Whether you’re looking to trade stocks and shares yourself or you want an investment company to do it on your behalf, there are plenty of options to choose from. And the best thing is, it can all be done from the comfort of your phone. Let’s take a look at the best investment apps available in the UK.
UK Investment apps to consider
Please note that the value of investments can go down, as well as up. When you invest, your capital is at risk.
The UK has changed a lot over the last 20 years. Whereas once, many of us would have been happy to put our hard-earned money into Premium Bonds, we’re now realising that a 1% yield doesn’t quite cut it. So instead, of accepting a below-inflation return, more and more are turning their hand to investing.
Now, there are plenty of investment opportunities out there, depending on your personal finances. Property and real estate are always popular as rental yields usually see returns of well over 5% plus a home’s value will increase in the long term. But the issue is, that most of us don’t have the initial funds available to start buying up housing.
So that’s where investing in stocks and shares steps in. If you think you understand the markets and want to make the trades for yourself, then there are plenty of apps available that charge low fees and make the process very easy.
But if trading isn’t for you, there are companies that will invest on your behalf based on your attitude to risk. You don’t really have to do much, apart from sending them your money. Of course, you will be charged fees for this service.
And once you have your investment strategy sorted you’ll be able to continue to build your investment portfolio, and hopefully, take a step closer to financial freedom.
The best investment apps in the UK
So, I have split these investment app reviews into 2 sections.
The first part, trading apps, will allow you to invest and trade for yourself. If you feel that you understand the markets well, you want to invest in individual companies or you consider yourself an active investor, then these apps will do the job.
Or, you can choose to use an investing platform. Here, investments will be made on your behalf.
Which you choose really depends on how involved you want to be.
All of the below can be downloaded to your mobile device from either the Apple app store or Google Play store.
The best trading apps
If you want to invest and trade for yourself, these are some of the best apps.
With over a decade in the market, eToro allows you to buy and sell stocks and shares on the world’s biggest stock exchanges, as well as contracts for differences (CFDs), exchange-traded funds (ETFs), fractional shares and cryptocurrencies.
eToro also offers portfolios, so your investments are bundled together as a collection of financial assets. These are selected by investment specialists and are meant for long-term consideration.
But the main reason that eToro is considered the best investment app for beginners is that it’s a social trading platform. You can see how other traders are performing and if you like what you see, you can set your account to copy everything that trader does. A great option for new investors and requires little effort from you.
It’s completely free to open an account and you can have access to a US$100,000 demo account to test your trading skills.
The minimum deposit is US$10 and all trades are commission-free. You will be charged a $5 fee to withdraw your money. Plus, FX rates apply to non-USD deposits and withdrawals.
This is an investment account with a bit of a difference. Instead of being able to invest in stocks and shares, Ziglu allows you only to buy and sell cryptocurrency. A good alternative if you want to move away from stock trading.
The Ziglu app also includes ”Boost Accounts” which enable you to earn interest on your GBP or Bitcoin (BTC) funds. This pays 5% and is paid weekly.
There’s also a debit card on offer for fee-free spending in Euros.
You are charged a 1.25% fee when buying or selling cryptocurrency.
At first glance, the main benefit to the Revolut account appears to be the great value you receive when spending abroad and transferring currencies. But not only that, but you can also set up accounts for your children so they can have their own debit card and you can monitor their spending.
And although those features are all well and good, the main feature we’re interested in is the ability to purchase stocks and shares and cryptocurrency.
The fees for trading depend on the subscription plan you have with Revolut. A basic package will give you just one commission-free trade each month. After that, each trade costs £1. But you can upgrade, which could give you unlimited commission-free trades each month.
Although founded in Australia, Stake has now moved over to the UK and allows you to trade US stocks and ETFs. There are no brokerage fees and you can buy fractional shares easily and commission-free. A good choice for active traders.
The minimum deposit is US$50 and there is no fee when trading stocks. The only fee you need to pay is 0.5% on deposits and withdrawals.
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Which is the best trading app?
If your goal is long-term trading, then eToro should be top of your list. Although the $5 charge for withdrawing money is quite expensive, the commission-free trades are something that shouldn’t be ignored. It’s a case of just withdrawing money when you really need it.
