How To Buy Shares In The UK In 2023

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Last Updated March 29th 2023
25 Min Read

This comprehensive share investing guide will answer the question of how to buy shares in the UK in detail. We will break it into three critical parts, starting with the actual share-buying process, extending to where to buy shares, and touching on the best shares to buy in the UK in 2023.

We will also tell you about the share investing basics – the things you need to know before you start buying shares in the UK. This post will also explore how income from shares is taxed in the UK and tell you how to find the best shares to buy.

How To Buy Shares In The UK - A Quick 3-Step Process

The process of investing in shares in the UK doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, virtually all the stock brokerages operating here follow a basic and rather straightforward share investing process. Here is the basic step-by-step guide to investing in shares with some of the most popular online brokers in the UK.

  • Step 1 – Register An Investor Account And Verify It: Start by creating a share investor/trader account with your preferred broker. The registration process is also quick and straightforward – but while some brokers will only have one standard account, others will present you with a choice of investing accounts. All regulated brokers will also demand that you verify your identity by submitting a copy of your national ID, driving license, or passport.
  • Step 2 – Fund The Account: Once the investor account is approved (it takes between a few minutes to a few days – depending on the preferred broker), log in to the account and deposit funds. Note that different brokers will have minimum initial deposit limits and support different deposit/withdrawal methods. 
  • Step 3 – Start Buying Shares: Once the deposit reflects in your trading account, start investing in your preferred shares. 


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As you see, the process can be incredibly easy. However, the challenge is to decide which shares to buy and when to make the purchase. That is why before you start investing in shares, you will first need to have a firm grasp of stock market basics.

If you’re interested in buying shares but unsure where to begin - look no further.  We have put together a simple and comprehensive guide on How to Buy Shares UK.

Within it, we discuss how you can buy shares easily using a regulated and well-reputed online broker.

Buying Shares UK 2023 - Key Points

  • How to invest in shares online in the UK is simple, easy and becoming more popular as we head further into a fast paced lifestyle. 
  • Investing in shares online in 2023 enables investors to be able to invest in shares from anywhere in the world. 
  • A share or shares is an ownership in one company or multiple companies.
  • Stock or stocks can also be referred to as ownership within many companies, with the term stock being referred to as a company or an individual share. 
  • Depending on your investing goals, choosing the right online trading platform is essential when starting your trading journey, to make sure all your investment needs are covered. 
  • Growth stocks offer high potential profits to investors and develop stronger the longer an investor holds a stock. 
  • Additionally, there are other investment types that investors can look to invest in via an online trading platform, without having to stick solely to stocks. 
  • All investments come with their own risk elements, which is why it is highly advised to spend time to research along with investing sensibly within your chosen stocks to deliver a successful trading journey. 


Where To Buy Shares In The UK – Best Shares Brokers In The UK Reviewed

Now that you are familiar with the share investing process, you need to learn where to buy shares in the UK in 2023. Note that there currently are hundreds of regulated share brokerages operating in the UK.

We have vetted them - so you don’t have to. And below, we introduce you to what our analysts and the majority of others in the share investing community consider the best share brokers in the UK.

Go through this guide, find the one that appeals most to you and register a share investing account with them.

1. eToro – Overall Best Share Brokerage in the UK

eToro is one of the most popular online share brokerages UK – currently used by more than 25 million investors across the world. It tops our list of best share brokers in the UK because of its intuitive and user-friendly trading interface and affordability – seeing that it is a commission-free broker, maintains highly competitive spreads, and only requires a minimum deposit of $10.

Overall Best Share Brokerage in the UK

We also feature it here because it lets you invest in actual shares and trade share CFDs (with leverages of up to 1:5. Not forgetting that it gives you access to thousands of shares – both local and international. But even more importantly, eToro ranks this high among the best places to invest shares in the UK because of its social and copy trading features.

The broker’s social trading platform lets you interact with other investors, learn new investing strategies, and even receive mentorship. Copy trading, on the other hand, lets beginner traders make money passively by copying the trading strategies of highly successful share traders. Pro investors also earn a passive income – in the form of the commission given by eToro depending on assets under copy.

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2. Plus 500 – One Of The Best UK CFD Broker for user friendliness

Plus500 is one of the most reputable and highly regulated multi-asset trading platforms in the UK. It is also one of the few CFD brokers listed with the LSE. Some of the features that help it stand out as one of the best share CFD brokers in the UK include its commission-free and competitive spreads approach to trading stock CFD investing.

Best UK CFD Broker

It also provides traders with a host of premium trading services, including price alerts, economic calendars, and news, as well as advanced trading and risk management tools.

But we feature it among the best CFD brokers UK primarily because of its user-friendliness. It, for starters, maintains a highly navigable user interface, affordable minimum deposits (at £100), supports the widest range of payment options (including PayPal), and provides users with a free demo account.

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84% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

3. AvaTrade – Best Commission Free Broker in the UK

AvaTrade is a share trading platform regulated by eight top-tier financial regulators across the world – including the FCA. But the solid reputation isn’t the only thing that makes it one of the best share brokers in the UK.

Best Commission Free Share Broker in the UK

We also feature it here because it gives you access to 1200+ local and international shares – all of which are traded commission-free, only attracting highly competitive spreads. All these shares can be margin traded with leverages of up to 1:5, and to start trading on the platform, you only need to deposit a minimum of £100.

Some of AvaTrade’s other unique features include its integration of some of the most user-friendly trading platforms – like MT4. This supports both copy trading and automated trading. It also supports the all-popular DupliTrader that allows copy trading (but requires a higher minimum deposit of £5000).

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4. Hargreaves Lansdown – Best Broker for Tax-Advantaged Investing via Share ISAs

Hargreaves Lansdown is a British financial services provider and one the most reputable share investing companies on this list. It is not only regulated and licensed by the FCA but is also listed with the LSE and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Established in 1981, Hargreaves Lansdown specializes in savings, pensions, investments, and general financial advice.

We list it among the best share brokers UK because it also gives its platform users access to share ISAs, effectively making it the best place to buy stock and shares ISA. This is a tax-advantaged account that lets you invest as much as £20,000 – i.e., profits from this investment do not attract capital gains or income tax. The company also maintains attractively low management fees – not more than 0.45% annually.

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5. IG – One of the Most Reputable Share Broker in the UK

Founded in 1974, IG Markets is one of the oldest and most established share brokers in the UK. It, too, is listed with the LSE and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 index. Additionally, IG is regulated by multiple agencies, including the FCA.

Most Reputable Share Broker in the UK

The broker runs one of the most intuitive online trading platforms – appealing to both beginner and pro share investors. And here, you gain access to 13000+ shares – from both local and international markets.

Unlike most of the other share brokers listed here, however, IG charges a commission per side. This starts at £8 per trade (both buy and sell orders) but will drop to £3 if you make more than three trades per month. And when buying US stocks, you will be charged a fixed commission of £10 per trade.

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6. AXI – Best Share Broker UK for Low Fees

Axi is a multi-asset CFD trading platform with some of the most competitive trading fees. When buying and trading share CFDs on AXI, you wouldn’t have to pay a broker commission – you only part with competitive spreads. Plus, the brokerage doesn’t charge deposit or withdrawal processing fees.

Best Share Broker UK for Low Fees

In addition to the low fees, we feature Axi among the best places to share in the UK because of its innovative trading platform. It is not only easily navigable but also integrates a rich list of some of the most advanced trading and risk management tools.

