Hello, fellow investor! We will give our honest review of Trading 212!
We recommend Trading 212 if you are looking for commission-free Stocks and ETFs trading and/or want to get an automated investing feature called: “AutoInvest & Pies.”
New users get one free share with a value of up to €100 by using our Trading 212 promo code: IITW! On the downside, the platform is limited in the product offering, has no relevant fundamental tools, and charges a 0.15% currency conversion fee in the Invest Account.
Trading 212 is an online broker with two distinct services within the same web and mobile app platforms: Trading 212 Invest and Trading 212 CFD. Both allow you to invest in different asset classes with different exposure sets (non-leveraged vs leveraged; real assets vs CFDs).
The platform provides a wealth of educational materials, including articles, videos, and webinars, to help users enhance their trading knowledge and skills. The integration of real-time market data and analysis tools further empowers investors to make informed decisions. The availability of a demo account also allows users to practice trading strategies without risking real money.
In terms of safety, Trading 212 is authorized and regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission), and FSC (Bulgarian Financial Supervision Commission).
That’s Trading 212 in a nutshell. Keep reading if you want to find out what our research team has to say after carefully analyzing Trading 212. Here’s what we’ll cover:
1. Trading 212 Overview
Founded in 2004, Trading 212 is a fintech company with a clear goal: democratize investment activity. It has become increasingly popular among retail and professional investors for its simple and easy-to-use trading platforms.
In only one account, you will be given access to two services: one with non-leveraged positions (Trading 212 Invest) and another one with leveraged positions (Trading 212 CFD).
In Trading 212 Invest, you may trade commission-free stocks and ETFs from several exchanges, including the NYSE, Nasdaq, LSE, Euronext, etc. On the other hand, Trading 212 CFD is made to enhance your returns dramatically, but it carries a higher risk (two sides of the same coin, right?).
It presents a feature called “AutoInvest & Pies,” where you can create a diversified portfolio and customize it to your unique financial goals in an automated way. Besides, you will get access to Pie Library, Pie Comments, and Pie Copying, where instead of creating a pie from scratch, you will be available to prefill your slides with some of the Pies constructed by the Trading 212 community. Bear in mind you will continue to have full control over your investments. Your copy of the pie is not linked to the original. If the Original Pie edits its pie, it will not reflect in your portfolio.
One of the few fees it applies is the 0.15% currency conversion fee. Are you based in a EUR country and want to invest in Apple (quoted in USD)? The 0.15% will apply in the buying and selling (0.30% in total). An investment of €1,000 would roughly cost you 3€ in total.
It gives you access to fractional shares. From as little as €/£1, you can invest in Amazon without paying thousands of dollars for a single share! Isn’t that great? Plus, it lets you earn interest on uninvested cash in your account:
By using Trading 212, you can choose to lend or not the financial instruments held in your account. Lending your shares allows Trading 212 to earn a daily interest, which they share with you by making it a 50/50 profit split (this feature starts on July 5th, 2023). The collateral used to lend the shares are US treasuries – this feature only applies to clients under the Trading 212 UK subsidiary (it will roll out to European investors until the end of 2023).
The account opening process is fast, 100% digital, and requires a minimum deposit of €/£10. Trading 212 offers multi-currency accounts meaning you can have several currencies in your portfolio (GBP, USD, EUR, CHF, DKK, NOK, PLN, SEK, CZK, RON, BGN, HUF). We faced some trouble with ID verification, but it was quickly “fixed” by repeating the process (which took less than 2 min).
Finally, customer support is highly effective in response time. It is 24 hours available, and it can answer inquiries in 16 languages.
