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Best Robo Advisors UK

Digitalization has produced its fair share of marvels, and the financial sector has had a taste of them all. Robo Advisors, for example, have risen to the top of our list today.

best robo advisors uk

What are Robo advisors?

Amid the financial crisis in 2008, Robo Advisors made their debut in the financial markets. Then, in 2010, two of the industry’s pioneering startups launched, raising the standard for Robo Advisors. The earliest Robo Advisors were utilized as online interfaces for financial managers to manage and balance clients’ assets.

Today, these same Robo Advisors have advanced to the point where they can do far more than just manage. They can assist you with trading, investing, and managing your money.

Aside from that, these platforms assist investors in reducing losses and are good forecasters of future and current investments. In addition, each investor who uses the platform receives quarterly updates on their performance in the market.

This post takes a deeper look into what they are, how they work, look at the qualities of the best Robo Advisors in the UK, plus more. Trading 212 has such a feature.

So without any further ado, let’s get started.

Definition of a Robo Advisor

Robo Advisors are digital platforms that provide automated, algorithm-driven financial planning services to their clients without the need for human involvement or supervision.

The platform gathers information from the client regarding their entire financial position and needs. It uses online polls to collect information about these things plus their future aspirations.

Using this data, the Robo-advisor creates a strategy for autonomously investing the client’s assets for profit.

How Robo Advisors Work

Robo Advisors are automated thus use computer algorithms to predict market movements. What this software does is build and manage a client’s investment portfolio dependant on their information.

Here are some of the data these online questionnaires collect:

The Degree of Risk Aversion

This relates to how willing an investor is to accept lesser returns to avoid risk. This degree is usually determined by the investor’s financial objectives and the investment’s time frame.

An excellent example is a retiree who wants to invest their money but is wary of doing so because they want to protect their life savings. In contrast, someone young in the workforce has more time to work while still earning a paycheck. These two will invest differently.

The level of risk aversion a client has will also be determined by the type of investor they are.

There are three primary sorts of investors:

  1. Risk-averse investors who are always seeking low-risk investments with a high probability of success. This is the type of investor represented by the retiree in the preceding example.
  2. Risk-neutral investors are frequently unconcerned about whether their assets are comparatively hazardous or safe.
  3. Risk-taking investors are individuals who are not afraid to take chances with their money in exchange for more significant returns. The young professionals in our scenario would primarily fall under this investor segment.

Other data collected on the polls are:

  • The financial status of the client- employed with a salary, self-employed with a salary
  • The desired return on investment- how fast, how much, and how long

Products Offered by Robo Advisors UK

Robo Advisors in the United Kingdom and worldwide offer both general and trading investments to their clients. Each will have its account, making it easier for investors to distinguish between them.

In the United Kingdom, they also provide several retirement and tax-deferment options. They also provide:

  • General Investment Accounts
  • Investment ISAs
  • SIPPs
  • ISAs

Robo Advisors invest in index-based EFTs and mutual fund markets.

Major Functions of Robo Advisors

The first Robo Advisors were created to balance a client’s assets within target-date funds. First and foremost, this was a mechanism for investors to manage their investments passively.

Second, they were to make buy-and-hold investments easier through an easy-to-use internet platform that could be accessible from anywhere.

These functions have not changed, but they have become significantly more sophisticated. The following are some extra of the functions Robo Advisors  perform:

Automatic Rebalancing

Your securities may appreciate or depreciate as a result of market fluctuations. Appreciation is desirable, while depreciation is undesirable for any investor.

As a result, the software strives to restore the portfolio’s original allocation. The proportions of the securities in a client’s portfolio are simply maintained.

Tax Optimization

This is the process of a client’s tax liability reduced or eliminated by making tax-efficient decisions. Tax optimization entails various strategies and techniques for lowering a client’s tax liability, which the program handles for them.

These decisions are made to get the greatest possible outcome for current and future tax liabilities.

Facets of the Best Robo Advisors UK

Here are the commendable features of the best Robo Advisors  UK:

Portfolio Management

After gathering information about the investor’s preferences, the software produces an ideal portfolio. This portfolio focuses on putting money into stocks that aren’t highly correlated.

The Robo Advisors move funds to risky and risk-free assets, weighing them according to the client’s objectives and risk profile. They then track the performance of these investments and rebalance portfolios anytime they are impacted by economic events such as a recession.

Tax-loss Harvesting

Tax-loss harvesting, which includes selling stocks to avoid capital gains tax, is another function offered by the best Robo Advisors in the UK. The capital gains tax is usually levied at the end of each fiscal year. When the platform sells a security at a loss, the investor avoids paying taxes on the profit, resulting in a long-term benefit.

These Robo-advisers also invest in smaller securities to maintain portfolio allocation and reap the benefits of a market upturn. Because these activities are automated, consumers can take advantage of tax-loss harvesting.

Why You Should Use Robo Advisors

Most investors have inquiries regarding the platform before they invest in a concept. Why should I use this platform, for example? And how will it be of use to me? These are some of the questions they frequently ask.

Here are some responses to those two inquiries about why you should use Robo Advisors :

Robo Advisors are Affordable Means of Investments

When comparing Robo Advisors to people financial advisors, the first is the most cost-effective alternative. The minimal amount needed to start an investment is typically less than what a financial counselor would require.

Most financial advisors would require around $100 000 investment to start with the standard package. In contrast, Robo advisors could need as low as $500 or less.

Robo Advisors are Easy To Use

The finest Robo-advisor in the UK features a user-friendly interface that enables investors to grasp the system and begin investing rapidly. The interface is usually relatively straightforward, containing only the information that the investor cares about.

Furthermore, most Robo-advisor support staff are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can assist anyone with a problem at any time.

What’s fascinating is that, despite mainly being passive, the investor has complete access to and control over their investments. This gives them more options.

Robo Advisors are Secure

Another key concern when it comes to investing is unquestionably the platform’s security.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, regulates the majority of operating computerized Robo Advisors. This ensures that the transactions are legitimate and that your money is secure.

Furthermore, any reputable Robo advisor will be licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and will be a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

As a result, if something goes wrong, these programs will cover your money and investments up to £50,000 (Financial Conduct Authority) and £85,000. (FSCS).

The risk factor is also linked to the security of a Robo-advisor platform. However, the investor should ensure that they are informed about this. Their choices will determine the extent of risk they are prepared to take, so they should be notified of any investment losses ahead of time.

Downsides of Using Robo Advisors

Even though Robo Advisors are affordable and accessible, they still have a few limitations. Here are some:

Lack of Subjectivity

Human financial advisors have one quality that computers cannot mimic, and that is subjectivity. This means that the investor will not get any explanations as to why a particular investment went south.

The Investor Does Not Select What to Invest In

Once the client has signed up on the platform, the software invests the assets how it sees fit. That said, the investor has no say as to which security is traded or invested in.

Robo Advisors are not Equipped to Deal With Unprecedented Events

Even while they handle rebalancing automatically, this does not imply that they react to personal issues in the same way. As a result, Robo Advisors may not be the best investment option if a person inherits a considerable quantity of money or wins the lottery.

Similarly, Robo Advisors work under the assumption that most investors have defined objectives, which may not be the case. People’s opinions on matters like how willing they are to risk investment may alter over time.

How Much Do Robo Advisors Cost?

We’ve already demonstrated that Robo Advisors are less expensive, but they still have expenses. The annual portfolio cost for most of the best Robo Advisors in the UK is between 0.25 percent and 0.05 percent. Others, on the other hand, do this for free.

The costs charged by most Robo Advisors are usually a percentage of your investment, which means that each client has a different rate card. Depending on the company, this cost may be collected monthly or annually.

Other charges include transaction fees and commissions on buying and selling.

Furthermore, the fees vary based on the Robo-advisor, with some waiving or reducing them entirely. The investor must study the terms and circumstances thoroughly to be confident of the percentages.

Are Robo Advisors the Best Investment Option for You?

