Gilts – The Complete Beginner’s Guide

Gilts – what are they? How can you invest using them, and where? In this guide, we break down the pros and cons of investing in UK Government bonds, also known as Gilts. We define key terms, such as yields, coupons and maturity dates. We also look at whether the current economic landscape makes buying Gilts an attractive proposition.

Find out how to trade Gilts today and use our list of the best brokers and trading platforms to get started.

Looking to trade Gilts right now?

One of the least complicated routes to speculate or hedge on UK gilt prices, is via ETF’s (Exchange Traded Funds). Retail investors are not normally able to access the gilt markets directly, so funds offer the simplest method.

Brokers such as IG or CMC both offer trading on UK Gilt ‘futures’ and Gilt based ETFs. Both are fully regulated in the UK.

We explore other methods of trading gilt prices, and offer more broker choices, below.

Gilts Explained

Gilts are a kind of bond and a bond is debt issued by a government, company or organisation against interest, referred to as the bond’s ‘coupon’.

Bonds work in a similar way to a bank loan. When a loan is taken from a bank there is an agreed date by which point it must be repaid. Interest is applied to the outstanding balance in the meanwhile.

Bond debt is not paid back in instalments like a loan. Rather, there will be an agreed repayment date which can be anything from 2-3 years to 20 or longer in rarer cases. At the agreed date, the initial purchase price of the bond is returned in full.

Over the course of the bond’s lifetime, interest payments are made to the holder. This is usually quarterly or bi-annually and the interest rate paid is the bond’s coupon.

While they don’t provide the highest returns, Gilts are at least superior to the current interest rates given on cash savings. As such they are a popular choice for investors not naturally inclined towards risk-based investment in the current poor cash interest rates/inflation ratio climate.

Bonds more generally, and Gilts as the lowest risk bonds, also usually form part of a diversified investment portfolio alongside equities.

Best UK Brokers For Gilt Trading

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    AvaTrade offers European and Japanese bond trading through CFDs, allowing users to speculate on rising and falling prices. Spreads on treasuries are tight and leverage up to 1:5 is available, amplifying both returns and losses. AvaTrade excels by offering bonds on MT4 and MT5 – platforms that are great for short-term traders and algo traders.

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    CMC Markets offers an excellent selection of 50+ government bonds and interest rates with spreads as low as 1 point. Traders can take advantage of the broker’s exclusive market insights and pattern recognition scanner to level up their bond trading strategy. Plus, high-volume traders can earn spread discounts of up to 21% on treasuries in the CMC Price+ scheme.

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    Spreadex offers spread betting and CFDs on 19+ global bonds and interest rates, including the Japanese Government Bond and Euribor futures. Spreads start from 2 and leverage is available up to 1:30. Beginners and seasoned traders can elevate their bond trading strategies using best-in-class platform features, including integrated macro data and advanced order types.

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    Interactive Brokers maintains its position as a top-ranking bond broker, with a whopping selection of over 1 million products. Helpfully, the firm provides a comprehensive Bond Search tool to narrow down the wealth of popular treasuries and notes, as well as the lesser-known municipal securities. Commissions are also competitive, starting at 0.2 basis points for the first $1 million of face value.

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    IC Markets offer trading on 9 bonds with deep liquidity and excellent pricing. The broker also stands out by offering very high leverage up to 1:200, alongside access to leading charting platforms MT4 and MYT5

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    City Index remains a top choice for bond CFD traders, thanks to its commission-free pricing model and competitive spreads from 0.02 points. There’s a wealth of bond market news and analysis to utilize, including the Trading Central dashboard. Beginners can also get started easily with no minimum deposit, or experience the bond market risk free in the 12-week demo.

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    You can trade bonds at eToro by investing in ETFs and its YieldGrowth Smart Portfolio. Simple to navigate, they offer the advantages of fixed-income products with one-click access.

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    Interactive Investor offers an impressive selection of 90+ UK bonds and gilts - plenty for investors to build a diversified portfolio. For a flat monthly account fee, traders can hold their bonds in a SIPP, ISA, JISA or regular trading account, with a reasonable £3.99 fee per trade. The broker’s investment app is feature-rich yet suitable for beginners.

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    OANDA offers CFDs on a handful of the most popular US, European and UK bond products, including the Bund and USD T-Bond. Spreads are reasonable from 1.4 pips and leverage is set to 1:5. The broker’s economic overlay tool also delivers instant updates on economic announcements impacting the bond markets - ideal for short-term news trading strategies.

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    Trade Nation offers a handful of popular bond futures on their proprietary TN Trader terminal. The 1:5 leverage, low fixed spreads and $0 minimum deposit make Trade Nation ideal for beginners looking to start trading bonds easily. There are also some decent analysis tools available, including a signal centre to help uncover bond market opportunities.

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    IG maintains a top 5 position in our ranking for its flexible and diverse bond offering. Traders can invest in global bond futures and ETFs via CFDs, share dealing or spread betting, with competitive spreads from 1 point. Serious traders can also explore correlated interest rate products and enjoy additional investment benefits such as dividend coupons.