But even more importantly, it lets you open the xi share investing account on some of the most advanced third-party trading platforms. These include the AI-powered PsyQuotation and MT4, which allow both copy trading and automated trading.

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7. Fineco Bank – Access Thousands of Local and International Shares

Fineco Bank is one of the most popular share brokerages across Europe – boasting a 1.3 million client base. These are drawn to the online trading platform because it supports the purchase and trade of both actual shares and shares CFDs. It also maintains one of the most intuitive user interfaces – rigged with a wide range of trading and research tools that help it appeal to both beginner and expert investors.

But we feature Fineco Bank on our list of the best share brokers in the UK because it lists one of the widest ranges of local and international shares – 20,000+ shares from 26 markets. Plus, you do not need a minimum initial deposit limit to start buying/trading any of these shares.

Note, however, that like IG, Fineco Bank is a commission broker and charges £2.95 per trade on UK shares. EU and US stocks, on the other hand, are charged £3.95 and £2.95 per trade, respectively.

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8. Interactive Brokers – Best Share Trading Platform for Education and Research

Interactive Brokers is yet another massively popular multi-asset trading platform – with more than 2 million users. It is also one of the most reputable share trading platforms, regulated by virtually all the top-tier regulatory agencies – including the FCA. And it too gives you access to thousands of shares from both the UK and international markets. 

Best Share Trading Platform for Education and Research

The brokerage makes it here because it provides platform users with a comprehensive resource of educational tools – dedicated to both beginner and intermediate traders. It also integrates some of the most advanced trading, research, and risk management tools into its trading platforms. These platforms include the recently launched IBKR Lite and PRO platforms that give you access to the widest range of shares at the most competitive fees.

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9. DeGiro – Best Share Brokerage for Low Fees and Intuitive Interface

DeGiro is an online discount broker and the largest execution-only brokerage in Europe. It makes it to pour list of the best share brokers in the UK because of two primary reasons. First, it has one of the most intuitive trading interfaces. This is then complemented by a straightforward account opening process and no minimum initial deposit. Its trading platform also integrates some highly advanced trading and risk management tools.

The multi-asset trading platform also makes it here because of its highly competitive trading fees. We start by observing that DeGiro is both a commission and no-commission brokerage, depending on the markets served.

In the UK, for instance, the €1.75 commission per trade. It doesn’t charge a commission fee for US and Canadian markets but imposes a €3.90 per trade commission on most EU countries. All of the share trades on DeGiro will also attract a €1 handling fee.

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10. CMC Markets – Best Broker UK for Share CFDs

CMC Markets is a pure CFD trading platform and one of our top picks for the best places to trade share CFDs in the UK. It makes it here because of such factors as its competitive trading fees, support for thousands of local and international shares, support for margin trading with leverage of up to 5X, and overall user-friendliness.

Best Broker UK for Share CFDs

We must also observe that CMC Markets is one of the oldest multi-asset trading platforms on this list – has been around for more than three decades – which also makes it one of the most reputable.

But even more importantly, CMC Markets runs one of the most advanced proprietary trading platforms. This lets traders interact with some of the most advanced trading, research, and risk management tools. These range from negative balance protection, sentiment analysis tools, charting tools, economic calendars, a price projection box, and regular deep analysis from expert traders.

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Read More: Next Stock To Explode In 2023

The Share Investing Basics – What You Need To Know

Buying shares or investing in shares simply means buying into and owning a small portion of a company. Here is an example, if a company has 100,000 shares in circulation and you bought 100 of these – you essentially just acquired 1% of that company.

The Share Investing Basics In The UK

The return on this investment or earnings on your shares comes available in two ways. First, you make money if you sell these shares after their value has risen – mostly due to investor confidence in the future of that company.

Secondly, you earn from profit distribution to owners – commonly referred to as dividends. When a company makes profits, some of it is distributed to the company owners – shareholders – either quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.

Best Shares To Watch And Buy In The UK In 2023

Now that we have reached this stage in having a good overview of how to invest in shares online in the UK and what investing in shares entails. Now it's time to look into what shares to buy and how to go about buying into your chosen stock picks. 

Of course, we can’t tell investors which stocks to invest in, but we can advise on what the best shares for beginning investors to consider are, as each investor has different needs in what they will look for within a stock. Alongside, we have also given a guided 4 step plan for beginner investors to help make their choice of shares a little easier now that we have assessed how to invest in or buy shares online in 2023. 

Best Shares To Watch And Buy In The UK

So far, we have addressed two key aspects of buying shares in the UK, i.e., the buying process and the best places to buy. We now need to address what is perhaps the most important part of how to buy shares in the UK today – the best shares to buy now and how to find them.

Here, we discuss what we consider the five best shares in the UK in 2023 before teaching you how to spot the best stock investment below.

1. Apple (AAPL)

Apple is considered one of the best stocks to buy in 2023 because of its exemplary pat price action and resilience. It has sustained an overall positive value growth since its listing in 1980 and has survived multiple, often crippling, economic downturns. As the world stares at another recession, you will want to have your investment tied in such a promising and resilient company.

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2. Standard Chartered (STAN)

Standard Chartered has been on an aggressive uptrend for the last couple of years – rallying by more than 1785 in the last 24 months. From this point upward, it is expected to take a stab at its 2010 highs, which would mean a 300% upshot. Invest in STAN today if you want to ride this medium-term recovery wave.

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3. Shell (SHEL)

Shell share price is up 46% in the last 12 months. Several industry-wide and political events, such as the reduced oil production by OPEC countries or the prolonged Russia-Ukraine conflict, are expected to increase oil prices in the medium term. This translates to more revenues for Shell, higher dividends for its shareholders, and a continued rally for the SHEL share price.

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4. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B)

Berkshire Hathaway, by Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger, is one of the most successful investment companies in the world. It, too, has proved its resilience (which is important in the face of a looming economic crisis), and its share prices have sustained an overall uptrend since listing. Furthermore, the conglomerate regularly buys back its own shares, which translates to higher dividends and props value for remaining stocks.

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5. Amazon (AMZN)

Amazon is one of the best-performing stocks of all time – currently trading more than 103000% above its IPO price. And though it has lost as much as 47% of its value in the last 12 months, we still consider t the best share to buy in 2023. We are confident it will rebound and embark on an aggressive rally back to its mid-2021 highs, which would translate to a 100% ROI on your investment.

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Read More: New Stocks to Invest in 2023 

The above 5 companies are just five of many of the best shares on the market to be a part of today for both beginner and experienced investors.

But if more guidance is what you are needing to start choosing your shares, let’s take a look at the starting guide below. 

Set yourself a realistic investment goal 

Being realistic is the first trait any investor needs to be in possession of. Whilst its wise to have dreams of reaching unspeakable levels of wealth it does come with the realisation, with the realisation being that it will take time and hard work to reach this level but is not unachievable. 

Depending on what your investing aim is certain trading strategies are going to be more beneficial than others. For example, if you are an investor who is looking to gain great wealth over a long period active trading, ETFs or Mutual funds may be better suited for your investing needs. 

Additionally if making money quickly is what your main aim is investing in Dividend stocks or looking into Swing or Scalp trading might be better suited. There is no right or wrong way to invest in shares, it solely goes down to the individual but it is a good start to begin with establishing what you are looking for before you explore the next steps. 

