What's in this review?
- What is Trading 212?
- What products does Trading 212 have?
- Trading 212 ISA (individual savings account)
- Trading 212 Invest
- Trading 212 CFD (contract for difference)
- What's the difference between Trading 212 Invest and ISA and which should I go for?
- What's the difference between Trading 212 Invest and CFDs?
- Trading 212 fees, charges and limits
- What's the difference between "practice mode" and "real money"?
- What can I invest in with Trading 212?
- Does Trading 212 allow you to reinvest your dividends?
- Is Trading 212 safe?
- Trading 212 customer reviews
- Trading 212 pros and cons
- Our verdict
- Frequently asked questions
- Compare other CFD trading platforms
What is Trading 212?
Trading 212 is a free trading platform in Ireland that you can use to trade shares and contracts for difference (CFDs) without paying any commissions. It also has a demo mode that allows you to experiment with their platform using £50,000 of fictional money to see how your investments pan out.
What products does Trading 212 have?
Trading 212 has three different products available in Ireland:
- Trading 212 Invest. A general investment account.
- Trading 212 CFD (contract for difference). Allows you to buy contracts based on the movements of the stocks.
- Trading 212 ISA (individual savings account). Allows you to invest your annual allowance tax-free.
Trading 212 ISA (individual savings account)
Trading 212’s stocks and shares ISA allows you to do everything that its invest product (detailed below) offers without paying any capital gains tax on your profits.
Features in Ireland include:
- Invest up to GBP£20,000 in the 2020/21 tax year tax-free
- No administration charges
- No commissions
- No charges for reinvesting dividends
Is the Trading 212 ISA any good?
Given that there are no fees involved, Trading 212’s ISA seems to be a pretty good option if you haven’t used your annual ISA allowance yet. It’s very hands-on though, so if you don’t fancy creating your own portfolio and doing all the research, you might prefer an ISA that assigns you a portfolio based on your risk profile—like Hargreaves Lansdown or IG.
Trading 212 Invest
Trading 212’s Invest account allows users in Ireland to invest in stocks and shares without any commission. Features include:
- Minimum amount as little as €1
- No commission
- No foreign exchange fees
- Unlimited instant trades
- Fractional shares
Trading 212 CFD (contract for difference)
With Trading 212’s CFD account, you reap returns by betting on the direction that the commodity or forex pair will move in, instead of directly owning the underlying asset.
Here’s what you can trade with a Trading 212 CFD account in Ireland:
- Stocks. Trade the movements in the value of stocks like Apple, Tesla and Lloyds.
- Forex. Trade 150 major foreign exchange pairs with tight spreads.
- Indices Trade indices such as NASDAQ, S&P500 and UK 100.
- Commodities. Trade commodities such as cocoa, cotton, coffee, gas, oil and sugar, amongst others.
- Zero commission
- Tight spreads
- Stop Loss and Take Profit
- Negative balance protection
- Instant execution
CFDs are complex and risky. If you’re new to CFD trading then a little time spent researching them will go a long way.
What’s the difference between Trading 212 Invest and ISA and which should I go for?
These two accounts are quite similar. The main difference is whether you’ll need to pay capital gains tax on your profits. Everyone gets an annual ISA allowance, which resets every April. Most people choose to use their ISA allowance first, as you have the option to invest up to the yearly allowance (£20,000 for the 2020/2021 financial year) without paying any tax on the profits you make.
What’s the difference between Trading 212 Invest and CFDs?
CFD trading is a lot more complex compared with investing in stocks. When you trade CFDs, you speculate on the movements in value rather than purchase the underlying asset or share. This means that you’re not entitled to receive dividends, as you never own the shares.
There’s more complexity to this than just the contract, as CFDs allow for leverage.
If you’re not sure which one to go with, Trading 212 has a demo account that allows you to try it out without real money.
