If you’re looking to buy shares from the comfort of your home – you’re going to need a reliable stock broker. There are many to choose from in this ever-growing digital investment space – albeit, two brokers, in particular, appear to stand out from the case.
This is eToro and Trading 212 – both of which are regulated by the FCA, offers heaps of stocks, and allow you to trade commission-free.
That’s exactly what we intend on finding out in this eToro vs Trading 212 Review. We explore each and every metric that you need to consider in choosing the right platform for you – such as tradable shares, fees, payment methods, customer service, and more.
eToro vs Trading 212 – Instruments, Fees and Payments Compared
Before we get properly into our eToro vs Trading 212 comparison, you can use this table to compare the key aspects of each broker.
What are eToro & Trading 212?
eToro and Trading 212 are online brokerage firms that allow you to invest and trade at the click of a button. Both platforms are clearly targetted to the ‘Average Joe’ investor – making them ideal for first-time traders. Although both eToro and Trading 212 offer thousands of financial markets, this is typically split into two key categories.
First, you have the traditional investment side of things. In this respect, both eToro and Trading 212 allow you to buy shares and ETFs. You will own the respective instrument outright, meaning that you will be entitled to dividends – if applicable. Secondly, both eToro and Trading 212 have a fully-fledged CFD trading facility.
For those unaware, CFDs track real-world asset prices such as stocks, gold, oil, and currencies. They allow you to trade without taking ownership of the said asset, meaning that you can apply leverage and short-sell. More on this later. In terms of fees, both eToro and Trading 212 are arguably the cheapest brokers and CFD trading platforms in the space.
This is because both platforms offer commission-free stocks, ETFs, and more. As a result, eToro and Trading 212 have gained a significant number of customers in recent years. In fact, eToro is now home to over 17 million investors while the Trading 212 app has been downloaded over 15 million times.
And of course, it goes without saying that both eToro and Trading 212 are regulated brokers. Both hold licenses with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), while eToro is also regulated by ASIC (Australia) and CySEC (Cyprus). Ultimately, it is the aforementioned stand-out features that has resulted in eToro and Trading 212 often being the go-to platform for retail investors.
eToro vs Trading 212 Tradable Assets
In this section of our eToro vs Trading 212 comparison, we are going to look at what assets you can invest in and trade.
Let’s start with stocks and shares.
Stocks and Shares
Most newbies will turn to traditional stocks and shares when investing for the first time. If this sounds like you, you’ll be pleased to know that both eToro and Trading 212 offer a broad selection of companies.
In the case of eToro, the broker now supports more than 2,400 shares across 17 different stock exchanges. This includes companies listed in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, France, Greece, and more. As such, you can easily build a diversified portfolio of the most popular stocks at eToro.
Over at Trading 212, the platform also gives you access to a comprehensive list of stocks. Much like eToro, not only does this include UK companies, but several international exchanges too. This includes the NYSE and NASDAQ in the US, and the Deutsche Börse Xetra in Germany.
Once again, both eToro and Trading 212 give you access to a large selection of ETFs. This is useful if you want to invest a large basket of assets via a single trade. We found that both providers offer ETFs that are backed by popular providers like iShares and Vanguard. By investing in an ETF at both eToro and Trading 212, you will be entitled to dividends once the provider makes a distribution (usually every three months).
So far in our eToro vs Trading 212 comparison on assets, there isn’t much to split the two brokers. However, this isn’t the case when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Crucially, while eToro allows you to buy more than 16 different digital currencies, Trading 212 offers nothing at all.
Now, this wasn’t the case before January 2021 – as Trading 212 previously offered cryptocurrency CFDs. However, the FCA has since banned crypto-derivatives, meaning that Trading 212 has since removed this asset class from its CFD library.
Although as an FCA broker eToro had to do the same, the platform also offers ‘real’ cryptocurrencies that you can invest in. These aren’t in the share of derivatives or CFD instruments. On the contrary, when you buy cryptocurrency at eToro, you are purchasing the underlying asset.
If you’re thinking about joining eToro or Trading 212 because you want to engage in forex trading, both platforms have you covered. While eToro offers over 50+ pairs, Trading 212 is slightly more comprehensive at 150+. With that said, we found that eToro forex pairs come with much tighter spreads than Trading 212 – so this is something that you need to bear in mind.