Trading 212 Highlights
|🗺️ Supported Countries||Worldwide – Exceptions include the US, Canada, and Belgium|
|💰 Interest on uninvested cash (annually)||EUR: 1.25%; GBP: 1.65%; USD: 1.90%|
|💰 Stocks and ETFs fees||Free of charge|
|💰 CFDs fees||Low-Medium|
|💰 Currency Conversion fee||0.15% (Invest account); 0.50% (CFD account)|
|💰 Inactivity fee €/£0||€/£0|
|💰 Withdrawal fee||€/£0|
|💵 Minimum Deposit||€/£10|
|📍 Products offered||Stocks, ETFs, and CFDs on Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Forex, Crypto, ETF, and Treasury.|
|🎮 Demo Account||Yes|
|📜 Regulatory entities||FCA, CySEC, FSC|
2. Trading 212 Pros and Cons
- Commission-free Real Stocks and ETFs trading
- Interest on uninvested cash (EUR, GBP, and USD)
- 50/50 profit split on share lending (from the July 5th, 2023)
- AutoInvest & Pies feature
- Fast and easy account opening process
- Demo account
- Top Tier Regulators
- New users get one free share worth up to €100 (promo code IITW)
- Limited product portfolio (no Options, Bonds, Mutual Funds or Futures)
- No relevant Fundamental tools
- Spreads on Forex CFDs may be high in certain trading hours
- Foreign exchange fees (0.15% and 0.50% in “Invest” and “CFDs” accounts, respectively)
3. Account Types
You will be given access to two services: one with non-leveraged positions (Trading 212 Invest) and another one with leveraged positions (Trading 212 CFD). Both are accessible in your account, so there is no need to create two separate accounts.
In Trading 212 Invest, you may trade commission-free +7,000 real stocks and ETFs from several exchanges, including the NYSE, Nasdaq, LSE, Euronext, etc. You can build a diversified pie – with Pies & AutoInvest – and customize it to your unique financial goals. It gives total flexibility in the way you can divide your funds. Once you finalize your allocation, you can invest and reinvest dividends into your pie automatically.
In Trading 212 CFD, the dashboard will look similar to the one in Trading 212 Invest. Still, your investment options have now broadened: Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Forex, Crypto, ETF, and Treasury are available. Here, the focus is on trading, so there is no “Pies & AutoInvest.”
4. Trading Platform
Trading 212 has both a mobile and a web trading platform and, as mentioned above, presents two account types. For this review, we’ll help you navigate through Trading 212 invest’s web trading app since the others will be intuitive to explore after you acknowledge this one.
As soon as you are logged in, you have an immediate view of your account balance, a left vertical sidebar which helps you find all the products available, a clear oversight of what is up or down from the pre-selected tab (“Hot,” “Watchlist”, “Top Winners” and so on), and a little icon in the bottom left corner that puts you in instant contact with a customer support agent:
If you scroll down, you will get more details on the company that appears in the highlight (Tesla, in this example), which includes the company overview, key ratios, financial summary and instruments details:
Going through the left panel, you can navigate to other tabs like “Portfolio,” where you can easily see your current holdings:
Do you already know what you came looking after? If so, you can simply click on the search icon and look for your stock/ETF:
On the “Calendar” tab, you will notice the major worldwide economic events, including Federal Reserve meeting, job reports, Consumer Price Index (CPI) and more:
Within the “videos” tab, you will find plenty of educational videos. We watched some of the content and quickly realized that it is mostly dedicated to beginners. So, intermediate or advanced investors will not find useful information. It also drew our attention to the partnerships they have with some YouTubers, including the PensionCraft:
Finally, on the top right corner, you can access other features such as switching from “Invest” to “CFD” account and vice-versa, community forum and go to the help center:
5. Products and Markets
Trading 212 offers Stocks, ETFs, and CFDs on Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Forex, Crypto, ETF, and Treasury. You can buy in bulk or just a fraction, from as little as $1.
|CFDs||✔ (Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Forex, Crypto, ETF, and Treasury)|
You can easily find all the financial assets in Trading 212 Invest, including the “Exchange” (highlighted), “Type,” and “Currency”:
And Trading 212 CFD, including the “Exchange” (highlighted), “Type,” and “Currency”:
Within CFDs, Trading 212 gives you access to the widest variety of investment products with leverage of up to 30x, depending on the investment product:
- Crypto: Up to 2x;
- Stocks and ETFs: Up to 5x;
- Gold: Up to 20x;
- Major currency pairs: Up to 30x.