If trading is just something you want to dabble in now and again, then you may be better off considering Revolut. Although you won’t be able to trade so much, the account comes with some great extra features, such as fee-free spending abroad.
The best investment platforms
If you don’t like the idea of trading – either because you don’t fancy the risk or because you think you lack the knowledge, then why not have somebody else do it for you?
These investment platforms operate by pooling your money together with others and investing it in different firms and sectors, minimising your risk. That means that if one company should go bust, you won’t lose all of your investment.
You can often choose your level of risk too. The higher the risk level, the more you could potentially earn… or lose.
All of the platforms below give you the option to invest your money into an ISA, which means you don’t have to pay tax on your earnings. They also offer General Investment Accounts, but these can be liable for tax. And the good news is, some of them even also allow you to buy and sell individual stocks, so are still suitable for active investors.
Let’s take a look at some of the best investment platform apps available in the UK.
Bestinvest offer access to stocks and shares ISAs, self-invested personal pensions (SIPP), investment accounts and Junior ISAs. If you already have investments with one company, you can transfer them over. An excellent option if you want to invest and leave it to somebody else.
If you invest in one of Bestinvest’s ready-made portfolios, then you pay a fee of 0.2% per year. This decreases if you invest more than £500,000. Other investments attract a fee of 0.4% per year which again, decrease the more you invest.
This app opens the door to ethical investing. If you want to get away from just focusing on profit and want to invest in companies that improve the planet and working conditions, then Circa5000 could be for you.
Their portfolios consist of ETFs that focus on three main ethical factors – People, Planet and Planet & People. They are also broken down into three risk levels – Cautious, Adventurous and Balanced – depending on your preference.
You can invest via a Stocks and Shares ISA or Junior ISA or a General Investment Account (GIA) if your yearly ISA allowance has been used elsewhere.
You can start investing with just £5. There is a £1 per month subscription fee, plus a platform fee of 0.5% p.a. for ISA’s and GA’s. For Junior ISAs, the fee is 0.3% p.a. for a balance over £3,000.
Get a £15 bonus when you join by using the button below.
Introduced into the market in 2018, the Freetrade app allows you to invest in stocks, ETFs and investment trusts, with commission-free trading.
There are plenty of financial products on the table, with Freetrade offering GIAs, ISAs and pensions.
When it comes to fees, trading is commission free although there is an FX fee of 0.45% if you purchase foreign stocks. If you take out a stocks and shares ISA, you’ll be charged £3 per month and £9.99 for a SIPP.
Get a free share worth up to £200 using the button below when you invest £250.
Made available to UK customers back in 2019, Wombat has plenty of investment options available. Choose either to invest in a GIA or ISA, with close to 30 funds on offer. Each fund comes with a risk level, so you can invest in something that suits you.
Alternatively, there are a limited number of individual companies you can buy shares from, including Apple, Amazon, Nike and Netflix.
You can start investing from £10. There is a 0.10% platform fee, as well as a £1 per month subscription fee.
Get a free £10 bonus when you invest £10 by using the button below.
Plum was initially set up to help users to save money. By connecting to your bank account, Plum uses a clever algorithm to calculate how much you can afford to save and transfers your spare change. You can then either place that money into a cash savings account or a stocks and shares ISA, GIA or SIPP.
If you decide to invest in an ISA or GIA, there are 12 different funds to choose from, with all being given a risk factor out of 7. Plum has also introduced the option for customers to invest in individual stocks.
How much you pay does depend on the fund you choose. At the moment, there is a product provider fee of 0.15%, plus a 0.06%–0.90% fund management fee. On top of this, you will need to pay a fee to Plum of £1 per month.
Chip is a direct rival to Plum. Also created to help people save small amounts each month, Chip has introduced investment opportunities to users.
There are up to 9 funds available to choose from and you also have the option of GIAs and ISAs.
How much you pay to invest will depend on your subscription plan. For £1.50 per month, ChipAI will give you access to 3 funds with a 0.75% platform fee. ChipX allows you to invest in the full 9 funds, with a 0.25% platform fee and a monthly charge of £3.
You’ll also get a £10 bonus by joining Chip using the button below and using the code CHIP-KNQ299. Your money will be credited 30 days after you’ve deposited at least £1.
