At the time of its launch, Bitcoin was the first and most prominent cryptocurrency around.
Now, 10 years later, it still occupies the top spot. However, the same cannot be said about the playing field.
We have seen the rise of dozens of other cryptocurrencies, most notably Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin, all competing to knock Bitcoin off the top.
Buying Bitcoin with PayPal in the UK
Most people in the UK have a paypal account and are probably wondering: Is it possible to buy Bitcoin with paypal in the UK?
Similarly, PayPal is another highly used method of making online payments. So the chances are quite high that a Bitcoin trader may simultaneously be maintaining a PayPal account.
This will naturally make anyone wonder whether it’s possible to purchase Bitcoin off your PayPal account. Happily, the answer to that is, yes, it is very possible. In this article, we will break down how it is done.
The first thing you are going to realize about securing Bitcoin purchases with your PayPal account is that there is no direct method of doing so. This makes the process a bit complicated. But for now, you are going to have to settle with alternative methods and marketplaces.
Fortunately, PayPal does allow users to employ SSLs or Second Life Lindens to purchase Bitcoin and so several exchanges begun offering SLL services.
VirWox is one of them. It is technically not a Bitcoin exchange but a platform which serves the Second Life game as a way of buying in-game collectibles.
Since the game has been accepted by PayPal, users can employ gaming funds to buy Bitcoins.
Before you begin making Bitcoin purchases through PayPal and Virwox, you must first determine your budget and set up a cryptocurrency wallet if you do not already have one.
Next, you will need to set up an account with VirWox. Once your account is active, you can start depositing money using PayPal. Now you will be able to exchange your balance for SLL and then able to convert SLL to Bitcoin. Virwox does impose a 10% fee on the transaction which is rather high. Once your Bitcoins have been purchased, it is best to transfer them to your wallet.
LocalBitcoins is a popular Bitcoin exchange with an international user base. It supplies a virtual platform through which buyers and sellers can connect with each other and make trades using online payment methods like PayPal.
However, trading here is at your own risk. The platform is considered generally safe and reliable.
With Paxful, you can open an account, find a seller and do transactions with your PayPal account. It is not quite as popular as some of the other platforms. However, Paxful users do have better security thanks to its use of an escrow service.
While there are no direct ways in the UK to make direct Bitcoin transactions with your PayPal account, these are a few of the best ways to get around that problem.
While the following platforms have been listed in order of their popularity, your pick should always be based on how suitable it will be for your specific interests and needs as a trader.
“Welcome to the world’s most awarded trading platform” is what it says when you enter the website for 24option.
And to be fair, that is not an empty greeting. As far as CFD brokers go, this is one really is the grand old man of the clan. It is about as old as the concept of CFD Trading itself. It is currently under the ownership of Rodeler Limited, licensed and regulated under CySEC.
The main talking point with 24option has always been that it offers the highest returns for traders compared to any other broker in the industry. That is 89% for certain options and types of options. The trading platform is an improved version of the Tech Financials system, which is already quite popular.
24Option UK Accounts
With 24option, there are 3 types of accounts to choose from. In descending order they are categorized as Platinum, Gold and Standard. All of them require an initial deposit to be activated and all are offered along with a free demo account. You can start trading soon as your initial deposit is made.
The minimum amount required for your initial deposit is $250 or the equivalent of that in GBP, EUR, JPY, or RUB.
On average the minimum amount invested per option is $24 while the maximum is around the ballpark of $10,000.
This broker is compliant with all major credit cards, such as VISA, MasterCard, Maestro International, Carte Bleue, Carta Si, Dankort and Discoverer.
Electronic deposits are allowed via MoneyBookers.
Wire transfers are also doable but not under the minimum amount of $1000.
Supported currencies are the US Dollar, Euro, British Pound, and Japanese Yen. Once selected, the currency may not be switched.
Traders are required to produce legal documentation prior to processing withdrawals as is put forth by anti-money laundering policies.
Clients are entitled to one free withdrawal every month that is not including any fees being charged by a third party intermediary.
24Option UK Trading platform
24option contains a comprehensive center of learning which offers eCourses, ebooks for trading, interactive ebooks and trading videos all focused on inspiring the best possible trading strategies for clients with varying levels of experience.
Customer support from 24option is among the highest rated of any broker. It is available 24 hours of the day for 7 days a week via telephone, email, or live online chat. Traders can communicate in as many as 17 different languages.
CySEC regulations are decidedly quite strict and any broker that submits to them is considered trustworthy.
Every deposit from a client is separated from the operating capital and safeguarded by the Investor Compensation Program. Personal details, as well as trading details, are encrypted with the latest 128bit SSL technology. That is about as secure as they can get at this point.
24option is one of those long-standing brokers with an impeccable track record and continues to be at the forefront of the broker business.
24option also has the distinction of being the most awarded and critically acclaimed broker of them all. Factor in the sensational payoff ratio, easy to use trading platform, resourceful learning facilities and efficient customer service and it is not hard to see why this broker gets so much praise.
Markets.com is a broker operating under Safecap Investments Limited which is regulated and authorized by CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission) in Cyprus, and FSB (Financial Services Board) in South Africa.
SafeCap, as it were, was founded in 2006 and became involved in the forex market a couple of years later in 2008.
Clients of Markets.com have access to all kinds of helpful material like chart analysis, indicators, oscillators as well as other alerts being offered, in order to make an accurate assessment of the markets they are investing in and so make better predictions that will win them more profits.
Types of accounts
To open an account with Markets.com you must deposit a minimum amount of $100.
Spreads are competitive and the default setting for leverage is 1:50 but it can go as high as 1:300. Bear in mind that the heavier the leverage, the heavier the risk.
Leverage for trading forex is available up to 1:300 while the limit for commodities and indices is 1:200 and for stocks, it is 1:10. Nevertheless, all these values can yield significant returns or losses.
With Markets.com, you can trade in a decent variety of instruments such as gold, commodities, stocks, currencies, CFDs, and equities.
What’s more, said trading is entirely free of commissions and the spreads are still quite tight, down to 1.7 on important fx pairs like GPB/USD, EUR/USD, and USD/JPY.
There is also an unlimited demo account on offer which traders can use to sharpen their trading instincts and skills without risking real funds.
Markets.com likes to encourage its clients involved swiftly by their own activation online and not have to rely on customer support. New clients can, therefore, anticipate walk-through tips and messages to assist them as well as additional bonuses.
Deposits and withdrawals
There are numerous methods of payment by which to fund your Markets.com account including credit cards, wire transfers, Neteller, Skrill, PayPal, and also whatever methods are available in your area.
Making withdrawals is simple enough with Markets.com. Once you have logged into your account, click on the withdrawal tab and wait for the funds to be transferred through to your bank account.
At Markets.com, traders can benefit from a comprehensive educational programme in both forex and CFD trading. For instance, there is the News and Research section where traders can access in-depth coverage of the forex market.
Both forex and CFD traders can benefit from technical analysis brought by Trading Central, a leading provider, to help them identify and benefit from the momentum of the market.
CFDs and currencies aside, traders can also access to coverage and analysis of commodities, indices, and stocks.