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    Available on both MT4 and MT5, Vantage’s bond products cover a range of government and corporate markets. You can speculate on rising and falling prices with as little as 1 lot. There’s also an excellent range of educational materials and market analysis tools for those looking to elevate their short-term strategies.

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    Markets.com is an excellent choice for traders looking for US, German and UK bond CFDs on the MT4 and MT5 platforms. Traders can go long or short on popular products like the US TNote 10Y and the Gilt 10Y Bond. Spreads are competitive based on tests, averaging 0.06 pips with leverage up to 1:5, in line with competitors.

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    VT Markets remains a popular choice for bond traders looking for zero commissions and low spreads. You can trade popular products like the Bund and UK Long Gilt futures CFDs with quotes as low as 0.4 pips, plus competitive leverage up to 1:100. The broker has also partnered with Trading Central to deliver the market-leading ProTrader tools - perfect for serious bond market analysts.

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    Trade.com is a trustworthy online broker with a global presence. The broker offers 2,100+ CFDs in major markets, as well as futures, options and more. The broker offers best-in-class platforms and superior analysis tools for experienced traders. The broker is also regulated by top-tier authorities including the FCA and CySEC.

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    Grand Capital is a MetaTrader broker with welcome bonuses, trading competitions and an intuitive copy trading service. Several account types and 400+ assets provide trading opportunities for various types of investors and strategies. New users can also open an account and start trading in a matter of minutes.

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    Dukascopy offers popular government-issued US, UK and German bond CFDs with commissions starting at $52.50 per million, though this drops to $7.50 for high-volume traders. The broker is a great choice for seasoned bond traders looking for comprehensive analysis tools and automation features, including APIs and strategy builders.

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    Pacific Union Prime is an FSCA and offshore-regulated multi-asset broker offering competitive fees and direct market access on forex, commodities, stocks, bonds and indices. The broker supports the popular MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms and a proprietary mobile app. Fees vary by account type with no commission and spreads from 1.9 pips on the Standard account and $7 commission per lot and spreads from 0.4 pips on the Prime account.

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    Firstrade clients can access an excellent range of fixed-income investments such as treasury bills, municipal bonds and secondary market certificates of deposit (CDs). The broker charges zero commissions on online trades and there is no minimum deposit to get started, making Firstrade a good pick for novice bond investors.

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    ActivTrades is a UK-headquartered CFD and forex broker established in 2001. The brokerage is heavily regulated with licenses from the FCA, SCB, CSSF, BACEN & CVM and CMVM. Over 1000 CFDs are available spanning 7 asset classes. Over 93.60% of orders are executed at the requested price. ActivTraders also offers a selection of leading trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, TradingView and ActivTrader platforms.

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    Swissquote is a Switzerland-based bank and broker that offers online trading and investing. The company has a high safety score and is listed on the Swiss stock exchange. The firm offers a huge range of products, from stocks, ETFs, bonds and futures to 400+ forex and CFD assets. Hundreds of thousands of traders have opened an account with the multi-regulated brokerage. Clients can get started in three easy steps while 24/7 customer support is available to assist new users.

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    FXPrimus is an award-winning CySEC-regulated brokerage offering CFD trading on 200+ instruments via the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader platforms. The choice between a competitive commission-free account and two affordable raw spread options make this an accessible broker for anyone seeking forex, stocks, indices and commodities with high leverage.

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    FP Markets offers a modest choice of bonds (US 10YR & UK GILT). Average spreads are 0.07 and 0.08 respectively, and clients can trade bonds on the MT4 and MT5 platforms, delivering excellent charting tools for active traders.

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    Global Prime is a multi-regulated trading broker offering 150+ markets. Traders can get started with a $200 minimum deposit and trade with leverage up to 1:100. The firm also has a high trust score and a good reputation with a license from the ASIC.

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    Fortrade is a multi-asset, multi-regulated broker with branches regulated by the FCA, CySEC and ASIC among others. The brand offers trading opportunities on a wide range of instruments including stocks, bonds, commodities, forex, indices, cryptocurrencies and ETFs, with competitive fees and support for MetaTrader 4 and a proprietary platform.

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    Admirals is an FCA- and ASIC-regulated broker with an excellent range of leveraged instruments, including forex, stocks, indices, ETFs, commodities, cryptos and more. The broker supports the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and TradingCentral platforms. With both spread betting and CFDs available and thousands of instruments, this broker provides more flexibility than most rivals.

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    Infinox is a UK-based and FCA-regulated broker that offers diverse trading products thanks to its STP and ECN account types and support for MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and a proprietary platform. Clients can also benefit from a free VPS that can support automated strategies and a social trading platform, catering to both beginner and seasoned traders.

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    Saxo Markets is a multi-award-winning trading brokerage, investment firm and regulated bank. With a huge 72,000+ trading instruments, plus investment products and managed portfolios, clients have no shortage of opportunities. The trusted brand also offers transparent pricing and top-tier regulatory protection from 10+ agencies including FINMA, FCA & ASIC.

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    Zacks Trade is a top pick for seasoned bond traders. With exclusive access to over 20 top-tier research providers, including Dow Jones and Morningstar, traders can stay ahead of the bond market easily. Commissions start from 0.025% of the face value plus $3 per government bond, and the broker’s proprietary terminal is packed with analysis features for active, high-volume traders.

