a modern broker with a huge range of investment options. It has a great website and app to manage your money, and great customer service. 

It's a flat monthly fee of £12.99 for an SIPP, rather than a fixed percentage of your investments – which can make it cheaper than traditional options, but there's still a charge per trade (£3.99), unless you’re investing regularly, which is free.

Nuts About Money rating: 5 stars

Fees: low

Minimum deposit: £1

Offer icon
£100 - £3,000 cashback

View all personal pension providers

Types of investment accounts

General account

General account

Your standard account. Great for investing & regular trading – open as many as you like.

Stocks & Shares ISA

Stocks & Shares ISA

No tax on profits, ever! Perfect for long-term saving. You can only open 1 per year.

Personal pension

Personal pension

Control where your pension is invested, boost your retirement income, and a 25% bonus from the government.

Best investment platforms (UK) 2023

Keen to invest and grow your money with an investment platform but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered.

Best investment platforms (UK)

But before you go diving in head first, it’s worth just taking a minute to think about what you mean by investing, do you want the experts to manage it for you? Or do you want to do it yourself?

Whichever method, we’ve research the best investment platforms in the UK for you.

Our criteria for reviewing the best investment platforms in the UK

To determine the best investment platforms, we’ve used 5 key criteria:

  • Range of investments
  • Costs
  • Investment track record
  • Investment platform experience
  • Customer reviews

There’s a lot of investment platforms out there, trust us, we’ve tried a lot! But we’re only showing you the best – ones were happy to recommend, and use ourselves here at Nuts About Money.

Not quite sure what an investment platform is? Trading app? No problem. It’s simply a website, or an app on your phone where you can buy and sell investments.

These investments are often company shares (often also called stocks), which means you own a tiny portion of a company, and investment funds (the most common type is exchange-traded funds, or ETFs), which are groups of shares from different companies pooled together.

ETFs exchange traded funds

Funds are great because you don’t have to buy the shares of every individual company that suits the investment you want, you can just buy a share of the fund.

For instance, if you just wanted to invest in green energy companies, you could find an ETF that has pooled together businesses in the green energy industry. Or, if you want to buy the biggest companies in the UK, you could buy something called an index fund – here’s how to invest in index funds UK.

Investment platforms and stock brokers vary quite wildy, and all have different fees, and different range of investment options, and even different types of account options – such as offering a Stocks & Shares ISA – where all your gains are tax-free, or just a General Investment Account (GIA), with no tax-free benefits.

We’ve researched them all for you, and put together the best investment platforms above, so you don’t need to. And all of our criteria to determine the best is above too!

By the way, you don’t just have to use one investment platform – you can use as many as you like! You could have a Stocks & Shares ISA with an expert-managed platform, and a General Investment Account (GIA) with a self-managed platform to make your own investments (a GIA is just your standard account with no tax benefits).

What’s the best investment platform for investing?

Well, that depends on what you mean by investing! Investing has 2 main categories, long-term investing (where you buy and hold onto investments for a very long time, often decades), and stock trading (where you buy and sell frequently, sometimes days, sometimes months).

And within those categories you can have expert-managed investment platforms and self-managed investment platforms.

Expert-managed investment platforms

With an expert-managed investment platform, you simply sign up, add cash, select which investment option you’d like, which can be something like an ethical ISA option, or a regular investment option, and decide the level of risk you’re comfortable with, from low to high – which means how much you are willing to well, risk, for more money in the future.

Expert-managed platforms

From there, the experts take care of everything. You just put your feet up and watch your money grow over the long-term. The best expert-managed investment platform overall is Moneyfarm¹.

Self-managed investment platforms

With a self-managed investment platform, it’s up to you to decide what your investments are, which stocks and shares you want to buy (small ownership stakes of companies), or which investment funds (called ETFs) you want to buy (groups of different company shares). So you need to know what you’re doing!

Self-managed platforms

We don’t recommend self-managed platforms for just anyone, you’ll need at least some knowledge in investing, and the confidence to make decisions yourself.

Often, you would start with an expert-managed platform and then add on a self-managed platform to make your investment strategy a bit more personalised, such as adding specific stocks and shares that you think are good investments.

What’s the best robo-investment platform?

A robo-investor, robo-advisor, or robo-investment platform, simply means an investment app or platform that's managed by expert investors, but uses technology to help you access investments, there’s not actually any robots!

There’s actually people behind the scenes looking after your money, and they’re experts at it too. It’s just the same as what we call expert-managed investment platforms.