Indeed, they are, but there are a few factors you must consider. Here is what an investor must take into account before using a Robo-advisor platform:

The Type of Account to Use

Most of the Robo-advisor platforms in the UK have individual retirement accounts and taxable accounts.

Others offer more like trading, trusts, 401 (k) accounts, and more. A client must know the terms of each account before selecting one.

The Minimum Investment Requirements

Robo Advisors in the UK each have a set minimum limit of money one can open an account with. This is the money that is invested and used to earn you more. Others have a minimum set at $5000, while others have a limit as low as $500 or even less.

The Portfolio Recommendations

Most Robo Advisors have a list of at least five to ten portfolio options determined by how you answer the questions on the questionnaire. But suppose you are looking for a specific portfolio; you can select it from the get-go.

The investment charges

Depending on the securities the platform uses, there are usually specific fees that a client must pay with every buying and selling. An investor must be aware of this.

Are Robo Advisors for Everyone?

Regrettably, no.

People who do not actively move money into their accounts regularly do not gain from them. If a person with this behavior uses a Robo-advisor account, they will consume most of the money in the account, yielding low returns.

The ideal choice for such a customer is to employ several Robo-advisor systems’ cash savings portfolio alternatives. They frequently have no or meager fees.

Robo Advisors are not suitable for people who are searching for a short-term investment. Robo Advisors are majorly long-term investments. Instead, they can opt for accounts on platforms with high interest rates and convenient access.

Robo Advisor FAQs

Can Robo Advisors Make You Money?

Yes, they can. The platform trades the initial investment you put in to bring in profits. That is how both you and the company make money.

Can You Lose Money Using Robo Advisors?

Losing money with Robo Advisors is a possibility whenever there are extra costs. These are the likes of rebalancing fees, tax-loss harvesting, and other fees.

Do Robo Advisors  Beat the Market?

Because Robo Advisors are passive investments that rely on index strategies, they cannot beat the market.

They instead duplicate the market rather than including any alpha strategies that could beat the market; therefore, most of them will not beat the market.

Take Away

It is not rocket science to choose the greatest Robo Advisor, but you must first educate yourself about them.

All of the above information will assist you in making an informed selection about the best Robo Advisor UK.

Trading 212 UK Review

Trading 212 is one of the most well-known brokerage services globally, not just in the United Kingdom. Trading 212 is a well-known CFD and FX broker all over the world. But clients that use the platform can also trade stocks and EFTs for free.

trading212 uk

The company began operations in 2004, and its headquarters are located in London. It’s available to UK traders who wish to invest in stocks are other assets.

Trading 212 is governed by the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom (FCA) and the Financial Supervision Commission of Bulgaria (FSC).

This article will teach you everything you need to know about Trading 212 in the United Kingdom. We’ll go over the platform’s features, trading fees, demo account, transactional data, and other details. Also, look at their trump card, the mobile app. So, if you’re eager to learn more, keep reading.

The best alternatives to Trading212 are eToro and Swissquote.

Does Trading 212 Accept UK Traders?

Yes, traders in the UK can join the platform and carry out their trading without worry.

The company is registered in England and Wales—thus, any United Kingdom trader can use all its services.

Account Types on Trading 212

When you join Trading 212, you get three accounts to select, and they differ based on the assets you can trade. The country you reside in is also a factor that can force you to choose a particular account.

Every member can access any of the accounts featured on the platform, but they do not have any corporate accounts.

CFD Account

The CFD account is available for clients in all countries that Trading 212 is accessible. The clients using this account can only trade in CFDs.

Trading 212 Invest Account

The Invest account is also available in all countries that Trading 212 operates. And the clients using this account are free to trade in real stocks and EFTs across all money markets globally.

Trading 212 ISA

The Trading 212 ISA is an Individual Savings Account. It’s a tax-efficient account that allows investors to save and invest with the total amount in the current tax year, 20k Euros.

The four main types of ISAs are Stocks and shares, cash, innovative finance, and lifetime.

This last account is only available to traders based in the United Kingdom. This exclusive account allows traders to buy and sell securities like real stocks and EFTs.

How to Open an Account on Trading 212

The process of opening an account on Trading 212 is very straightforward. You can do everything online.

Even so, the verification time is usually under one business day so that you can start trading right away.

This is the procedure you follow when you want to open an account:

  1. Sign up by entering your information like email address, name, country of residence and date of birth.
  2. Select the account type you want, plus select the currency type you will be using on the account.
  3. You have to accept the terms and conditions. Then activate your account by verification of your identity and residency.

To prove your identity, you will have to provide the platform with extra information. They require any identification documentation like an ID, passport, or driving license.

Proof of address will also be needed. And for this, you can use a bank statement or a recent utility bill, preferably no longer than three months.

You will not need to deposit anything to open an account.

Trading 212 Trading Platform

The brokerage allows traders to trade on the website as well as on their mobile app. Both platforms are quite intuitive and easy to use.

Web Trading Platform

Interface and Usage

The website interface is user-friendly and has a customizable option that lets the trader move things around to their liking. A user can change the sizes of tabs and dimensions of the elements as they trade.

The site is available in 11 different dialects, including English, Polish, German, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Romanian, Arabian, French, and Chinese.

Security and Platform Maneuvering

When you log in, there is a two-step authentification for security purposes. And this can only be achieved through your mobile. Trading 212 also has a commendable and sophisticated search function.

One can quickly search by the name of a product and the security category you wish to trade.

Placing Orders

If you are a holder of any of the three CFD, ISA, and Invest accounts, you can submit and place orders within certain time limits. All accounts allow for orders in the market, limit and stop orders.

Then the Invest and ISA allow the stop limit and Good until the end of the day/canceled orders, but the CFD does not have them. The CFD has the OCO, and the other two lack this order.

As you trade, you get a trade ticket that displays vital information regarding the order you are about to place. The quantity of trade, the margins, swap rates, and stamp duty are some of the information displayed on this ticket.

This ticket puts your trade into perspective before you buy or sell a security.

Notifications

You can set up notifications like emails or texts on your phone.

On the web trading platform on Trading 212, you can set alerts as well as notifications. These will inform you of the orders, news, or any margin calls you might have selected.

Mobile Trading

Interface and Usage

The selling point of Trading 212, the mobile app, is nothing short of spectacular. The design is awe-inspiring, and the interface is user-friendly.

The app is downloadable on both iOS and Android mobile devices. The languages available are similar to the ones on the web version of the platform.

Security and Platform Maneuvering

Signing in on the mobile app is a breeze. Once you log in, there is a two-step verification authentication solidifying the security of the app. You can choose to use biometrics such as touch ID if your device supports it.

The search function is just as easy. It is intuitive and offers you what you search just as fast. The search provides you several assets you can trade besides the security you search for. You can search for stocks, indices, currencies, and commodities.

Notifications

The notification on the mobile app comes as push notifications. You cannot get SMS or email alerts on the website platform.

Markets and Products on Trading 212

Trading 212 offers the trade of real stocks, EFTs, CFDs, and Forex. It does not offer trade in mutual funds, bonds, options, and futures.

The platform supports 184 currency pairs, 51 stock index CFDs, 1700 stock CFDs, 28 EFT CFDs, and 45 Commodity CFDs.

However, it does not support cryptocurrency trading.

Stocks and EFTs

The stocks and EFTs trading portfolio is limited in that you only have seven stock markets to trade in and 200 EFTs. In hindsight, this is a large number of securities, but they have less when compared to other brokers in the industry.

Auto investing on Trading 212

If you want to put your investments on autopilot then the auto trading feature is for you. With Auto Investing you can rebalance your portfolio automatically. You can also automate your deposits.

This is one of the best “set-and-forget” approaches, I’ve seen so far.

Charting tools

These charts are very interactive and user-friendly. However, they are not the best to use since the news flow is not up to date, and there is no fundamental data available for a trader to use.

The charting tools are available on both web and mobile versions of Trading 212.

