Let the experts do all the work. You just put your feet up and watch your money grow. Perfect for everyone.
Take control and make the investing decisions yourself.
Your standard account. Great for investing & regular trading – open as many as you like.
No tax on profits, ever! Perfect for long-term saving. You can only open 1 per year.
Control where your pension is invested, boost your retirement income, and a 25% bonus from the government.
To help you decide, we’ve put together the average rating from Google, Apple, Trustpilot and ourselves. Our own rating is based on our own research and experience.
Free investing! Or as close to it as possible. InvestEngine charge 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. That's as cheap as chips! It’s more than just low cost though, there’s a huge range of investment options and great service.Here's our InvestEngine review. You'll also get a free £25 bonus when you sign up with Nuts About Money (T&Cs apply).
Moneyfarm is like a financial advisor on your phone (or website), their experts will work with you to determine the best investment strategy. It’s low cost, with an excellent investment track record and great customer service. Here's our Moneyfarm review.
Get up to £500 cashback when you sign up before 28th October too.
Wealthyhood helps you to build an investment strategy and portfolio to grow your money over the long term. It guides you through building and managing investments similar to how the professionals do. It’s perfect for pretty much anyone who isn’t yet an expert. It’s commission-free and you can get started from just £10. Here's our Wealthyhood review to learn more.
Get a free share worth up to £200 when you sign up with Nuts About Money
A super popular app to manage your money that will automatically invest your spare cash. It's a great tool, you link your bank account and all set. If you're struggling to save money, this might be for you.
Wealthify is a simple straightforward investment account, with one low annual fee. Experts manage everything for you, and the customer service is excellent.
A budgeting app alongside an investment app. You can round up your spending and automatically invest it, or just invest however much you'd like. It's slightly more complicated than just letting the experts handle it – you can choose which investments to make too.
Nutmeg is a good digital wealth manager – their experts will handle everything for you. However, the investment track record isn’t the best, and they’re one of the most expensive. Plus, they’re the furthest you’ll get from socially responsible investing. There’s better options out there. Here's our Nutmeg review to learn more.
If you do want use Nutmeg – get 6 months fee free¹ when you sign up with Nuts About Money.
Bestinvest offer the choice of either experts managing your money, or managing it yourself. You can get free advice from their financial coaches to help too. The annual charge is low, but you'll pay more hidden fees within the investments themselves, which can be high.
AJ Bell are a great traditional broker, with good customer service and solid reputation. They're 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 phone app too. Overall, a great choice, and worth checking out. Here's our AJ Bell review.
Free investing! Or as close to it as possible. InvestEngine charge 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. That's as cheap as chips! It’s more than just low cost though, there’s a huge range of investment options and great service. Here's our InvestEngine review. You'll also get a free £25 bonus when you sign up with Nuts About Money (T&Cs apply).
IG is a serious trading platform, and very well established. They literally invented spread betting. If you’re looking for one of the best investment platforms in the UK to trade you’ve found it. The investment options are huge and it's low cost. An ISA is available too. Here's our IG review.
An all round awesome trading platform. One of the cheapest, with commission free trades and a huge range of investment options (assets), including CFDs for advanced trading. The customer service is excellent too.
eToro is an awesome trading platform with great social trading features that makes trading fun. There’s a huge community you can get involved in, learn from and copy their trades! It's commission free too. Perfect for beginners all the way to experienced professionals. Here's our eToro review. Note: 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading.
A super popular trading platform in Europe that accepts UK customers. A massive range of investment options (assets), and all for low cost. A good choice.
One of the cheapest platforms thanks to it's low monthly fee rather than high trading costs. Perfect for those making more trades. The range of investment options (assets) is huge too. A great choice. Here's our Interactive Investor review.
Fidelity is a traditional investment company with a solid history and great service. It's average for costs, and an OK range of investment options.
Hargreaves Lansdown is a very traditional broker, and very expensive. An account costs 0.45% per year, and £11.95 per trade. A good reputation and customer service but you're paying a lot for it. Here's our Hargreaves Lansdown review.
Vanguard is very cheap compared to traditional options, with an annual fee of just 0.15%, capped at £375 per year. You can only buy Vanguard funds however, so a limited range, but their funds are very popular. A good option for less active investors.
Bestinvest offer the choice of either experts managing your money, or managing it yourself. You can get free advice from their financial coaches to help too. The annual charge is low, but you'll pay more hidden fees within the investments themselves, which can be high.
Keen to invest and grow your money with an investment platform but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered.
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 got the best UK investment platforms for you.
To determine the best investment platforms, we’ve used 5 key criteria:
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
A robo-investor, or robo-investing platform, simply means an investment app or platform, 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.
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!
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).
If you’re looking to learn more about investing, here’s our guide to investing for beginners (UK).
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).
A Stocks & Shares ISA (instant 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!
The tax you would have normally paid is Capital Gains Tax – and you’d pay it if you made a profit of over £12,300 per year from all of your investments outside of a Stocks & Shares ISA. You should expect to pay tax at a rate of 20%.
However, you can only pay into 1 Stocks & Shares ISA per year, so pick wisely! If you want to learn even more, here’s our guide to Stocks & Shares ISAs.
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.
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).
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!
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.
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!
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!
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. Freetrade 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.
This is your standard investing account, available with every investment app or platform out there. It’s perfect for a few reasons:
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 £12,300 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 £2,000, 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.
A Stocks & Shares ISA (Instant 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.
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.
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!
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:
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!
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.
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).
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!
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!
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.
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 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.
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 investing 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.
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 investing 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 investing 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. These platforms are relatively simple and just provide access to the shares and funds that you want to purchase, and normally for a lower fee.
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!