Best Trading Platforms

We review the top online trading platforms in the UK.

Updated: April 15, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

|
Elizabeth Anderson

Edited By

Elizabeth Anderson

 
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Trading may conjure up images of traders hunched over their computers, or flashing green screens as they buy and sell stocks. But that’s not how most people trade today.

In this article I'll explain how trading platforms work and gives you an overview of some of the best platforms available in the UK. 

If you want to trade UK stocks and shares, you'll need an online trading platform. They vary in complexity and costs so check out our guide on choosing the best trading platform for your needs before making a decision.

When investing, your capital is at risk and you may get back less than invested. Past performance doesn’t guarantee future results.

ServiceScoreRegister
1. Plus500★★★★★Click Here
2. XTB★★★★★Click Here
3. Pepperstone★★★★★Click Here
4. eToro★★★★★Click Here
5. Vanguard★★★★★Click Here
6. Capital.com★★★★Click Here
7. Interactive Investor★★★★Click Here
8. Hargreaves Lansdown★★★★Click Here
9. AvaTrade★★★★Click Here
10. Trading 212★★★★★Click Here
11. Coinbase★★★★★Click Here

At a Glance, Pros and Cons

This section is dedicated to providing an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of online trading platforms.

Pros

Easy Access. To trade stocks and shares online, you’ll simply need money and internet access. Once you've opened an account with a brokerage firm, you may begin trading almost instantly.

Low Transaction Costs. Many discount online equity brokers offer zero-commission stock trading. Investment trades may be made without paying transaction costs under the zero-commission model.

In spite of the fact that the currency and futures markets are commission-based, online brokers have dramatically reduced trade-related fees and commissions over the past years.

Liquidity. The number of participants in the markets has skyrocketed due to online trading, resulting in tighter bid/ask spreads and slippage being easier to quantify. In addition, the market entry and exit process has been simplified.

When it comes to day trading methods, market liquidity is a big issue. Whether one tries to profit off trending price action or rotational price action, the ability to enter and exit the market efficiently is a major factor in profitability. High losses could occur as well.

Leverage. Forex brokerage firms frequently allow clients to leverage up to 100:1 on the account balance, enabling larger returns. Online trading has increased its availability. Leverage has always been a critical aspect of trading securities.

Leverage is crucial for full-time traders to make the most of their financial risk. Although careless leverage is harmful, individuals with the correct knowledge may be able to achieve tremendous returns.

Opportunity. Traders no longer adhere to traditional trading schedules as online trading has bolstered. Despite the fact that optimal trading hours are usually constant, most markets are open for trading 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. Whether it's daytime or nighttime, you may always monitor live quotes and conduct trading strategies.

CME Globex, a forex platform, is open from Sunday afternoon to Friday afternoon, during which 45-minute periods are allocated for settlement. These extra hours create a lot of trading opportunity for customers of online trading platforms, especially for cryptocurrencies, which are open 24/7/365.

Cons

❌️ Discipline. Online trading offers access to many different markets and offers high degrees of leverage on a 24/5 basis. Impulsive behaviour can be driven by greed and fear, which is why traders' emotional states are constantly addressed.

❌️ Volatility. Volumes and market participation in electronic trading have led to more frequent and severe periodic price spikes as a result of which traders and investors have become able to enter a market at near-light speeds, creating the potential for sudden, unpredictable price increases.

Active traders may mitigate the risk of volatile conditions causing measurable damage by employing the stop, stop limit, or limit order. In this way, the market may be controlled with relative precision regardless of how much volatility there is.

❌️ Latency. In the electronic marketplace, a wide technological infrastructure facilitates trade. Trade is carried out via a multitude of routers, servers, and algorithm-driven order matching systems. Unfortunately, some participants encounter unavoidable latency in their trade.

❌️ Misinformation. There have always been dishonest practices in mutual funds and stock promotions. Scams and outright fraud have been a part of the financial industry since its inception. Careless analysis or outright market manipulation led to the downfall of many unsuccessful traders.

Best Trading Platforms: Overview

Without further ado, here is our guide to the best online trading platforms in the UK.

CompanyMin DepositInstrumentsInvestment Choices
1. Plus500£1002,800+ (CFDs)Shares, Forex, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Options (CFDs)
2. XTBNo minimumNearly 2,000 (CFDs)Forex, Indices, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies, Stocks, ETFs
3. PepperstoneNo minimum1,200+Forex, Indices, Equities, Energy, Commodities
4. eToro£105,000+Stocks, Indices, ETFs, Currencies, Commodities, Cryptoassets
5. Vanguard£100 per month or a £500 lump sum80+Stocks, ETFs
6. Capital.com£203,000+Shares, Forex, Indices, Commodities
7. Interactive InvestorNo minimum40,000+Shares, Funds, Investment Trusts, ETFs
8. Hargreaves Lansdown£12,500+ETFs, Investment Trusts, Bonds, Shares
9. AvaTrade£1001,250+Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Bonds, Cryptocurrencies
10. Trading 212£103,000+Forex, Stocks, ETFs, Index Futures, Commodity Futures, Forex Futures, Treasury Futures, Cryptocurrencies
11. Coinbase£50100+Cryptocurrencies

1. Plus500 — Best Online Trading Platform for CFDs

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Plus500UK Ltd is authorized & regulated by the FCA (#509909), as well as having brokerage account insurance and financial segmentation.

