Franklin Silva
Asset 1Last Update: March 26, 2024

Disclaimer: This content includes financial promotions. We at will be paid a referral fee if you open an account and deposit funds through some of the links on this page.

Investing can be intimidating. Between complex platforms, high fees, and lack of guidance, getting started in the stock market is a challenge for many beginners.

This is where Lightyear aims to shake things up. This Estonian startup launched its intuitive investing app in 2020 to make buying, selling, and managing stocks and ETFs easy and affordable. And do not forget about their cool feature of additional interest on uninvested cash!

But does Lightyear actually make investing easy for newcomers?

After personally reviewing dozens of similar platforms, I analyze Lightyear’s key features, pros and cons, account options, pricing, and more for you. I will help you evaluate if Lightyear delivers on its promise to simplify investing for newcomers and if it fits your needs before starting the investing journey on your own.

Let’s start our review!

What is Lightyear?

Ligthyear - Homepage

Key information

Regulation EFSA and FCA (as an appointed representative)
Deposit and withdrawal fee £0 (card top-up is free for the first 500 GBP. Once reached, the fee is 0.5%)
Available deposit and withdrawal method Bank, card, electronic wallet
Minimum deposit £0
Base currencies USD, EUR, GBP, HUF
Available instruments Stocks, ETFs, MMFs

Lightyear is an Estonian and UK-based app launched in 2020 that allows you to buy stock with small fees. You can also invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Lightyear claims to offer over 3,500 stocks and ETFs from 15 different markets, including the US, UK, Europe, and Asia.

What sets Lightyear apart from the competition? Primarily, it offers attractive interest rates on uninvested cash held in your account. The yield goes up to 4.5% net for funds held in GBP and USD and up to 3.25% for those held in EUR. It is hard to find a similar offering on the market (as of February 2024).

Pros and Cons of Lightyear

Pros Cons
Low fees for stock trading. Trading ETFs is entirely free of execution fees. No Stocks & Shares ISA offered. You may pay capital gains tax on profits.
Can earn interest on uninvested cash balances, with rates up to 4.5% depending on the currency. (as of Feb 2024) Limited educational resources and tools for beginners.
Easy and quick account opening process. Fully digital. Customer support is only via email, no phone or live chat.
Good mobile app that is user-friendly with a slick design. Has useful features like price alerts. Web trading platform has limited customizability and fewer features than the mobile app.
Access to over 3,000 international stocks, including fractional US shares. Only stocks and ETFs offered. No access to other assets like funds, options, or crypto.
Can hold multiple currencies to avoid FX fees. The conversion fee is only 0.35%. Not covered by the UK’s FSCS compensation scheme. But other protections exist.

Is Lightyear a Safe App?

Yes, Lightyear can be considered a secure app, as in the European Union, it is authorized by the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority (Lightyear Europe AS, license number 4.1-1/31). Thanks to the EU passporting laws, it can operate throughout the entire continent.

In addition, Lightyear is an appointed representative of RiskSave Technologies Ltd., licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), license number 775330.

Lightyear has implemented asset safeguarding and security measures to ensure the safety of clients’ funds. Nevertheless, remember that Lightyear is still a recent company, and thus, it has a short track record of resisting times of turbulence.

Ligthyear - regulations

In addition, as a Lightyear customer, you will benefit from asset protection of up to €20,000, thanks to the Estonian Investor Protection Sectoral Fund. A protection that would come into action only in the most extreme cases if all safeguarding measures that are in place to protect your assets would fail. As for your US securities, they are safeguarded by the company’s associate, Alpaca, which FINRA regulates. This ensures that US securities are secured up to a value of $500,000 in the event of Alpaca’s failure.

Products Offered by Lightyear

In Lightyear’s offering, we can distinguish four basic elements: stocks, ETFs, interest on uninvested funds and money market funds. Limited selection of asset classes? Simplicity often wins over overly complicated platforms.

