The process of buying shares in the UK rarely takes more than a few minutes from start to finish. After opening a stock broker account and depositing funds, it’s just a case of placing an order to invest. 

Those that are completely new to online investing will appreciate this beginner’s guide on how to buy shares in the UK

We explain how to invest in shares commission-free via an FCA-regulated broker, and discuss the best trading platforms for the job. 

How to Buy Shares in the UK – Quick Steps

By following the steps below, it is possible to buy shares in the UK via the FCA-regulated broker eToro.

This online broker supports thousands of UK and international shares at zero commission, and deposits can be funded via a debit/credit card or e-wallet, or bank transfer.

  • Step 1: Open an eToro Account
    To get the registration process underway, visit eToro and open an account. Fill in the registration form that appears after clicking on ‘Join Now’, which will require some basic personal details.
  • 💳 Step 2: Deposit Funds
    UK residents are required to meet a first-time deposit of just $10 – or about £8. Choose the preferred deposit method and confirm the payment. All payment methods apart from a bank transfer will be credited to the eToro account instantly.
  • 🔎 Step 3: Search for Shares
    Use the search bar at the top of the page to find the desired shares. For instance, those interested in buying Royal Mail shares would simply need to type the name of the company into the search bar. When the shares appear, click ‘Trade’.
  • 🛒 Step 4: Buy Shares 
    To place an order at eToro, type in the total investment amount. This can be any amount from $10, which means that there is no requirement to buy ‘full’ shares. Click “Open Trade’ to confirm the share investment.

Investing in shares is as simple as that. In fact, the above process from start to finish should not take more than five minutes. For a more comprehensive explanation of how to buy shares in the UK with eToro – read on.

Your capital is at risk. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Where to Buy Shares in the UK – Best Stock Brokers Reviewed

While buying shares in the UK is a straightforward process that can be completed online or via a suitable trading app, knowing which broker to register an account with can be challenging.

The reason for this is that UK residents have access to more than 100+ stock brokers. As such, in order to make a smart decision, a cumbersome research process focusing on fees, markets, account minimums, and more must be undertaken.

To fast-track the process when deciding on where to invest in shares in the UK, consider one of the top-rated platforms reviewed below.

1. eToro – Overall Best UK Stock Broker

Across all of our strict criteria, eToro came out as the overall best place to buy shares in the UK. This secure and user-friendly platform allows UK residents to open an account in a matter of minutes, and the minimum first-time deposit is just $10. To fund an eToro account, users can select from a debit or credit card. 

The platform also supports e-wallets like Skrill and Paypal, as well as local bank transfers. After the eToro account has been funded, users can then choose from thousands of shares. This includes shares listed on the London Stock Exchange and more than a dozen international markets. 

This includes companies based in the US – such as Apple, Meta Platforms, and Amazon. Other markets include Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, and France. Each and every share listed on eToro – both domestic and foreign, can be purchased without paying a single penny in trading commission. This makes eToro one of the cheapest brokers in the UK.  

metaverse stock price

Another stand-out feature of eToro is that it offers fractional shares. For those unaware, this means that users can invest in shares without needing to buy a full stock. For instance, rather than paying $2,000 for a single Google share, eToro investors can allocate just $10. On top of shares, eToro also offers a large collection of ETFs – many of which are backed by iShares.

Other markets offered by this platform include commodities, indices, and forex. eToro is also a popular broker to use for those looking to buy cryptocurrency in the UK. Not only can users buy Bitcoin, but 70+ other digital tokens. eToro also enables users to ‘copy’ the investments of an experienced trader. This requires a minimum investment of just $200 – or about £165.

It is also possible to invest in a pre-made basket of stocks via the Smart Portfolio too. Each portfolio tracks a specific market, concept, and industry – and eToro will rebalance the basket of stocks regularly. UK residents might also consider downloading the eToro mobile app – which is available for iOS and Android devices.

etoro review

First-time investors should also consider starting off with the eToro demo trading account. This mirrors live market conditions and comes pre-loaded with a demo balance of $100k. And most importantly, eToro is authorized and regulated by the UK’s financial watchdog – the FCA. It is also covered by the all-important FSCS protection scheme.

