Online stock trading is now available from most major trading companies and allows you to manage your investments online, wherever you are.

By stock trading online you can keep up to date with how your investment portfolio is performing. So, if your investments are performing badly or you spot an opportunity to profit, you will be able to react quickly via your online share dealing account.

Choose the best online share trading platform

The platform is essentially the website you use to manage your online trading account. How the platform looks and feels is vital as it lets you see important data clearly and make the right decisions.

Each share dealing account provider offers a slightly different service tailored to let you trade shares online, with access to different markets and managed by different platforms.

Many of the best online stock trading sites offer demo accounts as a trial of their particular platform, so you can compare online trading platforms and decide for yourself how easy each one is to use. The things to look out for include navigation (i.e. if you get lost on the site), the presentation of your portfolio, and the platform's presentation of different stock markets.

Ultimately you will find the best site is a combination of the platform you find easiest and most intuitive to use, and the online trading account that matches the way you intend to invest.

Choose the best online trading account

Choosing from the best online trading accounts is a matter of comparing the features they offer against how you'd want to use it.

For example, many accounts offer to match your first deposit up to a set percentage; if you have a large sum of money to open your account with, this can maximise your investing potential. Other accounts might include introductory periods offering low fees per trade.

However, all offers have strict qualifying criteria. It's important to check the trading features on offer, and the corresponding charges, before you open a share dealing account. You can choose between the best online trading accounts by using our online share trading comparison tables.

Online stock trading - fees and charges

If you trade shares online on a regular basis you can find accounts that charge as little as 5 - 6 per trade.

However you also need to be aware of annual management fees, inactivity charges and transfer costs. You can use our comparison tables to compare the cost of trading via different online stock trading accounts.

Before you apply it's also a good idea to read online share dealing reviews as this will help you to make an informed choice on the best online trading accounts for you, helping you to maximise your profits.