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The world of investments has seen significant changes over recent years. Not so long ago, you’d associate investing with a certain group of people. Generally, those who were already wealthy and were part of exclusive clubs. With the rise of Fintech companies, this has all changed. Now, all that you need to become an investor is a smartphone. This, however, brings its own challenges namely how to find the Best investment apps in the UK. With so many to choose from, you need to be sure that you’re only using the ones that bring you the greatest benefit.
While regulation can bring the reassurance that your money is safe, not all investment apps are created equal. There are those that offer a great user experience alongside those that are a little slow and cumbersome. The point of these apps is to make investing easy so we want to make sure that’s the experience that you have.
This is a round up of the best apps in the UK at the moment, but if you’re based in Canada, PiggyBank has a great list of investing platforms in Canada you can take a look at.
The Top 10 Best Investment Apps UK – Overview
If you’re new to investing, you may know that you want to get involved, but you may be left feeling a little stuck with how to get started. You’ll no doubt have seen numerous ads online where you’re told that what you’re being shown are the best investment apps in the UK. How do you know if they really are, and how much do you need to understand about investing before you start?
In this article, we’re going to list the 10 best investment apps in the UK. What we’re also going to do is to give you a little more detail. We’re going to take a look at the types of investments that there are so that you can decide which will work best for you. We’re also going to take a look at how much money you need to get started and if you can really earn a passive income.
If that’s the kind of information that you’ve been looking for, then read on.
What Types of Investments are There?
When you take a look at investments that are available, it certainly gets a little confusing. With a savings account, you have some fairly easy choices to make. You decide how much you want to save and you decide how long you want to lock your money up for. The longer that you leave it generally will bring a higher return. With investments that are other decisions to be faced and the biggest is what you want to invest in.
Some forms of investment are safer than others. Some bring short term gains while others are long term commitments. The types that you’re likely to come across include:
- Real Estate Investment Trusts
- CFDs (contract for differences)
- Stocks and shares
With the best investment apps in the UK, it is generally the latter two that you’ll come across so let’s have a look at these in more detail:
Stocks and Shares
Companies that are listed on the stock exchange issue shares that people are able to purchase. These shares represent ownership of part of the company. The more shares that you own, the more of the company that you own too.
Companies issue these shares as a way to raise funds. There is no fixed price when it comes to shares. They fluctuate depending on how the company is performing. The problem with shares is that getting involved with the biggest companies becomes a little expensive. To many people, shares in the likes of Apple, Tesla, and Amazon are out of reach. The good news is that the best investment apps have a solution to this: fractional shares.
Fractional shares see you purchasing just part of a share. This opens up investing to the masses and allows almost anyone to own part of a major company.
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) work in a similar way to a mutual funds. They track a certain commodity, asset, or sector, but where they’re different to a mutual fund is that they can be traded on the stock market.
ETFs are a flexible investment tool. They can be utilised to track almost anything such as the price of a single commodity (e.g. Gold) to the diverse collection of securities. Whereas a mutual fund can only trade once a day, ETFs can be traded all day long. This means that you’ll notice the price fluctuating.
The advantage of ETFs, over stocks and shares, is that there are generally fewer broker commissions involved.
Different Types of Investment Apps
When it comes to choosing an investment app, you’ll find that there is a whole host of these and that they all offer something a little different. When selecting an investment app, there are a few things that you’ll need to consider. These include:
- Is there a wide range of assets that you can invest in?
- Does the app over the use of robo-advisors or do you handle the investments yourself?
- What are the fees that you’re going to be charged? you’ll need to factor in commissions, handling fees, and exit fees amongst others
- What’s the minimum amount that you can invest?
- Is the platform safe and is your money protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?
- Can you withdraw your funds whenever you want to, without penalty?
- Are there features that allow you to copy the portfolio of successful investors?
As you can see, trying to find the best investment apps in the UK is quite an involved process with a great deal to be considered. That’s why we thought we’d help by bringing you, what we think, are the very best investment apps around:
Plum is a great app that opens up investing to everyone. It makes use of artificial intelligence in order to analyse your spending and decide how much you can afford to invest/save each month. It will then automatically deduct this amount each month.