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    Just2Trade is a reliable multi-regulated broker registered with FINRA, NFA and CySEC. The company has 155,000 clients from 130 countries and stands out for its huge suite of instruments and additional features, including a social network, robo advisors and a funded trader programme.

Types Of Gilts

There is not only one kind of Gilt but a range of options available to investors who wish to invest in them. Bonds generally, and also Gilts, are defined by two main criteria:

  • Maturity date
  • Coupon

A particular Gilt will be referred to by its maturity date (when the original purchase price should be repaid to the holder) and its coupon. For example, 5% Treasury Gilt 2022 will be a Gilt that pays an annual coupon of 5% interest and reaches maturity in 2022.

Maturity

Gilts are broken down in short, medium and long maturity date groupings. Short Gilts would be expected to have a maturity date of between 1 and 7 years, medium between 7 and 15, and long between 15 and 25 years.

There are occasional exceptions such as Gilts that have a maturity date within a range of years. For example, the government can decide when to redeem the Guilt at whatever point it chooses between 5 and 10 years.

‘Perpetual Gilts’ also exist and have no fixed maturity date. The government can choose to redeem or not redeem these Gilts into perpetuity. There are a small number of perpetual Gilts in existence that date as far back as the 19th Century! Because the coupon on these Gilts is low, the government has little incentive to pay back the redemption cost.

However, these alternative Gilts are rare and retail investors would be expected to stick to standard Gilts with a fixed maturity date.

Coupon

Most Gilts currently in issue are conventional Gilts that have a fixed coupon and maturity date. The holder will receive a pre-agreed interest rate, the coupon, at set intervals until the Gilt matures. Most retail investors will opt for this kind of Gilt.

There are, however, also index-linked Gilts that have a variable coupon. This kind of Gilt’s coupon is tied to the Retail Prices Index (RPI) which provides the current UK inflation rate reading. The Gilt will have a base coupon, for example 2.5%, but the payments received by the holder are tied to inflation and so move up and down with the inflation rate. This is an advantage during periods of higher inflation but a disadvantage when the inflation rate is low.

Inflation-linked options are best for Gilts with the longest maturity dates as they are most sensitive to changes in inflation rates.

The beginners guide to gilts

Bank of England (Seller of UK Gilts)

Initial Auction & Aftermarket

Another important aspect to Gilts is that it makes a difference to the coupon and redemption price if the holder buys them at the point they are issued or in the aftermarket, a kind of second-hand Gilt market, where Gilts are traded.

Gilts are issued by the UK government’s Debt Management Office (DMO), which is part of the civil service administration when the government decides that it wishes to raise money by issuing debt. If a Gilt is bought at this point then the maturity date and coupon are guaranteed at their issued values.

The holder of a 5% Treasury Gilt 2022, having bought the Gilt at its initial auction, is guaranteed to receive a coupon of 5% of the purchase price per annum., with the initial price paid redeemed in 2022.

However, Gilts bought on the aftermarket see their prices and coupons increase and decrease based upon supply and demand in the same way as equities and investment funds. If the market decides a particular Gilt is more attractive in the context of the current wider market conditions, another investor will be prepared to pay more for it than its actual face value. The opposite can also be the case if the market conditions make the Gilt a less attractive investment proposition.

Supply and demand on the Gilt aftermarket might mean a Gilt with an original face value of £100 and annual coupon of 5% is considered 10% more attractive when first issued due to changing market conditions. The original investor is able to sell the £100 Gilt early, for example in 2019, for £110. The original holder has made a 10% profit on the redemption price but will no longer receive the coupon, which will now be paid to the new holder. Because the new holder has paid 10% more, the coupon the receive will be 10% less of the purchase price, so 4.5%. If the new holder keeps the bond until its maturity, they will also only receive the £100 face value back, losing £10.

Gilt Aftermarket Price Influences

If financial markets are volatile the new holder might consider the safety of the Gilt as an investment as compensation for their loss on its face value. However, the main influence on the price of Gilts in the aftermarket is interest rates. When interest rates rise Gilt prices on the aftermarket generally fall as the coupon becomes less attractive compared to interest rates and alternatives such as cash holdings.

The inverse is the case when interest rates fall, which is why Gilts and bonds as a wider asset class have been particularly popular in recent years.

The government will also offer lower coupons during initial Gilt auctions when interest rates are low and higher coupons when the interest rate is higher.

UK Credit Rating

As outlined above, a Gilt is UK Government-issued bond. Almost every government in the world issues bonds, which are popular low-risk investments as they are backed by a national government. While they are not without any risk, there have been a handful of historical cases of governments defaulting on their debt, that risk is considered low within the context of risk-based investments. It happens very rarely.

Also, like companies, states have a credit rating assigned by international ratings agencies such as Moody’s and S&P. They assess a country’s current and forecast ability to service its debt and assign a rating. The better the rating, the lower the perceived default risk, and the lower the interest rate the country needs to offer on its bonds to attract investors.