Educational Products

Trading 212 offers its users educational videos and tutorials on how to use the platform. Ther provide new members the basics of trading, which assists many beginners in getting started.

Their demo account is also a great educational feature that gives newbies practice ground to learn more about trading. You will also find academic articles offering more information on trading.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Both deposits and withdrawals are generally free and speedy through multiple channels. The base currencies are:

  • USD
  • GBP
  • EUR
  • RON
  • PLN
  • CHF
  • NOK
  • SEK
  • CZK

These currencies are limited to only a couple per country. For instance, in the UK, only GBP, EUR, and USD are available.

If you trade in one currency as your bank account, you do not have to incur conversion rates for deposits and withdrawals. But if it is the opposite, you will have to pay the conversion fees appropriately.

To bypass this, you can open a multi-currency bank account at a digital financial facility.

Depositing on Trading 212

Depositing on Trading 212 is free. However, when you deposit more than two thousand euros, you get a 0.07% deposit fee. And this is applied if you deposit using an e-wallet or your credit or debit card.

Here is a list of all the e-wallets you can use to deposit money on your Trading 212 account:

  • Google play
  • Paypal
  • Skrill
  • Apple Pay
  • Dotpay
  • Giropay
  • Carte Bleue
  • Direct eBanking
  • iDeal

The availability is linked to specific counties, and the user is the one to confirm which is available in their country.

Payments using bank transfers may take a few business days to verify, although using credit and debit cards is instant.

Withdrawing on Trading 212

Withdrawing on Trading 212 is free, and when you do it via debit card, it takes about one business day. You can only withdraw money to accounts that have your name on them.

Here is the procedure you use to withdraw your money from any of your Trading 212 accounts:

  • Click on manage funds on your dashboard after logging in.
  • Enter your password and select your withdrawal amount.
  • Confirm the withdrawal and wait for the verification.

Trading 212 Fees

Trading 212 has several commission-free stocks and EFTs, meaning a trader gets to trade for free. In general, there are no fees incurred in deposits, withdrawals, and inactivity. On the flip side, the forex trading costs are high.

There is a 0.05 % currency conversion fee for all CFD and forex trading. This rate could go as high as 0.15 % for real stocks and EFTs.

Trading 212 Customer Service

Of all the services Trading 212 offers its clients, customer support is the most wanting. Indeed they answer any query with relevant answers and are available around the clock, but you can only reach them via email support.

They do not have live chat or phone support. This is a major shortcoming as most people need fast and immediate solutions to their queries.

Is Trading212 Safe?

If you are trading in the UK and Germany, the investor protection amount is about 85,000 Euros regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA.

The other countries get 90% protection on investors’ funds to a maximum of 20k Euros facilitated by the Bulgarian Financial Supervision Commission, FSC.

Take Away

Some people in the modern world don’t just work to make money for a living. They go the extra mile to multiply the money through investing and trading. As a result, looking for brokerage services online has become a widespread practice.

Trading 212 overall performances as a brokerage platform in the United Kingdom is excellent. The most commendable part they offer is the low and no fees on the deposits, withdrawals, and commission when one trades on the securities.

Despite the platform having a limited platform compared to its competitors in the market, it still stands as a pretty good choice that traders can use.

It is a great place to start your trading career because of its numerous practice ground and available tools to make you better. Most importantly, they operate in the UK, and they have investor protection of up to €85,000.

Swissquote UK Review

The Swissquote group was established in 1996. It is listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange and deals with clients from all over the world. It has two main entities: Swissquote Bank LTD and Swissquote LTD.

swissquote uk review

The former is located in Switzerland. It is used for stock, funds, options, and futures trading. The other branch is located in Luxembourg – and you can use it to trade CFDs and forex.

We have provided a thorough review of the firm below, so keep reading.

Is Swissquote Available in the UK?

Swissquote LUX allows clients from 150 different countries to register, while Swissquote CH serves clients from 120 countries. Any individual from most parts of the world can sign up. This includes the United Kingdom.

Swissquote Review – Good or Bad UK Broker?

We’ve discussed everything you need to know about the online broker.

Assets and Markets Available

The group’s Swiss branch trades many different kinds of stocks. You’ll be able to trade:

  • ETF
  • Crypto
  • Fund
  • Bond
  • Stock
  • Options
  • Futures

Stocks and ETFs

The broker allows you to access 60 different kinds of stock exchanges. Compared to its rival Saxo Bank, there is a wider selection of markets. A bonus is that you can trade US penny stocks too.

The number of ETFs that the firm offers is decent. However, the number isn’t that high when compared to rivals. Swissquote offers 1,400 ETFs, while Saxo Bank offers 3,100 and TradeStation Global offers over 10,000 of them.

Forex

You can trade 80 different currency pairs through Swissquote LUX. This is not the same as Saxo Bank and TradeStation Global, however, which allows you to trade 182 and 105 respectively.

Cryptos

You’ll be able to trade 12 different cryptos as CFDs. You may be wondering if they’re leveraged CFDs or not. The answer is no.

The cryptos you’ll get are:

  • 0x
  • Augur
  • Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Chainlink
  • EOS
  • Ether
  • Ethereum Classic
  • Litecoin
  • Ripple
  • Stellar
  • Tezos

The selection is just as good as Saxo and TradeStation. Both offer 4 cryptocurrencies together.

CFDs

You’ll only able to trade CFDs through Swissquote LUX. It offers CFDs through forex, indices, bonds, and commodities. Individual stock and ETF CFDs are not available.

The selection consists of 26 stock index CFDs, 12 commodity CFDs and 3 bond CFDs.

Bonds

The firm’s selection of bonds is good. It is much wider than Saxo Bank’s but not as big as TradeStation’s.

You’ll be getting 53,400 bonds, while Saxo only offers 40,000 bonds and TradeStation offers 60,000 of them.

Trading Platform

You’ll have access to several different trading platforms. At times, it can be difficult to decide which one to choose. If you’re going to trade stocks, eTrading would be best.

MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and the custom platform, Advanced Trader, can be used to trade forex.

From this selection, eTrading is by far the most popular. It comes in multiple languages:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Russian
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Spanish

Let’s talk more about eTrading below.

Design

The site is not complicated to use. However, one of our complaints is that it is a bit too Swiss-focused. For example, you’ll find the Swiss stock market featured above the European and US ones.

However, you can customize the platform to your preferences.

Search Functions

You can set filters to find assets as well. This could include rating, risk, sector, market cap, and analyst recommendation.

As mentioned, eTrading is a little too Swiss-focused. Swiss assets often appear at the top of search results. You will also be hit with timeouts when waiting for search results.

Notifications

You can create a custom alert box to receive any news of your choice. You can also make a watchlist for price alerts. You’ll be able to get notifications when trades are completed too.

Instead of getting notifications only on the Swissquote site, you can get them sent to you via email.

Portfolios

Checking your portfolio won’t be a problem. However, it’s not easy to get a report on all the fees you have been paid. You will have to wait for around 30 minutes till your asset statement is compiled.

Login

The default login process is quite simple. You can set up a 2-step identification process through mobile authentication or a special physical code.

Orders

There will be 5 order types:

  • Limit
  • Market
  • Stop
  • Stop limit
  • OCO (One-cancels-the-other)

Mobile Trading

Swissquote has an app on iOS and Android devices. The mobile trading platforms available are eTrading, MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and Advanced Trader.

The app can be used in English, German, Italian, and French.

We’ll be discussing how you can conduct eTrading on the broker’s mobile app.

Design

eTrading is easier to do on your phone than on the computer. The layout looks very modern too. If you rotate your phone horizontally, you’ll get a more detailed view of charts and lists.

Login

The app has a one-step login by default. You can enable level-3 security to set a separate pin for your account.

You can also set up a biometric authentication if you want. You won’t be able to log in without your fingerprint, retina scan, or voice.

Search Function

The search function is simple. There are no advanced filters like those found on the web version, which is a drawback. Just like on the web version, search results focus too much on Swiss assets.

