How to invest in dividend stocks in the UK

Find out how to invest in dividend stocks and compare a list of the best dividend stocks. [2021 updated]

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. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

With world stock markets in a state of flux during the current coronavirus pandemic, many would-be investors are considering a first-time foray into buying company shares. While we don’t have a crystal ball to predict future stock market performance, our guide can explain how to invest in dividend stocks.

How to buy in dividend stocks in the UK

1. Choose an online share-dealing platform. If you’re a beginner, our table below can help you choose.
2. Open your account. You’ll have to provide personal information such as your ID, bank details and national insurance number.
3. Confirm your payment details. You’ll need to fund your trading account with a bank transfer, debit card or credit card.
4. Research the stock that you want to buy. Do some wider research on the company that you’re interested in buying stock in, and also check out its past share performance using your new account.
5. Search the platform for the stock code of your chosen shares. You’ll need this to purchase the shares.
6. Buy your shares through the online platform. It’s that simple.

Compare share-dealing platforms to buy dividend stocks

Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Name Product Price per trade Frequent trader rate Platform fees Brand description
UK: £2.95
US: $3.95
EU: €3.95
Your first 100 trades are free with Fineco (T&Cs apply)
Fineco Bank is good for share traders and investors looking for a complete platform and wide offer. The minimum deposit with Fineco is £0. Capital at risk.
eToro Free Stocks
Capital at risk. 0% commission but other fees may apply. The minimum deposit with eToro is $200.
Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's number one platform for private investors, with the depth of features you'd expect from an established platform. The minimum deposit with HL is £1. Capital at risk.
Degiro Share Dealing
UK: £1.75 + 0.014% (max £5)
US: €0.50 + $0.004 per share
Degiro is widely seen as one of the best low-cost share brokers, for people who are looking to trade regularly. The minimum deposit with Degiro is £0. Capital at risk.
interactive investor Trading Account
£7.99 (with one free trade per month)
£9.99 per month
Interactive Investor offers everything most investors need. Its flat fees makes it pricey for small portfolios, but cheap for big ones. The minimum deposit with ii is £0. Capital at risk.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Minimum deposit Maximum annual fee Price per trade Brand description
Moneybox stocks and shares ISA
0.45% and £1 monthly subscription fee (free for first 3 months)
Moneybox offers a smart and simple way to invest. Sign up in minutes and start investing with £1 via their award-winning app. Capital at risk.
interactive investor stocks and shares ISA
Any lump sum or £25 a month
Interactive Investor offers everything most investors need. Its flat fees makes it pricey for small portfolios, but cheap for big ones. Capital at risk.
Nutmeg stocks and shares ISA
Nutmeg offers three types of portfolios. Choose the one that goes with your investment style. Capital at risk.
Hargreaves Lansdown stocks and shares ISA
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager. It's got everything you'll need, from beginners to experienced investors. Capital at risk.
InvestEngine stocks and shares ISA
Offer - £50 welcome bonus for new customers. Subject to minimum investment. T&Cs apply. Capital at risk.
Moneyfarm stocks and shares ISA
Moneyfarm helps you meet your investment goals with fully-managed portfolios designed around you. Capital at risk.
Fidelity Stocks and Shares ISA
£1000 or a regular savings plan from £50
Fidelity is another good all-rounder, offering a good package at a decent price. Not suited for trading shares. Capital at risk.
Legal & General stocks and shares ISA
Legal & General stocks and shares ISA
£100 or £20 a month
Legal & General is a big financial services company which offers insurance, lifetime mortgage, pensions and stocks and shares ISAs. Capital at risk.
AJ Bell Stocks and Shares ISA
AJ Bell is a good all-rounder for people who to choose between shares, funds, ISAs and pensions. Capital at risk.
Saxo Markets stocks and shares ISA
No minimum deposit requirement
Saxo Markets offers a wide access to a range of stocks, ETFs and funds. Capital at risk.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Minimum investment Choose from Fee for a £50,000 pension pot Brand description
Interactive Investor Pension
Any lump sum or £25 a month
Over 3,000 funds
Annual fee: £239.88, fund fees: £50-500
interactive investor is a flat-fee platform, which makes it cost effective for larger portfolios. Capital at risk.
Moneyfarm Pension
£1,500 (initial investment)
7 funds
Moneyfarm has pensions that are matched against your risk appetite, goals and planned retirement date. Capital at risk.
AJ Bell Pension
Over 2,000 funds
Annual fee: £125, includes fund fees
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
9 funds
Annual fee: £250-475, includes fund fees
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
Annual fee: £225 (£200 cap if holding shares), fund fees included
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager. It's got three different retirement options. Capital at risk.
Saxo Markets Pension
Saxo Markets Pension
Over 11,000 funds
No annual fee
Saxo Markets gives flexibility and control over your investment strategy. Capital at risk.
No minimum
4 portfolios
Annual fee: £375-455, fund fees included
Moneybox Pension
3 funds
Annual fee: £225, fund fee: £60
Manage your money with an easy-to-use Moneybox app. Capital at risk.