Despite concerns that the UK’s credit rating has taken a hit from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’ following the October 2022 mini budget, the UK historically, has had one of the strongest credit ratings in the world and Gilts are considered as one of the safest government bonds to invest in.

How To Buy Gilts

Until the relatively recent past buying Gilts was difficult for retail investors. However, that is no longer the case and Gilts can now be easily bought either directly from the government’s Debt Management Office at the initial auction or via a stockbroker.

Gilts can also be invested in indirectly via ETFs and investment funds. The advantage of buying Gilts via a fund is that the fund will hold a range of Gilts with different maturity dates and coupons, reducing volatility that longer term Gilts can be exposed to if inflation rises. ETFs are generally a cheaper option than investment funds as management fees are minimal.

Buying Gilts directly without a stockbroking account means registering at Computershare, the government’s outsourced Gilt agent. The Debt Management Office publishes information on upcoming Gilt auctions.

Before being able to buy UK government debt, would-be-investors must register with the Approved Group of Investors. This is a simple process that verifies identity and the source of funds. If you already have a stockbroking account you will have already been through a similar process with your stockbroker and this won’t need to be repeated.

One advantage to buying Gilts directly from the government is that there is no transaction fee applied though this will only be a significant percentage of the overall investment if you are buying a low value of Gilts via a stockbroker.

Bond CFDs: An Alternative To Gilts

For savvy investors, one appealing alternative to traditional Gilts is CFD bonds. Where holdings in standard government bonds typically result in only losses should the bond price fall, leveraged CFDs offer a straightforward means to speculate on both price rises and downswings.

As a result, bond CFDs are often favoured by UK traders looking to take a mix of leveraged positions on government-issued bonds.

CMC Markets and Admiral Markets are among the leading FCA-regulated brokers now offering competitive CFD bonds.

Best Gilt brokers

UK Gilt Cash Price – CMC Markets

Pros Of Investing In Gilts

  • Very low risk
  • Guaranteed return
  • Fixed maturity/redemption date
  • Liquidity provided by aftermarket
  • Effective portfolio hedge/balance qualities
  • Exempt of capital gains tax

Risks Of Investing In Gilts

  • Slim chance of UK government default. It’s never happened but theoretically possible
  • Par value not guaranteed if sold early. If a Gilt holder wants to sell before maturity aftermarket conditions may mean a lower sale price than the Gilt’s face value
  • Exposed to inflation. Non-inflation index-linked Gilts, especially those with longer maturity dates, could see the real value of their coupon suffer during periods of higher inflation
  • Coupon income liable to income tax (though gilts with a maturity date of at least 5 years can avoid this by being held in an ISA or SIPP)
  • Returns are modest

Gilts Vs Equities

Gilts and bonds differ from stocks (company shares) as an investment class in that equity is an ownership stake in the company. As a shareholder, the investment is made against the future success of the company. If the company does well the share price rises and the company might also pay out part of its profits to shareholders in the form of dividends. The size of dividends vary and while numerous factors influence them they are closely linked to how profitable the company has been over a given period.

Gilts/bonds are different in the sense that the issuer is obliged to honour the bond and its coupon regardless of its general financial health in the same way as a bank will expect you to make your mortgage repayment and is not particularly interested in whether you have had an expensive month or not.

Of course, there is still a degree of risk that the bond issuer simply does not have the cash flow to honour its debt commitments. However, bond holders, as creditors, take priority and not meeting bond obligations has a severe effect on the issuer’s credit rating which they will not want to compromise other than as a last resort.

Bonds are usually invested in as part of a wider investment portfolio. Equities are usually considered, within a range, the riskier element, there to provide growth, and bonds as a stabiliser against potential stock market volatility or downturns and to provide income.

It is possible to invest only in equities or bonds but historical data demonstrates that over medium to longer term timeframes a diversified mix of different equities and bonds of varying return and risk categories produces the best investment results. Gilts would be at the lowest end of the risk spectrum even for bonds and form the ‘safe haven’ section of an investment portfolio.

UK Stock Brokers

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    AvaTrade offers hundreds of shares on leading exchanges including the NYSE and FTSE. You can take positions on leading tech firms like Tesla, Apple and Microsoft with no restrictions and 24/5 support. There is also an above-average selection of 45+ indices and 60+ ETFs.

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    Eightcap offers 650+ US, Australian, and European shares as well as a modest range of indices, including the Dow Jones and FTSE. Its Labs offer excellent educational tools, notably the ‘Navigating Stock Market Volatility’ guide, while Capitalise.ai lets you automate stock trading strategies in plain English. On the downside, Eightcap still doesn’t offer fractional shares for budget traders, which are available at brokers like XTB.

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    You can trade a dozen major indices, including the Dow Jones, NASDAQ and S&P 500 with competitive spreads at FXCC. However, it’s disappointing that FXCC doesn’t offer any individual stocks - a huge drawback against competitors like CMC Markets, which offers thousands of shares.

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    IBKR provides access to an unparalleled array of equity products originating from 24 diverse countries, encompassing shares traded on major as well as sub-exchanges. Whether seeking capital appreciation, dividends, or voting rights, you can directly invest in stocks. Alternatively, you can engage in speculative trading on price movements through CFDs, futures and more than 13,000 ETFs.

