Best Investment Apps UK

Based in the UK and looking for an investment app that allows you to buy and sell assets on the move? Read our guide to the best UK investment apps for 2020.
Kane Pepi
Author: Kane Pepi
Last Updated: 20 May 2020

Are you a UK investor looking to trade assets anytime, anywhere? Or maybe you’re looking to check your portfolio at the click of a button? Either way, having a top-notch investment app is crucial if you want the ability to buy and sell assets on your mobile.

There are loads of investment apps available, but how do you know which app is right for you? To help you out, we’ve the five best UK investment apps of 2020. This guide also discusses some of the things you need to look out for prior to signing up to a new investment app broker and provides a step-by-step guide on how to get started.

What are Investment Apps?

Investment apps are mobile applications that allow you to buy, sell, and trade a full range of assets at the click of a button. Whether it’s traditional stocks and shares, bonds, ETFs, or mutual funds, the best investment apps ensure that you always have access to the financial markets no matter where you are.

Many of the UK’s top online brokers offer both a desktop site and a mobile app, though some providers offer only one of the other. Mobile investment apps are usually available for both iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded for free from the app store on your smartphone or tablet device.

Before investing on your mobile, not only do you need to find a trusted UK stock broker that offers a fully-fledged app that is compatible with your device, but you need to look at a range of other factors, too. For example, you’ll need to assess the types of assets that the broker offers, how much you will be charged to trade, and what minimum deposit amount you will need to meet. Similarly, you also need to explore the types of payment methods the app supports, and whether you will have access to research tools.

Once you do find a suitable broker, most trading apps come with the very same features that you will find on the main desktop platform. This means that you can easily deposit and withdraw funds, check the value of your portfolio, contact customer support and, of course, access the best UK investments. All in all, downloading an investment app will ensure that you never miss a trade, whether that’s making a super-fast investment or exiting a losing position.

What are the Advantages of Using a UK Investment App?

Still not convinced about the benefits of using a mobile trading app? If so, check out the following advantages.

  • You will never miss an investment opportunity: Picture the scene – you come across an investment opportunity or tip, and you’re super keen to get the trade placed. However, you’re out of the house and have no access to your computer. By having an investment app installed on your phone, you’ll never miss out on such trading opportunities.
  • Close a losing position immediately: Investment apps are also crucial when you need to close a losing position immediately, such as if the share price of a company is crashing and you want to cut your losses. Regardless of the reason, you’ll be able to exit in just a few taps.
  • Optimized for your device: As long as you hold an Android or iOS mobile device, the investment app will have designed specifically for your operating system. Not only does this mean that you’ll benefit from an enhanced mobile trading experience, but dedicated applications typically consume less data than standard mobile web browsers.
  • Keep tabs on your portfolio: Like the vast majority of us, you likely have a tendency to check your portfolio of investments on a regular basis, and you can do this with ease when you have an investment app installed on your phone. Simply open the app and view your portfolio value in real-time!
  • Notifications and Alerts: Investment apps are also highly conducive for receiving key pricing alerts. For example, if you want to buy British American Tobacco stocks when the share price £28.50, you can receive a notification on your phone when this is triggered. This is a major benefit that you miss out on if you only trade on a desktop. 

Best UK Investment Apps of 2020

So now that you know the benefits of using an investment app, you now need to start thinking about which provider you wish to go with. There are many platforms to choose from, so to help you out, we’ve reviewed the five best investment apps of 2020. Each of our recommended brokers is regulated, lists heaps of financial instruments, and offers super-competitive trading fees.

1. eToro - Best All-Round UK Investment App

eToro is an online broker that hosts thousands of financial instruments. Across its desktop and mobile app platforms, you will be able to trade stocks, commodities, forex, ETFs, cryptocurrencies and more.

Since this broker's inception in 2006, it has attracted more than 12 million users. eToro is particularly famous for its social trading tools such as CopyTrader, which allows you to copy the portfolios of other traders in the click of a button.

eToro users can either buy underlying assets or trade CFDs, depending on the asset class. Trading is commission-free and there's no stamp duty for UK investors.

In terms of the mobile investment app, this is available on both iOS and Android devices, and it can be downloaded straight from the eToro website. Opening an account through your phone takes minutes, and you even verify your identity by taking a picture of your ID.

Minimum deposits via the eToro investment app start at $200 (£160), and you can use a UK debit/credit card, bank account, or e-wallet. There are no fees to fund your account, although a small $5 withdrawal fee applies.