Look into what is happening within the market and look at the broader market trend 

Once you have established your style of investing that is best suited, next it is time to look at what the market conditions are telling you. For example, within a bear market (a declining market) some investment strategies will not be the best strategies to undertake, as this will more than likely cause loses and or little returns which is advised to stick to safer defensive strategies such as Inverse exchange-traded funds (EFTs) as these funds will benefit from declines. 

Short selling is also a good strategy to take in a declining market as you can benefit by borrowing shares with a stock, selling them and buying back at a lower price. Although such trading can be extremely risky especially if you are a beginner investor. 

On the positive side in a booming bull market, naturally, most strategies are beneficial to all investors and there is not one specific best strategy to pick out as it solely depends on the investor's needs. EFTs are becoming very popular and allow investors to have a great mix with solid returns in both public and private firms. Additionally, active trading is still always a good solid route to go down not just as a beginner investor but throughout your trading journey. 

Consider both the positives and risk elements of a stock

When researching into your potential stocks of choice, whilst is recommended you look for the strong positives including a stocks revenue, solid balance sheet and various metrics. The biggest factor to look out for within a stock is to look at the risk elements. 

Although some stocks have blossomed especially over the past year when you look deeper into various stocks you may see that there are many risk elements. If a stock holds high levels of debt, has seen solid declines in the past but has benefited over the past year to new normal measures, these are two risk elements to factor into your decision making. 

If dividend stocks end up being stocks of interest also be wary if a stock has had to dilute dividend payments or due to various reasons, this is another strong indication on how well a stock is or has potentially performed. 

A good way to seek the risks of stocks is to conduct a risk assessment. This will take time and understanding but if you are a beginner investor who is looking for a long-term career within online trading, carrying out a risk assessment will be beneficial as you sharpen up your knowledge for the start of your journey and for future investments. 

Stick to the larger stocks at the start of your journey 

The last point to discuss when starting your journey into investing in shares as a beginner is to stick to larger stocks at first either by buying and holding or trading these large-cap stocks.

More commonly referred to as ‘Blue -Chip’ stocks, a name given to reliably, solid, large stocks include some of the biggest names on the market today Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX) and Tesla (TSLA).

Although these stocks can be costly, there are also the safest and easiest to trade when you are starting out. The reason for this is because these blue-chip stocks, although offer growth potential they are at such a level where growth is marginal in comparison to other stocks where bigger profits can be made for experienced investors which will see these stocks trade highly throughout both the day and in the long-term period. 

Whilst blue-chip stocks are strongly recommended when beginning your journey, if you are an experienced investor such stocks may also be of interest to keep and hold in your portfolio for the long-term, as these stocks offer great diversity, growth opportunities and continuing to bring in good profit. 

Understanding the Fundamentals of Buying Shares in the UK

Buying shares can be one of the most effective ways for you to grow your wealth in the long-term. Thanks to the internet, getting a slice of action has become easier than ever. Today, you can gain access to thousands of shares in multiple international exchanges at the click of a few buttons. 

All you need is to have a reliable online broker in your corner.

Considering the demand in the online trading arena, there are hundreds of online stockbrokers who want a piece of your business. Fortunately for investors, this means access to competitive fees and commissions. Additionally, brokers are also introducing powerful features that can aid you in your decision-making process every step of the way. 

However, in order to know which broker to choose, you should have a great understanding of the fundamentals of how share markets work. 

What you need is a proper mix of market awareness and tools - to make the right move at the right time. By educating yourself about the rudiments of the stock markets, you will be able to identify lucrative opportunities as well as avoid any costly mistakes. 

For instance, did you know that once you have purchased shares of a company, you should receive a share certificate within two months? Or, that you not can only profit from the rising prices of a share, but also from a dip in the stock value?

These are only a segment of the dozens of possibilities and intricacies of the stock trading arena. Now,  it is time to dive into the bare-bone basics on how to buy shares UK. 

What Are Shares?

What are Shares

Shares, or stocks, are investments that denote your ownership in a company. In other words, when you buy a share, you are purchasing a piece of the company in question. 

To explain better, companies often need capital to fund their operations. They do this by enlisting their company on a public exchange and selling their shares - thereby making you part-owners. As such, when you buy shares, you are also entitled to a share of the profits that the company makes. 

The shares are available for you to purchase on a public stock exchange - such as the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), and more. 

The value of a share is determined by several factors. You can, however, sum it up to the supply and demand in the stock market. When there are more buyers interested in the shares of a particular company - the price of the shares will rise. 

When you buy shares, you hope that the company will do well, and the value of the shares will increase - and consequently, that your investment will grow. 

That said, sometimes, the company does not perform as well as you expected. This might lead to more people selling the shares, so its price will decrease - along with the value of your investment. 

Shares Investing UK

To start it’s wise to know the difference between what a share or shares are in connection to a stock or stocks as you start to develop within the industry as these two terms are often crossed together. 

A stock is simply a company in which it is traded on the open market. But sometimes it can be argued that the term ‘Stock’ means to own shares within a company, but typically the term is in reference to a company that is on the trading market. 

 So as mentioned a stock is a company on the open market, stocks is when you are referring to more than one company that an investor owns shares in. For example, an investor may say ‘I own various stocks’, this indicates that this investor has ownership in multiple companies. 

Share or shares realistically have the same meaning. To own a share you are talking of owning a share within a specific company, when talking about shares you are referring to having ownership within more than one company, both can be used within both private and public traded companies. 

Shares are the hidden secret behind what makes a stock rise in cash sums in order to pursue or continue to grow. This is where investors are able to buy shares within one or more companies within both public and private firms, although private firms may have more paperwork involved and maybe a longer process than public companies. 

Then it brings us to the point of short-term and long-term shares. Both terminologies are of course referring to holding shares for either a long-term investment or for a shorter period depending on what suits your investing needs. 

Short-term trading is when an investor takes a position that can last from anywhere between seconds, several days leading up to a few weeks. The main outcome for such investment is to make a quick profit from taking advantage of a stock's market price, whilst analysing stock’s data to determine how long they will potentially seek to keep a hold on this stock. 

There are many different styles of short-term traders which include scalpers, day traders and swing traders. All of which seek to hold shares within a company ranging from seconds to weeks whilst taking advantage of various stocks prices. 

On the flip side, long-term investing enables an investor to hold an investment for a longer period which can range from anywhere between one year to over 30 years if they wish. Investing in stock for the long-term can be extremely rewarding, so long as you do your research whilst trying to avoid ‘Hot Tips’ along the way as this can be costly even if for a brief moment when a stock is on the rise. 

You can still sell long-term shares or investments along the way, it is advised if the stock is losing significantly you may decide to replace and add a more advantageous stock to your portfolio. This will allow you to not only look to seek good returns but it will strengthen your diversity within your collection and keep it fresh. But all trading should be carried out with careful consideration and be strongly researched, as a bad move could potentially end up being one of an investors' biggest trading regrets. 

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Why Invest In Shares?

Investing in shares boils down to an individual's needs and ambitions. It is a choice that many investors take time to confirm and research into whether this is a route they wish to explore. Definitely, if an individual is looking to become an experienced investor over the years, research and time are essential to help build a successful trading path.

Why Invest In Shares

The reason why many investors look to invest in stocks or shares is to simply make a big profit, and essentially is the aim for all investors besides many will also enjoy what investing has to offer. Arguably there are no better shares to own than within growth stocks, as these stocks can seek to give huge potential returns, especially over a long-term period as an investor can build great wealth if they have invested wisely. 

There are other options that we will explore further as we go on that are also extremely rewarding to investors. 

