Best Online Brokers for ETFs

Check out the options below to find your best fit!

Updated: January 26, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

|
Mark Tovey

Edited By

Mark Tovey

 

ETFs are a splendid choice for those keen on diversifying their investments across a variety of assets, all without the hassle of handpicking each one.

Picture them as a delightful blend of mutual funds and stocks – offering the diversity of the former and the trading ease of the latter. Whether your investment palate leans towards a specific strategy or a broad asset category, there's likely an ETF that caters to your taste.

However, to embark on this exciting investment journey, you'll need a top-notch trading platform as your launchpad. While most platforms will offer a selection of ETFs, some truly stand out by providing a more extensive menu to choose from. To ease your search, we've crafted a cheerful guide spotlighting some of the premier online brokers for ETFs, ensuring your investment adventure starts on a bright note!

What Is an ETF?

 An ETF is an exchange traded fund. Just like mutual funds, they hold a variety of different assets that are centred around the strategy or the type of fund that you select. For example, a real estate ETF might hold real-estate related stocks as well as REITs and other investments in that market. 

Unlike mutual funds, an ETF is traded on the stock exchange.

ETFs typically mirror a particular index or encompass a collection of stocks bound by a common theme, whether they hail from the same industry, boast high dividend yields, or share another distinct trait. With an abundance of ETFs available, you have the luxury to explore and pinpoint the one that aligns perfectly with your investment preferences. 

This pool of investments offers you a variety and some diversity in even just one fund. 

The Top ETF Online Trading Platforms

What you will find is that many of the best online trading platforms offer you access to many different assets, one of which is ETFs. The range of ETFs accessible to you hinges on the compatible exchanges your trading platform facilitates. This is an important detail to bear in mind. We've selected some of the top online trading platforms for ETFs, so do have a look at these.

*Plus500 Disclaimer: 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

**eToro Disclaimer: Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees.

***IG Disclaimer: Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

ServiceScoreRegister
*1. Plus500★★★★★Click Here
2. Freetrade★★★★★Click Here
**3. eToro
★★★★★Click Here
4. Invest Engine★★★★★Click Here
5. Saxo Markets★★★★Click Here
6. Interactive Investor★★★★Click Here
***7. IG Investments★★★★Click Here
8. AJ Bell★★★★★Click Here
9. Hargreaves Lansdown★★★★★Click Here
10. Interactive Brokers★★★★★Click Here

1. Plus500

If you're keen on diversifying your portfolio with ETFs and are intrigued by the dynamic nature of Contract for Differences (CFDs), this broker offers an exceptional platform. CFDs are financial instruments that allow you to speculate on the price movements of various assets, including ETFs, without owning the underlying assets directly.

This means you can engage with a wide array of ETF markets, adopting strategies to go long or short, and potentially leveraging your positions to enhance gains. However, it's crucial to navigate these waters with care, as leverage can also increase the potential for losses, and the swift pace of CFD trading demands vigilant market analysis and robust risk management.

Plus500 stands out for its stringent regulatory standards, establishing itself as a highly trusted broker, underscored by its listing on the London Stock Exchange. Specialising in CFDs, Plus500 ensures an immersive trading experience, with a platform designed to streamline your interaction with these complex financial derivatives.

Their desktop trading platform is renowned for its user-friendly interface, complemented by a mobile trading app that combines convenience with functionality, making it effortless to trade on the go.

Plus500 logo

81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Their CFD niche makes them stand out while also giving you access to ETFs. Get real time quotes, plenty of leverage, and no commissions for tight spreads. 

Pros

✔️ CFD focused trading for ETFs

✔️ Intuitive trading platform

✔️ Tons of research and tools 

✔️ Leverage up to 1:30

Cons

❌️ Not your typical trading experience with a focus on CFDs

2. Freetrade

One of the top choices in the ETF industry for the UK market is Freetrade. This is a simple investment app that makes trading easy all while keeping costs to a minimum.

The platform has more than 1 million users already and is steadily growing. You can set up their basic account at no cost, but they also offer standard and plus accounts that have some additional features for a monthly fee. In the ETF market, they have at least 400 to choose from that are all free of commissions.

They offer a diverse array of options, including commission-based choices, ensuring you have a broad spectrum of selections at your disposal. Their ETF categories range from common equity and bond ETFs to other choices like commodity, international, and even sustainable ETFs. 