You can’t own real stocks through Plus500. Instead, you trade shares through contract for differences (CFDs). This means you speculate on the rising and falling value of shares but don’t own shares directly.

What Is Plus500?

The Plus500 trading platform is one of the most established and trusted trading platforms in the world. It is owned and operated by the Plus500 Corporation, an Israeli investment firm. 

The Plus500CFD trading platform allows users to place trades based on real-time market data. The Plus500Futures platform offers futures on forex, agriculture, metals, interest rates, energy, and equities.

The trading platform also offers a variety of investment options for its users. All the instruments are available for trading only through CFDs.

Trading on Plus500 Via CFDs

Plus500 offers CFD trading services that involve purchasing and selling contracts for future delivery of stocks, indices, commodities, or foreign exchange. 

Basically, you can think of it as a contract between a buyer and a seller whereby the seller agrees to bid on the underlying asset without actually buying it. Due to the use of leverage in many cases, you must be very careful while trading with a CFD broker since it carries a high amount of risk. 

One of the main features offered by Plus500 is the support for trading stocks. In order to trade stocks, you can connect your bank account to the Plus500 platform. Once you’re logged in, selecting “New position” under your trading menu will prompt you to choose a stock from your connected bank account. You can also place a buy order, sell order, or both depending on your trading strategy.

Plus500 supports over 30 stock market indices and over 9,000 equity offerings. 

Plus500 provides a comprehensive set of tools to help you analyze securities and make informed investment decisions. The Company’s charting and analysis tools let you view price data across multiple time frames and market conditions.

You can also view the real-time market data such as order books, order cancellations, and buy/sell offers. Plus500’s trading terminal is compatible with a variety of major banking systems. It allows you to view your trading statistics such as trading history, trade details, profit/loss, and portfolio value.

Negative Balance Protection

Negative balance protection is a safeguard that stops your trading account from incurring a negative balance.

Negative balance protection is a regulatory requirement with which Plus500 complies. It is an important feature of your brokerage account. It’s also one that many traders overlook. But once you understand its implications, you may want to take action sooner rather than later. 

If the balance in your trading account falls below zero, the feature kicks in and protects you from incurring a penalty. Whenever you deposit money into your trading account, it’s automatically added to the positive side until the balance reaches zero again. Negative balance protection is essentially a safeguard that lets you continue trading even if your account’s balance falls below zero.

This safeguard is a regulatory requirement that all regulated CFD brokers offer for traders who use CFDs because it protects you from incurring a negative margin that you can’t technically afford to pay. 

Final Word

Overall, Plus500 offers a range of trading CFDs in various asset classes such as stocks, ETFs, futures, commodities, and currencies. You can also trade in various financial instruments including money market funds, U.S. treasury bills, foreign exchange, and precious metals.Plus500 has over 10,000 customer reviews on Trustpilot, most of which are positive.

Pros

✔️ Range of trading CFDs in various asset classes

✔️ CFD based 

✔️ Positive user ratings

✔️ Stocks, ETFs, Futures, Commodities, and Currencies

Cons

❌ CFDs are complex and high risk

2. XTB — One of the Largest Stock Exchange-Listed Brokers and Platforms

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

XTB provides users with multiple handy tools to support their trading activity. With this platform, clients can view trading charts that feature data on the price movements of markets over time. It’s possible to look for technical patterns with these charts as a beginner.

The platform also uses the xStation 5 platform, which offers superior speeds for executing trades and is easy to use. It’s through this platform that you can access thousands of instruments. Nearly 2,000 instruments are accessible, and the range includes contracts for difference, exchange-traded funds, indices, stocks, commodities and others.

All in all, XTB is a simple and intuitive trading brokers that counts as one of the biggest stock exchange listed, foreign exchange and CFD brokers available. 

You might be looking for a broker that is low cost, easy to use and has been around for long enough to facilitate trading. XTB has more than 15 years of experience, offers customer support 24 hours a day, five days a week, does not charge a commission on turnover worth up to €100,000 (which equates to £85,447.45) and provides the tools you need to get started.

XTB is proud to be the trading gateway for retail traders, giving them access to global markets instantly. Their award-winning platform also prioritises transparency and aims to improve the trading experience.

Trading Stocks With XTB

Trading stocks with XTB and getting started isn’t difficult. You’ll have access to big, well-known shares such as Lloyds Banking Group, Tesla and Amazon; the shares are available as real shares — as stated on the XTB website — these are not contracts for difference.

To facilitate trading, you can access an education hub, featuring a knowledge base, market news, free reports and guides. All of these features mean you can learn how XTB functions and the best features it offers.

You can begin trading using your demo account and then move on to real trading with a real account by signing up to XTB. 

Some of the extra handy features you can access on the XTB platform include the following:

☑️ Investment planning tools with intuitive interfaces.

☑️ A range of indices, forex and commodities.

☑️ Tight spreads that begin at 0.3 pips.

