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Trading 212 is an app-based trading platform that lets you to trade stocks, ETFs, CFDs, forex, commodities, and more, without any commission.
Alongside Freetrade in the UK and Robinhood in the US, Trading 212 is one of the UK’s most popular trading platforms for new investors. For new investors, the main draw of Trading 212 is the fee-free ISA – which we’ll go into more detail on further down.
Trading 212 is considered a safe platform and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% 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.
Trading 212 has three different products available:
Let’s go into a bit more detail about what each of these different account types are about.
Trading 212’s Invest product allows you to invest in stocks and shares without any commission. Here are the key takeaways:
Trading 212’s stocks and shares ISA allows you to do everything its Invest product does, but with the added benefit of it being tax-free.
Investments made within a stocks and shares ISA are not subject to tax. You can read our full stocks and shares ISA guide if you need to find out more.
So, with the Trading 212 ISA these are the main things to know:
Given the total lack of fees, Trading 212’s ISA seems to be a pretty good option for investors.
It’s pretty hands-on though if you’re a beginner, so if you don’t fancy the faff of creating your own portfolio and doing your own research into investments, you should look into either a “set and forget” style robo-advisor, or an actively managed fund from the likes of Hargreaves Lansdown or IG.
Instead of trading shares, you can trade a CFD. This is kind of like betting on the direction that the stocks will move.
What can I trade with Trading 212’s CFD product?:
Features of the Trading 212 CFD account include:
CFDs are complex and risky. If you’re new to CFD trading then we have a guide that could help.
It’s also worth checking out our guide to CFD trading risks.
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.
These two accounts are virtually identical.
If you don’t have a stocks and shares ISA already, you should open up the Trading 212 ISA and take advantage of the tax benefits that come with it.
If you do have a stocks and shares ISA, you’ll need to open up the Trading 212 Invest account, because you’re not allowed to pay into more than one ISA per year.
Remember that on top of your ISA allowance, every UK adult is also allowed £12,300 (at the time of writing) in capital gains tax (CGT) allowance. This means your first £12,300 of capital gains (i.e. growth of your investments) won’t be subject to tax. Once you exceed £12,300, you’ll start paying tax.
Also, keep in mind that not many people will exceed both their ISA allowance and CGT allowance, so this consideration doesn’t really matter for most people. If you do exceed both allowances, then lucky you!
There are more than 6,500 stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) that you can invest in on a number of 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.
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 £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.
On consumer review platform Trustpilot, Trading 212 has 4.3 out of 5 stars and a rating of Excellent, based on more than 8,500 reviews.
The love continues in the App Store, where the Trading 212 app has 4.7 out of 5 stars based on more than 1,500 reviews. On Google Play, the app has 4.5 out of 5 stars based on more than 49K reviews.
Customers loved how easy the app was to use, especially for beginners. Those who were less impressed cited technical glitches and pricing issues as the reasons (updated 23 April 2020).
We carried out a customer satisfaction survey in July 2020.
Trading 212’s customers find the platform easy to use and think that it is very professional. Customers raved about its practice mode and interface. They especially liked the free share incentive and refer a friend promotion.
Some of its customers felt that the platform lacked direction and that it could do with some instructions to guide you.
There are no fees for using Trading 212, including the ISA, though there are several limits when it comes to deposits and withdrawals.
Minimum deposits and withdrawals
|Product||Minimum deposit||Minimum withdrawal|
|Invest||€1, £1, $1||€1, £1, $1|
|CFD||€10, £10, $10||€10, £10, $10|
Nope, which is great! A lot of trading platforms have a fee that you have to pay if you are inactive with money still held in the account.
Trading 212 makes money through the “spreads” between the buy and sell price for the CFD accounts on the platform. There is also a 0.5% currency conversion charge for these accounts too.
Trading 212 has a demo feature on the site and app that allows you to test out the platform with £50,000 of fake money. It’s fun to play around with to get a feel of the site and how it works before committing actual money to your investments. You can “buy” anything that you’d be able to in the “Real Money” feature, such as shares in Netflix, Amazon and Apple, among thousands of others. This lets you see how the investments fluctuate over time. This is quite a useful learning platform to get a feel for investing as a whole.
Trading 212 has a good focus on teaching people about the basics of investing and how to use the platform. It has a YouTube channel with hundreds of videos to teach you about share dealing and some handy guides on the basics and terminology.
It also has the demo feature for CFD trading, but if you don’t have much exposure to CFDs then this can be overwhelming and may put you off ever looking at a graph again.
Once you reckon you’ve played around with fake money enough, you select “switch to real money”. It 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 trade in 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.
Trading 212 has a lot of functionality considering that it has no fees. The practice mode is a great way to learn how it works, but you do need to do some external learning; don’t expect it to teach you how to invest successfully. It does offer a huge range of resources to help you learn about investing which is helpful if you’re a newbie.
If you’re new to investing and are looking for ready made portfolios, this isn’t the platform for you. It’s worth checking out some alternatives that have this feature. If it’s a free trading platform that you’re looking for, then you can check out our comparisons of Trading 212 vs Degiro and Trading 212 vs Freetrade.
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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