eToro vs Trading 212 – Which Is Better For Trading & Investing?

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The Generation Money Guarantee

At Generation Money our purpose is to help you make better financial decisions. All of our articles are independently written and/or edited by finance professionals and adhere to strict editorial guidelines. This post may contain links which, if clicked, could result in a payment to the site. These links never impact our editorial policy and all rankings and product recommendations remain unbiased. For more details, read how this site is financed.

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Best for Cryptocurrencies

eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.

Best for Stocks & Shares ISA

Trading 212 logo

Capital at risk if you invest.

Best for Cryptocurrencies

Capital at risk if you invest.

Best for Stocks & Shares ISA

Trading 212 logo

Capital at risk if you invest.

In this investment platform comparison we’ll be looking at eToro* vs Trading 212. 

Both eToro and Trading 212 are best-known as innovative trading platforms offering thousands of stocks, commodities and other assets to invest in.

We’ll be comparing eToro and Trading 212 against a number of metrics to see which comes out on top. This includes investment options, features, products and, of course, fees.

Whether you’re a trader or investing for the long term, expensive fees can eat into your returns over time. So, as experienced finance professionals we know how important it is to balance costs against returns!

Read on for our full eToro vs Trading 212 comparison, or use the links below to jump straight to a particular section.

You may also be interested in:

eToro vs Trading 212: At A Glance

Here’s our overview of Trading 212 vs eToro in case you don’t want to read the whole comparison.

The table below looks at the key features compared against each other.

eToroTrading 212
Fees / Platform ChargesNo subscriptions / platform / management fees or dealing commission. Instead, following fees apply:

Broker spread on all CFD trades, varies by asset being traded

Daily financing fees on all CFD trades kept open overnight (inc. weekends), exact fee depends on asset being traded

FX conversion fee on all non-US Dollar withdrawals & deposits. This fee is in pips and depends on the method of transaction, e.g. bank transfer is 50 pips mark up on the spot FX rate (0.50%)

Withdrawal fee of $5 on all withdrawals

Inactivity fee of $10 per month if no login after 12 months
No subscription / platform / management fees, or dealing commision. Instead, following fees apply:

Broker spread on all CFD trades, varies by asset being traded

Daily financing fees on all CFD trades kept open overnight (inc. weekends), exact fee depends on asset being traded

FX Fees:
ISA and Invest accounts: 0.15% FX conversion fee on all orders placed in a currency other than the currency of your account. CFDs: 0.50% on the closing position of a CFD trade if the trade is in a currency other than the currency of your account

First £2,000 deposited by Card, Google Pay or Apple Pay into an ‘Invest’ or ISA account is free, then 0.70% fee thereafter.

No deposit / withdrawal fees on CFD accounts, and no withdrawal fees on any accounts.

Deposits via bank transfer are free on all accounts
Minimum InvestmentMinimum first time deposit of $100 in the UK. Min. deposit varies in other countries and starts at $50.

Minimum deposit after this is $10

Minimum investment of $500 for Smart Portfolios
£1 minimum deposit and £1 minimum investment / order for ISA and Invest accounts

£10 minimum deposit for CFD accounts
Products / AccountsTrading Account / GIA
Pro Account
eToro Money Account
Demo Account
Stocks & Shares ISA
Invest Account / GIA
CFD Account
Demo Account
Ready-Made Portfolios65+ Smart Portfolios based on different themesPies & AutoInvest
Ready-Made Portfolio FeesNo additional fees for Smart Portfolios. Above fees apply when investing to create your Smart portfolio, e.g. spreadNo additional fees for Pies. Above fees apply when investing to create your Pie, e.g. spread
Ethical Portfolios/FundsESG-Leaders fund Access to ESG ETFs
Fractional SharesYesYes
Interest On Uninvested CashNoYes
Other FeaturesCopyTrader
Social Trading Community
Multi-currency Account
Share Lending
DIY PortfolioYesYes
Investment OptionsShares
ETFs
Cryptocurrencies
Commodities
FX
CFDs
Shares
ETFs
Commodities
FX
CFDs on all of the above
FSCS ProtectionYesYes
Trustpilot reviews4.34.6

What is eToro?

Founded in 2007 in Israel, eToro has become one of the most popular trading platforms in the world.

It now has over 20 million users across the globe and is popular with full-time traders. eToro was one of the pioneers of commission-free trading and app-based trading. 

eToro is also well-known for its CopyTrading service, where you can copy the trades of popular traders through the eToro community. 

For more on eToro, read our detailed, independent eToro Review.

What is Trading 212?

With over 14 million downloads in total, Trading 212 has been the number one most downloaded trading app in the UK since 2016. 

Trading 212 pioneered commission-free stock trading in the UK and Europe as the first platform to offer it. It allows you to trade in ETFs, currencies and commodities, as well as trading CFDs on all the assets it offers.

As of August 2023, it has over 2 million funded accounts and holds £3.5bn in client assets and cash.

eToro vs Trading 212: Fees

Let’s look in more detail at the all-important costs for eToro vs Trading 212.