As noted above, our eToro vs Trading 212 comparison found that both platforms offer CFD trading services.
This covers a significant range of CFD asset classes, such as:
- Hard Metals
It wasn’t really possible to separate the two in terms of CFD markets, as both eToro and Trading 212 offer plenty of financial instruments to trade.
eToro vs Trading 212 Account Types
Next up in our eToro vs Trading 212 comparison is that of account types.
In a nutshell, eToro keeps things simple by offering one account type that is suitable for traders and investors of all shapes and sizes.
This means that whether you are buying stocks or trading forex, everything is facilitated via a single account. This is really convenient, as there is no requirement to transfer funds between different account types, meaning you can view your overall portfolio at the click of a button.
In the case of Trading 212, the platform actually offers 3 different accounts. This consists of an Invest Account – which you will need if you want to invest in stocks or ETFs. Then you have the CFD Account, which is required to trade CFD instruments. Finally, there is also an ISA Account at Trading 212 – which is useful if you are looking to invest in a tax-efficient way.
Excluding the ISA Account, it is somewhat cumbersome that you need both an Invest and CFD account if you wish to access both asset types. In other words, you’ll need to swap between each account to view your overall exposure and current portfolio value.
eToro vs Trading 212 Fees & Commissions
As we noted earlier, both eToro and Trading 212 are low-cost brokers. With that said, there are several different fee types that you need to consider before opening an account with a trading platform.
As such, we’ve broken down the main fees that you will come across when using either eToro or Trading 212.
If you want to buy stocks or ETFs, both eToro and Trading 212 allow you to do this without paying a single penny in share dealing fees. This is in stark contrast to Hargraves Lansdown, which charges a whopping £11.95 per trade.
Stamp Duty Tax
Many UK investors are unaware that stamp duty tax needs to be paid when you buy shares listed on the London Stock Exchange. This stands at 0.5% of the total share purchase amount. For example, if you buy £10,000 worth of GlaxoSmithKline shares, the stamp duty tax will amount to £50. This is collected by your chosen stock broker and subsequently forwarded to HMRC.
Like all other share dealing platforms in the UK, Trading 212 will apply the stamp duty tax to all relevant UK stock purchases. However, this isn’t the case at eToro, as the broker waivers the fee. This means that you can buy FTSE 100 shares at eToro and save yourself 0.5%.
CFD Trading Fees
Once again, eToro allows you to trade CFD instruments on a 100% commission-free basis (when applied to spreads when you trade CFDs). This is irrespective of the asset or marketplace you are looking to access.
Although Trading 212 advertises commission-free CFD trading, this isn’t strictly true. The reason for this is that the platform charges a 0.5% currency conversion charge when you trade a non-UK instrument.
For example, if you were to trade a forex CFD pair like EUR/USD, this would attract the 0.5% fee as the instrument is not denominated in British pounds. This is somewhat problematic, especially if you are a day trader that typically targets small profit margins.
On the flip side, eToro does charge a 0.5% conversion fee on non-USD deposits. As such, when you use your UK debit/credit card or an e-wallet like Paypal, the 0.5% charge will kick in. However, it is important to note that this actually works out a lot better than having to pay 0.5% on each non-UK CFD trade – especially if you are planning to access several international markets.
- Let’s suppose that you place 10 non-UK CFD trades over the week and you deposit £1,000
- At eToro, you will have paid a 0.5% FX fee on your deposit of £1,000 – so that’s £5. However, you wouldn’t have paid anything on your 10 non-UK trades, as the platform is 100% commission-free
- In the case of Trading 212, you would have avoided a charge on your £1,000 deposit. But, you would then have paid a 0.5% FX fee on 10 separate occasions. This will have worked out considerably more than the £5 deposit fee you paid at eToro.
All in all, our eToro fees vs Trading 212 fees comparison found that both brokers offer low investing and trading services. However, eToro is definitely more cost-effective. After all, even with the 0.5% deposit fee, you will avoid stamp duty on UK share purchases and you won’t pay a premium to trade non-UK CFD instruments.
|Dealing Fee||CFD Commission||Inactivity Fee||Platform Fee||Stamp Duty Tax|
|eToro||FREE||0%||$10 per month after 1 year||None||None|
|Trading 212||FREE||0%, but 0.5% on non-UK CFDs||None||None||0.50%|
eToro vs Trading 212 User Experience
When it comes to the end-to-end user experience, it should be noted that both eToro and Trading 212 are suited for beginners. In fact, we would go one step further and say that both brokers are specifically aimed at those with little to no investment experience.