One unique thing about this online broker is that you can even trade fractional shares, which is a nice change from most trading platforms.

Pros

✔️ Purchase fractional shares

✔️ 400+ commission-free ETFs

✔️ Simple to use

✔️ Several plan options to choose from

Cons

❌️ Only access is through a mobile app, aside from the Plus membership

3. eToro

While the UK market for eToro (review) is slightly limited in some respects, the broker does offer a wide selection of commission-free ETFs.

The platform is straightforward and user-friendly, enabling seamless ETF trading tailored to your preferences. In addition to commission-free ETFs, they offer a variety of options with low minimum investment requirements, making it an attractive choice for beginners or those wishing to dip their toes into trading without a hefty initial commitment.

eToro is a top choice in the trading industry for just about any type of investment, including crypto assets.

eToro logo

Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees.

 

This online trading platform boasts exceptional versatility, accessible via a mobile app or through any compatible web browser. Their dedication to broad compatibility ensures a smooth, user-friendly experience across virtually all devices.

Pros

✔️ ETFs in the UK are zero commission

✔️ Wide variety of assets

✔️ Mobile app or desktop-friendly

✔️ Simple to use for everyone

✔️ Copycat trading available

Cons

❌️ Must remain active to avoid fees

❌️ Customer support has limited availability

4. Invest Engine

Invest Engine is a platform specifically crafted for ETF trading, offering a vast selection of ETFs with the perk of commission-free trades in many instances.

It's robust yet user-friendly, providing options for both DIY and managed portfolios that incorporate ETFs. Tailor a portfolio that aligns perfectly with your investment style.

In terms of affordability, Invest Engine stands out as one of the most cost-effective choices for ETF trading. While trading is commission-free, there's a nominal platform fee, which is reasonably priced.

The platform also supports the purchase of fractional shares, allowing you to start small and gradually build your investment. With an impressive array of over 500 ETFs, the possibilities are vast.

Pros

✔️ 500+ ETFs

✔️ No commissions or trading fees

✔️ One of the cheapest options around

✔️ Low minimums for trading

Cons

❌️ Limitations to ethical investing options

5. Saxo Markets

Saxo Markets is another great platform, particularly if you want something that specialises in a broad range of marketable assets. This online platform is accessible via mobile or a browser and they offer more than 70,000 different investments instruments.

This includes ETFs, as well stocks, bonds, forex, CFDs, futures, and more. That’s an incredibly broad range, which is something that sets this company apart.

Managed portfolios are another option with this platform, with the fees for going down this route looking eminently reasonable. The company has been granted many awards, including the 2022 best trading platform by BrokerChooser. Their trading tools allow you to trade all with the benefit of educational resources and illuminating analytics. 

They do have higher fees than many of their competitors, although once you've experienced their robust and intuitive platform you might find you're more than happy to fork out that bit extra.

Pros

✔️ Tons of ETS

✔️ More than 70,000 assets 

✔️ Awesome customer support

✔️ Platform is user-friendly

Cons

❌️ Fees are higher than most competitors

6. Interactive Investor

Interactive Investor (review) has a lot of great features and they are an affordable choice when it comes to ETFs. They have a wide variety of ETFs that trade on low or no commissions, with more than 1,000 total assets in the ETF market to choose from.

This makes them more substantial than most of their ETF competitors. You may have to pay some account fees, but they are still affordable.

One thing that sets Interactive Investor apart is their strong focus on educational and trading tools. They’ve gone to great lengths to build this up and it’s one of their best features. 

There are no minimum balances and the monthly fee is not bad at all. 

Pros

✔️ Reasonable monthly fee

✔️ More than 1,000 ETFs

✔️ Tons of education and tools

✔️ Low minimum deposit

Cons

❌️ Since this has a fixed fee, you need to be an active trader for it to be worth it

7. IG Investments

IG Investments is one of the leading online trading platforms in the UK due to their ample offering of securities.

This platform has one of the broadest ranges of exchanges for you to access, which means you can invest in just about any type of asset your heart desires. This includes a mammoth range of over 5,000 ETFs.

At the same time, they provide search and screening tools to help you whittle down their ginormous offering. This makes them user-friendly for beginners as well as experienced traders.

IG Markets are a company that is listed on the London Stock Exchange, meaning they have a lot of security and regulation baked into their business model.

You will pay trading fees here and they have a slightly higher minimum balance, but considering the platform capacity, it’s well worth it.