There are several ways for you to profit from taking ownership of shares. If you are investing in a company share that offers dividends, you can easily accumulate money over time. 

In the long-term, these payments can add up, and you will be able to yield a solid return - by taking advantage of compound interest. We will discuss this more in detail later in this guide. 

Additionally, depending on the number of shares you hold in the company, you will also be granted the ability to vote at shareholder meetings. 

These Annual General Meetings (AGMs) will allow you to vote on the company's internal structuring - such as electing a board of directors, deciding dividend payments, compensation, and other aspects. 

That said, many investors in the UK also choose to buy shares expecting their value to rise in the future. This way, you will hold on to the shares - until it is the right time for you to sell them and make a profit in return. 

The profit you make will depend on the number of shares you hold, as well as the current stock price of the company. 

Point Checklist To Invest In Shares Online UK 

Choose a trading platform that is suitable for your investment needs

This will include opening of a trading account which is also strongly advised to keep personal funds separate to your financial funds and a broker to be able to carry out your investments. 

Lean, learn, learn

Learning and understanding from investment terminology to how to read charts, this will benefit you hugely to understand what is happening with your chosen stock or stocks along with what is happening in the market overall. 

Choosing your budget

It’s wise before you start your trading journey to either make a budget plan or have a solid understanding of how you are looking to budget your investments. It is strongly advised if you are new to investing to start with smaller amounts until you have enough knowledge behind to be able to increase your budget. On the same note, investing in your financial means is also advised. 

Research and pick your chosen companies to buy shares into

This part of the process is where it takes time to sieve through various sectors to choose which stocks are of interest. You will have mega stocks such as Microsoft (MSFT) and Facebook (FB) who are a part of the FAANG group, which no doubt investors will have some understanding of these stocks, but looking closer into the fundamentals including looking at revenue and room for growth of these stocks is still strongly advised.

Likewise, stocks that are mid-cap stocks offer great positives with stability that can give you great returns such as Peloton Interactive (PTON) and Sketchers (SKX), these stocks are great additions for beginner investors based on multiple factors as mentioned. 

One the back of choosing your stock picks, take into consideration the market conditions. As 2020 has evidenced, anything is possible and could change in what feels like overnight, so it is worth assessing how stocks are sitting within a ‘bear market’ as share prices fall and additionally a ‘bull market' as share prices are on the rise.

Whilst at the beginning of your journey, it's wise to not be too adventurous and go against the bigger market trend, stick within a comfort zone whilst you're starting out in investing.  

Ready to invest

After all of the above steps have been carefully considered and undertaken then you are ready to place your first investment.

As you will have chosen your preferred online trading platform at this stage, all you will need to do is login to your account, choose your stock you wish to invest in and simply enter an amount you wish to invest and click Buy. The process is simple, straightforward and can be carried out from wherever access to the internet is available. Then you are officially on your way to an exciting trading journey. 

4 Steps To Take When Looking Into Shares

Looking into choosing your share picks may feel slightly daunting at first. But it is worth it for all investors not to rush into investing in shares right away, this could end up being costly and up leaving many regrets for investors. These key points below are factors to take into consideration in how to develop and pick your chosen shares. 

  1. There are many sectors on the market from consumer stocks to tech stocks. Picking the sectors that are performing well is a good step, along with looking to see if these sectors could look to continue their success moving forward. 
  2. When you have chosen a stock of interest, take a look at the stocks balance sheet. This will determine how well a company is performing and give you key fundamental evidence of what this stock can potentially bring to you as an investor. 
  3. Then look to see how well the stock has performed over time. As time is the answer to many solutions, it is an essential factor within investing. This will give an investor an indication of how a company has performed and if the future outlook is achievable for a stock.  
  4. If you are new to investing the technical side in terms of looking at a stocks technical analysis could also be beneficial, but take one step at a time if you are unsure at this stage of what the technical side entails you can pick this up as you go on. 

To summarize, knowledge is the main takeaway point for picking the best stocks to have shares in as stated - “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” -  Benjamin Franklin. 

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How To Buy, Sell And Hold Shares

The next important step is to understand how investors seek to buy, sell and hold investments. These important steps are essential in your journey as they can affect your first investments and establish your way. 

Buying Shares

Buying shares for the first time can be one of the most exciting emotions you will feel when starting your trading journey.

Buying a share boils down to an investor choosing which share or shares they wish to invest in and making sure all necessary research has been carried out beforehand. Then an investor will await confirmation or look to see a live share price, select an amount or amounts you wish to invest in such stocks and click Buy. Once your broker has confirmed the investment you are officially classed as an investor.

Buying Shares UK

If for whatever reason you misread and your amount is not high enough to invest in a certain stock, your broker will advise you and give you the guidance in which you are needing.

Additionally, you will also come across the terminologies of Bid and Asking prices whilst trading. A bid price refers to a price of a stock for a buyer, whereas an ask price is the price that a seller is able to accept for a stock. These terms you may see on a sheet when looking to buy shares. 

Selling of Shares

Selling of a share operates in a similar way as buying a share does.

You have to select the share or shares you wish to sell along with inputting the amount you wish to sell the share for, whilst your broker will pick this up from their side. Always be mindful as you may take a loss on a share than what you initially bought it for. 

The broker will then confirm and set the price of your share available on the market, alongside with an adjusted price to test to see if the stock could potentially gain. Once the share has sold your broker will confirm this to you with confirmation of how much the share sold for. 

Holding Shares

The term holding shares does not take any participation other than keeping hold of a chosen stock within your collection. This term is used for the long-term outlook for investors who seek to hold onto shares for a matter of weeks, months or even years, as a stock seeks to grow. Naturally, you need to buy into a stock first to be able to hold shares. 

Holding shares can be extremely beneficial over the long-term period as stocks can gain significantly well and is also noted to be a safer form of investing, which is why it is strongly advised for beginner investors to take this route, especially as we have been sitting in a somewhat challenging market. 

If you are a beginner investor who is seeking to make profits quicker, starting out with the outlook for the long-term might be the best way to start until you become more familiar with understanding the market, individual stocks technical analysis and trading within a more certain market.

Types of Investments Available to Investors 

There are thousands of stocks across the globe to own shares in, spread across various markets from Wall Street to the London Stock Exchange (LSE) to further international markets. 

When it comes to different types of investment vehicles, there are many that are popular depending on the individual as they are suited for each investor's needs. Likewise, this is also the case when looking at stocks of interest as an investors strategy will suit some stocks better than others.

For example, Dividend stocks are a great addition to all investors' portfolios as these are safer investments in comparison to stocks giving investors additional income over the year. Take the S&P 500 stock AbbVie (ABBV), this stock has been a strong dividend payer for over 25 years raising over time along with continuing to hit payments on time. 

But on the flip side, Dividend stocks for experienced investors may be deemed to be less of a challenge than as opposed to growth stocks because they are a safer investment. 

Let's take a look into some of the investment options that are available to investors: 

• Stocks -  To start we have stocks. Investing in one stock is deemed to be riskier than if you were to invest in various stocks, the reason for this is due to relying heavily on just one company bringing in the results could be costly if it does not work out. Creating a diverse portfolio of multiple stocks is highly recommended when starting your online trading journey, along with investing smaller amounts spread equally at the beginning. 