The ‘robo’ part comes from the fact the platform uses technology to manage your investments, such as an app to track how your investments are performing, or selecting which investment strategy you’d like, such as ethical investments only.

So the best robo-investing platform is actually the same as any expert-managed investment platform – and the best one of those is Moneyfarm¹.

What’s the best investment platform for a beginner?

Ready to get stuck into investing but not quite sure where to start?

The best investing platform to start with is an expert-managed platform – that’s one where the experts are actually making the investments for you, they’ll aim to grow your money safely over a long period of time – they’re perfect for beginner investors!

We’ve reviewed the best expert-managed investment platforms (above), and Moneyfarm¹ comes out on top. It’s easy to use, low cost and has a great track record.

Once you’re comfortable investing your money, you could branch out a bit to self-managed platforms, and begin buying stocks & shares on the stock market, and funds that suit your investment style and investment goals (which is often just long term investing or short term profit).

The best self-managed investment platform beginners is eToro¹ – it’s easy to use, low cost and has a great community to join and learn from. You can even copy the pros.

If you’re looking to learn more about investing, here’s our guide to investing for beginners (UK).

What’s the best investment platform for experienced investors?

If you’re a bit more experienced, you’ll probably be looking to make your own investments and build your own investment portfolio, rather than have an expert manage them for you. Although we still recommend letting the experts handle most of your investments – they’re good at it!

Your best option is to use a DIY investment platform alongside an expert-managed platform, or by itself. The best ones are in our tables above. You’re looking for a platform with a wide range of investment options, including stocks and shares and investment funds, and of course low fees. And the investment accounts to suit you (often a Stocks & Shares ISA and a personal pension).

If you’re just looking to invest in just ETFs (exchange-traded funds), you can’t go wrong with InvestEngine¹ – it’s the cheapest platform in the UK, it’s completely free!

What’s the cheapest investment platform?

Looking for a cheap, low cost investment platform? You’re in the right place. There’s actually a UK investment platform that charges no fees at all (if you make your own investments) – it’s InvestEngine¹, and offers a wide range of exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

If you want to invest in things (assets) such as stocks and shares, check out eToro¹, it’s probably the cheapest platform out there, there’s no annual platform fee (account fee), and it’s commission-free on stocks (no trading fees).

What’s the best investment platform for dividend investing?

More interested in generating an income than increasing your wealth? Well, dividends do just that. They give the owners of companies (the shareholders) a share of the profits (if they decide to pay out to shareholders). And this is sometimes called dividend investing.

Dividends are normally paid every 3 months, but it’s entirely up to the company and can be every 6 months or once a year. Or, they can decide not to pay any dividends for a while – it all depends on how well the company is performing in terms of generating a profit.

The best platform to purchase companies or funds that focus on dividends is actually a self-managed investment platform – where you decide which investments to make, and so you can choose investments that pay a dividend.

Tip: why pay fees to make investments you’re managing yourself? With InvestEngine it’s completely free to buy funds (here’s our InvestEngine review).

What’s a Stocks & Shares ISA?

A Stocks & Shares ISA (Individual Savings Account), is an account most investment platforms offer, where you can invest up to £20,000 per year (called your ISA allowance), and everything you make within that account is completely tax-free, forever!

ISA allowance

The tax you would have normally paid is Capital Gains Tax – and you’d pay it if you made a profit of over £6,000 per year from all of your investments outside of a Stocks & Shares ISA.

You should expect to pay tax at a rate of 20% if you're a basic rate taxpayer (earning less than £50,270 per year), and 40% if you're a higher rate or additional rate taxpayer (earning more than £50,270 per year).

However, you can only pay into one Stocks & Shares ISA per year, so pick wisely! If you want to learn even more, here’s our guide to Stocks & Shares ISAs.

You can still invest within a General Investment Account (GIA). And you can have as many of these as you like! You'll just have to pay tax on your profits when you sell.

What’s an investment portfolio?

An investment portfolio is simply all of your money in investments. So, that’s all your stocks and shares and all your investments in funds – you could even include property investments if you like too.

Sometimes an online investment platform will call the money you have on their platform your portfolio, but really you should think of all your investments in general, wherever they might be across different online trading platforms.

What’s the difference between investing and trading?

Investing is generally thought of over a much longer timeframe, potentially decades. You typically invest in investment assets (normally a business), which you think will grow in value over time, not necessarily grow in value tomorrow or over the next few weeks (in fact it may even go down in value in the short term).

