Invest in the London Stock Exchange| A how to guide - Finder UK

Invest in the London Stock Exchange

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

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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 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
Data updated regularly
Name Product Price per trade Frequent trader rate Platform fees Brand description
Fineco
UK: £2.95
US: $3.95
EU: €3.95
N/A
£0
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
£0
N/A
£0
Capital at risk. 0% commission but other fees may apply. The minimum deposit with eToro is $500.
Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account
£11.95
£5.95
£0
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
N/A
£0
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)
N/A
£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.
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Data updated regularly
Name Product Minimum deposit Maximum annual fee Price per trade Brand description
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.
Moneyfarm stocks and shares ISA
£1500
0.75%
£0
Moneyfarm helps you meet your investment goals with fully-managed portfolios designed around you. Capital at risk.
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.
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.
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.
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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Data updated regularly
Name Product Minimum investment Choose from Annual fee Brand description
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.
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.
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.
Penfold
Penfold
No minimum
4 portfolios
0.75-0.88%
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. 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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