Best Stock Trading Apps

We've put together an in-depth list of the top stock trading apps

Updated: May 18, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

|
Connor Sephton

Edited By

Connor Sephton

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Stock trading apps have enjoyed an explosion in popularity over recent years — with much of this spike seen during the coronavirus pandemic.

They demystify the process of gaining exposure to shares, and offer educational tools to help newcomers become savvy investors.

But with a dizzying array of options on the market today, which one is best suited to your needs?

I've reseacrhed and analysed the best stock trading apps that offer 0% commission to their users along with comparing the features of each app.

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 51-80% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with these providers. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets, CFDs, OTC options or any of our other products work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

ProviderScoreDetails
1. Plus500★★★★★Click Here
2 XTB★★★★★Click Here
3. Pepperstone★★★★★Click Here
4. eToro★★★★★Click Here
5. Capital.com★★★★Click Here
6. Vanguard★★★★Click Here
7. Hargreaves Lansdown★★★★Click Here
8. CMC Markets★★★★Click Here
9. Fidelity★★★★★Click Here
10. Interactive Brokers★★★★★Click Here
11. AvaTrade★★★★★Click Here

At a glance, pros and cons

The stock market can be volatile and unpredictable — with great opportunity and dangers around every corner.

Because of this, it's important to appreciate the pros and cons of trading apps.

Pros

Automated: Some stock trading apps automatically make investments on your behalf, based on your risk tolerance. This can offer an added layer of convenience, especially if you don't have time to scrutinise what's going on in the markets.

Simplifies: New users can dip their toes in the water through exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which bring together popular stocks in one place. They may track popular indices such as the FTSE 100 or the S&P 500, or specific industries like healthcare and technology.

Low deposits: Stock trading apps democratise access for everyday users — and you can open an account with a few pounds to spare. This means you can take a small financial risk, and potentially enjoy returns that outpace the interest rates offered by major banks.

Cons

❌️ Volatility: The global economy has been rocked by sky-high inflation, uncertainty over interest rates, and the unknown impact of artificial intelligence. Because of this, you should only spend what you can afford to lose in investment apps.

❌️ Minimal financial advice: Each and every one of us has different financial circumstances — from what we earn, to our appetite for risk. Professional brokers take this into account, but stock trading apps often offer a one-size-fits-all approach.

❌️ Returns aren't guaranteed: Stocks should be part of a diversified portfolio with a blend of high-interest savings accounts and cash. This helps ensure you can access some of your funds when you need them, and mitigates the risk of a market crash.

The best stock trading apps: Reviews

Without further ado, let's take a deep dive into the best stock trading apps on the market right now. All are available to British users and are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

App NameStandout FeaturesTrading Instruments
Plus500Real-time market intelligence, +Insights toolCFDs on stocks, forex, commodities, etc.
XTBAccess to over 3,600 securities, advanced chartsStocks, ETFs, CFDs
PepperstoneZero spreads, deep liquidity, advanced trading toolsCurrencies, commodities, indices, equities
eToroSocial trading, thematic investment strategiesStocks, cryptocurrencies, over 3,000 instruments
Capital.comAdvanced tools for experienced traders, transparencyCFDs and spread bets on global markets
VanguardLong-term investment focus, professional portfolio developmentDiverse funds and ETFs
Hargreaves LansdownComprehensive investment options, expert recommendationsStocks, funds, ETFs, investment trusts
CMC MarketsForex focus, high-quality trading platformsShares, ETFs, investment trusts, forex
FidelityBroad range of products, financial adviceMutual funds, annuities, ETFs, private funds
Interactive BrokersAccess to over 150 global markets, zero commission on US stocksStocks, ETFs, forex, cryptocurrencies
AvaTradeBid on stocks indirectly, leverage availableCFDs on stocks, commodities, currencies, indices

1. Plus500

80% 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.

Plus500 is an CFD trading app — making it high risk with the potential for high upsides.

When you use CFDs, you are borrowing capital every time you make a trade. In effect, every trade you make puts you into more debt than you have cash.

Plus500 says its biggest benefits include fast and reliable order executions — as well as zero commissions, tight spreads and advanced analytical tools. And while some other apps suffer from slight delays when relaying the latest price information, this company says it provides quotes in real time.

Another pain point for many traders lies in how withdrawals can take several days to process, but Plus500 says it releases funds quickly and securely.

