How to buy Aviva shares

The British insurer Aviva was hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic but has proved resilient in the aftermath. Learn about whether it's likely to make for a good investment as it restructures to focus on its core markets.
By: Harry Atkins
Harry Atkins
Harry joined us in 2019, drawing on more than a decade writing, editing and managing high-profile content for blue… read more.
Updated: May 17, 2021
Tip: our preferred broker is, eToro: visit & create account

This guide will explore the history of Aviva, its recent stock performance, and what to look out for before you dive in. We’ll show you where to find the latest news and stock market analysis as well as the best platforms to use to invest.

Compare the best Aviva trading platforms

If you have all the information you need already, you can head straight over to one of our trusted brokers below. We’ve assessed all the best platforms and compared them so that picking the right choice for you is quick and easy. If you’re not ready to invest yet, keep reading for more information on Aviva.

1
Min. Deposit
$50
Exclusive promotion
user-score
10
Trade/invest in stocks with just $50
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Over 11 payment methods, including PayPal
Start Trading
Description:
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform with more than 2000 assets, including FX, stocks, ETF’s, indices and commodities. eToro users can connect with, learn from, and copy or get copied by other users. Buying stocks on eToro is free and you can invest with as little as $50.
Payment Methods
Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
Full regulations list:
CySEC, FCA
eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro. Your capital is at risk.
2
Min. Deposit
$1
Exclusive promotion
user-score
9.3
0 Commissions and no deposit minimums
Registered with and regulated by SEC and FINRA
Loss of cash protection
Start Trading
Description:
Financial company driven by technology and offering all-in-one self-directed investment platform that provides excellent user experience.
Payment Methods
Full regulations list:

How to buy Aviva stock, a step-by-step guide

The process isn’t massively complicated, so don’t worry even if you’re new to stock investing. These are the steps to follow in order to complete your investment:

  1. Choose a broker. In order to get Aviva stock, you will need to use an online brokerage platform. There are many different options to choose from, each with its own unique benefits and drawbacks. The comparison table above can help you select the right broker for you, and you can head to our comprehensive broker reviews if you’re still unsure.
  2. Create an account. Once you’ve selected your broker, simply go to their website and create an account. The steps required for this will vary from platform to platform, but generally, you can expect to have to provide your name, email address, phone number, and some form of photo identification.
  3. Deposit funds. Log into your broker account and select the option to deposit funds. Depending on your broker you’ll have a variety of payment options available; most brokers accept bank transfers and debit card payments, but not all accept e-wallets such as PayPal. Select your preferred payment method and deposit the amount of money you wish to invest in Aviva shares.
  4. Place an order for AV stock. Now navigate to the broker’s buying stocks page (a link to this can be found in the menu on the website). Here you’ll be able to search for Aviva’s ticker symbol (AV) and see the current price at which the stock is trading. If you’re happy with the price, enter the number of shares you wish to buy and place your order.
  5. Execute your order. Once you have placed your order, your broker will automatically execute it for you and your Aviva shares will be listed in your account. Congratulations, you’ve just bought shares in Aviva!
1
Min. Deposit
$50
Exclusive promotion
user-score
10
Trade/invest in stocks with just $50
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Over 11 payment methods, including PayPal
Start Trading
Description:
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform with more than 2000 assets, including FX, stocks, ETF’s, indices and commodities. eToro users can connect with, learn from, and copy or get copied by other users. Buying stocks on eToro is free and you can invest with as little as $50.
Payment Methods
Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
Full regulations list:
CySEC, FCA
eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro. Your capital is at risk.
2
Min. Deposit
$1
Exclusive promotion
user-score
9.3
0 Commissions and no deposit minimums
Registered with and regulated by SEC and FINRA
Loss of cash protection
Start Trading
Description:
Financial company driven by technology and offering all-in-one self-directed investment platform that provides excellent user experience.
Payment Methods
Full regulations list:

What is Aviva? And should I invest?

Aviva is headquartered in London and is the largest general insurer in the UK. Formed as a merger between Norwich Union and CGMU in 2001, it has used the Aviva name permanently since 2008 and now serves over 33 million customers around the world.