When it comes to different strategies such as the ones previously mentioned, this again is down to an individual investor. Some of the popular strategies used within trading stocks today are listed below: 

  • Active Trading - Buying and selling of shares with the aim to hold them for either the short or long-term period. 
  • Swing Trading - This strategy is aimed for investors who are looking to make a profit from a stock within a matter of days as prices change. 
  • Passive Investing - Passive investing is a strategy simplified is Buy and Hold where an investor buys a stock and keeps hold of this stock for the foreseeable. 
  • Scalp Trading - This strategy is a popular one amongst investors where investors will try to seek big profits from small or minor price changes. 

• Dividend Stocks - Dividend stocks offer an investor a regular income stream in the form of dividend payouts paid every quarter based on a company's profits. 

Dividends are deemed to be safer investments as these rely solely on how much revenue a company brings in to how much is paid out, so in hindsight, an investor will be paid every quarter. However, in some extreme circumstances, companies have been late on payments due to lack of funds being available, which is why it is important to read up on your chosen picks before jumping straight in. 

Dividend players are also some of the most notably recognised companies in the world today including McDonald’s (MCD) who have been strong payer’s for many years, and Starbucks (SBUX) who are looking to be a good investment within 2023. Like with stocks investors can have more than one dividend stock within their collection. 

• Mutual Funds - A mutual fund is a type of investment where it is managed by a portfolio manager which is made up of multiple stocks. These stocks have been hand picked via extensive research due to their successful performances and other advantages which is why these chosen stocks have been monitored closely by professionals. 

Mutual funds can be costly as not only will investors have to pay per share to invest within these funds, but also investors may incur yearly management fees and additional charges on top to factor into consideration as this could take up profits that an investor has made. 

Investing and selling in Mutual funds normally takes place at the end of a trading day, as this is when these funds are valued.

• Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) - ETFs have become popular over recent years with investors.

As previously mentioned ETFs are very similar to Mutual funds but the only clear difference is that EFTs trade throughout the day instead of at the end of each day.

ETFs have also been classed as a safer investment in comparison to other investment types as they benefit from lower costs along with strong exposure to a ‘basket’ of stocks. Including having access to emerging markets, individual businesses and more. All with the additional benefit that these stocks are easier to invest in.

These investment types mentioned above are the most popular investment vehicles used frequently and commonly across the world today. However, there are still many alternative investment types that are also available to investors which include Hedge Funds, Private Equity Funds, REITs, ISA accounts and many more. 

If you are a beginner investor it is wise to stick to one of the popular forms of investing to start out until you feel more at ease to experiment and challenge your knowledge within the online trading market.

Top Tips For Investing In Shares UK 

Tips For Investing In Shares UK 

Before we look into the best stocks to buy on the market and a guide in helping you conduct undertaking this step, we have collected some essential top tips for investing in stocks to round up and takeaway to remember to carry with you through this exciting journey. 

Have the right mindset 

The first top takeaway is an essential element to always have or try to have when seeking to invest in shares. Take your time to conduct as much research as possible crossing all angles rather than jumping into shares based on your emotions. Take your time, breathe and look into all statics advised on your chosen stocks.  

Set your budget

Setting a budget is vital as an early step into your trading. Setting aside your personal liabilities separate to your trading funds is strongly recommended as shares can be costly to invest in. Additionally, if you end up taking a loss and seek to invest further, having spare funds set aside within your trading budget will determine how much you can place within shares of interest comfortably moving forward without having the risk of becoming in debt. 

Have a plan B

This step goes hand-in-hand with owning shares instead of solely holding a share within one company. If you hold a share within a company that does not go to plan, that can leave an investment at a cross-point as where to head next. It is wise to always have a plan B of which route to take after.  Your alternative plan could be that of an additional share in a stock of interest or alternatively this may lead you to seek shares in multiple stocks, which is one strong reason why this route is highly recommended. 

Learn from errors 

The last takeaway point may be a hard pill to swallow for some investors but it is an important trait to adapt even if you are successful yet encounter the odd one or two errors. All investors can learn from errors, and try their best to overcome these errors so that they will not happen again. Realistically it is human nature for errors to happen and it can be rectified from going over and analysing why and where the failure occurred.  

How to Make Money from Shares UK

In order to earn money from your shares, you will first need to build a portfolio that can generate returns on a consistent basis over the long term. 

There are three different ways through which you can capitalize on your share investment - which we discuss in more detail below. 

1. Rising Share Price 

The value of shares fluctuates based on the general market sentiment. If more people want to buy the shares, then the price will increase. If the reverse is happening, then the shares will fall. 

When the value of shares increases to a value higher than what you originally paid - then you are looking at ‘capital appreciation’ - otherwise referred to as ‘capital gains’. 

Take a look at this practical example:

  • Suppose that you buy 1,000 shares of Rolls-Royce at 110p per stock. 
  • Meaning, your total investment in the company adds up to £1100. 
  • After two years, the price of Rolls-Royce shares rises to 150p per stock. 
  • Wanting to cash out your profit, you choose to sell your shares. 
  • Your total returns amount to £1,500. 
  • At 40p per share, your profit stands at £400. 

This £400 you made in profit is called the capital appreciation of the share. 

In the UK, any profit you make by investing in shares will have to be declared to HMRC. The tax rate you are liable to pay will depend on your personal circumstances. 

Read Also: 10 UK Shares To Buy That Could Double Your Money

2. Quarterly Dividends

Along with capital gains, investors can also expect to earn income on shares in the form of dividends. In its simplest form, a dividend is the distribution of a company's returns to its stakeholders. 

In most cases, the company will distribute only part of its profits as dividends and sets aside the rest for operational and expansion costs. 

If you own stocks of a company that pays out dividends, you are entitled to a share of the profit. How much you earn as a dividend will depend on the profit the company makes and the number of shares you own.  

In other words, you will receive a dividend payment for every share you own in the company. 

These dividends are often paid out every three or six months and are calculated per share. 

Here is how the dividend payments work in the UK:

  • Let us suppose that you own 1,000 shares of Barclays.
  • The company pays dividends every 3 months.
  • For the next quarter, Barclays announces that they will pay an annualized dividend yield of 6%. 
  • At the current price of 150p per share, the dividend amounts to 9p per share annually - so 2.25p for this quarter
  • Since you hold 1,000 shares, you get a total of £22.50 in dividends. 

The biggest advantage here is that any dividend payments you receive will be in addition to the previously discussed capital appreciation. 

Therefore, ideally, you are looking to buy shares of companies that will grow in value over time, as well as make regular dividend payments. 

3. Compound Growth

Another way to earn passively on your shareholdings is to reinvest the earnings from the asset to gain additional income - this process is called 'compounding'. 

You can achieve compound growth on shares that pay out dividends. In this case, you can buy more shares with your dividend payments. This way, along with your earnings from your original investment, you will also be making gains on your reinvestments. 

This is particularly useful if you are holding a share for a long time - as the compounding effect adds up and permits faster growth. 

However, make note that your initial earnings can be small until the investment has had a chance to accumulate. That said, over the long run, compound growth can be highly lucrative. 

Additionally, due to market volatility, you also have to consider that dividend payments can be uneven. 

For instance, in one quarter, you might receive a dividend payment of 9%, whereas, in the next quarter, you might receive only 4%. Therefore, you will also have to take market fluctuations, as well as inflation, into account. 

If done right, compounding can help you earn interest - regardless of how inconsistent the market can be. 

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What Drives the Price of Shares? 

As we mentioned earlier in this guide on how to buy shares UK, the underlying factors that determine stock prices are supply and demand. 

If there are more people interested in buying the shares of a company than selling them - then the price of the share will grow. On the other hand, if there are more people looking to sell the stocks - the price will drop. 