☑️ Leverage trading with ratios of 30:1.

Pros

✔️ Demo account available to practice trading

✔️ One of the biggest stock exchange-listed CFD and stock brokers worldwide

✔️ Thousands of instruments available to trade

Cons

❌ Currency conversion fees apply when trading forex

3. Pepperstone — Popular UK Trading Platform

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75.3% 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.

Pepperstone relies heavily on third-party platforms. There is no Pepperstone trading platform of its own. MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader are the three third-party online platforms that WebTrader and its mobile app versions are designed to run.

Pepperstone has plenty of tools to choose from, so clients can examine price charts from many angles. Both charts and indicators can be modified, giving traders a competitive edge in liquid markets.

Overall, Pepperstone is a full-service financial brokerage that offers a wide range of products and services to its clients, including management, trading and custodian services.

If you’re new to investing or just want to explore your options in this sector, then Pepperstone can help you do so at a fair price. 

Pepperstone seems to pride itself on its customer service and how easy it makes it for potential investors to get started. This means that there are no hidden fees or charges or any other fine print that could scare away first-time investors. All you have to do is set up an account and start investing.

Investing in Stocks With Peppersone

If you’re interested in getting in on the stock market, you can start by investing in a selection of stocks through Pepperstone. You won’t own the shares directly as the trading of physical stocks is not offered on Pepperstone. You trade via CFDs or spread betting. 

Pepperstone offers a selection of stocks, ETFs and funds that make it easy for investors to own a diverse range of assets. Here are the following features you can expect when using the Pepperstone online trading platform:

☑️ Educational provisions. 

☑️ An investment strategy that was tested using historical data.

☑️ You can modify the chart and indicators.

Pros

✔️ Good range of third-party tools

✔️ Great educational material

Cons

❌ Cannot own stocks directly

4. eToro — Popular Online Trading Platform

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

eToro can help beginners get used to the world of trading by offering copy-trading and social trading-powered features.

What Is eToro?

eToro is known for its “social-trading” platform that allows users to follow the lead of others when investing in securities such as stocks, ETFs, or even gold.

eToro allows users to create and manage their portfolio from any device with a web browser and an internet connection.

How Does Investing in eToro Work?

eToro users can search for and buy stocks via the mobile app or website. You can also buy stocks in any of the 13 different asset classes that include shares of private companies, ETFs, real estate investment trusts, commodities and financial services.

You can also choose from thousands of stocks that span industries such as biotech, technology and energy.

Investors can create a portfolio of stocks that are designed to offer diversification. You can also set up a watchlist of stocks you’re tracking, keep track of your portfolio’s performance, and get up-to-the-minute price updates.

How to Buy Stocks on eToro: users first open an account with the brokerage, then they can link their bank account or credit card to fund their brokerage account so they can buy stocks. Some investors prefer to buy stocks via an ISA.

Investors who have those types of retirement accounts can open a brokerage account and fund it with their own money. They can then fund their ISA with the brokerage account.

Smart Portfolios Service

Through Smart Portfolios (formerly called CopyPortfolios), you can track a specific theme or sector. Choose the strategy that matches your requirements and eToro will find your match. This account combines a variety of complex stocks and other commodities, including CDFs and ETFs.

Employing a ‘Top Trader’ or ‘Market’ portfolio with eToro is a useful way to trade long-term at low risk. You will save money on hiring a portfolio manager, but the returns may take longer to ripen. You can access a catalogue of durable, top-performing traders in three easy steps:

☑️ Choose the formula that suits you best.

☑️ Determine the investment amount.

☑️ Choose ‘Copy’ and your funds will be handled automatically.

An expert panel oversees your funds indirectly. They will monitor your performance and benefit from the added data of world-class third-party analyst companies. Do you want to know more? There is an expert panel managing your funds.

Pros

✔️ Suited to beginners

✔️ Innovative social features

✔️ Innovative social features 

Cons

❌ Copy trading can be a negative if the performance is not as good as hoped

5. Vanguard — Best Trading Platform for Stability Track Record

Vanguard has received praise from many worldwide, including respected economist Ray Dalio and successful investor Warren Buffett — both of whom recommend Vanguard as a means to achieving significant personal success.

Moreover, Tony Robbins, one of the world's most popular personal development coaches, was also influenced by Dalio to seek out Vanguard as a good investment option.

Vanguard is a well-known investment management firm that was founded in the 1930s. Serving as the pioneer of low-cost management, Vanguard has grown to become one of the most trusted and reputable investment managers today. Vanguard is known for its low-cost index funds, which offer cheap investing. 

Unlike other firms, Vanguard doesn’t try to make investors rich overnight. Instead, it strives to create a secure retirement and long-term wealth for everyone. Vanguard’s mission is to provide the best possible financial products and services for investors. 

Today, it has millions of clients and holds trillions in assets under management. Vanguard offers a wide range of financial products, including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and bonds.

Vanguard also has a wide variety of clients, which include individuals, businesses, institutions, foundations and insurance companies. Its services are designed for all types of investors, regardless of their financial needs or objectives.