6. Trading 212 fees snapshot
|Real Stocks and ETFs||0% commission|
|Forex, Commodity & Index Spreads||Low-Medium|
|Currency Conversion||0.15% (Invest account); 0.50% (CFD account)|
|Overnight and Weekend Costs||Medium-High|
Like the commission’s information, fees are quite transparent (recall that commission differs from fee). CFDs spreads are, in general, quite tight compared to other brokers. However, it may widen due to the lack of liquidity in the market. Besides, the fees on forex trading are high in some currency pairs, such as EUR/USD and EUR/GBP. So, before placing an order, ensure you know what you are paying for!
Moreover, on Trading 212 CFD, you will be charged a daily interest fee for leaving an open position for the next day (overnight funding costs). Why is that? By trading CFDs, you are borrowing money (i.e. leverage), so interest is charged on that amount during the night. Also, you will have a currency conversion charge of 0.50%.
On the other hand, in Trading 212 Invest, you only have the 0.15% currency conversion fee (=foreign exchange fee). That’s all!
In other related fees, Trading 212 does not charge withdrawal, deposit, or inactivity fees.
7. Trading 212 Safety and Regulation
Trading 212 segregates customer funds and maintains this level of protection across all subsidiaries. This means that if it goes bust or insolvent, its client’s funds will be separated from the financial institution’s funds. In practice, you would only need to transfer your assets from Trading 212 to another broker.
Trading 212 is fully regulated and supervised by top-tier regulators such as the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bulgarian Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) in Australia. The subsidiary in Europe, formerly known as “Trading 212 Markets Ltd.” is authorized and regulated by the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySEC).
In addition to CySEC and FCA oversights, Trading 212 also maintains membership in the following Investor Compensation Schemes (ICS):
- Trading 212 Markets Ltd.: You are under the Cyprus ICS, meaning that you are protected up to €20,000 of the amount you have lost (cash + assets);
- Trading 212 UK Ltd.: You will be under the FCA jurisdiction, which gives you a protection amount (cash + assets) up to £85,000.
It is registered in several countries, meaning that it must have authorization from the local financial markets authorities. For instance, Trading 212 is registered in CMVM and BaFin in Portugal and Germany, respectively.
Trading 212 is a private company, meaning there is less transparency in its financial situation compared to a company listed on the stock market. As a private company, it does not need to disclose its annual report on its site. So, this is something to take into account when deciding to open an account.
Finally, besides the mandatory regulatory protections, Trading 212 offers an additional layer of protection (private insurance) from Lloyd’s of London, giving coverage of up to 1 million euros. For more information, click here.
Do you want to read a deeper analysis? Check out our dedicated article on investment protection (for EU investors)!
8. Trading 212 supported countries
Trading 212 operates in over 100 countries globally: Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the list goes on.
Nonetheless, due to regulation, Trading 212 cannot accept clients from the United States, Canada and Belgium.
9. Account Opening
The process of opening an account with Trading 212 is straightforward. You just need to follow an intuitive step-by-step registration procedure. Firstly, click “Open account” on the homepage:
Then, choose your “country of residency” and click “next”:
Select your account (remember that you will have access to both – this is only for you to choose which one to start with):
Now, insert your chosen email and password. You must accept the terms & conditions that appear below. Keep in mind that the Trading 212 subsidiary will be the one dedicated to your country. Since we are registering from a European Union country, we are under the “Trading 212 Markets Ltd.”:
And you are ready to go (to deposit and withdraw, you will need to verify your account by providing your identity card and other information):