Although they are often used interchangeably, trading is where you have a much shorter time frame, and will buy an asset (again such as shares), but intend to sell them as soon as the price hits your price target – which can be just a few minutes later, or it could be days or weeks, but you’re not typically holding them for years. You’d also normally have a price in mind where you’d get out of the trade if the price goes against you (called a stop-loss).

And with trading, you can also bet the price goes down (short), if you’re using an online trading platform, that is. With investing you are typically just anticipating the price will rise in value over time.

With trading you might generally use a general investment account, and with investing, you might have the majority of your investments inside a Stocks & Share ISA.

And then one last thing, you’ll probably be buying more exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with your investment account, and specific stocks with your trading account (as stock prices are more volatile and have bigger potential for price changes).

What’s a stock market?

A stock market is where investments (or assets) are bought and sold – investments such as shares in companies (often called stocks), and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). And sometimes some other types of investments.

There’s typically one or a few of them in each country, so in the UK, we have the London Stock Exchange (LSE), and in the US, they have the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations), plus some smaller local ones.

The Japanese stock exchange (or stock market) is quite famous too, called The Tokyo Stock Exchange.

You don’t necessarily need to worry about these exchanges, trading platforms will connect to the exchanges and make transactions for you, they are effectively a stock broker, and act on behalf of all their clients. All you need to do is decide which trades you want to make!

What’s ethical investing?

Ethical investing (or making ethical investments) is where you invest in (buy shares or funds), companies that have a positive impact on the world, or at least don’t harm the world – and by that we mean the environment and the people in it.

So, it's businesses in industries like green energy and electric vehicles, or companies that aren’t destroying the world such as those burning fossil fuels or destroying the Amazon rainforest.

There’s a framework to determine if a company is ethical or not, called ESG, which is:

Environmental: combating pollution, climate change, water usage, and deforestation. ‍

Social: great treatment of employees, good health and safety, diversity, and helping local communities.‍

Governance: corruption, inequality and bribery – and steps that are taken to avoid this.

Ethical investing ESG framework

It’s really easy to invest ethically, good expert-managed platforms will offer you this choice when you sign up, or you can look out for socially responsible portfolios.

Learn even more about ethical investing with our guide to ethical ISAs. We’re big fans of these at Nuts About Money and have our own money in them!

What’s the Financial Services Compensation Scheme?

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is effectively insurance for you, should anything go wrong with the company holding your cash!

It’s completely free, and you don’t need to sign up to anything, it’s set up by the government to protect customers not just on UK investment and trading platforms, but with any financial institution holding customers money – even things like mortgages.

As long as the company has been approved and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), then you’d normally be covered.

You’re covered up to £85,000 per company, and basically if the company goes out of business and doesn’t give you your money back, the FSCS will.

It might be best to seek independent financial advice should you want to learn more and make a claim in future. You're not covered if you simply lose money – don't forget your capital is at risk as they say!

What are trading fees and account fees?

Unfortunately, investing (and trading) isn’t free! It comes at a cost – there’s a lot of things going on behind the scenes for platforms in the UK to make trades for you.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s super expensive! It used to be, when it was all face-to-face or over the phone with a stock broker. But now using an online trading platform makes it much cheaper to buy and sell stocks.

In fact, more modern trading apps are commission-free! That means you don’t pay any trading fees to buy or sell investments, you’ll just be paying a fee for your account – and sometimes not even that.

Trading 212¹ is one of the best commission-free trading apps and cheapest trading & investment platforms.

And because it’s now cheaper for an online trading platform to make transactions for their clients, there doesn’t tend to be any minimum investment fees (or minimum deposit), or any withdrawal fees. Result! You can trade online with as little as £1 on some trading apps if you want to.

Let’s quickly go back to account fees, these are sometimes called platform fees, and they’ll either be a fixed monthly fee (such as £9.99 per month flat fee), and you can then make trades sometimes with a fee and sometimes without, depending on the platform. Or, they’ll be an annual fee based on the amount of investments within your account, which can range from 0% to 1%.

It really depends on if you want to trade or invest, and generally if you’re investing then you’ll pay a percentage of your investments, and trading you’ll pay trading fees plus an account fee.

Share dealing fees

The trading fee we mentioned is often called a share dealing fee. And this is simply the fee to buy and sell stocks and shares, and is charged per transaction. It can range from free (with commission-free platforms) to as much as £11.95 with more traditional stock brokers such as Hargreaves Lansdown.