Slow, Steady Train: Mutuals and ETFs

As for Vanguard’s mutual funds, these are spread across many different industry sectors, including health care, technology, and energy. 

Vanguard’s mutual fund offerings include funds that are targeted to a specific investment objective.For example, target-date funds are designed to provide consistent gains over time. Another prominent type of fund offered by Vanguard are its index funds. These funds track a specific index and provide investors with low fees and the potential for higher returns.

Vanguard also offers a range of ETFs that track a variety of different market indices.

Investors can use these funds to gain exposure to certain assets, such as real estate, energy, and technology. They can also be used to gain exposure to a particular area of the market, such as small-cap stocks. 

ETFs can be traded like stocks on a stock exchange, which means that they can be bought and sold throughout the day. This can result in trading profits or losses depending on the markets. Investors can also use ETFs to diversify their investment portfolios. They can either use them individually or as part of a portfolio.

Bottom Line: Vanguard is known for its low-cost index funds and mutual funds. If you're looking for a safe, low-risk way to make a lot of money over time, it may not be as exciting as Robinhood or crypto investing, but may deliver superior returns. 

Pros

✔️ Low cost

✔️ Potential for wide diversification

Cons

❌ Requires a £500 lump sum to start, or pay in £100 a month

❌ A fairly narrow range of investment options

6. Capital.com — Best Online Trading Platform for CFDs

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 74% 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.

High-Risk With Potential High-ROI

If you want an uncomplicated platform to trade contracts for differences (CFDs) on your mobile device, Capital.com is one to check out. 

When using Capital.com through CFDs, a contract is opened on the outcome of the stock’s movement. You can then close the trade with profits if the stock’s movement matches your prediction to a significant degree.

Using a small investment, you can make big trades with CFDs. In comparison to owning the underlying stock asset, traders make bids like they would for a commodity (CFDs) rather than buying. Using Capital.com as a third party opens up a contract on the outcome of a stock's movement. 

In this case, if the stock's movement matches your prediction to a large degree, you can close the trade with profits being made from the difference between what you paid to initiate the contract and what you sell for.

Apply Leverage 🐉

Leverage, which is simply a fancy way of saying you may borrow as much as you desire to cover the total expense, is a popular investment instrument. 

If the horse switches directions, you might wipe out all of your account funds in seconds.

You can also lose more than the amount you originally invested (even more than the broker has theoretically lent you) if the market really swings.

Negative Balance Protection 💂

As some trading platforms allow you to borrow money, you ideally want to enable ‘Negative Balance Protection’ — a consumer protection mechanism that was established a few years ago in order to protect retail investors from large losses.

We suggest testing out the Capital.com CFD trading app's built-in demo simulator before risking any funds so you can get a realistic idea of things.

There are different types of exchanges available, including the London Stock Exchange and international exchanges. And other securities include indexes, forex, cryptocurrency, and more.

Capital.com’s interface is tailored for beginners with little experience. The minimum deposit amount is £20.

Pros

✔️ Great interface

✔️ Apply leverage

Cons

❌ CFDs are risky

7. Interactive Investor — Best Online Trading Platform With Flat Fees

The price and value of investments and their income fluctuates: you may get back less than the amount you invested. If you are unsure about the suitability of a particular investment or think that you need a personal recommendation, you should speak to a suitably qualified financial adviser. Please note, the tax treatment of these products depends on the individual circumstances of each customer and may be subject to change in future. If you are uncertain about the tax treatment of the products you should contact HMRC or seek independent tax advice.

Some UK traders believe that the best stock trading app is Interactive Investor, which charges a flat monthly management fee from £4.99 a month.

The fee for trading stocks is £3.99 per trade, which may be offputting if you only want to invest a few pounds. However, this trade fee is cheaper than many other platforms. The fee is also waived for regular dealing, which is free.

Interactive Investor, based in Manchester, has access to more than 40,000 stocks across 17 global exchanges.

Offerings

Interactive Investor allows you to invest in a wide range of stocks and funds

Log in to the Interactive Investor app using face and touch ID methods rather than typing account details. Clients may add funds, handle orders, and see the day's best and worst-performing stocks through the Interactive Investor app. The app looks modern and is easy to navigate.

The charts need functionality improvements. They should have a wide range of drawing and technical analysis tools. However, the charts themselves are visually appealing.

The Interactive Investor website and app offer a handy resource for traders who want to learn more about trading and stay up to date with global financial news. You may create a free Research Account to access online forums, newsletters and portfolio tracking without charge.

Value for Money

Interactive Investor offers investors the chance to trade any of nine currencies at a greater advantage. Even if your transaction exceeds £22,000, the margin rate stays at around 1%. A margin rate of 0.25% is great, but only if your transaction is worth at least £500,000.

Through the Investor plan, Interactive Investor traders can build portfolios without having to worry about percentage fees. Starting at £11.99 per month for the Investor plan, clients enjoy numerous financial benefits. You’ll avoid paying any trading fees and get one free stock trade a month.

The most expensive flat monthly fee (£20) provides you with two free trades as well as other advantages such as adding accounts for friends and family.

Interactive Investor is a reliable, highly regulated investment platform that provides a wide range of trading services for a fixed monthly fee.

