• >
  • Share Dealing

Compare share dealing accounts

Invest in the stock market for greater returns on your money

You could find savings on fees and added features for your portfolio by comparing share dealing accounts

Find share dealing accounts

Compare share dealing accounts letting you buy and sell stocks, funds, ETFs and more using leading providers
Hargreaves LansdownAJ Bell YouinvestInteractive InvestorHargreaves LansdownAJ Bell YouinvestInteractive Investor
Your investments are not guaranteed: Shares can fall in value, as well as rise, and you may not get back the full amount you put in.
Fact checker
Last updated
October 30th, 2023

What is share dealing?

A share is a unit of ownership in a listed company. Share dealing lets you buy stock in companies large and small, such as Amazon, Google, or Microsoft, to potentially make a profit if you sell that stock after its price rises.

Share dealing is carried out through a share dealing account in which you deposit money, and make your trades using the money you've invested.

The different types of share dealing account

Brokers provide a link between you and the stock market that lets you buy and sell shares. Share dealing brokers come in three forms:

Execution-only brokers

These brokers act on your instructions to buy or sell shares without offering any kind of advice.

Advisory brokers

These brokers provide advice about which shares you might wish to trade but leave the ultimate decision to you.

Discretionary broker

These brokers buy stocks and shares on your behalf based on their understanding of the market.

What is the best online share dealing platform?

There isn't a one-size-fits-all trading platform that'll work for everyone. Choosing the best share dealing platform for your needs depends on your individual circumstances, however, there are some key elements everyone should consider:

  • How often you buy and sell shares

  • How much experience you have with investing

  • The amount of money involved

Think about what features you need from your share-dealing platform and your overall goals before making a choice. 

If you're an experienced investor, you might not need all the bells and whistles. If you're new to trading, it can help to have some guidance to help you on your investing journey, which many platforms provide as part of their service.

The following are some of the more well-known trading platforms available:

Trading PlatfromPlatform FeeShare dealing chargeInvestment Options
Degiro£0£2.03Shares, ETFs, Options, Futures
IG£8£8Shares, ETFs, Funds
Interactive Investor£9.99£7.99International shares, Funds, Investment trusts, ETFs
Hargreaves Lansdown£0£11.95Shares, ETFs, Funds
Saxo Markets£0£8 Shares, ETFs, Funds

What costs to look out for when you start share trading

Before you open a share-dealing account and start investigating how to buy stock, you need to think about costs.

Charge per trade

Each time you buy or sell a stock, you must pay a charge-per-trade fee. The amount varies depending on your account provider.

Frequent-trader rate

This is a discounted charge-per-trade fee that is triggered after you make a certain amount of trades. It's worth looking for if you trade a lot.

Platform fee

Charge made for moving money in or out of your account. Some accounts don't have platform fees but have higher per-trade fees instead.

Which are the best shares to buy

How much do you want to invest?

This is the amount of money you've set aside for investing. You should never invest more than you can afford to lose.

How long do you want to invest?

This is the amount of time you're willing to leave your money invested between buying and selling stock.

How much risk do you want?

Risk is the uncertainty you face when making an investment. It's the size of potential gain versus the potential loss.

Which are the best shares to buy

How much do you want to invest?

This is the amount of money you've set aside for investing. You should never invest more than you can afford to lose.

How long do you want to invest?

This is the amount of time you're willing to leave your money invested between buying and selling stock.

How much risk do you want?

Risk is the uncertainty you face when making an investment. It's the size of potential gain versus the potential loss.

How do you earn money from share dealing?

There are a few ways that you can earn money when trading stocks.

  • Growth: With this strategy, you buy shares and hang on to them until they hopefully increase in value. Once you've reached your goal price, you can sell the shares at a profit.

  • Dividends: With this option, you buy stock in the hope of receiving dividends (a regular share of the company's profits). Not all companies pay dividends, and some only pay them now and then, so you need to research the best stock options to support this approach. With companies that do pay dividends, payouts usually occur a few times each year. How much you get depends on how many shares you own and how the company has performed.

  • Day trading: This is a form of trading when you buy and sell shares over the course of a single trading day by taking advantage of small fluctuations in the prices of shares during the period. This is a high risk activity that's best for experienced traders.

Pros and cons

Pros

The best share dealing accounts offer the cheapest way to buy shares online
You can make a lot of money if the value of your shares goes up
You can use them to hold different investments, including shares, bonds and investment funds

Cons

You lose money when the value of your shares goes down
Your profits (above a certain level) are subject to tax, unless you use a stocks and shares ISA wrapper
There are various fees and commission charges to consider
When it comes to investing in shares, patience is a virtue. Avoid making snap decisions. Do your research and execute your plan, and if it doesn't go your way, look at things objectively and reassess.

