Frequently asked questions

We have compiled a list of the most common questions we are asked about investing in shares.

  • A Share is simply a unit of the value of a company. If a company is worth £10m, and there are 5 million Shares in issue, then each Share is worth £2 (usually quoted as 200p in stock market listings). When you buy a Share you become a part-owner of the business and the Share price will fluctuate over time to reflect the fortunes of the company.

  • There is a minimum age of 18 to trade.

  • The Willis Owen Share dealing service is a purely online offering. Having decided on the Shares you wish to purchase you can simply set up an online account, if you haven’t already done so, and select those you wish to buy.

    When buying stocks there is a twenty second window to decide whether to accept or not accept the price on offer to you. During that time, the price offered is usually ‘held’ even if the underlying Share price moves.

  • Technological advances have made Share trading faster, cheaper and simpler. Paper certificates used to be sent to all shareholders and these had to be kept safe as proof of ownership. Nowadays, investors choosing to receive paper certificates are increasingly rare and Shares are instead held in nominee accounts.

    As Willis Owen’s stockbroking service is purely online, you will not receive any paperwork in respect of your deals. By using this method, the Shares are held electronically and securely in nominee names by Winterflood Securities, our dealing and custody service provider, until you are ready to sell. You remain the beneficial owner of the Shares but your name does not appear on the company’s Share register.

  • You may already know exactly what you want to invest in. If so, we’ve made registering or logging in to our online service as simple as possible.

    You can find a plethora of information out on the World Wide Web. Willis Owen does offer an equities toolkit called : explore Shares, providing prices and charts for a large range of Shares listed through the London Stock Exchange, however, you may also find the London Stock Exchange website as a useful source of information.

  • Shares are charged at normal online rates of just £7.50. See details of our full charges here.

  • Stamp duty or Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT) is payable on most UK classified Shares, and currently the rate is 0.5% (Shares listed on AIM and in the Channel Islands are exceptions). Overseas Shares may be subject to tax in their own jurisdiction. Irish Shares are subject to 1% stamp duty whilst Exchange Traded Funds are exempt.

  • PTM is a charge automatically imposed on investors, and collected by brokers, when they sell or buy Shares with an aggregate value in excess of £10,000. The charge is £1, and the money raised goes to the Panel of Takeovers and Mergers.

  • Old-fashioned trading floors and paper certificates have been replaced with ultra-fast computerised electronic trading. For this reason, the Willis Owen Share dealing service is purely online. All Shares are held electronically and securely in nominee names by Winterflood Securities, our dealing and custody service provider, until you are ready to sell. You remain the beneficial owner of the Shares but your name does not appear on the company’s Share register.

  • All stock markets have set trading hours. The London Stock Exchange is open between 8am and 4.30pm.

    Due to the globalisation of stock markets, news from one market can affect that of another. The opening of the US market at 2.30pm UK time often has an impact on the UK markets. You may have heard of the saying ‘when America sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold’. Likewise, the movement in the Asian markets overnight may have an impact on how the UK stock market behaves the following morning.

  • You can trade during normal London Stock Exchange market hours, 8.00am - 4.30pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays)  and obtain live market prices. Outside these hours you can choose to place an order which will be dealt at ‘best price’ when the market next opens.

  • The buying process is simple. Once you have decided which stock you wish to buy:

    • In : invest summary, under the 'select an action' drop down, select Purchase Equity
    • Type in the name of the Share you would like to buy and select it from the drop down list
    • Enter the amount to invest and confirm you would like to proceed and press "Get Quote"
    • If your deal is within the market opening hours you will be given a firm quote (price at which to buy) with a 20 second countdown
    • If you decide to accept the quote within that time you will be taken to the Equity Trades page where you can see the cost breakdown. 
    • A contract note will be placed within the 'my documents' area confirming the trade details

      Outside market open hours you can choose to place an order that will be dealt at 'best price' when the market next opens. 

      Share purchases are changed at normal online rates of just £7.50. See details of our full charges here.
  • The selling process is simple. Once you have decided which stock you wish to sell:

    • In valuation, select the Share you want to sell by clicking 'Sell'
    • Enter the quantity you want to sell and confirm you would like to proceed and press 'Get Price'
    • If your deal is within the market opening hours you will be given a firm quote (price at which to sell) with a 20 second countdown
    • If you decide to accept the quote within that time you will be taken to the Equity Trades page where you can see the cost breakdown. 
    • A contract note will be placed within the 'my documents' area confirming the trade details.

      Outside market open hours you can choose to place an order that will be dealt at 'best price' when the market next opens. 

      Share sales are charged at normal online rates of just £7.50. See details of our full charges here.
  • No. As the Willis Owen Share dealing service is purely online, all Shares are held electronically and securely in nominee names by Winterflood Securities, our dealing and custody service provider, until you are ready to sell. You remain the beneficial owner of the Shares but your name does not appear on the company’s Share register.

  • You can buy and sell a large range of Shares (traded in Sterling) that are listed through the London Stock Exchange (LSE). 

  • Yes. The minimum trade order is £100.

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Contact our Customer Service Team on 0800 597 2525.

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