There is also the Autochartist tool where traders who sign up can and be given alerts, both audio and visual, just as soon as any emerging or complete patterns are recognized or when a Fibonacci pattern is emerging. The alerts, of course, also come with relevant charts/graphs.
Autochartist also features Powerstats that offers you a better assessment of risk and volatility associated with whatever instruments you are trading in.
The website itself is accessible in up to 15 languages including French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Polish, Slovakian, Romanian and Arabic.
Markets.com boasts one of the most widely available customer support systems of any broker with officers set up in up to 21 locations across the globe with representatives on hand 24 hours a day, 5 days a week.
You can reach them either by email or live online chat.
Is Markets.com a Good UK Broker?
With the provision of such a favorable trading environment and abundant access to customer services, trading with Markets.com is about as sweet as it sounds.
The Broker known as a BD Swiss, which was known earlier as Bank De Swiss, has been around since 2011 and has since become a globally reputed broker in CFD trading and most recently in Forex trading as well.
BD Swiss has most of its half a million plus clients operating from European nations. Altogether it is accessible for up to 20 countries and its platform therefore is available in 20 different languages.
BDSwiss accepts traders from the UK.
However, Australia – which happens to be one of the most prominent nations in the world when it comes to CFD trading and forex trading – is not a member of that list.
The BD Swiss brand is owned by the financial investment company, Keplero Holdings Ltd. It is a licensed and fully regulated CFD trading and Forex broker under the Cyprus Securities & exchange Commission or CySEC.
BD Swiss is quite compatible with the majority of CFD and Forex traders incorporating into its system the essential elements and qualities of any good broker in the business. As with all brokers of this kind its trading platform is based online and is called SpotOption. Not only is it preposterously simple to use, it is also aesthetically pleasing and that could matter more to some customers than others.
Pay out rates are not exactly through the roof but they are still up there. On calling a High or Low Option for instance, you can expect a pay-out of 89%. You also have the option of extending time period on a trade by using the Roll Over feature. Changing the time period could potentially save you from making an inaccurate prediction and landing out the money.
You can also make use of the double feature to double the funds placed on an option. If you are confident enough that your prediction is accurate, you could then stand to make double the profit that was originally projected.
The Mobile App
Being able to continue trading while commuting outdoors is essential for many CFD traders. BD Swiss offers an easy to use app for devices with both Android and IOS software. You will have complete access to your account details and history as well as place all the different options on any asset offered by the online platform.
Opening an Account
BD Swiss is a fairly attractive choice for novice traders to invest in as it requires just $100 for opening a brand new account. However, in order to afford yourself more leverage on trades, it is advisable to invest at least two and half times that amount to get a decent start in the market. Traders do not have the option of maintaining multiple accounts simultaneously or access to a demo account.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Unlike its stingy policy on accounts, you do get a much friendlier variety of deposit options with BD Swiss. For the convenience of the traders, the website features a thorough description of all the important details concerning deposits such as the various methods available as well as the relevant processing times.
The minimum deposit that can be made in 100 Euros or an equivalent value in other currencies. Apart from bank wire transfers which can take any amount of time within a week to be processed, a deposit can be made using a Credit card, Paysafecard, EPS, Maestro, Giropay, Ukash or Sofort.
Withdrawals can be made using the same methods used on deposits. Processing a withdrawal can last from a single day to an entire week. As with deposits, the minimum amount for takeout is 100 Euros. Only for bank wire transfers, there will be a handling fee of $25.
Bonuses are not much of an amusement here. There are some but you would have to consult the terms & conditions extensively to see if you can land one.
You can keep in touch with this broker via telephone, emailing or a live chat option on the official website. The main languages you can communicate in are English, Spanish, Italian, German, Swedish, Austrian, Norwegian and Danish.
User friendly online platform
Low deposit for opening an account
Diversity of assets and option are available
Does not accept US or Australian traders
BD Swiss tends to prefer European clientele. However, it is still an extremely competent and reliable broker and is capable of returning huge profits to its clients.
Founded in 2006 and based in Dublin, Ireland, AvaTrade is a forex broker with a trading network accessible to over 150 nations.
It is licensed and regulated broker under multiple government authorities including the EU, BVI and also authorities in Australia, Japan, and South Africa. However, it does not extend its services to US based traders.
AvaTrade allows its users to:
Trade Cryptocurrencies and Commodities
Purchase And Sell Stocks,
Partake in various methods of training to improve yourself as a trader! (for free)
In order to use AvaTrade you must create an account.
You will be able to choose between a few different types of accounts, including some more and less advanced ones, these services are available in 14 different languages.
AvaTrade is regulated across 6 jurisdictions including the UK.
AvaTrade provides access to a variable multitude of trading platforms, both automatic and manual. Traders can select from over 250 trading assets in addition to analytical instruments, indicators, and charts. The platform itself is very user-friendly and allows you to trade any asset with a single click on the same screen. Another perk with this trading platform is that it can be customized quite a bit and provides access to advanced charts, live feeds, and real-time analysis.
Deposits and Withdrawals
The minimum deposit required to open an account with AvaTrade is $100. The maximum leverage available is 400:1.
Avatrade is compatible with many methods for depositing funds. Refer the list below:
If you are keen to skip the paperwork on your withdrawal, you can use the Ava Debit card. However, a withdrawal usually takes a yawning 5 days to be processed.
Sometimes, especially for people who are new to trading, it’s hard to pick the metaphorical depth of the pool you’re willing to hop into – that’s why AvaTrade offers a demo account for free!
The demo account is a tool which remains active for 21 days starting from the point of creation. (according to the website you can extend this period of time by contacting them – or just make a new account.)
The demo account lets you experience forex trading for free, depending on your region you will receive different leverage,
The demo account provides you with virtual funds to experiment and learn trading with,
The largest limitation is the inability to use features restricted to VIP and Experienced accounts, such, plus the fact the money you get to start is.
If you are living in the EU, the standard account for most users in the retail account, the big advantages of using this type of account are…
Risk warning put in place to help the user avoid dangerous trades,
Negative balance protection stopping you from going into debt with a negative balance,
If you are living outside of the EU, the go-to normal account is the standard account – aside from leverage differences (for legal reasons) the (EU) retail account and the (NON-EU) standard account are virtually identical.
So for someone living in Australia for example, you’d go for the standard account, not the retail account.
The professional account is not the kind used by your average trader who trades for a hobby, it’s designed from educated and experienced users who don’t need the training wheels and who know the risks of trading.
Seeing as the holder of this kind of account is seen as experienced, they will no longer receive warnings and will no longer
While not considered a “core” account, the crypto account allows you to trade cryptocurrencies. The currencies which you are able to trade include: Bitcoin, Stellar coin, Etherium, Ripple and Litecoin.
AvaTrade provides you with trading and analytical tools.
This is a mobile application allowing you to “trade on the go” – it promises both a friendly dashboard and advanced features.
Also known as MT4, this tool which offers you a platform to trade, they promise…
80 currency pairs,
Free download and installation,
And no deposit!
Much like it’s ancestor the MT5 is a trading platform, on top of the previously mentioned pros it also offers:
An improved interface
More analytical tools
38 Technical trend detection indicators
MT5 is also more accessible than MT4 – giving you the ability to use it on your PC, iOS and Android devices.
These tools let you automatically copy the actions of more experienced users allowing for effortless investments in the right places.