Pros

✔️ More than 5,000 ETFs

✔️ Wide variety of exchanges and assets

✔️ Excellent trading platform

✔️ ETF trading fees are low

IG logo

Disclaimer: Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Cons

❌️ Minimum account deposit of £250 

8. AJ Bell

AJ Bell are often overlooked, but the truth is that they have a lot to offer the investment industry and they’ve won a number of awards along the way.

They have a wide variety of ETFs to choose from and they share a favourite funds list to all their customers who want some recommendations.

While their ETF platform isn’t as big as names like IG, they still have more than 1,500 ETFs to choose from. They do charge fees for some ETF trading, but most of the dealer fees are for other types of trades. The fees are reasonable overall. 

The platform is easy to use and takes a classic approach to trading with the best access being on a browser. You can use their app though, and it’s just fine for trading ETFs. 

Pros

✔️ Fees are low

✔️ Platform is easy to use

✔️ No minimum deposit 

✔️ Superior customer service

Cons

❌️ Most research tools are based on company opinion

9. Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown is another “lesser-known” company, but they are really one of the top ETF brokers out there. They have a lot of different investment instruments and more than 2,500 ETFs to choose from.

They also provide their customers a lot of really great research and trading tools so you can be fully informed in everything you do.

They offer self-managed portfolios, managed portfolios, and a selection of ready-made portfolios. This gives you some variety so you can pick what works best for you.

The main downside is that Hargreaves Lansdown charge a holding fee, which is a fixed percentage of your portfolio every year. They also charge a fairly steep fixed fee for buying and selling ETFs. On the other hand, they do have a low minimum balance. 

Pros

✔️ Low minimum balance

✔️ Intuitive research and tools

✔️ Simple platform design

Cons

❌️ Commissions can get high with high volumes of trading

10. Interactive Brokers

Last but not least, Interactive Brokers is another top platform for trading of any kind. This includes ETFs. They have a wide variety of assets, with access to more than 13,000 marketable ETFs.

Most are charged a trading commission, but they have around 100 options that are fee free so you can always check into those.

This platform is more advanced. Beginners can use it, but it will take a bit of a learning curve to get used to. Advanced traders love it because it has the tools and research they want. Start small and build on your ETF trading game. 

This app is highly recommended for advanced traders and anyone who wants access to loads of research. 

Pros

✔️ Advanced platform design

✔️ Tons of provisional research

✔️ Reasonable fees and prices

✔️ Tons of ETF options available

Cons

❌️ Some limitations to the UK market

❌️ Beginner investors may struggle

Choosing an ETF Online Broker

As you'll have realised, there are a lot of fish in the sea vying for your attention. Many online brokers have a unique niche of some sort, which you can hone in on to help you make up your mind.

Some focus on maxing out on educational and analytical tools, while others put all their effort into making their platform as user friendly as possible.

Let's have a look at the key factors you'll want to keep in mind on your search for the perfect online broker to trade ETFs. 

Fees

Every app is going to charge fees somewhere. The question is how and where are those fees charged. Will you pay a monthly fee or will you pay trading commissions? Could you end up paying both? Depending on how much you trade, one type of fee may be better than another. 

For example, a high volume trader may be better off paying a monthly fee, but paying no commissions on their trades. For others who don’t trade very often, it might be better to pay a commission and not worry about monthly fees. 

This simply depends on your needs. 

Available ETFs

Another thing to consider might be the ETFs that are available to you. All of these online brokers shared here have a wide variety of options. And yet the available ETFs still vary considerably from broker to broker. 

Do you want access to the highest number of ETFs or are you ok with a quality app that keeps it simple but doesn't offer quite as many choices? 

Tools & Education

It's also wise to take into account the tools and educational resources at your disposal. Regardless of your experience level, from seasoned trader to novice, having access to the right resources is crucial for your trading journey. The variety and depth of these tools and educational materials might vary based on your expertise, but having reliable resources and easily accessible information at your fingertips is essential.

Final Thoughts

ETFs are a great investment vehicle for zeroing in on a particular theme (be it green energy stocks, FTSE 100 companies, or high-dividend shares) while also remaining better diversified than individual stock pickers. Not all trading platforms offer ETFs, so if this is an asset you’re interested in, be sure to choose a platform that does.

You can’t go wrong with any of the brokers on our top 10 list. Just be sure to check out the details to find out what will be the best fit for your trading needs. 

Happy trading!

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