Investing > Trading 212 Review

Trading 212 Review

Trading 212 offers safe, regulated trading, excellent customer service with aims to bring more democratization to the forex industry.

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Trading 212 is a London based fintech company, founded in 2004 under its Bulgarian based entity, Avus Capital.

In 2012, Trading 212 received regulatory status through its U.K entity, and has grown immensely since.

The firm aims to democratize the financial market through its free, smart and easy-to-use app, and in 2017 the firm launched the U.Ks first zero commission trading platform.

Trading212 is an online brokerage with a goal of creating more accessible trading. The broker offers a wide range of tradable assets and forex pairs, and just one account type with the possibility of an upgrade to receive higher leverage.

Fast Facts

  • Demo Account: Yes
  • Account Minimum: $10
  • Regulation: FCA (UK) and CySEC (Cyprus)
  • Best For: New traders
  • Asset Coverage: CFDs, Forex, Crypto, Commodities, Spreads, Stocks

Ratings

  • Commissions & Fees: 5.5/10
  • Investment Selection: 6/10
  • Account Options & Features: 5/10
  • Usability: 7.5/10
  • Educational Resources: 4/10
  • Customer Service: 6/10
  • Overall: 5/10
Open Account on Trading212’s website

Investor Warning: 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 is currently jointly owned by Ivan Ashminov and his business partner. And although brokers traditionally made their profits through commissions, Trading 212 hasn’t been affected, with revenues of £43.7 million in 2017, and estimated pre-tax profits of over £25m in 2018.

Trading 212 now boasts over 14 million app downloads, making it one of the most popular trading apps in the world. With a reported 50,000 active clients as of September 2018, Trading 212 are on a steady path to success.

Since 2016, Trading 212 has been the UK’s number one trading app, and in 2017 the firm announced that it has taken the number one spot in Germany too.

Pros

  • 40,000 users and traders
  • Founded in 2004 under the name Avus Capital
  • Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Cyprus SEC (CySEC) and the FSC
  • Minimum deposit from just $10

Cons

  • Does not allow expert advisor software (EA)
  • Limited research selection
  • Not regulated by ASIC

Overview and Summary

  1. Trading 212 is a London based fintech company, founded in 2004 under its Bulgarian based entity, Avus Capital.
  2. The firm aims to democratize the financial market through its free, smart and easy to use apps, and in 2017 the firm launched the U.Ks first zero commission trading platform.
  3. Trading 212 is a trusted broker and is fully compliant with EU regulations.
  4. Customer support is excellent, generally quite responsive, and available 24/7, but they can be slower during key trading hours.
  5. Trading 212 offers a good range of trading platforms which include: a mobile app for Google Play, IOS, and Webtrade.
  6. Trading 212 research section offers basic features such as News, an Economic Calendar, and market analysis, but it could do with making some improvements.
  7. You will need to make a minimum deposit of just $10 to begin trading with Trading 212.

Is Trading 212 Safe?

Screenshot of Trading 212 homepage
Trading 212 is a well-regulated brokerage that earned the trust of its customers.

Trading 212 is a trusted broker and is fully compliant with EU regulations. The firm is authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, a tier-1 regulator, and the Financial Services Commission (FSC) in Bulgaria. This makes Trading 212 one of the most heavily regulated online brokers in the industry.

Customers funds are stored in a seperate account and are protected for up to €20,000, as required by the EU Directive 97/9/EC.

The company also has rigorous measures in place to ensure traders information is protected, including performing regular penetration tests, and a dedicated 24/7 Security Operations Center.

Trading 212’s Growth Against the Grain

2018 proved to be a tough year for brokers across the board with the implementation of the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) product intervention measures. This resulted in a decrease in a lot of brokers and trading providers earnings for that year. Trading 212 however, are an exception to this and has not just managed to survive, but thrive in the face of this.

The broker reported a good financial overview of its UK-based operations for the end of 2018, and not only were profits good, but they earned an increase on a year on year comparison.

The FX Industry Demands the Best – London Summit 2019

“Our obsession to provide the best possible customer experience in our mobile and web apps is the big differentiator for Trading 212. We continue to be the most downloaded and highest rated mobile app in the UK for trading and investing.”

– Ivan Ashminov, Co-Founder of Trading 212

Trading 212 Compared

Fees
Average spread EUR/USD standard

N/A

0.9

All-in cost EUR/USD - active

N/A

0.363

Minimum initial deposit

£10

£250

General
Total currency pairs

more than 100

93

Demo account?
Social / copy trading?
Rating
Fees
Average spread EUR/USD standard

0.9

1.13

All-in cost EUR/USD - active

0.363

0.86

Minimum initial deposit

£250

$200.00

General
Total currency pairs

93

59

Demo account?
Social / copy trading?
Rating
Fees

Average spread EUR/USD standard

N/A

0.9

1.13

All-in cost EUR/USD - active

N/A

0.363

0.86

Minimum initial deposit

£10

£250

$200.00

General

Total currency pairs

more than 100

93

59

Demo account?

Social / copy trading?

Trading 212 UK Financial Results

While Trading 212 UK reported a yearly decline in revenue across a 12-month period, this was still a great result given the circumstances, ending with around £4.03 million ($4.99 million); a decrease of 3.5 percent in comparison to the year previous.

That said, Trading 212’s operating profit grew by 49.3 percent year on year from the previous financial year, leading to the firm recording a figure of £1.85 million. This is an increase on the 1.24 million they made in 2017.

When income and costs are taken into consideration, the profit before tax came to around £1.85 million. This is a 44.8 percent increase on the firms £1.28 the previous year.

In 2018, Trading 212 successfully reduced its expenses, leading them towards a significant profit growth. To go into detail, the firm’s total expenses were around £2.18 million, which is lower than the previous year by 52.7 percent.

These achievements are more significant when you look at the broker’s customer base, with the majority of them based in the UK or Germany. Both countries were affected by ESMA’s measures, which enforced leverage restrictions.

Nonetheless, the broker did see a drop in the number of total funded accounts.

Fees & Spreads

The Trading 212 fee structure is meant to help smaller investors enroll investing process.

In 2017, Trading 212 Co-founder Ashminov stated, “The commissions charged by UK brokers are nothing short of a disgrace. Brokers are charging multiples of the actual cost of executing a trade, not margin.

We want to completely shake up retail share trading by democratising the marketplace so smaller investors are no longer penalised for putting their money to work.”

When trading forex and other CFDs such as commodities and crypto, Trading 212 charge based on the spread, the difference between the buy and sell price of an instrument. The broker does not publish an average spread to reflect its actual costs to traders.

Trading 212’s minimum spread for trading EUR/USD is pips – which is quite a low charge considering the average EUR/USD spread is .70 pips.

So, how much would you need to pay to trade one lot of EUR/USD with Trading 212?

How Much Trading 212 Charges to Trade EUR/USD

If you buy one lot of EUR/USD, about 100k units, with Trading 212, with an exchange rate of 1.2124, and then sell it off the next day for the same price you will generally pay $0 in fees. This is great value when you compare it with XTB, who would charge $2.

That said, while we can quantify fixed spreads offered on 32 pairs, once you get to over 150 pairs, variable spreads are offered.

Nonetheless, having access to both fixed and variable spreads can be a good thing for traders depending on your individual needs and trading style, as Trading 212 provide clients with a diverse range of markets.

Customer Support & A Community Vibe

Customer support is excellent, mostly quite responsive, and available 24/7, but they can be slower during key trading hours, which isn’t the best considering that might be when you need it most.

The customer support team is available across a range of platforms and offers support in 16 different languages including, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Dutch, Norwegien, Serbian, Swedish, Russian, Szech, Romanian, Turkish, Arabix, and Chinese.

You can also take a look at the broker’s Community Forum to see a wide range of previously asked questions and answers, or to ask one yourself. You can choose from different categories, such as Investing and active trading, and arrange it from the latest to the top asked questions. The overall vibe is friendly and helpful, and means that you have a community that you can count on for support as soon as you join.

What Trading 212 Do Best

Platforms & Tools

Picture of laptop and smartphone running 212 Trade apps
The Trading 212 platforms include well-designed and easy to use desktop and mobile apps.

Trading 212 offers a good range of trading platforms which include: a mobile app for Google Play, IOS, and webtrade.

Trading 212’s web-based trading platform offers traders access to over 1,800 instruments. The platform is easy to use, and highly-responsive, with generally no disruptions.

Once you visit the Trading 212 website, your credentials will save, and you will be able to log-in automatically in future. In addition to this, the platforms features are designed to create the most ease of use possible with its simple and clear layout.

Unlike many brokers, Trading 212 also has its own Google Chrome plugin which offers users quick-access from a browser by replicating the mobile version.

The platform has five charting times, 55 indicators, and almost 20 drawing tools. You will also have access to their 24/7 live chat if you need any assistance.

Where the Platform Could Improve

The order window is a bit too basic in some respects, and lacks some advanced features; like adding a take-profit to a pending order, and a Good-till-Date parameter.

Tradable Assets

Trading 212 have over 1,800 tradable instruments, including commodities, forex, stocks and indices. The firm allows you to trade stocks like, Lloyds, Apple and Tesla Motors. You can trade commodities like gold, oil and silver. And over 30 indices in both major and niche markets.

Trading 212 also support 14 crypto pairs and several unique FX pairs, including 37 against the Bulgarian Lev.

Learning Experience: How to Invest from Just £1

Beginners can watch the firm’s video on how to invest from just £1 to help you get started

Trading 212’s learning section offers well designed videos that are catchy and hold your attention. Some other good beginner videos include, How to Buy Your First Share, and Understanding Divergence.

You can also browse sections including, Trading Modes, that includes articles explaining hedging, netting and trading modes, How to Use Charts, Concepts and Terms, and Economic Indicators; all great sources for any forex newbies.

The 212 blog is just as equally well-designed, although while it states it discusses the latest cryptocurrency events, it isn’t very regularly updated, with its last blog dated as far back as August 2019.

Leverage

The company offers a high leverage rate of about 1:300 for professional accounts. While this is good if you’re careful, this does substantially raise your risk of loss, too. Try to strategize as much as possible, and only trade what you think is necessary.

Leverage Illustration showing a hand that balances dollar sign
High leverages won’t increase your risk of loss only in case you have a good investing strategy.

Where Trading 212 Could Do Better

Research

Trading 212 does have a research section that includes News, an Economic Calendar, and market analysis, but it’s certainly not the best out there, to say the least.

While Trading 212 does offer daily market analysis for a wide range of instruments, including silver, gold, and oil, there is a lot more that the firm could do to up its game.

It’s also hard to decipher where the news headlines are being pulled from, which makes it difficult to understand the angle fully, and most crucially, there is only a small selection of third-party research available, which isn’t ideal.

Lastly, mobile traders will notice that there is no research accessible from the app – A crucial downfall.

How To Open An Account With Trading 212

Trading 212 homepage with  open an account button
Trading 212 needs you to confirm that you are aware of all the trading risks before opening an account.

Because Trading 212 is regulated by the FCA and Cyprus SEC, everyone will need to pass some standard compliance checks to confirm your understanding of all the risks involved in trading, and that you are allowed to trade.

To be sure that you have everything you need when opening an account, make sure to check off this short list:

  • A color copy of your passport, or other photo ID, such as your driving license.
  • A bank statement or utility bill from the past 3 months to prove your home address.

And that’s it for documents. The compliance questions you’ll be asked will be basic, and will more or less just confirm your trading experience. The whole process should only take about 5-10 minutes to complete.

Keep in mind, it could take a few days for your status to be updated and you won’t be able to make any trades until it’s confirmed that you have passed compliance.

To begin opening an account with Trading 212 just click on ‘open an account’ on their homepage.

Account Types

Traders can only get one account type, bar one exception, which means that fees, charges and leverage is the same of everyone, a feature that complements the company’s goal of  democratizing trading. Trades are commission free, and you can easily switch from ‘demo mode’ to real mode by simply funding your account.

Professional Account

There is one way that traders can get ahead and that’s by qualifying for a Professional Account. Traders who meet the right criteria for a ‘professional account’ can get access to higher leverage, once you agree to waive regulatory protection. The criteria consists of trading experience, how active you are, and your capital.

Demo Account

You can easily alternate between your ‘real’ account and a practice account, which is quite handy, and saves you setting up two accounts. The setup only takes under a minute to do..

Minimum Deposit

You will need to make a minimum deposit of just $10 to begin trading with Trading 212, however, it is advised that you initially deposit more if you are serious about trading.

You can send payments through bank transfer, credit/debit cards, Giropay, Dotpay, SafetyPay, Carte Bleue, Direct eBanking, Mister Cash, UnionPay and CashU.

The Bottom Line

Trading 212 arguably do not get enough credit for pioneering zero-commission in shares and ETFs early on in the UK and some parts of the EU.

The broker offers excellent customer service and a good, visual learning section that beginners will enjoy. Trading 212’s platform is also quick and easy-to-use. However, its research just isn’t up to scratch, and should move with the times to offer traders something more substantial.

If you’re interested in learning more about forex trading you can check out our Forex Guide for Beginners to help give you a head start.

Trading 212 and the Competition

See how Trading 212 compares to the leading Forex brokers by reading one of the reviews below.

All reviews, research, news and assessments of any kind on The Tokenist are compiled using a strict editorial review process by our editorial team. Neither our writers nor our editors receive direct compensation of any kind to publish information on TheTokenist.io. Our company, Tokenist Media LLC, is community supported and may receive a small commission when you purchase products or services through links on our website. Click here for a full list of our partners and an in-depth explanation on how we get paid.

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