Both platforms charge a range of transaction fees, as well as several fees centred around CFD trading:

eToroTrading 212
Platform FeesNo platform fee for holding investments

Withdrawal Fee: $5 on all withdrawals

FX conversion fee on all non-US dollar withdrawals & deposits. This fee is in pips and depends on the method of transaction, e.g. bank transfer is 50 pips mark up on the spot FX rate. eToro Money users face no conversion fees when depositing GBP, EUR, AUD or CHF

Inactivity Fee: $10 monthly inactivity fee if no login after 12 months
No platform fee for holding investments

Deposit Fee: First £2,000 deposited by Card, Google Pay or Apple Pay into an ‘Invest’ or ISA account is free, then 0.70% fee thereafter. 

No deposit / withdrawal fees on CFD accounts

No withdrawal fees on any accounts

Deposits via bank transfer are free on all accounts
Ready-Made Portfolio Management FeesNo additional charge for investing in ready-made Smart Portfolios.
Market spread may apply when building the portfolio
No additional charge for investing in ready-made ‘Pies’.
FX fees (below) and market spread may apply when building the portfolio
Individual Stocks & Shares / Share DealingNo commissions, dealing charges or broker spreads on buying and selling real stocks and ETFs

Market spread may apply (difference between bid and ask price), varies by asset being traded and is outside of eToro’s control

eToro absorbs the 0.50% Stamp Duty fee due to the UK government on all LSE-listed shares, saving you money
No commissions, dealing charges or broker spreads on directly buying and selling stocks and ETFs (non-CFDs)

Market spread may apply (difference between bid and ask price), varies by asset being traded and is outside of Trading 212’s control

FX Fee on ISA and Invest accounts: 0.15% FX conversion fee on all orders placed in a currency other than the currency of your account
CFD TradingBroker spread: varies by asset being traded and is in addition to market spread. Full spread details here

Daily financing fees on all CFD trades kept open overnight (inc. weekends), exact fee depends on asset being traded – more below

No additional FX fees on CFD trades
Broker spread: varies by asset being traded and is in addition to market spread

Daily financing fees on all CFD trades kept open overnight (inc. weekends), exact fee depends on asset being traded – more below

FX Fee: 0.50% on the closing position of a CFD trade if the trade is in a currency other than the base currency of your account. E.g. if your account is in GBP, the fee applies to non-GBP trades such as in US stocks

As shown in the table above, the pricing structures of eToro and Trading 212 are very similar. 

Rather than charging annual platform or management fees like other major platforms, they charge transaction fees on deposits & withdrawals, FX conversions and trading CFDs (Contracts For Difference). 

Deposit & Withdrawal Fees

Both eToro and Trading 212 are well-known for their commission-free share trading, but this doesn’t mean it’s totally free to buy stocks and shares without incurring any charges. 

First, you have to fund your account before you can invest or trade on either platform. 

eToro Deposits & Withdrawals

There’s an FX conversion fee whenever you deposit into or withdraw funds from your eToro account using a currency other than US Dollars. This is because all eToro investment accounts are denominated in US Dollars no matter your location. The rates for depositing in GBP are outlined below:

  • Bank Transfer: 50 pips mark up on the GBP/USD exchange rate, or 0.50%. 
  • Online Banking: 150 pips / 1.50%
  • Debit/Credit Card: 150 pips / 1.50% 
How to avoid eToro deposit fees

here are two ways to minimise these fees. First, you can open an account with Revolut, the digital finance app, and deposit money in GBP. Revolut allows you to open a US Dollar account for free and charges no conversion fees when exchanging currency between your own accounts. 

So you can open a GBP account with Revolut, then open a USD account. Fund your Revolut account for free in GBP and then convert it to USD for free. You can then fund your eToro account by bank transfer from your Revolut US Doller account, in which case you can see your USD bank details in the Revolut app. 

Or can you use your Revolut virtual card to pay into your eToro account directly in USD. Go to your Revolut virtual card details in the app, then go to settings and choose to ‘spend from’ your USD balance.

Alternatively, you can open an eToro Money account. This is eToro’s version of a digital payments and banking service.

All deposits via eToro Money into your eToro investment account in GBP are free. Holding an eToro Money account is currently also free, but this may change in 2024 as eToro is planning to bring in monthly fees, much like you see with Revolut and Monzo accounts.

It should also be noted that money held in an eToro Money account does not fall under FSCS protection, but it is held in a segregated and protected bank account.

There is a fixed $5 withdrawal fee on all withdrawals from your eToro investment account. This is in addition to any FX conversion fees if withdrawing in a currency other than USD.

If you intend to make more frequent withdrawals from your account – which is not optimal for long term growth – then eToro can become expensive. There’s a minimum withdrawal of $30, so the lower the amount of your withdrawal the higher the fixed fee becomes in percentage terms.