Orders

The order types available are:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Stop limit

Swissquote doesn’t have social trading like eToro does.

Notifications

You can set notifications and alerts for various aspects, including price, news, and order confirmation.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Swissquote CH offers an impressive number of account-based currency pairs. The number of currency pairs that Swissquote LUX offers is average in comparison. When you trade with your local currency, you wouldn’t have to pay hefty conversion fees.

Swissquote CH offers the following pairs:

  • EUR, USD, GBP, CHF, JPY, AUD, CAD, NZD, PLN, SEK, DKK, NOK, HUF, TRY, ZAR, SGD, MXN, HKD, THB, ILS, AED

Meanwhile, the pairs Swissquote LUX provides are:

  • GBP, EUR, USD, CHF, AUD, JPY, PLN, CZK, HUF

An easy way to avoid the conversion fees is by creating a multi-currency bank account. You can open one in a digital bank, and it will only take you a couple of minutes.

If you compare the base currency pairs the broker offers with rivals, you will see that it’s on par. Swissquote provides 21 different pairs, while Saxo Bank offers 26 and TradeStation Global offers 22 of them.

Deposits

The group’s Swiss branch doesn’t charge deposit fees for bank transfers. However, you’ll be charged between 2.2%- 2.5% for deposits via credit and debit cards. The exact percentage depends on where you live.

Meanwhile, the Luxembourg branch doesn’t charge any fees for deposits.

You won’t be able to make deposits through e-wallets. Know that TradeStation Global and Saxo Bank won’t let you do this either.

If you want to fund your account through a bank transfer, it might take several business days for the money to show up in your account. The longest time it will take for the money sent via debit or credit card to show up would be an hour.

Do you need to make a minimum deposit? You won’t if you’re going to be using Swissquote CH. However, if you’re going to make a forex account (through Swissquote Lux), a minimum deposit between $1,000 – $50,000 would be required.

Withdrawals

The broker’s withdrawal fees depend on which of its entities you use, as well as where you live. Swissquote LUX doesn’t charge any withdrawal fees. However, Swissquote CH will charge you €2 if you’re withdrawing in euros, and $10 if you’re withdrawing in USD.

Both these entities only allow you to make withdrawals via a bank account in your name. At times, the cash can take several business days to be transferred. However, it will most likely reach you in a business day, which is not too bad.

Is My Money Safe with Swissquote?

Yes, your money will be safe. The firm has been around for some time, and it’s regulated by some of the most top-tier financial bodies. The two main entities that regulate it are the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and Luxembourg’s Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF).

Some of the other bodies that regulate it are:

  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)
  • Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)
  • Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
  • Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA)

If you want to know whether a broker is safe or not, look into its background, as well as what protection will be offered if something were to go wrong. With these two points in mind, Swissquote is ideal. It is reliable and heavily regulated.

You’re probably wondering if you can get investor protection or not. The investor protection you get depends on which of the firm’s entities you are a client of.

  • Swissquote Bank LTD – it is based in Switzerland and regulated by FINMA. The investor protection you’ll get is CHF 100,000 per account.
  • Swissquote Bank Europe – it is based in Luxembourg and is regulated by the CSSF. You’ll be getting investor protection of up to €20,000 for securities, and €100,000 for cash per account.
  • Swissquote MEA LTD – This is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority. It’s specifically aimed at clients from the Middle East. You’ll get investment protection of CHF 100,000 for cash.

The group’s subsidiaries for Singapore and China don’t provide any investor protection, however.

Swissquote offers retail clients negative balance protection if they’re from the EU and trade CFD or Forex. Negative balance protection ensures that you don’t lose more cash than what’s in your trading account.

Overall, your money will be safe as Swissquote is a licensed bank, and it is publicly listed, so it’s no small-fry.

Is Swissquote a Good Broker?

You don’t need to be an expert to know that Swissquote is an excellent broker. For one, you’ll be able to trade a range of assets here. Users from all over the world are welcome too.

The site is very safe to work with, and you’ll be in goods. This is what you want when working with any broker, as you might be depositing thousands into your trading account and you need to know that your money will be well-protected.

Swissquote is regulated by many financial bodies, and it’s a registered bank. As a result, you have nothing to worry about. The fact that it is a broker that has been around for a while and has a great reputation makes it safer to work with.

If you have any problem you’ll be able to get help by contacting their customer service. You can contact the firm’s team through phone, email, or live chat. They provide great advice and solutions, and the support team is helpful.

You can get customer support in many languages as well. They include: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian. We have a small complaint, however. We would have preferred if languages like Romanian or Hungarian were available too.

The customer support team does not work 24/7. They’ll be available from 8 am to 10 PM CET from Monday to Friday.

You’ll be able to refine your craft, as there are several guides and tutorials on how to improve your trading. There are tutorials and guides on how you can use MetaTrader 4, 5, eTrading, and Advanced Trader too. You’ll be able to make a demo account to practice what you’ve learned. It will be funded with virtual money for you to practice and create strategies.

There are also webinars in multiple languages to help you broaden your knowledge.

Final Thoughts

Swissquote has two main entities. They are Swissquote Bank LTD (CH) and Swissquote LTD (LUX). Depending on which you choose, the assets you’ll be able to trade would differ. Overall, the broker is highly secure, so you don’t have to worry about your money. It also offers many resource guides to improve your craft. If you have any problems, they have a helpful support team to guide you.

XTB UK Review

XTB was founded in 2002 and was first called X-Trade. It then morphed into X-Trade Brokers in 2004. In 2016, it was listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange under the XTB ticker symbol.

XTB UK Review

It is quickly becoming one of the most competitive and popular brokers around. It provides access to various markets, which we’ve discussed.

X-Trade is regulated by five financial bodies, including the Financial Conduct Authority. Clients from all over the world are welcome, except if you’re from the US and a few other countries.

We’ve discussed the company in-depth in our review below.

Does XTB Accept Traders From the UK?

XTB LTD, which is regulated by the FCA, only accepts traders who are residents of the United Kingdom. If you’re from the EU and want to use the broker, you’ll have to use XTB CYPRUS. Canadian clients can make use of X-Trade’s French branch.

Unfortunately, the site doesn’t accept clients from certain countries.

XTB INTERNATIONAL is only available to those outside the UK and EU, and to those who don’t fall into the list of countries above.

X-Trade Brokers Review

We’ve discussed everything you need to know about the site below.

Markets

XTB is mostly used to trade CFD and Forex. Its selection of CFDs is on par with rivals like eToro and Trading 212.

There are 49 currency pairs, 42 stock index CFDs, 1,800 stock CFDs, 114 ETF CFDs, 22 commodity CFDs, and 25 cryptos.

The number of cryptos the site offers is more than that of eToro and Trading 212. They both offer just 16.

X-Trade doesn’t allow you to change the default leverage level of its products. This can be a major drawback.

Stock Trading

You can trade ETFs as well as real stocks if you’re an EU client who is not in the UK, Cyprus, Hungary, or Italy.

There are 17 stock products and 220 ETFs available. Even though the selection of stock products is decent, the number of ETFs is not ideal.

Trading 212 and eToro offer 7 and 17 stock products respectively. Although the 220 ETFs XTB offers are less than ideal, eToro and Trading 212 don’t fare any better. Trading 212 offers 200  ETFs, while eToro only offers 145 of them.

Trading Platform

You can utilize either xStation 5 or MetaTrader 4. xStation 5 is X-Trade Broker’s custom platform. MT4 is a third-party option.

xStation 5 is available in many languages. They include:

  • Arabic
  • Bulgarian
  • Chinese
  • Czech
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Hungarian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Slovenian
  • Spanish
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese

Let’s talk more about X-Trade’s custom platform.

Design

You might feel intimidated by xStation 5 at first glance. It looks like a trading platform designed for professionals. However, once you start using it, you’ll realize that it’s not too complicated. You can also easily customize it.

Asset Searches

There are two ways you can search for assets on ‘Market Watch’.

