Best online trading platform UK

Last updated: 14.10.2021
Tim Parker
Author:
Tim Parker
Adviser
CFD & Trading
Experience
25 years

Trading has become extremely popular in recent years – the internet has made the financial markets more accessible than ever before and more and more people are realising that trading can be a great way to supplement their existing income.

If you’re new to trading you might be wondering how to get started. Well, the first thing you need to do is find yourself a reputable broker that will give you access to the markets. Fortunately, here at nextmarkets, we are here to help and the following guide will help you choose the best online trading platform in the UK.

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  • What kind of trading platform are you looking for?
  • Choose an online platform
  • Tips for finding a trading platform
  • Online trading - Frequently asked questions
  • Final points to remember
  • Conclusion

What kind of trading platform are you looking for?

A quick internet search for trading platforms will throw up hundreds of results – but all brokers are not equal. Remember, if you are planning to start trading or investing then you will be trusting whichever platform you choose with your financial details, so it’s important to choose wisely.

The first thing you need to consider is what your trading goals are. Are you looking to make one or two longer-term investments, or are you keen to start getting to grips with the charts and making trades on a regular basis? Most platforms are geared more towards one style of trading than the other. Therefore, you need to assess the online trading UK options. 

You’ll also need to decide exactly what it is you intend to trade. Whilst most platforms will allow you to trade in multiple assets, some are often geared more towards forex trading, CFD trading or online trading in the UK. You need to make sure the platform you choose has adequate listings for the asset(s) you are looking to start trading. 

Then there is the question of your experience. If you’re new to the financial markets, then it’s advisable to find a platform that has adequate educational resources, such as how-to guides, simplified analyses and general information on the financial markets. 

Once you’ve addressed these basic questions, then it’s time to start your search for the most suitable online trading platform in the UK, based on your own personal online trading UK requirements. 

Choose an online platform

Once you’ve figured out what you are looking for from a platform, then you’ll need to start thinking about the credentials of each potential provider. Of course, there are certain prerequisites – a site needs to be secure, it needs to offer access to the markets you want and, of course, it has to be available in your language. But what are some other criteria for the perfect trading platform?

Usability, look and feel

Often overlooked, the usability and overall appearance of a site are important to consider. Even the most casual trader is likely to be spending a lot of time on the trading platform, so it’s a good idea to find one that is intuitive and comfortable to use. Many top brokers will provide their own proprietary trading platform, so there can be quite a bit of difference from one operator to another. Spend time finding one that you feel like you can get along with. 

Licensing and regulation

Something of a prerequisite, you need to ensure any platform you choose has the necessary licensing and regulatory credentials to be operating in your jurisdiction. For example, nextmarkets is licenced in Europe by the Malta Financial Services Authority and in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details of which can be found on the main website. 

Customer service

If you’re new to the financial markets, then it is of particular importance that you find a platform that can support you in your trading journey. Things like forex trading and CFD online trading in the UK can be complicated at first, so it’s good to know help is at hand if you need it. Ideally, a top trading platform will offer customer support via a selection of channels and be available around the clock. 

Commission and fees

There will always be costs involved in trading. Generally, a platform will either charge a standard commission per trade or offer commission-free trading but with a slightly higher spread. There can also be other costs associated with trading. Some platforms will charge for certain transactions, whilst others may charge you for not using your account after a certain period of time. 

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Tips for finding a trading platform

One of the best ways to find out if a trading platform is a good fit for you is by opening a demo account. Many top operators will offer this service and allow you to try out a trading platform using virtual funds. This presents you with a risk-free opportunity to see how you get on with a particular broker. It’s also a good way to start getting to grips with the markets before committing real funds.

It’s also important to consider which markets in which you wish to trade. Most top brokers will offer several, but one of the best ways to gain exposure to multiple asset types is via CFD trading. Contracts for Difference are a form of derivatives trading wherein you enter an agreement with your broker to exchange the difference in the value of a financial product between the time the contract opens and closes. The good things about CFD trading are that you can speculate on the price movement of numerous asset classes without having to actually own the asset outright.