The withdrawal fee applies even into an eToro Money account

Trading 212 Deposits & Withdrawals

Unlike eToro, Trading 212 allows you to open an account in GBP. This means there are no FX fees for depositing or withdrawing money. 

There is only one type of fee when depositing money with Trading 212 and that’s if you have an Invest or ISA account. Below we summarise the costs by account type:

  • ISA or Invest Account:
    • Bank Transfers: Free
    • Debit/Credit Card, Google Pay & Apple Pay: First £2,000 is free, then all deposits/withdrawals thereafter are charged 0.70%
  • CFD Accounts: All methods are free including Cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay

Generally, deposits and withdrawals are cheaper with Trading 212 as it charges no FX conversion fees or fixed withdrawal fees, unlike eToro.

Stocks & Shares Fees

Neither Trading 212 or eToro charges commission or dealing fees when directly buying or selling shares. By this we mean that you are actually purchasing the underlying asset, rather than trading it through a CFD where you do not have ownership of the underlying asset. 

By not charging dealing fees both eToro and Trading 212 stand apart from the traditional stockbrokers, who tend to charge fixed dealing fees each time you place an order. 

However, it’s not quite totally free with Trading 212. If you buy or sell a stock or ETF which is priced in a currency other than the base currency of your account, then you will be charged a 0.15% FX fee. This applies both on the purchase and sale of any shares or ETFs you want to deal in. 

In addition to no FX fees, eToro has another cost advantage over Trading 212 when dealing in stocks and shares. In the UK, all purchases of listed shares on the London Stock Exchange are charged a 0.50% Stamp Duty levy which goes to the UK government. eToro will absorb this cost for you, meaning you’re effectively saving the cost of UK Stamp Duty due on shares – eToro pays it for you.

On the other hand, you can invest in a Stocks & Shares ISA through Trading 212 which comes with tax advantages. So, whilst eToro does not charge FX fees on trading and absorbs Stamp Duty for you, you cannot hold your assets in an ISA and therefore won’t get any of the tax benefits. More on this under Products & Accounts.

CFD Spread

When trading CFDs, you will incur a spread applied by eToro or Trading 212. These vary by asset and can fluctuate depending on market conditions and liquidity.

We checked the spread on a sample of assets (30th August 2023) and we outline these below:

CFD Asset – $1,000 OrdereToro SpreadTrading 212 Spread
Gold (1:20)45 pips90 pips
AAPL Stock (1:5)0.15% per share7 pips / 0.04%*
GBP/USD (1:30)2 pips2.5 pips

Note: all Trading 212 spreads are the average spread for the 31 days in July 2023, as provided at the time of writing.
*We have calculated Trading 212’s equivalent percentage price for their spread on AAPL stock at the time of writing for easier comparison to eToro, which uses a fixed percentage price for spread on stocks.

For Gold and GBP/USD, eToro charges a lower spread. However, Trading 212’s spread is lower on Apple Stock (AAPL). But, you will pay an FX fee of 0.50% on the closing position of a CFD order for Apple stock with Trading 212 if your account is in GBP. 

Given the huge range of assets available with both platforms, you should check the spreads on the instruments you’re most interested in trading to get an idea of which is cheaper. But you should bear in mind the 0.50% FX charge on any assets denominated in a non-GBP currency with Trading 212 (assuming your account is in GBP) – more on this below.

CFD Overnight Fees

Both eToro and Trading 212 are major CFD platforms in the UK and you can trade thousands of stocks, ETFs, currencies and commodities with both of them.

Contracts For Difference are major revenue earners for brokers as they’re able to charge a range of fees around them. These include spread (as we saw above), overnight fees (interest) and FX conversion fees (in the case of Trading 212). 

We checked the CFD overnight rates on a sample of assets on both platforms and it showed a significant disparity for some assets (prices retrieved through the eToro and Trading 212 apps on the 30th August 2023): 

CFD Asset – $1,000 OrdereToro Overnight Fee*Trading 212 Overnight Fee
BUYSELLBUYSELL
Gold (1:20)£3.40£2.09£6.48£1.75
AAPL Stock (1:5)£1.26£0.00£3.94£0.99
GBP/USD (1:30)£1.01£0.42£3.58£2.47

*eToro fees are billed in USD and we converted them at the spot mid-market rate of 1.2652 as retrieved from the eToro app on 30th August 2023. 

In our sample, eToro’s overnight rates beat those of Trading 212 in every category except shorting Gold, in some cases significantly so. Therefore if you’re a frequent CFD trader then you may save a large amount on overnight fees over time with eToro compared to Trading 212.

Overnight fees represent the interest charged when eToro or Trading 212 lend you trading margin to amplify your positions. The interest charged may vary over time and by asset class.

Without going into all the details here, CFD brokers have lending facilities with institutional banks (think of a very large ongoing overdraft) and they use this credit from the bank to lend you the money so that you can trade using leverage. We discuss this more in our Trading 212 vs eToro comparison below under Leverage.

