eToro vs Trading 212

Both of these platforms let you trade without any fees so how do they compare?

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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 62%-78.6% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

eToro is a trading platform that you can use to buy and sell stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), cryptocurrencies, commodities and currencies. It offers low-cost investing and an OpenBook trading platform. Trading 212 allows you to trade over 1,800 cryptocurrencies, stocks, commodities and currencies.

With the current market volatility and poor returns on cash savings, it’s no surprise that people are turning to investing with the hope that stocks will bounce back in due course.

So, how do eToro and Trading 212 compare?

eToro vs Trading 212: Vital statistics

eToroTrading212
Finder rating★★★★★★★★★★
Customer satisfaction rating★★★★★★★★★★
Stocks and shares ISA available?
FSCS protected?
Costs rating★★★★★★★★★★
Keep in mind67% of retail CFD accounts lose money76% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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Both eToro and Trading 212 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which means your deposits are protected by up to £85,000 if either provider were to go bust. This doesn’t protect your investments if they go down in value.

Trading 212 lets you invest in an individual savings account (ISA). This means that you can use your ISA allowance each year to invest tax free. The allowance for the 2021/2022 tax year is £20,000. eToro does not have an ISA available, so you may have to pay capital gains tax on any profits over £12,300 in each tax year.

You can’t use your ISA allowance to trade CFDs.

We surveyed both eToro and Trading 212’s customers in December 2020. eToro’s customers liked that it was low cost, as it offers zero commission, and think it’s easy to navigate and easy to use. Customers didn’t like that it has some additional fees, and feel that they add up.

Trading 212’s customers found it to be easy to use and liked that it also offers commission free trading. Customers praised its new pie feature, which helps you balance your portfolio and invest in other people’s balanced portfolios.

Round 1: Products

eToroTrading212
Stocks and shares ISA available?
Lifetime ISA (LISA)
Contracts for difference
Pension
Keep in mind67% of retail CFD accounts lose money76% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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More Info
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Neither eToro nor Trading 212 let you invest in a pension product or a lifetime ISA. Trading 212 lets you invest in an ISA, which means that you can use your annual ISA allowance.
  • Winner: Trading 212

Round 2: Financial instruments

eToroTrading212
Rating★★★★★★★★★★
Forex
Shares
Options
ETFs
Keep in mind67% of retail CFD accounts lose money76% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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More Info
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Both eToro and Trading 212 let you trade shares, commodities, forex and indices. eToro also lets you trade ETFs and options, which aren’t available with Trading 212.

  • Winner: eToro

Round 3: Stock exchanges

eToroTrading212
UK - London Stock Exchange
US - NASDAQ
US - New York Stock Exchange
Canada - Toronto Stock Exchange
Japan - Japan Exchange Group
Euronext
Germany - Deutsche Börse
Keep in mind67% of retail CFD accounts lose money76% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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Trading 212 lets you invest in more of the biggest stock exchanges than eToro, including UK shares, US shares, Canadian shares and European shares. eToro still gets you access to some of the largest stock exchanges, including UK shares, US shares and most European shares.

  • Winner: Trading 212

Round 4: Costs

LogoeToroTrading212
Costs rating★★★★★★★★★★
Minimum deposit£1
Standard platform charge0%
Best platform charge0%
Standard trading fee£0
Best trading fee£0
Keep in mind67% of retail CFD accounts lose money76% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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It’s difficult to compare the costs of both of these platforms, as they’re both commission free trading platforms. While Trading 212 has no charges for anything, with only restrictions on withdrawal and deposit amounts, eToro does have a couple of charges.

Basic trades are free with eToro, but there is a withdrawal fee of US$5 and an inactivity fee of US$10.

  • Winner: Trading 212

Round 5: Features

eToroTrading212
Features rating★★★★★★★★★★
Desktop or web access
iPhone app
Android app
In-app news and research
In-app top-up
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When it comes to features, both eToro and Trading 212 have web, iPhone and Android apps. You can set up notifications or alerts, access news and research and create or view watch lists. Trading 212’s company details and research is better than eToro’s.