  1. Click the product name in the search bar
  2. Go through the different categories and products available. Let’s say you want to trade a US stock CFD. You have to click on the specific stock type and then the US.

Placing Orders

xStation 5 comes with a trader calculator. You’ll be able to calculate the margins, commissions, and the other parameters of trades.

The order types available are:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Trailing stop

Login

Logging in doesn’t take long. It’s a one-step process. Just know that a two-step login would be more secure.

Notifications

Notifications and alerts can be sent through email or SMS. In terms of what you can use this feature for, they include margin calls, deposits, withdrawals, and closed positions.

Portfolio

The platform provides clear portfolio and fees reports. They’re available under the ‘History’ tab. Daily reports via email can be sent to you as well.

Mobile Trading

Mobile trading can be done either through xStation 5 or MetaTrader 4. Mobile trading is possible on both Android and IOS. You’ll be able to trade in as many languages as you like on the web trading version.

Design

The XTB mobile app is well-designed and user-friendly. You’ll easily be able to find any feature you want.

Login

Only one-step login is available. A two-step login would be more secure. However, you can set up fingerprint authentication which is a bonus.

Search Function

All you need to do is type the name of the product in the search bar or browse the different product categories.

Placing Orders

The same order types as the web trading platform are available:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Trailing stop

Alerts

The app lets you set as many alerts and notifications as you want. This includes notifications for market news and price changes.

Deposits and Withdrawals

The account base currencies available are below average compared to rivals. The only major currencies available are USD, EUR, and GBP. XTB’s less popular currency accounts are HUF and PLN.

If you’re new to trading, you may be wondering why the number of currency accounts matters. When you fund your account or trade assets in the same currency as your bank account, you don’t have to pay conversion fees. These fees can be pricey.

An easy way to avoid the conversion fees is by opening a multi-currency bank account. This will only take a couple of minutes.

One of the advantages is that X-Trade doesn’t have a minimum deposit amount. You can deposit whatever you want to open a live account.

Fees

XTB doesn’t charge deposit fees. However, e-wallets like PaySafe (formerly Skrill) and PayPal will charge 2% from the sum you’ve deposited.

Your location will determine which e-wallet you’ll be able to use. The ones XTB accepts are:

  • Paypal
  • Paysafe (formerly Skrill)
  • Neteller
  • Paydoo
  • PayU
  • SafetyPay
  • ECOMMPAY
  • BlueCash
  • Blik
  • Sofort

You can also make deposits through debit and credit cards, as well as bank transfers. Just know that a deposit via bank transfer can take several days.

Withdrawal Fees & Options

X-Trade does not charge withdrawal fees for sums over €80/$100. €16 would be charged if the sum is below 80 pounds and 20 dollars if it’s below 100 dollars.

You can only withdraw money through a bank account in your name. If you make the withdrawal before 1 PM, the cash will show up in your bank account on the same day. Otherwise, it would take one business day to arrive.

Let’s talk about the withdrawal process.

First, log into your trading account. You’ll see a ‘Deposit and withdraw funds’ option on the bottom right. When you click it, you’ll be directed to a page where you’re asked to include your bank details. This is the account your money would be sent to. Initiate the withdrawal and you’re good to go.

All you need to do now is wait. Keep in mind that if you did the withdrawal before 1 PM, you’ll get the cash sent to you that same day.

Is My Money Safe with XTB?

Yes, your money will be safe. X-Trade Brokers UK is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority which is one of the largest and best-regulated financial bodies in the world.

Meanwhile, the EU branch of the site is regulated by CySec, under the 169/12 license number.

XTB’s international branch is regulated by the Belize International Financial Services Commission. It’s under the IFSC/60/413/TS/19 license number.

If you’re a retail client from the EU, you’ll have negative balance protection. This is mandated under the ESMA’s rules. It ensures that you won’t lose more than what’s in your trading account. Just know that the protection would only be offered for CFD and Forex spot trading.

Let’s talk about the investor protection you’ll get. It would be 100% up to every €3,000, and 90% up to every €22,000.

X-Trade does not provide two-factor authentication. However, it offers bio-metric protection for its mobile app. This means that you’ll have to use either your fingerprint, voice, or retina to log into your account.

You also need to have a long password that is a mix of low and upper case, along with numbers and special characters.

It’s safe to use XTB, as it has a long and clean track record. The company regularly releases financial statements, so transparency is never an issue. The broker is also listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange – it’s no small-fry.

While on the topic of safety, know that the site doesn’t have a banking license. To some people, this may be an issue.

Resources

The firm’s educational materials are great. You can find four different courses on trading, which are divided into basic, intermediate, expert, and premium content. The basic and intermediate courses are free but you need to pay for the other two.

Each of the courses includes videos and articles. The topics are diverse and do not deviate from the industry norm. All the information that a beginner should know about is available.  Its resources are well-organized, which is a plus.

In the premium course, X-Trade has complied material from some of the best traders in the game.

The broker holds conferences and events for people who want to get into trading. In April 2019, X-Trade held the Global Online Trading Master Class. It was live-streamed and users from various locations took part.

Not only are there resources to help you invest better, but you can also find tutorials on how to use xStation 5 and Metatrader 4. You can get a demo account for this. You’ll be funded with virtual money to practice trading strategies.

Is XTB a Good Broker?

You don’t need to be a pro trader to know that the broker is worth your while. You’ll be able to trade a large selection of CFDs and Forex. The number of stock types you can trade is just as good. However, as mentioned, the number of ETFs available isn’t the best.

XTB is easy to use, and your money will be safe. The cherry on top is the fact that you’ll be getting superb customer support.

You can contact the support team through live chat, phone, or email. This is available in many languages, including Romanian and Hungarian.

The broker’s live chat provides immediate, helpful replies. What’s more, its phone support team answers calls almost immediately and attends to problems.

We contacted the site’s team via email. We had no complaints, as the representative we spoke with cleared all the doubts we had.

If you live outside Europe, you’ll get 24/7 customer support. But if you’re from the EU, support would only be available 24/5.

The fact that X-Trade has many resources and educational guides is also appreciated. If you want to become a pro, you can purchase its premium course material.  You can also attend one of the conferences and masterclasses that are hosted by the platform.

Final Thoughts

The broker accepts clients from the UK. You’ll be able to make use of its services wherever you are in the world unless you live in the United States. The site is mostly used to trade CFD and Forex. However, you can trade crypto, stocks, and ETFs too. The number of CFDs and Forex available are on par with rivals like eToro and Trading 212.

XTB is a reliable broker. You’ll be getting great customer support and can get in touch with its customer representatives in several ways. There are many resources that you can use to become a better trader, as well.

You won’t be charged deposit fees, and there are several ways you can fund your trading account. However, you’ll only be able to withdraw money from a bank account in your name. If you withdraw before 1 PM, the cash would be transferred to your bank on the same day.

Bitpanda UK Review

BitPanda is actually a subsidiary of Coinimal GmbH, which is based in Austria, and despite its claim that its trading platform is in full agreement with the local administration, there is no particular license to show for it.

However, it is also true that since this exchange came into operation back in 2014, there have not been very many complaints regarding the integrity of its services. BitPanda is an exchange aimed squarely at those who are new to the cryptocurrency trading scheme.

What’s more, BitPanda’s operations so far have not been hindered by any major hack, and that is saying something about an exchange that has been around for more than a few years.

However, no matter how good its track record may be, that lack of official licensing from a government authority is going to still keep some traders in the dark as to whether or not they should sign up. Perhaps getting to know this exchange a little better is what you need to make up your mind about it.

If you are looking for an easier way to invest in crypto, try etoro and pepperstone.

An Overview of Bitpanda

BitPanda functions as both a cryptocurrency exchange and a cryptocurrency wallet. It was conceived by a few university students who were keen on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Their objective with BitPanda was to make it the most convenient cryptocurrency exchange service and also one of the most secure.

