How to invest in the UK using ETFs

How do I invest in UK stocks?

The easiest way to invest in the whole UK stock market is to invest in a broad market index. This can be done at low cost by using ETFs.

On the UK stock market you find 4 indices, which are tracked by ETFs. Besides these indices 8 alternative indices on small and mid caps as well as dividend strategies can be considered.

Alternatively, you may invest in indices on Europe. The Europe indices weight the UK with 28% to 42%.

0.07% p.a. - 0.48% p.a.
annual total expense ratio (TER) of UK ETFs
on the UK stock market, which is tracked by ETFs
on the UK stock market
The best indices for UK ETFs

Performance of UK stocks (FTSE 100)

1 month: 3.33%
1 year: 29.07%
3 years: 16.10%
5 years: 46.27%

Indices in comparison

The best indices for ETFs on UK

For an investment in the UK stock market, 4 indices tracked by 16 ETFs are available. On the FTSE 100 index there are 9 ETFs. On the FTSE All-Share index there are 3 ETFs. On the MSCI UK index there are 3 ETFs. On the MSCI UK Large Cap index there is 1 ETF. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on these indices is between 0.07% p.a. and 0.48% p.a..

Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description

FTSE 100

United Kingdom 9 ETFs 100
The FTSE 100 (total return) index tracks the 100 largest UK stocks.
Index factsheet

FTSE All-Share

United Kingdom 3 ETFs 628
(31/10/16)
The FTSE All-Share (total return) index tracks all UK-based companies admitted to the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
Index factsheet

MSCI UK

United Kingdom 3 ETFs 111
(31/10/16)
The MSCI UK index tracks large and mid cap equity market performance of United Kingdom.
Index factsheet

MSCI UK Large Cap

United Kingdom 1 ETF 38
(31/10/16)
The MSCI UK Large Cap index tracks UK large cap stocks.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares Core FTSE 100 UCITS ETF (Dist)IE0005042456 4,711 0.07% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Vanguard FTSE 100 UCITS ETFIE00B810Q511 2,558 0.09% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI UK UCITS ETF (GBP) A-accLU0950670850 744 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Lyxor UCITS ETF FTSE 100 C-GBPFR0010438127 589 0.15% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
iShares FTSE 100 UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B53HP851 369 0.07% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
SPDR FTSE UK All Share UCITS ETFIE00B7452L46 168 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
db x-trackers FTSE 100 UCITS ETF (DR) Income 1DLU0292097234 161 0.30% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
HSBC FTSE 100 UCITS ETF GBPIE00B42TW061 139 0.07% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
UBS ETF (LU) FTSE 100 UCITS ETF (GBP) A-disLU0136242590 124 0.20% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
iShares MSCI UK UCITS ETFIE00B539F030 122 0.33% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
db x-trackers FTSE All-Share UCITS ETF (DR) 1DLU0292097747 83 0.40% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Optimized sampling
db x-trackers FTSE 100 UCITS ETF (DR) 1CLU0838780707 77 0.09% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Source FTSE 100 UCITS ETF AIE00B60SWT88 31 0.35% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
iShares MSCI UK Large Cap UCITS ETFIE00B3VWKZ07 15 0.48% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Lyxor UCITS ETF FTSE All Share GBPFR0010438150 13 0.40% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI UK UCITS ETF (GBP) A-disLU0937836467 10 0.20% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
FTSE All-Share 5.00% 3.83% 11.81% 16.51% 18.66%
FTSE 100 5.36% 4.43% 11.67% 18.60% 16.14%
MSCI UK 5.25% 4.15% 11.38% 18.88% 16.49%
MSCI UK Large Cap 5.51% 4.99% 11.59% 22.15% 15.32%
Index   2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
2014
in %
2013
in %
FTSE All-Share - 16.51% 0.76% 1.08% 20.82%
FTSE 100 - 18.60% -1.48% 0.48% 18.08%
MSCI UK - 18.88% -2.39% 0.39% -
MSCI UK Large Cap - 22.15% -4.31% -1.33% 16.53%

Source: justETF.com; As of 31/12/16; Calculations in GBP based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

The cheapest UK ETFs
by total expense ratio (TER)

