Lightyear Review 2023
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Lightyear offers trading on equities with no fees, a beginner-friendly app and market insights from expert analysts.
- Zero trading fees
- Low minimum deposit
- Strong regulatory oversight
- No demo account
- No copy trading
- No MT4 integration
- Narrow range of investments
The Lightyear app offers trading on more than 3000 stocks and ETFs with no hidden fees. The mobile-based trading firm aims to provide a straightforward investing environment for retail traders without the complicated fee structure associated with traditional brokers. This Lightyear review unpacks minimum deposits and payment methods, market access, trading tools, pricing, regulatory oversight, and more. Find out if you should download the Lightyear investment app.
- Lightyear offers a user-friendly trading app with thousands of global equities
- Commission-free trading is available with no hidden fees or inactivity penalties
- The investing app has been featured in the Financial Times & CNBC
- Traders can earn interest on uninvested cash
- Fractional shares are available from $1
- The broker is regulated by the FCA
- Limited range of instruments
- Platform features are basic
Company History & Overview
Lightyear was developed in 2020 by founders and ex-TransferWise employees, Martin Sokk and Mihkel Aamer. The UK-based fintech firm provides investment services to 15+ European countries, including the UK, Germany and Spain.
The mission of the brand is to create a simple yet user-friendly trading app for investors of all experience levels. Traders can invest in stocks and ETFs from just $1. Lightyear also provides multi-currency accounts so users can deposit, hold and invest in their local currency.
Lightyear Europe AS is a regulated investment firm, registered with the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority (Finantsinspektsioon), licence number 4.1-1/31. The company also holds a license with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), license number 955739.
The Lightyear app can be downloaded to iOS and Android devices. Traders benefit from a slick interface with straightforward navigation. Clients can analyze assets and open trades in a few clicks.
The Lightyear app also offers price projections and real-time news to help with investment decisions.
Other features include:
- Current and historical stock price view
- Product sentiment and analyst ratings
- Personal web link portfolio sharing option
- Repeat order options for daily, weekly, or monthly investment purchases
- Personalized ‘Lightning updates’ with bulletin-style news posts on the latest stock prices
- Product metrics including market cap, earnings per share, P/E ratio, dividend rate and dividend yield
The app is rated an impressive 4.7/5 on the Apple App Store with customer reviews praising the intuitive interface and smooth user experience with all the basic investment tools covered.
But whilst the platform provides some useful features, the app is lacking in terms of technical indicators and drawing tools, especially compared to popular platforms like MetaTrader 4. As a result, Lightyear may not meet the needs of experienced technical traders.
How To Place An Order
- Search for the relevant symbol or company name in the navigation bar
- View the product details alongside analyst forecasts and real-time price charts
- Click ‘Buy’ or ‘Sell’ and input the order details (Market & Limit orders only)
Note, the ‘Your Investments’ icon shows the profit and loss of individual positions in your portfolio plus stock data.
Assets & Markets
Lightyear offers 3000+ US and EU stocks alongside ETFs with access to big names like Tesla, Tesco, Unilever, and Coca-Cola. UK stocks are also due to launch soon and clients can invest in fractional stocks, reducing capital requirements for amateur traders.
On the downside, the range of instruments is fairly narrow. Account holders cannot trade forex, commodities or cryptocurrencies, for example. This is a notable drawback vs alternatives such as Interactive Brokers.
The Lightyear app also supports share transfers from other brokers, such as Fidelity. This process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks depending on the brokerage your assets are being transferred from.
When we used Lightyear we were impressed with the straightforward pricing schedule. There are no costs to register for a live account or custody fees. There are also no direct trading fees regardless of the investment amount and securities being traded.
In addition, users benefit from interest rate rewards on uninvested cash, which varies by currency. This is earned daily and paid to trading accounts monthly.
- EUR Interest Rate – 1.75% per annum
- GBP Interest Rate – 3.25% per annum
- USD Interest Rate – 3.75% per annum
Note, you may be liable for local taxes, which vary by jurisdiction. Contact a local advisor for support.
Just one investment account is available to Lightyear traders. This provides access to the broker’s full list of stocks and ETFs with a multi-currency account (USD, EUR, GBP).
But while one account makes it straightforward for new users to get started, it does mean limited perks and rewards for high-volume traders and those that make a large initial deposit.