Customer support form Avatrade is on hand 24 hours a day for 5 days a week. The interface is well developed and the staff, very skilled. Traders can communicate in at least 12 different languages.
Does AvaTrade Offer Any Support To Its Users?
No matter you level of expertise you always have various resources to use in your journey through AvaTrade,
On the official website you have access to an ‘education’ tab, it contains…
The ‘Trading for beginners’ tab, it will lead you down a rabbit hole of all the basic you need to know, from basics like ‘what is a trend?’ to ‘technical analysis’ – at the time of writing the ‘Trading for beginners’ tab contains 31 articles explaining each topic in
The ‘What are Economic Indicators?’ tab, this is a smaller piece explaining the logic behind and the use for the trader’s ability to predict the impact of certain events on the
‘Trading Video Tutorials’ – these are professional videos created to explain various topics, from tutorials on how to train safely to tutorials regarding advanced training tools, in total at the time of writing this – there are 56 video tutorial available for free!.
Lastly they also offer the ‘Forex eBook’ this is a book covering the basics and the more advanced aspects of forex trading, available for free!
Aside from learning about how to trade, sometimes you need to ask someone a question – sometimes too simple or too specific to find in a standardised tutorial or QNA, for that there is a ‘Live Chat’ button – after filling out some small details you will be sent into a live chat where you can ask for assistance.
It’s natural to be skeptical about internet security. Especially when you’re handling serious money or relying on it for a living, this is why AvaTrade comes with a host of security measures such as 256-bit SSL encryption. Needless to say, so long as you don’t give away your password – you’ll be safe
AvaTrade is part of a holding company that has a market cap around the ballpark of $17 billion, which is a rare phenomenon in the forex market and is a good reason for why this broker is so trustworthy. On top of that, as a broker based in a European nation, it submits to the comprehensive and regulations set forth by the EU. That suggests its security devices such as data encryption are held to the highest possible standard. The rest of its operations also receive real-time updates thanks to the work of top IT in the field. Rest assured, for a trader, the operations of this firm areas bang up to date as this morning’s newspaper.
AvaTrade has made important strides in the education sector as well, appealing equally to both novice and veteran traders. You can access plenty of tips and tools that will help your career in online trading. The learning materials being offered are detailed in the list below:
Signals and analysis
Free FX signals
For novice traders, there are live introductory seminars accessible online, containing real-time information on the market as well as guided tutorials. All of it is freely available.
The platform can be accessed on both your Android and iOS devices.
AvaOptions appeals to the more hardcore traders who intend to trade on Real FX Options. The platform provides access to OTC Vanilla options along with spot and trading options from the same interface for over 30 currency pairs.
Is Avatrade a Good Broker for UK Investors?
While no forex trading is easy AvaTrade along with it’s software provide a safe, regulated and intuitive platform for traders of any skill level to benefit from.
I think that the official review on their website speak for itself, displaying a 4.1 out of 5 with 150 reviews.
AvaTrades operations in the forex market have been active for more than a decade.
In that time, its primary assets have proven to be a high level of security for traders as well as the prompt technological updates it receives on all of its functions. One of the foremost imperatives for a trader is to verify that their broker’s services are licensed and regulated by a reputed government agency.
AvaTrade belongs to an international group with a market cap worth billions of dollars. And its numerous allocated learning resources for trading make it a prime consideration for both novice and experienced traders all over the world.
Thinkorswim is a flagship trading platform run by TD Ameritrade. Navigating the site is known to be complex, but don’t let this intimidate you. It’s one of the best platforms out there.
Not only does it come with several tools, but you’re charged zero commissions.
Is Thinkorswim Available in the UK?
Unfortunately UK traders cannot sign up to thinkorswim anymore. thinkorswim is focused on the US market and most other countries are not accepted at the moment. The only exceptions are US, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China.
Best Thinkorswim UK Alternative
Luckily there are many other platforms to choose from. This is our #1 rated trading platform in the UK:
eToro Minimum Deposit: $50
OPEN ACCOUNTWe recommend shares trading instead of CFDs.eToro Disclaimer: 67% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Thinkorswim UK – Overview
Thinkorswim was bought over by TD Ameritrade in 2009, and it became part of one of the largest brokers in the US.
When you create an account on the site, you will be able to access Thinkorswim. Not only are they a reputed name, but they let you trade all kinds of assets. They are especially known for trading forex and futures.
TD Ameritrade is a force to be reckoned with. They compete with Interactive brokers and are one of the largest discount brokers in America.
In June 2020, their shareholders agreed to merge them with Charles Schwab, a rival company. The deal was planned in November 2019. The merger will take place by the end of this year.
Once this happens, Charles Schwab will be the third-largest asset manager in the country, with $5.3 trillion assets under management at the end of 2019.
How To Sign Up With Thinkorswim?
UK traders cannot sign up.
This won’t take long – it took us around 15 minutes. There are 5 steps to doing this.
The first would be to choose the type of account you want to trade with.
When choosing an account, you’ll be asked if you want to trade futures in the future. With that out of the way, you’ll be led to a drop-down, where you need to fill in your login information. The accounts available are:
You will be asked to fill in your personal information. This includes your:
Date of birth
National Identity Card number
You’ll be asked several things about your employment status and what you’re trying to achieve by trading.
You will also need to provide details about your income and net worth. This is quite normal as most brokers require this information.
This step requires you to fill out the client form.
You will need to submit a W8Ben form.
You have to submit all of your documents. They would be used to verify your identity and address. These include bank statements, utility bills, and government-issued identification.
Once everything has been submitted, you will have to wait for up to 7 business days for them to review you. If you have been approved, you will get an email.
You won’t be charged to create an account. You can fund this through electronic transfers, cheque deposits, account transfers from other brokers, as well as international wires from your bank account.
Depending on the method you used to fund your account, the duration of time the cash takes to arrive would differ. You can expect it in 5 business days at the latest.
No surprise, the platform is quite advanced. Most users get it by downloading the web app. You can run it on all kinds of operating systems – Windows, Mac, Unix, and Linux. There is a mobile app as well. We appreciate that this has as many features as its web version.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use its services if you’re from the UK. This is due to financial regulations in the country. Thinkorswim cannot be used in certain other nations too.
Once you’ve downloaded the software, you will either be able to live trade or use their Paper Money feature. It gives you access to demo accounts. You’ll be able to learn how to use Thinkorswim and refine your craft. If you’re wondering how much virtual cash you’ll be able to invest, you can go up to $100,000.
We don’t think the platform is the easiest to use. Many new traders are intimidated by their tools. Navigating it isn’t the easiest either.
You will be able to trade 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. This gives you more market opportunities to be a part of. But this schedule may vary depending on market holidays.
You will be able to trade a range of things on the platform, such as:
The best thing about them is that trading certain assets come with no commission fees. This includes stocks, ETFs, and closed-end funds.
If you’re going to trade futures, you will be charged $2.25 per side for a trade. There is no base charge for options. However, a 65-cent fee for contracts is present. In terms of Forex, you will be charged depending on the bid-ask spread.
If you’re new to trading, you don’t have to worry. Although the platform may look intimidating, it has myriad resources to help you improve. To begin with, there are webcasts. You also get in-person events as well as fully-fledged courses.