  5. XM

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    You can trade hundreds of shares in major markets, including the US, UK, Europe and Asia. Commissions are as low as $1 per transaction while fractional shares reduce the entry barrier for beginners. There's also a dedicated stock market analysis section on the broker's website.

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    OANDA expanded its suite of stocks in 2024 with more than 2,200 shares now available from leading stock exchanges, including blue chip firms like Apple and Meta. There are also no commissions on US stocks and traders benefit from free insights and market reports from Dow Jones and Oanda’s MarketPulse research tool.

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    FxPro offers hundreds of stocks and ETFs from major economies including the US, UK, France and Germany, with access to high-quality research resources. The broker also continues to expand its financial services through its BnkPro e-money and investment products.

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    You can trade a decent range of US and European share CFDs, with 1:5 leverage. There’s also a competitive choice of ETFs and indices across the three available platforms. It’s easy to stay updated with the stock market using the broker’s customizable trading alerts and the in-platform news feed.

  9. Axi

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    You can trade over 100 US, UK, European and Hong Kong stocks via CFDs, which is a more diverse selection than some top competitors. The broker also offers the popular Autochartist market scanning tool which continuously uncovers stock market signals.

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    Trade binary options and CFDs on global stocks from US, European, Russian and Asian exchanges, as well as 37 indices covering a wide range of global markets. The access to stocks trumps many binary options brokers.

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    Focus Option traders can access 21 global stocks via high/low binary options through a web-based platform or CFDs via a mobile app. This includes big firms like IBM, Tesla and Microsoft.

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    RoboForex provides one of the broadest selections of real equities and stock CFDs spanning the US and 14 regional European markets, including direct access to the NASDAQ. It’s also one of the few brokers to offer a dedicated platform for stock trading, sporting leverage up to 1:20 and a robot builder that enables traders to automate and backtest stock trading strategies.

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    There are hundreds of major global shares and indices available. You can also trade IPO shares and ETFs in the MT4 platform, depending on jurisdiction. You can expect a reasonable 0.1% commission on US shares, plus a range of analysis features to help you stay ahead of stock market news.

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    FOREX.com provides access to a wide array of US, EU, and UK stock CFDs, featuring spreads as narrow as 1 point. This enables you to speculate on established household names and emerging IPOs, fostering ample opportunities for diversification within stock portfolios. US stocks are accessible from as low as 1.8 cents per share.

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    eToro offers access to thousands of stocks and shares from all over Europe, the US and beyond. Traders can invest alone or join millions of other traders in eToro's popular social trading community. Buy-and-hold investors can also try out the broker's Smart Portfolios, covering exciting thematic collections like Big Tech.

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    Plus500 continues to offer an extensive range of shares across UK, US, and European markets via CFDs. The ESG and cannabis sector opportunities are also enticing features not commonly found among other platforms. There also an impressive 30+ indices available with leverage up to 1:20.

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    IG offers 13,000+ shares to trade or invest in, with more listed firms than nearly every competitor. The broker also excels for its zero commissions on US shares, while out-of-hours trading provides access to 70+ shares, plus popular ETFs and trusts, when the markets are closed.

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    CMC provides opportunities on over 10,000 stock CFDs and offers reliable support during market hours based on tests. You also gain complimentary access to new and excellent analysis from reputable third-party outlets. On the downside, there’s no trading in real stocks in some countries.

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    IC Markets offers access to 2,100+ stocks from Australian and US markets - NASDAQ, NYSE and ASX. You can choose between 4 platforms, though cTrader excels for seasoned stock traders looking for the widest range of indicators, timeframes and chart types. Over 25 indices also provide exposure to diverse regions and economies.

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    You can trade an excellent suite of 2000+ US stocks, fractional shares, options, ETFs, OTC and ADRs. There are no commissions on most assets. Additionally, extended hours trading is offered as well as optimized screeners and custom watchlists to aid investment decisions.

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    You can trade a modest range of US and Australian stocks including Google and Apple, alongside major indices like the S&P 500, FTSE 100 and VIX. That said, the breadth of shares is narrow compared to alternatives like CMC Markets with its 10,000+ shares.

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    OspreyFX offers leveraged trading on US and European stocks and shares. There are no restrictions on strategies and traders benefit from competitive, real-time pricing and access to industry-leading software from MetaTrader.

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    Errante offers CFDs on 58 stocks of some of the world's largest companies. Trade big names like Alibaba, Amazon and Apple with low fees. Traders also benefit from top-tier liquidity and fast execution, but note that as these are CFDs, you cannot buy and own physical shares.

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    Coinexx traders can speculate on broad movements of global markets via five indices covering exchanges in the US, UK, Germany, and China. On the downside, there are no individual stocks which is a significant drawback.

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    You can trade a decent range of CFD shares from US, UK and EU markets, as well as 40+ ETFs and a variety of indices. US stocks are commission-free and you can get started with just a $100 minimum deposit. That said, it’s disappointing that there’s no stock market analysis on offer.

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    A small selection of 100+ popular international stocks is available. Trading is available on the MT5 platform, which delivers reliable stock market news straight to your dashboard. That said, it’s disappointing that the broker doesn’t provide any additional research tools.