Pros

✔️ Flat fees can work out cost effective for large portfolios

✔️ Nine currencies are available for discount on FX costs

✔️ No commission fees for regular dealing

Cons

❌ Charts not as sophisticated as some other platforms

❌ May work out expensive for low trades

8. Hargreaves Lansdown — Popular Online Trading Platform for Advisors

Good Reputation 💪

Hargreaves Lansdown was founded four decades ago and has 1.7 million clients, making it the biggest platform in the UK for DIY investors.

Its platform offers a vast array of market analysis and technical insights on-demand, as well as excellent platform interfaces, an easy-to-use app and diverse device compatibilities.

The main drawback is that Hargreaves Lansdown can work out expensive. You will pay £11.99 per trade, but this can be halved if you do a lot of trades in a month.

What Is Hargreaves Lansdown?

Essentially, Hargreaves Lansdown is an online brokerage that also offers a variety of investment products. It is one of the largest financial services companies in the world. 

Hargreaves Lansdown offers a variety of investment products and services to individual and corporate customers. It has more than 1,700 employees, and serves more than 1.7 million customers. 

Hargreaves Lansdown is listed on the FTSE 250 in the UK.

Good-Quality App for Mobile

One of the best things about Hargreaves Lansdown is the mobile app. It's one of the best mobile apps available on all of the platforms.

You may also adjust the chart to display financial results, forecasts or dividends — a feature that is difficult to find in the UK. You can use drawing indicators to add overlays to commodities or indices, for example.

The HL Live Mobile app allows you to access a mobile trading service via iPad, iPhone and Android. It's a superb option, which offers a simple way to trade while still being able to access key fundamental research.

You can still get valuable insights from your charts without having to log in to your desktop platform. At present, there is no Windows desktop platform.

Hargreaves Lansdown has a vast network of financial advisors and custody partners, so you can invest in a wide range of assets, including cash, government securities, bonds, equities, and alternative investments like real estate and commodities. 

You can purchase funds from Hargreaves Lansdown through a variety of different methods, including a standard investment plan and a corporate investment plan. The investment plans are available in a number of different investment strategies. For example, you can:

  • Choose to invest in a “Balanced” strategy with a mix of cash and stocks.
  • Or you can invest in a single “Core” strategy that has a higher risk of generating higher investment returns. 

The investment plans are designed to allow you to invest broadly without having to understand the nitty-gritty details of the investment strategy, making it a great way to get started as an investor.

Educational Resources

What we like most about Hargreaves Lansdown is that clients can automatically access calculators and guided lessons on topics such as SIPPs, ISAs, and stock selection that they can use to educate themselves.

Educational guides are great, but eToro — the innovative fintech powerhouse — outshines them in terms of cutting-edge sharpness and relevance to the market. You cannot participate in discussions or get feeds from a community database, for example.

How Does Hargreaves Lansdown Invest Your Money Into Stocks?

Hargreaves Lansdown allows you to choose from a variety of different investments, including stocks and bonds. 

Overall, what’s great about Hargreaves Lansdown is that you don’t have to know much about investments in order to begin investing. The firm offers a variety of investment plans that are designed to help investors get started without having to worry too much about understanding the intricacies of the investment strategy.

This makes Hargreaves Lansdown an ideal choice for first-time investors who want to get their feet wet without worrying about learning lots of new investing terms.

Pros

✔️ 40 years of experience

✔️Great educational material

✔️Makes investing relatively straightforward

✔️ Great mobile app

Cons

❌ There are no live chat services

❌ Costs can be on the higher side if trading small amounts

9. AvaTrade — Best Online Trading Platform for Exposure to Global Markets

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

AvaTrade may be one of the best for experienced traders. But be aware it was founded in Ireland and is located outside the UK. It is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

With increasing competition in international stock markets, traders need to have the latest tools and strategies to stay ahead.

With AvaTrade, you get a fast and reliable trading platform that allows you to trade from anywhere with just your mobile phone. The platform is designed for Forex traders looking for high-frequency trading (HFT).

It has been specifically built for traders who primarily focus on short-term trades at low volume levels. In this AvaTrade review, we will explore all of its features in detail so that you can make an informed choice before signing up as an account holder. Let’s take a look…

What Is AvaTrade?

AvaTrade is a multi-faceted broker (forex, options, stocks) that offers high-frequency trading (HFT) services to traders.

Founded in 2006, AvaTrade is a trading platform that allows traders to access markets with ease. The broker is known for offering a lightning-fast execution that is not available with most other exchange services. 

All your orders are balanced across a network of several liquidity providers. This ensures that your order is filled at a price that is relatively close to the market price. And it’s available in several languages including English, Japanese, German, French, and Italian.

The AvaTrade platform is designed for trading all manner of things including commodities, Forex and CFDs. It provides trading tools such as a trading guide, charting software, trading alerts, and a news feed.

The platform is available for trading on over 100 CFD providers. It allows traders to access various asset classes including Currencies, commodities, precious metals, indices, and stock indices. 

You can also trade CFDs on futures and ETFs. The platform is fully mobile-optimized and highly secure. It supports both Android and Apple devices. The mobile app is designed to function as a trading terminal. It supports a range of trading features such as charting, order placement and portfolio management.