Show all
Alternative investment opportunities

UK indices on small and mid caps or dividend strategies

Alternatively, you may invest in indices on small and mid caps or dividend strategies. In total, you can invest in 8 alternative UK indices, which are tracked by 13 ETFs. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on alternative UK indices is between 0.10% p.a. and 0.58% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
FTSE 100 Equally Weighted United Kingdom
Equal Weighted
1 ETF 101
(31/10/16)
The FTSE 100 Semi Annually Equally Weighted Net Tax Index tracks the 100 largest UK stocks. All constituents in the index are equally weighted at rebalancing (semi-annually).
Index factsheet
FTSE 100 Minimum Variance United Kingdom
Low Volatility/Risk Weighted
1 ETF 69
(31/10/16)
The FTSE 100 Minimum Variance index tracks the most liquid UK stocks in the FTSE 100 optimised for the lowest absolute risk.
Index factsheet
FTSE 250 United Kingdom
Mid Cap
6 ETFs 250
The FTSE 250 (total return) index tracks around 250 of the largest mid-cap companies based in the United Kingdom that are not included in the FTSE 100.
Index factsheet
FTSE RAFI UK 100 United Kingdom
Fundamental/Quality
1 ETF 100
The FTSE RAFI UK 100 (total return) index tracks UK stocks. The FTSE RAFI Index Series selects and weights index constituents using four fundamental factors, rather than market capitalisation. The factors are dividends, cash flows, sales and book value.
Index factsheet
FTSE UK Dividend+ United Kingdom
Dividend
1 ETF 50
The FTSE UK Dividend+ index tracks the 50 highest yielding UK stocks.
Index factsheet
MSCI UK IMI Extended SRI 5% Capped United Kingdom
Social/Environmental
1 ETF 164
(31/10/16)
The MSCI UK IMI Extended SRI 5% Issuer Capped index tracks socially or environmentally responsible UK companies.
Index factsheet
MSCI UK Small Cap United Kingdom
Small Cap
1 ETF 237
(31/10/16)
The MSCI UK Small Cap index tracks UK small cap stocks.
Index factsheet
S&P UK High Yield Dividend Aristocrats United Kingdom
Dividend
1 ETF 30
(31/10/16)
The S&P UK High Yield Dividend Aristocrats index tracks appr. 30 highest dividend-yielding UK companies.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares FTSE 250 UCITS ETFIE00B00FV128 914 0.40% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares UK Dividend UCITS ETFIE00B0M63060 798 0.40% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Vanguard FTSE 250 UCITS ETFIE00BKX55Q28 274 0.10% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
SPDR S&P UK Dividend Aristocrats UCITS ETFIE00B6S2Z822 93 0.30% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
db x-trackers FTSE 250 UCITS ETF (DR) 1DLU0292097317 74 0.35% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
iShares MSCI UK Small Cap UCITS ETFIE00B3VWLG82 74 0.58% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (IE) MSCI UK IMI Socially Responsible UCITS ETF (GBP) A-disIE00BMP3HN93 53 0.28% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Ossiam FTSE 100 Minimum Variance UCITS ETF UCITS ETF 1C (GBP)LU0705291739 42 0.45% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
HSBC FTSE 250 UCITS ETF GBPIE00B64PTF05 40 0.35% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
db x-trackers FTSE 100 Equal Weight UCITS ETF (DR) 1DIE00BZ0CYG46 17 0.25% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Source FTSE 250 UCITS ETF AIE00B60SWV01 15 0.35% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
Lyxor UCITS ETF FTSE 250 GBPFR0010438135 8 0.35% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
PowerShares FTSE RAFI UK 100 UCITS ETFIE00B23LNN70 7 0.39% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
FTSE 250 3.21% 1.59% 12.29% 5.97% 20.28%
MSCI UK Small Cap 3.28% 1.32% 12.98% 6.28% 20.87%
FTSE 100 Minimum Variance 4.87% -4.21% -1.40% 7.35% 19.98%
FTSE UK Dividend+ 4.07% 1.05% 7.79% 8.11% 15.77%
S&P UK High Yield Dividend Aristocrats 4.00% 0.08% 5.84% 8.19% 7.57%
MSCI UK IMI Extended SRI 5% Capped 4.31% 0.94% 8.59% 12.06% -
FTSE 100 Equally Weighted 4.61% 2.66% 11.36% 12.61% -
FTSE RAFI UK 100 5.22% 9.30% 18.95% 27.46% 17.42%
Index   2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
2014
in %
2013
in %
FTSE 250 - 5.97% 10.63% 3.13% 31.40%
MSCI UK Small Cap - 6.28% 14.16% -0.38% 35.61%
FTSE 100 Minimum Variance - 7.35% 5.20% 6.24% 19.28%
FTSE UK Dividend+ - 8.11% 0.94% 6.88% 23.25%
S&P UK High Yield Dividend Aristocrats - 8.19% 2.21% -2.05% 28.45%
MSCI UK IMI Extended SRI 5% Capped - 12.06% 4.89% - -
FTSE 100 Equally Weighted - 12.61% - - -
FTSE RAFI UK 100 - 27.46% -8.24% 2.38% 22.13%

Source: justETF.com; As of 31/12/16; Calculations in GBP based on the largest ETF of the respective index.