How To Register For An Account
To open a Lightyear account, traders must be 18 years or over and a resident of the UK or an accepted European country.
New users will be required to provide identity verification and proof of address in line with the regulatory requirements. This includes providing a utility bill or bank statement dated from the last three months and government-issued photo identification such as a passport or driving license.
Importantly, new clients will need to download the Lightyear app from the Apple App Store or Google Play. The registration screen is automatically visible when you open the app and it took our traders less than five minutes to open a profile, though we would recommend having verification documents to hand to save time.
Once you have opened a Lightyear account, you can make a deposit and start trading.
Lightyear accepts several payment methods, including wire transfers and bank cards. Our experts found there is no minimum deposit, which is good news for those on a budget.
Deposits and withdrawals via bank wire transfer are fee-free, though faster payments plus debit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay are liable for a 0.5% fee after the $500 lifetime allowance has been used. A 0.35% currency conversion fee also applies for deposits made outside of the supported base currencies (USD, GBP, and EUR).
Payments Made In EUR:
- SWIFT – Three to five day processing time, no fee
- SEPA Instant – Up to two hour processing time, no fee
- SEPA – Up to two business day processing time, no fee
- Debit Card/Apple Pay/Google Pay – Instant processing, no fee for first €500 then a 0.5% charge
Payments Made In GBP:
- FPS – Up to two hour processing time, no fee
- SWIFT – Three to five day processing time, no fee
- CHAPS – Up to one business day processing time, no fee
- Debit Card/Apple Pay/Google Pay – Instant processing, no fee for first £500 then a 0.5% charge
Note, BACS payments are not currently supported. While using Lightyear, our traders were also disappointed to see popular e-wallets like PayPal, Skrill and Neteller are not accepted.
Withdrawals can be made via bank wire transfer only, which is a notable drawback vs competitors. On a more positive note, Lightyear does not charge any fees.
Withdrawal times vary by currency and amount but can take up to three working days. Bank holidays and weekend dates may also cause delays.
To make a withdrawal if you did not deposit via wire transfer, select ‘Create Bank Account’ when requesting a withdrawal. Here you can add your bank account details.
Unfortunately, leveraged trading is not permitted at Lightyear. This means clients cannot increase their purchasing power with borrowed funds. Instead, the Lightyear app is designed to be a cash investment profile.
Lightyear does not offer a demo account which may deter prospective investors. However, fractional shares can be traded for just $1 which reduces the entry barrier for beginners. New users can get a feel for the broker’s app and investment products with a small capital outlay.
Bonuses & Promotions
Lightyear offers bonuses and financial incentives to new and existing customers. This includes a Refer a Friend program where a $10 fractional share is offered as a reward for successfully introducing a new trader that deposits $50.
The broker-dealer has also offered sign-up rewards and ‘double deposit’ bonuses in the past. Keep an eye on the app and official website for the latest promotions.
The Lightyear corporation is regulated through two entities:
- Lightyear Financial Ltd – Authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under FRN number 955739
- Lightyear Europe AS – Authorized and regulated as an investment firm by the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority (Finantsinspektsioon), license number 4.1-1/31 955739
Although the Finantsinspektsioon isn’t a top-tier regulator, it does work to combat money laundering and requires various customer safeguarding measures. The FCA, on the other hand, is one of the world’s most reputable financial authorities with stringent business requirements for members. Client funds are also held separately from business money and inaccessible by creditors in event of company insolvency.
Customers have access to compensation schemes in the case of business failure. This includes €20,000 in asset protection from the Estonian Investor Protection Sectoral Fund for EU clients. Customers holding US securities via the broker’s partner Alpaca will have asset protection to the value of $500,000 through SIPC insurance.
The Lightyear app has a good range of additional features to support investment decisions and knowledge building. This includes a real-time news feeds related to your trading portfolio plus professional analysts’ price targets and instrument performance ratings.
The broker-dealer’s website lists the latest company information and app updates in a blog-style forum. This includes how to use available stock metrics, how to read financial statements on the app, and portfolio data breakdowns. There is also some useful data published from the brand’s analyst team via the blog page, though this is not posted daily.
We were disappointed by the level of customer support. Lightyear provides an email contact only (email@example.com), with no live chat or telephone assistance.