Ligthyear - assets type

  • Stocks – Investors can access over 3,500 stocks from various global exchanges, including those in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia. The platform features popular US companies and even allows for the purchase of fractional shares. European stocks include those listed on Euronext and Deutsche Börse. For the UK market, you can access instruments traded on the London Stock Exchange. As for the United States, stocks from Nasdaq and NYSE are available. Charge per order starts at 0.1% for US stocks with a maximum of $1, for UK stocks and European stocks it’s £1 and €1 respectively. 
  • ETFs – The platform also boasts a selection of over 100 ETFs covering a wide array of sectors, markets, and investment strategies. These ETFs come from leading providers like Vanguard, iShares, and SPDR.
  • Interest on uninvested cash – Lightyear provides an additional perk for its users: the ability to earn interest on uninvested cash balances. The interest rates are currency-dependent, ranging from 5.00% for HUF, 4.5% for USD and GBP, to a more modest 3.25% for EUR (As of february 2024). This feature allows investors to earn a return even when their money is not actively invested in the market.
  • Money market funds (MMFs) – the instrument allows to invest in a larger basket of short-term bonds from governments and financial institutions. MMFs may not be accessible in every country where Lightyear has a presence, and the smallest sum required to initiate an order is $1/€1/£1. Lightyear annual fees go from 0.09 to 0.3% depending on the amount invested. 

As I mentioned earlier, Lightyear lacks some financial products such as cryptocurrencies, options, mutual funds, or bonds.

However, If you’d still like to try out these instruments, I have a few alternatives for you. Interactive Brokers can become your investment powerhouse for practically all asset classes, while Freetrade is a good choice for beginners. Check eToro if you are a crypto bug.

Broker eToro Interactive Brokers Freetrade
Products offered Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, and CFDs on stocks, currencies, commodities, and indices Stocks, ETFs, Forex, Fund, Bond, Options, Futures, CFDs, Warrants, Structured Products Stocks, ETFs, ETCs,  Investment trusts
Minimum Deposit $50 £0 £0
Demo Account Yes Yes No

How Much Does Lightyear Charge to Trade?

Many features on Lightyear are entirely free. The platform does not charge commissions for ETFs (if bought on the same base currency. Otherwise, an FX fee applies), multi-currency accounts, securities custody, bank deposits and withdrawals, or US tax forms.

However, I checked, and some fees will be applied:

  • Commission for US stocks: 0.1% up to $1 per order
  • Commission for EU stocks: €1 per order
  • Commission for UK stocks: £1 per order
  • Currency conversion: Conversion occurs at the Interbank exchange rate, with a 0.35% commission
  • Fast deposit: 0.5% per transaction (after the free 500 GBP limit)
  • Money market funds: 0.09-0.30% annually, deducted from monthly distributions. (and fixed fee from Blackrock of 0.10%)

Let’s say you’re buying 3 Apple shares. One currently costs $178.73, so you’ll pay a total of $536.19. The commission for purchasing American stocks is 0.1%, so Lightyear will collect $0.54.

Lightyear - pricing

Available Accounts

Lightyear offers two types of accounts: 

  • a Personal one for individual investors;
  • and a Business account for companies. 

You may register a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) in the Business account for €45 + VAT. Unlike the Personal, the Business account also offers the added benefit of treasury management for SMEs (limited to Estonia; in the UK, the offering is only for freelancers and sole director companies).

Category Personal Accounts Business Accounts
Account Types Personal accounts are for individual investors to invest their own money. Business accounts allow companies to invest their business funds.
Fees and Minimums No minimum deposit and low trading fees. No minimum deposit and the same low trading fees as personal accounts.
Tax Treatment Subject to capital gains tax on profits. Investing is tax-free as a company. Profits are taxed when withdrawn.
Account Features Offers features like multi-currency support. Offers the same features as personal accounts, plus high interest on uninvested cash.
Account Opening Can be opened instantly online. Requires more documentation, such as proof of business registration.

Lightyear Promo Code: Earn 10 Free Trades

Lightyear Promo Code
Lightyear Bonus 10 trades for free
Conditions Fund your account with £50

T&Cs apply. Capital at risk.

To participate in Lightyear’s Promo Code and get 10 trades for free, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Sign up to Lightyear using the code MONEYGROWER.
  2. Upon successful registration, deposit a minimum of £50 via the Lightyear app within 30 days.
  3. Get 10 trades for free.

Lightyear Promo Code

Lightyear Mobile vs. Web App

Lightyear offers access to two platforms, in the form of a mobile app and a web application.