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    Firstrade offers commission-free stock trading on the NASDAQ, NYSE and OTC markets. Clients can invest in penny stocks through to blue chip stocks with extended hours trading, plus conditional orders and trailing stops. We also rated the dividend reinvestment program.

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    With 300+ stock CFDs from a variety of global exchanges, traders can choose between some of the world's biggest blue chip companies. FinPros charges no commission fees for shares trading, making this a competitive offering although not as diverse as some alternatives.

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    Take positions on major brands in multiple industries, from finance to manufacturing and technology. Popular indices like the Dow Jones also offer more diverse access to popular markets.

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    Zacks Trade offers a large selection of US and international stocks, including penny stocks, as well as ETFs and global indices. The broker also offers options as a way to speculate on stock price movements.

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    Buy and own thousands of shares commission-free, including blue chip companies like Apple and Microsoft from the NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges. Fractional shares also allow investments from as little as $1, which will appeal to beginners and those on a budget.

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    Scope Markets offers stock trading on 1500+ popular markets, as well as a decent range of cash and futures indices. Traders looking to diversify can explore some other interesting opportunities, like cannabis stocks. There are also some useful resources to help inform trading decisions, including a dividend calendar.

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    Traders who sign up to TMGM's IRESS account can access the broker's vast selection of around 10,000 stock CFDs, sourced from 12 global exchanges in the US, UK, Australia, EU, Hong Kong and Japan. This is one of the best ranges of equities of any CFD broker.

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    AZAForex offers trading on a modest range of US stocks including Google, Apple and Amazon. You can also speculate on leading indices such as the FTSE.

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    Anzo Capital traders can trade 30 US and European company stocks as well as several stock indices. Trading is done through CFDs, meaning traders do not own the underlying asset and can bet on rising and falling prices.

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    Rock Global traders can either trade company shares directly or speculate on stock markets via CFDs. The broker covers an excellent range of markets spanning Asia-Pacific, North America and Europe. Brokerage fees start at $9.95 for US shares.

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    Traders can access an excellent choice of 800+ share CFDs with up to 1:20 leverage and the option to trade with zero commission. The diverse selection covers US, EU, UK and HK exchanges, which should offer plenty of opportunities for more experienced investors.

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    Pocket Option continues to trail alternatives in the stock department with just several dozen of the most popular shares like Microsoft and Google. That said, the payouts are competitive on stocks reaching 92% while indices offer an alternative way to speculate on stock markets with returns up to 67%.

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    Exinity clients can speculate on shares from US and Hong Kong companies. Traders can choose between trading stock CFDs or directly buying stocks in large firms commission-free. On the negative side, there are no equities from European and UK markets.

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    ForexChief offers 100 US company stock CFDs for MT4 DirectFX and Classic+ account holders. Alongside popular multinationals like Apple and Coca-Cola, you can also speculate on several major stock indices with spreads from 2.

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    PU Prime traders can access CFDs on hundreds of shares from international exchanges, including some of the world’s top companies like Amazon, VISA, Tesla, and IBM. Stock trading takes place on the MT5 platform and features floating spreads starting near 0 but varying by account type and equity. Stocks are traded via CFD derivatives and are not directly owned. UK and US stocks all have 0 commissions.

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    SuperForex offers CFDs on a range of international stocks, with big names including Google, Disney and Apple as well as regional powerhouses such as Petrobras. This is not the widest range of stocks, but there is a diverse enough list to keep traders interested, especially beginners.

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    AdroFx offers 40+ stock CFDs on major US companies, including Tesla and Microsoft. These can be traded with leverage, but as they are CFDs you will not directly own a share in the companies. Also, the number of shares is woeful compared to alternatives like CMC Markets which offers over 10,000 stocks spanning different regions and sectors.

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    Invest in thousands of stocks and ETFs with no commissions or overnight fees. You can also make use of the broker's blog which publishes frequent stock market updates and investment ideas.

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    Speculate on price movements of 37 US and European blue chip stock CFDs, including Adidas, Intel and Volkswagen. On the negative side, the selection of stocks is limited vs alternatives and direct share dealing isn't provided.

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    Core Spreads traders can access spread betting on 1000+ UK, US and European stocks and shares, a decent selection. However, CFD stock trading is not available and clients cannot directly buy and own shares through this broker.

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    You can trade a modest range of 140+ US and EU shares, including Amazon and Pfizer. There are also 13 major indices, providing exposure to other global economies. Average spreads are competitive, coming in at 0.12 pips for the Apple stock and 1.9 pips for NASDAQ.

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    Trade 20,000+ global equities with margins as low as 5% and powerful trading platforms. The selection of shares outstrips nearly all competitors and includes access to blue chip stocks.

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    Trade 6000+ US and UK stocks and hundreds of ETFs and funds with zero commissions and low fees via an easy-to-use proprietary trading app. More than a million users trust Freetrade for stock investing.

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    I was also pleased to find over 5000 stocks and options available to trade on several platforms, as well as 9 stock indices. Active traders can also enjoy flexible commission plans, superior low-latency DMA and a dedicated customer support line.