Shares Available 2,500+ shares across 17 UK and international markets
Fractional Shares? Yes – $10 minimum
Pricing System 0% commission on all shares
Minimum Deposit  $10

Pros

  • Overall best share trading platform in the UK
  • Thousands of US and international shares listed
  • 0% commission on all shares
  • Minimum deposit and stock trade is just $10
  • Copy trading and smart portfolios
  • Top-rated mobile app
  • No stamp duty on UK shares

Cons

  • Not suitable for high-frequency trading

Your capital is at risk. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

2. Capital.com – Trade Shares in the UK With Leverage of 1:5    

Capital.com review

Capital.com will suit short-term traders that wish to speculate on the value of shares with leverage. As a CFD platform, Capital.com allows UK retail clients to trade shares with leverage of up to 1:5 – which means that users can multiple their stake by five times.

For instance, a £100 stake on Shell shares at leverage of 1:5 would amplify the value of the position to £500. Not only is Capital.com a great option for leverage seekers, but it also allows users to trade shares on a zero-commission basis. Furthermore, all of the provider’s supported payment methods are fee-free – which covers both deposits and withdrawals.

In total, Capital.com is home to more than 5,400 shares. This covers markets not only in the UK, but the US, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and plenty of European exchanges. Capital.com users can also trade forex, indices, ETFs, and more. Other asset classes, such as gold and major currency pairs, come with even higher leverage limits.

capital.com review

What we also like about the Capital.com platform is that users can attempt to profit from both rising and falling prices. This is because when entering a trade, a buy or sell order can be selected. This can come in handy in the event that the broader stock markets are falling – as they did in the first half of 2022.

Traders can access Capital.com via their standard web browser or through the mobile app for iOS and Android. There is also the option of accessing the platform via MT4. Capital.com also offers educational tools and an abundance of advanced analysis tools. The Capital.com demo account is also worth considering if CFDs have not been traded previously.

We should note that by trading CFDs, the user will not own the underlying shares. That said, those going long on a share that pays dividends will see the benefit of this via an account adjustment. The minimum deposit is £250 when performing a bank transfer, but just £20 when opting for a debit/credit card or e-wallet. Capital.com is regulated by the FCA, ASIC, CySEC, and NBRB.

Shares Available 5,400 + stock CFDs
Fractional Shares? Yes, via CFDs
Pricing System 0% commission on all markets
Minimum Deposit  £20 on debit/credit cards and e-wallets

Pros

  • Trade 5,400+ shares at 0% commission
  • Leverage of up to 1:5 on share CFDs
  • No trading commissions and tight spreads
  • Free deposits and withdrawals
  • Accepts debit/credit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers
  • Risk-free demo trading account

Cons

  • Unable to own the underlying shares

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and can afford the risks.

3. Libertex – Invest in Shares or Trade Leveraged CFDs    

libertex review

Libertex can be described as a hybrid trading platform, not least because it offers both traditional shares and the ability to trade via CFDs. Those looking at how to invest in shares in the UK
will be able to do so at Libertex without paying any trading commissions.

This will suit long-term investors with little to no prior experience. On the other hand, seasoned traders might prefer Libertex for its CFDs. This will invite leverage of up to 1:5 and the ability to go long or short. Share CFDs at Libertex largely cover markets in the US. Moreover, share CFDs attract a very small commission of 0.0003% per slide.

libertex review

When it comes to payments, Libertex supports instant debit/credit card deposits. The platform also accepts Skrill, bank transfers, Trustly, and a variety of other e-wallets. Libertex users will have the option of trading via the main web platform, or MT4/5. There is also a mobile app that allows users to buy and trade shares on the move.

Those trading for their first time will appreciate the Libertex demo account, which mirrors live market conditions. The main drawback with Libertex is that the platform offers just 250+ tradable assets. Therefore, this might not be the right platform for those looking to build a diversified portfolio of shares.

Shares Available 250+ tradable markets, shares are mainly US-listed
Fractional Shares? Yes, via CFDs
Pricing System 0% commission on shares, 0.0003% on share CFDs
Minimum Deposit  £10

Pros

  • Invest in stocks at 0% commission
  • Trade share CFDs with leverage
  • Minimum deposit just £10

Cons

  • Just 250+ tradable markets
  • Most share markets are US-based
  • Commissions payable on share CFDs

4. IG – Invest in UK Shares at £8 per Trade    

ig review

IG is an online broker that offers access to thousands of shares. When buying shares listed on the London Stock Exchange, UK investors will be required to pay a dealing fee of £8. This is required on both buy and sell orders. This fee is reduced to £3 when the user places more than three trades in a single month.