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. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

Best UK dividend stocks (top 10)

Below is a list of the best dividend stocks on the FTSE 250 as of February 3 2021, ordered by their dividend yields. We give more detail into the companies underneath.

Wait, what's a dividend yield?

Dividend yield is the amount that a company pays in dividends relative to the market value of one share. It’s worked out by dividing the dividend per share with the share price and multiplying it by 100.

This is a nice way to compare the dividends that companies pay, but, as stock prices change all the time, this does too.

Stock codeCompany nameAnnual yield
DGOCDiversified Gas & Oil9.25%
DLGDirect Line Insurance Group7.24%
GCPGCP Infrastructure Investments6.89%
FSFLForesight Solar Fund6.74%
NESFNextEnergy Solar Fund6.69%
JUPJupiter Fund Management5.90%

Annual yields are correct as of February 3 2021.

Diversified Gas & Oil

Diversified Gas & Oil is an independent owner and operator of producing natural gas and oil wells. It operates in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It’s grown over the last few years.


Hammerson plc is a real estate investment trust. It owns, manages and develops retail destinations in Europe. It owns and operates destinations such as Brent Cross in London, Dundrum Town Centre in Dublin and Italie Deux in Paris.

CentaminCentamin is a mineral exploration and mining company based in the UK. It mines precious metals, primarily gold, in the Arabian-Nubian shield. It operates the Sukari Gold Mine in the Eastern Desert of Egypt.


TP ICAP is a leading capital markets business based in the UK. It provides independent data to its clients including live and historical pricing content and advanced valuation and analytics.

Direct Line Insurance Group

Direct Line Insurance Group is a leading insurance business based in the UK. It owns Direct Line, Privilege and Green Flag.

GCP Infrastructure Investments

GCP Infrastructure Investments is a closed ended investment fund that invests in UK infrastructure projects with long-term, public sector backed revenues. It’s designed to provide regular, sustainable, long-term dividends.


Plus500 is an investment broker and CFD provider in the UK. It’s listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Foresight Solar Fund

Foresight Solar Fund Limited aims to provide investors with a sustainable quarterly dividend. It manages solar infrastructure funds on behalf of institutional and private investors.

NextEnergy Solar Fund

NextEnergy Solar Fund is a diversified portfolio of more than 91 solar assets. It’s a Guernsey incorporated investment company that’s focused on aquiriting solar photovoltaic assets in the UK. NextEnergy Solar Fund has invested £950 million in high quality solar assets.

Jupiter Fund Management

Jupiter is an active fund manager which aims to help its clients achieve their investment goals. It manages equity and bond investments, particularly in markets in the UK, Europe and Asia.

What are dividend stocks?

When you buy a number of shares in a company (also referred to as having “stock” in that firm), you’re effectively buying a piece of the business, which means you’re a part-owner. As a shareholder you’re then entitled to a share of that company’s earnings, which comes in the form of dividends.

This means that dividend stocks (also known as dividend-paying shares) are ones that make regular payments to the investors who have bought them.