Currency conversion fees

A currency conversion fee, or currency exchange fee, is often how free investment platforms make their money. Although every investment platform will charge them.

It’s a fee to buy stocks and shares in a different currency to yours (so Pounds, GBP). For instance, if you wanted to buy US stocks, they’re in US Dollars, and so in order to buy them, the stock broker needs to convert your Pounds into Dollars, and in doing so, they’ll charge a fee. This is often 0.50%, but can be high as 1.5% (for instance with Interactive Investor).

Types of investing accounts

General Investment Account (GIA)

This is your standard investing account, available with every investment app or platform out there. It’s perfect for a few reasons:

  1. Trying out a new company without committing to a Stocks & Shares ISA (more on that below).
  2. You might have your Stocks & Shares ISA with another company, such as an investment app with your investments managed by experts, and want to also use another platform, such as a trading platform for regular trading.
  3. You might want to invest more than your ISA allowance (£20,000) per year.

The downside is whatever you make in profit is taxable, and you might have to pay Capital Gains Tax on it. But don’t let that put you off, remember you’re only taxed on your profits!

Not everything you make is taxable either, you’ve got an allowance of £6,000 of profit before you have to pay any tax. That’s in total across all your investments. And you’ll only pay tax if you have ‘realised’ profits, which is selling investments back to Pounds (GBP) within the tax year (April 6th to April 5th the following year).

The tax rate you’ll pay will depend on how much income you make per year, such as the salary from your job. If you earn less than £50,270, and your profits would still keep you under that amount, expect to pay 10% Capital Gains Tax. Anything above £50,270, expect to pay 20% Capital Gains Tax.

Tax can be a bit more complicated depending on what you are investing in. If you are receiving dividends (payments from a company for holding their shares), and the amount you receive is more than your dividend allowance of £1,000, you’ll have to pay income tax instead.

It might get complicated, but remember it’s only your profits! So it’s often worth it.

Stocks & Shares ISAs

A Stocks & Shares ISA (Individual Savings Account), is an account where you can invest up to a massive £20,000 per year and everything you make within the account, so your profit, or increase in value from your investments, is completely tax-free!

That’s right, you pay no tax at all. It’s perfect for long-term saving, and in fact, is why the government promote these accounts – it helps you save for the future, and your money is invested in growing businesses which helps the economy too!

There’s also different types of Stocks & Shares ISAs:

Stocks & Shares Lifetime ISA: if you’re saving for your first home, you can invest up to £4,000 per year and get a 25% bonus from the government on what you put in! However, you must be under 40 to open one, and you can only use it for your first home – if you don’t, you’ll have to wait until your 60 to access the money. Learn more with our Lifetime ISA guide.

Lifetime ISA (LISA)

Stocks & Shares Junior ISA: if you’ve got kids, you can save up to £9,000 per year for each child, all in their name, so it doesn’t affect your own £20,000 allowance. And they’ll get access to the money when they’re 18. A great idea to save for their future. Learn more with our Junior ISA guide.

Junior ISA

Personal pensions

Opening a personal pension is one of the best things you can do for your retirement. You’ll get a massive 25% bonus from the government on everything you put in (up to a limit), and if you’re a higher rate tax payer (earning over £50,270 per year), or an additional rate taxpayer (earning over £150,000), you can claim your pension contributions at those rates, so 40% or 45%. That’s a big deal!

Personal pension

Basically, whatever you pay in tax, you can claim back. This is because the government has decided saving for your pension should be tax free.

The limits on what you can get the bonus for, or claim tax back for (so basically the limit on what you can pay into your personal pension), are:

  • 100% of your income per year, or
  • A maximum of £60,000 paid in per year

However, there are some drawbacks: (remember it’s for your retirement) 
1. You can’t withdraw any money until you reach 55 years old (57 from 2028).
2. You might have to pay income tax when you start taking money from it – it counts as regular income, just like a salary.

If you think a personal pension is for you, you can learn a lot more, and find our recommended providers with our guide to personal pensions. It’s not boring like pensions are – we promise!

Investing in cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies can be a great investment. In fact, they’ve already been one of the greatest investments of all time – for those who got in early of course! Now it’s a lot harder, but the space is so new there are opportunities everywhere – unfortunately, along with bad investments too (but as you learn, you’ll be able to better identify these).

