eToro: Introduction and Pros & Cons
Pro and Con
- Social and copy trading
- Zero commission stocks and ETFs
- Can buy cryptocurrencies
- Extremely well regulated broker
- Lacks advanced trading tools
eToro is a highly popular broker around the world that has made its name largely due to its pioneering social trading platform. eToro was founded in 2007 and launched its social trading platform in 2010.
As a social trading broker, eToro allows you to interact with other users on the platform. It also offers its famous, revolutionary Copy Trader tool that allows you to follow and automatically copy the trades of top traders and investors on the platform. This made trading and investing easier than ever before and opened up the landscape to a whole new generation of newbies.
More recently, eToro has also launched its CopyPortfolios, which are professionally managed and based on a mix of human expertise and algorithms.
eToro offers one of the widest variety of asset classes, spanning stocks, ETFs, indices, forex, commodities and cryptocurrencies. eToro offers both CFDs and traditional investment options for stocks and ETFs. It’s also one of the few brokers that allows users to buy cryptocurrencies and it offers its own proprietary crypto wallet.
Another major selling point of eToro is its zero commission stocks policy, meaning you can invest in companies and ETFs without paying any fees.
eToro is an Israeili company and has offices in Israel, the UK, Cyprus, the US and Australia. The broker has over 13 million users registered around the world, making it one of the most popular, and as of 2018 was valued at $800 million.
Trading 212 Introduction and Pros & Cons
Pro and Con
- Zero commission stocks, ETFs and ISAs
- Offers fractional shares
- £1 minimum deposit
- Highly regulated, trusted broker
- Doesn’t offer cryptocurrencies
Like eToro, Trading 212 is a modern, online-only broker that is used around the world. In fact, Trading 212 claims This broker claims to be the number one trading app in the UK since 2016, and the number one in Germany in 2017, based on statistics by App Annie.
The broker’s app has over 14 million downloads, making it one of the most popular brokers.
Like eToro, Trading 212 prides itself on its zero commission stock and ETF investing, and actually claims to be the first broker in the UK to offer such a service. Trading 212 was founded in 2004, three years before eToro.
Trading 212 offers three account types – investing, trading and ISA accounts. The investing account allows you to buy and sell stocks and ETFs with no commission, and there are over 10,000 assets from global markets to choose from.
The trading account offers CFDs for a range of assets, including stocks, forex, commodities and indices. Finally, the ISA account allows you to invest in stocks and shares ISAs, which are tax-free up to £20,000.
Trading 212 was founded in 2004 and is based in the UK. It also has an office in Bulgaria. Now let’s take a look at how these two online brokers compared match up.
eToro vs Trading 212: Usability, Look and Feel
eToro and Trading 212 are both modern brokers aimed at the younger generation of internet savvy traders, and this is reflected in the excellent design of each platform. Both have an instantly recognizable colour scheme which brings the platforms to life – green and white for eToro, and blue and white for Trading 212.
eToro is one of the best platforms we’ve seen in terms of design and usability. When you login, you’re presented with your watchlist in the centre of your screen and all main menu links down the left hand side, making it easy to navigate to markets, the deposit section and so on. Both the website and the mobile app perform excellent with fast loading times and no lag.
Trading 212 is similar in terms of design, usability and feel, with large interactive price charts displayed in the centre of your screen and live market prices to the left. As with eToro, you can navigate to all important links in seconds by using the menu bar on the left hand side of your screen. Trading 212’s mobile app for iOS and Android is similarly well designed and easy to use.
What sets these two apart in terms of design and usability is eToro’s social and copy trading features. By clicking the ‘Copy People’ option from the menu bar, you can see a revolving ‘Editor’s Choice’ of top traders and the most copied traders below. You can easily view the profile picture and trading history of each trader, which really brings the platform to life and makes Trading 212 and many other brokers look a little basic in comparison.
eToro vs Trading 212: Payments
One of the great things about eToro is that it accepts PayPal for deposits and withdrawals, so you can deposit and withdraw in a very quick, affordable and secure way. Trading 212 also accepts PayPal, but only for CFD trading accounts.
In addition to PayPal, eToro accepts debit and credit cards, Skrill, Neteller, Rapid Transfer, iDeal, Klarna, bank transfer and online banking, while Trading 212 accepts debit and credit cards, bank transfer, instant bank transfer, Skrill, DotPay, Giropay, and Google and Apple Pay. Overall, both offer a fantastic range of payment methods that are sure to suit most traders.