Powerful Tool for the Seasoned

The tool's social trading features (note, these require third-party plugins, such as DupliTrade) do not make it suitable for beginners (note, however, that it has very powerful higher-level abilities, chief among them amazing negotiation abilities).

  • Unique Trading Platform — The AvaTrade platform has been designed for scalping traders. It is one of the most advanced trading platforms available on the market. It has a number of advanced trading tools that allow traders to execute trades with ease. It is specially designed to cater to scalping traders who primarily focus on short-term trading at low volumes. 
  • Fast Trading Execution — The platform reportedly provides traders with lightning-fast execution. It is one of the fastest execution services on the market. It allows you to execute trades within a few milliseconds. It provides high-frequency trading that is not available with traditional exchanges. It also supports MT4, the main trading platform used by most Forex traders. 
  • Portfolio Management — The platform provides you with a number of trading tools. It also allows you to manage your portfolio effortlessly. This includes a complete trading guide that provides you with all the necessary trading information. It includes a trading guide that shows you how to trade profitably. It also includes a complete guide on how to manage your trading portfolio. It has a set of analytical tools that help you gain better insights on the trading markets. 
  • Order Placement — The platform allows you to place orders quickly. It allows you to place limit orders, market orders, and stop loss orders. You can also place your stop loss orders with a specified percentage. All these make it easier for you to execute trades in the shortest time possible.

Overall, AvaTrade is a fast and reliable forex broker that allows you to access foreign exchange markets from anywhere. It is specially designed for scalping traders who primarily focus on short-term trading at low volumes.

The platform is fully mobile-optimized and highly secure. It allows you to access various markets with ease. It has a set of trading tools such as a trading guide, charting software, trading alerts, and a news feed. This makes it easier for you to execute trades in the shortest time possible.

Pros

✔️ Many social integrations

✔️ Great research 

✔️ Quick account setup

Cons

❌ Not covered by the FSCS

❌ Some conversion fees 

10. Trading 212 — Best Online Trading Platform for High-Frequency Trading

When investing, your capital is at risk and you may get back less than invested. Past performance doesn’t guarantee future results.

Trading 212 aims to make it as easy as possible for traders to buy, sell, and manage digital assets.

No commission-free ETFs or stocks selling at Trading 212 are available. There are also no fees for closing your account or for inactive accounts.

Trading 212 puts an emphasis on ease-of-use (with a speedy account creation process) in contrast with other trading apps that may be more complex to navigate.

The app also features real-time prices and charting tools so you always know what your holdings are worth at any given time. 

Pros

✔️ Access market research

✔️ Fast account creation 

✔️ Optimised for HFT

Cons

❌ Perhaps best suited to high volume

❌ Less social trading

11. Coinbase — Best Online Trading Platform for Cryptocurrency

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.

Known for buying and selling cryptocurrencies, Coinbase is one of the giants in digital currency — using sleek design and straightforward tools. Because of these advantages and market penetration, Coinbase is today one of the most popular crypto platforms in the world.

Despite this, some of these can be surprisingly high, so most investors may opt for the lower-priced version of its service, Coinbase Pro.

Who Should Use Coinbase?

Coinbase is obviously suited to people wanting to buy and trade crypto — particularly those who are new to it and want a trusted way to buy. But with this comes naivety on how high the prices can be with this platform. Doing lower-value transactions can quickly accrue to as much as 15% of the price of the asset itself, having an astonishing effect on your ability to get reliable returns or capital hold.

For this reason, it’s recommended that beginners upgrade to Coinbase Pro as soon as they are able to. This reduces the fees remarkably, although they are still high, at 0.50%. In some cases, you can call lower to 0.10% on some of the competition sites like Binance. Gemini was 0.35% last we checked.

Despite these premium fees, there is still much to enjoy with Coinbase. For instance, has a strong security policy and reduces the likelihood is of customer funds being stolen by storing them in cold storage.

Ease of Use

It’s very straightforward to use. You need a bank account to register, using its data transfer network called Plaid. This is the recommended way of reducing transaction costs. From there, the interface itself is sunny and straightforward.

The search bar to help you filter through the plethora of crypto provisions available. Whether it’s bitcoin or ether, you can make purchases and standing orders.

For the more technically savvy, Coinbase gives users the ability to trade one crypto for another crypto, giving you the ability to swap coins.

Security

Coinbase has stood up to the test of time because of its focus on security. It has had breaches, such as Mt. Gox wherein more than ¼ of a million BTC was stolen back in 2014. But the website has not since had such a massive breach, although they have been controversies along the way.

In fact, one of the changes it’s made was storing customer funds in cold storage. Coinbase purports to store 98% of customer funds offline, across various places in the world, providing an extra layer of security for its virtual assets.

This is handy for people that use its free hot wallet service, but you can also transfer to ⅓ party one provider. The signup to your account, you need to activate two-factor authentication. This also features AES 256 encryption with private keys.

Another mention is that Coinbase works with various banks to pool consumer funds. This means that it has certain insurance protections. For instance, in the US, Coinbase funds has a certain level of FDIC insurance, which reaches up to £250,000. So any funds that are being held by banks are insured.