While this fee is competitive for large-scale investors, casual traders will find this expensive. After all, a share purchase of £100 at a commission of £3 would translate into a fee of 3%. US shares can also be purchased on the IG platform and the commission stands at £10 per trade.

ig review

This is reduced to £0 when three trades are placed in a single month. Another drawback of IG is that the platform requires a minimum deposit of £250. Once again, this might be unsuitable for casual traders that wish to invest a few pounds into the share markets.

Shares Available 13,000+ shares and funds
Fractional Shares? No, not supported
Pricing System £8 per trade, or £3 when three trades are placed in a month
Minimum Deposit  £250

Pros

  • 13,000+ shares and funds
  • Great reputation and heavily regulated

Cons

  • £250 minimum deposit
  • High share dealing fees
  • No support for fractional shares

5. AvaTrade – 0% Commission CFD Trading Platform

The next platform to consider is AvaTrade. This is another CFD trading platform on our list that allows residents of the UK to trade shares without paying any commission. AvaTrade is also popular for offering tight spreads, which is the difference between the buy and sell price of the share being traded.

Just like Capital.com, AvaTrade is able to offer UK retail clients leverage of up to 1:5. There is also the opportunity to profit from rising and falling pricing, as AvaTrade supports buy and sell orders. Moreover, AvaTrade is also home to other markets – which include forex, commodities, and indices.

avatrade review

Another benefit of using AvaTrade is that the platform supports third-party platforms like MT4/5. Additionally, AvaTrade is one of the most regulated platforms in this space – with no less than 8 licenses under its belt. The minimum deposit to get started at AvaTrade is just £100. Debit and credit cards are supported, as is a bank transfer.

Shares Available 1,250+ markets
Fractional Shares? Yes, via CFDs
Minimum Deposit £100
Deposit Fee
£0

Pros

  • Regulated by * licensing bodies
  • Leverage and short-selling supported
  • Accounts take just minutes to open

Cons

  • Limited number of share markets
  • Best-suited for seasoned trading professionals
  • Minimum deposit is £100

6. Plus500 – Trusted CFD Platform With Thousands of Share Markets 

plus500

Plus500 is very similar to AvaTrade, insofar as it allows UK clients to trade share CFDs. The platform supports thousands of share markets – not only in the UK, but across plenty of international exchanges. We like that Plus500 does not charge commission on any of its supported markets.

Moreover, UK residents can deposit funds on a fee-free basis. Accepted deposit methods include Visa, MasterCard, bank transfers, and more. Leverage is also supported at Plus500, as is the ability to short-sell. We like that the platform offers a plethora of charting and analysis tools, as well as custom order types.

plus500 review

This includes the ability to enter stop-loss orders on each position. In addition to shares, other CFD trading markets on this place include commodities like gold and silver, forex, indices, and more. Plus500 also offers a trading academy that comes packed with eBooks, videos, and guides.

Shares Available 2,800+ markets
Commissions 0%
Minimum Deposit Depends on the payment method
Deposit Fee
£0

Pros

  • No deposit or withdrawal fees
  • 0% commission on all supported markets

Cons

  • CFDs only – no share ownership
  • Not suitable for beginners

7. Alvexo – Advanced Share Trading Platform for Seasoned Pros 

alvexo review

Seasoned share traders might appreciate the Alvexo platform – which offers everything needed to outperform the markets in a sophisticated manner. The platform specializes in CFDs, which means that users will have access to short-selling facilities alongside leverage.

There are two trading platforms for skilled investors to choose from. First, there is MT4, which connects directly to the Alvexo platform via desktop software. Second, the Alvexo web trader can be accessed via a standard web browser. This comes with instant order execution, charting suites, technical indicators, and real-time asset prices.

alvexo review

We also like that Alvexo offers multiple account types. Those looking to deposit at least £10,000 will have access to spreads from 1.8 pips and use of Alvexo Plus for 180 days. The classic account, which requires a minimum account balance of £500, offers spreads from 2.9 pips. In addition to share CFDs, Alvexo also supports forex, commodities, and indices.