In terms of fees, eToro doesn’t charge a deposit fee, though as the platform operates in USD, there is a 0.5% conversion fee on deposits made in GBP. Trading 212 doesn’t charge any deposit fees until you have deposited a total of £2,000. From then on, there is a 0.7% fee for payments made by debit/credit card, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Skrill, iDeal, DotPay, Giropay and Sofort.
Our Trading 212 vs eToro comparison found that eToro also charges a flat $5 for every withdrawal you make, whereas on Trading 212 all withdrawals are free of charge.
The minimum deposit on eToro is $100 (around £72), while the minimum limit for Trading 212 is much lower at just £1 (and £10 for wire transfer). eToro’s minimum withdrawal is $30, while Trading 212’s is again just £1.
eToro states that all withdrawals are processed within just one business day, which is incredibly quick. On Trading 212, you could be waiting up to three working days for your withdrawal to be processed, so eToro on the whole is generally quicker at paying out.
eToro vs Trading 212: Customer Service
eToro offers support via live chat and email. The live chat service is available 24 hours a day Monday through to Friday. The eToro website states that you could be waiting up to seven days for a reply to your query if you fill out an email contact form.
Trading 212 only offers support via email, which won’t suit traders who like to have access to instant support. The broker’s website doesn’t indicate the customer service opening times. Neither eToro or Trading 212 offer telephone support.
On Trustpilot, eToro doesn’t have the best rating, with two stars and a ‘Poor’ rating from over 3,000 reviews. Some reviewers claim that the customer service team are not responsive, though there are also positive reviews that counteract such claims.
It’s also worth noting that Trustpilot has a note at the top of the page stating that the profile has seen a large recent increase in reviews and that users should only leave genuine feedback, so the poor rating should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Trading 212 has three stars and an ‘Average’ rating on Trustpilot UK from over 12,000 reviews. While 51% of users rate the platform as ‘Excellent’, 31% of users rate it ‘Bad’. Some reviews criticize the broker’s customer service, with one user stating they waited more than a week to hear back from the customer support team.
Our Trading 212 vs eToro comparison found that both eToro and Trading 212 offer support in a variety of languages. To find out about how two other popular UK brokers match up in terms of customer support, read our Plus500 vs Trading 212 review.
eToro vs Trading 212: License and Security
Both eToro and Trading 212 are licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the primary regulator of financial and trading services operating in the UK. This means that each platform is strictly regulated to ensure that it is secure, protects client funds and is operating legally. eToro’s FCA register number is 583263 and Trading 212’s is 609146.
eToro is also licensed in several other jurisdictions, including Cyprus and Australia, allowing it to offer its services in many parts of the world. eToro also offers a limited service across the US and is licensed with FinCEN in the States. Trading 212 is also licensed in Bulgaria by the Financial Supervision Commission.
Our eToro vs Trading 212 comparison found both hold client funds in segregated bank accounts, so your money is protected if either broker ever becomes insolvent. At each broker, your funds are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme up to £85,000.
Both of these brokers operate in line with the security guidelines set out by the FCA. This means that both use SSL (secure sockets layer) to encrypt your personal information and ensure that it’s protected from potential hackers. As both are licensed by the FCA, they are also required to have their security measures regularly tested and audited by approved firms.
Another aspect of the FCA license means that both eToro and Trading have measures in place to identify potential minors and prevent financial crime, such as money laundering. Each broker carries out Know Your Customer (KYC) checks to verify users, so you may need to upload ID documents when you sign up.
Unlike some brokerage companies, neither eToro nor Trading 212 are publicly traded companies on stock exchanges, so they disclose only limited financial information. There have been recent rumours about eToro going public, with the company reportedly in talks with Goldman Sachs over a $5 billion IPO, but nothing has been confirmed as yet.
eToro vs Trading 212: Spread
Our eToro vs Trading 212 comparison found that both brokers are quite similar when it comes to the trading fees department, as both offer commission-free investing for stocks and ETFs. Trading 212 also offers a zero fee stocks and shares ISA.
For CFDs, the main fee that both eToro and Trading 212 charge is the spread, with no additional commissions.The spread is the difference between the buy and sell price of a CFD asset and is the main way these brokers make money.
