eToro and Trading 212 are prominent asset trading platforms that serve much of the globe. They’re both great low-fee options that give you access to a variety of assets that you may want to incorporate into a diversified portfolio.
But there are some key differences between the platforms that you should understand before diving into trading on either of them. Read on to learn which app we recommend for beginning and advanced traders.
- Founded in Tel Aviv in 2006
- Founders: Yoni Assia, Ronen Assia, and David Ring
- Tradable assets: depends on where you’re located, but includes stocks, commodities, ETFs, forex, CFDs, and cryptocurrency
- Available in over 60 countries around the world, including those in Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, Australia, and some states in the U.S.
- Fees: varies based on where you are, but includes an account minimum, low activity fees, and a withdrawal fee
- Mobile and web availability
- Founded in Bulgaria in 2005, currently based in London
- Founders: Ivan Ashminov and Borislav Nedialkov
- Tradable assets: stocks, ETFs, forex, and CFDs
- Available in over 100 countries worldwide, but not the U.S.
- Fees: $1 minimum deposit, no withdrawal or inactivity fees, average trading fees
- Mobile and desktop availability
For eToro, their fees are very low. Depending on where you are and what you’re able to trade, you can get a great bang for your buck with their low-cost platform.
For Trading 212, the fees depend on which assets you’re trading but are all calculated using the spread. The fees are pretty average. We like how they don’t charge commission on stock or ETF trading, however.
eToro charges an inactivity and a withdrawal fee, while Trading 212 does not charge either of those. Neither broker charges an account fee.
If you’re a U.S. trader looking for a platform, check out the other reviews on our site to find an app offered in the U.S. However, eToro is available in a limited version in most U.S. states.
eToro’s Copy Trader Feature
This feature allows traders to select a Popular Investor to “copy,” meaning that when that investor trades, you automatically trade as well. The dollar amount is calculated by percentage, so you don’t have to worry about spending the same amount of money that a seasoned trader is.
You can select your trader by looking through a highly-visual, easily-scrollable list of traders. Information such as percent returned, risk tolerance, types of assets traded, and number of copiers they have is displayed. These traders go through a brief application process to become a Popular Investor on the app and aren’t allowed to trade at too high of a risk level (calculated by eToro).
This feature is great for traders who want to make the intelligent, educated trades that make them money without having to study the markets and spend hours a week reading up on stocks. Traders can just select a trader they want to copy, put in dollar values, and then the app calculates it automatically for you.
We think this is a great feature for busy investors and beginners who want to see how the pros do it. Some of the investors get very impressive returns that would require years of experience to achieve. We like how eToro makes it easy for inexperienced investors to get these returns, too.
On the other side, if you are a seasoned investor, you can make money through the app by becoming a Popular Investor. Payout depends on factors such as how many copiers you have and how long you’ve been a Popular Investor.
Ease of Use
Both platforms have a lot to offer beginning, intermediate, and advanced investors. The apps are aesthetically pleasing and offer tools, such as the Copy Trader feature and demo accounts, that make it easy for beginners to get started.
We like that Trading 212 has a desktop app, rather than just a simple web browser version. This makes trading on your computer easy and intuitive, and is especially beneficial for traders who want a more professional feel to trading. eToro has a web version, but not a desktop one.
Trading 212 takes a more bare-bones approach to trading, while eToro has more features and options for traders of all skill-levels. Some traders could find eToros’ Copy Trader feature to be gimmicky, but we like that they give you that extra flexibility to choose the type of experience you want on the app.
Learning and Educational Tools
eToro has a wide range of videos and extensive guides designed to help traders learn the ins and outs of the market. But, for beginners, eToro is built primarily for those who want the easiest approach to trading possible, by using the Copy Trader feature.
Trading 212, like many other trading apps, has a blog with helpful articles on the markets to help beginners get started. The information is pretty basic, and it doesn’t appear that they update it very often with new developments in the markets. (Being fair, though, they do serve so many countries that this could be difficult to do.) If you’re looking for more extensive research beyond just basic information and definitions of complex terms, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
We also like that both eToro and Trading 212 give you a demo account so you can familiarize yourself with the apps before deciding which platform is right for you. eToro gives you $100,000 of virtual money to try in a test environment.
While Trading 212 used to offer cryptocurrency trading on their platform, they removed it and liquidated all assets stored in crypto on November 27, 2020 because of the difficulty to predict exposure. We aren’t sure if they are going to re-introduce crypto in the future.
eToro, on the other hand, is well-known for offering a range of crypto options. If you’re looking to trade crypto on an app that offers other trading and is available in countries all over the world, eToro is a great fit.
eToro offers 15 different decentralized coins as well as many foreign currencies. The platform has a variety of educational tools to help you learn the market. eToro also offers crypto portfolios you can copy, sort of like ETFs made by the platform. They are rated according to risk and are automatically rebalanced for you.
Crypto can be very volatile, so we only recommend trading coins if you’re willing to have your funds at risk.
Neither app has shining customer service reviews. Beyond the basic online live chat and ticket opening, the apps do not go above and beyond to have high quality customer service. You can read articles on your issue in the eToro or Trading 212 help center.
One main drawback from Trading 212 is that customer service is only done in English operated out of London. If you’re a trader who does not speak English, this is a major barrier, especially because the platform is offered in many non-English speaking countries.
Can I open a Trading 212 account in the U.S.?
No, you cannot use Trading 212 in the U.S. Trading 212 is available in over 100 countries worldwide.
Can I open an eToro account in the U.S.?
Yes, you can open an eToro account in the U.S. depending on which state you live in (but most allow it). Assets traded are limited based on U.S. regulations.
Does Trading 212 offer a demo account?
Yes, you can open a demo account on Trading 212 to test the app and see if it fits your investment needs.
Does eToro offer a demo account?
Yes, you can open a demo account on eToro to test the app and see if it fits your investment needs.
Is Trading 212 safe?
Yes, you can be sure that your funds are safe with Trading 212. They are regulated in England and Bulgaria by the FCA and the FSC.
Is eToro safe?
Yes, you can be sure that your funds are safe with eToro. They hold funds in a segregated account and are regulated in many different countries.
How does eToro make money?
eToro makes money by charging a percentage of the spread, or the difference between the bought and sold price. They also charge withdrawal and inactivity fees, which vary.
How does Trading 212 make money?
We believe that eToro is overall a better option for traders of all skill levels. With lots of trading options (depending on where you’re located) and the ability to buy and sell crypto, eToro has the flexibility we like in trading apps.
We also like the ease of use in the Copy Trader feature and that skilled investors can monetize their expertise by gaining a following of copiers. eToro’s crypto portfolios, kind of like ETFs made by eToro that are composed only of crypto and are automatically rebalanced, are another great option to invest in.
Trading 212 is user-friendly and relatively low cost, but we would trade the simplicity and bare-bones approach on Trading 212 for the more extensive features available on eToro. We also believe that having crypto available to trade in-app is going to be critical as we move forward into an era where decentralized money is ubiquitous.
Since both platforms offer demo accounts, we recommend downloading them and trying each out before making your decision. If you’re in the U.S., you can’t use Trading 212, but be sure to check your state’s regulations on eToro.