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    Global Prime traders cannot speculate on individual stock prices, but they can trade 12 global stock index CFDs with tight spreads, including the Dow Jones, UK 100, NASDAQ and S&P 500.

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    Access UK, European and Asian shares with a good selection of flexible deposit methods. The broker's useful educational insights can also help you develop robust strategies and stock analysis techniques.

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    Trade US, European and Asian markets with thousands of equities and competitive spreads. You can also take advantage of DMA pricing on the broker's MT5 platform, as well as IPOs.

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    As well as Just2Trade's 50+ stock CFDs, traders can access a huge variety of thousands of stocks traded on US and international exchanges. The chance to build an investment portfolio and benefit from dividends sets Just2Trade apart from most CFD brokers.

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    Direct stock trading isn't available, but traders can access 11 index CFDs, including the top US, British, European, Australian, and Japanese indices, with leverage up to 1:200.

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    Trade over 1000 stocks from US, UK and European markets. Shares can be traded on the intuitive ActivTrader platform or MT5. We also rated that fractional shares are available, making high-value stocks accessible to newer investors.

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    BlackBull Markets offers CFD trading on an 2000+ global company shares with fast execution via MT4 or MT5. Spreads are variable and competitive, with a typical spread for Apple coming in at 0.04. All shares trading is done through derivatives meaning the company stocks are not bought or sold.

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    Swissquote offers access to leading stock exchanges from Switzerland, US, UK, Germany, France and Japan. Stocks are available with a 0.15% commission on the Premium account. Traders also get a choice of leading platforms, including MT4, MT5 and Advanced Trader.

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    SimpleFX offers a beginner-friendly platform to trade some of the most popular global stock CFDs commission-free, from Pfizer to Walt Disney, equipped with advanced integrated indicators. SimpleFX provides access to stock exchanges in key countries such as the US, UK, Germany, and Japan, though it doesn't offer fractional shares.

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    You can trade 70+ of the most popular global stocks including Amazon and Tesla, as well as 10+ major indices. This isn’t particularly competitive compared to the hundreds offered by most alternatives, and the lack of additional analysis tools will disappoint seasoned stock traders.

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    You can trade a small range of around 20 major NYSE and NASDAQ-listed stocks, including Apple, Google and Amazon. Commissions are also uncompetitive at $16 per round turn - over double the rate at most other brokers.

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    Traders can speculate on stock market movements through CFDs on dozens of individual equities. This is less than many rival brokers, but traders can also place bets on broad market movements through 15 indices covering diverse global markets including the US, China, UK, Spain and Germany.

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    FXTrading offers clients CFDs on 10,000+ global company shares from a list that includes all major and emerging stock exchanges on an institutional trading platform. Prices are competitive with a floating spread and leverage of 1:10 is available.

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    Trade hundreds of stocks from leading countries and economics, including Apple and Amazon in the US. 24/5 support is also available to help new stock traders get started with the broker.

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    Trade CFDs on some of the largest stocks in the US and EU including big brands like Microsoft and Google. In total, 70+ global stock CFDs are available with leverage up to 1:5.

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    Fortrade offers leveraged CFDs on a wide range of stocks from the UK, US, Hong Kong, Australia and a range of European companies with variable spreads and no commissions. CFDs are derivative contracts that do not entail ownership of the underlying stock. Professional traders can also access a decent list of Direct Market Access stocks.

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    FP Markets offers CFDs on over 10,000 international stocks across a wide range of global markets, including exchanges in London, Hong Kong, Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid, Amsterdam, and New York. Yet while the broker offers extensive coverage in CFD trading, it does not support real stock trading or long-term investing.

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    IronFX traders can speculate on price movements of 150 US, UK and European shares via CFDs. Fractional shares are also available, which will appeal to beginners looking to trade in smaller volumes. There’s also a decent range of 15+ indices via spot and futures contracts.

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    Trade CFDs on an impressive range of 3400+ stocks from 17 different global exchanges with low commissions. Traders can also buy and own company shares directly with low commissions and fee-free trades available daily from some exchanges, and fractional share trading allowing micro-investments in international giants.

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    Libertex offers CFDs on 100+ stocks as well as 10 stock indices. Clients can also invest in real stocks directly on the Libertex platform and mobile app.

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    You can trade 68 stocks and shares with leverage of 1:5, as well as 4 indices: Dow Jones, Nasdaq, S&P 500 and DAX 30. This is a poor selection compared to most alternatives (who typically offer hundreds) and only covers US and German markets.

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    HYCM offers 11 individual company shares to trade via the MT4 platform. There are also 20 ETFs to give a broader view of market movements. All trading is done through CFDs, meaning traders will not own the underlying equities.

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    FXOpen users can trade CFDs on 10 US shares including Boeing and Tesla with leverage up to 1:5. Nine stock indices are also available to trade with leverage up to 1:20. While a modest selection of equities, trading conditions are competitive and leading platforms are available.

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    Trade 750 stock CFDs sourced from eight exchanges from the US, EU and UK. Leverage up to 1:10 is available, commissions start from $6 and overnight fees are the LIBOR rate +/-3.5%. This represents a very competitive suite of stocks from a range of international markets covered by few competitors.