For example, the initial process of opening an account and making a deposit is easy. Then, when it comes to finding a suitable asset, you can use the search function. Alternatively, both eToro and Trading 212 allow you to easily browse the asset library by using the built-in filter.
This allows you to break down the asset class – such as by stocks or ETFs. You can also be more specific in terms of the country that the asset is listed in. With that said, we do like the ‘sector’ filter that eToro offers when it comes to finding stocks. For example, you can filter the list down by ‘Tech Stocks’, Financial Stocks’, ‘Healthcare Stocks‘, and more.
In terms of the actual investment process, both eToro and Trading 212 offer simple and jargon-free order forms. In fact, if you want to keep things extra-simple, all you need to do is enter your stake and confirm the order. In doing so, the asset purchase will be completed instantly and added straight to your portfolio.
eToro vs Trading 212 Mobile App
Mobile trading is now one of the fastest-growing sectors in the investment scene. After all, being able to buy and sell assets on the move is crucial. As an example, you might want to cash out a stock investment immediately, as opposed to waiting until you get home.
With this in mind, it makes sense that both eToro and Trading 212 offer fully-fledged investment apps. Both platforms offer an app that is compatible with iOS and Android devices. Additionally, the eToro/Trading 212 app is connected to the same account that you use on your desktop device.
In terms of what you can do, both the eToro and Trading 212 mobile stock trading app allows you to buy, sell, and trade all supported markets at the click of a button. You can also click on the app to instantly view the value of your portfolio. In the case of the Trading 212 app, you will need to select the respective account (Invest or CFD) to view your balance.
eToro vs Trading 212 Trading Tools, Education, Research & Analysis
Both eToro and Trading 212 should be described as DIY brokers. That is to say, once you open an account, you will be required to pick and choose the assets that you wish to invest in. While this might suit most investors, some of you will be looking for specific tools and features to aid your investment experience.
Perhaps the standout feature at eToro is the fact that it also offers passive investing services. At the forefront of this is its Copy Trading feature. Put simply, this allows you to browse through thousands of verified eToro traders. You can view key data points such as the trader’s preferred asset class, their average monthly return, risk rating, and more.
Once you have selected a trader, you can copy them like-for-like. That is to say, if the trader buys shares in Royal Mail and BP, your portfolio will do the same. Crucially, the amount that you invest will be proportionate to that of the copy trader.
For example, if you invest £400 into the copy trader and they invest 10% of their portfolio in Apple shares, your investment will amount to £40 (10% of £400). This feature is particularly useful if you want to actively trade but have little experience, or you simply don’t have the time.
Over at Trading 212, the platform offers more of a skin and bones service. Sure, you can buy stocks and ETFs commission-free, but in terms of automated trading, nothing really exists.
As both eToro and Trafing 212 offer CFD trading facilities, this allows you to trade with leverage. Both brokers are licensed by the FCA so leverage limits must fall in line with UK regulations. This means a maximum of 1:30 on major currency pairs, 1:20 on minor/exotic currency pairs and gold, and less on other asset classes.
eToro is one of the best online stock brokers when it comes to education. Not only does the platform offer a wealth of handy guides and videos, but regular webinars, too. The latter allows you to “plug in” to an experienced trader and even ask questions.
Trading 212 does offer a section on its platform that is dedicated to learning. However, we found this to be relatively thin on the ground.
Research & Analysis
Both platforms fall somewhat short when it comes to research and analysis tools. For example, neither offer real-time financial news or in-depth market insights. In terms of chart analysis, you won’t find any advanced technical indicators or chart drawing tools.
To counter this, eToro offers a Social Trading feature. In fact, this sits at the core of the wider eToro platform. In a similar nature to Facebook, eToro traders will post their insights and thoughts on specific assets.
As a registered user, you can reply to the comment and even ‘Like’ it. You can also elect to follow traders that you like the look of. In doing so, you will be notified when the trader posts a comment.
