Trading 212 Review: Your Starter Guide to Zero-Commission Trading

The European broker Trading 212 offers a commission-free trading experience and provides access to global markets. It is particularly recognised for its mobile trading app, which provides a user-friendly approach to trading CFDs on many assets, along with real stocks and ETFs. Despite the excellent trading app, the platform gained popularity only after the introduction of the commission-free structure.

Read on to find out what makes Trading 212 stand out from other brokers, and we'll also introduce you to its main features, benefits, and costs, so you can decide if this is the right broker for you.

Trading 212: key points

🌎 RegulationFCA in the United Kingdom, CySEC in Cyprus
💲 Supported CurrencyGBP, USD, EUR, and others
💰 Commissions£0
💰 Minimum Deposit£10
💵 Inactivity FeeNo
💵 Withdrawal FeeNo
📈 ProductsCFDs on stocks, indices, commodities, forex, real stocks and ETFs
🕹️ Demo AccountYes

Trading 212: security

Trading 212 is a broker founded in 2004 in Bulgaria. The company then moved to England but also kept its Bulgarian entity. Today it has several branches in the United Kingdom, Bulgaria and Cyprus.

The Trading 212 brand is regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) in Cyprus and the Financial Services Commission (FSC) in Mauritius. Trading 212 has a net worth of over £3.5 billion and over 2 million customers. This review will take a closer look at the platform and other key aspects of Trading 212.

CountryProtection AmountRegulator
UK£85,000FCA (UK)
EU90% of your money, up to a maximum of €20,000CySEC
All other countries90% of funds, up to a maximum of €20,000FSC

Trading 212: what to invest in?

Trading212 offers more than 12,000 global stocks and ETFs, indices, commodities, and forex.

ProductsOffer
Currency Pairs+180
Indices CFDs+35
Stock and ETF CFDs+10,000
Commodities/Commodity CFDs+28

Trading 212: products

The product offering varies depending on the type of account chosen. Trading212 is a CFD broker but also offers real stocks and ETFs without commissions.

Real stocks and ETFs: There are about 10,000 stocks to choose from (including fractional stocks from only £1) and real ETFs that can be traded on the major exchanges, from London and Frankfurt to the Swiss Exchange, and NYSE and NASDAQ in the US.

CFD Account: CFDs can be traded on forex, indices, stocks and commodities. As for leverage, Trading 212 is a London-based broker and must therefore comply with the ESMA regulations on leverage limits.

Trading 212: types of accounts

The broker presents 3 main types of accounts.

Trading 212 Invest

By opening a Trading 212 Invest account, you can start trading for free with just £1, investing in over 3,000 real stocks (including fractional) and ETFs. Compared to other trading platforms, one of the main advantages of using this broker is that Trading 212 offers zero commissions. However, note that transactions made in currencies other than the base currency are subject to a 0.15% conversion fee.

Trading 212 CFD

The Trading 212 CFD account has a minimum deposit of only £10 and does not charge administrative fees, commissions or other types of fees.

Trading 212 Pro

Trading on this account is only available to experienced traders who meet two out of three of the following criteria:

  • Traders must have a wide history of trading in financial instruments such as CFDs or forex of significant size.
  • Traders must have an investment portfolio of at least £500,000.
  • One year of experience in the financial sector in a position that clearly demonstrates knowledge of CFD trading.

Trading 212 Demo

It is especially important for novice investors and traders to know that Trading 212 provides users with a demo account, with which they can invest £50,000 worth of virtual money and try out their strategy without risk.

Fractional shares

Investing in and trading fractional shares is available both in Trading 212 Invest accounts and in ISA accounts. The ISA account allows you to invest tax-free, up to £20,000 per year. The fractional shares indicator is accessible in the account's settings menu, and you must activate it in the Trading Preferences section. When the “fractional shares” feature is enabled, a small circle appears above each available instrument.

Trading212: trading platform

Trading212 offers its own trading platform which is really easy to use and navigate. Its customization and search capabilities are exceptional. It also has other useful tools such as alerts and notifications, portfolio and commission reports that show performance, accrued interest, and other useful data.

It is also possible to customise trades in various ways, including limit or stop-loss orders. You can also use auto invest, a feature that allows you to make regular purchases as part of a long-term investment strategy.

The trading platform provides multiple charts, which is one of its strengths. About 50 technical indicators are available to help trading decisions, including basic and more advanced ones.

Trading 212: commissions & spreads

Trading 212 offers the possibility of trading without commissions. However, spread fees are applied to the assets on the trading platform, which is the difference between the buy and sell price. Also, depending on your chosen assets, there may be other fees you need to cover, such as:

  • Foreign exchange conversion fee of 0.15% (if applicable)
  • Variable overnight fee (swaps, if applicable)
  • 0.5% UK stamp duty (when buying UK shares)
  • £1 fee on share transactions larger than £10,000 (applied by the UK government)
  • French tax of 0.3% (when buying French shares)
  • FINRA fee of $0.000145 (when selling US shares)
  • SEC fee of 0.00229% (when selling US shares)

Trading 212: non-trading costs

Trading 212 has very few non-trading costs. Overall, there is no fee for opening an account, withdrawing money, or depositing the first £2,000 in your account. Also, there is no fee for inactivity.

For deposits in excess of £2,000 (cumulative) via credit cards, debit cards or electronic wallets, a 0.7% fee is charged.

