Trading 212 is known as a low cost, flexible broker that serves much of the world. The platform offers fractional shares at a low cost. But, if you’re located in Europe, you have the option to trade on Degiro as well, which is a platform well-revered internationally and has won over 80 awards. Which broker is the best for the needs of European investors?
First, brush up on the facts.
- 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
- Founded in the Netherlands in 2013
- Founded by a group of former Binck Bank employees
- Tradable assets: Stocks, ETFs, funds, bonds, options, and futures
- Available across Europe
- Fees: no account minimum, inactivity fee, or withdrawal fee
- Mobile and web availability
What Makes Them Famous
Trading 212 is known for being a low-cost, flexible trading platform that allows fractional shares. We like that you can buy pieces of shares of more expensive stocks, so you can truly be a diversified investor with less than $100 in the app.
Degiro is known for being a secure, trusted broker in the UK. They’ve won over 80 international awards, which is a testament to how respected they are in the finance industry. We value the high trust financial institutions put in Degiro.
Which is cheaper?
With both Trading 212 and Degiro offering very low-cost options to trade with minimal barriers to entry, it may be hard to decide which is better for your investing needs.
Degiro’s fees are somewhat deceptive, so we recommend studying the fee chart and getting a deep understanding of what you get charged and when. Even though they are initially difficult to understand, the fees still turn out to be pretty low.
Degiro also has a simple cost calculator to help you get a better idea of what you’ll really pay with each transaction. Just put in your product type, exchange, amount of money per transaction (a rough estimate), and number of transactions you plan to make a year (another rough estimate). This will calculate how many fees you’ll pay per year. For example, if you’re trading shares in the UK with 1,000 euros per share and 10 transactions per year, you will pay 45.90 euros, tax included.
When using this calculator, it will quickly become apparent that trading fees are much higher if you’re initiating a large amount of small transactions. That’s why we recommend doing larger, more dedicated transactions just a few times a year to avoid steep trading fees.
Trading 212’s fees are also slightly deceptive. Their website claims that everything is commission-free and that you pay $0 on any transaction. But, like any other platform, Trading 212 still has to make money. Even though they don’t charge you directly for initiating a trade, you get hit with fees that are calculated from the spread, or the cost difference between what you bought and sold the asset at. These can get pretty steep depending on the circumstance, but the app still turns out to be relatively low-cost.
Trading 212 is more widely available around the world: it is offered in over 100 countries worldwide. Only European countries allow Deigro, however.
Both apps are easy and quick to sign up for, with zero or extremely low account minimums. We like that the apps make the barrier to entry as low as possible, so investing can be open to more people.
We like that Trading 212 offers a demo account, which Degiro unfortunately does not. We believe that demo accounts can be very helpful for new investors trying out different apps to see which platform best fits their needs.
We also like that Trading 212 has a desktop app rather than just a website for you to use on your computer. This makes the interface much cleaner and easier to use. Degiro only has web availability.
Neither Trading 212 or Degiro offer cryptocurrency trading. Trading 212 used to offer crypto but had to take it off their asset list due to unpredictability of the crypto market.
For user features, Trading 212 comes out on top.
Educational Tools and Learning
Both platforms take a more bare-bones approach to investing platforms compared to some of their competitors. They do not provide the extensive classes and metrics that some platforms have worked into their apps now. If you’re a mid-level to experienced investor who gets their stock news and market research elsewhere, both of these platforms are good fits.
Trading 212 has almost zero educational tools. Their Learn section is very bare-bones and doesn’t have much for investors of any level. Their blog also has not been updated since 2019, which is a major downside for investors who are learning and actively keeping up with the markets. Because of this, we do not recommend relying on Trading 212 for your education in the markets.
When it comes to educational tools and learning, Degiro comes out on top.
Since both platforms have a very simple set up, neither one is perfect. Here are some of the negative sides:
- Poor customer service
- No crypto
- Limited educational tools
- No credit card deposit
- No crypto
- Limited educational tools
Most of the drawbacks of the two platforms are related to bare-bones, simple approaches to investing. We like that more experienced investors can use these platforms without wading through complex features or extra gimmicks, but we do appreciate platforms that have something for everyone.
Both platforms are regulated by a variety of financial authorities, so you can be sure that your finances are safe. Degiro as a financial institution has been around since 1934, so they have a legacy as respected leaders in finance in Europe.
Is Trading 212 safe?
Yes, you can be sure that your money is safe with Trading 212. They are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC). There is inherent risk associated with investing capital, however.
Is Degiro safe?
Yes, you can be sure that your money is safe with Degiro. They are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Netherlands Authority for Financial Markets (AFM), and the Dutch Central Bank (DNB). Additionally, Degiro was a bank before it was a trading platform. The bank has been around for almost a century. There is inherent risk associated with investing capital, however.
Does Trading 212 have crypto?
No, Trading 212 no longer offers cryptocurrency trading.
Does Degiro have crypto?
No, Degiro does not offer cryptocurrency trading.
Can you use Trading 212 in the U.S.?
No, Trading 212 is not available in the United States.
Can you use Degiro in the U.S.?
No, Degiro is not available in the United States.
What are Trading 212’s fees?
Trading 212 fees are very low and are calculated using the spread. Find a full fee breakdown here.
What are Degiro’s fees?
Degiro is a low-cost platform without many fees. Use their cost calculator to determine exactly how much you have to pay. Because of the nature of their fees, high-volume transactions done just a few times a year are much cheaper than doing more transactions with low euro amounts.
Does Trading 212 have a demo account?
Yes, Trading 212 offers a demo account so you can determine if the platform is right for your investing needs.
Does Degiro have a demo account?
No, Degiro does not have a demo account. They take a very bare-bones approach to investing.
We prefer Degiro to Trading 212 for European investing in stocks and ETFs. Degiro is more established and generally has a better reputation than Trading 212. While Trading 212 may appeal to some traders because of the option to trade fractional shares, we like the greater sense of stability and peace of mind that comes with trading on Degiro.
However, there is always risk associated with trading in the stock market. And since Degiro and Trading 212 have a similar bare-bones, simple approach to trading with limited educational tools and not as many user features as other competitors, you can definitely have similar experiences on the two apps. Additionally, forex traders will have to use Trading 212, because Degiro does not offer it.
Both are low cost, which is another major plus. But the legacy of Degiro is too great for us to pass over, so we choose Degiro as the best European broker for trading ETFs and stocks.