If you’ve been following Project Financially Free for any amount of time, you may have read a few our stock trading app reviews. There is currently more choice out there than ever before when it comes to investing.
This time around, I’m looking at Stake. A digital brokerage platform born in Australia and available in the UK. Their mission is to make it easy to trade US stocks for those outside of the US. They are on the ground in the UK, with a dedicated team here and are fully FCA regulated. It’s now starting to pick up a fair bit of steam, and there are plenty of good reasons for this.
But how does Stake hold up against some of the other, more established investment apps in the UK? Is it free to use? How easy is it to navigate the platform and start trading? Let’s dive in and find out with our Stake review.
Stake Review: Quick Summary
Don’t have time right now to read the full review? Don’t worry – here’s a short breakdown to help clue you in.
Stakeoffer completely unlimited commission-free trading.
- Over 6,000 US stocks and ETFs (more than any competitor).
- Stake is available for free with their ‘Standard’ account which includes fractional trading & advanced order types.
- They also offer a premium account ‘Stake Black’ for $9/month or $90/year.
- The app offers tons of detail on financials with analyst ratings and price targets.
- Both app and desktop interface available.
- You can invest in only US stocks and ETFs.
- Interface is easy to use and the features are market leading.
- You can get started from as little as £50.
- You can get your hands on a FREE STOCK by signing up and funding your account within 24 hrs his link (*when you invest, your capital is at risk).
As mentioned, Stake is a digital brokerage platform which has moved into the UK market in 2020. What’s interesting about this platform is the fact that it exclusively deals in US stocks. That might make it seem like a bit of a niche interest for some UK investors. Though that’s not always a bad thing – As they say, jack of all trades = master of none.
In fact, if it’s your first time in looking into US shares and stocks in general, it’s likely you’ll find the platform to be refreshingly easy to use. It benefits from a very clean, simple design. As well as offering completely unlimited commission-free trading.
The companies that you would be interested in trading are in abundance. What’s more, the platform provides a solid amount of data. It’s pretty comprehensive if you’re fairly new to stock trading. You get a nice market topline overview section, too. So if you want to see how Nasdaq is doing – for example – you can do so with a quick glance.
What’s likely to work well for Stake in the long run is that it appeals to all bases. It has perks for day traders as well as for those who are investing in the mid to long-term. It’s pretty easy to manage your portfolio if you’re in it for the long haul. If you’re planning on using it for day trading, you’ll also appreciate the candlestick charts. Something which is lacking in some of the alternative apps currently available. The app will also let you trade on unsettled funds, too.
How Many US Stocks Can You Trade In?
At present, Stake offers a huge number of stocks and ETFs, even if it is exclusively US-centric. Right now, you can trade over 6,000 different US stocks and ETFs. All with zero commission on unlimited trades. This is an area where Stake trumps competitors like Trading 212, who currently offer around 3,000 US stocks.
If diversification within the US market is the name of the game, then you are going to want to give Stake a closer look.
The top 10 most traded US stocks on Stake by UK investors
With over 6,000 US stocks and ETFs available to invest in on Stake you really are spoilt for choice. Despite that there are a few firm favourites looking at the most traded US stocks on Stake. Below is a list of the top 10 traded US stocks on Stake by UK investors during January 2022.
8 Advanced Micro Devices
It’s fair to say there’s more than a hint of tech and growth flavour amongst the most traded stocks! Of course whatever US companies you are looking to invest in you’re likely to find them on Stake.
How Does It Work?
We’ve taken a look at what the app aims to achieve, now let’s consider how it actually works in practice. It’s great to have both an app and desktop interface so you can switch between the two depending on preference.
The bank transfer deposit method powered by TrueLayer is very convenient. This connects your account securely via open banking. Meaning you can deposit funds with just a few clicks. You can pay in from as little as £50, too. Yes – there are other stock trading apps out there which demand less. Although this is still a low barrier to entry for most.
What’s more, as you only pay FX fees on deposits and withdrawals, it makes sense to fund your account with a reasonable amount up front so you aren’t forking out FX fees on every small deposit or withdrawal. More on this below.
Sign Up to
Stake & Get a FREE STOCK!
If you want to take a look at
Stake Free To Use?
The only fees you will pay with Stake are when funding your account with a deposit or making a withdrawal. Even then these are minimal: There is a 0.5% FX fee on the GBP to USD spot rate. Which is very competitive compared to the competition who generally charge for each trade. With Stake there are zero fees on trades regardless of number. Once you’ve funded your account and the money is in USD you have completely unlimited commission-free trading.