That said, this general interest in shares is further influenced by a long line of factors. Gaining an understanding of these underlying elements will help you make informed decisions when it comes to learning how to buy shares UK. 

News Related to the Company

Any new developments in the industry or the specific company can influence the demand for its stock. As you can guess, good news that leads to better prospects of the company always tends to raise demand. 

Similarly, any news reports of uncertainties or negligence within the company can result in decreased demands. 

For instance, if a company announces dividend profits that are better than what was predicted, the demand for its stocks are likely to rise - thus driving up prices. 

On the contrary, if a company announces that it has some internal issues or experienced a bad quarter, demand will lower - pushing the price of its stocks down. 

Market Predictions by Analysts 

Well-established investment firms such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs regularly update their ratings on stocks. These scores are based on past performance, market conditions, and expected growth over a given period of time. 

Generally, shares are rated as 'buy', 'sell or 'hold' in these reports. 

As traders and investors are likely to follow these analyses, such reports could also significantly impact the price of a share. 

For instance, if a well-reputed Wall-Street firm changes its rating of a share from 'sell' to 'buy', you could see increased demand in buying the shares. 

Economic and Political Landscape 

Stock prices are also driven by any changes in the wider economic and political landscape. For instance, company share prices can be affected by inflation, unemployment rate, regulations, political disturbances, and more.  

Market Sentiment 

Ultimately, all these factors boil down to the investor sentiment regarding a particular stock. If more investors feel confident that the price of shares will increase in the future, the demand will also follow suit - thus driving up prices. 

On the other hand, when investors are concerned with market conditions and expect share prices to fall, the demand will decline, and so the prices will also drop. 

At first glance, it might appear that a long list of factors can affect the share market. That is why we recommend that you do thorough research when you consider how to buy shares UK. 

What to Consider Before you Buy Shares UK

Stock markets have historically delivered excellent returns to investors over the long run. That said, not every company in the stock market performs equally well. In fact, many firms are now valued at only a small portion of what they were once worth.

What to Consider Before you Buy Shares UK

You can see this particularly among UK high street banking firms, where firms such as HSBC never fully recovered from the global financial crisis of 2008. The company's stocks stood at approximately 750p in 2007. However, in early 2021, the shares are worth much less at 420p. 

In light of this, you always need to consider the risks involved before investing in shares. If you are new to the share market arena, below are a few tips that you can employ when you learn how to buy shares UK. 

Diversify Your Portfolio 

One of the most simple yet effective ways to manage risks is by diversifying your stock portfolio. In this approach, you will be spreading your investments over different shares instead of putting all your eggs in one basket. 

Consequently, this will reduce your exposure to a single stock. Owning an investment portfolio with diversified stocks is relatively less risky than buying shares of only one or two different companies. 

You will not only be investing in separate firms but also in companies from different sectors. 

For instance, let's say you have £10,000 available to invest in the share market. If you are new to the investment scene, you might be thinking about investing the entire amount into the shares of a single company. 

In comparison, a seasoned investor is likely to choose 100 different companies spread across multiple sectors and divide the investment evenly. 

A diversified investor's portfolio might include shares of companies of different sectors such as transport, technology, retail, consumer staples, and other fields. In effect, you are hoping to maximize returns by buying shares in diverse areas that will react differently to the same event. 

This way, even if the shares of one company drop, your other investments might still offer you returns. 

Begin with Low Stakes 

If you are a complete beginner in the investment space, it is important that you start slow. This will allow you to learn your way around studying the market and understanding how to pick stocks and choose your assets. 

However, in order to make this happen, you will first have to find a regulated UK stockbroker that welcomes low stakes. Generally, the best brokers in the industry will have a minimum investment amount required for you to buy shares - this typically ranges from £100 to £200. 

In comparison, on brokerage platforms such as eToro, you can start investing in stocks with capital as low as $50 (about £35). Hence, it will be relatively easier for you to hone your investment skills without having to risk large sums. 

Learn How to Do Fundamental Analysis 

Fundamental analysis is nothing but a way of researching the stock market - by considering the most basic aspects that can affect prices. Doing this can help you gain an idea of what factors drive the market sentiment. 

In order to analyze the market, investors look at a wide range of data. One of the most important points to consider is the company's earnings - which will tell you how much the firm is making and how much it is likely to make in the future. 

In other words, these earnings are what translates to your profits in terms of dividends and the growth of share prices. 

If a company reports high earnings, it generally leads to a rise in stock prices and a larger dividend. When the earnings fall short of predictions, the price of the shares will drop further. 

To do this, we are not saying you do not always have to rely on complicated tools or technical analysis. However, it is significant that you are up to date with industry developments that will affect the value of your shares. 

Let us give you an example to clear the mist. 

  • Imagine that you have invested £5,000 in Tesco shares. 
  • The company reports that it is planning to open several new stores in different locations. 
  • Undeniably, this is good news to investors, as it will bring in more revenue. 
  • This is likely to drive up the value of the Tesco shares. 

Now, this is only one scenario. Let us consider how a different piece of news would impact the price of Tesco shares. 

  • Suppose Tesco announces that it is going to let go of hundreds of employees to cut costs. 
  • Although this might mean more profit, the news will definitely harm the reputation of the company. 
  • In turn, this will reflect the value of the company's shares. 

The extent of your loss will depend on market conditions at the time. That said, if you were able to sell your shares right after the news was announced, you will have the best chance to minimize your losses and get back as much of your investment as possible.  

As we discussed earlier in this guide on how to buy shares UK, when researching the factors that drive stock prices - there is a long list of items that you need to keep abreast with. 

Even for a seasoned trader, it will be impossible to manually watch over every minute change in the market. Consequently, it will be a good idea to sign up for alerts and notifications from a third-party platform. 

For instance, financial websites such as Yahoo! Finance have an option for you to add companies of interest to your portfolio, and the platform will send you real-time market news and updates on prices. 

Ratios Used in Fundamental Analysis 

As you learn more about the financial market, you can also employ advanced fundamental analysis tools. You will be relying on financial ratios to figure out whether a stock is worth investing in or not. 

Below is a list of the most commonly used stock analysis methods.

  • Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E)

This ratio tells you the relation between the share price of a company and its earnings per stock. This ratio enables investors to decide whether the shares are overvalued or whether they are worth more. 

In order to obtain the P/E ratio, you only need to divide the current price of the share by the earnings per share. The ideal ratio to look for will vary from one investor to another. However, the average P/E ratio for the top UK stocks ranges from 13 to 15. 

  • Debt-to-Equity Ratio (D/E)

This ratio tells you the amount of debt a company has in relation to its equity. In other words, the D/E ratio helps you find out more about a company's liability. You can usually find this figure mentioned in the balance sheet of a company's financial statements. The D/E ratio you are looking for is between 0 and 1. The higher the value, the more debt the company has in correlation with its equity. 

However, the impact of this ratio will also differ from one sector to another. For instance, financial institutions and capital-intensive industries such as airlines or manufacturing companies often rely on high levels of debt financing. In such cases, the D/E ratio often tends to be relatively higher as a common practice - which is widely accepted as well. 

  • Dividend Yield 

The dividend yield gives you the ratio of a company's dividend payments to the force of its shares. As we discussed earlier, many investors rely on dividends as the primary way to earn money from shares. Therefore, the higher the number, the better the dividends will be. 

If you are looking to profit from dividends or compound growth, you can compare the yields to find out which shares to buy. 

