Day Trading in the UK 2024

DayTrading.com is the top UK guide to online day trading 2024. Beginners who are learning how to day trade should read our many tutorials and watch how-to videos to get practical tips. Experienced intraday traders can explore more advanced topics such as automated trading and how to trade in the UK on the financial markets.

Top 4 Brokers in the UK

We have reviewed over 450 platforms as of June 2024 and have found these 4 to be the best for online trading in the UK:

Click a broker for details
  1. 1
    AvaTrade

    Ratings
    4.8 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4 / 5

    $100
    0.01 Lots
    1:30 (Retail) 1:400 (Pro)
    ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, ISA, CBI, FSA, FSRA, BVI, ADGM
    CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Bonds, Crypto, Spread Betting, Futures
    WebTrader, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, AvaFutures, MT4, MT5, AlgoTrader, TradingCentral, DupliTrade
    Skrill, Wire Transfer, FasaPay, Mastercard, Perfect Money, Swift, MoneyGram, Credit Card, WebMoney, JCB Card, Debit Card, Neteller, Boleto
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD
  2. 2
    XTB
    77% of retail accounts lose money.

    Ratings
    4.5 / 5
    4 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.1 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    4.7 / 5
    4.1 / 5

    $0
    0.01 Lots
    1:30
    FCA, CySEC, KNF, CNMV, DFSA, FSC
    CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Crypto, ETFs
    xStation
    PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Wire Transfer, Paysafecard, Skrill, Credit Card, Debit Card, Maestro, Neteller
    USD, EUR, GBP, HUF
  3. 3
    CMC Markets
    Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

    Ratings
    4.8 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.1 / 5
    3.7 / 5

    $0
    0.01 Lots
    1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)
    FCA, ASIC, MAS, CIRO, BaFin, FMA, DFSA
    CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Treasuries, Custom Indices, Spread Betting
    Web, MT4
    Visa, Mastercard, Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, PayPal
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, SEK, NOK, SGD, PLN
  4. 4
    Eightcap

    Ratings
    4.3 / 5
    4 / 5
    3.6 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3 / 5
    4.8 / 5
    4.4 / 5

    $100
    0.01 Lots
    1:30
    ASIC, FCA, CySEC, SCB, CNMV
    CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities
    MT4, MT5, TradingView
    Neteller, Skrill, Visa, UnionPay, Credit Card, Debit Card, Bitcoin Payments, Wire Transfer, FasaPay, BPAY, PayPal, Dragonpay, PIX Payment
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, SGD

Day Trading Brokers in the UK

What Is Day Trading?

The definition of “day trading” is the buying and selling of a security in a single trading day. If you’re day trading online you will close out your position before the markets close for the day to end the trade. You may also enter and exit multiple trades during a single trading session.

Brokerages on occasion have different definitions for ‘active’ or day traders. Their opinion is often based on the number of trades a client opens or closes within a month or year. Some brands even refer to ‘hyper-active traders’ – a step beyond the ‘active trader’.

Day trading is normally done by using trading strategies to capitalise on small price movements in high-liquidity stocks or currencies. The purpose of DayTrading.com is to give you an overview of day trading basics and what it takes for you to make it as a day trader in the UK. From scalping a few pips profit in minutes on a forex trade, to trading news events on stocks or indices – we explain how.

day trader beginner or advanced

What Can Be Traded?

The most lucrative and popular day trading markets today are:

If you’re FTSE day trading, you’ll be buying and selling the shares of companies, such as Vodafone and BP. In the day trading forex market, you’ll be trading currencies, such as the Euro, U.S dollar and Sterling (GBP). In the futures market, often based on commodities and indexes, you can trade anything from gold to cocoa.

Index funds frequently occur in financial advice these days, but are slow financial vehicles that make them unsuitable for daily trades. They have, however, been shown to be great for long-term investing plans.

Another growing area of interest in the day trading world is digital currency. Day trading with Bitcoin, LiteCoin, Ethereum and other altcoins currencies is an expanding business.

Note that at present, trading cryptocurrencies via CFDs is restricted for retail traders in the UK.