You should have no concerns about safety when using the mobile app, as eToro is regulated by the UK's FCA, as well as ASIC in Australia and CySEC in Cyprus. This means that your investment funds are securely held in segregated bank accounts.

Assets: Cryptocurrencies, Stocks, CFD, Forex, ETFs, Commodities

App: Available on Android and iOS

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: Great educational material for both beginners and advanced traders

Fees: $5 Withdrawal Fee, $5 Inactivity Fee, No Account Fee, No Deposit Fee, 0.5% currency conversion fee (average)

Minimum deposit: $200 (£160)

MT4/MT5: No

Special Features: Copy trading and social trading site

Regulation: CySEC, FCA, ASIC

Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Paypal, Sofort, Rapid transfer, Skrill, Wire transfer, Neteller, WebMoney, UnionPay

Our rating

  • Social trading leader
  • Best mobile trading site
  • Paypal accepted
  • Limited technical analysis tools
  • Not well-suited for the more advanced investor
75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

2. Plus500 - Trade Thousands of CFDs With Tight Spreads

Plus500 is a UK-based broker that hosts thousands of CFD (contract-for-difference) instruments. This means that you get to trade assets without taking direct ownership. In doing so, you can easily buy and sell stocks, indices, gold, oil, gas, cryptocurrencies, and more.

One of the overarching benefits of choosing Plus500 for your investment app needs is that the broker does not charge any trading commissions. Instead, the only fee that you need to look out for is the spread.

As a specialist CFD broker, Plus500 also offers leverage. For example, you can trade stock CFDs at leverage of 5:1, and major currency pairs at 30:1. The Plus500 mobile app provides access to the very same features as found on the main desktop site.

Plus500 requires a minimum deposit of £100, which you can do via a UK debit/credit card, Paypal, or bank account. No deposit or withdrawal fees apply, and your account will be denominated in GBP.

Much like in the case of eToro, Plus500 is heavily regulated, with licenses in the UK, Australia, Cyprus, and Singapore. Its parent company is also listed on the London Stock Exchange, so in terms of credibility, Plus500 has an excellent reputation.

Assets: CFDs

App: Available on Android and iOS

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: No

Fees: $10 Inactivity Fee, $0 withdrawal fees

Minimum deposit: £100

MT4/MT5: No

Special Features: 2,000 trading instruments

Regulation: CySEC, FCA, ASIC, MAS

Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Paypal, Bank transfer

our rating

  • Minimum deposit of £100
  • Over 2,000 trading instruments
  • Mobile app available
  • No education material
  • Not suitable for beginners
75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

3. Robinhood: Investment App With £1 Minimum Deposit

Although Robinhood was only launched in 2013, it is now one of the most popular money investment apps in the United States. As part of its global expansion plans, Robinhood entered the UK market in early 2020. With that being said, the stock trading broker has received a significant number of account application since it opened its doors in the UK, to the extent that there is now a waiting list.

If you do decide to jump on the Robinhood bandwagon, you will benefit from commission-free stock trades. The vast bulk of shares listed at the platform come from the American exchanges, which is perfect if you want to gain exposure to companies like Apple, IBM, Amazon, Facebook, and Disney. ETFs are also supported if you want to diversify into other markets.

Robinhood allows you to get started with a deposit of just £1, which makes it one of the best investment apps for beginners who don't want to invest large amounts. The platform is tailored to the new traders, so you don't need to have any prior investment experience to use the app.

This broker is also regulated in the UK by the FCA, so you should have no concerns regarding safety. Once your account application is confirmed, you will be able to deposit funds instantly with a debit card.

Available Assets: Stocks, ETFs

App: Available on Android and iOS

Demo Account: No but it’s free to sign up

Fees: $5 (£4) per month for the Robinhood gold account, No commission fee or share dealing charges, no currency conversion mark-up from GBP to USD

Minimum Deposit: £1

Regulation: FCA (UK) and SEC (US). Registered member of the SIPC and FINRA

Educational Material: Suitable for new and advanced traders

Payment Methods: Debit card

Our Rating

  • Good choice for beginners
  • Commission free stock trading
  • £1 minimum deposit
  • Currently a waiting list in the UK
  • No cryptocurrencies or options for UK investors

4. Nutmeg - Simple and Easy Investment App for Newbies

Launched in 2011, Nutmeg is a UK-based investment platform that helps you navigate your way through the weird and wonderful world of the financial markets. By downloading the app, opening an account, and then depositing funds, Nutmeg will create portfolios based on your trading needs. It does so by asking you some questions about the type of risk that you wish to take and then creating a portfolio to mirror this.

