Best trading apps for beginners

We’ve analysed some features and fees of investment providers to find some of the best for beginners in the UK.

See top platforms for beginners Best beginner trading apps
Commonly asked questions See FAQs

If you’ve decided to dive into investing, you’ll need a trading app that lets you buy and sell investments. We’ve chosen the apps below because of their simplicity, low minimum deposits and easy-to-use platforms. Down the line, as you become an expert investor, you might prefer an app with more detail, better charting tools and a greater range of investments, but they often cost you. Here are some beginner platforms that let you get started with investing.

What makes an app beginner friendly?

When analysing trading apps, our experts decide which type of investor each platform is suitable for: beginners, intermediate investors and expert investors. Beginner platforms won’t have riskier options like contracts for difference (CFDs) available, and it will have easy to read charts without too much detail.

In order to rank the beginner platforms, we use our Finder star ratings — high scoring platforms that are suitable for beginners make the shortlist of the best trading apps for beginners, with the top spot getting the title.

Is it worth getting an expert trading app?

You might feel tempted to jump straight into an expert trading app because they already have all the features of beginner ones and more. After all, the term “beginner” gives flashbacks of having stabilisers on your bike or armbands when swimming.

You might find yourself just a little bit overwhelmed with an expert trading platform and may end up entering trades that you don’t totally understand, such as contracts for difference (CFDs) and options and futures contracts. Platforms ideally go a long way to preventing this, and if you’re confident and want to jump straight into more intermediate apps, you can check out our general best trading platform guide.

Best trading app for beginners


Freetrade

Freetrade

Pros
  • Trade for free
  • Easy to use app and sign up process
Cons
  • Graphs are more pretty than useful
  • ISA costs an additional £3 per month
Why we think it’s best for beginners

Freetrade is an app-only investment platform that’s really simple to use and very attractive. The app aims itself at beginner investors, with simple charts, easy to understand portfolio breakdowns and jargon-free language. We found that with Freetrade it’s super easy to negotiate the app, find investments and make trades. Our investment experts decided that Freetrade was an app best suited to beginners, and with 3.9 out of 5 stars, it came out the best investment app for beginners in the UK.

With Freetrade, you can trade with zero commission on a huge selection of shares, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and investment trusts, including US shares. It charges 0.45% in foreign exchange fees for overseas shares, and if you want to invest in an ISA, you can do so for an additional £3 per month.


InvestEngine

Investengine

Pros
  • Low fees.
  • Both ready-made portfolios and DIY investing available.
Cons
  • The bonus your original deposit must stay invested for at least 12 months.
  • There’s a fair amount of investment jargon that can be difficult to understand.
Why it’s great for beginners

InvestEngine is an exchange-traded fund (ETFs) trading service. This means that you can’t buy individual stocks and shares with the provider, but you can buy diversified funds, which are great for beginners. These allow you to invest into a whole range of stocks at a great price, which helps you build a portfolio quickly.

This may not be particularly exciting to investors that want to have a go at buying shares in companies they love, but would suit a beginner investor that’s worried about risk. ETFs aren’t risk free, but they do a good job of creating a diversified portfolio with only a few trades.

With InvestEngine, the ISA is free and there aren’t any platform fees or trading fees. The only fees involved are the ongoing ETF costs, charged by the ETF provider and starting at 0.05% per year.


Stake

Stake

Pros
  • Trade for free.
  • Huge range of stocks available.
Cons
  • US stocks only.
  • Funding and withdrawal fees.
Why it’s great for beginners

Stake is a great choice for beginners that only want to trade US stocks. There are more than 6,000 US shares on the platform and it’s really simple to sign up and start investing. The platform is commission-free, so the main fees you’ll pay is the foreign exchange fee when you top up your account, which is 0.5%. You can’t invest in an ISA, which is the main downside of the platform.

The charting isn’t too complicated, which is great for beginners. You can get more detailed charts and financial data by upgrading to Stake Black.


Barclays

Barclays

Pros
  • No additional charge for an ISA.
  • Low commision for trades.
Cons
  • Limited charting tools.
  • Customer service isn’t 24 hours.
Why it’s great for beginners

Barclays is well known for its bank account, but it’s also got a share dealing service that you can access even if you don’t have a Barclays bank account. There’s no additional charge to invest in an ISA and its got relatively low commission for trades, especially if you set up regular investments or invest in funds.

Investors can choose between ready-made portfolios, funds and shares, meaning you’re able to decide whether you’d like some help or you’re happy to go it alone.


Summary

The best trading apps for beginners, ranked:

  1. Freetrade
  2. InvestEngine
  3. Stake
  4. Barclays

Frequently asked questions

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