Why is the brokerage industry so dispersed in terms of its offering to specific countries? You have probably noticed one platform available in dozens of countries and a close competitor only available in a handful of regions (only in Asia, for instance).
Some attribute it to regulation, others to corporate choices, but at the end of the day, no one seems to know the exact reason why X platform is available in Y country, and others are not.
The same applies to eToro, which is unavailable in many countries, including Pakistan. In this article, we will briefly talk about eToro’s restrictions and present you with solid alternatives accessible in Pakistan.
Why is eToro unavailable in Pakistan?
eToro presents a detailed list of countries not supported by them due to regulatory requirements and business decisions. It includes more than 150 countries globally with some notorious names such as Canada, India, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa and Turkey.
Regarding Pakistan, there is no clear explanation on whether it was purely related to regulatory rules, business decisions or a combination of both. Moreover, eToro has no plans to enter the Pakistani market in the near future, so other options must be considered.
Best eToro alternatives in Pakistan
Since you cannot open an account in eToro, we found two excellent alternatives! Our selection criteria involved having similar features as eToro, like the ability to invest in stocks and cryptocurrencies, low fee structure, a hassle-free trading platform, good customer support and top-tier regulator bodies overseeing those companies.
Founded in 1978, IBKR is one of the world’s most trustworthy brokers. It offers an enormous range of financial products (stocks, ETFs, Options,…), and low currency conversion fees (FX fees).
💡 Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks, Options and ETFs, ideal for novice investors.
Founded in 1992, Saxo Bank is a danish online broker with a high reputation among its peers.
1# Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers at a glance
Founded in 1978 and publicly listed in NASDAQ (ticker: IBKR), Interactive Brokers is a global online broker which surpassed major financial crises, showing resilience and a rigorous risk management process.
Interactive Brokers offers an advanced investment platform that includes a wide range of products (stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, futures, bonds, and currencies) from 150 markets, solid trade execution (IB SmartRouting), and a set of technical and fundamental tools to help you in your investment decisions.
Beginners and intermediate investors have educational tools to explore, but the learning curve will be steep. That´s why we mainly endorse it to more advanced traders. Besides, the customer service gives crystal clear answers to your doubts, so there is no need to go back and forth.
On the downside, Interactive Brokers’ fee structure is quite complex, the registration process is lengthy but fully online, and the broker doesn’t offer commission-free trading. However, when considering FX fees, narrower spreads, and the stock loan program, Interactive Brokers’ clients still get significant savings compared to most brokers.
Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks, Options and ETFs, ideal for beginner investors. Some of the features of IBKR GlobalTrader include automatic currency conversions, fractional shares, demo account, and more.
Want to know more about Interactive Brokers? Check our Interactive Brokers Review.
2# Saxo Bank
Saxo Bank at a glance
Launched in 1992, Saxo Bank is one of the most solid financial entities in the brokerage industry, with a proven track record of success. It lets you trade over 60,000 financial instruments through their trading platforms: SaxoTraderPRO (for PC) and SaxoTraderGO (on mobile).
The wide range of cash and margin trading products across global markets include stocks, ETFs, bonds, mutual funds, cryptos, options, futures, CFDs, forex, and more! Saxo Bank presents its advanced research tools for “Buy and hold or trade on leverage”.
The Saxo Bank account tiers are the following:
- Classic: A minimum $2,000 deposit is required, giving you access to tight spreads and customer and technical support 24/5;
- Platinum: A minimum $200,000 deposit is required. In addition to Classic features, it also lowers trading prices by up to 30% and prioritises local-language customer support;
- VIP: A minimum $1,000,000 deposit is required. Here you will find the best prices, access to trading experts and exclusive event invitations.
The pricing structure will vary according to your account tier. For instance, a US stock order will be $0.02 per share with a minimum of $7 in Classic. However, within the VIP tier, the same trade would be $0.01 per share with a minimum of $1. Plus, for accounts with stock, ETFs/ETCs or bond positions, a custody fee of 0.15 % p.a. with a monthly minimum fee of $5.00 will apply.
Saxo Bank A/S is a fully licensed European bank under the supervision of the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA). Saxo Bank is a member of the Danish Guarantee Fund, which protects client cash deposits up to €100,000 and financial securities (stocks, ETFs,…) up to €20,000 per client.
Which is the best alternative?
As you may imagine, there is no single answer. Each platform sets itself apart from its competitors in certain features. For instance, we believe Interactive Brokers is the best broker overall. Still, if you are exclusively looking for social trading, you will quickly realize that there is no real alternative in Pakistan.
Additionally, you should pick the best one for you according to your needs and goals. Are you looking for day trading or a more long-term approach (“buy and hold”)?
All in all, you should always do your own research to assess which online broker will be better for you. We hope this article helped save you some research time and ultimately leads you to choose the most suitable platform for you!
Did we answer all your questions? If not, please let us know in the comments section below!
Does eToro operate in Pakistan?
Can You Use a VPN to open an eToro account from Pakistan?
No, a VPN can only offer access to eToro’s platform, and not in any way facilitate an account opening since the broker requests a valid ID. Proving an eligible residency remains an essential requirement. No VPN is able to sidestep this requirement–only shift your IP address.
What is eToro?
By now, you should have an idea about eToro but let’s give a recap of what you can find there. With over 25 million users, eToro is a multi-asset trading platform that enables investors to invest in the assets they want, from stocks and commodities to crypto assets. The platform makes it easy to buy, hold and sell assets, monitor their portfolio in real-time, or even copy other people’s portfolios.
Besides, eToro is an established and reliable company. It is highly supervised by top-tier regulators, including FCA, ASIC, and CySEC and authorised by each country’s local financial regulators where it operates (e.g. CNMV in Spain).
But not everything is a bed of roses. Did you know eToro charges $5 per minimum withdrawal of $30? Or that only the US dollar is accepted as a base currency?