For example, if you want to take a super-conservative approach to investing, Nutmeg will create a portfolio that is dominated by government bonds. At the other end of the spectrum, higher risk portfolios consist of stocks. The team at Nutmeg will adjust your portfolio once every three months, which comes at an annual cost of 0.75%. If you want to reduce your cost down to 0.45%, you'll need to manage your own investments.

Although Nutmeg is perfect for newbies, you will need to meet a minimum deposit of £500 if opting for a general investment account. In terms of safety, Nutmeg is regulated by the FCA and partnered with the FSCS. This means that your money is protected up to the first £85,000 if Nutmeg ran into financial problems.

Available Assets: Stocks, Bonds, ISAs

App: Available on Android and iOS

Demo Account: Yes

Fees: €10 Inactivity Fee, €2 to $10 per withdrawal via bank transfer, 1% per withdrawal via Neteller, Charges a transaction fee based on the value of the transaction

Minimum Deposit: £500

Regulation: FCA

Payment Methods: Debit card, Bank transfer

Educational Materials: Heaps of user-friendly financial and investment guides

Our Rating

  • Pre-packaged investment portfolios
  • Perfect for begginers
  • Debit cards and bank accounts supported
  • More expensive than other investment apps

5. Libertex - Experienced and Reputable Online Stockbroker

Libertext is an online broker that specializes in CFD and forex instruments. Launched in 1997, the platform is best suited for those of you that wish to engage in short-term trading. This is because you will have access to heaps of asset classes, alongside the ability to short-sell and apply leverage. This includes everything from stocks, forex, cryptocurrencies, indices, and hard metals.

Most importantly, Libertex is super-competitive in the fees and commissions department. You can download the broker's app to your iOS or Android free of charge, and all account features mirror that of the main desktop site.

What we really like about Libertex is that you will be able to buy and sell assets via the MT4 platform. This means that you will have access to dozens of technical indicators and advanced chart reading tools.

Available Assets: Stocks, CFDs, ETFs, forex, cryptocurrencies, commodities, indices

App: Available on Android and iOS

Demo Account: Yes

Fees: €10 Inactivity Fee, €2 to $10 per withdrawal via bank transfer, 1% per withdrawal via Neteller, Charges a transaction fee based on the value of the transaction

Minimum Deposit: €100

Regulation: CySEC

Payment Methods: Credit card, Neteller, Skrill, Sofort, Wire transfer, Giropay, iDeal

Educational Materials: Suitable for new and advanced traders

Our Rating

  • €50,000 virtual money for the demo account
  • Easy order placement
  • Easy account switching from demo account to real account
  • Accounts denominated in EUR

How to Choose a UK Investment App

We’ve given you a rundown on the best UK investment apps for 2020, but if you want to do some research of your own there are some important factors to keep in mind.  If so, below you will find some handy tips on how to choose a UK investment app that meets your trading requirements.

  • Regulation

You must ensure that your chosen investment app is regulated. In an ideal world, this should be with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. Other notable tier-one licensing bodies include CySEC and ASIC. Crucially, using a regulated investment app broker will ensure that your funds remain safe at all times.

  • Tradable Assets

You also need to think about the types of assets that you wish to trade, as different mobile investment apps offer access to different markets. If you want to develop a broad portfolio, we suggest choosing a provider such as eToro, as this allows you to trade almost every financial asset you can imagine.

  • Compatibility

If you’re using an iOS or Android device, you shouldn’t have any issues with compatibility. With that said, it’s best to check whether your operating system is supported before going any further.

  • Payments

You will be investing real-world pounds and pence, so it makes sense to choose a platform that supports your preferred payment method. All UK investment apps accept debit and credit cards, but you may want to seek out a provider that accepts PayPal if that’s your preferred choice.

  • Fees and Trading Commissions

It’s crucial that you have a firm understanding of how much the investment app charges to use its services. For example, the likes of eToro, Plus500, and Robinhood offer commission-free trades. However, you do need to take the spread into account, as this is an indirect fee that needs to be covered.

Similarly, investment platforms like Nutmeg charge an annual maintenance fee that is based on the size of your investment. You should also look for non-trading costs such as deposit and withdrawal fees.

  • Trading Tools and Research

If you’re a complete newbie in the world of trading, it’s best to use an investment app that offers heaps of user-friendly research and educational resources. This should include analysis publications where the broker discusses some potential trading opportunities and trading tools to help you get started.

  • Customer Support

Finally, you also need to assess what customer support channels you can access via your investment app. We prefer brokers that offer an in-app live chat facility, as this is the easiest way to get assistance on your account. Extra bonuses points are given if the customer service team works on a 24/7 basis!