Learn and Earn

Coinbase also has something for the Learn platform, where it gifts crypto to users who finish lessons. These teach you how to use the platform, they are interactive stories that take under 10 minutes each.

Rewards are between one and 5 pounds of crypto.

Coinbase Pro

Finally, there is an upgrade once you are ready to advance from being a beginner to intermediate crypto user. At this point, you might want to take a look at Coinbase Pro. You’re able to use your pre-existing credentials.

Coinbase Pro provides a more extensive crypto environment, such as detailed charts and more advanced types of orders, including stops and limits. The most important difference is that fees are lower and you are also able to transfer between the two different services for free.

Pros

✔️ Broad selection of crypto for trading

✔️ Low deposits required

✔️ Lots of convenience and sleek user experience

Cons

❌ Pricey with a complex costs schema

❌ Needs to migrate to a new platform to reduce fees

High-Frequency Trading (HFT)

High-frequency trading (HFT) is a market strategy used by some large, institutional investors to maximize the price they get for their trades. This strategy involves traders making many trades in small amounts of time in order to profit from small price fluctuations in the market.

It’s also known as algorithmic or electronic trading because it involves complex computer programs that automatically execute trades at speeds that would be nearly impossible for a human trader to do at the same speed. 

So what does this mean for you? If you’re not an investor and don’t trade stocks, you may never encounter HFT directly. However, high-frequency trading could have a significant effect on individual investors who invest solely through mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

That’s because most ETFs are actively managed by professional fund managers who constantly monitor and analyze their investments using detailed research notes and other investment tools. In other words, much of your money goes towards trading expenses rather than investment costs. 

Because of this, HFT is frequently found in day trading. 

Best Online Trading Platforms — Buyer’s Guide

This section covers some of the essential aspects of how online trading platforms work. This makes it a handy section for readers who want to know how to get the most out of their platform.

Online Trading Platforms Explained

Online trading platforms allow investors to find and trade stocks, options, futures, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The Internet has made it easier than ever to buy and sell stocks. Essentially, online trading platforms are websites where you can trade stocks with other investors.

You can search for and trade almost any asset that is available on an exchange, including stocks, options, futures, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). There are hundreds of these platforms out there, including a few giants like Charles Schwab, E*TRADE, and Fidelity.

Online trading platforms have made it easier than ever to get into the markets. This can be a great thing for new investors and people who don’t have time to trade in person.

Online trading platforms are great for beginners and people who don’t want to physically travel to an exchange. They’re also safer than trading in person and let you invest your time on other things like spending time with your family. 

However, there are a few risks when trading on an online platform. While they are safer than physical trading, they are still computers and can go down at any time. You also lose the human element that comes from physically trading stocks like giving the wrong answer to a question or having bad luck.

So, it’s important to carefully select the best trading platform for your needs and carefully manage your trading portfolio to reduce risk. If you’d like help doing this, you can also hire a trading consultant.

How Online Trading Platforms Work

The most popular online trading platforms are designed to make it easy for beginners to buy and sell stocks in different ways usually including robo-advisors. They usually make it simple for you to find the best stocks to buy and sell, and then let you trade online.

These platforms are also ideal for professional traders who need to manage large portfolios. 

There’s no single best way to trade stocks online. But almost all online trading platforms work like this: You create an account. You search the market for the best stocks to buy and sell. You place buy and sell orders. You wait for a price that’s favorable to you. You close your position. You trade, and repeat.

Benefits of Online Trading

☑️ Online trading platforms are much more convenient than trading stocks in person. You can trade when it’s most convenient for you, and you don’t need to physically travel to an exchange. You probably also spend less time researching stocks, which frees up time to do other things like relaxing or spending time with your family. 

☑️ They also open up access to the markets safely. You don’t have to worry about hacking your computer or falling victim to high trading costs or other problems that can happen when you trade in person. 

☑️ There are many other benefits like improved security, more diversified portfolios, and greater accessibility to smaller investors.

Using Online Trading for Stocks

The stock market is the place where companies and other entities sell shares to investors or traders. When you buy stocks, you are actually buying ownership of a firm or a business.  There are numerous platforms where you can buy stocks like stockbrokers, online trading platforms, and even peer-to-peer trading platforms like Airbnb or Uber for stocks. 

It’s recommended that you learn about stocks and their fundamentals and even its h istory. Some of the first rudimentary stock markets were created in the Middle Ages as a way to trade commodities like wine, salt, and wheat. Commodities were usually traded as a way to store value since they were difficult to divide and transfer and had limited use. 

These early markets were mostly informal, not backed by governments, and relied on trust between traders. A few centuries later, the first formal stock markets began to form during the 18th century. While the concept of a stock market had existed for centuries, it wasn’t until 1801 that a stock exchange opened in London.

The first U.S. stock exchange opened in New York in 1848. 

This was followed by the first Australian stock exchange in Sydney in 1853. Today, stock exchanges operate all over the world and have become one of the primary ways to invest in the stock market.