Alternatively, there is an FAQ section available in the help center section of the broker’s website, organized into five major topics including managing an account, promotions, and trading.
Lightyear is also present on social media networks including Facebook and Twitter. Pages are updated with the latest company and product news.
Security & Safety
The Lightyear investing application has suitable security measures. For example, when we downloaded the app, we could add face recognition and 4-digit PIN protection at the login stage.
The broker will reach out to customers via email if there are any security concerns or account breaches.
Lightyear follows standard trading hours with stock markets typically open Monday to Friday. With that said, the investment app is available for account management and market analysis over the weekend.
Note, orders placed outside of market opening hours will be executed on the next available working day. There is no out-of-hours trading.
Lightyear offers straightforward access to stocks and ETFs through a user-friendly mobile app. However, the range of products is limited and there is no advanced trading software for desktop devices. As a result, Lightyear is the best pick for beginner traders looking to trade equities with low fees.
Lightyear accepts traders from Australia, Thailand, Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Qatar and most other countries.
Traders can not use Lightyear from United States.
Compare Lightyear with similar brokers that accept traders from your location. Among available brokers these are the most similar to Lightyear:
Revolut – Revolut is a popular financial app that also offers trading on equities and digital currencies.
Moomoo – Moomoo is an app-based stock broker that offers trading in US, Hong Kong and Chinese shares. Clients can get started with a sign-up bonus and $0 minimum deposit.
Firstrade – Firstrade is a US-headquartered discount broker-dealer. With welcome bonuses, powerful tools and apps, plus commission-free trading, Firstrade Securities is a popular online brokerage.
Zacks Trade – Zacks Trade is a US based brokerage, built for the active trader. Trade stocks, ETFs, bonds, mutual funds and more on a proprietary trading platform.
Lightyear Comparison Table
|Markets||Stocks, ETFs||Stocks, Cryptos||Stocks, Options, ETFs, ADRs, OTCs||Stocks, ETFs, Options, Mutual Funds, Bonds, Cryptos, Fixed||Stocks, Crypto|
|Minimum Trade||$1||$1||No minimum||$1||$3|
|Regulators||FCA, FSA||FINRA, SEC||SEC, FINRA, MAS||SEC, FINRA||FINRA|
|Bonus||–||–||Get up to 15 free stocks worth up to $2000||Deposit Bonus Up To $4000||–|
Compare Trading Instruments
Compare the markets and instruments offered by Lightyear and its competitors. Please note, some markets may only be available via CFDs or other derivatives.
Lightyear vs Other Brokers
Compare Lightyear with any other broker by selecting the other broker below.
Is Lightyear Safe?
Lightyear is a secure investment platform and trading app. The broker is regulated by financial authorities in Europe and the UK. Clients funds are kept separate from business money and retail investors are covered by compensation schemes in the case of business insolvency Traders can also add multi-factor authentication when they sign into the Lightyear app.
With that said, online trading is risky. Only risk what you can afford to lose.
Is Lightyear A Good Investing App?
Lightyear is a modern, sleek and intuitive trading application. It provides all the basic tools to support investment decisions including historical price data, beginner-friendly charts, real-time news bulletins, and insights from analysts.
On the downside, the application is lacking in advanced technical analysis tools and custom charting functions. As a result, it may not meet the needs of veteran traders.
How Can I Make A Deposit On Lightyear?
Customers can fund Lightyear trading accounts via bank wire transfers, debit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay. There are no fees charged by the broker until the £500 threshold is met. Only GBP and EUR payments are accepted, though funds can be converted to USD with a 0.35% fee.
Does Lightyear Offer A Wide Range Of Trading Products?
The product lineup at Lightyear is limited. Traders can invest in 3000+ US and EU stocks and ETFs. However, there is no CFD trading or access to forex, crypto or commodity markets. This is a major drawback vs traditional brokers.
Is Lightyear A Cheap Broker?
Lightyear offers commission-free trading on stocks and ETFs with no inactivity penalty. This makes it a competitive brand compared to many alternatives. There are also no deposit and withdrawal charges, though debit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay transfers will incur a 0.5% transaction fee after the £500 allowance has been used.
|Lightyear offers trading on equities with no fees, a beginner-friendly app and market insights from expert analysts.|