What’s immediately great to see here is of course that unlimited free trading option. In fact, the free model actually gives you a fair amount of functionality and flexibility. For example, you get unlimited free trades without having to sign up to a paid subscription level.
There are of course going to be a few more perks available if you’re happy to pay for a subscription. If you’re a seasoned trader then it’s worth taking a look at the premium account, Stake Black. By all means start with a free account. We recommend it if you’re finding your feet. Or if you’re planning on long term investing and don’t need additional features out with free trades and fractional shares. Though if you find the free option limiting, take a look at the premium account.
Let’s take a look at the different levels and see how they compare.
As you’d imagine, a free
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: Getting started with investing in US stocks
- Free Trades: Unlimited
- Fractional Shares?: Yes
- Market Orders?: Yes
- Advanced (limit & stop) Orders?: Yes
Black ($9/month or $90/annually)
Black is the premium account on Stake and it comes with a monthly fee. This is likely to appeal to investors and traders who really know what they’re doing. You’ll get plenty of VIP treatment. This is potentially a level you’d go for if you have a larger portfolio.
- Cost: $9 per month
- Ideal For: Advanced users and those with higher-value portfolios
- Free Trades: Unlimited
- Fractional Shares: Yes
- Market Orders: Yes
- Advanced (limit & stop) Orders: Yes
- Insight: Pro level data
- Priority Access: First to experience new features and upgrades to the platform
- Key Features: Full financial data on every company, analyst ratings, price targets, trading on unsettled funds
Stake Compare to Current Competitors?
OK – so let’s see how Stake measures up against the competition. The biggest names, with the closest service offering, currently competing against Stake in the UK are Trading 212 and Freetrade. Both offer US stocks as standard and focus on free / low fee stock trading. Stake already has the edge over Trading 212 in terms of the number of US stocks and ETFs available. Freetrade has even fewer on-board, meaning it falls into third in this regard.
Stake also offers an impressive amount of data and analysis. It outstrips Freetrade here and with the latest version now having expanded the details on company financials even further and with new features including analyst ratings and price targets, I would put Stake ahead of Trading 212 in this regard also.
In terms of premium paid account options Stake charge $9/month for access to the premium ‘Black’ account. Freetrade also a paid for option ‘Freetrade Plus’ which costs £9.99/month. However the main selling point for Freetrade Plus is limit orders – something which Stake already have within their free account. Freetrade have also moved a large selection of their stocks behind a paywall by making them only available to Plus account holders. Again Stake don’t limit their free account holders with all stocks available regardless if you are a free or paid for account.
Stake is easy to use on the whole. We like the scrolling feature where you can see and click into popular searches. You can filter down stocks by sector like Technology, Finance, Healthcare etc, by heading to the search tab. This then also gives you further sub category options to search by; for example if you type in tech you will also see filters for biotech, fintech etc. The option to view your portfolio by price, day P/L or total P/L is also a nice touch.
Beyond this, Stake even has its own weekly digest on the markets. ‘The Wrap’ is a dedicated breakdown of what’s happened in the past week in the market. As far as I’m aware, there are no other free apps offering anything like this level of insight right now.
Stake is now a very strong choice for app-friendly investors. It is a very competitive market right now, with more competition on the horizon. However, its subscription options are well-defined. And the sheer number of US stocks available skyrockets it ahead of the pack.
(*when you invest, your capital is at risk)
The app and desktop interface is, overall, easy to use. It would be nice to have some kind of visual overall portfolio chart in place – although while that is available with other platforms, it can potentially be deceiving as it’s influenced by deposits and withdrawals. That said, you can view your overall portfolio value and view your portfolio breakdown in table format.
The platform does have plenty of perks on board. Particularly the level of stock detail and the low minimum investment barrier set at £50. Plus the fact that there are unlimited commission-free trades even at the free account level is a major bonus.
The Wrap is also a great resource which is likely to appeal to seasoned investors as well as newbies. It’s insightful in a way which is likely to introduce new investors to a host of potentially complicated topics.
That’s a Wrap
What’s on offer here is really impressive – few other apps and platforms have this sort of offering from the get-go. It’s also likely that it’s only going to continue to improve as time goes by and user feedback is taken on board. From what we know the team at Stake are very keen to take on and consider user feedback which will aid them in continuing to improve an already excellent trading platform.
We certainly recommend you take a close look at the app. Particularly if your interest lies with trading in the US stock market. There is nothing else at this level which competes on that front. Oh, and don’t forget to grab yourself a free stock below to get you started!
Get Your Free Stock!
Sign up via the link below, fund your account within 24 hours, and you will receive a Free Stock of either GoPro, Dropbox or Nike! (*when you invest, your capital is at risk)