Some online platforms provide the option to deal shares via an app on your phone or tablet. Share trading options from some providers are app-only. Most online platforms offer access to a range of UK shares and many allow trading in overseas shares.
Trading in non-UK shares will usually incur foreign currency fees and you may have to complete additional documentation, such as the W-8BEN form for US shares. The platform should be able to guide you. Another option is to buy and sell shares via a financial adviser or wealth manager. A suitably-qualified financial adviser should be able to recommend shares based on your investment objectives, and execute the trades on your behalf.
However, this will be a higher fee option than using an online platform. Your adviser should be qualified and FCA-authorised. They should also provide information about their fee structure and whether they offer restricted or independent whole of market advice. Robo-advisers have grown in popularity as a hybrid option between DIY investing and using a financial adviser.
Through an automated process they suggest a basket of investments based on a questionnaire about your objectives, and manage these on your behalf. Robo-advisers are a simple, low-cost way of investing in shares, generally via ETFs and index funds rather than individual shares.
Robo-advice providers include Nutmeg, Wealthify and Moneybox. Shares can be held in a normal share account with your platform, broker or advisor, in an ISA, or you can simply hold the shares directly such as when you buy shares in your employer via a payroll share purchase scheme.
The way you hold shares matters for tax purposes. You may also be liable to pay capital gains tax on any profits you make when you sell shares. This is the amount of profit you can make before tax is payable. You will also have to pay stamp duty of 0. Alternatively, shares can be held in an ISA, which is a tax-efficient way of holding shares as there is no income or capital gains tax to pay.
For lump sum investments, most brokers will require you to fund your share account before you are able to buy shares. This can be via a debit card or electronic transfer. Your broker may offer the option of buying shares each month. Share-dealing fees are typically lower for monthly investing. In addition to these regular dividends, companies may pay one-off dividends, often to return cash to shareholders after the sale of an asset.
Dividend yield is a good indicator of the expected annual return from dividends. It is calculated as the dividend per share divided by the current price per share. Dividends are not guaranteed. And some high-growth shares such as Tesla, Amazon and Alphabet do not pay dividends, preferring to reinvest surplus funds. If you are looking for capital growth, you will likely favour companies in areas of the economy with potential for sustained growth over the medium to long term of three to five years or more.
This could lead you towards the technology, environmental and pharmaceutical sectors, although you would need to research the market before arriving at your decision. You can trade UK shares on a real-time basis from 8 am to 4. A typical buy-sell spread might be 99 to pence, meaning you would pay pence to buy a share and receive 99 pence per share if you were selling.
There tends to be a larger spread on companies traded outside the FTSE which, in turn, can make a dent in your returns. Many of the mainstream brokers do not typically offer the option of buying a fraction of a share. This can be an issue if you want to invest a small amount in a company with a high share price such as, say, Apple.
If this is the case, you might want to look at specialist brokers such as Trading and FreeTrade. You either confirm the order at that price, or let the quote lapse and obtain another quote. You should receive a contract note in your account, by email or by post and the shares will be deposited into your account. For example, you might want to buy shares in a company with a current share price of pence. You could set a buy limit of 95 pence and, if the share price drops to 95 pence or lower, the specified number of shares would automatically be bought on your behalf.
Once your purchase has been executed, the shares will be lodged in your account. You are likely to have three options for receiving dividend income:. Many platforms offer an app where you can track the value of your shares in real-time. Alternatively, you can set up a virtual portfolio on many financial websites that allows you to monitor price movements. In general, investing in shares should be seen as a long-term investment of five years or more to limit the impact of stock market downturns.
Factors could include poor results, loss of a major customer, legal issues or management changes. It can be better to cut your losses than continue to hold the share in the hope its price recovers. This is an order to sell shares if the price falls to, or below, a level you set. For example, you might have bought shares in a particular company at pence. In addition, you may seek to change your investments depending on the state of the economy and markets.
Investing in shares can be a good way to produce higher returns than cash-based investments. However, your investment can go down as well as up, and you may not get your money back. Investing in a diversified portfolio of shares via a fund, investment trust or ETF, may help to reduce your exposure to an individual company underperforming. However, if you are unsure as to the right path, seek financial advice.
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News, analysis and comment from the Financial Times, the worldʼs leading global business publication. Welcome to the official website of London Stock Exchange where you will find the latest stock market news, stock information, data analysis reports. A popular way of investing in shares is through an online platform. These are provided by a number of UK brokers, banks and other providers.