When it comes to investing, Plum has three levels of account where you can do this. The cheapest of these costs £1 per month, but there are also handling fees that are charged annually to consider. With Plum, you can choose to invest in a General Investment Account or you can take advantage of your tax-free allowance with stocks and shares ISAs.
This is another app that makes investing easy. With Moneybox, every time that you spend, the app will round this up and add the additional amount to your investments. As an example, if you were to spend £3.80, Moneybox would round this to £4 with the 20p going into your investments.
Moneybox offers three levels when it comes to investments. These are cautious, balanced, and adventurous. You’ll need to consider how averse to risk you are before you decide on which one to go for. To get started with investing, there is a £1 monthly fee. There are also annual fees to look at too.
This app offers robo-advisors that invest your money on your behalf. There are diversified portfolios here and that’s great as it reduces any risk that you’re exposed to. There are no subscription fees here. Instead, there is a 0.6% annual handling fee that gets paid to Wealthify.
Investment Trading Apps
When looking at the best investment apps in the UK, it’s also worth taking the time to consider apps that allow you to trade too. With investment apps, you’re usually looking at your returns in the long term. You invest and then hold on to your investment in the hope that its’ value will increase over time. With trading, the opposite is usually true.
Those who use trading are looking at short term gains. They may only hold a share for a matter of an hour before they trade it again. There is a need to closely follow what is happening with the markets to ensure that you’re making the decisions that will increase your wealth. Trading can be tricky if it’s something that you’re new to, that’s why your choice of app can make a real difference. Here’s a look at the ones that we feel are the best:
This is a platform that can be great to use to learn how to trade. It offers a demo account where you can use £100,000 in fake money so that you can get a feel for how things work. One of the most notable features of eToro is the one that allows you to copy successful traders. These are traders with a proven track record and you can automate everything so that you trade just like they do.
Another big pull here is the fact that you can set up an account for free. There are also no management fees and there is a 0% commission on trades.
Freetrade is an impressive app that opens up trading to the masses. If you opt for its basic service, this is free of charge and allows you to trade in both UK and US stocks. There are also initial public offers (IPOs) and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACS) too.
What’s great about Freetrade is the community aspect. you can chat, online, with other users and get a feel for how they’re investing. There is also the chance to bag yourself a free share when you make a referral and someone signs up.
Trading212 is another platform that offers you a free share by getting friends, family, and colleagues to sign up. It offers unlimited commission-free trades and there are over 10,000 stocks and ETFs to choose from. These are in the UK, US, Germany, Netherlands, and Spain.
Trading212 also offers contracts for differences (CFDs). These are something that can be extremely risky and even professional traders are more likely to lose money than they are to gain. While this isn’t something that a beginner should be touching, if you’re an experienced trader, it’s good to know that Trading212 has this on offer.
How Do Investment Apps Work?
When looking at the best investment apps in the UK, it’s worth just taking a moment to take a look at how they actually work. The truth is that these apps have caused a bit of a stir. It’s not over the top to suggest that they’ve actually caused a revolution. When considering stock-brokers of old, they are now facing tough competition from these apps as they offer a new way to invest.
When it comes to investing with any of the apps, you will generally find that there are ready-made portfolios to choose from. These will vary depending on your attitude to risk. Lower risk portfolios offer lower returns but are judged to be safer. Conversely, high-risk portfolios offer bigger rewards, but the risk element increases.
As well as offering ready-made portfolios, some of the apps also offer other ways of building your portfolio. Many will offer the DIY approach where you are completely hands-on and go about selecting the stocks and shares that you want to invest in. Others will have a robo-investor that will act on your behalf based on your level of risk adversity. This allows you to grow your portfolio with less of a hands-on approach.
The other option that you’ll see is where you can set your account to copy others. Those who have built successful portfolios can be copied without you having to lift a finger.
How Much Do I Need to Start Investing?
It was once the case that, to get started out in investing, you’d need hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds. The rise of Fintech companies has certainly had a positive impact in this area and they have made it so that practically anyone can afford to invest. Exactly how much you’ll need depends upon the platform that you choose to use.
With the likes of Moneybox and Plum, you can start to invest with just £1. However, there are other platforms out there, such as IG, where you need to deposit a minimum of £250 before you can get going. You will likely find that there are platforms that require anywhere in-between too.