There is a learning center as well. This includes demos and informative guides in their magazine. There is even a manual on how you can use Thinkorswim. It’s free to download.
As mentioned, they offer Paper Money. You can utilize it to learn new tricks. The platform offers research tools that would help too.
You could even speak to other traders, as there is a trading chat room available. Not only can you share your knowledge with other users, but you’ll be able to get new contacts as well. Thinkorswim claims that they have over a thousand users.
Tools & Research
The platform is known for its research tools – there are so many to talk about that we can’t cover them all. To begin with, Market Maker Move (MMM) is available. This helps make note of the stocks that could move up, by showing you an estimate of the magnitude of price movements. You’ll also be able to screen for stocks using their Stock Hacker feature.
There is a live-stream of market movements by TD Ameritrade Network and constant newsfeeds from CNBC.
There is also a strategy roller that lets you create covered call strategies. You can enter the criteria so that Thinkorswim will make use of them every month.
There are various charts – tick charts, time charts, range charts, and even seasonal ones. Their heat map tells you exactly how the market is doing through their MarketWatch feature. Along with this, you get a calendar that shows you how much companies are reported to earn in the upcoming weeks
Their app gives you access to a help chat. You can speak to a friendly and helpful expert at once, or you can live chat with them.
You can show them the problems you’re experiencing, which would help them remedy your issue faster.
If you prefer, you can email customer support. We found them to be very helpful. They didn’t take long to get back either. The team you reach out to will be TD Ameritrade’s.
Along with a thorough email team, you can get help from their call center. These traders have a combined experience of over 100 years. Similar to their email support, we found them to be very friendly. As they’re experts, they will know exactly how to remedy your issue, so you won’t be spending a lot of time explaining things.
You will also get access to a great educational center. Instead of reaching out to Thinkorswim’s representatives immediately, going through their resources may help. Trying to get around it on Paper Money may do the trick too.
Speaking of using resources, TD Ameritrade has a detailed FAQ page. It not only covers a range of issues, but its answers are very comprehensive and easy to understand.
The broker is regulated by FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. They authorize all major brokers in the United States.
Now let’s talk about alternatives that are just as good.
Active Trader Pro
E*Trade Web Platform
Thinkorswim in the UK
TD Ameritrade is one of the largest discount brokers in the United States. Once they merge with Charles Schwab, they will become an even bigger force to be reckoned with. Thinkorswim is their flagship trading platform. It is known to be intimidating to newer traders due to its thorough tools and graphs. However, it’s useful and comprehensive. They don’t charge commissions, and you can get hold of a range of assets. The signing up process is not difficult either. You will have to create an account on TD Ameritrade, though.
Due to their popularity, you may be disappointed that they’re not available in the UK. This has to do with financial regulations. If you live in a country where Thinkorswim is available, you will be able to use its expert mobile app too. You can also get access to superior customer support and improve your craft by utilizing Paper Money, their virtual trading tool.
While its brokerage fees are low, the trading platform is a little bit complex and may take some getting used. Read on to find more about Interactive Brokers UK.
Interactive Brokers is a US-based brokerage firm that offers a wide variety of trading tools and a trading platform for investors. Their platform is also available in the United Kingdom.
It is famed for its fees that are low compared to most brokers. However, it has an intricate layout that may be a drawback, especially for beginners.
Interactive Brokers UK
Interactive Brokers is a brokerage firm that operates the biggest online trading platform in the US in terms of daily average revenue trades. This broker is also very popular in the UK and other European countries. The brokerage company deals in a wide range of instruments, including options, EFPs, bonds, stocks, futures options, funds, and forex.
Type of broker
Exchange-traded options, shares, IPOs/floats, warrants, and company issued options
ASX, NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX and London Stock Exchange
AUD 5 or 0.08%
Interactive Brokers has offices in 4 different cities in the US and is headquartered in Connecticut. The company is regulated by several financial regulatory, including The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the National Futures Association.
Its parent company, Interactive Brokers Group, was established in 1997 by Thomas Peterffy. Today, the company hasUS$128.4 billion in customer equity serving over 600,000 client brokerage accounts. The parent company is an equity partner of the Boston Options Exchange and also owns 40% of the futures exchange OneChicago.
Interactive Brokers is licensed to operate in the UK and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The brokers’ trading platform is available for both mobile and desktop. It is overwhelming at first, but once you get the gist of it, you can find your way through easily. Interactive Brokers state on their website that there TWS platform is specifically designed to cater to advanced traders.
On the bright side, the platform has several customizable options that allow you to configure it to your liking. You can set it to suit your style based on the instruments you trade. However, you’ll need to learn a few tips here and there and also know what exactly what you want.
Here are some of the features you can expect from Interactive Brokers:
Interactive Brokers allows you to trade stock and other securities from global countries. You get access to products from over 25 countries. IB, however, fails when it comes to conversion rates. The broker doesn’t list its conversion rates directly. When you want to find the rate offered for each currency, you have to input the details into the platform manually.
Single account for your products
Unlike other brokers whose platforms require you to have different accounts for trading various products, Interactive Brokers offers one account that takes care of all that. Through this account, you can access and trade different products ranging from future to ETFs.
Fractional investing (available for US stocks) allows investors to trade in dollar amounts rather than individual shares. For instance, you can invest in $50 of a stock that costs $350 per share.
Low brokerage fees
IB has among the lowest brokerage rates in the industry. Fees start at $1 for UK stocks, but this applies once you trade amounts of over $300,000,000, which makes it more of a marketing gimmick than an offer. Even so, trading fees are lower than what other brokers charge.
Interest on idle cash
The broker claims to pay interest for idle cash in your account. However, there are several catches here, so don’t be sold yet. The interest applies only if your account has a more than a specified sum.
You also get a portfolio builder to help you manage your investments. The builder lets you create custom strategies based on research and historical data. You can compare your portfolio and even test it against a benchmark index. In addition, you can modify your strategy to make the historical performance meet your standards.
A wide selection of order types
IB offers an extensive range of order types to suit advanced investors. Most brokers usually offer limit and market orders. IB provides these and many more, including limit on close, stop limit market on close, and trailing stop. If you are not sure what these order types mean, worry not. The broker offers a video tutorial to give you an idea of what they are and how to apply them.
Here is an area where IB shines. It has low trading costs, but you need to be careful to avoid getting caught unawares by the hidden caveats.
Broker or commission fees
Besides the brokerage fees, traders are charged additional fees that include an exchange fee, clearing fee, subscription fee to get live data, and an inactivity fee. Note that the fees will vary based on the products you invest in, the country these products are in, and your fee structure.
IB has two payment methods you can use to transfer funds. You can move funds to your account using either BPAY or bank transfer.
Joining Interactive Broker account
Opening a trading account with Interactive Brokers is straightforward, but there are a few hurdles. You need to have liquid net assets exceeding $20,000 and be an experienced trader i.e. have executed 100+ trades before.
If you can’t confirm this requirement, you have an option to carry out simulated trades using the demo platform. You’ll also need to provide your personal information and other documentation such as a passport or driver’s licence.
IB has five primary account profiles that traders can choose from based on their trading experience.