Trading 212 fees, charges and limits
There are no fees for using Trading 212, though there are several limits when it comes to deposits and withdrawals in Ireland.
Minimum deposits and withdrawals
|Product||Minimum deposit||Minimum withdrawal|
|Invest||€1, £1, $1||€1, £1, $1|
|CFD||€10, £10, $10||€10, £10, $10|
Does Trading 212 have an inactivity fee?
A lot of trading platforms have a fee that you have to pay if you are inactive with money still held in the account. However, there is no inactivity fee when you trade with Trading 212.
What’s the difference between “practice mode” and “real money”?
Trading 212 has a demo feature on the site that allows you to test the platform out with your own virtual £50,000. Although the £50,000 is by no means real money, the practice mode will give you a good feel of the Trading 212 interface and how it works. You can “buy” any shares that you’d be able to in an actual Trading 212 account, such as Netflix, Amazon and Apple, among thousands of others.
Trading 212 also has a great focus on teaching new investors about the basics of investing and how to use their platform. In fact, they have a YouTube channel with hundreds of videos to teach you about share dealing and some handy guides on the basics and terminology. Trading 212 also has a demo feature for CFD trading, but if you’ve never traded CFDs, this can be overwhelming and may put you off ever looking at a graph again.
Once you reckon you’ve played around with virtual money enough, you select “switch to real money”. Trading 212 will take you through some basic information such as your contact details and some basics on your income and savings. Choose which accounts you want and what currency you want to make your trades with and you’re good to go.
When buying shares, you can choose how many you want and the app gives you the cost in your chosen currency, which is helpful. You have the choice to create limit orders. This allows you to enter the maximum you’re willing to go to when buying shares. If the stock prices drop below this amount before the end of the day, it will automatically place the order for you. You can also do this when selling shares by entering the minimum you’re willing to sell for.
What can I invest in with Trading 212?
There are more than 3,000 stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that you can invest in on several different markets. There’s a full list with detailed information on the quantity that you can invest and the market hours on the Trading 212 website. You can also buy fractional shares with Trading 212, which is a small portion of a share. If you get dividend payments on these shares then the amount you’ll receive will be proportionate to the amount you own.
Does Trading 212 allow you to reinvest your dividends?
Yes. Dividend reinvestments in Ireland are possible with Trading 212 and have no additional fees. The dividends that you receive are added as funds. You can decide whether you want to withdraw the dividends or reinvest them.
Is Trading 212 safe?
Trading 212 is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). All client funds are kept in a segregated account. Trading 212 is also protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme up to GBP£85,000 which protects you if it were to go bust. This doesn’t cover your investments if they don’t work in your favour.
Trading 212 customer reviews
As of February 2021, Trading 212 has a 3-star rating (out of 5) on the consumer review platform Trustpilot based on more than 12,725 reviews. This marks a significant decline from just a few months ago, when Trading 212 had a 4.5-star rating and it’s likely due to the recent market volatility, when Trading 212 saw an explosion in the number of customers and had to impose restrictions on certain trades.
Do also note that some of the reviews posted on Trustpilot may not be authentic as they seem to be advertising certain money-recovery services. Thankfully, the reviews are better on the iOS store where Trading 212 has a 4.7-star rating. Customers continue to love how easy the app is to use, especially for beginners.
Trading 212 pros and cons
- Free to use – there aren’t any fees for trading with Trading 212
- Can be accessed through a web browser or a mobile app
- Practise mode allows you to give it a go without risking your own money
- No personal pension, lifetime ISA or junior ISA
- The tutorial don’t give much detail on what’s what, so you have to figure it out for yourself
Trading 212 is a feature-rich platform available in Ireland, especially considering that it has no fees. The practice mode is a great way to learn how Trading 212 works, and it offers a huge range of resources to help you learn about investing which is helpful if you’re a newbie. To decide if Trading 212 is the right platform for you, compare your options before signing up for an online broker in Ireland.
Frequently asked questions
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