Here you will find what we consider to be the best share brokers, based on thousands of hours of detailed research, testing and analysis across hundreds of online brokers. Upon completion of each of our broker reviews, the trading brokers team has assigned each share broker with a rating, and displayed our best share brokers on this page.
ASIC, BVI, CBI, FFAJ, FSA, FSCA
Min $100 Deposit
FCA, CFTC, NFA, BaFin, FINMA, ASIC, FMA, MAS, FSA, FSCA, DFSA, JFSA, METI, MAFF
Min $250 Deposit
ASIC, FCA, DFSA, SCB, CySEC, BaFin, CMA
Min $200 Deposit
ASIC, CySEC, IFSC, DFSA
Min $5 Deposit
Some of the most important factors that contribute towards a good broker for buying shares have been considered including the regulatory authority, trading platforms, trading instruments, trading tools, fees, spreads, execution speeds, account types, deposit/withdrawal options, leverage, minimum deposit requirement, educational resources, customer support and more.
Having the best share trading brokers based on our findings listed in one place can help traders save time when identifying the best share brokerages according to their own individual trading needs.
Each of the brokers we have chosen have undergone and passed our stringent share broker reviews with flying colours, based on what the trading brokers team consider to be amongst some of the most important considerations. These brokers are well-established within the online brokerage industry, providing top share trading services to traders across the globe.
Following on from our list of the best brokers for trading shares, we will now look at what shares trading is and some of the most important factors to consider when looking for a broker to buy shares.
Stocks are divided up into shares which is the smallest denomination of a company’s stock. Each share indicates a portion of ownership in a particular company. Thus, each share of stock is equal to a piece of one particular company’s ownership.
A share is a unit of ownership in a company, mutual fund, financial asset, or trust – buying shares in a company provides the shareholder with equity in that company. Because you own a part of the company, as a shareholder you’re are entitled to a portion of the profits it makes, and these are paid out as dividends.
Companies issue shares as a means to raise money. This may be to finance company expansion, a new development, or to move into overseas markets. When you buy shares, you effectively become a part owner of the company. The bigger the investment you make, the bigger your stake will be in the company.
For example, if a company is worth $200 million, and there are 100 million shares, then each share is worth $2 (usually listed as 200c). Those shares can and do go up and down in value for various reasons, primarily due to supply and demand.
When someone says they have shares in a company, that are usually talking about owning stock in one particular company. However, when someone mentions that they have stocks, they can be referring to shares in multiple different companies that make up their portfolio as a whole.
Some of the large companies can have millions of shares which means that even if a person owns tens of thousands, it can still only amount to a small percentage share in the company of less than 1%. If there is a particular individual or entity that holds more than 10% of a company’s stock, they are defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a principal stockholder.
Generally, shares are freely negotiable and transferable. As a shareholder, you can decide at any time to sell all or some of your shares to other investors. You can sell them – or buy them – at a stock exchange if the company is listed on a regulated market or in a private exchange (in this case, the transaction takes place between the vendor and the buyer).
Investing in shares means buying and keeping them for a sustained period of time in order to try and earn a profit. There are two main ways of making profit from shares of a company:
In comparison to investors, traders will tend to buy and sell shares over the short to medium term and focus more on smaller market movements.
Shares trading differs slightly from investing in shares. When we talk about trading shares, we are referring to buying and selling shares in companies on a more frequent basis. Shares trading allows traders to speculate on both falling and rising share prices without having to actually physically own the shares. This is usually done via share CFDs (contract for differences).
A CFD is a contract to between two parties to pay the difference between the value of the current price and future price. Share CFDs have become popular in recent times, primarily due to the increase in online trading brokers that have given investors access to quickly and easily buy and sell shares online.
When you buy or sell a share CFD, you are speculating on the price movement, up or down. You just need to choose the share you would like to trade and place your orders. Share CFDs can be bought or sold at any time as they do not have an expiry date.
For example, you think Apple shares are going to appreciate and you want to open a long position to profit from this opportunity. You purchase 200 CFDs on Apple shares at $160, so the total value of the trade will be $32,000. If Apple appreciated to $170, you make $10 per share, which is a $2000 profit.
To learn more about buying shares, please see our guide on how to trade shares.
A shares broker (also called a stock broker) is a firm or an individual who executes orders to buy or sell shares on behalf of the clients and charges them a commission fee. A firm or individual who trades for their own account is called a trader. Most share brokers handle transactions for a number of individual and institutional customers. You can buy and sell shares online through various methods including spot markets, futures contracts, options contracts, spread bets, CFDs (contracts for differences) and ETFs (exchange-traded funds).