Do you have to pay tax on the shares you buy?

You will not need to pay tax on your profit or purchases if your shares are held in an ISA or SIPP. If they are not, you may need to pay two forms of taxes.

Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT). This charges 0.5% of the trade's value if you buy UK shares that are settled through CREST (the UK electronic settlement system).

Capital Gains Tax (CGT). When you sell your shares and make a profit, you are required to pay tax on the gains you made. The rate at which CGT is charged depends on which income tax bracket you are in and how much money you make from the sale.

In the 2023/24 tax year:

  • Basic rate taxpayers pay 10%

  • Higher and additional rate taxpayers pay 20%

This does not include residential property and carried interest.

However, for every tax year you receive a capital gains tax-free allowance. For the current tax year, the capital gains tax-free allowance is £6,000 (£3,000 for trusts).

Your gains would need to exceed this for you to be required to pay capital gains tax on your profits from any trades you make.

Watch: Five things to look out for when buying shares

Jargon buster

Bear market

A bear market is a market environment where a major index or stock falls 20% or more from its recent highs. It’s the opposite of a bull market.

Blue chip stock

Blue-chip stocks are the stocks of large, industry-leading companies, typically with good reputations. The term was derived from blue gambling chips, the highest-valued chips in casinos.

Broker

A firm or person who executes your buy and sell orders for stocks or other securities. Some brokers also provide advisory services.

Bull market

A bull market is the opposite of a bear market and is a market experiencing a prolonged period of increasing stock prices that are at least 20% above a recent low.

Day trading

Day trading is the practice of buying and selling a stock or security within the same trading day, often with the intention of profiting from small fluctuations in price.

IPO

An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is the first sale or offering of a stock by a company to the public. 

Portfolio

A collection of assets that makes up a trader or investor’s portfolio. Your portfolio can contain a single stock or an infinite number of stocks and other securities.

Stop-loss order

A stop-loss order directs a stockbroker or share trader to sell a stock when it reaches a predetermined price. It is usually used by investors who want to limit their potential losses on a particular share.

Volatility

Volatility can either refer to an individual stock's price movements or the movements of a financial index. Stocks that fluctuate wildly in price over a short period of time are considered highly volatile, while those that move slowly are deemed less volatile.

FAQs

What is a share dealing account?

A share dealing account is used to purchase and sell shares. There are numerous accounts offering different features and charges, so review your options carefully to find one that fits your specific needs and investment targets.

How do I start online trading?

You can start online trading by opening an online stock trading account. Once the account is opened, transfer the amount of money you plan to trade into the account. Once in place, that money can be used to buy and sell shares.

Can I buy shares in any company?

No, the company must be listed on a stock exchange such as the London Stock Exchange (LSE) or Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Do your research to check which exchange is best for you.

How do brokers execute trades?

After a broker has been instructed to carry out a trade, they will try to find another broker looking to trade in the same shares. They will then negotiate a price for the shares and strike the deal. 

How much you pay will depend on when the deal is made, rather than when you placed the order. During working hours, most brokers offer a ‘Quote and Deal’ instruction, where you’re given the best price and have 15 seconds to accept. 

If this isn’t possible, the broker must locate a specialist who offers the types of share they’ve been instructed to trade. You could choose an order that gets the broker to buy at the best price possible when they find a deal, or you can set limits for the maximum you’re willing to pay or the minimum price at which you’re prepared to sell.

Processes vary by broker, so check what kinds of orders you can make with your chosen provider.

How can I cut the cost of share dealing?

Consider signing up for a frequent trader account if you think you’ll make several trades per month – this could reduce the cost of each individual trade, although you should always check each company’s terms before signing up.

Do I pay tax on share dealing?

Yes. Your profits are subject to CGT (Capital Gains Tax) as well as a 0.5% Stamp Duty charge. Find out more about investment tax here.

What's the best share dealing account in the UK?

The best share dealing account depends on each person’s circumstances and investing goals. Compare features to choose the one best suited for your particular needs.

Explore share dealing and stock trading guides

Learn more about share dealing and stock trading from our in-depth guides.
How to start investing in shares
How to start investing in shares
Tips on investing in times of financial uncertainty
Tips on investing in times of financial uncertainty
How are investments taxed?
How are investments taxed?

About the author

Salman Haqqi
Salman Haqqi spent over a decade as a journalist reporting in several countries around the world. Now as a personal finance expert, he helps people make informed financial decisions.

Didn’t find what you were looking for?

Customer Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5
by 1,064 people