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    Hantec Markets offers more than 1,800 stock CFDs from exchanges in Europe, the UK, and the US. Additionally, the broker offers access to major indices including the S&P 500 and FTSE 100, allowing traders to gain a comprehensive perspective on global financial markets. On the downside, there is no option to invest in real stocks or factional shares, available at XTB.

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    Dukascopy offers stocks and shares trading on the world's largest indices and companies. Users have access to North America, Europe and the Pacific region with competitive pricing. The broker's market research, including its technical and fundamental analysis, trading ideas and TV channel, are standout features for us.

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    Stocks can be traded by connecting the NinjaTrader platform to supporting brokers. The firm also provides access to a range of index futures via standard and micro contracts, including the E-Mini S&P 500 Index Futures and E-Mini Russell 2000 Index Futures.

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    GO Markets offers CFDs on stocks from US, UK, Hong Kong, Australian and German exchanges with 1:5 leverage, commissions from 0.08%, tight variable spreads, and access to powerful analysis tools on MetaTrader 5. Derivatives trading means traders will not own the underlying asset.

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    Access 23,500+ stocks from global markets with a $1 minimum commission on US shares and comprehensive market insights.

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    Trade thousands of global equities through spread betting and CFDs. Spreadex is one of the few online brokers to provide trading opportunities on a selection of lower market cap equities traded on exchanges such as the AIM sub-market of the London Stock Exchange.

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    Although the broker doesn’t offer real stocks, clients can trade CFDs on an impressive list of 3000+ shares with low commissions from $3.50 per side and no hidden fees. Spreads are also competitive, coming in at 0.08 pips for the Apple stock.

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    Traders can speculate on leading companies in the US, EU, UK and Australia including brands like Tesla and Apple. Short, medium and long-term trading strategies are catered for, as well as algo traders through Expert Advisors (EAs). There is also an excellent range of indices and ETFs for those who want to diversify portfolios.

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    Traders can take positions on thousands of stock CFDs sourced from various global markets, including the US, UK, EU, China, and Japan. For longer-term investors, Trading 212 facilitates direct share dealing on more than 8,500 global stocks within investment accounts and tax-efficient ISAs for UK customers. The key selling point is the zero commissions on equities.

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    Pepperstone presents a huge suite of share CFDs spanning the US, UK, Australian, and European stock markets. Whether you’re interested in iconic names like Tesla, Apple, or Netflix, Pepperstone provides the flexibility to take long or short positions, backed by deep liquidity and competitive commissions. The platform has also introduced 24-hour trading on 37 US stock CFDs, providing opportunities to trade following earnings reports and unexpected news.

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    The broker’s stocks list is average, with 300+ US and European stock CFDs available. Spreads are as low as 0.1 pips in the Advantage account. You can also make use of a wide range of market analysis resources which have been curated by the broker’s expert team.

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    Trade dozens of shares in major US, European, and Asian companies.

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    You can trade major indices including the NASDAQ, S&P 500 and Nikkei. There’s a powerful platform for technical and fundamental analysis of the market, although it’s a shame that shares are not offered.

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    easyMarkets only offers 45+ global equities from US, European, Chinese and Japanese firms, which is much less than most competitors. With that said, there is also a decent range of 13 global stock indices including the S&P 500 and UK 100, with high leverage up to 1:400.

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    FXCM offers a strong suite of shares from the US, UK, Hong Kong, Australia and Europe. Extended hours trading is available on US shares, aligning the broker with top brands like IG. Additionally, fractional shares are available for those who want more control over their position sizes.

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    100+ stock CFDs are available spanning some of the biggest US companies with zero commissions. The economic calendar is great for tracking major events which could impact stock prices. However, Fusion only offers US shares whereas competitors like IC Markets provide 2000+ shares including Australian stocks.

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    XTB offers over 3,000 stocks (CFD and real), encompassing prominent companies such as Amazon, Barclays, and BMW, with zero commissions. The xStation platform also shines for its analysis features that elevate the stock trading experience, from stock scanners and heatmaps to diverse fundamental data, including market cap and P/E ratios.

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    Trader can access global stock markets through binary options on blue chip company shares and a range of indices. Clients can trade high/low binaries on a user-friendly web platform.

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    Go long or short on over 50 major global shares and map out your strategies using the intuitive charting tools. Those with $1,000+ starting capital can also enjoy their first 3 trades risk-free.

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    City Index offers thousands of global shares via CFDs and spread bets. Pre-market and after-hours trading is also available on 70+ US stocks, including Tesla and Apple.

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    Capital.com offer 5,600+ stocks from around the globe. They also offer tight spreads, ideal for active traders

Bottom Line On Investing In Gilts

In this guide to investing in UK Government bonds, we have defined Gilts and looked at the meaning of key terms, such as yields and coupons. Historically a ‘safe-haven’ asset class, many retail investors are putting their funds into Gilts as the United Kingdom navigates an uncertain economic landscape. And while returns may be lower versus other investment vehicles, Gilts can provide a stable income and revenue stream.

Use our list of the best Gilt brokers to invest today.