The decision on whether to invest in Aviva depends on a number of factors, including the broader outlook for insurers in the aftermath of the pandemic. Aviva has an ambitious recovery strategy that means whether you are a long or short-term investor, you need to keep up to speed on their latest transactions as they continue to streamline by selling-off parts of the business.

After a series of expansions into developing markets in the early 2000s, Aviva has moved away from these global acquisitions in recent years. Aviva’s reliance on European countries for over half its profits meant it was much more exposed than other UK insurers to the debt crisis in the Eurozone, while the entire insurance industry took a hammering as the world was gripped by the coronavirus pandemic.

How has Aviva performed in recent years?

Like many industries, insurers were badly hit as the pandemic took hold and share prices fell significantly across the board. A sharp rise in the number of travel and business insurance claims combined with a general market downturn saw the AV share price halve in value in the spring of 2020, down to 211p in March.

It hadn’t been plain sailing prior to the pandemic at Aviva either. A combination of boardroom drama and ill-health has seen them go through three CEOs since 2018, having struggled to recover from the 2008 crisis as well as some of their closest competitors. Avoidable mistakes, like botched PR as they floated the idea of cancelling a preference share scheme which led to censorship by the FCA, have contributed to this slow recovery.

Aviva’s ongoing plans to restructure the business over the past decade by focusing on its core markets has yet to convince investors, resulting in a stagnant share price as it has struggled to back up its words with actions. A price that had been hovering around 500p since 2014 fell to 400p before the pandemic hit.

Is it a good time to buy Aviva shares now?

There are opportunities for both long-term investors and short-term traders thanks to Aviva’s track record of peaks and troughs along with a broader recovery towards a pre-pandemic stock price. Longer term gains are possible if Aviva is able to deliver on its long-standing plans to streamline but before investing you should make sure to thoroughly research all the latest news and transactions. 

Aviva has been able to weather the pandemic thanks in part to fairly healthy capitalisation and is sticking to its long-term strategy to streamline operations and focus on business in the UK, Ireland and Canada. It has simplified its portfolio by selling-off some of its operations in Asia and Europe and looks set to continue along this path. Although the Aviva share price has shown positive signs in recovering from the post-pandemic lows, it has also been inconsistent, tending to fluctuate rather than rise steadily.

Short-term traders should be especially careful to keep up to speed on Aviva’s transactions but for long-term investors it’s also important to consider the success of Aviva’s more focused operations and whether it has found stable leadership, as well as the wider post-pandemic outlook for insurers. You can find all the most up-to-date charts, revenue information and news updates below.

Buying, selling and trading Aviva shares for beginners

What to do before buying shares

You should always take the time to research a stock fully before investing your money, especially if you haven’t bought shares before. The more knowledge you have, the better your chances of making a wise investment. 

With that in mind, here’s a checklist to run through before investing in Aviva shares.

  1. Research the company. You should always examine the fundamentals of a company before buying its stock. What is Aviva? How did the company get its start? How did it grow? Is Aviva’s revenue and profit growth picking up? Is the company innovating? The more you know about Aviva, the better positioned you’ll be to make smart investment decisions.
  2. Make sure you understand the basics of stock investing. Before getting involved in buying stocks, make sure you have an understanding of how it works. This will ensure that you have more clearly defined goals and have thought through how you will achieve them.
  3. Decide between share dealing and CFD trading. Choose the type of investment strategy you want to pursue, and make sure you have carried out the necessary fundamental or technical analysis for share dealing and CFD trading respectively.
  4. Set the size of your budget. The golden rule of investing is never to risk more than you can afford to lose. Not every investment you make will result in a profit, so it is important to set a budget that not only allows good potential for capital growth, but also protects against overly damaging losses.
  5. Find the right broker. Individual brokers each have their own pros and cons. Some will have low fees but have a user interface you struggle to understand, whereas others may be a bit more expensive but come with a range of features that you want to take advantage of. You can use our reviews to find the best broker to use.
  6. Examine broader market conditions. No stock exists in a vacuum, and it’s always important to analyse the general trends of the stock market as a whole before investing. If a bear market is setting in and stock prices are falling, it’s best to wait it out and invest your money later when the stock is cheaper. If, however, the market is looking bearish, you’ll want to make your investment quickly to get the maximum benefit from rising stock prices. You’ll always want to stay up to date with the latest financial news.