Read more about different trading markets

Getting Started

Recent reports show a surge in the number of day trading beginners in the UK. But unlike the short term trading of the past, today’s traders are smarter and better informed, in part due to trader academies, courses, and resources, including trading apps. Daytrading.com exists to help novice traders get educated and avoid mistakes while learning how to day trade.

Day trading 101 – get to grips with trading stocks or forex live using a demo account first, they will give you invaluable trading tips. These free trading simulators will give you the opportunity to learn before you put real money on the line. They also offer hands-on training in how to pick stocks.

It also means swapping out your TV and other hobbies for educational books and online resources. Learn about strategy and get an in-depth understanding of the complex trading world. DayTrading.com is the ideal beginners guide to day trading online.

Books for Beginners

Both books will provide you with the basic day trading rules to live by. You’ll also benefit from advice on stock picks, plus creative strategy ideas. As Benjamin Franklin highlighted, ‘an investment in knowledge pays the best interest’.

While the ‘for dummies’ series is very accessible, it is a good idea to read a broad selection of books as your experience increases – More on day trading books

Patterns And Technical Analysis

Day trading chart patterns paint a clear picture of trading activity which helps you to decipher individuals’ motivations. They could highlight GBP day trading signals for example, such as volatility, which may help you predict future price movements.

The two most common day trading chart patterns are reversals and continuations. Whilst the former indicates a trend will reverse once completed, the latter suggests the trend will continue to rise. Understanding these trading patterns, as well as ‘triangles’, ‘head and shoulders’, ‘cup and handle’, ‘wedges’ and plenty more, will all make you better informed when it comes to employing your trading strategies.

Read the Guide to Day Trading Patterns.

Day Trading Strategies

Head over to websites like Reddit and you’ll see many trading dummies who will often fall at the strategy hurdle, taking the first momentum examples they see and losing money left, right and centre. Savvy traders will employ day trading strategies in forex, grain futures and anything else they’re trading in, to give them an edge over the market. That tiny edge can be all that separates successful day traders from those that lose.

There are a number of day trading techniques and strategies out there, but all will rely on accurate data, carefully laid out in charts and spreadsheets. Options include:

It is those who stick religiously to their short term trading strategies, rules and parameters that yield the best results. Too many minor losses add up over time.

Read the Guide to Day trading Strategies.

Day trading technical analysis and strategy

Trading Accounts

Part of your day trading setup will involve choosing a trading account. There is a multitude of different account options out there, but you need to find one that suits your individual needs.

The list of the best day trading platforms and brokers in the UK has more detailed information on account options, such as day trading cash and margin accounts.

Terminology

Learn the trading lingo and vocabulary and you’ll unlock the door to a whole host of trading secrets. Below we have collated the essential basic jargon, to create an easy to understand day trading glossary.

General

Charts, Graphs, Patterns & Strategy

If you stumble across a word or phrase that leaves you scratching your head, refer back to this day trading dictionary and chances are you’ll get a quick and easy explanation.

Read the glossary for definitions of many more words and concepts.

Day Trading vs The Alternatives

Yes, you have day trading, but with options like swing trading, traditional investing and automation – how do you know which one to use?

Day trading vs long-term investing are two very different games. They require totally different strategies and mindsets. Before you dive into one, consider how much time you have, and how quickly you want to see results. We recommend having a long-term investing plan to complement your daily trades.

winning trader day trading for a living

Day Trading In The UK

So you want to trade full time and create an independent trading lifestyle?

You are going to need specialist tools and equipment to give you the necessary edge.

You also have to be disciplined, patient and treat it like any skilled vocation. Build up skills, dedication and experience whilst managing risk, and your trading balance.

Analytical Software

Whilst it may come with a hefty price tag, day traders who rely on technical indicators will rely more on software than on news. Whether you use Windows or Mac, the right trading software will have:

Psychology

If you’re trading as a career you have to master your emotions. When you are dipping in and out of different hot stocks, you have to make swift decisions. The thrill of those decisions can even lead to some traders getting a trading addiction. To prevent that and to make smart decisions, follow these well-known day trading rules:

Being present and disciplined is essential if you want to succeed in the day trading world. Recognising your own psychological pitfalls and separating your emotions is imperative.