Apart from these fundamental analysis methods, there are several other tools used by experienced traders. Further, you can also take advantage of technical analysis tools such as indicators and charts to base your decisions on. 

However, if you are a beginner, understanding how to work with technical indicators comes with a steep learning curve. As such, you can look at more passive methods of investing that does not require you to watch and analyze the market yourself. 

Use a Copy Trading Portfolio 

For novice traders, one of the best ways to invest in a diversified portfolio is using a 'Copy Trading ’tool offered by an online broker. 

In a few words, this feature enables you to mirror the purchases of another expert investor.

To elaborate more, let us look at the 'CopyPortfolios' functionality on eToro. The platform allows you to specify the parameters of the investment portfolio you want to build. For instance, you can choose to copy the portfolio of only top-performing investors.

Copy Trading Portfolio 

Once you have selected the specific portfolio type you want, the eToro team will handle all your investments. This will be analyzed based on your conditions specified to maximize the profit potential and minimize the risk. 

You only have to invest in this feature once, and the platform will take care of the rest for you. 

The best aspect of this tool is that you can choose the investor you want to follow or specify what kind of portfolio you want.  In effect, once you invest in CopyPortfolios at eToro, you can sit back and relax without having to worry about which shares to purchase or which ones to sell.

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Read More: Best AI Stocks To Invest In 2023 

How to Find a Good UK Broker to Buy Shares

Share brokers in the uk

So now that we have covered the basics of buying shares, it is time to look at the next step. Your first port of call is to find a reliable online broker who can help you achieve your investment goals. 

There are dozens of brokerage platforms that make it possible for you to buy shares online. However, to the untrained eye, it can be challenging to separate the wheat from the chaff.

In order to make things easier for you, this part of our guide on how to buy shares UK will look at what factors to consider while choosing your online broker. 

Buy Shares of Trade Stock CFDs

Before setting eyes on a platform, the first question that you need to ask yourself is whether you want to 'invest' in shares or 'trade' stock CFDs. 

If you are buying shares as an investment in the long- term, this means that you will be taking ownership of the stocks and holding them under your name. This will entitle you to all the advantages discussed earlier - such as dividends and earnings from compound appreciation. 

On the other hand, if you are trading stock CFDs - you are looking at short-term investment strategies such as day trading or swing trading. In this approach, you will not be owning the stocks but merely trading financial instruments that reflect the value of the shares. 

When short-term trading using CFDs, your profit targets are smaller, and you will enter and exit positions more often.

eToro is a well-reputed online brokerage platform that facilitates both long-term and short-term investments of shares. Additionally, regardless of your strategy, on eToro - you won’t be charged a penny in share dealing fees.

License and Regulation 

Once you know which investment strategy you want to employ, the next thing to consider is regulation. This is, perhaps, the most important factor that you need to take into account. 

Put simply, regulated brokers are registered with financial authorities and are required to follow the various rules and criteria set by the respective body. In the UK, the most well-known regulatory body is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Choosing a broker licensed by the FCA will ensure that you are working with a safe and legit financial platform. 

All brokers who seek licenses from the FCA are required to go through a long application process before they can boast themselves as regulated platforms. Additionally, they are also mandated to abide by a range of guidelines, such as:

  • Having order books audited every quarter by the FCA. 
  • Verify clients via a Know Your Customer process. 
  • Holding all client capital in separate bank accounts. This offers an additional layer of security - meaning that the broker cannot gain access to your investment funds to use as working capital. 
  • Segregated accounts will also protect your money in case the broker faces financial problems. 

Additionally, you will also note that licensed platforms clearly state out the risks involved with making investments. 

Considering all this, it is obvious that your best bet is to sign up with a licensed brokerage platform. If not, you will be putting your investment capital at risk. 

That said, the FCA is not the only regulatory authority out there - as there are many more in other jurisdictions. To name a few, you can look for licenses from ASIC (Australia), CySEC (Cyprus), the SEC (US), FINRA (US), FSA (Japan), DFSA (Dubai), and more. 

To sum up, it is in your best interest to stay away from unregulated brokerage platforms for the safety of your share investments. 

Stock Exchanges 

As we briefly noted above, today, you can take your pick from tens of thousands of shares online through multiple stock exchanges. That said, which markets you have access to will depend on the broker you choose. 

For instance, FCA-regulated broker eToro gives you access to over 2,400 shares through 17 different stock exchanges. Meaning - you can buy shares from companies based not only in the UK but also in global marketplaces. 

To give you an overview, you are looking at firms listed on the:

  • London Stock Exchange (UK)
  • Borsa Italiana Stock Exchange (Italy)
  • Tokyo Stock Exchange (Japan)
  • Hong Kong Stock Exchange (Hong Kong)
  • Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Germany)
  • Paris Stock Exchange (France), and more. 

As you can see, eToro gives you the opportunity to diversify your capital in several international markets. 

Payment Methods 

When you are sure about the broker's regulatory standing and available exchanges, you can explore what payment methods are supported on the platform. In the best scenario, the broker will accept multiple payment methods for you to choose from. This ranges from direct bank account transfers and debit/credit cards. 

Although bank transfers might be more suited for large amounts, note that it might take a few business days for the money to appear in your account. 

In addition, brokers like eToro also give you the option to fund your trading account through e-wallets such as Neteller, PayPal, or Skrill. 

Fees and Commissions 

No matter whether you are trading share CFDs or investing in the long term, your broker will invariably charge you a trading fee in order to facilitate your purchase. 

As with any other business, the fee structure of a broker will also vary from one platform to another. Therefore, you will need to compare different brokerages before you finalize one. 

Here is a quick overview of the types of fees you will encounter when buying shares online. 


Commissions are the most common type of fee you are liable to pay on brokerage platforms. This is calculated as a percentage of the total amount you are investing. 

On some platforms, you will have to pay a commission every time you buy shares and again when you are cashing out. At the other end of the scale are brokers such as eToro, which charges zero commissions when you buy shares. 

However, If you are trading share CFDs in the short-term - you will have to consider the spread, which is more of an indirect fee. 

Deposits and Withdrawals

In addition, some brokers also charge you transactional fees in order to process deposits and withdrawals. 

Inactivity Fees

This fee is charged if you do not meet the minimum trading activity for a given period of time. Typically, brokers wait for 12 months of no inactivity to charge you this fee - which will be deducted directly from your trading balance. You will, of course, avoid this fee if you have shares in your portfolio. 

Investment Tools and Features 

These days, brokerage platforms function as a one-stop-shop for all your investment needs. Meaning, you can find market research tools, educational resources, and plenty more without even leaving the broker's website. 

If you are in the market searching for such a platform, here are some features that you need to look for:

Trading Platform 

Many UK share dealing brokers come integrated with their own native trading platform. This means that you can buy shares directly through the broker's website itself. 

Market Updates 

As we noted earlier in this guide on how to buy shares UK, similar to financial platforms, online brokers can also offer you regular updates on real-time market news and developments related to the stock markets. 

Technical Indicators 

If you are an investor who relies on pricing analysis, you will also want to make sure that the online broker offers technical indicators and charts. 

Educational Resources 

Most importantly, if you are a beginner in the investment space, you will want to choose a stock broker that offers educational tools. This can come in the form of videos, webinars, podcasts, or even extensive guides on different aspects of share investments. 

Mobile App and Usability 

You will also need to ensure that the stockbroker website is easy to use and navigate. Even if you are a seasoned trader, you shouldn't have to compromise on usability to gain access to investment tools. 