What is the difference between buying, selling, and trading shares?

If you’re new to stock investing, then it’s important to understand the basics of how to buy, sell, and trade Aviva shares. Here’s a quick run-through of what’s involved in each.

Buying Aviva

This process involves finding a broker and placing an order for Aviva stock, as outlined in the steps further up this page. Ideally you want to time your investment when the stock’s price is low so that you can profit by selling the shares after they increase in value.

Selling Aviva

When you sell any Aviva shares you have bought, you’ll want to do so at a higher price than the one at which you bought to earn a profit. 

When you sell is up to you. You might decide to hold for a long period of time, hoping to benefit from the company growing steadily throughout. Or, if you see that Aviva’s stock is already up a lot compared to the price you bought it and you’ve noticed that the stock market is starting to fall, it might make sense to sell and take your profits to invest elsewhere. Equally, if the stock has fallen since you bought it and looks set to fall further, it might be a good idea to cut your losses by selling your shares.

Trading Aviva

Trading is the same process as buying and selling shares, it’s just done over shorter periods of time with the aim to make small profits on a regular basis. This means that you can make money faster and spend your profits in your day-to-day life – however, on the other side it means you can lose money faster as well. For inexperienced investors, we generally recommend making investments for at least 6 months to a year instead of making trades in quick succession.

You can trade Aviva shares through buying and selling shares, or by trading with CFDs. These allow investors to speculate on stock prices and trade with leverage in pursuit of bigger gains. CFDs trading is explained further in the next section, but it is worth noting that beginners should avoid trading with leverage. It comes with large risks and is best left to experienced investors.

Share dealing vs CFD trading

When it comes to investing in any stock, the two options you have are share dealing and trading. Which one of these methods to opt for largely depends on your investment timeline, with investors thinking long term tending to go for share dealing, and those looking for short term gains pursuing a more aggressive trading strategy.

Here’s a quick summary of the two approaches, and the pros and cons of each.

Share dealing 

Share dealing refers to the practice of buying and holding shares in a particular company over the long term. When investing like this, you’re seeking to profit either from dividend payments or an increase in the stock’s price over time.

When investing your money this way, it is important to do thorough fundamental analysis of the company in which you are investing. You want to put your money in a stock you believe will trend upwards over time, even if there is some market volatility along the way, rather than get distracted by shorter term peaks and troughs.

Pros

  • Can build wealth over time to achieve financial goals
  • Don’t need to be very reactive to short-term market movements
  • Some stocks will give you an income through regular dividend payments

Cons

  • Takes a long time to realise any profits
  • Your capital is tied up in stocks and cannot be used for other investments

CFD Trading 

If your aim is to generate profits in the short term, then you might be better off trading shares than holding them in your portfolio. Stock trades like this are executed using CFDs (contracts for difference), which allow investors to trade against the value of a stock without having to take ownership of it. When CFD trading, investors are looking to buy and sell stocks fast to profit from short-term fluctuations in value.

One aspect of CFD trading that many investors find attractive is that they allow you to trade with leverage. This means you can place large trades while only putting up a fraction of the value yourself – for instance, if a platform offered leverage of 1:10, you could put £10 into AV shares and be able to trade £100 worth. This can maximise profits if the market moves in your favour, but be careful as it can also lead to heavy losses.

When trading using CFDs, it is key to be skilled at technical analysis and reading stock price charts. As you’re trading stocks quickly and frequently, the fundamental strength of the company in which you’re investing isn’t as important as being able to predict how its stock price will rise and fall minute-by-minute.

Pros

  • Can generate fast profits if you read the market right 
  • Some platforms allow you to trade with leverage
  • Prevents your capital being tied up so you can take advantage of investment opportunities

Cons

  • Trading with leverage is risky and can lead to big losses
  • Doesn’t necessarily generate growth over the long term

Consider which approach suits you best and craft an investment strategy that works for you. If you need more information, then simply take our stock trading course and read our guide to CFD trading to get you up to speed. 

