Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Options and turbo warrants are complex financial instruments and your capital is at risk. Losses may be extremely rapid.
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Options and turbo warrants are complex financial instruments and your capital is at risk. Losses may be extremely rapid.

How to choose the best UK broker

How to choose the best online broker

Advancing technology has created an influx of online brokers over the years and identifying one that suits your needs might not always be an easy task. Learn how you can choose the online broker that’s best for you.

Start trading today. Call +35 318 009 95362 or email newaccounts.uk@ig.com. We’re here 24 hours a day, from 8am Saturday to 10pm Friday.

Contact us: +35 318 009 95362

Start trading today. Call +35 318 009 95362 or email newaccounts.uk@ig.com. We’re here 24 hours a day, from 8am Saturday to 10pm Friday.

Contact us: +35 318 009 95362

What’s an online broker?

An online brokerage account is a trading account that you open with a broker. When trading with us, you’ll use ETPs, spread bets, CFDs, barriers and vanilla options. You’ll use these products to trade financial securities.

This is also where your profits and losses will be recorded. You can fund your trading account with your broker and withdraw money if you have any available.

Having an account with an online broker means you can trade a variety of markets. Trading means speculating on asset prices without owning them.

What’s an online brokerage account?

An online brokerage account is a trading account that you open with a broker like us. You’ll use it to buy and sell financial securities without taking ownership of the physical asset.

This is also where your profits and losses will be recorded. You can fund your trading account with your broker and withdraw money if you have any available.

Having an account with an online broker in Ireland means you can trade on a variety of markets. Note that trading means speculating on the direction of the underlying asset by going long if you think that it’ll rise or going short if you think that it’ll fall.

When trading with us, you’ll open a Turbo24, spread betting, CFD trading, barriers or vanilla options account to get exposure.

How does a brokerage account work?

Deposit funds: once you’ve opened a brokerage account, you can start depositing funds. You’ll use these funds to trade. Some brokers expect you to deposit funds immediately, while others only require you to add money when you want to start opening positions.

You can often use a variety of methods to fund your account, such as direct deposit, credit card or PayPal. This could differ from broker to broker.

Pick a market to trade: think of your online brokerage account as the doorway to the financial markets. Your broker will offer a selection of markets to trade – it’s up to you to decide which markets you’re interested in.

Consider your position size and cost: once you know which markets you’re going to explore, it’s time to consider the size of your positions and how much capital you’re going to put towards them.

You can decide how big or small you want your positions to be, but sometimes certain minimums will apply. Remember, both your position size as well as the price of the instrument need to be factored into the cost. Plus, other fees and charges may apply.

Study market movements: your broker isn’t in charge of your online account – you are. That’s why it’s important that you study market movements and keep a close eye on your open positions.

Everything you do on your account carries risk, so make sure you understand the ins and outs of the account, the platform you’re using, as well as the market you’re trading.

If you want access to a brokerage account, you can open one with us and start trading over 17,000 markets. The account will enable you to buy and sell assets – by speculating on their price. We’re an award-winning provider with over 313,000 clients worldwide.1

Know your trading style

It’s important to know your trading style when choosing a broker. It’ll often depend on your personal preference and appetite for risk. Opening a demo account and using the €10,000 worth of virtual funds to trade in a risk-free environment could help you find trading styles that work best for you.

Your preferred trading style might impact the type of broker you choose, as not all online brokers offer the same products or markets. The four most popular trading styles are:

Trading style Timeframe Common holding period
Position trading Long term Months to years
Swing trading Short to medium term Days to weeks
Day trading Short term Intraday
Scalping Very short term Seconds to minutes

How to choose an online broker

There are several key factors to consider when choosing an online broker, such as account types, available markets, costs and fees as well as trading hours.

Markets

We offer access to over 17,000 markets, including:

  • Shares: trade on individual company stocks like Tesla, BHP Group or Alibaba
  • Forex: trade the value of currency pairs, for example EUR/USD or GBP/CHF
  • Cryptos: take a position on popular cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether to take advantage of the volatile market
  • Indices: get exposure to a group of stocks from an exchange such as the FTSE 100 or the Germany 40
  • Commodities: buy and sell hard or soft commodities like oil, gold, wheat and orange juice
  • ETFs: open a position that’ll expose you to multiple assets from a single trade with ETFs, which are baskets of different stocks
  • Initial public offerings (IPOs): trade on companies making their debut on exchanges all over the world
  • Bonds: trade on future changes in long-term interest rates, while mitigating risk by hedging against existing government bonds
  • Interest rates: take a position on the future direction of global interest rates

Regardless of your trading style, the market you choose or your risk appetite, it’s important to make use of our risk management tools.

The spread

In trading, a spread is the difference between the ask (offer) and bid (sell) prices of an asset. When trading, the bid-offer spread is crucial in determining the price of ETPs, spread betting, CFDs, barriers and vanilla options.

As a trader, you can use the bid-offer spread to gauge an asset’s supply and demand in the market. A tight market can be identified through bid and offer prices that’re close to one another, meaning buyers and sellers have consensus, more or less, on the asset’s worth. On the other hand, a wider spread indicates a difference in opinion by buyers and sellers on the asset’s worth.

