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eToro South Africa review
Online trading giant eToro lets you trade stocks, cryptocurrencies, CFDs and more. Find out how it works.
What is eToro?
eToro is a trading platform that lets you trade stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, contracts for difference (CFDs), indices, commodities and currencies. Along with low-cost investing, eToro also offers the CopyTrader feature, which lets users automatically execute another investor’s trades.
eToro trading platform
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eToro’s free stock account lets you buy and sell a huge range of financial products including stocks, shares and cryptocurrencies. Opening an account is free, and there’s no limit on how much you can trade.
Main features of eToro’s trading platform include:
- Virtual portfolio. This is its demo account which lets you trade up to the value of $100,000 to practise without using real money.
- Research. This gives you insight into the markets, as well as information from expert investors and leading analysts. The OpenBook platform gives you live updates on market news and user’s trades.
- One-click trading. This feature lets you open a position easily with just one click.
- Stop loss and take profit. This feature allows you to set price points for opening and closing positions to help you protect your investments.
- Professional charting. eToro helps you compare charts or timeframes within charts.
- Offline trading. This lets you place orders even when the platform is down.
- Access to a wide range of markets. With eToro, you can access more than 47 global currency pairs and hundreds of stock CFDs, cryptocurrencies, commodities and index CFDs.
- Educational material. eToro helps investors upskill themselves with educational material like live webinars, online courses and training videos.
eToro CFD trading
Is CFD trading for me?
CFDs are complex, much more so than buying shares or general investment. CFDs involve speculating rather than owning positions, making it very risky. If you’re quite new to the trading game, it might not be suitable for you and you may want to do some research into it first. If you’re not prepared to lose the money you invest, this isn’t for you.
If you’re an advanced trader, eToro allows you to trade contracts for difference (CFDs). These allow you to trade on market volatility without ever having to own the underlying asset. The features of eToro’s CFD trading platform include:
- Customised risk management. “Trailing Stop Loss” and “Take Profit” can help you protect your investments.
- Analysis tools. Includes charts, analyst consensus and insider transactions.
- Innovative features. These include One-Click Trading, real-time alerts and interactive newsfeeds.
- Apply for up to 1:30 leverage.
What is leverage?
You’ll see leverage being referred to on the site as a ratio, such as 1:30 that you see above. Leverage allows you to open positions that are larger than your capital. Because of this, it is possible to lose more than your initial investment, which makes it riskier. You may have to have the funds available in your account to cover losses.
Is eToro safe?
Yes. eToro is regulated and authorised by a range of global financial authorities including the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission, the UK Financial Conduct Authority, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and more. eToro is therefore considered safe to invest with.
eToro fees and charges
|Inactivity fee||US$10 per month|
Do note that the minimum withdrawal amount is US$50. The minimum account opening balance is US$200 if you want access to the CopyTrade feature. All eToro accounts are based in USD, so you might incur additional currency fees when converting ZAR to USD.
Signing up for eToro
It takes mere minutes to create your investing account via the eToro website. Visit eToro’s website and click the “sign up” button.
You’ll need to fill up a form and provide:
- Your name
- Your phone number and email
- Your date of birth
- Your address
You’ll also need to answer a series of questions about your recent trading activity and investment knowledge so that eToro can determine your experience level. You’ll then need to outline your trading strategy, including your risk appetite and financial goals. More experienced investors will have the option to sign up as a professional client should they pass an additional test. As a professional client, you stand to enjoy additional benefits like negative balance protection and high leverage trading.
Lastly, you’ll have to verify your phone number, provide a copy of your passport or ID card and provide a copy of a utility bill or bank statement in order to verify your identity.
Using your account
Once you’ve been verified, you can deposit funds and start trading. With the free account, you can access many of the regular eToro features like CopyTrading, virtual trading and TipRanks expert stock analysis.
You can add and remove stocks, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, indices, commodities and currencies to your watchlist, and also track your portfolio.
What is social trading?
eToro is a leading social trading platform. This means that you can connect with others to share your investment strategies and discuss trading with the user base. You can also copy other traders’ actions in real-time. This is a nice way of getting the hang of how trading works and utilising others’ knowledge.
The platform allows you to filter the different traders that you can copy by criteria such as their risk score, number of followers, number of profitable trading weeks and where they’re located. You can copy up to 20 investors at once.
Do note, however, that past performance is not an indication of future results.
Pros and Cons of eToro
- Huge range of investment options
- Free to set up
- No trade limits
- Social trading features
- Educational tools
- Mandatory withdrawal fee
- Limited customer support
- Trading platform can be confusing for beginners
Frequently asked questions
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