The interest charged to you on your overnight positions is a mark-up on the interest rate the broker is charged by their bank. eToro is quite transparent about this, especially compared to Trading 212. At the time of writing, eToro’s overnight fee on BUY orders for stocks is 6.4% + the benchmark rate. 

The benchmark rate is variable and depends on the base currency. In the past this would have been the LIBOR rate but this has been phased out and replaced by new reference rates. In the UK, SONIA is widely used as the reference rate for interbank lending, and the 3 month SONIA rate is used by eToro to price GBP CFD transactions. At the time of writing, the 3M SONIA rate is 5.25%, which means eToro is currently charging 11.65% annual interest on long UK stock CFD positions.

We can work out an implied interest rate on Gold from the above table (at the time of writing). For buying Gold, we calculated that eToro charges an annualised rate of 157% interest. Trading 212 charges a whopping 290% annualised interest.

CFD FX Fees – Trading 212 Only

As noted above, Trading 212 charges a 0.50% fee on the closing position of all CFD trades which are denominated in a currency other than the base currency of your account. 

For example, if your account is funded in GBP, like ours is, and you traded in a US stock using a CFD then you would pay 0.50% on the closing position when you exit that trade.

eToro does not charge additional FX fees on any of its trading categories. This is another factor to take into account if you will be regularly trading assets which are priced in a foreign currency to your account. You could potentially save 0.50% each time by trading with eToro instead of Trading 212.

CFD Cost Walkthrough – eToro vs Trading 212

We’ve run through the various fees involved when trading CFDs with eToro and Trading 212. So let’s now see how these fees add up when entering the same trade with each platform.

For this scenario, we decided to use a Long/Buy order for $1,000 worth of Apple (AAPL) stock held for 1 overnight period and using 1:5 leverage. At the time of writing, Apple is priced at approximately $187.45 on both platforms, so we used this price for our example. This works out to 5.33 Apple shares, multiplied by 5 using leverage.

Here’s how each platform stacks up:

eToro

Spread: (187.45 x 5.33 x 0.0015 x 5) = $7.49
Overnight Interest: 5.33 x 5 x ((0.064 + 0.0539218*)/365) = $1.62
FX Fee: $0
Total: $9.11 converted to GBP = £7.20
*5.39% = the relevant benchmark rate used by eToro at the time of writing 

Trading 212

Spread: 0.07 * 5.33 * 5 /1.2652 = £1.47
Overnight Interest: £3.94
FX Fee: £3.95
Total: £9.36
*We have assumed the closing price is equal to the opening price to estimate the FX fee

Although eToro comes out cheaper in this example according to our analysis, this will not necessarily be the case for all orders. For example, a UK stock will not attract FX conversion fees with Trading 212, which in the example above added £3.95 to the cost of the order.

As we searched through their respective apps, the general theme appeared to be that Trading 212 has better spreads but eToro charges less interest on overnight fees. However, eToro does not charge FX fees on trades, unlike Trading 212.

Ready-Made Portfolio Fees

Neither Trading 212 or eToro charge any additional or ongoing fees for their version of ready-made portfolios. You will however incur any incidental fees to build these portfolios in your account, such as FX conversion fees with Trading 212. 

Trading 212 calls its ready-made portfolios ‘Pies’. eToro refers to them as ‘Smart Portfolios’. 

We cover these in more detail later in this comparison of Trading 212 vs eToro. 

eToro vs Trading 212: Products & Accounts

The key difference in the accounts offered by eToro and Trading 212 is that Trading 212 allows you to open a Stocks and Shares ISA and eToro doesn’t. 

So if you want to invest in stocks and shares commission-free and via an ISA, with the tax advantages that come with it, then Trading 212 is the winner.

Aside from the difference in offering an ISA, both eToro and Trading 212 offer the standard General Investment Accounts and CFD Trading Accounts that we’d expect. 

However, one area where eToro has the edge over Trading 212 is with eToro Money which is a digital payments and banking style offering. It has its own app separate from eToro’s trading app.

It’s interesting that investment platforms such as eToro are branching out into payments as typically we’ve seen this happen the other way around. Digital payments apps like Revolut and Wise branched out into offering investment services after establishing themselves in the payments market.

eToro Money comes with a digital payments account in multiple currencies, a Visa Debit Card for spending and the ability to store your cryptocurrency. As we outlined in our Fees section above, eToro Money also allows you to avoid some of the FX fees when funding your eToro investment account. 

Recently, Trading 212 launched a multi-currency account feature which is tied to its Invest Account. It allows you to hold your money in up to 12 different currencies and charges a fee of 0.15% on all conversions. This actually beats Wise on conversion fees as theirs is 0.45%.

As it’s only accessible with an Invest Account, you cannot have a multi-currency account if you only have an ISA or CFD Trading account. It’ll be interesting to see how Trading 212 extends its multi-currency features in the future, though.