This is another investment app that gives users access to GIAs, ISAs and SIPPs. There are seven ready-to-go portfolios available made up of ETFs. They are based on risk so you can choose the right option for your peace of mind. The Moneyfarm team actively manages investments to ensure you get value for money. There is even a dedicated consultant if you need somebody to discuss your investments with.
Minimum investment is £500 and you’ll pay 0.75% in fees for the first £10,000. This reduces to as little as 0.35% the more you invest. It’s also important to note that there is an investment fund fee of 0.20% and a market spread of 0.10%.
Another app that offers plenty of investment opportunities. Wealthify is actually backed by one of the UK’s largest financial services institutions – Aviva. Choose a stocks and shares ISA, Junior ISA, GIA or a pension. Your money is invested according to your risk tolerance with 5 different options available.
You can invest from as little as £1 (£50 for a pension). You will be charged an annual management fee of 0.60%, plus a fund charge which averages 0.16%.
Nutmeg is one of the biggest investment providers on this list and not only gives you access to a stocks and shares ISA, Junior ISA, GIA and pension but a Lifetime ISA too. Just deposit into your Nutmeg account and they will do the rest.
There are 4 investment funds to choose from – socially responsible, fixed allocation, smart alpha and fully managed. All come with their own benefits and separate charges.
There is a minimum deposit of £100 for investing in a Junior or Lifetime ISA. For all other accounts, the minimum is £500. Nutmeg charges an account management fee of between 0.45% and 0.75%, plus a fund cost of around 0.14% to 0.32%.
Another investment platform with plenty of opportunities, including a stocks and shares ISA, Junior ISA, Junior SIPP investment account and SIPP.
When it comes to choosing funds, there are over 3,000 to sort through. Although it’s great to have a choice, you can sometimes have too much. But it’s easy to narrow down your options, either by selecting funds based on risk or going with Fidelity’s expert choices.
The minimum investment amount for ISAs, JISAs and Investment Accounts is £25 (£1,000 for a SIPP). There is a service fee of 0.35% (reducing to 0.20% if you invest over £250,000) plus a fee for your chosen fund. This can be anywhere between 0.11% to 1.19%.
Which is the best investment platform?
This is a tough one as all of the platforms offer similar pricing. But, I would opt for Fidelity over all of the above. Primarily because it gives you a wealth of options to choose from and depending on your fund of choice, it can be a little bit cheaper compared to its competitors.
Which is the best investing app for beginners?
eToro has the best range of options. But for a full breakdown, take a look at my post about the best investment apps for UK beginners.
Investment apps – further information
So, what else do you need to know before you start on the road to investment?
How much do you need to start investing?
As you can see from the list above, the majority of investment apps will allow you to start investing with as little as £1. However, if you decide to use an app that charges a flat monthly fee, then investing a small amount and leaving it won’t be the best way to get value for money.
Are investment apps safe?
All of the investment apps in this list are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. That means that they are regularly checked to see that they are operating fairly and within UK law.
What’s the difference between a GIA and ISA?
As you can see from the information above, you can often invest in either an ISA (Individual Savings Account) or a GIA (General Investment Account). Although choosing either of these means that your funds can be invested in the same place, there’s a big difference between the accounts.
An ISA allows you to invest £20,000 per year and you will not have to pay tax on any of your gains.
With a GIA, any profits you make could be liable for tax. However, there’s no limit to how much you can contribute.
In general, you should always use up your ISA limits first.
Where can you go for stock advice?
If you want to give trading a go, then you may need a bit of investment advice before you throw yourself in. Some will give you tips for free, whilst others may require you to pay a monthly premium.
Take a look at:
Or speak to a financial advisor.
Investments can go down as well as up
Although we all look towards investing as a way of making more money compared to a savings account, it’s important to remember it’s not guaranteed. The value of your investments can always go down. The stock market can be volatile and should only be used as a long-term goal.
Trading probably won’t make you money
Although most people head into trading with high hopes of making lots of money, the truth is quite sobering. Studies from around the world have shown that the majority of people that take part in day trading lose money. In Brazil, 95% of users reported losses over a 300 day period, whilst in the USA, 70% of traders lose money every quarter on average.
If you’re looking to get into trading because you’ve seen people on social media sharing photos of their fortunes, the chances are, they’re lying to you. Only trade with what you’re willing to lose.