Winner: Saxo Markets — Best overall stock app
Saxo Markets again wins the crown for the U.K.’s best trading mobile app. The SaxoTraderGO mobile app is highly sophisticated, allowing you to replicate the best of Saxo’s impressive desktop platform through your smartphone. We like how your watch lists, positions and orders are cleanly laid out on the app. You can also view news, trending stocks, views from the trading floor, webinars and educational guides. The app’s chart tools are also impressive, allowing you to overlay different stocks and instruments on a single chart, and to customise charts.
Read our full review of Saxo Markets.
Runner-up: Interactive Brokers — Best for usability
Interactive Brokers takes the silver medal in our annual review of the best stock trading apps. The IBKR app is extensive, whether viewing in demo mode or through a real trading account, with great chart tools and research. We like the ‘impact lens’ tab where you can select values you support and can see your portfolio impact score. The only thing that slightly lets IBKR down is its current lack of educational content aimed at U.K. investors. Read our full review of Interactive Brokers.
Podium finisher: AJ Bell — Best for range of accounts
AJ Bell’s mobile app offers everything an everyday investor would need, including the ability to view research and news, create a watch list, set limit orders and search investment ideas. One snag is that you can’t view charts in full-screen mode, unlike Hargreaves Lansdown, in fourth place. But we ranked AJ Bell third because it also has Dodl, its new low-cost investment app that is easy to use, has great branding and is one of the cheapest platforms in terms of fees. Read our full review of AJ Bell.
Hargreaves Lansdown — Best stock app for everyday investors
Hargreaves Lansdown is the U.K.’s biggest DIY investment platform and offers a very detailed mobile app. You can explore 3,000 funds, ready-made investments and thousands of shares through the app, making it a great experience for trading on the go. The educational material offered through the app is great, and includes an in-app pension calculator that helps you see if you’re on track for your retirement income aims.
Read our full review of Hargreaves Lansdown.
eToro: Best for simplicity
EToro offers a fantastic mobile app experience that is likely to appeal to young or newer investors looking for investment tips and inspiration. The news feed on the home page gives investment updates from other users and through the ‘discover’ tab you can see popular and trending stocks, and sort by sector and asset class. The app also appeals to more experienced traders. EToro’s mobile chart tools are impressive, allowing you to view charts of more than 10 companies on a single screen. Read our full review of eToro.
IG: Best for traders
IG’s mobile app has many of the tools from its excellent web platform. IG’s trading app is very similar in design and layout to Saxo Markets and we like how you can sort stocks according to sector or those with upcoming earnings. You can view and trade shares, investment trusts and ETFs, set price alerts and see news provided by Thomson Reuters. One point of improvement could be for IG to add more chart tools and more educational material – although it has a separate app covering this called IG Academy. Read our full review of IG.
What type of trader are you?
Our guides can help you choose the right broker for you and the way you trade: whether you consider yourself an investing beginner, a more experienced active trader, or a mobile-first trading enthusiast. Be assured that our testing and analysis is both thorough and unbiased.
Other stock apps tested
In addition to our top picks above, we tested and analysed 11 other platforms. Here are our high-level takeaways for each broker.
Barclays: Mobile app does not function fully unless you have a Barclays current account. Read full review
Capital.com: Does not offer direct share dealing. Read Full Review
CMC Invest: Great new mobile app with the ability to filter by ESG. Read Full Review
Fidelity International: A basic offering compared to other platforms with more comprehensive mobile apps. Read Full Review
Freetrade: Great mobile app for newer investors. Low charges and easy to use. Read Full Review
Halifax: Limited mobile app. Your share dealing account needs to have been funded before you can use the app. Read Full Review
Interactive Investor (ii): Interactive Investor is our favourite U.K. investment platform overall but its mobile app is not as good as other platforms. Read Full Review
Lloyds: We found the Lloyds share dealing app to be pretty basic. Like with Halifax, you need to have paid money into your investment account before you can get full use of the app. Read Full Review
Trading 212: Great for investment inspiration and offers a demo account funded with £5,000 of virtual money. Read Full Review
Vanguard UK Investor: Vanguard does not yet offer a mobile app in the U.K., so you have to log in through a web browser on your phone. Read Full Review
XTB: The mobile app is nicely laid out and has low charges, making it a good choice for beginner investors. Read Full Review
What is the best stocks and shares app for beginners in the UK?
