It’s time! You have decided that it is time to start investing or trading but you don’t know how. What brokers are a scam? Which ones are safe? And about their costs?… And so, many more questions.
To help improve your financial situation and start investing or trading as soon as possible, in this article you will find a selection of the 5 best brokers for beginners. And not only will you find our favourites, but also everything most important related to them in terms of security, costs, trading platform, and investment assets.
What are the features of a broker for beginners?
Here are the most important features to consider and to look for when choosing the best broker for beginners:
- Regulation: For the best brokers for beginners in the UK, you need to look for those regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
- Costs: It is ideal to ensure you fully understand the broker’s cost structure, so you know how much you need to pay for its services. Examples of costs to consider include commissions (fixed fees), spreads (variable), deposit or withdrawal fees, and currency conversion fees.
- Trading platforms: Some brokers offer complex trading platforms that can be overwhelming for beginners. Also, the trading platform should be well-equipped for your type of strategy (i.e., trading or investing, assets, derivative products, and more).
- Deposit and withdrawal methods: not all brokers offer a wide range of payment methods, so it’s best to sign up with a broker that accepts your favourite payment method.
- Customer service: The availability of excellent and timely customer service is not only important for beginners but all other investors and traders. This ensures a quick solution for any issue you may encounter.
How to sign up with a broker?
The account opening process is typically very quick as you can open your account online at any time. To do so, most beginner-friendly brokers will require you to follow some steps, which are compulsory in case of regulated brokers:
- Click to open a new account and add your name, email address, and a new password.
- Verify your account by uploading your ID and proof of address.
- Complete a questionnaire regarding your financial knowledge and risk profile.
- Deposit your funds and place your first order.
Top 5 brokers for beginners
Here are the top 5 brokers for beginners:
- Scalable Capital
Is DEGIRO the best broker for beginners?
DEGIRO, with its user-friendly approach and intuitive platform, offers a unique experience for those who want to delve into the financial markets. Not in vain, it is the largest European broker with over 2.5 million open accounts all around the world.
Also, DEGIRO has a great catalogue of products, which includes shares and ETFs for the newly initiated, futures, bonds, or options for those investors who want to take an extra step. With all this, DEGIRO provides exposure to more than 50 international markets.
Here are some of its key features:
- 🏆 Regulation: FCA
- 💼 Financial assets: stocks and ETFs, bonds, futures, options, funds, commodities
- 💲 Commissions: From £1.75 for UK stocks (+ £1 handling fee), variable for other assets
- 📈 Platform: Proprietary
- 🙂 Friendly platform: Easy-to-use and intuitive.
- 🗣️ Customer service: Excellent (both email and live chat available).
Pros of DEGIRO
✅ Access to almost all the main markets in the world, with affordable costs.
✅ Very intuitive platform.
✅ Thorough educational section.
✅ Commission-free ETFs.
❌ Currency conversion fee of 0.25% (in case of trading foreign assets)
Is Scalable Capital the best broker for beginners?
Scalable Capital is a broker that can be an excellent option for beginners in the world of investment. Its digital approach and intuitive platform provide new investors with a friendly and easy-to-use experience.
In this way, with the German broker, beginners will be able to access a wide range of products, from the most popular ones, such as shares and ETFs, to others much more advanced such as pension plans or investment funds.
These are the main features of Scalable Capital:
- 🏆 Regulation: BaFin (Germany)
- 💼 Financial Assets: Mainly ETFs and stocks, but also bonds, real estate, and commodities
- 💲 Costs: 0.75% monthly account fee, 0.16% ETF fee
- 📈 Platform: Proprietary
- 🖥️ Trader Profile: For advanced investors (long-term strategies and considerable capital)
- 🙂 User-friendly Platform: Intuitive and easy to use
- 🗣️ Customer Service: Chat, phone, and web-based form.
Pros of using Scalable Capital
✅ It is a multi-product broker ideal for long-term investors.
✅ Fees are clear and transparent.
✅ Heavily focused on ETFs (ideal for diversification)
✅ Ability to book phone consultations for a fixed fee.
❌ High minimum deposit of £10,000.
Is XTB the best broker for beginners?
XTB is a Polish broker that offers CFD trading on a variety of assets, including stocks, indices, commodities, and more. It also provides access to fractional shares, which means that you can start your trading experience with little capital.
Next, Its commissions are zero, and its spreads are in line with the sector average. While its platform may not be as user-friendly, it offers many more functionalities such as technical analysis or extracting fundamental analysis ratios.
It is true that for someone who has recently started, it can be somewhat complex, but for those who already have a certain level of experience (even as beginners), it can be a very interesting broker to make the leap to more professional trading.
Check out our in-depth XTB review to find out more details about this broker.
