Best Brokers For Under 18s

Author - James Barra
James Barra
James is a UK-based writer and investor with consultancy experience at some of Britain's largest financial organisations. James authors, edits and fact-checks content for a row of investing websites.
Fact Checker - Jemma Grist
Fact Checker
Jemma Grist
Jemma is an investment writer located in the UK. She covers forex, stocks, and cryptocurrency markets, providing detailed research and in-depth analysis on different brokers and investment trends in the UK and further afield.
May 6, 2024

As the rise of ‘finfluencers’ grows on social media like TikTok, more under-18s are interested in investing. Many parents also aim to secure their children’s financial future by setting up investment accounts on their behalf. Yet with traditional trading accounts unavailable to minors, Junior Individual Savings Accounts are often the choice vehicle.

Discover the best brokers for under 18s. Every platform has been personally tested by our experts and provides legitimate ways to get involved in the financial markets for young investors.

Investing is high-risk. Under 18s should only use regulated investment products with adequate supervision. Pursuing financial education and consulting an investment advisor is recommended.

Best Brokers With Investment Products For Minors

These are the highest-rated UK brokers offering trading products designed for under 18s:
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    Interactive Investor are a hugely respected, FCA-regulated investing firm. The trading platform is easy-to-use while the sign-up and deposit process is straightforward for new investors. ii also has a long track record and a string of industry awards under its belt.

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    Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a premier brokerage, providing access to 150 markets in 33 countries, along with a suite of comprehensive investment services. With over 40 years of experience, this Nasdaq-listed firm adheres to stringent regulations by the SEC, FCA, CIRO, and SFC, amongst others, and is one of the most trusted brokers for trading around the globe.

How We Chose The Best Brokers

To create our list of the best trading platforms for under-18s, we:

  • Leveraged our database of around 300 brokers accepting UK clients
  • Pinpointed those with Junior Individual Savings Accounts (JISAs)
  • Ranked them by their rating, blending hard data with our testing observations

What To Consider When Selecting A Broker For Under-18s

Look For Tailored Investment Vehicles

Peer-generated investment advice often recommends that under-18s start trading by opening accounts under their parents’ names. However, this loophole in the system encourages a risky start to the investment journey.

Instead, we recommend selecting a broker that offers investment vehicles specifically designed for under-18s, where the beneficiaries of the investments are children themselves.

In the UK, this typically means a Junior ISA (Individual Savings Accounts).

Junior ISAs are tax-free vehicles, i.e. you do not pay tax on returns. Parents can invest up to £9,000 per year into a stocks and shares or cash account. The child can control the account from the age of 16 and can withdraw from the age of 18.

Look For A Range Of Investment Opportunities

You may be looking for wide exposure to financial markets, ensuring diverse opportunities. That’s why we’ve selected brokers that offer Stocks and Share JISAs, not just cash JISAs.

Our recommended brokers offer a range of ETFs, funds and investment trusts, ideally with a comparable range to adult ISAs.

  • Interactive Investor offers its extensive range of over 40,000 investments to JISA clients, including their curated lists of ‘Quick Start Funds’, selected in partnership with MorningStar, for their low fees, plus the II Super 60 and ACE 40 lists, chosen using ii’s in-house methodology.
  • Interactive Brokers’ JISA also allows you to invest in a slightly reduced list of ‘qualifying investments’ including shares, securities issued by companies, recognised UCITS, and depositories. Whilst this does not mirror the adult investment opportunities, IBKR has one of the most extensive ranges of assets I’ve seen in the industry.

In contrast, Vanguard did not make our list, as it offers only 86 Vanguard-owned funds, of which only 13 are UK-focused, potentially making it less attractive to British investors.

Look For Trusted Brokers

Only invest through trusted brokers, with the best sign that a firm can be trusted being a license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The FCA helps protect retail investors from harm, with safeguards like compensation under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which means that should your brokerage go into liquidation, your investments are protected up to a value of £85,000.

For each broker recommended, we confirmed they are an authorised financial services provider on the FCA’s Financial Services Register. For example, you can see Interactive Investor’s details below.

Checking ii broker on UK FCA database

Interactive Investor – FCA License

We also consider the length of service as a key metric for trustworthiness, with established companies more likely to be well-run with a good reputation.

Look For Resources For Kids To Learn About Investing

The best brokers for under 18s provide educational resources to support the investment journey. Our recommended brokers cater to teen learning, rather than those just helping parents understand the JISA vehicle.

  • Interactive Investor has a wealth of knowledge designed specifically for helping under-18s learn about investing. I’ve been particularly impressed with its section of their Knowledge Centre called ‘Finance for Kids’ with articles such as ‘How To Teach Your Bored Teenager About Investing’ covering topics within the teen-o-sphere such as Tiktok finfluencer’s motivations and the infamous Dogecoin, plus ‘Three investment Ideas For Junior ISAs’.
  • Interactive Brokers goes even further, allowing teens to open a ‘Paper Trading’ account via their Student Trading Lab. Young investors can start trading with virtual money on their Trader Work Station (TWS) and mobile app. I’ve used this and it can teach you about a wide variety of assets and strategies, including those not available within the JISA.

On the other end of the scale, alternative JISA provider Fidelity, offers nothing in the way of teen-focused financial literacy or education – a missed opportunity.

IBKR student trading lab paper account order ticket

IBKR – Student Trading Lab

Look For A Simple Pricing Structure

Select a low-cost broker with a simple fee structure. A straightforward JISA charging model allows 16-year-olds (who at that point can control their JISAs themselves) to start managing their finances.

  • Interactive Investor does just that. It charges a monthly fee for their JISA of £11.99 for their Investor Plan which allows free regular investing plus one extra trade per month. As many children as needed can be added to this plan. Alternatively, there’s the Super Investment Plan which allows two free extra trades per month and costs £19.99. Extra trades are charged at £3.99.
  • Interactive Brokers is also low-cost. There is a £1 minimum activity fee and you’ll receive one free withdrawal per month after which they’ll be charged at £7 per withdrawal. However, IBKR charges a commission on the purchase of shares. This is a trickier structure to grapple with, as shares and ETFs are charged differently, and depend on the volume of shares traded, plus whether they’re a fixed or tiered charging model. If parents are trying to allow kids to learn about investing, this complex fee structure may feel overwhelming.

Look For An Accessible Minimum Investment

Brokers usually require a minimum deposit and/or investment for both one-off and regular payments. It’s important to consider if this suits your planned investment schedule and budget.

Some competitors that didn’t make our list include Charles Stanley and Vanguard which require a steeper minimum of £50 and £100 per month respectively.


Which Is The Best UK Broker For Minors?

Interactive Investor is our highest-rated UK broker with investment products for minors following testing.

Its Junior Individual Savings Account (ISA) account provides access to a staggering 40,000 markets, there are flexible pricing plans, it’s FCA-regulated, and it has one of the slickest apps I’ve used.

Can Under-18s Invest In The Stock Market?

Under 18s are not permitted to hold stocks and shares in the UK. However, they can invest in the stock market via a Junior ISA, an investment vehicle opened by parents that allows up to £9k per year to be invested in cash, or stocks and shares.

At 18, the ownership of the fund transfers to the child, and they are permitted to continue investing themselves, or withdraw.

What Is The Minimum Investment For A Junior ISA?

The minimum monthly deposit varies by broker. Interactive Brokers, for example, requires a monthly subscription of just £1. However, Vanguard requires a £100 minimum, which may not be achievable for some budget investors.

It’s important to consider your planned deposit schedule when picking a broker.

Article Sources

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

Interactive Investor – Junior ISA

Interactive Brokers – Junior ISA