Shares Available 450+ markets
Commissions 0%
Minimum Deposit £0
Deposit Fee
£500

Pros

  • Lots of advanced trading features and charting tools
  • Tight spreads on higher account tiers

Cons

  • Minimum deposit is £500
  • More suited to seasoned pros
  • CFDs only

8. Hargreaves Lansdown – Trusted Share Dealing Platform for ISAs   

hargreaves lansdown review

Hargreaves Lansdown has a great reputation in the UK investment space – especially with retail clients. This popular broker offers access to thousands of shares across both the London Stock Exchange and AIM. The platform is also home to funds and fixed-rate bonds.

Moreover, Hargreaves Lansdown is often the go-to place to open a stocks and shares ISA. However, the key drawback with Hargreaves Lansdown is that it charges super-high fees. For instance, those looking to buy shares in the UK will pay a dealing fee of £11.95. In comparison, the same trade can be placed at eToro commission-free.

hargreaves lansdown review

Furthermore, funds are charged at 0.45% annually – unless over £250,000 is invested. and even then the fee drops to just 0.25%. On the flip side, Hargreaves Lansdown is very strong when it comes to research and analysis. This includes regularly published market insights alongside quarterly earnings reports.

Shares Available Not stated
Commissions £11.95 per trade
Minimum Deposit £0
Deposit Fee
£0

Pros

  • Trusted reputation in the UK
  • Offers access to the AIM

Cons

  • £11.95 per trade
  • 0.45% annual fee on funds

9. Fineco Bank – Online Broker Backed by an Italian Bank     

fineco bank review

Fineco Bank is an Italian financial institution that has since launched a share dealing platform in the UK. As such, UK retail clients can use the platform to invest in thousands of shares. This includes markets in the UK,  US, Europe, and more.

The platform is heavily regulated and it is now used by over 1.3 million clients. When it comes to fees, Fineco Bank charges £2.95 per order on UK shares. There is a charge of £3.95 and $2.95 on European and US shares, respectively.

fineco bank review

Moreover, there are no monthly account fees charged by this broker. Those wishing to trade share CFDs are also catered for at Fineco Bank. UK, US, and European share CFDs can be traded at 0% commission. Finally, Fineco Bank also offers a handy stock screener. This makes the process of finding suitable shares much easier.

Shares Available 20,000 instruments across 26 global markets
Commissions £2.95 on UK shares
Minimum Deposit £0
Deposit Fee
£0

Pros

  • Backed by an established Italian bank
  • Access more than 26 global markets

Cons

  • Comfusing pricing structure when accessing international shares
  • No debit/credit card support

10. Trading 212 – User-Friendly Broker With Low Fees and No Account Minimums 

trading 212 review

The final broker to consider when learning where and how to buy shares in the UK is Trading 212. This platform offers UK residents access to more than 7,000 shares and ETFs.

This includes UK shares as well as those listed in the US, Germany, Spain, France, and the Netherlands.

trading 212 review

The platform is authorized and regulated by the FCA, which ensures that traders can buy and sell shares in safety. Trading 212 does not charge any commissions to invest in shares, and the minimum trade requirement is just £1.

Supported payment methods here include Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Apple and Google Pay, and local bank transfers.

Shares Available 7,000 shares and ETFs
Commissions 0%
Minimum Deposit £0
Deposit Fee
£0

Pros

  • 7,000 shares and ETFs supported
  • No commissions and trade from just £1

Cons

  • Comfusing pricing structure when accessing international shares
  • No Copy Trading tools

The Basics of Buying Shares

In order to buy shares in the UK, it is a requirement to choose a suitable stock broker and open an account. Next, investors will need to make a deposit – which can often be done instantly with a debit or credit card. 

After that, it’s just a case of searching for the company of choice and placing a buy order. In doing so, the investor will own a small portion of the firm. For instance, if the firm has 100,000 shares in circulation and the investor purchases 1,000 – they will own 1% of the company. 

Buying shares has one key objective – to make money. Investment returns will ultimately depend on the performance of the company as well as the broader economy. Nonetheless, if the investor is able to sell the shares for more than they originally paid, a profit will be made. 

buy shares at eToro

This is known as capital gains. It is also possible to make money through quarterly dividends. This happens when the company distributes some of its retained profits to shareholders. The amount received will depend on the size of the distribution and the number of shares owned. 