To get an idea of how the two brokers match up in terms of spread, let’s take a look at what each broker charges for some popular assets. Bear in mind that while eToro only charges fixed spreads, Trading 212 has a mixed of fixed and variable spreads.
For the GBP/USD forex pair, both eToro and Trading 212 charge a 2 pip spread. Both also charge the same spread for oil – 5 pips. For stocks, eToro charges a fixed 0.09% spread, while Trading 212 charges a variable spread that averages around 0.2%. To see how eToro compares to another UK broker, check out our eToro vs IG comparison.
As you can see, our Trading 212 vs eToro comparison found there is almost nothing to separate the two brokers in this area.
The other main fee that both eToro and Trading 212 charge is overnight fees for holding CFD positions overnight. These are small interest payments that vary a lot depending on the asset you’re trading.
eToro is the only one of these brokers that offers cryptocurrencies (Trading 212 used to before the FCA banned crypto CFDs). eToro charges a fixed spread for each crypto coin – 0.75% for Bitcoin, 1.9% for Ethereum, 2.45% for Ripple and so on.
Another fee to consider is inactivity fees. At eToro, this is $10 a year after one year of inactivity. Unlike most online brokers, Trading 212 doesn’t charge an inactivity fee. To put this in perspective, read our eToro vs Plus500 review found Plus500 charges a £10 per month inactivity fee.
In many ways, eToro can be seen as the complete broker. For starters, our eToro vs Robinhood comparison found it offers a brilliant range of instruments, from stocks and ETFs to commodities, cryptocurrencies and forex. Trading 212 offers a wider range of stocks, although it doesn’t offer crypto trading or investing like eToro does.
The two are also almost identical in terms of fees. Both brokers pride themselves on their zero commission stock and ETF investing, while both offer similar fees for CFDs. Trading 212 is cheaper in some respects, as it doesn’t charge a withdrawal or inactivity fee, though on the whole they’re very similar. Both brokers accept PayPal, although Trading 212 only allows it on CFD trading accounts.
The two brokers are also the same in terms of their regulatory standing. Both hold FCA licenses, meaning their secure platforms to trade on. The customer service of each is also similar, although eToro has a live chat option whereas Trading 212 only offers email
One area in which eToro excels is its trading tools and features, thanks to its social and copy trading tools that allow you to copy top traders and investors at the click of a button, for free! In comparison, Trading 212’s features are quite bare, although it does have some good educational resources.
However, that doesn’t mean eToro is suitable for everyone. For example, Trading 212 offers stocks and shares ISA accounts, allowing you to invest tax-free, whereas eToro doesn’t. Trading 212 also allows you to get started with just £1, much lower than eToro’s $100 minimum, making it more accessible to new traders working with a tight budget.
Overall, whether you choose eToro or Trading 212 depends on what exactly you’re looking for in a broker. We’ve provided everything you need to know in this guide, so all you need to do now is weigh up each broker’s pros and cons based on your preferences.
eToro vs Trading 212 FAQ
From our eToro to our Zeply review, we’re always on hand to give you advice on the best brokers around. For beginner traders, it’s virtual to have a platform that’s well user-friendly with good educational resources. If you’re having trouble deciding between eToro and Trading 212, check out our latest reviews where we examine the usability and educational resources of each platform in more detail.
Is eToro or Trading 212 better for stocks?
When it comes to stock trading, you’ll want a platform that offers a wide range of shares at low prices. Make sure you check out our latest review where we take a detailed look at the stocks and fees at eToro and Trading 212. You can also read our eToro vs Robinhood comparison to see how other stock brokers match up.
Is eToro cheaper than Trading 212?
Finding the cheapest broker is a priority for many online traders. Both eToro and Trading 212 have low fees, but be sure to check out our comparison guide where we reveal which broker is cheapest.
What are the eToro vs Trading 212 trading hours?
The trading hours for different instruments can differ between brokers, as some offer extended hours trading whereas others don’t. You can read our guide on eToro vs Trading 212 to learn more about each brokers’ trading hours and help you make your decision.
Is eToro or Trading 212 better for day trading?
There are lots of brokers to choose from if you’re looking for a good day trading platform. If you can’t pick between these two brokers, our latest review covers the eToro vs Trading 212 day trading experience in more detail to help you decide.