The most basic account profile is the Investment account. Requirements here include:
A minimum liquid net worth of $20,000
A minimum deposit of $2,000
The trading account profile is almost similar to the Investment account except that it has fewer restrictions. However, you need:
An income of over $50,000 on top of a minimum liquid net worth of $20,000 or a net worth of $100,000
The minimum deposit here is $10,000
The leveraged trading account is exclusively reserved for company or wholesale investors. The requirements here are:
A minimum deposit of $10,000
A liquid net worth of over $100,000
The professional trading account is available for traders with:
A minimum deposit of $100,000
A net worth of over $1 million.
The highest account profile is Self-Managed Superannuation Funds account that’s explicitly for SMSF trustees.
Pros and Cons of Interactive Brokers
Interactive brokerage fees for trading are low compared to what its competitors charge
The broker’s rates for margin lending are low
The company also has a user-friendly and readily available chat-bot with voice activation on its trading platform. The bot helps respond to inquiries made by the traders on issues such as market queries, placing orders, executing trades, and general company questions.
Although it’s more of a marketing strategy, Interactive Brokers pays interest on idle cash so long as the balance exceeds the specified amount.
Traders also get a wide range of securities and order types to fit their trading style and preferences.
IB has a robo-advisor that offers several portfolio options, many of which require $1,000 to invest in.
A single account that allows investors to trade different products such as stocks, forex, ETFs, and CFDs without having to switch or register a second account.
The trading platform is mainly geared for the US market. Users looking to invest in products available in other countries such as UK will have to scroll through a lot of US market-relevant data.
It has an elaborate layout and trading platform that makes it generally suited to professionals. Newbies will feel out of place using IB.
IB has a confusing fee structure that has hidden caveats. For instance, the company charges low fees but attaches some conditions and other costs that aren’t obvious. It almost looks like the broker intentionally hides these additional costs.
Although features such as live data feed, customisable notification, and real-time data are all available, the broker charges additional fees to offer these boons.
The minimum amount of liquid assets before opening an account is high. The lowest profile, for instance, requires a liquid net worth of $20,000
Is Interactive Brokers good for UK investors?
Interactive brokers is ideal for active and professional traders as they’re likely to benefit most from the complex platform and advanced execution. In addition, they’ll be attracted by the low fee charged and a wide selection of tradable securities. However, we can’t recommend it to beginner investors as it doesn’t offer hand-holding or educational resources that may suit them.
The last few years have seen the development of various online brokerage companies. This is due to the rise in popularity of online investment services and trading.
Traders worldwide want the best platform to trade in with the top services, markets, and features. This led to the rise of e-commerce giants, such as E-trade.
E-trade is an online trading platform that brings together traders and investors at a commonplace, allowing them to trade their assets such as cryptocurrency.
Is Etrade available in the UK?
Unfortunately you cannot use E-trade in the UK. Up until 2013, traders could use E-trade in the UK and generally in the EU. You could have accessed these services through their subsidiary platform, the E-trade Securities Limited.
However, in that year, the company decided to shut down all its operations in Europe. Instead, they chose to major their efforts on the US market.
Best ETrade Alternative in the UK
There are other platforms that offer the same services as ETrade and they still accept traders from the UK.
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Can You Use E-trade in the EU?
It is possible to open an E-trade account in countries such as Germany. Nevertheless, E-trade will share this information with you upon request.
Furthermore, to open an account, you have to base all your application processes offline. There is no available online procedure, not even through email. This means that you have to send your application paperwork (including or the necessary documents such as passports) through regular mail or fax.
Yes, you might want to use their services so badly, but this is an expensive, complicated, and tedious process to carry out.
E-Trade UK Review
E-Trade is a commission-free online trading platform that gives you a chance to sell and buy assets from other traders and investors online. They are a good trading company in that they have value to both beginners and investors. Also, they have a wide range of educational resources that you can use to make informed decisions whenever you want to transact.
The company has been a household name in the online trading market, rising among the ranks to become a reliable trading platform. They offer commission-free services, meaning that you can trade on their platform and experience tremendous success. It is easy to use too.
E-trade is a pro-level trading platform. For example, let’s say you want to go online and trade some stocks and shares. If you are an E-trade user, you can log into your account and use their numerous tools to assess the risks and make an informed decision before trading.
E-trade doesn’t charge commission on stock, ETF, and other options trade, making it the ideal platform for any investor.
The company has two trading platforms, the E-trade Web and the Power E-trade. Both of them are free for all clients and traders who use their services. So, you do not have to worry about losing a lot of your earnings to brokers.
E-trade Web platforms are primarily about statistics, analytics, and data. With this platform, you can access streaming market data to help you make decisions and work on your trading plan.
Also, you can access real-time quotes, stock screeners (prepared by top drawer analysts and researchers), and even live market commentaries. Such information is vital to traders that are looking forward to making it in the trading industry.
E-trade Web also has a dashboard where you can monitor your progress, track your E-trade accounts, come up with watch lists, make your trading transactions, and even view the current market data. Therefore, you can lay down your strategy and plan for your future trading spree.
If you are an active trader, Power E-trade is the perfect choice for you. This platform developed as a result of the company acquiring Options House a few years back. It has an extensive library of technical studies, tens of drawing tools, real-time data, trade tickets, trading ladders, and many other items.
Moreover, you can utilize their chain views to your advantage since they have a customizable option to allow you to make the most out of the service. If you are looking for something else, you could take a look at M1 Finance.
Visit their website and browse through their options and materials. It is an easy-to-navigate website that can improve your trading experience.
Assets and Market
There are numerous assets that you can trade with E-trade. This includes:
Stocks are among the most sort for online assets in the current trading market. For those who don’t know, stocks will let you own a piece of a company’s future, allowing you to earn as the company succeeds.
In addition, E-trade offers stocks from different industries. This makes it easy for you, especially if you know about a particular business. You can also diversify your portfolio.
Stocks have the potential to generate income with dividends and improve your long and short-term investing strategies. You can use their free analysis and screeners too. Then, you can decide the company that you want to invest in, when to sell, and how you sell.
This is the acronym for Exchange-Traded Funds. They are the perfect blend between diversification and ease of stock trading. Most of them are used to track renowned market indexes.
ETFs can include tens, hundreds, or even thousands on investments from numerous industries and companies when it comes to diversification.
They are also flexible, such that you can buy and sell with ease, track your favorite sectors, and monitor the progress of your strategies, all without being charged a dime in commission.
These are funds based on specific trading strategies, investment goals, and a variety of investments. You can choose your mix of funds, making it easy for you to build a diversified portfolio.
The good thing about E-trade’s mutual funds is that their collection of investment is carefully chosen and managed by a group of experts. They have been in the game long enough to know the good and the bad. They don’t leave it at that; they continue monitoring the performances of these funds.
Mutual funds make your portfolio diverse and flexible. When you buy a specific fund with E-Trade, you might be purchasing several investments at a go, sometimes reaching even a hundred. Once you sell them, all the proceeds reflect in your account within a day.
These are liquid contracts that exist in some of the world’s biggest markets. There are numerous option that you can choose to trade with E-Trade, for example,
For futures, you can trade at any time of the day, six days a week. Additionally, you can trade several times a day without having to worry about trading rules or minimum account values. You can also control large notion values even if you have little capital.