It’s worth remembering that requiring a higher deposit isn’t, in itself, a bad thing. It simply means that you have an investment account with more in it. Of course, not everyone has access to such amounts and that’s what makes the £1 options so attractive.
Can I make Passive Income Through Investing?
If you’re using the best investment apps in the UK to manage your funds, then yes, it is possible to make passive income through investing. These apps provide a way to be completely hands-off while your portfolio grows and, hopefully, increases in value. If you choose to take a hands-on approach, you can still earn and you may prefer this method if you have a great deal of experience and enjoy the extra level of control.
If you choose to use an app with a robo-investor, you literally have nothing to do. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep an eye on what is happening though. When it comes to investments, there is always the chance that things can start to head south. While a robo-investor can take corrective action, it’s still best to keep an eye on things yourself to avoid any shocks.
Best Investment Apps for Beginners
If you’re a complete novice when it comes to investing, it’s likely that you have a slight hesitancy. The last thing that anyone wants is to take unnecessary risks with their money when they don’t really know what they’re doing. While there will always be risks when it comes to investing, you can make things easier by choosing an investment app that’s great for beginners.
For us, one of these has to be Nutmeg. It was among the first of the investment apps that featured robo-advice and it has proven itself to be very good at it. This means that, as a beginner, you’re not faced with tough decisions to make as it’s all handled for you.
The other great thing about Nutmeg is that there is human help on hand too. For a small monthly fee, you can be allocated a fund manager who will work with you to build your portfolio. This is a great option for those that need a little reassurance.
Another great choice for beginners is Freetrade. Why? Well, it has one of the most comprehensive collections of guides that we’ve ever seen. If you take the time, there is a whole host of information that you can use to educate yourself and add a little confidence to the decisions that you make.
Best Free Investment Apps (UK)
Generally speaking, when you’re looking at investment apps there will be ongoing fees that need to be considered. These are usually product fees and management fees. So, even though accounts may be free to set up, there are still ongoing fees to be paid to use the service.
If you want something that is great at what it does and is 100% free then the best investment apps in the UK would have to be Freetrade, Trading212, and eToro. If you stick to the right products with these platforms, you can invest, and trade, fee-free.
Best Apps for Automatic Investment
These are the apps that can offer a hands-off approach to investing. They automatically transfer money from your account and they take care of your portfolio for you.
The likes of Plum and Moneybox are great at what they do in this respect. They offer the chance to simply round up your change and invest it accordingly. Of course, spare change may take a while to grow into anything significant so there are also options where you can add to these amounts.
Best Investment Platforms
What we have focused on so far are the platforms that offer great value, ease of use, and are accessible to all. These next two platforms offer all of that, but they take a little more money to get you started. These platforms are:
- Hargreaves Lansdown
With Vanguard, it’s best if you have at least some experience as there are no guides to help you on your way. However, what you do get is access to some of the best stocks and shares ISAs that there are. Given that Vanguard is such a big company, you may expect some large fees. However, by looking at a Lifestrategy Portfolio, the fee is as low as 0.41%
With Hargreaves Lansdown, you are dealing with a well-established UK company. It offers a great range of shares and bonds and also comes with some very competitive fees. These platforms are both worthy of exploring.
There are also the likes of Fidelity to consider. Here, you can learn the ropes with ready-made portfolios before progressing onto building your own.
Ethical investing allows you to invest in the same way as you usually would. The difference is that you make a conscious choice about the types of companies that you want to invest in. This sees people only buying shares, or investing in ETFs, that have a positive impact in terms of the environment, society, and governance.
You will find that almost all investment apps will provide the opportunity to invest in this way. There tend to be slightly larger fees to manage a portfolio like this.
Best Investment Apps – Final Roundup
As we’ve gone through these various sections, we’ve mentioned all of the best investment apps in the UK. We thought as we bring this to a close, that it may be useful to list them all in the same place. So, here they are:
- Hargreaves Lansdown
Any of these apps will allow you to invest in a safe environment and to grow your wealth. With the likes of eToro, you can diversity even further and start to consider cryptocurrency too.
This can feel really overwhelming if you’re new to this, but the bottom line is, you need to do something for your future. To see how all of this fits together, make time to watch The 4 Pillars of Do-Able and Sustainable Wealth Creation: A 45 minute FREE training that shows you how it’s possible to become a wealthy woman exactly like you.
Until next time,
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