What can you find inside it? Let’s check:

  • A user-friendly and well-designed interface
  • A good search function to find stocks and ETFs
  • Available price alerts
  • Easy account opening
  • Quick deposits and withdrawals

Lightyear - mobile app

The web application offers several features, such as:

  • Analyst ratings: price targets from a different set of analysts, including buy/hold/sell recommendations
  • Financial metrics & earnings data: dig into company performance on a quarterly or annual level
  • All available cash deposit options: you can choose the most suitable option for you
  • News and lightning updates: stay on top of what causes stock price movements
  • Limit and stop loss orders: automate your trading from the comfort of your computer screen


Customer Support

Lightyear does not offer the option of phone or online chat support with customer service. The only available form of contact is via email (at 

I checked if it was sufficient and contacted support directly. Although the response was satisfactory, the waiting time was slow. Moreover, the support is definitely not available 24/7.

If you want to get an answer faster, check out the help section on the official website. Personally, it has helped me solve a few unknowns.

lightyear - support

On Trustpilot, Lightyear has received high praise, boasting a 4.8 out of 5 stars based on over 540 reviews. An impressive 98% of these reviews are four or five-star ones.

Lightyear - trustpilot

What were the dissatisfied customers complaining about? Among other things, they mentioned the limited form of contact with customer service and the quality of the help itself. However, my experiences have been mostly positive.

To Sum Up

Lightyear is still a relatively new app that offers a simple and cheap way to invest in the stock market. Could be suited for investors who want to buy and sell shares and ETFs worldwide without paying any fees.

If you’re just starting out, you should totally give this app a shot, especially because it pays interest on the money you’re not using at the moment. But if you’re a seasoned trader, there are cooler options out there with more tools and trading instruments to play with. 

For low commission and a wide variety of products, you can check Interactive Brokers and eToro.


How much does Lightyear charge to trade?

Lightyear provides an execution-only brokerage service through its mobile app. As stated in their Terms of Service, Lightyear does not charge execution commission on ETFs, but will charge some fees on stock trading.

How is Lightyear regulated?

Lightyear Europe AS is authorised and regulated as an investment firm by the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority (Finantsinspektsioon) under activity licence number 4.1-1/31. Lightyear Europe is a company registered in Estonia with company number 16235024 and registered office at Volta 1, Tallinn 10412, Estonia.

Lightyear Financial Ltd is an appointed representative of RiskSave Technologies Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 775330). Lightyear Financial Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 12925823. Registered office 256-260 Old Street, London EC1V 9DD, United Kingdom. Lightyear Financial Ltd can be found in Financial Conduct Authority Financial Services register under FRN 955739.

How do I transfer shares in Lightyear?

You can transfer your stocks purchased with another broker to a Lightyear account. It is available for all European and UK stocks on the platform. Remember that your current broker may charge a transfer fee.

What is the interest on Lightyear cash?

Lightyear offers you a yearly yield for uninvested cash, depending on the base currency. For HUF, it reaches 5.00%, for GBP and USD 4.5% and for EUR 3.25% (As of february 2024).

Is Lightyear a good broker?

Lightyear provides an easy-to-use mobile app for basic investing focused on share and fractional share purchases. As an execution-only brokerage, they do not provide investment advice. Lightyear seems suited for beginner investors looking for a simple experience. More advanced traders may prefer a full-service broker.

Is the Lightyear app free?

Yes, the Lightyear app is free to download and use. You will pay some fees on your stock transactions and on currency transfers.

Is Lightyear a private company?

Yes, Lightyear is a private company not publicly traded on a stock exchange.

How many customers does Lightyear have?

Lightyear has not publicly disclosed its number of customers or user base. As a private startup company, this information is not readily available.

Who owns the Lightyear app?

Lightyear is owned by Lightyear Europe AS which is authorised and regulated as an investment firm by the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority (Finantsinspektsioon) under activity licence number 4.1-1/31. Lightyear Europe is a company registered in Estonia with company number 16235024 and registered office at Volta 1, Tallinn 10412, Estonia.

Lightyear Financial Ltd is an appointed representative of RiskSave Technologies Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 775330). Lightyear Financial Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 12925823. Registered office 256-260 Old Street, London EC1V 9DD, United Kingdom. Lightyear Financial Ltd can be found in Financial Conduct Authority Financial Services register under FRN 955739.

Is Lightyear profitable?

As a private company, the profitability of Lightyear is not public information.