If neither of these options appeal to you, then you can find a variety of other ways to invest in AV stock on this page. If, however, you’re ready to buy shares in Aviva now, simply select one of the brokers in the table above and get started. 

How to choose a broker

With the wide variety of online brokers available these days, it can be hard to figure out which is the best service to go with. Our comparison table and in-depth reviews can help you cut through the noise, but by and large these are the aspects you should be considering when selecting a broker:

  • Range of stocks available. The most important thing is that you can find the shares you want on the broker platform you choose. Some brokers offer more stocks than others, and many will allow you to trade other assets, such as forex and commodities.
  • Fees and commissions. You want to keep as large a chunk of your profits as you can, so it’s important to make sure your broker doesn’t charge high fees that can eat into your profits.
  • Regulation. You should only use regulated brokers to place trades and buy shares. Unregulated brokers can be risky and offer little to no protection if the business were to fail while you had funds in your account.
  • Payment methods available. You might want to fund your broker account using a specific payment method, such as PayPal. Not all brokers accept every payment method, but using our comparisons you can search only the brokers that support the option you’re looking for.
  • Reputation. One of the strongest indicators of a broker’s reliability is the reputation it has with the customers who have used it. Brokers are online businesses, and as such many user experiences can be found online. You can check these out in addition to our reviews to make sure you choose the right platform.
  • Customer service. As you’re going to be investing your money using the platform, you want to check that the broker offers good customer service in case you have a query or something goes wrong.

Latest Aviva news

Aviva plc (LON: AV) reported strong performance for the first quarter on Thursday and expressed confidence that the profitability of its underwriting will improve further this year. Aviva shares opened at 401 pence in the stock market on Thursday and climbed to 411 pence in the next hour. In…
Aviva plc (LON: AV) said on Friday that it plans on withdrawing from Aviva Poland. The company announced a deal with Allianz SE to offload its entire stake in the Polish unit for £2.14 billion. Allianz SE (ETR: ALV) closed the regular session at £182.19 per share on…
Aviva plc (LON: AV) said on Thursday that trading remained robust in the first three quarters despite the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic that has so far infected more than 1.5 million people in the United Kingdom and caused over 56 thousand deaths. On the back of resilient performance, the company…
Aviva plc (LON: AV) said on Thursday that its net profit in the first half (H1) of the current fiscal year came in lower on a year over year basis. The company revealed the Coronavirus pandemic to have fuelled general insurance claims in recent months that it valued at…
CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio of Lloyds Banking Group (LON: LLOY) said on Monday that he will exit the role in 2021 after serving Britain’s largest domestic bank for a decade. Without naming a potential successor, the company said that it will consider both external and internal candidates for the job.
Aviva (LON: AV) said on Thursday that its life business posted a 28% increase in new sales in the first quarter to £12.3 billion. The company attributed upbeat sales to bulk annuities in Q1. The British multinational insurance company, however, forecast £160 million in claims primarily on travel insurance…

Try some of our stock market courses for beginners

Still not feeling ready? We get it. Start here, learning stock investment fundamentals via our easy-to-understand educational courses. Learning all about stock investing will help you feel secure and ready to take the plunge by buying shares of Aviva.

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Fact-checking & references

Our editors fact-check all content to ensure compliance with our strict editorial policy. The information in this article is supported by the following reliable sources.

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Invezz is a place where people can find reliable, unbiased information about finance, trading, and investing – but we do not offer financial advice and users should always carry out their own research. The assets covered on this website, including stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities can be highly volatile and new investors often lose money. Success in the financial markets is not guaranteed, and users should never invest more than they can afford to lose. You should consider your own personal circumstances and take the time to explore all your options before making any investment. Read our risk disclaimer >

Harry Atkins
Financial Writer
Harry joined us in 2019, drawing on more than a decade writing, editing and managing high-profile content for blue chip companies, Harry’s considerable experience in the… read more.