One feature that makes BitPanda so compelling, particularly to novice traders, is that it does not require you to have a cryptocurrency wallet before you sign up. Instead, it provides you with a cryptocurrency wallet in addition to its exchange services. Also being a fully automated exchange, any payment will be received the moment it has been confirmed. No funds are held otherwise. This alleviates a huge amount of risk surrounding both your fiat and cryptocurrencies.

It is not often that we come across a cryptocurrency exchange that is so trusted but utterly devoid of any licensing.

Cryptocurrencies Available At Bitpanda

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Dash
  • Litecoin

Methods of Payment

Users have several options when it comes to payment methods with BitPanda. However, not all processing time is the same. Depending on which method you choose, the speed of a transaction can be anywhere between 10 seconds and 3 days. Rest assured, the majority of payment methods at BitPanda make transactions virtually instant. Those methods include credit/debit cards, NETELLER, and plus SOFORT. Meanwhile, SEPA transfers usually take a day or so to be processed.

In any case, here is the full list of payment methods available at BitPanda.

  • Visa / MasterCard
  • NETELLER
  • GIROPAY / EPS
  • Skrill
  • SOFORT Transfer
  • SEPA Transfer
  • Gift Voucher

BitPanda: Privacy & Security

When it comes to making your BitPanda account secure as well as obtaining a higher transaction limit, you would have to fulfill one peculiar prerequisite. In addition to submitting your ID form, users must also verify their identity with a live video call. Whether this is a scam or simply a foolproof way of confirming your identity is at your discretion.

Other safety measures include a dual-factor authentication system which will keep a record of all login attempts to expose anyone else’s attempt to break into yours.

There is some flexibility with the verification. Depending on how much information you are willing to provide and your preferred money limit, you can choose between 3 distinct levels of verification.

Verification by email means that you cannot purchase bitcoins but you can sell up to 1000 pounds worth of bitcoins per day.

Verification by your phone number does allow you to purchase a maximum of 50 pounds worth of bitcoins per day.

Finally, verification by ID allows you to purchase the bitcoin equivalent of 350 pounds per a day or 10,000 a month, but only with your credit card. For other payment methods, the daily rate is even higher at 5000 pounds while the monthly rate goes up to 75,000.

Conclusion

The reason we will not be discussing BitPanda’s fee rates is that this exchange is yet to make them accessible to the public. Instead, they are funneled straight into the prices of the cryptocoins.

Principally speaking, there are some considerable doubts surrounding BitPanda. However, statistically speaking, it really is very similar to other highly reputed cryptocurrency exchanges.

Best UK Trading Apps

Being the United Kingdom, you want to know the best trading apps in the UK. Thankfully for you, this article will be running through 3 names that have some of the best apps available.

best trading apps

With them by your side, you’ll trade effortlessly. So, why not read ahead?

1. Plus500

Plus500 is a London stock exchange-listed CFD. It was created in 2008 in Israel. It’s known for its mobile app as it’s noticeably clean and effortless. You can utilize this ease to trade CFD and Forex on.

In terms of the platform, it’s regulated by many bodies. You can expect the Australian Securities and Investments Commission as well as the UK’S Financial Conduct Authority to monitor it.

Having large names assessing its every move makes it one of the safest platforms to trade CFDs on. The fact that it’s listed on the London Stock Exchange helps with this as well.

Let’s dive into some of its features.

Its Interface

Its web platform is extremely clean and you’ll find it very easy to use. This is translated to its mobile app as well.

In fact, many of the features on the web version are available here.

It comes with great charting tools to study data as well as a clear economic calendar. However, there isn’t a news feed.

There is also a notification system that we’re a fan of. It lets you monitor the price of an asset.

Can Anyone Make An Account?

Plus500 does not restrict a lot of countries. If you were to create an account, you’ll be able to do so as only 5 countries are barred.

If you’re wondering what these countries are, they are:

  • Canada
  • US
  • Iran
  • Syria
  • Cuba

Although it’s only 5 countries, a good chunk of the world’s traders come from North America.  And unfortunately, 3 of the 5 countries on this list are from the region.

How Easy Is It To Make An Account?

Plus500 is easy to make an account on. You can do so within a day which is refreshing.

Once you register for an account, you have to verify yourself to be allowed entry. Although you have to provide sensitive information, this practice is common for all online brokers.

You’ll have to add a copy of your passport or ID, as well as a utility bill (for your address).

Base Currencies

Base currencies are essentials for online brokers. With Plus500 by your side, you have a range of currencies to choose from.

That being said, there’s a problem with this. Plus500 hasn’t made it clear what type of currencies they offer. In fact, we don’t even know how many there are.

Are There Fees?

You’ll be happy to know there are no deposit fees when trading on Plus500.

This is the same for withdrawals as well. For the first 5 withdrawals, you make a month, nothing will be charged. Once the 5 are up, you’ll have to pay $10 every time you take cash out.

If you’re wondering, it requires a $100 minimum deposit.

2. Easymarkets

Easymarkets is an online broker that specializes in CFD and Forex trade. It was created in 2001 and initially went as easyMarkets.

Its headquarters are in the Marshall Islands. So, it has room to function as it wants as the Marshall Islands are very lax with online trading.

Although it’s primarily known for its web version, it has an impressive mobile app that users love.

If you’re wondering how regulated they are, cySEC and ASIC monitor their every move.

Its Interface

Its web platform is easy to use and clean as well. This is translated into its mobile app too.

When you use the online broker, you have access to charting data as well as a news feed. It provides an economic calendar and a blog section with trading strategies and tips.

The blog section encompasses its ‘education’ section as it teaches you as much about trading as possible and includes informative videos as well.

Is It Available Everywhere?

Easymarkets is available across the world. Unlike Plus500, it’s restricted in many more countries.

Are There Base Currencies?

Yes, there are 18 of them. Unfortunately, they haven’t made all these public knowledge.

How Do You Make An Account?

If you want to make an account for the platform, you’ll have to register.

Once you register, it’s not the end of the road. You’ll have to verify who you are which requires sensitive information. If you’re wondering what these are, they are your ID/Passport as well as a utility bill.

You can expect your account to be done within a day as well.

Are There Fees?

In terms of easymarkets, it does charge you a deposit fee. However, this is very common with online brokers so it’s not anything to be too impressed about.

In terms of withdrawal fees, nothing is charged. This is impressive as Plus500 made this free only for the first 5 withdrawals of the month.

If you’re wondering, it requires a minimum $100 deposit.

Its Interface

Its web platform is easy to use and clean as well. This is translated into its mobile app too.

When you use the online broker, you have access to charting data as well as a news feed. It provides an economic calendar and a blog section with trading strategies and tips.

The blog section encompasses its ‘education’ section as it teaches you as much about trading as possible and includes informative videos as well.

If you’re wondering, you need $100 to open a standard account.

3. Highlow

UPDATE: Highlow does not accept UK traders anymore. Try eToro instead.

Highlow is a trading platform that was created in Australia. It has its headquarters in Sydney. Because of this, they’re regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). Although they’re monitored by only one body, you should know that ASIC is one of the strictest (if not the most strict) financial body in the world.

With them by your side, you can trade cryptocurrency.

Although their web version is good, their mobile version is one of the best on this list.

Its Platform

The online broker is easy to use, like its contenders above. This is seen in its mobile app as well.

In both versions, you will see charting tools and a research section for users.

Is It Available Anywhere?

The platform was accessible to people around the world. However, there were restrictions for a few countries.

As of July 2019, Highlow decided to change this. If you live outside of Australia, you won’t be able to access the online broker as it’s only available to Australian nationals.

Its old users were allowed to stay but anyone new had to be Australian.

How Easy Is It To Open An Account?

To open an account, you’ll have to register. With this out of the way, you can only use their features if you verify yourself.

It’s not difficult to do this as all you need is proof of your identity and something to show as your address. Such a thing is common for online brokers.

When you first make an account, you’ll get $50 cashback. Isn’t that great?

Are There Fees?