There’s a marginal benefit from having a multi-currency account if you want to trade assets denominated in a foreign currency. For example, if your account’s primary currency is GBP and you bought and then sold a share priced in USD, you would pay 0.15% twice – first on the buy order and then again on the sell order. With a multi-currency account you could convert GBP into USD once and then place the buy and sell orders in USD, therefore avoiding paying twice.

However, if you then want to withdraw money in GBP you would still need to convert the USD back into GBP. To avoid fees, you could withdraw your money in USD without converting it back to GBP so long as you have a USD account, for example with Revolut as described above under our Fees section.

eToro vs Trading 212: Investment Options & Services

Let’s first take a look at how the number of tradable assets compares with each platform before we go on to compare other services and features. We scoured both eToro’s and Trading 212’s apps to find out the exact number of assets each platform has (as of 30th August 2023) :

AsseteToroTrading 212
Stocks & Shares (underlying asset)3,2089,689
Stocks & Shares (CFDs)3,2087,889
ETFs3251,589
Cryptocurrencies74cross
Commodities3230
Currencies52160
Indices2052
Ready-Made Portfolios86 Smart Portfolios‘Pies’
CopyTrader Verified Traders24,000+cross

The major difference between eToro and Trading 212 in the assets that they offer is that eToro supports cryptocurrencies, with 74 to choose from. 

Trading 212 does not currently offer cryptocurrencies – although it did in the past – so if you want to trade or invest in cryptocurrencies then eToro is the clear winner

Neither platform allows you to trade bonds, unlike more traditional investment platforms such as Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell. Read more on how eToro and Trading 212 compare to Hargreaves Lansdown here:

Aside from cryptocurrencies, both eToro and Trading 212 offer a huge range of stocks, commodities, ETFs, indices and currencies. It’s clear, though, that Trading 212 has greater coverage across these categories. It has far more shares to trade than eToro with 9,689 compared to 3,208.

So for the widest choice of assets in each category, Trading 212 is the winner for each except commodities where eToro has slightly more with 32 compared to Trading 212’s 30. 

eToro CopyTrader

However, eToro is ahead of Trading 212 when it comes to social community features, including its famous CopyTrader feature

CopyTrader allows you to automatically copy the trades of another verified user on eToro’s platform. Copy trading in general has seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years, with some seeing it as a way of accessing the markets without having to learn to trade themselves. Trading 212 does not currently offer a copy trader feature.

Complete a questionnaire and you’ll have traders suggested to you

However, CopyTrader is a high-risk proposition as very few traders will come from a professional background with a solid track record. Plus, just because a trader may have a good recent record does not mean that this will last over time and profits could quickly turn to losses. You must therefore be highly cautious when deciding to copy someone else’s trades. 

As part of its CopyTrader feature, you can become a Popular Investor and receive payment from eToro based on the amount of money invested by other users in your copy trades. So if you’re a successful trader and want to earn additional income without much extra effort then eToro’s Popular Investor programme is worth considering. You will have to meet their minimum criteria which can be viewed on eToro’s website.

Trading 212 currently has no copy trade feature. It does, however, offer ‘Pies’ which are portfolios that you’re able to copy – more on these below.

eToro vs Trading 212: Social Communities

Aside from its CopyTrader feature, eToro also has a highly active community. This works much like a social media platform, where users can post their thoughts on a feed or leave comments under specific stocks and assets. 

eToro community feed
Much like a social media app, you can scroll through the posts of other users

Occasionally we found some useful discussions going on when we’ve read through eToro’s community. But we would advise you to use caution when reading other people’s opinions and justifications for their investments. There’s a lot of braggadocio and posturing in the trading world, so make sure to do your own research before listening to advice posted on the community forums.

Just because it lacks a copy trade features doesn’t mean Trading 212 has no social features, though. It also has a similar community feed to eToro’s although it’s not as well-developed and is only available to view with an Invest or ISA account – not with a CFD account.

Trading 212 community groups
Some of the community groups on Trading 212

You’re able to join discussion groups around different topics and themes, with the most popular being the Penny Stocks community group with over 230,000 members. 

We looked through some of the communities in the Trading 212 app. Similarly to eToro, many of the posts are a mix of conflicting views and ‘humble brags’ about a large position someone has taken on a particular stock. 

I looked into more details on a few banking stock community groups, a sector I know very well having worked in banking for almost 10 years. It was clear that a decent portion of the users commenting had very little knowledge of the key drivers of banks’ share prices. Some had never heard of stress testing for example, and its importance to the banking sector.

As we mentioned before, do your own research and approach the community discussions with caution.

eToro vs Trading 212: Fractional Investing

Both platforms offer fractional investing, which is an increasingly common feature seen in trading apps. 

As the name suggests, you’re able to purchase a fraction of a single share rather than a whole share. This has become more popular among younger investors who have less capital to invest but want to invest in big-name stocks that have high share prices.

Well-known names such as Apple, Amazon and Tesla all have triple-digit share prices. For those with smaller amounts to invest, owning single shares of each could take up an entire portfolio.

