Invest in the London Stock Exchange

Find out more about the London Stock Exchange and how to invest in companies on the LSE.

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is the main stock exchange in the United Kingdom and is the largest stock exchange in Europe. The main index on the LSE is the FTSE 100 which is the 100 largest stocks on the London Stock Exchange. Also on the LSE is the FTSE 250, which, as you can probably work out, is the 250 largest stocks on the exchange.

Find out more about this major stock exchange and how you can invest in the London Stock Exchange.

How does the London Stock Exchange work?

The stock exchange started in 1698 and was originally called “The Course of the Exchange and Other Things.”. It was simply a list of the price of stocks and commodities posted at a coffee shop. It was made more formal in the 1800s, with a set of rules and a fee to be part of it.

A company doesn’t need to be British to be included. It’s got stocks from over 60 countries worldwide.

Companies in the London Stock Exchange include:

Ways to invest in London Stock Exchange

  1. Buy shares in specific companies. If there are specific companies that you’re interested in investing in then you can just invest in those. You can’t realistically invest in all of the companies on the LSE.
  2. Invest in the FTSE 100 or FTSE 250 indices. There are several ways to do this, so check out our dedicated pages on them to decide how you want to invest.

How to buy shares on the London Stock Exchange

  1. Sign up for a share trading platform.To start investing in the London Stock Exchange, you need to start with a share trading platform. One that lets you invest in just UK shares will do, but if you reckon you’ll branch out to other exchanges in the future you may want one that lets you invest in international shares.
  2. Pay funds into your account. How you do this will depend on your chosen platform. You may need to confirm some details about your residency.
  3. Do some research into what you want to invest in. You can find information on our website or in the app of your chosen provider. Look at things like the financials of the company and dividends.
  4. Search for your chosen stock. You might need its ticker. If you search the name of the stock in the search bar at the top of our site you can find its ticker on the relevant page.
  5. Buy your shares. It’s that simple!

How much does it cost to trade on the London Stock Exchange?

Sometimes the fees you pay depend on whether it’s an international stock but the standard fees should apply when you invest in the London Stock Exchange.

Here are some of the fees for some top providers. We’ve listed the standard commission for a trade and the best commission. The best commission will have some kind of condition, such as if you trade more than 10 times in the previous month or if you invest a certain amount. Check out the specific provider reviews to find out how to qualify for the best commission on offer with a provider.

ProviderUK standard commissionUK best commission
Hargreaves Lansdown£11.95£5.95
IG£8£3
eToro£0£0
interactive investor£7.99£7.99

Why should I invest on the London Stock Exchange?

The London Stock Exchange is one of the largest in the world and is the largest in Europe. There are some major companies on it, like the high street bank HSBC, supermarket Sainsbury’s and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Compare investment services

Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Name Product Ratings Finder rating Customer rating Min. initial deposit Price per trade Frequent trader rate Platform fee Offer Link
FREE TRADES
Stake
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
★★★★★
User survey
£50
US: £0
N/A
£0
Join and receive a free share worth up to £100

Capital at risk

Platform details
FREE TRADES
eToro Free Stocks
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
★★★★★
User survey
$200
£0
N/A
£0

Capital at risk

Platform details
Degiro Share Dealing
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
Not yet rated
£0.01
UK: £1.75 + 0.014% (max £5)
US: €0.50 + $0.004 per share
N/A
£0

Capital at risk

Platform details
interactive investor Trading Account
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
★★★★★
User survey
£0
£7.99 (with one free trade per month)
N/A
£9.99 per month

Capital at risk

Platform details
Finder Award
OFFER
Freetrade
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
★★★★★
User survey
£0
£0
N/A
£0
Claim your free share worth between £3 and £200. Capital at risk.

Capital at risk

Platform details
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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. 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.

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