In an attempt to find the best online trading platforms in the UK as well as trying to find factors that all the leading brokers share, one company set out with the goal to test 40 of the leading platforms today.
The test was performed by a team of financial and investment experts but they also included user reviews from thousands of UK traders. These reviews were collected from several review platforms, including Trustpilot and the two major app stores, and were done to ensure that the tests were accurate and unbiased.
TradingGuide.co.uk tested over 40 trading platforms and there are some clear correlations between all the best trading platforms in the UK, which we’ve shared below.
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A Large Part of the World’s Leading Online Brokers Are British
One of the most obvious results from these tests is that a majority of the world’s best online brokers are based in the UK. For example, IG (formerly IG Markets) based in the UK and with more than 4 decades of experience in the field, as well as CMC Markets, Hargreaves Lansdown (HL), and AvaTrade (based in Ireland).
There are some exceptions to this rule such as eToro (Israel) and Interactive Brokers (the United States), but it is clear that the UK – and Ireland – produce some of the best online brokers ever. One of the reasons for this seems to be that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is considered the most reputable governing body in the industry.
Great Expert Reviews Equal Great User Reviews
Another correlation is that the brokers that scored well in the expert reviews also scored well when “regular” traders reviewed them. This might not be that surprising, but is still a good point that can help future traders find a suitable broker.
Real user reviews are, as you probably know, the most honest reviews available online today. And the rise of review platforms online has, apparently, made it a lot harder for undeserving companies and brokers to attract new customers.
The Number of Unlicensed Brokers Has Declined
Lastly, when creating the study, the company found some great news. In the last 5 – 10 years, the number of unlicensed, and therefore unsafe brokers, has greatly declined in the UK and the rest of Europe.
This can be traced back to stricter regulation that is being enforced but also consumer awareness. Today, people are more skeptical and analytical when looking for services and products online, which makes it a lot harder for unserious actors to gain ground. This is why you have to test out different markets and options till you find the one that suits you.
Top 6 Tips on How To Choose The Best Trading Platform
1. It is user-friendly
No one wants to get confused when using the site, which is why you should aim for something that is easy to navigate. All the features and functions of the platform should be easy to understand and should be written out in an obvious way.
A complex interface of an online trading platform will never make sense for beginners, which is why they’ll most likely skip using the site in the first place. Always go for something that you’re comfortable and familiar with.
2. Great commissions to consider
You should never overpay something and you should know your money’s worth. Normally brokers provide the same menu of your investment including stocks, mutual funds, cost options, bonds, and exchange-traded funds. If you as a user and a customer are satisfied, you will continue working long-term. Don’t forget that there is always a commission rate that you’ll pay him or her, so do your research and see if the provided option is a good one.
3. Broker fees are something that you should look out for
Most brokers charge a fixed rate or percentage for their services. The truth is that your broker may charge extra for trading platform subscriptions or inactivity fees and annual fees, but this can vary. Some brokerages determine trading commissions based on the account size that you own, while others offer a reduced commission to customers who trade a certain volume per quarter.
4. Test it out if possible
Always do a test run before you commit to the whole thing. Some brokers or sites allow you to open an account for free and see how you like it. With this, you can get a good idea of the quality of a brokerage’s offerings just by looking at its basic suite. Go through the motions of placing a trade to see how smoothly the process operates and if it is something that suits you. If you can test it out by paying for a free-trial 7-day payback version.
5. Quality and usability of the platform
Any site that you go for should provide you with a wide range of powerful and useful educational tools. Your chosen site should be easy to access and use. This should include analyst ratings from multiple sources, real-time news items, and applicable market and sector data. It is also vital to know how to move money from one account to the other in the shortest time possible, so aim for someone or a site that you find the most trustworthy.
6. Aim for helpful customer service
Customer service is crucial for an online trading platform for every user, especially newbies. The truth is that you might need a bit of help and assistance with managing and sorting out the site. This is why for some users getting in touch with the platform is an important step to make. Some sites have a 24/7 phone number or live chat function that will connect you to a human operator making everything easy and accessible. If you have an issue or unanswered questions you will always get the support you need.