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Whether you’re an experienced trader or a complete beginner, a share dealing account could help you to add value to your portfolio. If you want to learn more about buying, holding and selling shares, and how to choose the best share dealing account, you’ve come to the right place.
When deciding on a share dealing platform or broker, you should first establish the following:
Different share trading platforms have different fee structures, trading options and stock availability, and many are geared towards certain types of investors. Understanding your overall investment goals is the key to choosing the share dealing platform that will best suit your investing style.
Many share dealing platforms let users trade using more than one of the above methods, whereas some may be only available as an app or desktop program. As a general rule, trading apps are likely to be the most straightforward and beginner-friendly, whereas desktop programs may be aimed at more serious investors.
After you’ve set up an account you’ll be able to browse for shares to buy. You can select to purchase shares based on quantity, or based on value. Once you’ve purchased your shares, they will appear in your portfolio.
It goes without saying that online share dealing platforms need to make money. The main way they do this is through various fees and charges.
Here’s a list of some of the ones to look for:
We’ve also got a more comprehensive guide on investment fees that’s worth checking out for more info.
Depending on which share trading platform you use, you may pay a fee on every trade you make, fees only on certain types of trades, or pay no trading fees at all. Below is a general summary of the trading fees charged by popular brokers and share dealing platforms:
While cost is an important factor in determining the best share dealing platform for your investing needs, there are other things to keep in mind when comparing share-trading platforms and online brokers.
If you’re a beginner investor, you may want a platform that’s intuitive and easy-to-use, and that isn’t going to punish your lack of experience.
If you’re an advanced investor, you may want a share trading platform that offers additional features such as real-time market data, detailed stock charts and advanced order types. Day-traders or professional investors may want to find a share dealing platform that offers commission-free trades, or offers discounted trading fees based on the number of trades you make.
Let’s start with the basics. A share is basically a portion of a company. When you buy a share you’re buying a small portion of the company. The value of shares can go up and down based on the company’s performance in the stock market.
Share dealing, or share-trading, is a popular form of investing. It means you buy company shares, and hopefully make a profit by selling the shares on for a higher price later down the line. There’s always risk involved though, and shares can also lose value. Anyone who invests in the stock market or uses a share trading account is technically share dealing.
The simplest option available is to buy shares online through a “share-dealing platform” (or broker). Most platforms let you purchase shares from any company listed on the stock exchange, but other share-trading platforms may only let you buy a limited range of stocks.
There’s the London Stock Exchange, which includes the big names like Barclays, Vodafone, easyJet and Sainsbury’s. The FTSE 100 Index shows the top 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Then you’ve got the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) which is a subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange. The AIM lists new, growing companies that are less well known.
Only companies which have ‘floated’ on the stock exchange can sell shares publicly. If you see it listed, you can buy shares in it! It’s that simple.
Once you’ve identified the shares you want to buy, you’ll have to set up a share dealing account, and link it up to your bank account or deposit money in it to buy the share.
We’ve got a full start-to-finish guide on how to buy shares which you might find helpful.
Most online share dealing platforms hold your shares on your behalf. This means you’re still the legal shareholder, but your name won’t appear on any company’s share register.
In your early days of investing, it’s tempting to check your shares all the time. But as time goes and your portfolio grows you’re likely to forget – so keep a track of everything!
If you’re building your own portfolio it’s important to check things regularly and make adjustments to respond to real-world events.
Selling shares is simple too. Most share trading accounts let you sell shares in two ways:
Once you decide to sell and place your deal, you’ll be quoted a price. This price isn’t usually locked in, just an indication of the price at that time. The money you get may not be the exact same amount.
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