A recently launched feature called +Insights allows you to analyse the trading activities of millions of Plus500 customers instantaneously — delivering a trending list of the hottest assets on the platform right now. Advanced filters can also be applied to hone in on opportunities within specific sectors or asset classes.

Plus500UK Ltd is authorized & regulated by the FCA (#509909).

Pros

✔️ Well designed

✔️ Real-time market intelligence

✔️ 24/7 customer support

✔️ Licensed with multiple leading regulators

Cons

❌ Some services aren't available in the UK

❌ CFDs and leveraged trading can be risky

❌ You won't own the underlying assets

2. XTB

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.

The great thing about XTB is that it offers more than 3,600 securities in stocks and exchange-traded funds. When we looked at its services, we could see that XTB is one of the biggest stock exchange brokers. Specifically, stocks and shares from 16 major global exchanges were also available through XTB.

XTB offers an excellent platform that provides live performance statistics, commentary on markets in real-time and comprehensive charting packages. 

Using the XTB app, we could make commission-free trades when our turnover from trades was less than €100,000 (£85,447.45) each month. The app has been downloaded more than 5 million times and received 4.1 stars from just over 47,000 reviews.

Real Shares, Advanced Charts and Price Alerts


In addition to its shares CFDs, XTB offers real shares that are not contracts for difference. We were able to access quotes in real time for these shares from one account.

We were able to invest in some of the well-known stocks, including Netflix, Amazon and Tesla. The transaction value we paid was just £10 — this was the lowest amount needed to execute the trade.

Price alert features are available through the app. This feature informed us when our specific stock reached a specific price.

We could also access advanced charts through the XTB stock trading app. The charts allowed us to invest more confidently, view the buy and sell price, and check the past performance of the stock.

With the market sentiment feature, we could also check the percentage of buyers versus the percentage of sellers. This feature made it easy to get a sense of the market participants’ mood. We were more confident when buying and selling and could make informed trades with this feature.

Pros

✔️ Seamless user interface

✔️ Large range of stocks available

✔️ Excellent customer reviews

Cons

❌ Occasional glitches on the trading app

3. Pepperstone

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75.2% 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 offers more than 1,200 assets for trading — including currencies, commodities, stock market indices and equities. It also claims to have more than 400,000 users worldwide. 

Instead of offering direct exposure to these assets, the digital brokerage offers spread bets and contracts for difference.

Established in 2010, some of Pepperstone's main selling points include zero spreads (eliminating the difference between bid and ask prices) — as well as deep liquidity and fast execution.

A robust set of trading tools, including TradingView and MetaTrader 5, are also available — offering advanced charting technology, sophisticated indicators, and live news updates.

You can analyse your portfolio in real time, see a clear breakdown of your investment strategy, and set up watchlists and alerts to ensure you don't miss any trading opportunities. Data points including price, trading volume and social media activity can help you keep track of an asset's supply and demand — and determine which way the markets are headed.

Webinars, customer service and security

Pepperstone offers in-depth analysis pieces to help traders stay informed — as well as educational content and webinars that teach users how to trade CFDs, forex and shares. Its customer support team is available 24 hours a day from Monday to Friday, and 18 hours a day on weekends. 

The brokerage stresses that its customers' money always remains separate from the company's accounts — and distributed among major banks. 

It's easy to start trading with Pepperstone. An account can be opened with a Google account, Facebook profile, Apple ID or email address, and no minimum deposits are required.

You can set dollars, euros, pounds or Swiss francs as your base currency — and funding and withdrawal options include Visa, Mastercard, bank transfers and PayPal. 

Overall, Pepperstone offers a secure environment for accessing a plethora of asset classes, with features that appeal to new and experienced traders alike.

Pros

✔️ Intuitive trading panel

✔️ Customizable backgrounds

✔️ Industry-grade indicators

Cons

❌ Spread betting and CFDs can be risky

❌ Cannot own assets directly

4. eToro

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.

You've probably seen plenty of marketing for eToro in the past — with celebrities including Alec Baldwin appearing in its adverts. It's even sponsored a number of high-end football clubs.

eToro bills itself as a social trading platform where you can automatically copy experienced traders — and receive a transparent look at their past performance.

The company says it has more than 30 million users worldwide with over 3,000 instruments available, including stocks and cryptocurrencies. “Thematic investment strategies” also allow you to gain exposure to up-and-coming sectors.

With detailed guides that explain how to open an account, make deposits and start trading, eToro is appealing to beginners because it removes barriers to entry. The platform takes pride in offering low fees and no commission on long positions for stocks and exchange-traded funds.

