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How to invest in the FTSE 100

What you need to know about investing in the UK's most famous stock index.

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Can you invest in the FTSE 100?

The Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 (FTSE 100) is a stock market index comprising the 100 largest companies on the London Stock Exchange (by market capitalization), which includes companies like BP, HSBC, Barclays and Sainsbury’s.

While you can’t actually invest directly into the FTSE 100 (unless you bought shares in each of the companies in the index), you can get exposure to the index by investing in an exchange-traded fund (ETF) which tracks the performance of the stocks in the FTSE 100.

The FTSE 100 and coronavirus

As with the rest of the stock market, the FTSE 100 has recently dropped significantly in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. While every stock in the index is down this month, some have fared better than others. The potential advantage of investing in an index is to help diversify your portfolio and mitigate exposure to risk. However, certain FTSE 100 stocks are likely to perform markedly worse than others over the coming months, and it may be worth curating a list of FTSE 100 companies you want to invest in.

How to invest in the FTSE 100

  1. Buy FTSE 100 stocks directly. You can buy individual stocks from the FTSE 100 index using a brokerage or share-trading platform. You could buy one share of each company to create your own index, or buy shares in select companies.Depending on which platform you use, you may be charged trading fees or commissions on every share you buy, which can end up being quite expensive.
  2. Invest in a FTSE 100 ETF if you want exposure to all the companies in the FTSE 100 without having to buy individual stocks (and avoiding trading fees), you could instead invest in an FTSE 100 ETF. These are index funds that track the performance of the stocks in the FTSE 100.
  3. How to start trading the FTSE 100. Whether you want to invest directly in FTSE 100 stocks, or invest in a FTSE 100 ETF, you’ll need to open an account with a trading platform or brokerage.

How to open a stock trading account

Compare FTSE 100 trading platforms

Name Product Available Asset Types Stock Fee Option Fee Account Fee ETF Transaction Cost Feature Table description
OFFER
Wealthsimple Trade
Stocks, ETFs
$0
N/A
$0
Free
Get a $50 bonus when you open a Wealthsimple Trade account and deposit and trade at least $150.
Pay no commissions when you trade Canadian stocks and ETFs with Wealthsimple Trade.
BMO InvestorLine
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs
$9.95
$9.95 + $1.25 per options contract
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $25/quarter
$0 - $9.95
Buy and sell a select group of Canada’s most popular ETFs without paying commissions.

An easy-to-use online trading platform with access to research, tools, and the option to access InvestorLine adviceDirect for additional professional support.
Scotia iTRADE
Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities
$4.99-$9.99
$9.99 + $1.25 contract ($4.99 + $1.25 contract if completed 150 trades or more a quarter)
$0
$9.99 ($4.99 if completed 150 trades or more a quarter)
Pay no annual account fees.
Buy, sell and trade ETFs, Equities, Options and more with competitive commissions.
CIBC Investor's Edge
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs
$4.95 - $6.95
$4.95 - $6.95 (+$1.25 per contract)
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $100/year
$6.95
$4.95 - $6.95 is applicable for online stock, ETF and option trades only. Pay $4.95 when you qualify as an Active Trader (trade 150+ times per quarter).
An intuitive and easy-to-use platform with access to a variety of tools that help you make smart decisions and trade with confidence.
Interactive Brokers
Stocks, Bonds, Options, ETFs, Currencies, Futures
Min. $1.00, Max. 0.5% of trade value
$1.50 min. per order
$0
Min. $1.00, Max. 0.5% of trade value
Extensive trading capabilities and global investment tracking.
Access market data 24 hours a day, six days a week and invest in global stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds and funds from one single account.
Questrade
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities, Precious Metals
$4.95-$9.95
$9.95 + $1 per contract
$0
Free
Get $50 in free trades when you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000.
Opt for self-directed investing and save on fees or get a pre-built portfolio and take some of the guesswork out.
OFFER
Qtrade Direct Investing
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs
$6.95 - $8.75
$6.95 - $8.75 + $1.25 per contract
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $25/quarter
$0 - $8.75
Get up to 50 free trades. Be one of the first 100 new Qtrade clients to use the promo code 50FREETRADES and deposit a minimum of $10,000 (or top up to $15,000 to get $150 transfer fees waived). Valid until September 30, 2021.
Qtrade Direct Investing offers low trading commissions and an easy-to-use platform with access to powerful tools and a wide selection of investment options. Trade 100 ETFs free of charge and thousands more for $8.75 or lower.
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Compare up to 4 providers