 

Europe indices with a large UK share

Besides UK ETFs you may invest in ETFs on the European stock market. In total, you can invest in 4 indices on Europe, which are tracked by 16 ETFs. The UK is weighted with around 28% to 42% in the Europe indices. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on Europe indices is between 0.15% p.a. and 0.51% p.a..

 
Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description
FTSEurofirst 100 Europe
UK: 41.94%
(31/10/2016)
1 ETF 100
The FTSEurofirst 100 index tracks the 60 largest European companies measured by market capitalisation in the FTSE Developed Europe Index and 40 additional companies selected for their size and sector representation.
Index factsheet
MSCI Europe Europe
UK: 28.71%
(31/10/2016)
9 ETFs 446
(31/10/16)
The MSCI Europe (total return) index tracks the leading stocks from 15 European industrial countries.
Index factsheet
STOXX® Europe 50 Europe
UK: 33.80%
(31/10/2016)
2 ETFs 50
The STOXX® Europe 50 (total return) index tracks 50 European large cap stocks.
Index factsheet
STOXX® Europe 600 Europe
UK: 28.70%
(31/10/2016)
4 ETFs 600
The STOXX® Europe 600 index tracks European equities, with the 600 stocks broken down as follows: 200 large cap, 200 middle cap and 200 small cap equities.
Index factsheet
ETF
ISIN
  Fund size
in m GBP
TER
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI Europe UCITS ETF (Dist)IE00B1YZSC51 4,953 0.35% p.a. Distributing Ireland Optimized sampling
iShares STOXX Europe 600 UCITS ETF (DE)DE0002635307 4,904 0.20% p.a. Distributing Germany Full replication
db x-trackers MSCI Europe Index UCITS ETF (DR) 1CLU0274209237 2,539 0.30% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
Lyxor UCITS ETF MSCI Europe D-EURFR0010261198 1,316 0.25% p.a. Distributing France Unfunded swap
db x-trackers STOXX Europe 600 UCITS ETF (DR) 1CLU0328475792 882 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Optimized sampling
iShares STOXX Europe 50 UCITS ETFIE0008470928 615 0.35% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Amundi ETF MSCI Europe UCITS ETFFR0010655696 567 0.15% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
Source MSCI Europe UCITS ETF AIE00B60SWY32 562 0.20% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
SPDR MSCI Europe UCITS ETFIE00BKWQ0Q14 540 0.25% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
iShares MSCI Europe UCITS ETF (Acc)IE00B4K48X80 499 0.33% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Optimized sampling
UBS ETF (LU) MSCI Europe UCITS ETF (EUR) A-disLU0446734104 252 0.20% p.a. Distributing Luxembourg Full replication
Source STOXX Europe 600 UCITS ETF AIE00B60SWW18 228 0.19% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Unfunded swap
iShares STOXX Europe 50 UCITS ETF (DE)DE0005933949 216 0.51% p.a. Distributing Germany Full replication
HSBC MSCI Europe UCITS ETF EURIE00B5BD5K76 171 0.20% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
iShares FTSEurofirst 100 UCITS ETFIE0030974079 36 0.40% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Lyxor STOXX Europe 600 (DR) UCITS ETF C-EURLU0908500753 23 0.15% p.a. Accumulating Luxembourg Full replication
 
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
STOXX® Europe 50 6.86% 5.82% 12.09% 17.24% 15.93%
STOXX® Europe 600 6.22% 5.18% 14.25% 17.32% 21.90%
MSCI Europe 6.26% 5.45% 14.42% 19.35% 20.55%
FTSEurofirst 100 6.67% 7.47% 16.52% 22.07% 17.10%
Index   2017
in %
2016
in %
2015
in %
2014
in %
2013
in %
STOXX® Europe 50 - 17.24% 0.50% -0.78% 19.31%
STOXX® Europe 600 - 17.32% 4.51% 0.41% 23.20%
MSCI Europe - 19.35% 2.04% -0.17% 22.13%
FTSEurofirst 100 - 22.07% -1.57% -1.43% 21.21%

Source: justETF.com; As of 31/12/16; Calculations in GBP based on the largest ETF of the respective index.