Other points of difference include free investment insurance — and unlike some stock trading apps, you'll own the underlying assets you purchase directly.

Configuring your risk appetite

eToro lets you set your level of risk tolerance — and when you sign up for an account, you'll complete a detailed questionnaire about your circumstances. This gives you access to a greater degree of personalisation when compared with traditional investment channels.

Assets and investment strategies are given risk scores on a scale of one to ten, and this is based on their past volatility.

The social network element of this trading app means you can seek advice from like-minded traders, and keep up to date with expert analysis from influential users. 

This is accompanied by a wealth of official content from the company — including top dividend stocks to consider, detailed insights into ETFs, and an introduction to complicated concepts such as day trading and technical analysis. Detailed courses break down investment principles, constructing a portfolio and advanced strategies into easy-to-digest lessons.

Of course, at the end of the day, it's still your money at risk — so you should only invest what you're prepared to lose.

Overall, eToro is an excellent platform for educating yourself on how the market works and making passive investments.

Pros

✔️ Tailored for beginners

✔️ Social trading

✔️ Regulated 

✔️ Learning portal

Cons

❌ Copying traders can be risky

❌ Conversion and withdrawal fees apply

5. Capital.com

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.

Capital.com positions itself as an app tailored towards advanced traders — with CFDs and spread bets on thousands of global markets offered. A free demo account is provided so strategies can be put through their paces in a simulated environment.

The site is transparent when it comes to fees — and accounts can be opened and closed at no cost. However, a minimum deposit of £20 is in force, and you'll need a balance of at least £50 for a withdrawal. Spread fees are charged, but there's no trading commission in place.

Like most other stock trading apps, it provides educational courses and training guides along with daily news updates. Advanced analytical tools can also help you connect the dots when markets are moving quickly.

Capital.com offers leverage in some markets — meaning that, for every £1 you deposit, you can trade with up to £30. But while this can multiply profits, it can also amplify losses. Because of this, it should only be used by highly experienced traders. Recent changes to regulations mean that certain products — such as cryptocurrency derivatives — are banned in the UK.

A big advantage of this stock trading app lies in the rich range of assets on offer — including commodities like gold and crude oil, indices tracking the FTSE 100 and S&P 500, individual shares, and ETFs that bring a basket of stocks together under one roof.

Capital.com also comes recommended if you want to gain exposure to emerging markets in Africa, the Middle East, South America, and beyond.

Pros

✔️ Transparent fees

✔️ Advanced tools for experienced traders

✔️ Demo account for risk-free practising 

✔️ 24/7 customer support in over 10 languages

Cons

❌ Some features are not available in the UK

❌ CFDs and spread betting can be dangerous

❌ High minimum withdrawal limit

6. Vanguard

Vanguard is a well-known name in the world of trading. In fact, its founder Jack Bogle was responsible for creating the world's first-ever exchange-traded fund back in 1976.

The platform comes recommended by the likes of Warren Buffett. The billionaire famously once said that, if he died, he wanted his wife to invest 90% of his estate into Vanguard's S&P 500 fund — with the remaining 10% held in government bonds.

Vanguard adopts a more patient and traditional stance to trading stocks. The goal is to gain long results over a lifetime, rather than to chop and change strategies on a daily basis. Your portfolio is developed by a professional team with a long-standing track record.

It offers personalised financial advice, tools to help plan for retirement, and infrastructure for those who want to follow their own strategies. Unlike other businesses in this space, Vanguard says that it's owned by its investors — who number over 50 million worldwide.

This sense of scale helps explain why Vanguard is able to offer lower fees when compared with competitors. However, younger users may find that this platform lacks some of the gamification and modern features they expect — such as the ability to buy fractionalised shares.

Pros

✔️ Strong track record

✔️ Streamlined for beginners

✔️ Commission-free and regulated 

✔️ Team of professional investors creating a portfolio

Cons

❌ Risky markets today

❌ Minimum deposit is £500 (or £100 monthly)

7. Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown (better known these days as HL) has been a mainstay in retail investment since 1981. It bills itself as a one-stop shop for Stocks and Shares ISAs, pensions, savings, and investment accounts. As well as offering curated portfolios with hand-picked investments, HL offers recommendations for investors who want to build their own strategies.

With a user base of more than 1.8 million, HL has billions of pounds worth of assets under management — and claims to have a client retention rate of 92.2%, indicating current customers have no plans to switch. It's even a member of the FTSE 100.