Let’s see the main features of XTB:
- 🏆 Regulation: FCA
- 💼 Financial Assets: CFDs on stocks, ETFs, indices, forex, and commodities
- 💲 Commissions: £0
- 📈 Platform: xStation 5
- 🙂 User-friendly platform: Intuitive, but only derivatives are available (for short- or medium-term trading)
- 🗣️ Customer service: Email or phone
Pros of using XTB
✅ £0 commission and spreads starting at 0.5 pips
✅ You can use leverage
✅ Many assets available for trading
✅ No minimum deposit
❌ Spreads are mid-range
❌ Its platform is more advanced, so it’s best to start out with a demo account.
Is eToro the best broker for beginners?
eToro is another platform through which you can learn to trade shares and ETFs, as well as CFDs derivatives on many assets, such as stocks, commodities, and indices.
However, it is particularly notable for beginners due to its powerful demo account, which is an exact replica of the real account. With the demo account, you can start trading with a virtual balance of $100,000, allowing you to practise trading with more complex instruments like CFDs (on commodities, forex, ETFs, etc.).
This includes the ability to place leveraged orders, among other features. Additionally, eToro offers its star product, the copy trading function, which is highly beneficial for novice traders. On eToro’s platform, you can find a master trader or investor and copy their entire portfolio with a few clicks. Whenever the trader or investor opens or closes positions, these are automatically reflected in your portfolio, too.
To find out more about how this broker works, check out this eToro review.
Main features of eToro:
- 🏆 Regulation: FCA
- 💼 Financial Assets: stocks and ETFs, commodities, debts, indices and cryptocurrencies
- 💲 Commissions: £0 and mid-range spreads
- 📈 Platform: Proprietary copy trading platform
- 🙂 User-friendly platform: Very intuitive, easy to use.
- 🗣️ Customer service: online form and live chat.
Pros of using eToro
✅ Intuitive and easy to use
✅ Stocks, ETFs, crypto and CFD derivatives on the same platform
✅ Allows copy trading with thousands of investors and master traders to copy
✅ No commissions.
✅ Powerful demo account without limits.
✅ Fractional investments
❌ Account in dollars
❌ Withdrawal fee of $5
Is Freedom24 the best broker for beginners?
We conclude this review of the best brokers for beginners with Freedom 24, the broker corresponding to the Freedom Finance (FRHC) group listed on the Nasdaq. Undoubtedly, the most notable aspect is its extensive catalogue of over 1,000,000 assets available for investment, including stocks, ETFs, futures, and options.
However, what stands out the most is that it is one of the few retail brokers that allows us to access major IPOs in the market. Furthermore, for those who prefer infrequent trading, it offers a 2.5% interest-bearing euro account and a 3% dollar account.
To find out more about how this broker works, check out this Freedom24 review.
Here are the key features that make Freedom 24 appealing to beginners:
- 🏆 Regulation: CySEC (Cyprus)
- 💼 Financial assets: stocks and ETFs, IPOs, bonds, options, futures
- 💲 Commissions: Variable
- 📈 Platform: Proprietary
- 🙂 Friendly platform: intuitive and easy to use.
- 🗣️ Customer service: phone, mail, live chat.
Pros of using Freedom 24
✅ Very simple trading platform, with stocks, ETFs and interest-bearing accounts.
✅ Allows you to learn how to trade IPOs
✅ Access to over 1 million financial instruments
✅ Demo trading account
❌Limited payment methods
❌ Must deposit at least $2,000 to invest in IPOs
Which broker has the lowest costs?
The most affordable broker depends on your needs, strategy, and areas of focus. For example, some brokers may be affordable for investors and more expensive for traders, or vice-versa.
However, if you are an absolute beginner, you may want to consider eToro. It does not only provide 0% commissions, but the copy trading feature allows you to copy master traders on the platform and earn the same returns as their successful strategies. Make sure you check our eToro review to find out the entire cost structure that may apply in case you decide to sign up with this broker.
What about brokers for advanced traders?
It is important for you to know that as you delve deeper into this world, you may require more advanced tools, products, and features that may not be offered by these types of brokers.
Here is where professional brokers or platforms come into play. However, determining the best one will also depend on your investment/trading style and profile. Therefore, I provide you with a couple of articles where, depending on your specific needs, the different brokers suggested may be of interest to you:
- CMC Markets review
- IG review
- Interactive Brokers review
- ActivTrades Review
- Best intraday trading brokers
What factors should beginners consider when choosing a UK broker?
When selecting a UK broker as a beginner, it’s important to consider factors such as ease of use, educational resources, customer support, fees and commissions, available investment options, and overall reputation.
Are there any UK brokers that offer commission-free trading?
Yes, several UK brokers offer commission-free trading. Platforms like eToro and Trading 212 are known for their commission-free structures, allowing beginners to invest in stocks, ETFs, and other assets without paying traditional transaction fees.
Can I open an account with a UK broker if I have limited funds?
Yes, many UK brokers accommodate investors with limited funds. For example, eToro has a minimum deposit of only $50.