As a fractional shareholder, you’ll still get voting rights and dividends in proportion to your fractional shareholding with both eToro and Trading 212. With Trading 212 you can hold fractional shares in a stocks and shares ISA which is a great benefit for new ISA investors.

Trading 212 – Share Lending

A new and innovative feature from Trading 212 is share lending. This is only available to Invest account holders – it’s not available in an ISA or a CFD trading account.

It works by Trading 212 offering you the ability to lend out the shares in your portfolio. The borrowers of these shares will inevitably be short traders, i.e. traders betting on the share price of a company to fall. By lending out your shares you will receive half of the interest paid by the borrower, wth Trading 212 keeping the other half. 

Some key aspects of share lending you should know:

  • You lose voting rights on any shares that are lent out.
  • However, you will remain the beneficial owner of the share and any increases or decreases in its price will be your gain or loss.
  • Dividends will still be paid to you but in the form of a ‘manufactured payment’ which is a cash payment from the borrower rather than a direct dividend payment from the company. This may have different tax implications depending on your tax jurisdiction and you should seek tax advice if you’re unsure. 
  • There is a risk that the borrower won’t return your shares. But Trading 212 says that collateral in the form of US Treasuries of 102% of the value of the lent shares must be put up by the borrower, giving some security.

You can see the interest rate return from lending a share out in the Trading 212 app. On its website, Trading 212 gives the example of Bed, Bath & Beyond stock:

Tradging 212 share lending example
An example of potential returns when lending out shares through Trading 212

As we mentioned, demand to borrow shares comes from short sellers – traders who are betting the share price will go down. One of the implications of this is an implied inverse relationship between the share price and the interest rate return on lending it out.

This is because short-traders need to borrow a share in order to sell it and make money from its price decreasing. More demand from short sellers means more shares are required to be lent out, meaning they can be charged a higher borrowing cost.

Therefore it implies that a higher return on share lending on a given stock indicates that a lot of traders are betting on its price falling. If this is the case and the short-traders are right, the value of your investment in that share could go down. However, the short sellers could be wrong and in theory you could take their interest payments and see little to no decrease in the value of your investment.

Still, share lending is an innovative feature and is something that eToro does not offer. So if you fully understand the risks involved, it could be an additional return to your investment portfolio by participating in share lending with Trading 212. You can read more on how share lending works at the International Securities Lending Association.

Trading 212 – Interest On Uninvested Cash

Any cash held in GBP, EUR or USD in a Trading 212 Invest or ISA account will receive interest. The rates are not competitive compared to savings accounts, and are lower than those with some other brokers such as Lightyear.

However, if you have spare cash sitting in your portfolio, it’s nice to know it’s earning something. eToro does not pay interest on uninvested cash so if you tend to have cash in your portfolio then you may prefer Trading 212.

eToro vs Trading 212 – Smart Portfolios vs Pies

Ready-made portfolios have become a popular way for passive and beginner investors to quickly get invested. This works by allocating your money to an existing investment portfolio that’s setup and managed by someone else.

The most popular examples of these are with robo-advisors, but many other investment platforms now offer ready-made portfolios.

eToro’s are called Smart Portfolios and are actually quite innovative. Some are built around specific industries or sectors, while others are designed to copy the investments of well-known investors such as Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn.

Trading 212’s version of ready-made portfolios are called ‘Pies’. There’s a ‘Pie Library’ in the Trading 212 app where you can browse the portfolios created by other Trading 212 users.

Trading 212's Pie library
Example ‘Pies’ available in Trading 212’s Pie Library

If there’s one you like, you can simply copy it to your portfolio and Trading 212 will automatically invest your money in the same assets and by the same proportion as your chosen pie. 

There does not appear to be quite the same level of innovation with Trading 212’s Pies as there is with eToro’s Smart Portfolios. For example, some of eToro’s Smart Portfolios are created by professionals who claim to use proprietary strategies and technology to manage their portfolios.

All of Trading 212’s Pies are user-generated and don’t seem to have options such as for copying well-known investors.

However, Smart Portfolios and Pies both come with risk and you should be comfortable with all of the details surrounding the portfolio before committing your money. You should also regularly monitor performance and make your own adjustments where you see fit. 

The minimum investment for eToro’s Smart Portfolios is $500. For Trading 212’s Pies it’s as little as £1.

Overall, though, we prefer eToro’s Smart Portfolios because they’re more innovative and have broader options.

eToro vs Trading 212: Leverage

Leverage applies to CFD trading and is a form of lending. Brokers that offer CFDs, like eToro and Trading 212, allow you to multiply up your potential position in a trade by lending you the money to do so.

As we outlined above under the Fees section of this Trading 212 vs eToro comparison, CFD brokers have lending facilities in place with institutional banks. The brokers re-lend this money to you, the client, when you trade with leverage and they charge a mark-up on the interest rate to do so.

