Thursday, May 23, 2024

Best Investment Apps UK

Navigating the array of investment apps in the UK can be daunting, whether you are taking your first steps into investing or looking to consolidate an existing investment portfolio.

There are many available options, encompassing a range of apps and platforms, each offering distinctive benefits and features.

This guide aims to cut through the complexity, to aid investors in selecting the app that best aligns with their financial goals and investment strategy.

With the financial technology sector in continuous evolution, in 2024 there are more options available than ever before, offering functionalities catered to all different investment requirements.

From real-time trading apps geared towards active traders, to those offering innovative ’round-up’ features for easing into investment, this guide breaks down the products to assist in making a choice that fits with the investor’s objectives and preferences.

Best Investment Apps in the UK Summary


  • No fees for trading
  • Withdrawals within the UK and
  • overseas incur no charges


  • Savings and investment automation using AI technology
  • Diverse array of investment choices


  • Clear and straightforward charging structure
  • Access to a personal financial adviser

Hargreaves Lansdown

  • Options include ISA, SIPP, and GIA
  • Broad range of investment educational materials

Fineco Bank

  • A vast selection of tradable assets
  • Accounts supporting multiple currencies


  • Uses open banking to facilitate automated investments
  • Modest initial investment requirement

Interactive Investor

  • Predictable monthly charge
  • Comprehensive investment research tools


  • Trading stocks and shares without additional fees
  • Provision of ISA, SIPP, and generic investment accounts

Trading 212

  • No fee for usage of the trading platform
  • CFD (Contract for Difference) trading available

Wombat Invest

  • Uncomplicated and clear-cut investment process
  • Tailored for individuals new to investing


  • Specialises in ETF (Exchange-Traded Fund) investments
  • Costs decrease as investment levels increase


Key Features

  • CopyTrader System: Enables investors to mirror the transactions of successful traders within the platform.
  • Commission-Free Trades: engage in trading activities without incurring transaction fees.
  • Practice Account: Offers a simulated trading environment with a virtual portfolio worth $100,000.
  • Diverse Trading Options: Facilitates trading in contracts for difference (CFDs) and cryptocurrencies.

Cost Structure

  • Stock, Share, and ETF Trades: Zero commission.
  • Currency Conversion: 0.50% fee for deposits converted to USD.
  • Withdrawal Charge: Fixed rate of $5 on payouts.
  • Inactivity Levy: An annual $10 charge post 12 months without activity.


Chip integrates with your bank account utilising open banking technology to evaluate your financial activity. It intelligently determines an affordable amount for you to save and seamlessly transfers this to your Chip account.

Key Features

  • Automated Savings: Utilising artificial intelligence to help to budget and calculate and transfer savings.
  • Individual Savings Account (ISA): A stocks and shares ISA allowing investment in the market.
  • General Investment Account (GIA): A flexible investment account without the same tax wrapper as an ISA.
  • Diverse Saving Products: A range of options to fit various saving goals.


  • Platform Fee: A yearly charge of 0.50% for the standard service or 0.25% for Chip X.
  • Investment Fund Fees: Vary by fund, typically ranging from 0.22% to 0.97%.


Moneyfarm offers a range of managed portfolios that align with various risk preferences and ethical considerations. An investor can select from an Individual Savings Account (ISA), a Junior ISA, a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), or a General Investment Account to start their investing journey, guided by Moneyfarm’s automated investment strategies.

Key Features

  • ISAs and Junior ISAs
  • SIPPs
  • General Investment Accounts
  • Standard or Ethical investments


  • Standard: Initial charge of 1.05% for amounts up to £10,000, decreasing to 0.65% for holdings above £500,000.
  • Ethical: 1.04% on investments up to £10,000, with the charges reducing to 0.64% for totals surpassing £500,000.

Hargreaves Lansdown

Established over four decades ago, Hargreaves Lansdown has become a household name in the UK’s investment landscape, with over 1.6 million users, and managing assets in excess of £120 billion. The firm primarily facilitates self-directed investing, offering a platform for trading a diverse range of assets.

Key Features

  • General Investment Account
  • Stocks & Shares ISA
  • Cash ISA
  • Lifetime ISA
  • Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)

Educational Resources: Comprehensive investment guidance and educational resources are available to investors.


  • Annual Charge: Sliding scale from 0.45% for portfolios under £250k to no charge for portfolios over £2 million.
  • Trading Fees: Ranges from £5.95 to £11.95 per trade, based on the frequency of monthly trades.

Fineco Bank

Fineco Bank, originating from Italy, has made its services available in the UK since 2017, providing customers with a comprehensive trading platform. Account holders benefit from the flexibility of managing funds across various currencies and a diverse selection of investment options.