FTSE 100 ticker

You can use the chart below to track the performance of the FTSE 100:

How do FTSE 100 ETFs work?

When you buy an FTSE 100 ETF, you are not investing directly in the companies in the index. Most FTSE 100 ETFs will hold shares in the companies in the index, but you won’t yourself by just buying the ETF.

However, the ETFs performance will track closely with the performance of the stocks in the index. For example, if the FTSE 100 increases in value by 2%, your ETF should also increase close to 2%.

To invest in an ETF, you’ll generally need to pay a fee of around 0.07% to 0.25% each year, as well as any trading commissions charged by the broker.

Types of ETF

Most FTSE 100 ETFs will fully track the performance of the FTSE 100, meaning the fund is weighted more towards the companies with higher market capitalization. However, there are some ETFs such as the db X-Trackers FTSE 100 Equal Weight UCITS ETF (XFEW) which invests in the companies in the index equally. This means the performance of smaller companies will have a larger impact on the ETF, relative to their size.

Short ETFs. There are a number of short FTSE 100 ETFs, which effectively bet against the performance of the index. If the FTSE 100 goes down, the value of a short ETF should go up. Learn more about shorting stocks (or “short-selling”) in our guide.

Leveraged ETFs. Leveraged ETFs multiply the gains and losses of the index, meaning you’ll get a higher or lower return relative to the size of your investment. You’re effectively borrowing extra capital to potentially increase your returns. For example, if you invest £1,000 in a FTSE 100 ETF with 10x leverage and it goes up 5%, you’d make £500 instead of £50. However, the same would apply to losses.

FTSE 100 ETFs

FundCurrencyTickerFee (TER p.a.)
HSBC FTSE 100 UCITS ETF GBPGBPHUKX0.07%
iShares Core FTSE 100 UCITS ETF (Dist)GBPISF0.07%
iShares Core FTSE 100 UCITS ETF GBP (Acc)GBPCUKX0.07%
Invesco FTSE 100 UCITS ETFGBPS1000.09%
Xtrackers FTSE 100 UCITS ETF 1CGBPXDUK0.09%
Xtrackers FTSE 100 UCITS ETF Income 1DGBPXUKX0.09%
Vanguard FTSE 100 UCITS ETF (GBP) AccumulatingGBPVUKG0.09%
Vanguard FTSE 100 UCITS ETF DistributingGBPVUKE0.09%
Lyxor FTSE 100 UCITS ETF C-GBPGBPL1000.14%
Lyxor FTSE 100 UCITS ETF D-GBPGBP100D0.14%
UBS ETF (LU) FTSE 100 UCITS ETF (GBP) A-disGBPUB030.20%
Amundi ETF FTSE 100 UCITS ETF GBPGBPFT1K0.25%