A user-friendly platform will make sure that all its features are comprehensive for both beginners and experienced traders alike. 

Besides, in the digital era, you might also want to ensure that the broker offers a fully-functional mobile application. After all, you might not always be using your computer to check out market news and follow stock price action. 

A mobile app will make it convenient for you to access all features on the go, 

Other Tradable Assets

Although this guide is focused on shares, when considering a broker - you might also want to check out what other tradable assets are supported on the platform. 

For instance, if you are interested in other asset classes, you will want to find a broker that gives you access to ETFs, bonds, or mutual funds. 

It is best to ensure that you cover this metric before you open an account with any brokerage platform. 

As evident by now, choosing your ideal online broker is not easy. Finding the time to research the ins and out of different brokerage platforms can be a time-consuming process. Therefore, if you are in a hurry - we suggest considering eToro. 

We have analyzed the platform based on all the metrics we mentioned above, and we can confidently say that eToro passed with flying colours. 

Here is an overview of what makes eToro one of the best online brokers to buy shares from. 

  • eToro is licensed by three well-known regulatory bodies, including the FCA, ASIC, and CySEC. 
  • eToro enables you to invest in shares without paying any dealing fees. 
  • The platform can give you access to over 2,400 shares across 17 different exchanges. 
  • eToro offers support for multiple payment methods, including bank transfers, bank cards, and e-wallets. 
  • The platform is also very beginner-friendly and offers Copy Trading features for you to nurture your investment skills. 

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How Do You Find The Best Shares To Buy Now In The UK?

Some of the best brokers present you with thousands of tradable shares. Just how do you go about identifying the best shares to invest in for you?

Here are a few pointers on how to find the best shares to invest in now:

  • Check trending markets: At the moment, the oil and gas industries are a hot topic. By following these trends, you can learn about different industries and companies. You also learn how different events are affecting them and how they can be priced in.
  • Invest in a business you understand: Most experts will also advise that you start by investing in a business/company/industry that you understand. This way, you are able to quickly pick up trends/news and price the impact they will have on your investment.
  • Follow experts: The internet is awash with legit and successful share investors who regularly recommend the best shares to buy at any given moment and positions to close.

Are Shares Taxed In The UK?

Yes, share investments are taxed in the UK and incur two common taxes – stamp duty and capital gains.

The stamp duty is fixed at 0.5% and applies when you buy shares on the London Stock Exchange.

The capital gains tax, on the other hand, takes effect if you make a profit on your share investments. This only applies when you sell shares at a price higher than their purchase price. Note, however, that UK residents have a capital gains allowance of up to £12,300 (for the financial year 2022/2023).

This means that only amounts above £12,300 will attract the capital gains charge at a rate of 8.75%, 33.75%, or 39.35% - depending on your tax bracket.

Note that share dividends are also subject to capital gains tax and that UK residents enjoy an annual allowance of up to £2,000.

How to Buy Shares In The UK - Full Steps

The process of signing up on a brokerage platform is more or less similar at all regulated UK brokers. Nevertheless, to conclude this guide, we are going to show you how to buy shares UK at commission-free platform eToro. 

Step 1: Open a Broker Account

Buy Shares UK

To create your online account, the brokerage platform will ask you to provide the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Home Address
  • Date of Birth
  • National Insurance Number
  • Email Address
  • Phone number 

You will also have to choose a username and password to set up your account. Once your email address and phone numbers are confirmed, you can then continue to the next step.

buy stocks

Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply.

Step 2: Identity Verification

All FCA-regulated brokers in the UK are required to implement a KYC procedure to carry out identity verification of all account holders. Although it might sound like a sophisticated process, it is quite simple to complete. 

You only have to provide a valid ID document with your photo - like your passport or driver's license.

In the case of eToro, you do not have to complete this step while signing up. 

You only need to do this when you deposit more than $2,250 (about £1,700)or make a withdrawal. The entire process is automated, and you can start using your account within a few minutes. 

Step 3: Add Funds

When your account is ready to use, you can deposit funds. 

You can pick one of the payment options:

  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Bank Transfer
  • Neteller
  • Skrill 
  • PayPal 

Step 4: Buy Shares UK 

With your eToro account funded, you are now ready to buy your first share. If you have a specific company in mind, you can find it by using the search bar. 

Once you have found the stock listing, click on the ‘Trade’ button.

Finally, enter the amount you want to invest and click on the ‘Open Trade’ button.  

You've just bought your first share on eToro - commission-free!

Conclusion – How To Buy Shares In The UK

There goes everything you need to know about how to buy shares in the UK. We started by providing you with a quick three-step breakdown of the share investing process.

We then introduced you to what the majority of investors and traders consider the best share brokers in the UK before discussing the top five shares to watch and buy in 2023.

In addition to these, we have gone over the share investing basics – telling you everything you need to know about stock investing. We even discussed the factors you ought to consider when finding the best shares to invest in and discussed share investing taxation in the UK.

It has never been easier to buy shares online in the UK. Since the emergence of online brokers, you can now buy shares, collect dividends, reinvest them and cash out your investments right from the comfort of your home. 

All you need to do is find a trustworthy and regulated online broker to work with. As we have covered in this guide on how to buy shares UK, we suggest that you consider eToro. The platform is not only FCA-regulated but can give you access to thousands of shares - all at zero commission! 

eToro – Buy UK Shares With 0% Commission

Buy UK Shares

Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply.

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FAQs How to Buy Shares UK

What are the best shares to buy in the UK today?

Apple is arguably the best share to watch and buy in the UK in 2023. In the above guide, however, we also discuss four equally promising shares worth watching and buying now.

How can I buy shares in the UK?

It is easy - decide on the share you wish to buy and check if it is listed with your preferred stock brokerage. Register an investor account with the broker, fund this account, and proceed to buy the shares.

How much do I need to start investing in UK shares?

A significant number of popular share brokers in the UK support fractional share ownership and will therefore let you buy shares with incredibly low amounts. eToro, for instance, will let you buy most shares for as little as $10.

Where can I buy shares in the UK?

The UK has no shortage of share brokerages, and in this post, we have introduced you to what we consider the 10 best share brokers in the UK. These include eToro, Plus 500, Fineco Bank, AvaTrade, Axi, IG, CMC Markets, DeGiro, Interactive Brokers, and Hargreaves Lansdown.

Is share investing profitable?

Yes, buying and selling shares is one of the most lucrative investment opportunities. However, understand that you need expert skills, access to enough capital, and advanced trading tools if you turn share investing into a career.

Can you purchase shares in foreign companies?

The majority of online brokers give you access to stocks of UK-based and international companies. On brokers such as eToro, you can find markets in the US, Germany, Hong Kong, France, and more! 

How are UK online brokerages regulated?

In the UK, online brokers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, popularly known as the FCA. 

How can I add investment funds to my online broker account?

Depending on the brokerage platform - you will have the choice of debit/credit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers. 

Am I required to pay fees to invest in shares UK?

Most regulated brokers charge a trading commission in order to facilitate your purchase of shares. However, you can also find platforms such as eToro that offer shares at 0% commission. 

How can I buy shares listed on the London Stock Exchange?

In order to invest in companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, you will have to choose a suitable online broker. Don’t forget, you need to pay stamp duty of 0.5% when buying UK-listed stocks. With that said, eToro not only allows you to buy UK shares commission-free, but it waivers the stamp duty tax!