A spread will thus be used by most brokers when quoting asset prices. This means the asset’s buy price will always be slightly higher than the underlying market and the sell price slightly lower.

Trading costs

When trading with an online broker, there are costs you must be aware of. While creating an account is usually free, there are some charges involved when opening and closing positions. Some direct costs you can expect include the spread (as mentioned above), commissions or overnight funding charges.

The charges you pay depend on the type of trader that you are – for example, day traders won’t pay overnight funding if they open and close their positions in a single trading day. Factors that may impact the cost of your trade are the margin, slippage and, if you’re a professional client, volume-based rebates.

Commission rates

Trading commission rates often differ from one broker to the next, so it’s one of the aspects to consider when choosing an online broker.

When trading ETPs, all trades will be commission-free if the notional value of the trade is more than €300 for Turbo24.2

Meanwhile spread betting is always commission-free regardless of trade size.

Commission rates will also influence the costs when trading CFDs and options. There’s often a commission payable in the case of share CFDs, which is a direct charge you’ll have to pay. CFD trades on other markets, however, have no commission – instead, a spread is wrapped around the market price of an instrument.

With options, a commission is charged per contract at opening and closing. You should also consider the option premium and knock-out premium as costs to using barriers and vanilla options.

Trading hours

When you can trade will have quite an impact on which online broker you choose. We offer extended hours on certain markets, such as major stocks (Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and more).

Trading platforms

A trading platform is the tool you’ll use to place your trade. All brokers offer some sort of platform, whether it’s their own or a third-party system like MT4.

Our award-winning platform has a simple and clean design, offering you seamless access to markets you want to trade.1 You’ll have access to interactive features, such as charts, news and analysis, IG Live, alerts and signals – all housed in one platform.

The best trading platform for beginners is almost always a demo account, where you can practise trading risk-free. The demo account will help you to build your confidence as a trader with €10,000 in virtual funds to help you hone your skills in a risk-free environment. Once you’re satisfied with your progress and you’re ready to trade using real funds, you can open a live account.

Educational material

Finding an online broker that offers plenty of training materials and learning resources can definitely help you on your trading journey. Understanding how trading works before opening any positions is crucial.

Customer service

Not only do you want to choose an online trading broker with a good platform, you also want them to help you timeously when you have questions. So, taking lines of communication and immediate availability into account is essential when choosing your broker.

If you’re a learner trader, you can make use of our client services team for a one-on-one walk through of our platform while setting up your account. We’ve also got a 24-hour live support where you can ask our trading experts for assistance. You can reach us via phone call, email or Twitter from 8am on Saturdays to 10pm on Fridays (UK time).

Best online broker for you

Here are some of the reasons why more than 313,000 people choose to trade with us.

We’re a top online trading provider

  • Deal on our award-winning platform and mobile app1
  • Get exposure to over 17,000 markets, including forex, shares, cryptos, indices and commodities
  • Access deep liquidity and enjoy fast execution on our platform, no matter which device you use
  • Benefit from advanced dealing options such as points through current and partial fills that you can turn on or off on our platform

We offer trade, analytics and education tools

  • Receive 24/7 telephonic support from our service desk and a one-on-one walk through when opening an account with us
  • Set up trading signals through Signal Centre and Autochartist to get actionable buy and sell signals
  • Receive your price and indicator alerts using email or push notifications
  • Share your experience and ask questions in our community forum, which has over 64,000 members

How to start trading with us

  1. Fill in a form. You’ll be asked about your trading knowledge. This’ll ensure you get the best experience on our platform.
  2. Get verification. We’ll usually be able to verify your identity almost immediately.
  3. Fund your account and start trading. Deposit money into your account when you’re ready and start trading. You can also withdraw your money for free, whenever you like.

FAQs

How much money do I need to open an online brokerage account?

Opening an online brokerage account is normally free. You’ll only have to deposit money when you want to open a position, ie start trading. However, some brokerages may require a deposit before your account is activated. With us, you only have to fund your account when you’re ready to trade.

Is my money safe with an online broker?

If you choose a trusted and regulated provider, your money will be safe. Additionally, your money is held in segregated client bank (independent trust) accounts at regulated banks. We’re a regulated online broker, and we ensure that we meet the highest financial regulation standards.

How much do online brokers cost?

Online brokers’ costs vary; we strive to offer competitive rates. For instance, you can access spreads from 0.6 points on key FX pairs like EUR/USD, 0.8 points on major indices like the Germany 40, and 0.1 points on Spot Gold.

When getting exposure using ETPs, all trades will be commission-free if the notional value of the trade is more than €300 for Turbo24. For other leveraged products, you’ll need to consider a direct charge – the spread, or a commission in the case of share CFDs.

With barriers and vanilla options, a commission is charged per contract at opening and closing. You’ll also incorporate the option premium and knock-out premium charges.

Also, keep in mind other potential factors that could influence how much your trading costs, like overnight funding charges.

Try these next

Open an account with us and start trading over 17,000 markets.

Develop your trading skills in a risk-free environment.

Explore details about our award-winning online trading platform1.

1 Best multi-platform provider and best finance app as awarded at the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2022.
2 A commission only applies for orders with a notional value below €300 for Turbo24. For constant leverage and covered warrants, trades with a notional value of above €500 will be commission-free.