When withdrawing cash, you’ll be charged 2% of whatever you took out. In terms of deposits, you won’t be charged anything.

That being said, you need $50 AUD to create a standard account.

If you want to withdraw anything, it takes up to a day to get processed.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are multiple pros and cons of working with all 3. That being said, their pros outweigh their cons, making them some of the best to use in Australia.

Bitcoin Mining in the UK

Bitcoin mining is so called because it is in many ways similar to gold mining except for one crucial detail: all of it exists in a virtual setting and not underground.

As per the Bitcoin protocol, there can never be more than 21 million Bitcoins available to trade. Until that limit is reached, Bitcoin miners will be at it unearthing new Bitcoins. Mining is, in fact, their primary incentive for continually adding blocks to the blockchain.

Nodes

Nodes refer to immensely powerful computers that keep the Bitcoin software on wheels simply by getting involved in the distribution of information. Ironically, it is possible for these nodes to be run by just about anyone. A node will share the information of a Bitcoin transaction to other nodes familiar to it who will, in turn, share the information the same way. As you can imagine, the news of a single Bitcoin transaction gets disseminated quite swiftly.

There are also mining nodes which assemble any outstanding transactions into blocks and contribute them to the blockchain. They do this by solving a complex mathematical problem to which the answer is known as a “nonce”. This could be any integer between 0 and 4,294,967,296. Indeed, it is a hard puzzle to solve. But the reward for doing so will be a new Bitcoin.

If you want an easier way to invest in Bitcoin, check out eToro.

How to Mine Bitcoin in the UK

If you want to get started with bitcoin mining you have two options:

1. Hardware

Before you commence mining for Bitcoin, you must first obtain the relevant hardware. Today, that consists of Custom Bitcoin ASIC chips which are 100 times more capable than older devices and will consume a lot less electricity.

2. Cloud mining

An alternative to mining Bitcoin yourself is to invest in Bitcoin cloud mining contracts. While this method is a lot simpler, it poses a significantly higher risk as it does not afford you any control over the hardware. Bitcoin cloud mining does have its own history of scams.

However, if you are still keen on trying it, here are some of the most prominent Bitcoin mining companies to consider.

Hashflare

At Hashflare, you can opt for SHA-256 mining contracts as well as SHA-256 coins (which are more profitable). The minimal amount you can buy is 10 GH/s.

Genesis

Genesis is the biggest Bitcoin cloud mining company in the world. It offers users a choice of three Bitcoin cloud mining plans which are all well-priced. You can also go opt for a Zcash mining contract if you prefer.

Hashnest review

Hashnest is a mining company run by Bitmain, which is also the producer of the Antminer Bitcoin miners. At present, Hashnest offers over 600 Antminer S7s for rent. You can check out the latest prices and vacancies offered on the official Hashnest website.

Minex

Minex is known to be an inventive assembler of blockchain schemes that are offered as an economic recreation game. Clients are able to buy Cloudpacks with which they can build a catalogue of pre-determined groups of cloud mining casinos, farms, and lotteries.

Conclusion

Regardless of whether you choose to generate Bitcoin using mining hardware or through a company, always stay updated on the latest price shifts and other news regarding Bitcoin. Also, never invest more than you are prepared to lose.

How to Buy Spotify Shares

As you may be aware, Spotify made its debut on the stock market earlier this month, a flotation which analysts suggested would take its value somewhere between $20 billion to $25billion.

buy spotify shares uk

Naturally, investors are going to want to know if the shares are worth it, so here is everything you need to know before you invest in the newly entered Spotify.

After Snap made its stock market debut the year before, Spotify is the largest tech company to also go public. It currently has over 157 million users, half of who are on a premium subscription. However, its IPO is a lot different than what it is from Snap. Plus Spotify will not be making any money out of it.

Buy Spotify Shares in the UK

Traders from the UK have many choices to choose form.

If you are new to buying shares, I recommend to go with a broker like eToro.

eToro is a popular UK broker, that lets you guy Spotify shares easily.

Why you should buy shares

  • Considerable revenue growth over the last few years expected to be over 5.3 million pounds by the end of this year. Plus, there are many new markets and economies that are still untapped
  • Also expected to aid growth are updates on user experience for both artistes and listeners
  • Every new premium subscriber comes at a cost of around 9 pounds sterling. However, the returns will break even if that subscriber stays past 12 months. A lifetime subscription is currently worth 25 pounds
  • With a claimed estimate of more than 40% in global music streaming shares, Spotify is in a prime position to make all kinds of bargains with artistes and record labels
  • No debts to be concerned about as long as the company stays afloat

Why you should not by shares

  • At present, Spotify is yet to turn a profit. All bets are on its future earnings
  • A significant threat posed by rivals Amazon and Apple which both have serious financial backing
  • As much as 87% of rights to Spotify’s music stream is controlled by only four music companies
  • At least a couple million users enjoy an ad-free service without getting a premium subscription. This will hurt Spotify’s revenue.
  • Founders of Spotify still assume control over the company
  • Spotify has admitted to faulty financial reporting in the past despite claimed measure to resolve such issues

Spotify’s flotation

Spotify’s flotation is an unusual one since it will not be issuing new stocks. Rather, the shares being offered are currently possessed by private investors.

Of course, no price for those shares has been announced in advance to their entry into Wall Street and they will not be under any management from investment bankers. While this may be saving money on behalf of Spotify, it will also generate a fair amount of volatility when the shares go live and investors attempt to decide on a price.

How valuable is Spotify?

When the Swedish company made its debut on the Stock Exchange, analysts put its value in the ballpark of 20 to 25 billion dollars. But with no share prices being set in advance, taking an educated guess is considerably more difficult.

What’s more, Spotify has not been a particularly profitable enterprise since its beginning, incurring costs such as royalties for both artistes and record labels. It will be up to the investors to decide if the company will stay afloat or not.

The strong points of Spotify

Despite not being particularly profitable on the whole, Spotify has shown immense growth in revenue in recent years. It is still the most prominent player for streaming music online. Both the number of free subscribers and premium subscribers are set to increase significantly by the end of this year.

The not-so-strong points of Spotify

Spotify’s primary concern is competition from rivals Amazon and Apple, who both have vast financial reserves to back them if they attempt a challenge.

Both sell hardware such as the Echo and the iPhone, each already containing their own music-streaming service.

Another major concern is a rather small number of suppliers – only four music companies, in fact, that collectively own the rights to about 87% of all music streamed off Spotify.

So is it a good idea to go ahead and purchase some Spotify shares? Below is a list of reasons why you should and why you should not.

Conclusion

There is no doubt about it right now, investing in Spotify shares today would appear to be quite a gamble. Hopefully, the breakdown of the pros and cons here will help you as a prospecting investor to make an informed decision.

Pepperstone UK Review

Pepperstone is one of the most reputed and critically acclaimed brokers for CFD and forex trading anywhere in the world.

pepperstone uk review

Is Pepperstone Available in the UK?

Yes. Pepperstone accepts traders from the UK.

The platform was established in 2010 in Melbourne, Australia, but it very popular in the UK and other European countries. It distinguishes itself among other brokers thanks to superior technological advancements and faster, more efficient trade executions.

It also affords traders with multiple accounts and trading platforms that we shall come to in a little while.

But first, let us give priority to one of the more bottom-of-the-priority-list services of this UK broker since it is as important as it is understated.

Pepperstone’s Trading Platform

Two of the world’s leading platforms for foreign exchange are available at Pepperstone, MetaTrader and cTrader.

MetaTrader

  • Most popular platform for forex trading
  • User-friendly interface and resourceful management tools
  • Charts are displayed in real time along with live price quotes and detailed news

cTrader

  • Offers direct access to inter-bank market depth
  • Capable of implementing forex trading systems based on algorithms
  • Customizable interface featuring charts both pre-set and detachable
  • Facilitates comprehensive backtesting

Choosing between the two can induce a breakdown if you are too keen. What is important to remember here that one does not have to be objectively worse than the other. It just needs to be a better suitor your subjective trading needs. MT4 tends to be the choice for traders keen on using forex automation while cTrader is favored by those who intend to personalize their interface as well as obtain more advanced options for placing orders.