Perhaps the most challenging part of learning how to buy stocks and shares in the UK is knowing which companies to invest in. While some UK investors will focus on shares listed on the London Stock Exchange, others will turn to markets in the US. 

This is because the US stock market has historically outperformed the UK. And, best of all, it is now possible to buy US-listed shares from the UK without paying any commission. 

How do I Find the Best Shares to Buy?

As noted above, the tricky part when exploring how to buy stocks in the UK is knowing which companies to pick. There are thousands of UK-listed shares that can be bought online. 

And, when factoring in the US and other international markets, this makes the decision-making process even more complex. Nonetheless, even beginners are advised to make their own investment decisions as opposed to buying shares based on third-party advice. 

In order to find the best shares to buy right now – consider the factors discussed below. 

Look for Trending Markets

Investors should first analyze which markets are trending right now. For example, with the UK suffering from a cost of living crisis, investors will often turn to staple companies that sell products and services that are always in demand. 

This might include a company like Tesco or GlaxoSmithKline. After all, demand for food and medicine will always remain solid irrespective of how the economy is performing. 

In the midst of COVID, one of the hottest investment trends was in stay-at-home stocks. This refers to companies that benefited from global lockdown measures – such as Amazon and Facebook (now Meta Platforms).

Ultimately, to find the best shares to buy, the first thing that investors should focus on is companies that operate in trending markets.  

Earnings Report

Every three months, public companies are required to release an earnings report. This details the fundamentals of the company – such as how much cash it holds and what revenues it generated in the period. The key idea here is to compare the earnings report to two different metrics. 

First, consider how the data compared to what the company forecasted. For instance, if the company forecasted £1 billion in quarterly revenue but it actually generated £1.2 billion, this is a good sign. 

Second, compare the data to the previous quarter and year. For instance, let’s say that the firm was holding £200 million in cash 12 months ago but it now has £250 million, This indicates that it has increased its cash levels by 25% – which again, is a good sign. 

Dividend Policy 

Although not a minimum requirement, it is always useful when companies pay dividends. By being a shareholder in a dividend-paying company, investors will be entitled to a share of the distribution – which is typically every three months. 

  • Dividend shares can be invaluable during a bearish market, as the income can help counter some of the losses made from a share price decline.
  • Those seeking consistent dividends might turn to UK-listed AstraZeneca.
  • In the US, the likes of Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson have increased the size of their dividend for 60 consecutive years. 

On the flip side, companies like Amazon and Google have never paid a dividend, albeit, they remain two of the best-performing shares in recent years. 

Top 10 Best Stocks to Buy Now in the UK

While we suggest that investors should pick their own shares on a DIY basis, this might be challenging for first-timers. 

Therefore, in the sections below, we discuss what shares to buy today – based on our own market research and analysis. 

1. Shell – One of the Best UK Shares to Buy Right Now

We mentioned earlier that one of the effective ways to find the best shares to buy is to explore what markets are trending. And right now, the oil industry is one of the best markets to consider. After all, oil continues to trade at over $100 per barrel, so it makes sense that companies operating in this space are doing well. 

We found that Shell is perhaps the best oil stock to add to a portfolio in today’s market. Over the prior 12 months, Shell shares have increased by over 31%. This is especially notable considering that over the same period, the FTSE 100 has moved by less than a percentage point. 

shell shares

Furthermore, fellow UK oil counterpart BP, over the same 12-month period, has increased in value by just 11%. If that wasn’t enough, Shell is a top dividend payer. Based on prices as of writing, Shell investors have access to a running dividend yield of over 3.5%. Just remember that Shell operates in a cyclical industry. 

This means that if and when the global price of oil begins to decline, this will have a major impact on its share price. Therefore, be prepared to offload the shares when it appears that the trend is about to reverse. 

Your capital is at risk. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

2. Standard Chartered – Best UK Banking Shares to Buy

Standard Chartered is a major British financial institution that operates in over 70 countries around the globe. While UK banking shares have struggled since the 2008 financial crisis, we like the look of Standard Chartered. 

As per its most recent earnings report, revenues at the bank were up 4.41% year-over-year to £4.09 billion. This translates into an increase of 7.69% in net income, up to £1.18 billion for the quarter. These notable quarterly results have had a great impact on the Standard Chartered share price, with gains of 25% generated in the prior 12 months.