List of companies in the FTSE 100

3iIIIFinancial Services
Admiral GroupADMNonlife Insurance
Anglo American plcAALMining
AntofagastaANTOMining
Ashtead GroupAHTSupport Services
Associated British FoodsABFFood Producers
AstraZenecaAZNPharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
Auto Trader GroupAUTOMedia
AvevaAVVSoftware & Computer Services
AvivaAV.Life Insurance
BAE SystemsBA.Aerospace & Defence
BarclaysBARCBanks
Barratt DevelopmentsBDEVHousehold Goods & Home Construction
Berkeley Group HoldingsBKGHousehold Goods & Home Construction
BHPBHPMining
BPBP.Oil & Gas Producers
British American TobaccoBATSTobacco
British LandBLNDReal Estate Investment Trusts
BT GroupBT.AFixed Line Telecommunications
BunzlBNZLSupport Services
BurberryBRBYPersonal Goods
Carnival Corporation & plcCCLTravel & Leisure
CentricaCNAGas, Water & Multi-utilities
Coca-Cola HBCCCHBeverages
Compass GroupCPGSupport Services
CRH plcCRHConstruction & Materials
Croda InternationalCRDAChemicals
DCC plcDCCSupport Services
DiageoDGEBeverages
EasyJetEZJTravel & Leisure
EvrazEVRIndustrial Metals & Mining
ExperianEXPNSupport Services
Ferguson plcFERGSupport Services
Flutter EntertainmentFLTRTravel & Leisure
GlaxoSmithKlineGSKPharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
GlencoreGLENMining
HalmaHLMAElectronic & Electrical Equipment
Hargreaves LansdownHL.Financial Services
HSBCHSBABanks
Hikma PharmaceuticalsHIKPharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
Imperial BrandsIMBTobacco
InformaINFMedia
InterContinental Hotels GroupIHGTravel & Leisure
International Airlines GroupIAGTravel & Leisure
IntertekITRKSupport Services
ITV plcITVMedia
JD SportsJD.General Retailers
Johnson MattheyJMATChemicals
Just Eat TakeawayJETSoftware and Computer Services
Kingfisher plcKGFGeneral Retailers
Land SecuritiesLANDReal Estate Investment Trusts
Legal & GeneralLGENLife Insurance
Lloyds Banking GroupLLOYBanks
London Stock Exchange GroupLSEFinancial Services
M&GMNGAsset Managers
MeggittMGGTAerospace & Defence
Melrose IndustriesMROAutomobiles & Parts
MondiMNDIForestry & Paper
MorrisonsMRWFood & Drug Retailers
National Grid plcNG.Gas, Water & Multi-utilities
Next plcNXTGeneral Retailers
NMC HealthNMCHealth Care Equipment & Services
OcadoOCDOFood & Drug Retailers
Pearson plcPSONMedia
Persimmon plcPSNHousehold Goods & Home Construction
Phoenix GroupPHNXLife Insurance
Polymetal InternationalPOLYPrecious Metals and Mining
Prudential plcPRULife Insurance
Reckitt BenckiserRB.Household Goods & Home Construction
RELXRELMedia
Rentokil InitialRTOSupport Services
Rio Tinto GroupRIOMining
RightmoveRMVMedia
Rolls-Royce HoldingsRR.Aerospace & Defence
Royal Bank of Scotland GroupRBSBanks
Royal Dutch ShellRDSAOil & Gas Producers
RSA Insurance GroupRSANonlife Insurance
Sage GroupSGESoftware & Computer Services
Sainsbury’sSBRYFood & Drug Retailers
SchrodersSDRFinancial Services
Scottish Mortgage Investment TrustSMTEquity Investment Instruments
SegroSGROReal Estate Investment Trusts
Severn TrentSVTGas, Water & Multi-utilities
Smith & NephewSN.Health Care Equipment & Services
DS SmithSMDSGeneral Industrials
Smiths GroupSMINGeneral Industrials
Smurfit KappaSKGGeneral Industrials
Spirax-Sarco EngineeringSPXIndustrial Engineering
SSE plcSSEElectricity
Standard CharteredSTANBanks
Standard Life AberdeenSLAFinancial Services
St. James’s Place plcSTJLife Insurance
Taylor WimpeyTW.Household Goods & Home Construction
TescoTSCOFood & Drug Retailers
TUI GroupTUITravel & Leisure
UnileverULVRPersonal Goods
United UtilitiesUU.Gas, Water & Multi-utilities
Vodafone GroupVODMobile Telecommunications
WhitbreadWTBRetail Hospitality
WPP plcWPPMedia
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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