CFD leveraging capabilities are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. The FCA details the maximum amount of leverage that UK-based investors are permitted to access. The leverage limits available with eToro and Trading 212 is the same across all instruments:

  • Stocks & ETFs = 1:5 or 5x
  • Gold = 1:20 or 20x
  • Currencies = 1:30 or 30x
  • Non-Gold Commodities = 1:10 or 10x
  • Indices = 1:20 or 20x

Note that trading with leverage involves high risk.

There’s a key difference in how trading with leverage works between the two platforms. eToro allows you to choose the level of leverage for each trade, whereas Trading 212 always requires the maximum leverage (as shown above) to be used.

For example, if trading Gold with eToro you can choose to use leverage of 1x (no leverage), 2x, 5x, 10x or 20x on the market order screen. You do not have to use the maximum leverage of 20x. 

On the other hand, if trading Gold with Trading 212 you must use 20x leverage. As a result, you have much more flexibility and control over your exposure with eToro and this will suit the more discerning trader. For this reason we prefer eToro’s flexiblity compared to using leverage with Trading 212.

eToro vs Trading 212: Research, Learning & Tools

Learning

Trading 212 has a ‘Learn’ section on its website and in its app which provides a range of investing and trading guides, covering all of the asset classes you can trade on its platform. 

These articles provide a good understanding of the fundamentals of trading and investing. They also help to explain some of the investing features on Trading 212’s platform. However, you’re not going to go from a novice to a professional trader from these alone.

eToro has its own Academy where it has a wide range of investing and trading guides, covering all of the asset classes you can trade on its platform.

We’ve been through a lot of the lessons there and they provide a good overview of the basics to prepare you for investing in a range of assets. As with Trading 212’s Learn section, they are by no means enough on their own to turn a novice trader into a professional, though.

Beginner investors will find good value in the respective learning/academy sections of eToro’s and Trading 212’s websites. Overall, eToro’s Academy was more engaging in our experience, with video lessons that added more value than we typically found on Trading 212’s ‘Learn’ section.

Research & Tools

As you would expect with CFD brokers, both eToro and Trading 212 provide a range of chart tools and research information for the stocks and other assets on their platforms. 

This includes a range of technical chart indicators and analyses that you can apply to a particular asset. If you’ve used CFD brokers before you will likely be familiar with these, and there’s not a major difference between eToro’s and Trading 212’s offering here.

eToro also displays the latest news on a particular share or asset, something Trading 212 does not offer. You will also see the latest analysts forecast for a stock, which is the opinion of a range of professional market analysts who cover hat stocks. This is sometimes useful information and a nice addition to see. Again, Trading 212 does not provide this information.

Financial info in the eToro app
Company financials available in the eToro app

Tap more financials and you can see a much more detailed breakdown of the key financial information of the stock. 

Because of the more detailed and wider range of research available, we make eToro the winner when it comes to research and tools.

eToro vs Trading 212: Which Has The Better App?

Trading 212 and eToro both have comprehensive trading apps, which are packed with features and tools. 

In fact, it’s clear why both brokers are market-leaders in the UK for trading as they offer far more in their apps than most of their rivals. 

However, there are some differences worth mentioning. In the Trading 212 app we noticed that we had to consistently switch between accounts depending on how we wanted to invest. 

To trade CFDs you need to switch to your CFD account. If you want to buy and hold underlying stocks then you must switch back to your Invest or ISA account. To use technical chart tools you can only do so in your CFD account and therefore must switch to it.

This is understandable from a regulatory point of view, as an ISA must be segregated from CFD trading. However, experienced traders will probably find it inconvenient to keep switching between accounts.

eToro, of course, does not offer an ISA and therefore has a single fully integrated account. You choose how you want to trade a particular asset on the order screen e.g. with leverage or without leverage, or to buy or sell. This saves time switching accounts in the app. 

The second major difference we noticed when using both apps is that the order execution window is much clearer in the eToro app than Trading 212’s. You’re able to clearly see whether you are buying the underlying stock or trading it as a CFD and can quickly and clearly choose the level of leverage you want to use.

eToro market order screen in eToro's app
Choosing leverage in the eToro app

On the other hand, you must work this out and choose in advance of the order execution screen in Trading 212’s app. This is not a major inconvenience but it would be nice to see more clarity on the order execution screen.

For these reasons, we give the edge to eToro when it comes to which has the better app.

eToro vs Trading 212: Which Has The Better Customer Service?

Strong customer support is a key feature for any investment platform where you commit your money.

The primary customer support methods with both eToro and Trading 212 are their help centres and in-app chatbots. We’ve gone through both platform’s help centres and they cover a huge range of frequently asked questions and guides. 

If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for in the help centre then you can speak to a chatbot. We asked the chatbot of each platform various questions and each time we were given the exact information we needed. Either we were lucky with the questions we asked or their chatbots are just very good.

However, if you’re still stuck you can be connected to a live customer service agent via the chat function. Trading 212 claims 24/7 support with 29 seconds average response time on its website. eToro is less clear on its human agent support hours but we were able to connect to a live agent at various times of the day and night on weekdays. 