How to Get Started With a UK Investment App

Looking to get started with a UK investment app today? If so, we are now going to show you the steps you will need to take with our top-rated broker, eToro. The platform is suited for those of you that want access to traditional stocks and ETFs, cryptocurrencies, commodities, and forex in a safe, low-cost, and user-friendly environment.

Step 1: Download App

Head over to the eToro website and download the mobile app. Don’t forget, you’ll need to have an iOS or Android phone.

Step 2: Sign Up

Once you have downloaded and installed the app, you will need to open an account. The process can be completed in minutes, and simply requires some personal information from you.

This includes your:

  • Full Name
  • Nationality
  • Home Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Contact Details

eToro will then ask you some basic investment questions with the view of gauging your prior trading experience. This is just to ensure the broker remains compliant with its licensing bodies and that you have a firm grasp of the risks of investing.

Step 3: KYC Verification

eToro will then be required to validate your identity. Once again, this is to ensure the platform remains compliant with the FCA and wider regulations on anti-money laundering.

As such, you will need to upload a copy of your passport or driver’s license, as well as a recently issued utility bill or bank statement. You can do this easily by taking a picture of the document with your mobile phone, so there’s no need for a scanner!

Step 4: Deposit Funds

You will now need to deposit some funds into your newly created investment account. The broker supports UK debit/credit cards, bank accounts, and e-wallets like Paypal and Skrill. The minimum deposit amount is $200, which amounts to around £160.

Although your deposit will be taken in GBP, it will instantly be converted to USD, as this is the broker’s proprietary currency. This will result in a very small currency conversion charge of 0.5%, albeit, you will then have access to heaps of stocks and ETFs without needing to pay any commission.

Step 5: Browse Investments

Once your deposit has been processed (which is instant apart from bank transfers), you can then make your first investment. If you want to browse the thousands of assets hosted at eToro, click on the ‘Trade Markets’ button and search for your preferred asset class (stocks, ETFs, etc.)

Alternatively, if you know the specific investment that you wish to make, enter this into the search box. As you can see from our example, we are looking to buy shares in HSBC.

Step 6: Make an Investment

To complete the investment process you will need to place a buy order.

In our example, we are looking to buy HSBC stocks, so all we need to do is:

  • Amount: Enter the total amount that we wish to invest in USD, and not the number of individual shares. In our example, we are buying $500 worth of HSBC stock.
  • Market Order: By leaving this set as a market order, eToro will execute our trade at the next available price.

Finally, click on ‘buy’ to complete your commission-free share investment!

Conclusion

The best UK investment apps provide instant access to the financial markets whenever, wherever.  Not only will you be able to check your portfolio at the click of a button, but you’ll also be able to make investments at any time.

There are heaps of UK investment apps to choose from, but our pick for the number one platform is eToro. The eToro investment app allows you to invest in traditional stocks and ETFs without paying any commissions, access social trading tools and provides an overall excellent user experience.

eToro: Best Investment Platform in the UK

Our rating

  • Invest in Crypto, FX, Commodities, Stocks and ETFs
  • FCA Regulated Platform
  • Social and copy trading ideal for beginners
75% of retail investors lose capital when trading CFDs with this provider.

FAQs

How safe are investment apps?

As long as your chosen investment app is regulated by the UK's FCA, you should have no concerns with safety. Crucially, FCA brokers are required to store client funds in separate bank accounts from their own.

How much money do I need to use investment apps?

This depends on the investment app broker that you sign up with. For example, while eToro requires $200 (£160), the likes of Robinhood have a minimum of just £1.

What are the best investment apps?

If you're looking for a user-friendly investment app that allows you to buy shares and ETFs without paying any commissions, eToro is our pick for the best UK investment app.

How do investment apps work?

Investment apps work in exactly the same way a traditional online trading site. For example, once you open an account, deposit funds, and upload some ID. You will be able to make investments at the click of a button.

How do investment apps make money?

Like any online brokerage service, free investment apps make money when you trade. This might come in the form of a trading commission, share dealing charge, spreads, or an annual maintenance fee

Kane Pepi

Kane holds academic qualifications in the finance and financial investigation fields. With a passion for all-things finance, he currently writes for a number of publications in the online space.

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eToro: Our Recommended UK Investment Platform

eToro: Our Recommended UK Investment Platform

eToro: Our Recommended UK Investment Platform

Visit eToro

75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with eToro.

eToro: Our Recommended UK Investment Platform
Visit eToro

75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with eToro.

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