You might wonder, why should you invest in bonds?
The answer is simple, their predictability.
Bonds are designed in such a way that you can gain a steady income from the get-go and regularly. They act as a protection of your initial investment, cushioning the fluctuations of the market. They also help you diversify and manage the risks that might occur due to inflation or interest rates.
E-trade provides traders with more than two hundred liquidity providers. This can generate tens of thousands of offerings for you to choose from.
Deposits and Withdrawals
E-trade offers four options to traders who want to load their accounts with funds, each having a different approach. They include:
This free service allows traders to load their E-trade accounts with funds from other financial institutions. This takes up to three business days.
Transferring an Account
This means moving every asset you have from a third-party financial institution into your E-trade account. This includes cash and securities. This takes up to ten business days for the transaction to be completed.
This is when you want to load up your E-trade account directly from another account, for example, a bank account. This is a faster depositing method since the transaction is completed the same day.
Depositing a Check
For checks, you can either choose to use the app or by mail. It takes up to five business days for the transaction to be completed.
On the other hand, if you want to send money from your E-trade account to another financial institution, there are also straightforward methods. For example, you can opt to use their Transfer Money services. However, this process is slow since it takes up to three days to complete the transaction and get the money.
You can also opt for the online transfer option that is available on their website. You won’t be charged any fee while withdrawing. In fact, you can even use this service to send money from one E-trade to another.
If you want to move funds to an external financial institution, you will need to establish a link between the account and your E-trade account.
The last option you can use to withdraw funds from your E-trade account is through a wire transfer. You can use this method to move funds even to institutions outside the US. Additionally, you can submit your withdrawal request by paper or online.
However, you will be charged a fee of $25 for every outgoing wire you do. If you send the money in another currency other than the USD, you will be charged a forex fee that can go up to 2.25%.
Generally, E-trade has top-tier customer service. First of all, their customer care phone line is available 24/7. This gives you access to financial consultants, specialists, trader consultants, and asset specialists any time of the day.
Moreover, traders who have large accounts qualify for additional services upon request. This includes priority services such as calling through a phone line that is answered relatively quicker.
Better still, if you visit E trade’s physical branches, you will have access to better customer services. Here you can meet the consultants face to face and get the assistance you need first-hand.
You can also use their Chat option, especially if you are a mobile user. Here, you will communicate with human representatives who are ready to listen to you and assist you.
Lastly, if you have any feedback that you want to share with E-trade, you just have to click on the “Suggestions” link on their customer care menu.
Is My Money Safe With E-trade?
E-trade has been serving traders for such a long time, which means that their services are worth checking out. Experts consider them one of the best and most trustworthy brokers. Additionally, the company has a policy that embraces ethics, honesty, and transparency. So yes, your money is safe with E-Trade.
In addition to that, E-trade is also under the watch of various high-end financial institutions. This means that your money is safe, and you should continue trading with them.
Lastly, their five-star security system is up to the industry’s requirements. Below are some of their security measures.
If you are using the mobile apps to trade, you will be required to log in using your biometrics, for example, your face or fingerprint.
E-trade has also bought excess insurance with Securities Investors Protection Corporation. This insurance is provided by London Insurers and has an aggregate of $600 million limits. Therefore, every customer is entitled to a maximum of $150 million and a cash maximum limit of $900,000.
The platform is yet to be hit by any significant data breach.
Is E-trade a Good Broker?
If you are interested in online trading services, you can consider using E-trade. As we have seen, most of their features and services are above average, making them a good brokerage platform to invest in.
They do not charge any commission, making E-trade a good option for newbies to invest in and make money.
E-trade is an inclusive, transparent, and top-quality online trading platform that can provide you with unlimited investing opportunities. If you want to invest, set a clear strategy, be determined, and invest wisely.
Unfortunately, they stopped operating in the UK. But, you can still use the platform in the US or Germany, or other countries.
One of the booming businesses in today’s world is online trading. People have realized the fact there are numerous unexplored opportunities in this market.
As the trade continues to grow in popularity, the emergence of brokerage services has also developed. Therefore, traders worldwide look for the best brokerage services and trading platforms to base their operations on. Among the giants of the industry is M1 Finance.
M1 Finance is a trading platform that brings traders and investors together by offering them a unique combination of automated services for investing purposes.
Can You Use M1 Finance in the UK?
Unfortunately, M1 Finance is not available in the UK. When opening an account with the platform, you will have to check some boxes for it to go through.
You are over 18 years old, a US Citizen (or a permanent resident), and you have access to a US Mailing address.
Best M1 Finance Alternatives
There are many UK brokers to choose from. Here is our #1 rated broker:
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What is M1 Finance UK
M1 Finance is an excellent platform for both passive and active online traders and investors. If you are looking to build wealth over time, the platform is the ideal option.
Sadly, M1 Finance is yet to announce any plans to expand its trading services to the UK. At the moment, they are choosing to focus their efforts on the ready US market and try to make the most out of it.
With M1 Finance, traders enjoy a high level of customization, allowing them to develop portfolios that incorporate all their specifications and requirements.
However, it is essential to note that this platform does not offer advisory services.
At the moment, the company boasts of more than half a million clients who manage more than 2 billion dollars collectively. This makes them a top choice for anyone looking to invest and make money out of online trading.
The good thing about them is that they do not charge their clients commission or fees, even when depositing money in their M1 Finance accounts.
This comes as a disappointment to many UK investors and traders who would like to access the eternal features and benefits of the top drawer app.
Most of their services are offered through their app. Some of the accounts you can create include:
You can also benefit from the platform through its fractional shares, custodial accounts, digital banking services, and many others.
What Do They Offer
M1 Finance also offers margin loans to clients. They have a feature known as M1 borrow that allows you to enjoy loans at low interest rates. Basically, you will only be charged a 3.5% interest rate.
Contrary to other loan providers, you won’t need the $25,000 to access the loan. The amount is as low as $5,000, meaning that you can access one even when you don’t have huge balances on your account.
The good thing about their app is the fact that it is available for both Android and iOS. With it, you can acquire a debit card that is integrated directly into the app. Better still, you can benefit from their regular rewards and cashback services, especially those offered in qualified purchases.
Talk about professionalism! There are more than eighty professional portfolios on the platform.
M1 Finance is a hybrid investment platform that combines self-directed trading services with automated investing. The app utilizes pie-based models to let you choose the stocks, portfolios, and ETFs that you would like to invest your money in.
Also, you can select the percentage of your money that you would want to allocate every investment. An alternative to M1 Finance is Betterment.
The M1 Finance platform uses a proprietary trading infrastructure to automate the traders’ trading activities. This comes as great news to investors who would fancy sitting back and monitoring the progress of their investments without having to manage and set trading strategies now and then.
The investment app executes and manages all the trading transactions during the famous morning trade window, starting at around 9:30 a.m. EST. However, if you are their clients and you decide to upgrade, all to an M1 Plus account, you have the luxury of utilizing the afternoon trading window to your advantage. You will be able to trade on the app whenever you want.
One might wonder, how do you upgrade to an M1 Plus account?
There are additional upgrading fees; you will have to pay an additional $125 annually. However, the good thing about the upgrade is that you will have more perks. You can enjoy 1.5% loan reductions, banking advantages, custodial investment accounts, and smart transfers.
