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eToro was founded in 2007 and is an early pioneer of social trading in forex markets. It’s regulated by the FCA I UK and by the Cyprus CySEC, as well as more recently by the Australian ASIC.
- Innovative features of social trading
- User friendly platform
- Copy funds for investors
- Can’t deposit or withdraw crypto (only fiat)
- Wide spreads on forex
Recommended for: If you’re interested in trying social trading (following others trades, or others following you), then eToro is probably the best.
Regulation and protection for customers
eToro operates its global business through four separate legal entities, each regulated by financial authorities as per below:
|Country||Regulatory body||Legal Entity||Protection amount|
|UK||FCA||eToro (UK) Ltd.||50,000 GBP|
|EU||CySEC||eToro (Europe) Limited||20,000 Euro|
|Australia||ASIC||eToro AUS Capital Pty Ltd.||No protection|
|USA||Only registered with FinCEN||eToro USA LLC||No protection|
It’s important to mention that the protections amount do not cover cryptocurrencies.
eToro provides negative balance protection, meaning your balance cannot go negative and you cannot lose more than your overall equity.
Opening an account at eToro is simple and fast. You can even sign-up with Facebook or Google, if you want to and immediately access the trading platform. You can do a quick deposit, but you’ll be limited to $2250 before you finish the KYC process.
They accept European customers and for now they don’t accept customers from USA (but they probably will very soon), Canada, Japan, Brazil, Turkey, North-Korea, Iran, Cuba, Sudan and Syria.
The only base currency for an account is USD and they only provide one type of account. As with most brokers, a demo account is also offered.
Deposits and withdrawals
The minimum deposit is $200 and you can do it via debit or credit card, wire transfer, Paypal or electronic wallets like Skrill, Neteller or Webmoney, Wirecard, Yandex and other based on your geolocation.
In terms of withdrawal, you can withdraw through the same method you used to deposit. There is a withdrawal flat fee of $25 and a $50 minimum withdrawal amount.
You can trade real stocks, ETFs and cryptocurrencies at eToro with no leverage. All other assets are traded as CFDs, which means leveraged positions and all positions on forex, indices and commodities.
With CFDs you can also follow and copy other traders, which is what they call social trading (Copy People), as well as invest in a CFD portfolio that can be either a TopTrader’s portfolio, or a Partner portfolio or simply a market portfolio like CannabisCare (Copy Portfolios).
In terms of stocks, there is a limited amount you can trade, from exchanges like NYSE, Nasdaq, London, Frankfurt, Zurich, Paris, Milan, Madrid. Not all stocks from those exchanges are available, just a selection, which might be enough for the average Joe, but if you want to trade a specific stock you might not always find it. It’s a nice touch that you can also filter by sector.
In terms of ETFs, there are about 83 on offer and we think they are constantly adding more. You can find more information about each if you click on them.
You’ll find 13 indices, basically the largest stock market indices plus the US dollar index.
If you want to trade commodities, you can find oil, gold, silver, copper, natural gas and platinum.
In forex, you have access to 47 pairs, tradable through CFDs.
If crypto is what you’re interested in, then they offer 14 of the major ones. While they used to offer leverage on these, currently that’s off the table, you can just go long or short.
Getting to the unique features, Copy Trades. This is what makes eToro special. You get to see statistics of other traders, their portfolio, what they trade most and can even chat to them in a forum like experience. It’s a well built system.
All trading fees at eToro are built into the spread. Depending on who we compare them to, they might be expensive or very cheap. If we put them into a bucket of CFD brokers, then we can safely say that eToro’s rates are quite competitive.
In terms of non-trading fees, they charge $5/month if you do not log in for 12 months. There is no deposit fee, or custody fee, the withdrawal fee is $25 and you should watch out for the overnight fees which range depending on the product you’re trading.
eToro offers a web platform and a mobile platform.
The web platform is easy to use and looks quite modern, since it was redone just last year in 2017. It’s available in multiple languages, such as English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Polish, Chinese, Russian and Arabic.
The whole platform is pretty intuitive and it’s easy to do things quickly, such as creating several watchlists, searching for assets and placing a trade from the watchlist directly. You can drag and drop items in the lists and change the view. You can set an alert or open a chart window, or go further to read fundamental information about the asset you want.
In terms of login and security, eToro is offering a 2fa option, so as you know, we usually recommend adding that to your account.
The search tool is easy to use and eToro does a bunch of categorizing on their own, so that seems to be pretty helpful once you get used to it. They also offer an advanced search in this sense.
Charting is seamless, you can open the chart in a different window and have it full size, so that makes it easy to add indicators and draw your tools on it.
Getting again to special features: Copy People and Copy Portfolios.
Copy People looks at first like a social network, but once you go past and click on a trader, instead of seeing more photos you’ll actually see a feed (well, wait this still sounds like a social network) where they communicate with followers or potential followers, statistics related to their trades and a portfolio if there is one available, as well as a simulated graphic based on a 10,000 starting position.
The minimum amount you can invest is $200.
Copy Portfolios, which are CFD based funds, are another special feature offered by eToro. They even go the extra mile and make it easy for you by grouping top traders into a single fund you can copy or you can go with market portfolios which are built around an idea. They also recently added portfolios managed by third party investment managers, which could be useful for some if you are interested.
The mobile app is like a natural extension of the web platform. Syncing watchlists and other functionalities will unify the experience across devices. The experience with the app is great overall, and we’ll just leave it at that for now.
You can only contact support through opening a ticket, which is of course not ideal and they lack here compared to other brokers.
Beyond the economic calendar which can be viewed on the website and news headlines, eToro provides research through third parties.
Once you click on a stock for example, you’ll find some basic fundamental data like P/E ratios, EPS, dividend yield, company profile. For some of the stocks you’ll find a bit more information like average price target, hedge fund sentiment, insider trading sentiment and some analyst reports.
So while overall there isn’t much to research on the platform, eToro has some social elements appearing when you click on stocks, which acts like a Twitter or Facebook feed for that stock in particular.
eToro is definitely an interesting and different broker if you’re interested in social trading, be it on the side of following other traders or on the side of being the one followed, which a lot of highly experienced TRIers can easily be. Even if you’re just looking to get more ideas for your own trading, eToro could provide a lot of ideas using the copy trading.
If you’re a beginner, you may find that this platform can give you a head-start. However, if you’re a more advanced trader with higher volumes, and you’re not looking to get something out of the social trading aspect, then probably you’ll find better option elsewhere.
Overall, eToro brings innovation to the table, making it one of the leading social copy trading providers.