Read the Guide to Making a Living on Day Trading.

Education

DayTrading.com exists because we could not find a reliable day trading school, university, academy, or institute that runs classes where you can get an all-inclusive day trading education. This site should be your main guide when learning how to day trade, but of course there are other resources out there to complement the material:

For the right amount of money, you could even get your very own day trading mentor, who will be there to coach you every step of the way. Opt for the learning tools that best suit your individual needs, and remember, knowledge is power. The ‘Day Trading For Dummies‘ books are not your only option!

7 Secrets To Success

Whether you’re looking for jobs you can do from home, or you want to start day trading as a hobby, follow these seven essentials.

1. Setting Up

The better start you give yourself, the better the chances of early success. That means when you’re sat at your desk, staring at your computer monitors with hands dancing across your keyboard, you’re looking at the best sources of information. That means having the best trading platform in the UK for your Mac or PC laptop/desktop, having a fast and reliable asset scanner and live stream, and software that won’t crash at a pivotal moment.

2. Keep It Simple

This is especially important at the beginning. You might be interested in the FTSE 100, mutual funds, bond futures, EUR/GBP, Nasdaq futures, blue-chip stocks, equities, or the Dax 40, but to start with focus on only one.

Focus on one market/security before you branch out. The other markets will wait for you.

3. Be Realistic

The movies may have made it look easy, but don’t be fooled. Even the day trading gurus in college put in the hours. You won’t be invited to join that hedge fund after reading just one Bitcoin guide. You need to order those trading books from Amazon, download that spy pdf guide, and learn how it all works.

4. Risk Management

This is one of the most important lessons you can learn. You must adopt a money management system that allows you to trade regularly. Is day trading really worth it if you’ll be broke by the end of the first month?

History has shown that many successful traders never risk more than 1% of their account balance on a single trade. So, if you had £25000 in your account, you’d only risk £250 on a single trade. Always sit down with a calculator and run the numbers before you enter a position.

5. Keep A Record

One of the day trading fundamentals is to keep a tracking spreadsheet with detailed earnings reports. If you can quickly look back and see where you went wrong, you can identify gaps and address any pitfalls, minimising losses next time.

6. Timing

Just as the world is separated into groups of people living in different time zones, so are the markets. If you start trading on the Nasdaq at 18:30 when you finish work, you might find you’ve missed the best entry signals of the day already, minimising your potential end of day profit. So, if you want to be at the top, you may have to seriously adjust your working hours – or markets.

7. Sensible Decision Making

When you start day trading you’ll have a host of difficult decisions to make. Should you be using Plus500 or ETX Capital? Are Robinhood or e-trade open to UK residents? What about day trading on Coinbase? Do you have the right desk setup? Where can you find an excel template? How do you set up a watch list? The meaning of all these questions and much more is explained in detail across the comprehensive pages on this website.

You can also find more detailed and comprehensive lessons in our top tips.

UK Taxes

How you will be taxed can also depend on your individual circumstances. For example, in the United Kingdom the HMRC are known to approach day trading activities from 3 different angles:

Due to the fluctuations in day trading activity, you could fall into any three categories over the course of a couple of years. Although you don’t need a license, it’s important you rigorously monitor your trades, seek tax advice, and stay within laws and regulations when filing your tax returns.

Read the Guide to UK Day Trading Taxes for more comprehensive information on tax rules and reporting.

How Much Money Will You Make?

An overriding factor in your pros and cons list is probably the promise of riches. We’ve all heard stories of day trading millionaires who started trading with just a few hundred pounds, but soon hit the jackpot and mastered the markets. Whilst, of course, they do exist, the reality is, earnings can vary hugely.

Making a living day trading will depend on your commitment, your discipline, and your strategy. All of which you can find detailed information on across this website.

The real day trading question then, does it really work? If you’re willing to invest the time and energy, then for you, it could well do.