Dividend stocks can make money for shareholders in two ways: by providing a predictable source of income from regular dividend payments, and by going up in value over time (called capital appreciation).

Dividend payments are usually made on a quarterly basis (four times a year), although some shares pay out just once or twice per year. Of course, dividend payment amounts could start to vary over time depending on the financial performance of the company that you’ve bought stock in.

It’s also worth noting that some company shares do not pay dividends at all. For example, if it’s a relatively new company and all profits are being ploughed back into the business to promote growth (and ultimately, to build up the share price valuation and the prospect of paying dividends in the future).

Why should I buy dividend stocks?


  • Dividend payouts provide a regular investment income.
  • You can also sell the shares on for a profit if they rise in value over time.


  • If the company you own shares in hits hard times, it may reduce the dividend payout to investors.
  • The value of shares can decrease as well as increase.
  • Tax. As dividends form part of your income, you may need to pay tax on any dividend payments you receive.
  • No guarantee. You can’t rely solely on dividends, as there’s no guarantee that companies will pay out.

How to compare dividend stocks

There are a number of factors to consider when comparing which dividend stocks (dividend-paying shares) to buy:

  • Dividend yield. This is the total value of dividend payouts over one year, represented as a percentage of the share price. For example, if a company pays out £1 per share in annualised dividends, and the stock price is £10 per share, then that is a dividend yield of 10%. A high dividend yield is a good sign for investors, but be mindful to check that the company is in a healthy enough position to sustain that high figure in future. Also, if you are a novice investor, beware of falling into the “dividend yield trap”. This is where a very high dividend yield is not as good a prospect as it seems, because the % yield has hit an unusual high due to a falling stock price, which might signal troubled times at the company.
  • Payout ratio. This is the dividend expressed as a percentage of a company’s net income. If a company earns £2 per share in net income and pays a £1 share dividend, its payout ratio is 50%. A lower payout ratio indicates that the dividend is more sustainable.
  • Total return. This is the overall performance of a stock, combining any rise or fall in share price with the dividend yield. For instance, if a share price rises by 6% over one year, and the share has an annual dividend yield of 5%, its total return is 11%.
  • Earnings per share (EPS). This figure is a company’s profit per share, so is calculated by taking a firm’s quarterly or annual income and dividing it by the number of shares that exist in that company.
  • Price-to earnings (P/E) ratio. This is calculated by dividing a company’s current share price by its EPS. A higher ratio suggests that investors expect higher growth from the company compared to the overall market.

Paying tax on dividends in the UK

In the UK, individuals get a dividend allowance of £2,000 each financial year, which means you don’t need to pay tax on any dividend income up to that amount.

If you earn more than £2,000 from dividend payouts then how much tax you’re liable for depends on whether you’re a basic, higher or additional rate income tax payer in your normal day-to-day job.

These are the tax rates payable on dividends over the £2,000 allowance:

  • Basic rate tax payer – 7.5%
  • Higher rate tax payer – 32.5%
  • Additional rate tax payer – 38.1%

How does a dividend reinvestment plan work?

Some companies offer investors a dividend reinvestment plan (known as a DRP). If you opt in, this allows you to use your dividends to buy more shares in that company, instead of receiving the dividend payment in cash.

One of the main advantages of doing this is that you can buy extra shares without paying any more brokerage fees to your share-dealing platform. It’s also a good way to increase your holdings in a company over time with little or no active effort on your part!

A downside of signing up to a DRP is that you don’t receive a traditional dividend payout in cash, so won’t have that as a form of regular income. You also don’t get to choose at what share price you buy the additional shares – they’re automatically purchased on your behalf on the date of the dividend payment.

Are there any risks?

One issue to be wary of is investing in a company based solely on its history of dividend payments. Just because a company has a high dividend yield doesn’t mean it is a safe and stable investment, so do plenty of research before handing over your money.

Some companies will also offer dividends in the form of shares (as a DRP, explained above), which can sometimes seem like an unattractive option for investors looking for an instant cash return. However, these dividend reinvestment plans can be a great way for you to invest further and gain a bigger share of a company, so consider the merits of reinvesting before making a decision.

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