It’s becoming a common part of a lot of investment portfolios, thanks to its potential impact in the future, so don’t be too sceptical or afraid to invest (as long as you understand the risks), and there’s a lot to learn, but that’s why we think it’s a great investment – the technology is simply incredible and world changing.

Investing in cryptocurrencies

It’s a complicated technology to understand, and we won’t go through it here – you can read more about the technology (called blockchain) and both the biggest 2 cryptocurrencies in our guides to how to buy bitcoin and how to buy ethereum, or head over to our best crypto exchanges (UK).

Want advice on how best to invest? Use Finimize!

Researching and understanding the companies or investments you are interested in is essential if you are investing yourself, rather than letting the experts take care of things. But even if they are, it’s always good to learn about the markets, economies, industries and companies themselves – there’s always so much going on!

Finimize researches pretty much everything and breaks it down into easy to understand bite-sized chunks – often in just a few minutes, either written or a voice recording. It’s all on your phone and super easy to use. Think of it like the Financial Times for modern times, with things that you can actually understand!

Finimize app

Here’s our full review of Finimize, and if you think you’d like to try it, grab 50% off here too.

FAQs

What is investing and should you invest?

Did you know you have a £20,000 allowance to invest tax free each year? Rather than having your money sit in a bank account, you can put it to work and earn a return – and over the years end up with a lot more money than you started with should all things go to plan.

It’s a complex world, and there’s a lot to learn, but you shouldn’t be deterred. It's as safe or as risky as you like and it’s one of the best ways to secure your future. It’s tax free for a reason!

What can I invest in?

Investing comes in many forms, but the most common ways are to buy a portion of a company directly (shares), lend your money to a company or the Government (bonds), or put your money into a fund that would buy shares and bonds itself (most common).

Stocks & shares

You can get involved in a business's growth and success by buying part of the business itself, called a share. These shares are traded all over the world on stock exchanges, and their value will go up and down depending on the performance of the company. Some large companies will also pay out part of the company's profits to all those who hold shares (shareholders), which are called dividends.

Bonds

You can effectively loan your money to a company or government and receive interest payments on the amount loaned. You do this by buying bonds. The bond will also have a date they mature, which is when the loan amount will be repaid. Not all companies issue bonds.

Funds

Funds are groups of investments, such as shares and bonds, and you buy a share of the fund itself. They can be managed by a person, known as a fund manager, or track selected companies, such as the biggest 100 companies in the UK (FTSE100). 

Most popular funds trade on stock exchanges, known as Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), just like company shares, and can be bought and sold whenever you like.

ETFs exchange traded funds

How do I invest?

There’s many ways to invest, but for the vast majority of us in the UK, it’s best to use a Stocks & Shares ISA, and then decide the method of investing, broadly split into 3 categories: ‘do-it-yourself’, ‘do-it-with-me’ and ‘do-it-for-me’ – all of which will have different providers and platforms where you can set up a Stocks & Shares ISA and begin investing.

Stock & Shares ISA

Every adult in the UK has an allowance of £20,000 to be used for tax free savings and investments, that means you can put up to £20,000 into an Individual Savings Account - that’s either a Cash ISA, a Stocks & Shares ISA or a Lifetime ISA, or a mix of all, each tax year (6th April to the following 5th April). Any interest received or increase in value of your investments, will be completely tax free.

Do-it-for-me investment platforms

If you just want to invest your money and not manage which shares and funds you want to buy, which is a lot of us, these platforms may suit better. 

Do-it-for-me investing platforms

You pick how much risk you are happy with then you can forget all about it, your investment will be managed by the platform and their experts. They’ll only be buying funds (ETFs), not company shares, and you’ll be paying a fee each year as a percentage of your investment.

Do-it-with-me investment platforms

Still with full control over your investments, and which shares and funds you are buying, these platforms offer more support and assistance in deciding which funds might be better for you, offering portfolios of risk levels to decide from.

Do-it-yourself investment platforms

For those who know what they are doing, and have clear goals and understanding of shares and funds, along with how to manage an individual portfolio of investments. DIY investment platforms are relatively simple and just provide access to the shares and funds that you want to purchase, and normally for a lower fee.

Do-it-yourself investing platforms

The best investment platforms UK

There we have it, a general overview of everything to do with the best investing platforms – easier than you thought right?

There’s lots of investment platforms out there and we’ve listed our unbiased recommendations above.

By the way, great choice deciding to invest – your future self will thank you (potentially a lot!), if you stick to a long-term investment strategy. Just remember there’s never a get rich quick scheme. Happy investing!

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