If you are not quite sure which one is better suited to your style, you can always give both options a trial run on a demo account before you make up your mind.

eToro is one of Pepperstone’s biggest competitors. Read the eToro UK review here.

Trade executions

Now with Pepperstone the first thing that catches your attention with Pepperstone is that its trade executions are fast. Pepperstone is actually an ECN broker and what that means for forex traders is forex trading minus dealer intervention via their Razor account. It is called the edge environment and forex traders have direct access to liquidity currency pools that is not excluding big global financial institutions.

There are other factors at play that make the speed of execution even faster…

Fast trading servers

Fast global trading servers to be precise thanks to a partnership between Pepperstone and Equinix of NASDAQ fame. The servers are located in New York and London.

Pepperstone in Australia is connected to its equinox servers in New York via an optical fiber network. That effectively eliminates the several thousand kilometers between the two cities that information would have to travel in order to execute a trade. As result, latency is 10 times less than what it would be otherwise.

Leverage with Pepperstone

Pepperstone leverage is 1:500, one of the highest levels of on any forex market. So in essence, every dollar you invest is equivalent to $500 dollars on leverage. To put that into context, making the minimum deposit of $200 into your Pepperstone account allows you to trade up to $100,000 on the market.

Customer service

The team that constitutes customer service for Pepperstone has many years of experience working in the forex industry. That becomes a distinct advantage since experience translates to helpful advice and instruction that users can rely on for various inquiries. In fact, Pepperstone can even provide an account manager just to ease your way with getting to know the industry and how best to play it.

As long as the forex markets are open, so is Pepperstone’s customer service facility thanks to five offices which span the entire globe from Melbourne to Shanghai to Bangkok to London, UK and finally Texas. So you do not necessarily have to be a trader based in Australia to have a local service in your region.

Contact options

You can contact Pepperstone’s customer service primarily through email and a live online chat. You can get in touch by phone with headquarters in Melbourne, or Shanghai if you want to communicate in Chinese, or the branch in Dallas, Texas.

Spreads and Fees

Pepperstone is considered to offer some of the best value of any Australian forex broker when it comes to weighing the cost of trading with the services being provided.

There are no commission to pay for holders of the standard account and spreads starting from 1.0 pips. For holders of the Razor account, a commission of AU$3.5 will be charged for 100k that is traded. So there are commission allocated to certain types of accounts, the spreads are still fairly low in Australia.

Which type of account is best for you?

There really is not any shortage of options here. There is something for everyone at Pepperstone from cTrader to MT4, 5 and the Razor account. As a beginner, you can use the limitless demo account to properly acquaint yourself with other accounts so you can make a confident and informed decision and not risk your own money trying to figure it out.

Bonus offers

In previous years, Pepperstone would match the initial deposit with some $600 Aussie dollars in free brokerage. However, there were conditions to be met.

  • Only new traders who were signing up with Pepperstone were eligible
  • The bonus would expire 60 days after the account was activated

It is not yet confirmed that the offer still stands for 2017 so it would help to inquire about it from customer services. ‘Free brokerage’ I technically commission free trading with an edge account from Pepperstone.

Conclusion

Pepperstone UK is one of the most reputed and acclaimed brokers in the business, not just in Australia where it is based, but on the international stage as well. Since its inception, the broker has seen rapid expansion for it client base and thoroughly comprehensive and positive reviews. That is thanks in part to the low spreads on offer but mostly due to superior technological prowess and swifter execution of trades. It is a flexible and innovative player in the broker business, one that you would do very well to sign in as a forex trader.

eToro UK Review

Founded in 2006, eToro has since grown to be among the most prominent social trading platforms. It is also a rather well-reputed broker for stocks and forex traders.

etoro uk review

eToro is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel and became popular with its social trading feature.

eToro is registered as a Cypriot Investment Firm of CIF under the number HE200585 and regulated under CySec, the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission.

The license number is 109/10. eToro’s European base is also in Cyprus, specifically in Limassol. And in the UK, the broker’s headquarters are in London. Over there, it is also registered as a UK firm under the number 7973792 and regulated by the FCA or Financial Conduct Authority.

Is eToro Available in the UK?

Yes. eToro accept traders from the UK.

In fact, the UK is one of the markets they focus most on. They even have offices in the UK, located at this address: eToro (UK) Ltd. 24th floor, One Canada Square Canary Wharf London, E14 5AB.

At present, eToro is used by over 20 million traders from over 100 countries (60%+ are from Europe).

The list of available trading assets include currencies, commodities, CFDs, and indices, and the platform on which it is all down has literally thousands of new accounts being opened on a daily basis. However, eToro is not an active broker in the United States is not an option for traders that are based there.

“OpenBook” is eToro’s social investment platform and it was launched in 2010 coincidentally with “CopyTrading”.

2010 also saw the launch of the broker’s Android app so traders could now access their account and trade on their mobile phone or tablet. The traders could utilize these features to keenly observe how the most successful traders playing and feed off of that. However, these features have now been swapped for an all-encompassing platform which is still accessible on your android device.

eToro’s main competitors are: 24Option, Markets.com and BDSwiss.

Features of eToro UK

eToro retains a brilliant program for education as well as an all accepting platform for trade.

But what is even more special than that it has one of the world’s largest financial trading communities online. Whereas “OpenBook” and “WebTrader” had a good run as the company’s trading platforms, they were recently replaced by a more efficient all-inclusive platform that can be accessed from any sort of device.

The minimum first deposit for opening a live account with eToro is variable depending which country and specific region a trader is based.

The figure can be anywhere from $50 to $1000. There is a practice account available as well which you can sign up for at no cost whatsoever. The practice account offers a useful insight into the workings of the platform with virtual money and no funding required. Additionally, eToro also offers an Islamic accounts.

eToro does not charge any commissions on executed trades, much like other high-end forex brokers. As compensation, the broker slightly expands the spread.

Trading software

eToro’s original trading platform was rather primitive, aimed at novice inexperienced traders. But it has steadily graduated to the award-winning platform that is now, accessible on both your Android and iOS devices. You can download eToro’s App from Google Play or the iOS App Store.

Deposits and withdrawals

eToro trades on US currency only, therefore converting any deposit made in another currency as it is received. There is a convenient number of option with which you can open a live account with eToro. We have listed them below:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Diner’s Club credit
  • Wirecard
  • Debit cards
  • Bank wire transfer
  • Yandex
  • Neteller
  • Skrill Limited UK
  • China Union Pay
  • Webmoney UK
  • PayPal
  • GiroPay

Customer Support

Customer support for traders is available 24 hours a day, five days a week from Monday to Friday. Communication is possible via telephone or email. The official email response time is 48 hours.

There does not seem to be a live chat option but there is a customizable digital customer service from a company called “Nano Rep”. There is also a “Customer Service Wall” so that customers can communicate with customer services in a sort of forum.

Usually, any inquiries are manageable with the use of online guides but if a client requests direct communication with a representative, that will be arranged in a short while.

You can choose which representative you would like to speak to by clicking on their photograph where there will be a brief bio description included as well. You can communicate either in English, French, Spanish, German, or Italian.

Security

Besides being regulated by authorities like the FCS and CySEC, we know for a fact that eToro preserves customer information safe and secure by using an updated Secure Socket Layer or SSL to authenticate data transfers and users. It is part of the reason, why the broker is so successful and reputed in forex trading circles.

Conclusion

eToro is very popular among stocks and forex traders.

With its new, all-inclusive trading and social investment platform, it is highly efficient and accessible on your mobile devices as well as your computer. And it caters very well to young and inexperienced traders with its numerous education programs.

The only criticisms we have so far are the lack of an online chat system and the 5-day wait on the withdrawal process. But apart from that, a very good broker indeed.