Standard Chartered shares

Just like Shell, Standard Chartered is a dividend-paying company. As of writing, a modest yield of just under 1.5% is available to shareholders. 

Your capital is at risk. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

3. Vodafone – Huge Dividend Yield and Cheap Share Price

The next company to consider from our list of the best FTSE 100 shares to buy now is Vodafone. This telecommunications company operates globally, albeit, its share price has struggled in recent years. For instance, over the prior 12 months, Vodafone shares are down 16%.

The outlook appears even worse considering that the telecommunications firm has seen its share price drop by 46% over a five-year period. On the flip side, Vodafone is expected to have a major say in the future of 5G technology – at least in the domestic marketplace.

Vodafone share price

And therefore, Vodafone is potentially an undervalued share based on current prices. Furthermore, Vodafone also offers one of the best dividend yields in the UK markets. As of writing, this stands at a whopping 6.3%. 

Your capital is at risk. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

4. Apple – Solid US Share to Buy

Those looking for international diversification should turn to the US – as this marketplace has outperformed the London Stock Exchange for many decades. One of the best shares to buy in the US is Apple. This powerhouse is now one of the largest companies globally, thanks to its loyal customer base. Its trusted brand covers smartphones, tablets, laptops, and even streaming services. 

The best thing about Apple shares is that they can now be purchased at an attractive entry price. The reason for this is that – as per the broader market downturn, Apple shares are down 25% in the first half of 2022. On the flip side, Apple shares are up 280% over the prior five years. During the same period, the FTSE 100 has gone down in value by over 4%. 

apple share price

As per its most recent earnings report, Apple shares increased revenue by 8.59% year-over-year to $97.28 billion. Net income was up 5.84% to $25.01 billion. Apple also has a significant amount of cash on its book – with the amount still hovering around the $200 billion figure. Finally, Apple shares pay a very small dividend, which, as of writing, offers a running yield of just 0.68%. 

Your capital is at risk. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

5. Berkshire Hathaway – Gain Exposure to Dozens of US Shares via a Single Investment 

Berkshire Hathaway is a US-based holding company controlled by investor legend Warren Buffett. NYSE, Berkshire Hathaway holds an investment portfolio that covers dozens of companies from a wide variety of industries and sectors. Interestingly, a single share in Berkshire Hathaway will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

However, by investing via the FCA-regulated broker eToro, it is possible to allocate just $10 (about £8) to this company. Nonetheless, some of the companies that Berkshire Hathaway investors have exposure to include Apple, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, American Express, and Amazon.

Berkshire Hathaway share price

In terms of its performance, Berkshire Hathaway shares are down just under 2% over the prior year. However, across a five-year period, the shares are up 63%. Although Berkshire Hathaway owns shares in companies that pay dividends, the firm reinvests the funds to buy new stocks. 

Your capital is at risk. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

6. Ryanair – Cheap Airline Stock to Buy 

Ryanair is the largest airline in Europe, with its fleet of 470 carriers flying to over 200 destinations in 40 countries. Naturally, Ryanair, like all airlines, suffered greatly from global travel restrictions as per COVID. However, with international travel now reopening and restrictions all but removed, Ryanair could be a great share to purchase. 

After all, prior to COVID being declared a pandemic, Ryanair shares were in a strong upward trend. Nonetheless, over the prior 12 months, Ryanair shares are down 36%. This means that the shares can still be purchased at an attractive discount. 

ryanair share price

Whale Ryanair opted to delist from the London Stock Exchange – citing Brexit as the key motivator, the shares are also listed on the NASDAQ. Therefore, investors in the UK can buy Ryanair shares via the eToro platform at 0% commission. 

Your capital is at risk. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

7. Meta Platforms – Undervalued Social Media Giant  

Meta Platforms is the parent company of some of the largest social media platforms globally. This is inclusive of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The firm also owns dozens of other subsidiaries, which includes the virtual reality brand Oculus. Although Meta Platforms reported strong quarterly revenues, its shares continue to decline in value. 

In fact, over the prior 12 months, Meta Platforms shares are down nearly 50%. However, considering that several billion people use at least one of the firm’s social media platforms each and every day, Meta Platforms is home to a significant customer base – especially when it comes to advertising revenues. 