You’re also able to speak to an account manager at eToro, including via calls, for guidance on how to use your account and the various methods of investing and trading. 

Overall, it’s hard to separate eToro and Trading 212 when it comes to customer service, although Trading 212 has a slightly higher Trustpilot rating of 4.6 compared to 4.3 for eToro.

eToro vs Trading 212: Is My Money Safe?

Both eToro and Trading 212 are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and have Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection.

This means that if either company were to go bust, your money would be protected up to the value of £85,000 by the regulator. 

Furthermore, as eToro and Trading 212 are FCA-regulated entities you are able to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) if you cannot resolve a dispute directly with them. They must comply with rulings by the FOS. 

Both Trading 212 and eToro segregate client money from their own funds using custodian accounts held with secure 3rd parties. These also fall under FSCS protection.

It should be noted that any money held in an eToro Money account does not fall under the FSCS. 

In addition, share-lending through Trading 212’s platform comes with additional risk, mainly counterparty risk (i.e. if the borrower does not return your shares), however your portfolio will still have FSCS protection. Trading 212 also ensures collateral is in place when lending shares.

Trading CFDs comes with a high level of risk and below are the FCA-mandated CFD trading disclosures of each platform:

eToro:
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Cryptocurrencies markets are unregulated services which are not governed by any specific European regulatory framework (including MiFID). Therefore, when using eToro’s Cryptocurrencies Trading Service, you will not benefit from the protections available to clients receiving MiFID regulated investment services, such as access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and the Financial Ombudsman Service for dispute resolution.

Trading 212:
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 78% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

eToro vs Trading 212: Pros & Cons

To summarise our comparison of eToro vs Trading 212, we’ve outlined below what I believe are the main pros and cons of each investment platform.

eToro Pros & Cons

eToro Pros

  • Commission-free when buying stocks and shares
  • Wide range of assets to trade, including shares, commodities, FX, ETFs and – unlike Trading 212 – cryptocurrencies
  • Fractional shares – you can invest in high price shares in fractions starting with just $1
  • CopyTrader service allows you to automatically copy the trades of other eToro traders after assessing their historical performance
  • Over 65 Smart Portfolios which allow you to invest in ready made funds based around specific themes, at no extra charge (transaction fees apply)
  • Better range of information and research available than with Trading 212
  • User friendly app packed with features and in-app analysis
  • eToro Academy provides a good range of investing and trading lessons for less experienced investors
  • Demo Account allows you to try out trading with eToro before committing your money
  • FSCS protection

eToro Cons

  • No ISA products to invest through, so tax charges may apply to any gains made
  • High minimum investment of $500 for Smart Portfolios
  • Transactions fees can add up if regularly depositing and withdrawing money

Trading 212 Pros & Cons

Trading 212 Pros

  • Wider range of assets to invest in vs eToro across shares, ETFs and currencies
  • Stocks and Shares ISA, unlike eToro
  • Earn interest on uninvested cash
  • Lend out the shares in your portfolio and receive interest, although comes with risks
  • Invest in Pies (ready-made portfolio) with as little as £1
  • Fractional shares – you can invest in high price shares in fractions starting with just £1
  • Demo Account allows you to try out trading with Trading 212 before committing your money
  • FSCS protection

Trading 212 Cons

  • No copy trader feature
  • Does not support cryptocurrencies 
  • FX fees apply to all transactions not denominated in your account’s primary currency, e.g. buying/selling US shares
  • Could offer more market research and news in its app

eToro vs Trading 212: Final Verdict

eToro* is our overall winner in our eToro vs Trading 212 comparison.

It has the edge due to having more innovative features, such as CopyTrader, better market research and analyst information in its app, and for supporting cryptocurrencies. You can also control the amount of leverage you want to use when trading CFDs, unlike on Trading 212’s platform.

But, eToro charges a fixed $5 withdrawal fee on all withdrawals and FX conversion fees if you fund or withdraw from your account in a currency other than US Dollars. These can add up.

Trading 212 is a good option if you want to open a Stocks & Shares ISA and build a share portfolio commission-free. eToro does not support ISAs. ‘Pies’, Trading 212’s ready-made portfolios, have a low minimum investment of just £1 – much lower than eToro’s Smart Portfolios.

However, Trading 212 charges FX fees on all trades involving an asset that is priced in a currency other than the base currency of your account. So if you want to trade in US shares from the UK you’ll have to pay FX fees each time.

Best for Cryptocurrencies

eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.

Best for Stocks & Shares ISA

Trading 212 logo

Capital at risk if you invest.

Best for Cryptocurrencies

Capital at risk if you invest.

Best for Stocks & Shares ISA

Trading 212 logo

Capital at risk if you invest.

*eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 51% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

This communication is intended for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or investment recommendation. Past performance is not an indication of future results.

Copy Trading does not amount to investment advice.  The value of your investments may go up or down.  Your capital is at risk.

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.

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.

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