Key Features

  • Multi-currency bank accounts
  • A broad spectrum of tradable financial instruments
  • Access to managed investment funds
  • Provision of a Stocks & Shares Individual Savings Account (ISA)


  • United States shares/ETFs: $3.95
  • United Kingdom shares: £2.95
  • European Union shares/ETFs: €3.95
  • Annual Stocks & Shares ISA fee: 0.25% of the total value
  • Managed funds platform fee ranges from 0.25% to zero, depending on the invested amount

Plum Investment

Plum serves as a tool designed to facilitate automated savings and investments. The platform intelligently connects to users’ bank accounts using open banking, smoothly setting aside affordable sums for savings.

For the investment savant or the financial newbie, Plum provides diverse vehicles including a stocks and shares ISA, a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), and a general investment account to cater to varying risk appetites and savings goals. In addition, features aiding in budget management are integral to the app’s ecosystem.

Key Features

  • Accounts Available: Stocks and Shares ISA, SIPP, General Investment Account (GIA), Savings
  • Investment Aid: Automated transfers guided by AI
  • Budget Management: Embedded budgeting toolset


  • Account Tier Monthly Cost: Basic – Free | Plus – £1 | Pro – £2.99 | Ultra – £4.99
  • Average investment fees sit at approximately 0.48% per annum across the platform’s offerings.

Interactive Investor

Interactive Investor positions itself as a leading choice for individuals who prefer a hands-on approach to managing their investments. They have been a significant player in the market since the mid-1990s and come second in the UK regarding customer assets under management.

They stand out for their extensive selection of investment tools and educational materials, as well as their ready-made portfolio options which investors can adopt.

Key Features

  • Pricing Structure: Investors benefit from a transparent, flat monthly fee, avoiding percentage-based charges that can escalate with portfolio growth.
  • Investment Choices: Customers have access to a broad spectrum of assets, including funds, shares, ETFs, and bonds, across global markets.
  • Tools for Practice: The platform offers a free research account that allows for practice trades, helping investors to gain experience without financial risk.
  • Guidance: Various quick-start funds, top picks, and model portfolios guide both new and experienced investors.


  • Monthly Subscriptions: ‘Investor’ at £9.99, ‘Super Investor’ at £19.99
  • Trading Fees: ‘Investor’ at £5.99 per transaction, ‘Super Investor’ at £3.99 per transaction


Since its inception in 2018, Freetrade has grown to service over a million clients in the UK, propelled by its offer of commission-free trading. This cost-effective approach has made it particularly appealing for newcomers to the investment scene.

Key Features

  • Commission-Free Trading: Investors can trade stocks, shares, and ETFs without incurring fees.
  • Account Types Offered: Availability of ISAs, SIPPs, and general investment accounts.
  • Freetrade Plus Perks: Access to additional benefits for a monthly fee.


  • Freetrade Plus: Monthly cost of £9.99
  • ISA: Monthly maintenance fee of £3.00
  • SIPP: Monthly charge of £9.99

Trading 212

Trading 212 has become a formidable presence in the investment sector, rapidly accumulating a vast clientele keen on utilising its zero-commission trading offerings.

Key Features

  • Commission-Free trading on stocks, shares, and ETFs
  • Access to CFD Trading
  • ISA Accounts available without trading fees


Trading 212 provides fee-exempt ISAs along with complimentary trading for stocks, shares, and ETFs. However, there is a foreign exchange fee of 0.15% for trades conducted in currencies different from the account’s base currency.

Wombat Invest

Founded in 2019, Wombat offers an intuitive investment platform tailored for newcomers to the financial markets. It combines automated advice with the flexibility for individuals to execute their own trades, all within an engaging and user-friendly design reminiscent of social media.

Key Features

  • Accounts Offered: General investment account and Stocks & Shares ISA
  • Investment Choices: 26 distinct investment funds, primarily Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)
  • Self Trading: Possibility to trade shares and ETFs on their ‘Instant’ service

Pricing Structure:

  • Monthly Fee: £1 for platform use
  • Annual Fund Fee: 0.10% of the sum invested
  • Trading Costs: Commission-free trading


Since its inception in 2011, Nutmeg has established itself as a foremost robo advisor in the UK, managing considerable funds for its clients.

Key Features

  • Offers individual savings accounts (ISA), junior ISAs, self-invested personal pensions (SIPP) and general investment accounts.
  • Provides four specific investment strategies that primarily utilise exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
  • Accommodates a broad array of risk preferences.


  • Ethical investment options incur fees between 0.7% and 1.1%, scaling with invested capital.
  • Traditional fund fees vary from 0.71% to 1.04%, influenced by fund selection and investment volume.

What is an investment app?

Investment apps, a product of the fintech evolution, streamline the investment process by offering an accessible entry point for potential investors.

These apps allow users to engage in trading assets such as stocks, shares, and funds directly from their devices, bypassing traditional brokerage methods.

They are designed to be cost-effective, permitting investment with smaller sums and reducing associated expenses.

By leveraging technology, these applications reduce the need for extensive manual input in investment decisions, contributing to lower customer costs.