In addition to the automated trading processes, you can trade individual securities on the platform. This may even include parts of your portfolio. Other features and services that you get to enjoy include
Auto invest savings
Tax modifications and minimizations.
Assets and Market
Automated Investing and Investing Pies
The app draws many investors and traders to set up investing plans and helps them to monitor the accounts. Generally, working with M1 Finance is like letting your broker run your investment options for you. You can even get the opportunity to focus on other things and responsibilities.
You have to select what you invest in. Therefore, you will create a chart, which resembles a pie chart, but this time with the investment you pick. This includes sticks, ETFs, etc.
Smart transfers are the M1 option for you to automate your financial spree. You have the opportunity to set rules so that it can continue automatically. Let’s say you decide to set your smart transfers to keep your balance at a minimum.
There is an option within the M1 Finance app that allows you to acquire loans if the balance in your account drops too low. This means that you will still have the chance to invest even if you are short on money.
Moreover, you can also move your funds into different accounts. The point is, there are so many automation options that can take your financial culture to the next level.
These features give users a more accessible option, mapping them among the best service providers in the market.
Imagine having an app that you can invest in and still access loans? M1 Finance offers clients loans at a meager interest rate.
Just like other margin loans, their loans do not have fixed repayment reschedules. As long as the records show that you have an outstanding balance, your interest expenses will accrue.
However, you should note that if the value of your account declines, you might have to replace the money you had borrowed. This will depend on the equity that your account has as well as the amount you had borrowed.
M1 Finance also offers options to sell positions in a tax-friendly way by using their simplified methods of harvesting tax losses. After withdrawing the money from your account, they can sell assets and later return you to the target allocations as close as they can.
Sales are prioritized in the following order.
Losses to offset the capital gains
ETFs and stocks that have capital gains that last longer
ETFs and stocks that have capital gains that last for a short time
Through this, M1 Finance minimizes the taxes that you would have incurred with your investment activities.
Well, this might not be the same as tax-loss harvesting, but the potential it has is enough, such that you can still save a lot of money without worrying about regulating the taxes manually.
There are M1 accounts that are entirely digitized, both the checking and debit options. Referred to as M1 Spend, the account allows you to use the card to bypass the fee associated with ATMs, earn extra interest and will enable you to invest your funds on the sideline.
This account is available and accessible to M1 Finance users, even those using the M1 Plus.
However, you will have to subscribe to the M1 Plus package to take advantage of the numerous benefits associated with the M1 Spend accounts. This includes the 1% cashback on the purchases that you make on the platform.
Deposits and Withdrawal
You can deposit funds into your M1 Finance account right after creating a portfolio and start investing right away. The first deposit will support concurrently with your targets and goals set for your portfolio when the next trade comes.
Additionally, since you deposit money on your account, you will notice that they will be equally distributed, depending on your targets.
However, once you deposit your first funds, the future trades will aim to restore the initial distribution of the funds; a concept is known a Dynamic Rebalancing.
The app is intelligent in that it will automatically try to rebalance the portfolio gradually as you continue depositing and withdrawing money from the portfolio. Therefore, if a security goes underweight concerning the target, more funds will be channeled towards this security the next time you deposit money on your account.
For withdrawals, there are different options to send your money from your M1 Finance to external financial institutions. However, you need to know that the platform won’t allow you to withdraw money from your account if you have unsettled securities sales.
If everything is clear and you want to withdraw your money from the account, here is a simple and basic process to follow and access your money.
Open the platform and go to the ‘Funding’ tab. It is located at the top of the website
Then a new page opens. Click on ‘Withdraw.’
Enter the amount of money you want to withdraw and confirm. After this, the rest of the processes will be handled automatically by the program.
M1 Finance offers most of its customer services through emails and phone. Here, you will have the chance to communicate with their ready-to-assist agents. These agents have a history of serving customers to the fullest, guaranteeing them satisfaction.
Additionally, numerous detailed FAQs answer most of the questions that traders and customers might be having. This means that there is a high chance that the queries you have are included in these questions. Some of these FAQs have video walkthroughs for better explanation.
However, contrary to other platforms, M1 Finance is not an advisory service. This means that you won’t find financial consultants and advisors. It would be best if you did an extra research line on your own to extend your trading knowledge and see success in the industry.
Is My Money Safe With M1 Finance UK?
M1 Finance is a reliable and trustworthy trading platform. Thus, you should not be worried when you have invested in their services, no matter the amount.
They have also invested in strong encryption and cybersecurity services that ensure every user’s account is safe and secure. Until now, the platform is yet to receive any significant attacks. Therefore, you should feel safe whenever you have some money saved up on their platforms.
Is M1 finance a Good Broker?
M1 Finance is a worthy and trustable company to invest in. It is like the platform was made for passive investors; the automation option is just unmatched. However, if you are an active trader, you won’t benefit much from M1 Finance.
Another group of people who would benefit from M1 Finance is dividend investors, index fund investors, and investors who base their trade on portfolio accounts. With all the safety measures and automation advantages, why not try it out?
M1 Finance is a cutting-edge robotic brokerage platform that you can make the most out of. The hybrid traits are top-tier. Therefore, with the right strategy, determination, and good knowledge of the market, you can succeed with M1 Finance.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to join the platform if you are in the UK.
We labor for money to establish a comfortable life. Money, according to an old proverb, is the most effective motivator. And there’s a grain of truth to it.
You’re reading this for various reasons, one of which is to gain some financial knowledge. It would be best if you acquired financial expertise to be able to multiply what you already own.
One of the major platforms that can help you invest for a brighter future is Betterment. The US-based investment company offers diverse investment portfolios. Also, their platform has an automatic feature that keeps trading even without your input.
Here is everything you need to learn about Betterment.
Overview: What is Betterment?
Betterment is a financial platform that is at the forefront of the Robo-advisory business. It is a fintech startup established in the United States.
It’s one of the first to use technology to create a portfolio recommendation and automate your investment activity. Its automatic goal-setting feature, which is employed in investments, sets it different from other fintech firms in the region.
This feature enables you to manage your portfolio automatically. This way, you can focus on your other business while the platform handles all of your biddings passively.
Passive index-tracking stock and fixed-income exchange-traded funds are used in this function. The organization employs a global diversification strategy based on a Nobel Prize-winning asset-allocation system— the Modern Portfolio Theory, developed by renowned economist Harry Marowits.
Other tools at your disposal are:
To use the platform, you can first synch all of your financial accounts and get a comprehensive overview of all your assets even without investing. Betterment then uses its resources to help you set financial goals and set up investments for each plan. Then the second option to use the platform is creating a portfolio investing in it.
Lastly, you can create a Flexible Portfolio, adding some of your uniquely added ones. Or go with the already structured portfolios in Betterment.
What Do They Offer
Betterment provides tax-loss harvesting as well as a rebalanced portfolio regularly. It offers goal-setting and a variety of planning tools and helps at every stage of the journey. They provide you with low-cost management fees based on your unique risk profile.
Betterment entered the market in 2008. Since then, it has grown to offer more assets and cash management services to its clients after more than a decade in operation.
