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Dividends

Best UK investing apps

It’s easy to start investing in the stock market. All you need is an app on your phone.

Looking to invest in the stock markets and don’t know where to start? No longer do you need a computer to trade shares in companies. All that’s required is your smartphone and an app. I’ve rounded up some of the best brokerage apps on the UK app market.


Trading 212

Trading 212

Rating: 4 out of 5.

By clicking the above link and depositing money on the app, you’ll receive a free stock.

  • Practice account.
  • 0 commission fees.
  • Solid app and interface.
  • Interactive team.
  • New stocks added regularly.
  • Lacks more advanced dividend-focused features.
  • Web app lacks features found in mobile apps.


Trading 212 is a popular app available to those in the UK and Europe. The app offers three accounts: CFD, Invest, and ISA. The former allows one to engage in stock trading, while Invest and ISA are more tailored to long-term shareholding. For dividend investing, it’s best to go with ISA and Invest, leaving CFD well alone.

The team appears to be approachable, regularly commenting on threads created by the community on the official forum, and stocks are added by request. The app and web interface are attractive and easy to use, though the latter has a few dividend-focused features omitted.

For beginners, Trading 212 has some incredible features, including a practice account, allowing you to utilize Monopoly money to test out features and get a feel for how the stock market works. The company also provides learning material on its website and YouTube channel.

It’s well worth checking out, even if you do not plan on spending a single penny, thanks to that practice account.


Nutmeg

Rating: 4 out of 5.

By clicking the above link and depositing money on the app, you’ll receive £100.

  • Quickly set up a portfolio.
  • Fully managed investments.
  • Great for a hands-off approach.
  • Amazing web and mobile apps.
  • Can set risk.
  • The minimum investment is high.
  • Reliance on automated systems.
  • Not free.


Nutmeg is best suited to those who prefer a hands-off approach to investing. You simply deposit money into an account, choose how risky you wish the platform to be with the said funds, and leave it to Nutmeg. It’s what’s known as a roboadvisor with the firm utilizing diversified portfolios created by a human team.

Using exchange-traded funds (or ETF for short), it’s a sure way of ensuring high liquidity and solid performance tracking. Nutmeg offers not only an investment account, but also ISA, lifetime ISA for one’s first property purchase, and even a retirement pot. The web and mobile apps are well-designed and easy-to-use.

A drawback to Nutmeg could be the hands-off approach, which doesn’t allow one to pick and choose which companies or ETFs the portfolio will contain. Then there’s the management fee, which is a very small per cent of your portfolio value. Still, it’s a solid way of getting into investing … without actually getting into investing.


Freetrade

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

By clicking the above link and depositing money on the app, you’ll receive a free stock.

  • 0 commission fees.
  • Easy-to-use.
  • Mobile apps are well-designed.
  • Budding user community.
  • ISA charge.
  • Stock research tools are a little basic.

Freetrade offers budding investors the means to buy and sell shares as you would with any stock market brokerage. The main mobile apps are well-designed and easy-to-use, though you will need some degree of knowledge to make the most of your money. There’s no robotic platform to handle your money for you.

There’s also an ISA for tax-free dividends, though you will need to part with £3 each month for the luxury. Still, it has a budding community who all enjoy the zero commission fees and solid platform. It’s just a shame you’d need to rely on external services for in-depth company research since Freetrade only offers the basics.

If you’re looking for a platform that’s in between Trading 212 and Nutmeg, this is for you. It’s often referred to as the Robinhood for UK residents and I’d have to agree there.


eToro

Developed using darktable 3.0.1

Rating: 4 out of 5.

By clicking the above link and depositing money on the app, I’ll receive a small commission.

  • Practice account
  • 0 commission fees
  • Copy Trader feature
  • Easy-to-use apps
  • Withdrawal fees
  • No ISA accounts


eToro is what you’d get if Facebook decided to make a brokerage platform. It has a heavy focus on the community feel, allowing you to track a news feed and interact with other eToro users. This can be a positive or a negative, depending on how much of an introvert you happen to be.

A standout feature of eToro is CopyTrader, which – as the name implies – allows you to automagically copy trades carried out by more seasoned people. Don’t have time to stare at charts all day? Don’t know how? Trust in this app to do much of the work for you, using real people. For dividend investing, eToro is pretty well positioned too.

It’s just a shame there’s no ISA account and you have a flat withdrawal fee should you wish to extract funds from your portfolio.


Which platform should you use?

This depends on your personal preference. You may want to rely on a team and system to handle your investments like Nutmeg, or you’d rather try out Trading 212 and take advantage of all the data available. There’s really no wrong answer since all of these services are pretty top-notch.

By Rich Edmonds

Rich creates content for the top Windows-focused publication, but by night he tries to make his money work for him and rambles far too much here.

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