Meta Platforms share price

And therefore, at current prices, Meta Platforms is arguably one of the most undervalued shares to buy right now. Furthermore, the firm has a robust balance sheet with sizable cash on its book. This is crucial, not least because the company is looking to invest billions of dollars into its metaverse venture – an industry that could potentially be worth $800 billion by 2024. 

Your capital is at risk. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

8. Amazon – High-Grade Share With a Portfolio of Products    

Like most tech companies, Amazon is yet another stock that has seen its share price decline in recent months. In fact, over a one-year period, Amazon shares have declined by nearly 37%. Considering how dominant this powerhouse is in many of the markets it operates in – this represents a bargain buy. 

Amazon share price

After all, not only is Amazon a major leader in the e-commerce and retail spaces, but also in cloud computing and streaming services. The firm is also working hard on emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and drone deliveries. It carries a highly robust balance sheet and plenty of free cash flow for its research and development ventures. 

Your capital is at risk. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

9. Rio Tinto – UK-Listed Mining Company With 10% Dividend     

Those searching for an ideal combination between capital gains and dividends might want to consider Rio Tinto. This firm is a major mining company that is involved in a wide variety of commodities. This includes uranium, iron ore, copper, diamonds, raw materials, and more. Over the prior five years of trading, 

rio tinto share price

Rio Tinto shares are up 80%. Once again, this smashes through the FTSE 100 average for the same period. We also like the huge running dividend yield of over 10% that Rio Tinto is offering as of writing. Another reason that we like Rio Tinto is that it is currently carrying a P/E ratio of just over 5 times. This represents that the shares could be undervalued. 

Your capital is at risk. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

10. Chevron – US Oil Giant With Impressive 12-Month Gains      

Chevron is the second oil company to make our list of the best shares to buy today. This firm, just like Shell, has benefited tremendously from rising oil prices over the prior 12 months, with its shares increasing by nearly 50%. In addition to this, Chevron is offering a running dividend yield of over 3.4%. We like that at a P/E ratio of just 15 times, Chevron still looks like a bargain. 

This is especially the case considering that as per its most recent earnings report, revenues were up 68% year-over-year to $52.31 billion. Free cash flow levels were up massively too, with a year-over-year increase of 74% to $6.47 billion. This will ensure that Chevron has the financial resources to continue its exploration expansion.  

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How Do You Make Money From Stocks?

We briefly discussed earlier that the two core ways of making money from a share investment are via an increased stock price and dividends. 

For those learning how to buy shares in the UK for the first time, we explore these two terms in more detail in the sections below.

Capital Gains on Shares

Capital gains are simply the profit element when buying and selling shares. 

For example:

  • Let’s say that the investor buys 1,000 Vodafone shares at 125p each
  • This takes the total investment to £1,250
  • Two years later, the investors sells all 1,000 shares when Vodafone is trading at 200p
  • This takes the total cash-out amount too £2,000
  • Therefore, the capital gains on this trade is £750

UK residents are required to pay tax on the capital gains made from a share investment. However, all UK residents also get a capital gains allowance each year. 

We cover the fundamentals of UK tax on shares later on.

Dividends on Shares

Many of the shares that we have discussed on this page pay dividends. This means that every three months, shareholders will receive a payment from the company.

This will be transferred from the company over to the brokerage account where the shares are being held. The size of the payment will depend on the dividend declared by the company, and the number of shares owned by the investor. 

For example:

  • 5,000 Vodafone shares are held in a brokerage account
  • Vodafone announces a quarterly dividend of 1.90p per share
  • This means that on 5,000 shares, a total dividend of £95 will be received

Just remember, that not all companies pay dividends. Moreover, dividends can be cut or outright suspended at any time. This was the case for many UK shares in the midst of COVID in 2020.

Compound Growth

When receiving a dividend, it is smart to reinvest the funds back into new shares. This will build up over the course of time and allow the investor to benefit from compound growth. 

For instance, in the previous section, we gave an example where the shareholder receives a dividend of £95. These funds could be used to buy additional Vodafone shares.

And in doing so, next time a dividend is paid, the newly purchased shares will also be entitled to a payment. 

How to Buy Penny Stocks in the UK

In theory, all UK shares are penny stocks. The reason for this is that UK shares are traded in pennies as opposed to pounds. With that said, the general consensus is that penny stocks carry a share price of less than £1 – or 100p.

