Be the Wolf of Wall St with free app letting you trade from your sofa without fees

FANCY yourself as the Wolf of Wall Street?

You can now try your hand at investment from the comfort of your armchair and without costly fees.

New smartphone apps allow novice investors to play the stockmarket for free, with only small sums of money.

Traditional investment platforms such as financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown charge up to £11.95 per deal, which deters many would-be punters.

Today we look at how you can get in on the act.


Before the internet, most people paid financial advisers or stockbrokers to guide their investments — meaning you had to be pretty wealthy to do it.

In the 1980s there was a flutter of interest among ordinary folk due to the iconic “Tell Sid” telly ads for the British Gas shares sell-off. Tens of thousands were spurred into investing. They made a killing but investing never took off for those without professional experience.

Now experts say a revolution is afoot. Challenger firms with low overheads are offering cheaper services to lure a new generation of investors fed up with poor returns on their cash savings.

Iqbal Gandham, of investment platform Etoro, said: “We need to bring back Sid. Investing should not be seen as the preserve of the wealthy or something that is too complicated for the average man on the street.”

New firms with low overheads are offering cheaper services to lure a new generation of investors fed up with poor returns on their cash savings


Trading 212 was the first to allow customers to buy and sell shares for free in June 2017.

Hot on its heels is Freetrade, already with more than 25,000 users in three months. Popular share picks include the clothing group Boohoo, automotive and energy company Tesla, Apple, Lloyds Banking Group and drinks firm Fever-Tree.

Digital bank Revolut will offer a free investment service this summer, while cryptocurrency trader Etoro last month announced plans to do the same.


Most operate “freemium” services, made popular by the likes of Spotify, where there’s a basic platform plus a paid-for one with extra features.

For example, Freetrade charges £1 if users want to buy shares instantly but the deals are free if they wait for them to go through at 4pm on that day, when the company executes batch orders.

Holding investments in an ISA, which protects profits from tax, is free until July when it will be £3 a month.

There is also £7 a month for its premium service, Alpha, to be launched after the summer, which will cover fees to make instant trades, and ISA fees.

Revolut’s investment customers will choose between three subscriptions — standard (free), premium (£6.99 a month) and metal (£12.99 a month) — each offering a different number of free trades.


If any of the platforms mentioned here — aside from the foreign bank Revolut — goes bust, you are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which guarantees investments up to £85,000. But bear in mind that investing is risky by nature, as share prices go up and down and you could lose out if you make the wrong decisions.


The main drawback of free trading services is the smaller choice of investments.

Hargreaves, with 40 per cent of the DIY investment market, offers 18,000 investments — but Freetrade just 335.

Also, watch out for other fees. Some platforms offer access to third-party funds, which themselves have fees.

And while Etoro is fee-free, it only uses US dollars for transactions, so there will be currency exchange fees.


HERE are investment platforms and their fees.


Fees: No platform charge and unlimited free basic trades. An ISA is free until July 2019, and subsequently £3 a month. Instant trades are £1.

Available on: iPhone and Android.


Fees: £20 annual subscription or £2 per month. Membership includes three commission-fee trades a month; extra trades are £1 each. Instant trades are £5 for UK shares, £8 for non-UK.

On: iPhone, Android.


Fees: No platform charge and unlimited free trades including instant trades. Card withdrawals are free, but a 5 euro (£4.30) charge applies to bank transfer withdrawals.

On: iPhone, Android.


Fees: £5.95-£11.95 per instant trade, depending on frequency of trading. ISAs and self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs) have a 0.45% annual fee. This is capped at £45 per year for ISAs and £200 per year for SIPPs.

On: iPhone, Android.


Fees: £4.95-£9.95 per instant trade, depending on trade frequency, plus an extra 0.25% annual fee, capped at £30 a year for ISAs and £100 a year for SIPPs.

On: iPhone, Android.


Fees: £24 a quarter, free if you make 3+ trades a quarter. UK instant share trades cost £5-£8 each. SIPP also has a £200 annual fee.

On: iPhone, Android.


JONNY MURPHY is making the most of the fee-free revolution investing spare cash in his favourite firm Greggs.

Jonny, 24, right, from Birmingham, who works in digital marketing, signed up to Freetrade in November –  impressed with its lack of fees.

He says: “Growing up I fancied a bit of share dealing but was priced out because of the fees and high minimum investments.

“I put £100 a month into my portfolio which includes mining companies and also brands that resonate with me such as Greggs and Spotify.

“I do my own research since there is so much information online.

“It’s fun to    see how my portfolio is doing. It was a real thrill seeing Greggs shares shoot up eight per cent after they launched their vegan sausage roll.

“I’ve put in about £750 so far and I’m up by 7.3 per cent  – to £805 at the moment. That is a good return compared to cash ISAs.”

  • Source: Boring Money. Fees given may not be exhaustive.

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