With various instructional resources and an intuitive and user-friendly layout, the platform is easy to use. As a result, it’s an excellent brokerage company for people who are just getting started with investing.
In April 2020, they replaced the savings product with the Betterment cash reserve that offers higher-yielding returns. This new cash reserve offers a spending analysis plus guidance. It also aids better transfers between accounts in the platform.
In October that same year, Betterment added two additions to its socially responsible Portfolio. A climate impact portfolio and a Social Impact Portfolio.
Betterment also has equity allocations for the Safety Net goal uniquely created to beat and mitigate inflation. It cuts to 15% from a whopping 40% in risk reduction. An alternative to Betterment is Webull.
You can use Betterment both on their desktop website and the mobile app.
Can You Use Betterment in the UK?
Unfortunately, Betterment is not available for investors and users in the UK or any other European country. But you can access and open an account if you reside in the United States of America, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
Plans to advance and expand into the EU are still unclear; thus, the only people who can fully reap the fruits of this fantastic platform are solely in those three geographical areas.
Assets and Markets
Since it is an investment platform that offers money management options, here are some of the accounts that you can find under Betterment:
IRAs and 401(K)S
These are a blend of both short and long-term accounts. Here is a breakdown of each:
The main goal is to multiply what you already have when it comes to investing. So, whether you are working towards buying a new home, car, or working towards getting your child’s education, investing is the way to go.
Betterment helps users make an informed investment decision based on the goal of the investment. The plans set are built on smart tax strategies.
You can open an investment account for Safety Net, retirement, major purchases, education, trusts, and general investment.
IRAs and 401(k) Account
Betterment strives to make savings for retirement easy and optimized for all their client’s needs. The different IRA types offered by Betterment have a distinct tax advantage, and the team will advise on the best after accessing your finances.
The first is the Traditional IRA, an accessible and tax deductable account that adds to your retirement funding.
The second is the Roth that takes advantage of tax-free earnings and withdrawals. Next, there is the SEP that is an ideal retirement planning account that is for the client that is self-employed and self-reliant.
Lastly, the Roth conversion makes money exchange easier from the Traditional into a Roth IRA within the app.
Roth IRAs Account
A Roth IRA lets you save and invest for retirement and withdraw the funds later on tax-free. When you open this account, Betterment promises personalized investments, trading managed on your behalf, and socially responsible investing options.
This account is flexible with no tax penalties for withdrawals, and you can use up to $10 000 of your earnings on a house down payment. You may also switch the Traditional IRAs and 401(k) into a Roth IRA account.
High-Yield Cash Account
The High-yield cash account is built for cash that you save daily. Once you open this account, your money is insured by FDIC up to $1 Million.
You can move money freely at no fees and earn a 0.03% APY on your cash, five times the national average.
The Checking account is a no-fee account, and you get a Visa debit account to use. There are no ATM fees or overdraft fees. And in case foreign costs are incurred during a withdrawal, the amount is reimbursed to your account.
This account is also FDIC insured up to 250k per depositor. The Checking account has incentives like cashback rewards from notable brands like Adidas, Walmart, Philosophy, Sam’s club, and Dunkin.
When you want to secure a future for your kids, the best way is to open a trust for them. And you can open one in the Betterment app.
The signup is straightforward, the cash flow management is innovative, and the portfolios under Betterment Trusts are very diverse with risk adjustments. Also, the returns are handsomely paying using graphical and visualization tools that help you understand and see the level of growth over time.
All the transactions are transparent, and statements are clear and precise. You can access your account activity online to view the quarterly and annual information and annual tax reports.
Betterment also has five portfolio types, namely:
The Standard Betterment Portfolio with globally diversified stock and bond EFTs.
Broad Impact, Climate Impact, and Social Impact Portfolios. The three socially responsible portfolios. On an environmental and social level, Broad impact stocks are tightly managed and stored. The Social Impact portfolio focuses on companies based in the United States and is committed to diversity. The Climate Impact Portfolio aims to combat climate change by identifying businesses with the lowest carbon impact and using EFTs to avoid companies that employ fossil fuels. Climate Impact includes Green bonds.
Next is the Goldman Sachs Smart Beta Portfolio that attempts to outperform the market.
The income-focused all-bond Portfolio is made entirely of BlackRock EFTs.
Lastly, there is the Flexible Portfolio that is constructed based on the client’s assets.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Both deposits and withdrawals on Betterment take an average of 1 to 2 business days for completion. Here are some of the rules when it comes to transfers between some Betterment accounts:
Transfer Between Cash Reserve Betterment Checking Accounts
The daily transfer limit between these two accounts stands at $10,000. Same-day transfers are completed on the same day of application. The cash reserve has no transfer limits, so you can withdraw as often as you want.
However, if you withdraw shortly after depositing, there might be a hold on your withdrawal for up to five business days. Within that time, Betterment staff will get in touch to get extra information from you.
Transfer Between Cash Reserve and Investing Accounts
The limit of transfers between these two accounts stands at five times per day. One transfer may take up to 2 days of approval. Some terms and conditions apply depending on the type of joint investing accounts you hold.
Transfers Between Checking and Other Accounts
Moving money from one Checking account to another also takes a maximum of 2 business days. This is when you are funding an investment goal or moving money to a Cash Reserve.
If the transfer is aimed at a Cash goal account, the daily limit stands at $10 000, and the cash will be available on that same day.
Daily ATM withdrawals: $500
Daily Debit card: $2000
You can reach the customer service team via mail and phone from 9 am to 6 pm Eastern Time, Monday to Friday. Contacting them via email is limited to 11 am to 6 pm.
You can also engage the team via online chat, but that is a privilege only the existing clients get to enjoy. You access the online chat after you have logged in to your account.
You may get financial assistance from the Finacial planners, but it costs $199 to $299. These consultation sessions take place via Zoom through informative video conferencing feeds.
Is My Money Safe with Betterment?
The security features of the Betterment platform are sufficient in that both the site and app are encrypted. The mobile app has two-factor authentication.
As long as you don’t have more than $500 000 in accounts and $250 000 in cash, your money is safe. If you do, you might consider transferring the excess to a firm that offers supplementary insurance.
Is Betterment a Good Broker?
Its features have been centered around technology and Robo-advisory early enough. And this has scored Betterment credibility as a trusted platform that you can invest in.
One of the selling points that would convince you to use Betterment is that the minimum balance is $0. The Checking account reimburses you whenever you use the Debit card when the extra fees are charged on the card. You get FDIC insurance on your cash up to $250.
The Cash Reserve is a high-yield account with an earning variable of 0.03%, which offers bucket money for individual goals and plans. You also get FDIC insurance of up to $1 million of your cash in this account.
For these reasons, Betterment is an excellent broker for people who are looking for a platform to help them manage their retirement funds. Regardless, it is cherished by people who are looking to invest and track their financial moves.
The numerous portfolios plus the accounts can accommodate different people looking for a brokerage partner.
Betterment ranks among the top Robo-advisors in the money market, meaning they meet all the requirements of a spectacular platform. You can access them via email and phone.
Their transactional fees are very accommodative for any money-minded person. That said, you should give them a try as they deliver as they have promised. Investors already on the platform attest they made a good decision.
Unfortunately, the company does not operate in the UK, but you can still utilize their services in the US, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico