Trading 212 Review

Trading 212 is a global CFD and forex broker, but clients can also trade stocks and ETFs free of charge. The company was founded in 2004 and is now headquartered in London. Trading 212 is regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bulgarian Financial Supervision Commission (FSC).

Trading 212 started out in Bulgaria as a company called Avus Capital, before being incorporated in the UK in 2013. That means the company is regulated both by the Financial Services Commission in Bulgaria, and the FCA in the UK.

Over the last five years, Trading 212 has continued to rapidly increase its user base, and its trading app has been downloaded over 12 million times, making it one of the most popular trading apps globally. Users can trade stocks, Forex pairs, indices, ETFs and even cryptocurrencies.

Trading 212 is considered safe as it is regulated by the top-tier FCA. 

Pros and cons 

Trading 212 has a lot to offer potential clients. The primary benefit is commission free trading across a broad range of asset types. Particularly for frequent users, these small charges can quickly add up, eating into what can already be tight margins. It’s an extremely attractive prospect for those seeking to enter the marketplace for the first time.

Another major benefit is the user-friendliness of the Trading 212 mobile app. Free to download, easy to navigate and with a deep layer of functionality, it removes a large amount of the complexity often associated with trading assets, without sacrificing on features. Finally, the range of educational material available is a key draw for those looking to learn more about financial markets.

However, the leverage is lower than many other online brokers for Professional clients, with many competitors offering tighter spreads. More experienced investors would rather engage in the more commonly used MetaTrader 4 Platform instead of the Trading 212 app. Metatrader 4 (MT4) integration is also missing at present.

Frequent users could potentially find the focus on mobile off-putting, as many prefer to use a terminal, usually with multiple screens, for a more complicated analysis.

Lastly, some potential users may not benefit from the simplicity of Trading 212: they could be looking for trading platforms with a wider focus on managed services, automated trading or the ability to copy the trades of successful users.

  • Commission-free trading on a wide range of asset types
  • Account opening is quick
  • Trading platforms are great
  • The product portfolio is limited
  • Missing phone and live chat
  • Forex fee is costly

Main features

Country of regulation

UK, Bulgaria

Trading cost class

Average

Products offered

Stock, ETF, Forex, CFD, Crypto

Minimum deposit

$1

Deposit with bank card

Available

Depositing with electronic wallet

Unavailable

Time to open an account

1 day

Number of base currencies supported

9

Demo account provided

Yes

Fees

We ranked Trading 212’s cost levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

To get things started, let’s go over some lingo related to broker fees. What you need to keep track of are trading costs, and non-trading costs.

  • Trading costs take place when you trade. These can be commissions, spreads, financing rates and costs for conversion.
  • Non-trading costs include charges not directly related to trading, like withdrawal fees or inactivity fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most significant fees of Trading 212 for each asset class. For example, in the case of forex and stock index trading the most important fees are spreads, commissions and financing rates.

We also compared Trading 212’s fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, eToro and XTB. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of alternatives regarding Trading 212.

To have a clear overview of Trading 212, let’s begin with the trading costs.

  • Free stock and ETF trading
  • Minimal CFD costs
  • No withdrawal and inactivity cost
  • High forex costs
  • High financing rate
Trading 212 costs
Assets Cost level Cost terms
S&P 500 CFD High The costs are built into the spread, 1.9 points is the average spread cost at peak trading hours.
Europe 50 CFD High The costs are built into the spread, 6 points is the average spread cost at peak trading hours.
EURUSD High The costs are built into the spread, 1.4 pips is the average spread cost at peak trading hours
Inactivity cost Low No inactivity cost
Trading 212 costs
Stock and ETF commission of a $2,000 trade
Trading 212 eToro XTB
US stock $0.0 $0.0 $10.0
UK stock $0.0 $0.0 $12.0
German stock $0.0 $0.0 $12.0
Trading 212 costs
CFD costs for a $2,000 long position held for one week
Trading 212 eToro XTB
S&P 500 index CFD cost $4.1 $1.7 $1.5
Europe 50 index CFD cost $6.3 $2.8 $1.8
Apple CFD cost $17.5 $6.7 $17.3
Vodafone CFD cost $17.3 $20.8
Trading 212 costs
Forex benchmark costs of a $20,000 30:1 long position held for one week
Trading 212 eToro XTB
EURUSD benchmark cost $26.0 $8.7 $8.5
GBPUSD benchmark cost $20.3 $8.2 $6.1
AUDUSD benchmark cost $15.0 $7.9 $6.7
EURCHF benchmark cost $17.5 $12.9 $9.0
EURGBP benchmark cost $24.8 $12.8 $8.3
Trading 212 costs
Non-trading costs
Trading 212 eToro XTB
Account cost No No No
Inactivity cost No Yes Yes
Deposit cost $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal cost $0 $5 $0

Account Opening

Trading 212’s account opening is fully online, easy-to-use and available in most countries.  On the other hand, the minimum deposit is high in specific countries and account authentication can take longer. 

Trading 212’s accepts clients from all over the world with some exceptions. You can’t open an account if you are a resident of the United States or Canada. 

Trading 212’s opening of account Is quick and fully online. Signing up online only takes 10-15 minutes, however, the account authorization process is a bit sluggish. Our account was only authorized after three business days.

  • Fully online
  • Easy-to-use
  • Available in almost every country
  • Lowest deposit is costly in certain countries
  • Sluggish account authorization

Account types 

 

Trading 212 technically only provides one account type, which means fees, charges and leverage are the same for all clients. This fits in with the company’s atmosphere of ‘democratizing trading’. All trades are commission free, and it’s simple to switch between ‘demo mode’ and real mode – the key difference is choosing to fund your account.

Pro Account

Trading 212 does offer ‘professional’ accounts. These allow regulated users to access higher levels of leverage in exchange for waiving regulatory protection. Traders can apply directly when they open an account, but must meet certain criteria (trading experience, trade frequency and capital) before being accepted for a Pro account.

 

How to access your account

Provide your country of residence 

Add tax information

Select the account type

Answer questions regarding financial situation

Accept the terms and conditions

Trading 212’s opening of account Is quick and fully online. Signing up online only takes 10-15 minutes, however the account authorization process is a bit sluggish. Our account was only authorized after three business days.

Payment Methods

Trading 212 offers numerous payment options, including bank transfers, credit and debit card transactions, and a selection of digital wallets. Full details are available in the FAQ section on the website – but most mainstream funding methods are available. You can withdraw money directly into your bank account (although there are minimum withdrawal limits imposed), and money should be in your account within 2-3 business days.

Trading platform

The trading platform Trading 212 runs on is an extremely strong element of this brokerage service.

Optimized for the mobile user’s experience, the platform is very simple to navigate around, yet offers a powerful range of features, charts and analysis without feeling clunky or overburdened.

One great function is the ability to place trades in multiple ways and perform numerous operations on the same trading pair simultaneously.

Some investors may prefer more complex or feature rich platforms, often found on MT4 – but equally, many will appreciate the custom-built, bespoke feel of the Trading 212 app.

The demo account allows traders to experiment with platforms and find the one that suits them best.

Markets and Products

Tradable Assets

Forex pairs

Countries

Trading 212 boasts a huge range of over 1800 tradable assets.

These include over 150 Forex pairs, a comprehensive range of cryptocurrencies, including Ripple, Ethereum and Bitcoin, as well as more traditional asset types such as indices, stocks and commodities.

Additional Features

Offers and Promotions

Trading 212 provides a wide range of offers to its users, including an up to date economic calendar, detailed (but succinct) technical analysis for each tradable asset, a daily world news update, and a whole host of educational video and written tutorials explaining critical trading concepts, graphs and analysis. Users can browse comprehensive forums for further advice, and the FAQ section is well organized and extensive.

Auxiliary features

Trading212 offers a range of auxiliary features to support its core trading app. These include a detailed economic calendar, daily financial news updates, an in-depth education section with detailed explanations and tutorials of how various elements of trading work, summaries of key industry concepts and terms, and guides on how to use charts to conduct analysis.

Negative balance protection is also offered to regulated traders.

Bonuses

Trading 212 aren’t currently running any active bonus offers, although in the past they have offered a £50 welcome bonus for making a deposit. EU regulators in particular have restricted the use of bonus offers as they think it can lead to over trading.

Customer Support

Trading 212 have a great, highly responsive customer service team with an average response time under a minute. Customer support is available 24 hours a day across a variety of platforms and in 16 different languages, with support centres spread all over the globe

 

Safety

The Trading 212 app has been downloaded several million times, with huge numbers of transactions being processed every day.

The core systems underpinning the service are strong and secure, and examining the FAQ section of the website reveals a company committed to the safety and security of user data and finances.

The level of regulation the company sticks to means users can feel reassured that Trading 212 is an incredibly secure platform.

  • Majority of clients belong to a top-class financial authority
  • Negative balance protection
  • Not available on a stock exchange
  • Financial information is not available publicly
  • Does not hold a banking license

Bottom line

In conclusion, Trading 212 is an online brokerage service for investors both new and experienced, with an excellently designed bespoke mobile app, commission free trading, a simple account structure and a whole host of additional educational features. Trading 212 offers good levels of customer support and easy withdrawal of funds. All of this makes it a great option for would-be investors to explore.

On the flip-side, some potential investors may prefer a more browser-based broker, use of the popular MetaTrader 4 platform, or additional features like algorithmic/automated trading or the option of managed accounts.