  • Winner: Trading 212

Round 6: Learning resources

eToroTrading212
Resources rating★★★★★★★★★★
Guides
Videos and walkthroughs
Demo account
In-depth learning tools
Keep in mind67% of retail CFD accounts lose money76% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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More Info
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Both eToro and Trading 212 have pretty decent learning resources, which would be helpful for beginner investors or those that want to understand investing more. You can read guides and access videos or walkthroughs with both providers.

Both of these platforms have demo accounts available, meaning you can practise trading without using real money. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can try it out for real!

eToro’s demo account can only be accessed after signing up, while Trading 212 lets you have a go without even giving up an email address. Of course, if you want to keep an eye on your imaginary stocks for days, weeks or months, you’ll have to sign up.

On both platforms, there is no obligation to go ahead and trade real money. You can make imaginary trades for life, if you want.

  • Winner: Tie

Overall winner: Is eToro better than Trading 212?

As it goes, these are both good options for free trading and they are very similar. Both of these platforms offer a huge range of stocks, commission free trades and no trading limits. There aren’t any pre-made portfolios available though, so if you’re not keen on creating your own, neither of these would be suitable for you.

These are both great for beginners, as they allow you to give it a go for free and with fake money, making them both pretty good educational resources, too.

The only thing that really puts Trading 212 in the top spot is its ISA. It’s completely free, which is a rarity.

  • Winner: Trading 212

Compare platforms similar to eToro and Trading 212

Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Name Product Minimum deposit Maximum annual fee Price per trade Brand description
Fineco stocks and shares ISA
£0
0.25%
UK: £2.95
US: $3.95
EU: €3.95
Scottish Friendly stocks and shares ISA
Scottish Friendly stocks and shares ISA
£100 or £10 a month
1.5%
N/A
InvestEngine stocks and shares ISA
£100
0.25%
£0
Offer - £50 welcome bonus for new customers. Subject to minimum investment. T&Cs apply. Capital at risk.
Moneybox stocks and shares ISA
£1
0.45% and £1 monthly subscription fee (free for first 3 months)
£0
Moneybox offers a smart and simple way to invest. Sign up in minutes and start investing with £1 via their award-winning app. Capital at risk.
interactive investor stocks and shares ISA
Any lump sum or £25 a month
£119.88
£7.99
Interactive Investor offers everything most investors need. Its flat fees makes it pricey for small portfolios, but cheap for big ones. Capital at risk.
Nutmeg stocks and shares ISA
£100
0.75%
N/A
Nutmeg offers three types of portfolios. Choose the one that goes with your investment style. Capital at risk.
Hargreaves Lansdown stocks and shares ISA
£100
0.45%
£11.95
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager. It's got everything you'll need, from beginners to experienced investors. Capital at risk.
Moneyfarm stocks and shares ISA
£1500
0.75%
£0
Moneyfarm helps you meet your investment goals with fully-managed portfolios designed around you. Capital at risk.
Fidelity Stocks and Shares ISA
£1000 or a regular savings plan from £50
0.35%
£10.00
Fidelity is another good all-rounder, offering a good package at a decent price. Not suited for trading shares. Capital at risk.
Legal & General stocks and shares ISA
Legal & General stocks and shares ISA
£100 or £20 a month
0.61%
N/A
Legal & General is a big financial services company which offers insurance, lifetime mortgage, pensions and stocks and shares ISAs. Capital at risk.
AJ Bell Stocks and Shares ISA
£500
0.25%
£9.95
AJ Bell is a good all-rounder for people who to choose between shares, funds, ISAs and pensions. Capital at risk.
Saxo Markets stocks and shares ISA
No minimum deposit requirement
0.12%
£8.00
Saxo Markets offers a wide access to a range of stocks, ETFs and funds. Capital at risk.
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All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

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