Online trading - Frequently asked questions

What do I need to start trading?

To get started with the financial markets you’ll need two things: a reliable broker and an open mind. Learning to trade is an ongoing process so it’s important to always be continuing your education. Obviously, you need a broker to give you access to your chosen market, but ideally, you will also find a platform that can support you with coaching, information and guides on how to improve your results. 

What are the best platforms for day trading in the UK?

Day trading refers to a style of trading wherein you open and close all your positions in a single day. The idea is to profit from the small fluctuations in the market that occur throughout business hours. Most online brokers will be geared towards day trading, as it is one of the most popular ways to trade. You can find a platform by conducting a little research – ideally, you want an operator that has a good reputation, can provide access to your chosen markets and has all the necessary licensing and regulatory credentials. You’ll certainly be able to engage in swing trading UK or forex trading UK.

How much does it cost to start trading?

Costs involved in trading will vary from platform to platform. They will also depend on the trades you make – how big transactions are, how many you make and whether or not you use leverage. Ultimately, the amount you choose to invest will depend on your own budget, but any reputable trading will have its fees outlined in the terms and conditions. 

What is forex trading UK?

Forex is a portmanteau of foreign exchange and forex trading is the buying and selling of international currencies. This is usually done by pairs, with traders speculating on the price movement between, say, the Japanese yen and the US dollar. The forex market is highly volatile, so it’s popular with day traders looking to capitalise on frequent price fluctuations. 

How can I tell if a broker is legit?

Your broker needs to be trustworthy. The best way to ensure everything is above board is by checking out its regulatory credentials. These should be displayed on the main website and if the platform is licensed, then you should be able to check its license number against official records.

Best forex broker - nextmarkets

Final points to remember

Trading can be a very lucrative activity, but results are not guaranteed. Similarly, whilst a good broker will put you in a good position to start your trading journey, they cannot manage your portfolio for you. 

A good broker will, however, offer you the means to learn more about trading. This might be in the form of guides, trading coaches or the latest market news. It’s also important to make sure your broker is suitable for the market you intend to trade in – the best forex broker in the UK is not necessarily the best platform for cryptocurrency, and so on. 

It’s also worth bearing in mind that you don’t have to commit to a particular platform. If you open an account then later decide it isn’t for you, you can always close your account and look for a new provider. Be sure to act now and get started trading online. 

Conclusion

Trading is more popular than ever before and the abundance of brokers and exchanges available online means the financial markets have never been more accessible. However, it’s important to find a trading platform in the UK that can meet your individual requirements. To do this, you’ll need to think not only about the features of a given platform but also what sort of trader you are going to be. 

Ultimately, the best trading platform in the UK will vary depending on the person making the choice. Take a look at our coverage of stock trading UK and the best forex broker UK. Or, head find out more about CFD trading UK or day trading UK.

Online trading UK FAQ

If you’ve decided to enter the world of trading and are in the market for a suitable platform, then there is plenty to think about. You need to decide what sort of trader you are likely to be and what markets you need to have access to. To help you decide, we have put together this helpful guide on choosing the best online trading platform in the UK. 

🤷‍♂️What is the best platform for trading CFDs?

CFDs are a great way to gain exposure to numerous asset classes. They are also one of the most popular derivatives for day trading online. Many brokers and platforms will offer CFD trading, so choosing the best one will depend on a few other factors. Our guide on the best online trading platform will give you an idea of which features you should be looking out for.

🤷‍♂️How do I open trading account?

The process of opening an online trading account will vary from provider to provider. Typically, you will have to provide a few details and – depending on which country you are opening the account from – you may also need to provide documentation to verify your identity. However, this is usually done automatically and, more often than not, you can have your account open within a few minutes. 

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