Moreover, when researching where to buy penny stocks in the UK, consider the following:

  • Penny stocks are typically traded on OTC (Over-the-Counter) markets, which means that UK retail clients will need to find a specialist broker that has access to the respective marker. 
  • Furthermore, penny stocks often carry a very small market capitalization. This means that the share price will be a lot more volatile.
  • And of course, penny stocks trading on the OTC markets do not have to release as much public information as those listed on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Therefore, this opens the doors to manipulation and inside trading.

As such, rather than wasting valuable investment wondering what penny stocks to buy today, it might be best to focus on blue-chip companies as a beginner. 

And, when using a platform like eToro – which supports fractional trading, users only need to meet a minimum investment of $10 to invest in shares – regardless of the stock price.

Are Shares Taxed in the UK?

UK tax on shares can appear confusing at first glance. 

The main takeaway is that:

  • When selling shares for a higher price than originally paid, the proceeds will be liable for capital gains tax.
  • However, UK residents get an annual capital gains tax allowance of £12,300
  • This means that any capital gains made in 2022/23 below £12,300 will not be liable for tax
  • Share dividends are taxed too. UK residents get an annual allowance of £2,000.
  • After the dividends allowance is used, those on a basic and higher rate will pay 8.75% and 33.75 respectively. Additional rate bands will pay 39.35%.

In addition to the above, buying shares on the London Stock Exchange will attract a stamp duty tax of 0.5%. At eToro, this stamp duty tax is waivered.

Be sure to consult with a qualified advisor for guidance on tax.

How to Buy Shares for Beginners in the UK – eToro Tutorial

In the walkthrough below, we explain how to buy shares in the UK via the FCA-regulated broker eToro.

As we discussed earlier, eToro allows UK investors to buy shares at 0% commission – which includes both domestic and international markets.

Step 1: Open an eToro Crypto Account 

The first step is to open an account with eToro. This can be done by visiting the eToro website and clicking on ‘Join Now’.

Enter an email address and choose a username/password, before clicking on ‘Create Account’.

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Next, eToro will collect some personal information and a mobile phone number. The latter will need to be verified via a text message that contains a confirmation code. Enter the code on-screen to move on to the next step.

Step 2: Verify Account

Upload a clear copy of a passport or driver’s license to get the eToro account verified. If depositing less than 2,000 euros (about £1,700), the ID can be uploaded later.

Step 3: Deposit Funds

UK residents will need to deposit at least $10 – or about £8.

Deposit methods include debit/credit cards and a local bank transfer.

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Moreover, e-wallets like Paypal and Skrill are supported. All deposit methods attract an FX fee of 0.5%.

Step 4: Search for Share

Type in the name of the company into the search box. For instance, below, we are looking to buy shares in  Shell.

buy shares etoro

Click on the ‘Trade’ button to proceed to the final step.

Step 5: Buy Shares

From the order form that appears, type in the total investment size in the ‘Amount’ box. This can be any amount from $10.

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To confirm the order, click on ‘Open Trade’.

Top Tips for Buying Stocks in the UK

Before buying shares in the UK, consider the following tips:

  • First-time investors should consider how much money they can realistically afford to lose from share investment. All investments carry an inherent level of risk, so never invest money that might be needed for rent or day-to-day expenses.
  • Diversify a portfolio across multiple sectors and markets, rather than investing a lump sum into just one or two companies.
  • Consider using a platform that supports fractional shares. This will allow the investor to risk just a few pounds into a share rather than needing to buy a full stock.
  • Always have a price target in mind. This will allow inexperienced investors to exit a position at a predefined price point.
  • Newbies might consider the Copy Trading tool at eToro, instead of trying to guess which shares to buy on a DIY basis. This requires choosing a seasoned investor and then electing to copy their trades like-for-like.

And finally, it might be worth using a demo account before risking any money on shares. Over at eToro, all users get a pre-loaded demo balance of $100k.

Conclusion 

In summary, this beginner’s guide has explained the nuts and bolts of how to buy and sell shares in the UK. We have also covered the best shares to buy right now and what factors need to be considered before an investment is made.

To buy shares in the UK today at 0% commission, consider the FCA-regulated broker eToro. New users can deposit from just $10 (about £8) and UK debit/credit cards are accepted. Plus, eToro supports thousands of UK and international shares.

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