Different types of investment apps

Robo Advisors

Services known as robo advisors utilise technology to manage a client’s portfolio.

These platforms gather client data, including investment preferences, risk tolerance, and objectives, to formulate a customised investment strategy.

They typically apply algorithmic asset management without direct human guidance.

Automated Investment Apps

This modern class of investment tools integrates with the users bank via open banking, to assess spending patterns and calculate an achievable saving or investment sum.

The determined amount is then periodically moved into various investment or savings options within the application.

‘Free’ trading apps

A new generation of investment applications now offers cost-free account setup and asset trading.

One notable feature includes fractional share purchasing, enabling users to invest without buying full shares upfront.

These platforms are particularly accessible for novices due to their affordability and user-friendly design.

‘Execution Only’ Trading Platforms

These platforms provide a service distinct from financial consultants or robo advisors; they operate without providing advice on asset selection.

Instead, they offer environments where customers can manage investment vehicles like SIPPs and ISAs, or conventional investment accounts.

Transactions are typically subject to a fee, alongside a charge based on the total invested capital within the platform.

Best investment apps for beginners

When selecting a practical and approachable investment application, newcomers might favour those offering automated investment features.

These apps streamline the process, facilitating the transfer of funds for investment into streamlined, diverse portfolios.

In addition, they offer the opportunity to begin investing with as little as £1.

Another viable option for novices is the utilisation of Robo-advisors.

These applications simplify the investment journey by making trading decisions on the investor’s behalf.

It’s important to note that the initial investment with a robo advisor might start from £100 or go up to £500.

Free investment apps tend to be popular amongst beginners due to their minimal trading costs, with some even offering free trades.

They provide the possibility to purchase fractional shares. However, personal research into share selection is necessary and may prove daunting for first-time investors.

Execution-only platforms are suited for those prepared to take the reins on their investment decisions.

Many of the execution only platforms provide comprehensive educational resources and sample portfolios to aid investors.

Although trading costs are associated with execution-only platforms, they can be cost-effective for individuals with a substantial investment amount.

  • Automated investment apps: Ideal for simplicity and low starting capital.
  • Robo-advisors: Perfect for hands-off investment management, albeit with higher entry thresholds.
  • Free investment apps: good for beginners, with appealing cost efficiencies and fractional shares availability.
  • Execution-only platforms: Catered towards investors seeking personal control, complemented by rich learning resources.

Are Investment Apps Safe?

Investing through apps has become common for the modern investor, yet the inherent risk with any investment is always there.

The potential to recoup less than one’s initial investment or, in severe cases, to face a total loss, always exists.

One way to temper potential risks is through investment diversification, which includes spreading capital across various assets, geographic regions, and investment vehicles.

For instance, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) bundle a collection of assets that typically embody diversification to moderate risk, though they are not devoid of risk.

Contrastingly, Contracts For Difference (CFDs) trading involves greater risk, often leading to the total loss of the initial investment.

Platforms that permit trading in CFDs state that a significant percentage of retail investors experience financial loss in these trades.

Investors must approach these applications with a thorough comprehension of the risks entailed.

All of the investment apps cited within this article fall under the jurisdiction of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), ensuring adherence to practices safeguarding customer assets.

Additionally, the application of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) contributes an extra layer of security, safeguarding individual funds up to £85,000 if a platform faces insolvency.

This combines regulatory safety with practical steps towards asset risk mitigation, allowing individuals to invest with informed caution.

How to choose an investment app

Choosing an investment app requires thought on various financial aspects and preferences, such as:

  • Initial and ongoing investment funds available
  • Comfort levels with potential risk in pursuit of returns
  • Preference for a hands-off (passive) or hands-on (active) investment approach
  • Desired investment vehicles, whether for retirement (SIPP), tax efficiency (ISA), or general trading accounts

Guided by these preferences, investors can decide which platform best aligns with their financial strategy and objectives.

Look for the functionality that supports your investment style, risk appetite, and type of account management you need.

Best investment app FAQ

What is the best investment app?

Identifying the best investment app for you depends on individual preferences and investment styles. Each platform offers unique features tailored to different strategies and skills levels. It is best to consider the following areas when making a choice:

  • User-Friendly Interface: Essential for beginners.
  • Advanced Tools: Beneficial for seasoned investors.
  • Fees: Critical to compare for cost-effectiveness.
  • Investment Choices: Variety caters to diverse portfolios.
  • Educational Resources: Help expand investing knowledge.

Apps with a balanced combination of these aspects tend to stand out.

Can you make money with an investment app?

It is of course possible to make money with investment apps, and many people do. However, always consider:

  • Long-term Investment: A strategic approach focusing on long-term growth is often more reliable.
  • Risk Factor: the opportunity for returns comes with an inherent risk of loss.
  • No Guarantee: There’s no certainty in earning money; outcomes can vary widely.
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