While HL offers a great choice of shares, funds, ETFs and investment trusts — alongside ready-made portfolios that are created by experts to match different risk appetites — one sticking point is that you'll have to pay £5.95 to £11.95 every time you buy or sell a share. Platform fees of 0.45% also apply for the first £250,000 you invest into funds, which can add up.

Pros

✔️ A trustworthy brand

✔️ Over 13,000 investments on offer

✔️ Ready-made portfolios available

✔️ Interest paid on uninvested cash

Cons

❌ Trading fees apply for shares 

❌ Cryptocurrencies aren't available

8. CMC Markets

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets, CFDs, OTC options or any of our other products work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

CMC Markets is arguably best known for forex — and also focuses on spread betting and CFDs. It's won awards for its trading infrastructure and mobile platforms, which could prove beneficial if you trade on the move.

The site offers spread betting with leverage on over 12,000 instruments — spanning shares in the UK and US, as well as exchange-traded funds and investment trusts.

Advanced accounts unlock access to MetaTrader 4, and packages are available that cater to high-volume traders who want discounts on trading costs.

A premium account called Alpha also offers a complimentary subscription to the Financial Times, as well as priority customer service from a UK-based team of professionals.

Detailed guides are available that offer top tips on trading penny stocks, finding dividends with the best yield, and strategies for shorting stocks. Meanwhile, video tutorials can walk you through common trading charts and how guaranteed stop-loss orders work.

All of this, when accompanied with podcast interviews from some of the City's best-known economists and traders, means there's plenty to immerse yourself in.

CMC Markets is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, but a prominent warning at the top of its website warns that 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting or trading CFDs — and leverage means that significant losses can happen rapidly.

Pros

✔️ Bet on stocks

✔️ Magnify trades

✔️ No commission

✔️ Education portal

Cons

❌ Spread betting and CFDs are complex and risky

❌ You won't own the underlying assets

❌ Limited customer service opening hours on weekends

9. Fidelity

Fidelity is one of the largest and best-known financial services companies in the world, with trillions of dollars in assets under management. Fidelity International, which serves British consumers, has been an independent business for over 40 years.

The popular stock trading app and investment company offers a full range of investment products including mutual funds, annuities, ETFs and private funds for individuals and institutional investors.

Although most Fidelity clients are individual investors, the company also serves high net worth clients — people who have at least $1 million in liquid assets.

Fidelity offers financial advice and is primarily associated with pensions — helping people saving for their retirement bring pots from different employers under one roof. But the institution also provides an award-winning service for investing in shares. ISAs, self-invested personal pensions and conventional investment accounts are available.

One downside of buying shares through Fidelity concerns cost — as you'll pay £7.50 every time you buy and sell a share through its website, or £30 on the phone. That makes it one of the most expensive providers in our list — however, lower fees of £1.50 per share are available online if you're reinvesting dividends or making investments on a regular basis.

Using Fidelity's website to search for investments is easy. Shares can be filtered based on location, industry, market cap, price-to-earnings ratio and dividend yield. Recommendations can be given based on your appetite for risk. Another compelling feature is called the Select 50 — a curated list of funds chosen by experts following qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Pros

✔️ Friendly, professional financial advice

✔️ Wide range of investment options

✔️ Good track record for retirement plans

✔️ Shares can be bought and sold individually

Cons

❌ No copy trading

❌ High fees when compared with market rivals

10. Interactive Brokers

Investing in financial products involves taking risk. Your investments may increase or decrease in value, and losses may exceed the value of your original investment.

Interactive Brokers is a US-based brokerage that offers investors a low-cost alternative to Wall Street giants. It was founded in 1977 by Thomas Peterffy, who is still the chairman of the board. 

IB says it delivers access to over 150 global markets in one place, and accounts can be funded in 27 currencies.

Cutting-edge tools include GlobalAnalyst, which looks for undervalued stocks. Zero commission is charged on US-listed stocks and ETFs, with low fees on other asset classes.

Priority areas for Interactive Brokers include real-time pricing, fast execution times and a slick experience on desktop and mobile. Charting tools can be customised in line with what beginners and professionals need. Dozens of order types are also available, allowing sophisticated strategies to be deployed with ease.

Interactive Brokers says it sets itself apart by paying interest on cash balances, and never charging inactivity fees. An account can be opened and funded in a matter of minutes.