Additionally, eToro offers a ‘Market Sentiment’ button on all of the assets that it hosts. For example, if 95% of eToro traders are long on gold, you will be able to view this information. This allows you to gauge what your fellow traders think about a specific asset. After all, more than 17 million people now have accounts at eToro, so this is a huge sample base to feed on.
eToro vs Trading 212 Demo Account
Demo accounts are crucial if you are just starting out in the world of online investing. Put simply, they allow you to invest with paper funds – meaning that you won’t be risking your own money. Our eToro vs Trading 212 comparison found that both platforms offer a demo trading feature.
- At eToro, you will start with a paper trading balance of $100,000. This is more than enough to get to grips with how the platform works.
- Trading 212 offers a demo account balance of $50,000 – which is also sufficient.
- Both demo account platforms mirror live market conditions.
The only thing separating the two brokers is that of convenience. That is to say, while eToro allows you to access all financial markets through a single demo account, Trading 212 doesn’t. Once again, there is a separate demo facility for both the Invest and CFD accounts.
eToro vs Trading 212 Payments
Make no mistake about it – both eToro and Trading 212 make the deposit and withdrawal process a breeze. This is because both platforms offer a full suite of supported payment methods. This includes debit/credit cards, bank transfers, and even e-wallets like Paypal and Skrill.
When it comes to transaction fees, eToro charges 0.5% on all non-USD deposits. However, as we noted earlier, this is countered by the fact that eToro waivers the 0.5% stamp duty fee, nor does it charge trading commission on any of its markets. At Trading 212, you won’t pay any deposit fees at all.
The minimum deposit at eToro is $50, while at Trading 212 – it’s just £1. When it comes to processing times, this will depend on your chosen payment method. For example, both debit/credit cards and e-wallets are instantly processed at eToro and Trading 212. Bank transfers can take a couple of days.
|Minimum Deposit||Deposit Fee||Processing Time||Withdrawal Fee|
|eToro||$50||0.5%||Instant, apart from bank transfers||$5 (about £4)|
|Trading 212||£1||FREE||Instant, apart from bank transfers||FREE|
eToro vs Trading 212 Customer Service
Our eToro vs Trading 212 comparison found that both platforms offer that all-important Live Chat feature. In some cases, you will be connected to an agent straight away. However, during busy times, you might need to wait a little bit longer.
Email is also supported if your query is not of an urgent nature.
In terms of opening hours, the eToro customer service team operates on a 24/5 basis. This is standard in the online brokerage industry as this mirrors the financial markets. Trading 212 operates around the clock 24/7.
eToro vs Trading 212 Safety & Regulation
When it comes to safety, our eToro vs Trading 212 analysis found that both brokers are regulated by the FCA. Both brokers are also covered by the FSCS. This means that if either platform were to go out of business, your funds would be covered up to the first £85,000 (UK only).
With that being said, eToro has taken things to the next level by also obtaining licenses from ASIC and CySEC. Additionally, the platform is also registered with FINRA in the US. This illustrates that eToro takes regulation and client safety very seriously.
Nevertheless, as both eToro and Trading 212 are regulated by the FCA, this means that the platform must ask all customers to go through a KYC (Know Your Customer) process. This means that you will be asked to upload a copy of your passport or driver’s license and proof of address.
Now, at eToro, the KYC process can be completed in a matter of minutes. This is because the broker utilizes automated ID software – meaning that it doesn’t need to manually review the documents. In the case of Trading 212, the KYC process can take up to a day to complete. This isn’t ideal – especially if you are looking to start investing or trading straight away.
eToro vs Trading 212 – The Verdict
In summary, both eToro and Trading 212 are hugely popular brokers – and for good reason. For example, both platforms allow you to buy shares and ETFs commission-free, both are simple and easy to use, and both support a wide range of instantly-processed payment methods.
However, our comprehensive eToro vs Trading 212 review did find that the former does stand out in several areas. For instance, eToro waivers the 0.5% stamp duty fee on UK stocks, which Trading 212 doesn’t. We also found that Trading 212 charges a 0.5% FX fee on non-UK CFD trades, while at eToro this remains commission-free.
We also found that eToro shins when it comes to its Copy Trading feature. This allows you to automate your trading endeavors by copying an investor like-for-like. Finally, we also like the fact that eToro allows you to invest in 16 cryptocurrencies, which isn’t possible at Trading 212.
If you want a further look into eToro, check out our eToro review.
eToro – Most Popular UK Stock Broker 2021
Sponsored ad. Your capital is at risk. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.