AIM shares: Best AIM shares to buy and AIM ETFs explained

Want to invest in the Alternative Investment Market (AIM)? Our guide shows you the biggest AIM stocks and how to buy them.

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What is AIM?

AIM stands for Alternative Investment Market. It’s a separate market on the London Stock Exchange and is aimed at helping smaller companies grow. AIM was started to help smaller companies who wanted to raise capital but couldn’t afford the costs required or didn’t meet the requirements necessary to list on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market.

Some companies choose to list on AIM as a gateway to getting on the Main Market, like Domino’s Pizza group and Hiscox, but there are some recognisably larger brands on AIM, such as ASOS, boohoo.com and Fevertree. AIM comprises over 800 stocks.

How to invest in AIM

Investing in AIM can be as easy as other investments. If you want to invest in a representation of all AIM stocks, then you can invest in a fund that lists AIM companies. You can find funds that suit you on a share trading platform.

Another way is to buy individual stocks. You’ll want to research into which companies you want to invest in and search for them on your chosen share trading platform.

What are the largest AIM stocks?

The 20 largest AIM stocks by market capitalisation are:

Compare AIM trading platforms

Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Price per trade Frequent trader rate Platform fees Brand description
Fineco
£2.95
£2.95
Zero platform fee
Your first 50 trades are free with Fineco, until 31/12/2020. T&Cs apply.
Fineco Bank is good for share traders and investors looking for a complete platform and wide offer. Capital at risk.
IG
0% commission on US shares, and £3 on UK shares
From £5
£0 - £24 per quarter
IG is good for experienced traders, and offers learning resources for beginners, all with wide access to shares, ETFs and funds. Capital at risk.
eToro Free Stocks
0% commission, no markup, no ticket fee, no management fee
N/A
Withdrawal fee & GDP to USD deposit conversion
Capital at risk. 0% commission but other fees may apply.
Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account
£11.95
£5.95
No fees
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's number one platform for private investors, with the depth of features you'd expect from an established platform. Capital at risk.
Interactive Investor
From £7.99 on the Investor Service Plan
From £7.99 on the Investor Service Plan
No transfer fees or exit fees. £9.99 a month on the Investor Service Plan
Open an ISA, Trading Account or SIPP you will get £100 of free trades to buy or sell any investment (new customers only).
Interactive Investor offers everything most investors need. Its flat fees makes it pricey for small portfolios, but cheap for big ones. Capital at risk.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Minimum deposit Maximum annual fee Price per trade Brand description
Moneyfarm stocks and shares ISA
£1500
0.75%
£0
Hargreaves Lansdown stocks and shares ISA
£100
0.45%
£11.95
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager. It's got everything you'll need, from beginners to experienced investors. Capital at risk.
Interactive Investor stocks and shares ISA
Any lump sum or £25 a month
£119.88
£7.99
Interactive Investor offers everything most investors need. Its flat fees makes it pricey for small portfolios, but cheap for big ones. Capital at risk.
Saxo Markets stocks and shares ISA
No minimum deposit requirement
0.12%
£8.00
Saxo Markets offers a wide access to a range of stocks, ETFs and funds. Capital at risk.
AJ Bell stocks and shares ISA
£500
0.25%
£9.95
AJ Bell is a good all-rounder for people who to choose between shares, funds, ISAs and pensions. Capital at risk.
Fidelity stocks and shares ISA
£1000 or a regular savings plan from £50
0.35%
£10.00
Fidelity is another good all-rounder, offering a good package at a decent price. Not suited for trading shares. Capital at risk.
Nutmeg stocks and shares ISA
£100
0.75%
£0
Nutmeg offers three types of portfolios. Choose the one that goes with your investment style. Capital at risk.
Legal & General stocks and shares ISA
Legal & General stocks and shares ISA
£100 or £20 a month
0.61%
N/A
Legal & General is a big financial services company which offers insurance, lifetime mortgage, pensions and stocks and shares ISAs. Capital at risk.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Minimum investment Choose from Annual fee Brand description
Moneyfarm Pension
£1,500 (initial investment)
7 funds
0.35%-0.75%
Moneyfarm has pensions that are matched against your risk appetite, goals and planned retirement date. Capital at risk.
AJ Bell Pension
£1,000
Over 2,000 funds
0.05-0.25%
AJ Bell has two different pension options, a self managed pension and one that is managed for you. Capital at risk.
PensionBee Pension
No minimum
7 funds
0.5% - 0.95%
Pension Bee is a newbie in the pension market. It helps consolidate your pension plans into one place. Capital at risk.
Hargreaves Lansdown Pension
£100 or £25 a month
2,500 funds
0-0.45%
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager. It's got three different retirement options. Capital at risk.
Interactive Investor Pension
Any lump sum or £25 a month
Over 3,000 funds
£10/month
interactive investor is a flat-fee platform, which makes it cost effective for larger portfolios. Capital at risk.
Saxo Markets Pension
Saxo Markets Pension
£10
Over 11,000 funds
No annual fee
Saxo Markets gives flexibility and control over your investment strategy. Capital at risk.
Moneybox Pension
£1
3 funds
0.15% - 0.45% charged monthly
Manage your money with an easy-to-use Moneybox app. Capital at risk.
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Compare up to 4 providers

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Capital is at risk.

Are there AIM ETFs?

There aren’t any AIM tracker funds or ETFs, mainly because it’d be quite difficult to do so due to the size of the companies in the index.

Why should I invest in AIM?

As you’d be investing in companies very early on, there’s more chance that they’ll fail and therefore there’s more risk associated with your investments. This added risk of volatility or associated tax incentives is what attracts some investors to AIM companies.

What are the tax benefits of investing in AIM?

By investing in AIM companies, you might be able to take advantage of tax relief such as inheritance tax relief, capital gains tax relief and tax relief on shares that qualify for the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). As always, you can get tax relief from holding your stocks in a stocks and shares ISA.

What are the risks of investing in AIM?

A lot of the companies listed on AIM are still young which means that they aren’t as liquid (meaning it’s harder to sell shares). There is generally more risk associated with these stocks compared with the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market, which is made up of established companies.

Is now a good time to invest in AIM?

The coronavirus pandemic shook up all industries and stock indices, AIM included. It lost 38% in value between January and mid March, it’s lowest point during the pandemic but it has bounced back a little since then and recovered most of its losses.

AIM still isn’t trading at the same levels that it was pre-pandemic, so it’s up to you to decide whether you think it will continue to grow further.

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Capital is at risk.

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