Overall, this platform comes recommended if you intend to trade at high frequencies — and want to avoid paying fees every time a transaction is completed. No minimum deposit or withdrawal limits are in place, and funds can be added directly through bank transfers. IB also offers a small number of cryptocurrencies, with big names such as Bitcoin and Ether among them.

Unlike other providers that focus on spread betting and CFDs, you can directly buy stocks through Interactive Brokers.

Pros

✔️ Founded in 1977

✔️ Directly trade stocks

✔️ Well regulated 

Cons

❌ Deposits via bank card not available

❌ Advanced features cost extra

❌ No access to initial public offerings

11. AvaTrade

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.

Our final entry is another CFD broker — allowing you to bet on whether an asset's price will rise or fall without owning it directly. 

AvaTrade is based in the UK and offers foreign currencies, stocks, commodities, cryptocurrencies and indices from around the world. Leverage is also available — but 76% of retail investor accounts lose money with this provider.

On AvaTrade's website, there's an at-a-glance look at the assets proving popular among current users, along with the currency pairs and equities that have risen and fallen most in the markets today. Real-time updates are also provided for major stocks and commodities.

Novice users can benefit from WebTrader, an online trading platform that is accessed through web browsers with no download necessary. Useful features include push alerts when there are significant market movements, indicators of investor sentiment, and a comprehensive record of past trades.

Video tutorials deliver a step-by-step guide of how WebTrader works — and demo accounts enable you to put strategies through their paces in a simulated environment.

Pros

✔️ Bid on stocks indirectly 

✔️ Amplify trades with leverage

✔️ Trading platforms tailored to beginners and pros

Cons

❌ £50 inactivity fee if account is not accessed for three months

❌ Withdrawals can take three days to complete

Top stock trading apps: Buying Guide

Let's wrap up everything we've learned by looking at the ins and outs of how stock trading apps work.

Trading directly through your phone

The number of retail investors exploded during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 — driven by unprecedented numbers of younger, millennial users on their smartphones.

Most of the stock and CFD trading providers we've highlighted offer free apps through Google Play and Apple's App Store — allowing you to make trades at the tap of a button. However, advanced charts and orders for stocks, bonds, currency pairs and commodities may only be available through desktop accounts.

The registration process is usually straightforward. You'll need to confirm your identity and address, provide some supporting documentation to eliminate the risk of money laundering, and select a secure username and password. Setting up two-factor authentication also comes recommended to prevent your account from being accessed by malicious actors.

A range of asset classes are available, allowing you to cultivate a diversified portfolio. They include:

Stocks 

Most trading apps will give you access to stocks in the UK and around the world, including in emerging markets. For example, eToro gives its users access to over 2,500 stocks across more than 15 exchanges.

Some platforms have a broader choice of equities than others, so it's worth doing some research to ensure they offer the investment opportunities you're interested in.

Forex

While stocks fluctuate based on a company's performance — as well as investor sentiment surrounding an industry's prospects — the forex markets tend to be driven by macroeconomic developments including inflation and interest rates. Both have proven to be hot-button topics in recent years.

Every time you make a trade, you are purchasing one currency at the same time that another is being sold. Some of the apps in this guide amplify trades by using contracts for differences.

Commodities 

This asset class includes things like silver, gold, oil and natural gas — as well as agricultural products like beef, wheat and soy. In the futures market, traders agree to buy these assets at a fixed price on a later date — helping them to hedge against market fluctuations.

ETFs

Finally, exchange-traded funds are a popular way of gaining exposure to multiple assets in one go. Hundreds of ETFs now exist — bringing together stocks based on their geographical location, industry and dividend payouts.

For example, if you invest in an ETF that tracks the FTSE 100, it will follow the market movements of each company in this index, weighted by market capitalisation.

Top stock trading apps: The Verdict 

The way stocks and shares are traded has been transformed over the past decade. All of the providers in our list have democratised access to the market, allowing anyone to open an account with minimal cost. But critics argue that this has oversimplified the complexities associated with trading, creating a risk of gambling-like behaviours and harm.

Make sure you seek financial advice before you make an investment, perform plenty of research, never invest more than you can afford to lose, and take time to determine your appetite for risk.

Methodology

In selecting the top UK trading platforms for this review, we focused on:

  • FCA regulation compliance
  • Accessibility for UK users
  • Overall user reviews
  • Direct testing experiences
  • Quality of mobile application

For a detailed explanation of our assessment criteria, please visit our methodology page.

Related Guides:

FAQs

Can I trade stock on my phone?

What are the best features of a top stock trading app?

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