Lightyear Review 2024


4.5 / 5
Lightyear is #143 in our broker rankings.

Investors seeking a streamlined platform to buy stocks and ETFs will enjoy Lightyear. We particularly like the slick app and clear market insights which will serve new traders well.

- Daytrading Review Team
Capital at risk

Lightyear is a trading app that offers multi-currency investing with low-commission US, EU and UK stocks, no commission on ETF trades, and the chance to earn high interest on uninvested USD, GBP and EUR. The firm launched in 2015 and UK retail traders will be registered under the Lightyear Financial Ltd entity. This company is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), license number 955739. Capital at risk

$1
Own
Stocks, ETFs
-
USD, EUR, GBP
Wire Transfer, Debit Card, Apple Pay, Google Wallet

Stock Trading

Use Lightyear's simple platform to invest in 3500+ US, UK and EU stocks for low commissions of around $1, as well as ETFs for no fee. The no-frills app is a good fit for beginners and there are no hidden charges.

✓ Pros

  • Lightyear offers a user-friendly trading app with thousands of global equities
  • The investing app has been featured in the Financial Times & CNBC
  • Low-cost trading with no hidden fees or inactivity penalties
  • Traders can earn interest on uninvested cash
  • Low starting deposit of just $1 for new investors

✗ Cons

  • Platform features are basic and won't meet the needs of seasoned traders
  • Limited range of instruments with no forex trading
  • No demo account for prospective users
  • No MetaTrader 4 integration
  • No copy trading service
Go to Lightyear
Capital at risk

The Lightyear app offers trading on more than 3500 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.

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.

UK traders will be registered under the Lightyear Financial Ltd entity. This company is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), license number 955739.

Lightyear App

Lightyear investment app review

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:

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

  1. Search for the relevant symbol or company name in the navigation bar
  2. View the product details alongside analyst forecasts and real-time price charts
  3. 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 3500+ 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.

Fees

When we used Lightyear we were impressed with the straightforward pricing schedule.

Traders pay a low fee for stocks at 0.1% up to $1 for US shares (per order), £1 for UK shares (per order), and €1 for EU shares (per order).

Importantly, Lightyear charges zero fees for various features that often come with a charge at alternative brokers. This includes ETFs, multi-currency accounts, securities transfers, bank transfers in, bank transfers out, and W8-BEN US tax forms.

Users also benefit from interest rate rewards on uninvested cash, which varies by currency. This is earned daily and paid to trading accounts monthly.

There is a currency conversion fee of 0.35% and a 0.5% fast deposit transfer fee after the £500 lifetime allowance has been used.

In addition, there is a 0.5% UK stamp duty charge on UK stocks, plus a 0.3% French financial transaction tax on French stocks. Note, local taxes vary by jurisdiction. Contact a local advisor for support.

Lightyear Account

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 Registration - Currency

Payment Methods

Deposits

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 deposit transfers via card are liable for a 0.5% fee after the £500 lifetime allowance has been used.

Payments Made In EUR:

Payments Made In GBP:

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

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.

Leverage

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.

Demo Account

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.

Lightyear Regulation

The Lightyear corporation is regulated through two entities:

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.

Additional Features

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.

Lightyear Analyst 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.

Customer Support

We were disappointed by the level of customer support. Lightyear provides an email contact only (support@golightyear.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.

Trading Hours

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 Verdict

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.

FAQs

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 for fast deposit transfers.

Does Lightyear Offer A Wide Range Of Trading Products?

The product lineup at Lightyear is limited. Traders can invest in 3500+ 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 low-cost 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 fast deposit transfers with a card will incur a 0.5% transaction fee after the £500 allowance has been used.

Top 3 Alternatives to Lightyear

Compare Lightyear with the top 3 similar brokers that accept traders from your location.

  1. Interactive Brokers – 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.
    Go to Interactive Brokers
  2. IG – Founded in 1974, IG is part of IG Group Holdings Plc, a publicly traded (LSE: IGG) brokerage. The brand offers spread betting, CFD and forex trading across an almost unrivalled selection of 17,000+ markets, with a range of user-friendly platforms and investing apps. For 50 years, IG has maintained its position as an industry leader, excelling in all key areas for traders.
    Go to IG
  3. Swissquote – 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.
    Go to Swissquote

Lightyear Comparison Table

Compare Lightyear With Similar Brokers
Lightyear Interactive Brokers IG Swissquote
Rating 4.5 4.3 4.4 4
Markets Stocks, ETFs Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Futures, Options, Crypto, Spread Betting Forex, CFDs, Indices, Stocks, ETFs, Bonds, Options, Futures, Cryptos (location dependent)
Demo Account No Yes Yes Yes
Minimum Deposit $1 $0 $0 $1000
Minimum Trade $1 $100 0.01 Lots 0.01 Lots
Regulators FSA FCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB FCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA FCA, FINMA, DFSA, SFC
Bonus
Education No Yes Yes No
Platforms Own Trader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral Web, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral MT4, MT5, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
Leverage 1:50 1:30 (Retail), 1:250 (Pro) 1:30
Payment Methods 4 6 6 5
Visit Visit Visit Visit Visit
Review Interactive Brokers
Review
IG
Review
Swissquote
Review

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.

Compare Lightyear Trading Instruments
Lightyear Interactive Brokers IG Swissquote
CFD No Yes Yes Yes
Forex No Yes Yes Yes
Stocks Yes Yes Yes Yes
Commodities No Yes Yes Yes
Oil No No Yes Yes
Gold No Yes Yes Yes
Copper No No Yes No
Silver No No Yes Yes
Corn No No No No
Crypto No Yes Yes Yes
Futures No Yes Yes Yes
Options No Yes Yes Yes
ETFs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bonds No Yes Yes Yes
Warrants No Yes Yes No
Spreadbetting No No Yes No
Volatility Index No No Yes No

Lightyear vs Other Brokers

Compare Lightyear with any other broker by selecting the other broker below.

 

The most popular Lightyear comparisons:

  1. Lightyear vs eToro
  2. Lightyear vs Interactive Brokers

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews of Lightyear yet, will you be the first to help fellow traders decide if they should trade with Lightyear or not?

Submit Your Own Review of Lightyear

If you have experience trading with Lightyear please share your personal review of the broker and what you think are strong and weak points. Thank you.

Visit
Lightyear is a trading app that offers multi-currency investing with low-commission US, EU and UK stocks, no commission on ETF trades, and the chance to earn high interest on uninvested USD, GBP and EUR. The firm launched in 2015 and UK retail traders will be registered under the Lightyear Financial Ltd entity. This company is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), license number 955739. Capital at risk
Capital at risk

Article Sources

The writing and editorial team at DayTrading.com use credible sources to support their work. These include government agencies, white papers, research institutes, and engagement with industry professionals. Content is written free from bias and is fact-checked where appropriate. Learn more about why you can trust DayTrading.com