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Investing* in stocks and shares is one of the most popular ways to invest, but what does it actually mean? What are stocks and shares, and how much should you invest?

The stock market is where shares are bought and sold, and to own a share means you own a percentage of a company’s value. The reason people invest in shares is to benefit financially, however there is always a risk of getting less money in return when it comes to selling. You can invest via a stocks and shares ISA which means you don’t have to pay tax (if you’re over 18 in the UK an annual ISA allowance is £20,000).

First thing’s first, think about if you want to DIY invest (‘Do It Yourself’), or invest via a professional who’ll do it on your behalf.

If you know exactly what you’re doing, why you’re investing and what you want your outcome to be, you can DIY invest by using a range of platforms and stocks and shares ISAs. FCA regulated stocks and shares ISAs can be viewed and compared here. These include:

  • Thameside
  • Nutmeg
  • Fidelity
  • Interactive Investor
  • AJ Bell Youinvest
  • Hargreaves Lansdown
  • Shepherds Friendly
  • Barclays

Many platforms have apps so you can track your investment live.

Stocks and shares ISAs will offer different features to suit individuals and their goals; some features may be beneficial and some may not be so. It’s advised that time is taken to research to make sure the chosen provider is the best fit for you and your circumstance.

Some product features may include:

  • Minimum investment amount (e.g. from £1)
  • Withdrawal flexibility
  • Funds
  • Target rates
  • Fees (administrative/withdrawal/transaction)
  • Mobile app access
  • Support (e.g. 24/7)

Once you’ve chosen your investment platform think about how much you want to invest. If you’re a first-time investor, start off with a smaller amount until you feel confident that you know the ropes.

A number of platforms are available for those wanting a mid-way option; to have the independence of making their own investment decisions but would benefit from hands-on professional advice too. If you would rather have a professional handle your entire investment for you, that’s an option too. Many platforms will offer this, and the most attractive feature here is that an expert will make any investment decision for you.

Start off your investment journey today by clicking here and compare the best stocks and shares platform to suit you.

To find out other ways of investing, click here.

*Capital is always at risk when you invest. You may not get back as much money as you invest. The higher the risk the more return you will get, and the lower the risk the lower return you’ll get.