Trading 212: taxes

Generally, brokers do not send tax information to the tax agency. Therefore, it is up to the trader or investor to declare capital gains and income from investing or trading (such as dividends) each year.

However, this depends on your chosen assets and account type. For instance, the ISA account is tax-free if you invest a maximum of £20,000 per year. It is best to consult a tax specialist if you are unsure how to report your investing or trading income.

How to open an account?

Opening an account is simple and the verification process for new accounts usually takes one business day.

Here are the steps to follow to open an account with Trading 212:

  1. Enter your country of residence, email address and date of birth.
  2. Select the type of account and the base currency of the account.
  3. Describe your financial situation, employment status and trading experience.
  4. Once you accept the terms and conditions, upload relevant documents to verify your identity and residence to activate the account.

Activating the trading account requires the following information to be sent to Trading 212:

  • Government-issued ID, passport or driver's license
  • A bank statement or a recent bill as proof of address

EUR, PLN, GBP, RON, CHF, NOK, SEK, and CZK are the base currencies supported by Trading 212. However, in each country only 2 or 3 base currencies are available, and you cannot change your Trading 212 base currency after you create your account.

Trading 212: minimum deposit

For the Trading Invest account, the minimum deposit required is £1, while for the Trading CFD account is £10.

If you deposit to your account via bank transfer, Trading 212 does not charge any deposit fee. However, if you deposit more than £2,000, a deposit fee of 0.7% is applied. The limit is cumulative, so if you deposit £1,000 twice, all the other deposits you make subsequently will be charged 0.7%.

In addition to bank transfers, you can use credit or debit card and the following e-wallets:

  • Google Pay
  • PayPal
  • Skrill
  • Apple Pay

How do I withdraw money?

Trading 212 does not charge any withdrawal fees and it takes a few seconds to withdraw your funds. You can use either the mobile phone app or the desktop version to withdraw money.

What is the withdrawal process?

Here is a short guide on withdrawing money from Trading 212:

  • Log in to your account
  • Tap on “Account menu” (if using a mobile phone app) or click on your email address in the top right corner (if using the desktop version)
  • Select “Manage Funds
  • Type in your password
  • Select the account and type in the amount
  • Choose your preferred payment method
  • Confirm the withdrawal

Trading 212: customer service

Trading 212 provides quick, relevant and direct answers via email and live chat, and customer service is available 24/7. The Trading 212 website contains a form to fill out to receive email assistance.

By selecting a topic in the FAQ section, a series of recommended articles show up, which potentially helps to avoid contacting customer service. Telephone assistance, on the other hand, is lacking.

If you want to develop your trading skills, Trading 212 also offers the following options:

  • Demo account to practise your strategies
  • Tutorial videos
  • High-quality tutorial articles

Trading 212 app review

For Android and iOS devices, Trading 212 offers an extremely easy-to-use mobile application. Stocks, forex, indices and new symbols added can be selected using the filters in the app.

The main weakness of Trading 212 is the lack of relevant search tools. However, an economic calendar highlights the upcoming events for each symbol on the platform.

Trading 212 is the first broker to use its own plugin for Google Chrome, which makes it easy to access the platform from a browser. Watchlists can also be customised and synchronised automatically. Trading 212 is a well-designed platform with a wide range of assets, but lacks advanced trading tools and has a poorly developed search field.

The application's charting tool includes 45 indicators and 19 drawing tools. Compared to the web version, the mobile app has almost identical features. Currently, only good-till-cancel orders are available (good-till-date is not available). Subtle details like these show that there is still plenty of room for improvement in the app.

Trading 212: training

The Trading 212 YouTube channel offers more than 170 educational videos, but there are no webinars. However, the help centre offers detailed articles.

Training in Trading 212 is mostly based on videos, available on both web and mobile platforms. Apart from some forum posts from the community and FAQs in the help section, Trading 212 does not offer in-depth educational content.

Trading 212 could benefit from the educational features that are easily found on the trading platforms of the best brokers. Unfortunately, there are no articles organised by experience level and quizzes to assess progress.

Trading 212: advantages and disadvantages

👍 Main Advantages👎 Main Disadvantages
Zero commissions for trading real stocks and ETFsLimited selection of ETFs to invest in
Very low minimum depositRelatively high spreads for CFD transactions
Good customer feedbackTelephone support is not available
Demo accountDeposit fee (for more than £2,000)

Related articles & recommendations

Trading 212: summary

The Trading 212 platform is simplified so that beginners can enjoy a hassle-free experience. Trading 212 offers stocks and ETFs with no commissions, while spreads are mid-range. Setting up an account is extremely simple and the trading platform is intuitive.

However, despite the wide range of trading assets, the educational research offering is lacking. Compared to the best CFD brokers, Trading 212 is not the ideal option for experienced traders, who may want to check the best brokers for intraday trading instead.

FAQ

How does Trading 212 make money?

Trading 212 does not charge commissions on stocks and ETFs. However, the main source of income is from CFDs. A spread and overnight fee are charged on CFDs. There is also a fee for depositing more than £2,000, among other charges.

Is Trading 212 safe?

There is no doubt that Trading 212 is legal, as it is regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and the Bulgarian Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC).

What to invest in Trading 212?

With the Trading Invest account, you can buy and sell around 10,000 real stocks and ETFs on major exchanges, while with the Trading CFD account, you can trade indices, forex, stocks and commodities.

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