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Compare share dealing accounts

A share dealing account could help you to add value to your portfolio whether you are a new or experienced trader. Compare platform fees and the price per trade to find cheaper investing.

Your investments are not guaranteed; they can decrease in value as well as increase and you may not get back the full amount you put in.

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What is share dealing?

Share dealing is process of buying and selling shares in publicly listed companies, letting you build your own investment portfolio. A share is a unit of ownership in a company. Read more about what share dealing is and how it works

How to start share dealing

1

Compare share dealing accounts

Use this share dealing comparison table to compare and find an online share dealing account.

2

Open a share dealing account

Once you've opened your chosen share dealing account, you can transfer in as much money as you want to buy shares.

3

Start trading shares

Choose which shares you want and buy them through your account. Then you can start share trading.

If you're interested in how to buy shares in other ways, you could use a traditional stockbroker, financial adviser or investment manager.

Which are the best shares to buy?

When you're buying and selling shares, you'll need to think carefully about what you choose to invest in.

You should think about:

  • How much you want to invest
  • How long you want to invest for
  • How much risk you're willing to take

If you're looking for help on which companies or stocks to invest in, it's a good idea to get the advice of a financial adviser or broker.

Buying shares through a share dealing broker

If you're thinking about how to buy stocks, UK investors sometimes like to use a specialist broker. They act as a middleman between you and the stock market.

A broker will buy stocks and shares, and sell them, on your behalf, with the aim of getting the best price possible to maximise your returns.

There are three types of share dealing brokers who can buy shares on your behalf:

Execution only brokers

These brokers follow your instructions to buy shares - and sell them - without giving you any advice.

Advisory brokers 

These brokers advise you on the best shares to buy and sell but leave the final decision up to you.

Discretionary broker

These brokers take complete control of buying stocks and shares for you based on their expertise.

What is the best online share dealing platform?

If you're interested in buying shares online, you'll need to choose an online share dealing platform. When you're deciding which platform to buy shares on ask yourself these questions:

  • How often do you want to trade?

  • How experienced are you?

  • How much money do you want to invest?

It's important to think about your own personal needs and goals when choosing a share dealing platform.

How to buy and sell shares

You'll use your trading platform to buy and sell stocks and shares.

When you want to sell, you can either sell a specific number of shares, or sell your shares by their value.

If you want to sell all the shares you own in a company, you'll have to sell them by number.

It's important to know that when you sell your shares, you might be quoted a price that's lower than what you originally paid.

Once you make the order to sell, the transaction's done. The money from the sale will then appear in your trading account.

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. If they are not, you may need to pay capital gains tax and stamp duty.

You will need to pay 0.5% of the trade's value in Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT) if you buy UK shares that are settled through CREST (the UK electronic settlement system).

When you sell your shares, the amount of capital gains tax you pay will depend on which income tax bracket you are in and how much money you make from the sale. In the 2021/22 tax year, capital gains tax is 10% for basic rate taxpayers and 20% for higher and additional rate taxpayers.

For the 2021/22 tax year there is a capital gains tax-free allowance of £12,300. Your gains would need to exceed this in order for you to be required to pay capital gains tax.

What costs to look out for when you start share trading

Before you open a share account and start looking at how to buy shares, there are some share dealing costs to think about.

The charge per trade is how much you pay for making a single share dealing trade.

The frequent trader rate is a discounted charge per trade for doing a minimum number of deals each month. It's a good way to save on your share trading.

Platform fees are an annual cost for transferring money in or out of your stock account. But not all accounts charge these - most accounts are free.

It's important to look at share dealing fees before you make any decisions. The share dealing account comparison shows how much each share dealing account charges you per trade.

How can shares earn you money?

When you start buying shares and selling them, there are a couple of ways you can earn money.

One way is through growth. That's when your shares increase in value and you can sell them at a profit.

The other way is through dividends. These can be paid out a few times a year, based on company performance. Remember that not all shares offer dividends. If yours do, the amount they'll pay out is based on how many shares you own.

Our top tips on share dealing ...

  • Think long term. Unless you're seasoned trader, you should typically invest for at least five years. This protects you from any fluctuations in the market that might see you lose your money. If you think you'll need to access your money in that time frame, investing in stocks may not be a feasible option for you.

  • Don't put all your eggs in one basket. It's always wise to spread your investments across a variety of different companies and industries. That way your returns aren't dependant on the performance if a single stock or commodity.

  • Don't worry about market dips. The stock market can dip drastically at times due to a number of external factors. But that's not a reason to panic and sell because everyone one else is. When investing in shares, patience is a useful virtue.

Share dealing FAQs

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

There's no one best share dealing account that you can opt for. Different accounts offer different feature and you should choose one that's best for your specific circumstances and investing goals.

What is a share dealing account?

A share dealing account is one that you use to buy and sell shares. Different accounts offer different features have different costs, so pick one that suits your needs and your investment goals.

Do I pay tax on share dealing?

Yes, any profits are subject to Capital Gains Tax and you also must pay 0.5% Stamp Duty. Here is more on investment tax.

Can you buy 1 share of stock?

Yes you can buy one share of stock. These days it's also becoming more common for people to buy fractions of shares i.e. a piece of a single share.

How can I cut the cost of share dealing?

If you plan to make several trades each month a frequent trader account could reduce your cost per trade. Check the terms with each company.

Can I deal in shares through a mobile app?

Yes, but only if the company offers a mobile app. You still need to open an account online and add money before you can make any trades on the app.

Can I transfer shares from one broker to another?

Yes, but you are usually charged for transferring shares from each company, e.g. if you own shares from two companies, you pay two lots of charges.

About our share dealing accounts comparison

Who do we include in this comparison?

Our comparison tables include providers we have commercial arrangements with. The number of listings in our tables can vary depending on the terms of those arrangements, as well as other market developments. They are all from lenders regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Here is more information about how our website works.

How do we make money from our comparison?

We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more here.

You do not pay any extra and the deal you get is not affected.

Last updated: 30 July, 2021