Beginners will likely want to prioritise low fees. This means you can invest small amounts without being stung by high trading charges. The U.K. brokers with the lowest stock trading fees are Freetrade, Trading 212, XTB and eToro.
You may also want to consider an app that offers good educational material to help you on your way. All the low-cost apps mentioned above — Freetrade, Trading 212, XTB and eToro — offer some educational content and FAQs, but you will find more in-depth articles on their websites. Other apps offering great learning resources are Dodl (run by AJ Bell) and IG Academy (run by broker IG). IG Academy has articles on how to use and trade investment products, and in-depth courses for those wanting to learn more about trading.
What is the best app for buying shares in the UK?
It depends somewhat on what you're looking for and your level of experience. Beginners may find it best to start with eToro, which has no trading fees and allows you to buy fractional shares (you must invest a minimum of $10, equal to around £8 currently). For those investing large sums of money and who want more bells and whistles, Saxo Markets or Interactive Brokers offer more extensive research and chart tools.
What is the best day trading app in the UK?
Of all the brokers we examine, Saxo Markets, Interactive Brokers, AJ Bell, Hargreaves Lansdown, eToro and IG all stand out for day trading. However, be mindful of trading fees if buying smaller quantities of shares. EToro, Freetrade, XTB and Trading 212 offer the ability to trade stocks commission-free, so these may be a better fit if you are starting out.
Which app is best for stock analysis?
SaxoTraderGO, by Saxo Markets, offers the best research, analysis and educational material of any app we tested. When selecting a stock, you’ll see a chart, analyst recommendations, key financials, news and general company information. You can also compare different stocks on a single chart.
What is the best automated trading app in the UK?
Automated trading allows you to buy and sell stocks and other assets without having to place a manual order. A platform can trade automatically on your behalf based on predetermined entry and exit conditions. Automated trading is aimed at experienced traders and those trading large amounts. U.K. mobile trading apps that allow automated trades include Saxo Markets, Interactive Brokers and IG.
Are trading apps safe?
All 17 trading apps we tested are owned by investment platforms that are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means they adhere to strict oversight and supervision to protect your money. Two-factor authentication is typically offered by investment platforms, enhancing app security. However, you should do careful research before investing to reduce the chances of losing money — remember that security and regulation cannot protect against market gains and losses.
For the UK.StockBrokers.com Annual Review, we assessed, rated, and ranked 17 U.K. share dealing platforms over a 10-week time period. Each broker’s platforms and features were exhaustively tested by hand and graded on 53 different variables. In total, over 25,000 words of research were produced.
We thoroughly tested and compared features of prime interest to everyday investors, including but not limited to:
- Investment choices, such as whether the broker offers trading of shares, ETFs, funds, bonds, and CFDs; and offers SIPP and ISA accounts.
- The broker’s charges and fees for investing.
- Functionality and design of mobile apps and website platform, and a fluid experience moving between app and web.
- Usability of tools such as charting and watch lists.
- Market research, such as screening, news and analysis.
- Educational resources including tutorials, online courses, videos, webinars and articles.
Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors with quality data they can trust. Our lead researcher and writer, Elizabeth Anderson, has more than decade’s experience as a financial journalist and market researcher. Elizabeth’s expertise is backed by a team of veteran fellow traders, data auditors, editors and project managers who work to ensure that UK.StockBrokers.com reviews and guides are the most unbiased and complete in the industry. Read more about our team.
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