Shares trading is a popular product for some traders for a variety of reasons. These include:
Trading global shares with a broker allows you to go both long and short on price movements in major shares from the UK, US, Asia, Australasia and Europe.
Depending on exactly what you’re looking to get out of your involvement in the markets, shares can be a stable and time-tested way to potentially earn a profit from price variations, with an underlying value of their own that will ensure your product should continue to carry value going forward.
The stock market is driven by supply and demand. For any share dealing to take place, there must be investors willing to sell their shareholding (providing the supply) and buyers wanting to buy them (creating the demand).
If more people want to buy a stock (demand) than sell it (supply), then the price moves up. Conversely, if more people wanted to sell a stock than buy it, there would be greater supply than demand, and the price would fall.
There are various factors worth considering if you are looking for a shares broker to trade online with. In this section, we will cover what we consider to be some of the most important factors that you need to be aware of when choosing a suitable shares broker for your own individual needs.
If you are looking for a broker to trade shares online with, then regulation should really be one of the first things that you look for. The trading brokers review team believe regulation to be very important as it can give traders some protection in the case something was to go wrong. Regulated brokers must follow strict rules and procedures that are put in place to protect investors. Without regulation, there may be no help should the worst happen.
If you have a particular stock in mind, you will need to ensure that the broker you are considering has shares in that stock available to trade. The more stocks that the broker has, the more choice you will have if you wish to trade other shares in the future.
Brokers will often charge a commission fee for processing your share trades through their platform. There may also be accounting fees and inactivity fees. It is important to be aware of all the broker fees and compare brokers to make sure they are providing good value.
To trade shares online, you will need a shares trading platform which the broker will provide you with. There are various desktop, web and mobile platforms available, some more user-friendly than others. Each platform will have a choose of trading tools, features and functionalities. If you are already familiar with a specific trading platform, you may wish to check that the broker provides it. Alternatively, you can opt for a popular and user-friendly shares trading platform such as MetaTrader or cTrader.
In finance, leverage refers to the act of magnifying positions in the stock market through the use of borrowed capital. You have to qualify for a margin account, but when you do, you’re able to use leverage (margin) when trading shares. Leveraged products, such as share CFDs, magnify your potential profit but also your potential loss.
For example, if you had an account balance of $5,000 and leverage of 1:5, you would be able to take a position size of $25,000 ($5,000 x 5 = $25,000).
Whilst this does mean that you can control a position size larger than you would have been able to without leverage, it also means the risk is significantly greater. It is imperative that you have a clear understanding of leverage and how it works before trading shares with leveraged positions.
The best shares brokers should have a generous selection of educational resources such as trading guides, tutorial videos, webinars, eBooks, quizzes and more. These can help you to learn more about trading shares online and to help familiarise yourself with the brokers products and services. We are a big advocate of brokers who support informed trading.
Most share trading platforms will have an array of built-in trading tools to assist with their daily trading activities and thorough market analysis. However, if you require any additional tools, it may be worth checking that they are provided by the broker. Tools can include economic calendars and earning reports to keep up to date with the latest stock market news, which can be used as part of a fundamental analysis. Other trading tools may include trade calculators, trading signals, market alerts and more.
Each shares broker will have its own minimum deposit policy so check that you can meet this requirement. You may also need to provide some personal information in order to pass the brokers KYC and AML procedures. The sign-up process can be quicker at some brokers, especially if all of it is conducted online. During the sign-up process it is very important to make sure that you read all of the brokers terms and conditions, only proceeding if you understand and agree with them.
Share brokers can have a variety of different account funding options in order for traders to make deposits and withdrawals to and from their trading account. You should make sure that the broker has a convenient funding options for you along with the time taken and fees involved. Common broker payment methods can include wire transfer, credit/debit card whereas some brokers will offer online payment methods such as Neteller, PayPal and Skrill.
There are share brokers located throughout the globe. Some will offer email and telephone support whereas others will also offer live chat support. You want to be able to contact the broker at a time and via a method that suits you. Therefore, it can be important to check where the brokers’ offices are located, what times they are available and how they can be reached. You could test their response time and quality prior to opening an account.
Now that you have had a brief overview of what shares are and what to look for when choosing a shares broker, you may be considering opening an online trading account to trade shares online. To do so, you will need to choose a shares broker, follow the account opening process and you will then be able to start trading shares online through one of their share trading platforms.