To buy stocks, you can head to a stock exchange, find an online brokerage, or even a friend who wants to sell some stocks. You can trade a single stock at a time or you can trade in a portfolio that consists of many stocks. To sell stocks, you will have to find a buyer who is willing to buy your stocks.

The stock market is very liquid, which means that you can typically find someone to buy your stocks at the current price.

Diversification Is Key

Particularly with the volatility of today, one of the best ways to protect your money when it comes to investing in the stock market is to diversify. Diversification is when you invest in several stocks at once. This way, if one of your stocks crashes, it won’t have as much of an effect on your portfolio.

In order to diversify your portfolio, you should always look for large, reliable companies that have a long history and are proven to be stable. You can also look for large, well-known brands that are also considered safe investments.

Overall, the stock market one way to stabilise your capital, although it is perhaps much weaker of an approach than cultivating skills, community, and the various aspects of personal health. By investing in stocks, you are actually buying ownership in a company, similar to what you would do if you bought shares of stock in a private company.

The great thing about the stock market is that you can buy and sell stocks whenever you want. This facilitates the diversification of your investment portfolio, potentially enhancing the likelihood of profit generation and effectively navigating economic downturns. However, it is important to note that high losses could occur as well.

Using Online Trading for Commodities 

With the ever-growing volatility in markets, it’s important to understand how your strategy will be affected by swings in prices. For example, if you are buying and selling a commodity, you need to know what that means. A commodity is a raw material such as gold, cotton or sugar that can be used in manufacturing or creating something else.

Because commodities are produced naturally, they are deemed to be “natural resources”. Therefore, they include all materials that can be used for production. For example, metals include gold (investing in gold), silver, lead and copper.

Oil is a commodity that is produced from crude oil like natural gas and crude oil. Natural resources are just a subset of all commodities. Other categories include food, wood pulp, cotton, metals and more. Food crops like corn and wheat, for example, are commodities too because they are grown to be used for production.

Most Valuable Commodities

Natural resources are generally the most expensive. Because they are produced naturally, they do not suffer from the same issues as other commodities. Natural resources can be used in almost unlimited quantities. As a result, they are referred to as “sunk costs”. A commodity that is based on a natural resource is referred to as a “primary commodity”. 

Examples of primary commodities include crude oil, natural gas and gold. Other natural resources are considered “secondary”. Examples of secondary commodities include aluminium, uranium, iron ore and more. Raw materials that are manufactured are called “commodities” too.

This includes corn for use in making corn starch, sugar for use in soft drinks and more. The type of commodity determines the exchange on which it can be traded. For example, agricultural commodities are traded on Commodities exchanges such as the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT).

The Two Types of Commodity Exchanges and How to Buy and Sell commodities

Typically, a commodity is traded on an exchange that allows buyers and sellers to agree on a price without the need for a middleman. An exchange that offers this is called a “uncentralized” exchange.

The most common centralized exchange for commodities is the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). Other centralized exchanges for commodities include the Commodity Futures Exchange (Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Intercontinental Exchange). 

The most popular non-uncentralized commodity exchange is the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). Commodities can be traded on ICE’s futures, options, and swaps. It’s possible to buy and sell futures contracts on many commodities.

Futures contracts are usually traded on regulated exchanges and provide the buyer with a promise to buy the underlying asset at a set price on a certain date.

Buying a commodity sounds simple but can be very complicated outside of using an ETF that invests indirectly by sponsoring commodity-oriented companies. Those who buy directly, agree to buy a certain quantity of a commodity at a certain price at some point in the future. You’ll enter into a contract with the seller to buy a certain quantity of the commodity at a certain price. 

The exchange on which a commodity is tradable is called the “spot” or “cash” market. Selling a commodity is a little more complicated. The exchange on which a commodity is swapped is called the “forward” or “future” market.

If you want to buy a commodity on the spot market, you can simply buy it from someone who has it at the cash market price. If you want to sell a commodity on the spot market, you can offer to sell it at the cash market price.

Online Trading Platforms UK: The Verdict

Overall, online trading platforms have made it much easier than ever to get into the stock market. You can trade when it’s most convenient for you, often via a mobile app, website or telephone.

Like with any type of investing, there are risks. Before diving in, it’s important to carefully select the best trading platform for your needs and carefully manage your trading portfolio to reduce risk.

Methodology

To create this review of the best trading platforms, we focused on several key areas to evaluate each service:

  • Trading Options – Assessed the range of instruments offered by each platform, including CFDs, stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies.
  • User Experience – Reviewed the ease of setup, navigation, and mobile app availability of each platform.
  • Fees and Costs – Analysed fee structures, focusing on transaction fees, account management costs, and hidden charges.
  • Regulatory Compliance and Security – Examined each platform's regulatory adherence and security measures to protect investments.
  • Educational and Trading Tools – Evaluated the quality and availability of educational resources and trading tools to improve trading knowledge and strategies.

For a deeper insight into how we curate our reviews and the star-based rating system we employ, please visit our methodology page.

Related Guides:

Best online trading platforms: FAQs

Why is USD so strong right now?

What is the meaning of de-dollarisation?

Why is the dollar so strong against the pound?

What is the strongest the pound has ever been against the dollar?

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