Last Updated: July 14, 2021
Invest, CFD, ISA
$0 on stocks and ETFs
FCA and FSC
According to recent stats, some 70%–80% of stock investing is automated. The majority of traders seem to find using a robo-advisor convenient. Yet, if you’re an active trader, such apps are certainly not your cup of tea.
Since finding the best stock broker to open trading accounts with is easier said than done, we’re here to make your day. We’ve compiled our Trading 212 review to check whether this trading site really deserves to be praised as the best CFD stock trading platform in the UK.
Risk warning: Your capital is at risk. Some 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this broker due to leverage.
What is Trading 212?
Trading 212 is an international broker that focuses on CFD and forex trading. The platform also allows commission-free stock and ETF trading, as well as commodities and indices.
The brokerage firm was founded back in 2006 in Bulgaria. In 2013, it obtained the license to operate in the UK, where its headquarters currently are. Since 2016, it has been ranked as the No. 1 trading and investing app in the UK.
Trading 212 is regulated by the UK’s top-tier regulatory body — the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority of England and Wales) and the Bulgarian FCS (Financial Supervision Commission). Thus, you can consider it safe and legit.
The broker welcomes both rookies and veteran traders. Inexperienced investors have plenty of video and reading material at their disposal to check out before they begin trading.
Still, we should stress out that newbies may want to stay away from CFD trading. Due to this strategy’s complexity and leverage, you’re at high risk of losing your funds rapidly. Thus, before you even consider giving Trading 212 CFD a try, make sure you understand how it works and whether you can afford the risk.
Who is Trading 212 best for?
Trading 212 is oriented towards seasoned investors who are willing to build and manage their portfolios and prefer short-term trading. Even though it offers automatic investment, the broker isn’t meant for those looking to invest in a ready-made portfolio, then neglect it hoping it will grow without attention.
It’s important to note that Trading 212 doesn’t allow short-selling. If this is your trading style, then you might want to look for another platform.
How to Use Trading 212?
The first step you need to take before opening your stocks trading account is checking out the list of Trading 212 supported countries. Although international, the platform doesn’t accept investors from all countries. Given that the USA and Canada don’t belong to the list, clients from those two countries should look elsewhere.
If your country of residence is eligible, you are all ready to open the account and start trading.
What are the account types?
Users may choose from three Trading 212 account types — Invest, CDF, and ISA account.
Trading 212’s Invest account allows you to invest in over 3,000 real stocks and ETFs on NASDAQ, NYSE, or London Stock Exchange at $0 commission. CDF account holders can trade CDFs, forex, indices, and commodities without any commission charges.
UK residents can open a Trading 212 ISA account and experience automated investment in stocks, shares, and ETFs at zero commission. Plus, there are no taxes on shares, nor any other fees on administration or dividend investment.
A Trading 212 demo account is available to newbies who would like to learn the ins and outs of trading before investing real money.
Note that, currently, the broker doesn’t accept new clients. If you want to open an account with Trading 212, you’ll have to join its waitlist.
What are the account requirements?
Having decided what account type you’d prefer, you’re ready to set it up. The process is fully digital and rather fast. It’s worth noting that the broker may refuse to open your account if you’re not experienced enough, which is praised in many Trading 212 reviews. The reason for this lies in the fact that CFD trading involves high risk and is not suitable for beginners.
To open an account, you’ll need to provide:
- Your personal info, email address, and county of residence
- Your tax ID and the country where you pay taxes
- The preferred account type and currency
- Information about your employment status, financial situation, and trading experience
Once you provide all the necessary details, you’ll be asked to verify your identity. To do so, you’ll need to send a snapshot of your ID, driver’s license, or passport. To verify your address, you should upload a utility bill issued in the past three months or a bank statement.
If you’ve made some money and want to withdraw it, it’s worth knowing that there’s no Trading 212 withdrawal limit. Yet, there is a minimum amount you can take, and it depends on your account type. For the Invest and ISA accounts, it’s $1, whereas the minimum you can withdraw from your CFD account is $10.
How to start trading?
When your account is finally opened, you’re all ready to start trading. But first, you need to make a deposit.
The Trading 212 minimum deposit depends on the account type. For the Invest and ISA account, you’ll need to deposit at least $1. The minimum amount you need to have on your CFD account is $10.
Beginners with a demo account have a virtual $50,000 in funds to play around until they gain enough experience to start investing real money.
Trading 212 trading hours are extended, meaning that you can execute orders outside the official market hours. Thus, pre-market hours last from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. GMT+0, while the Trading 212 after hours take place from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. GMT+0.
What can you trade?
Compared to competitors, the Trading 212 ETF and real stocks portfolio is somewhat limited. Still, users can choose from over 3,000 assets to trade on the NASDAQ, NYSE and London Stock Exchange, as well as other European stock markets.
Speaking of CDFs, investors have 1,700 stocks, 23 indices, 28 ETFs, and 26 commodities.
Traders can also trade on margin. Unfortunately, Trading 212 options and futures investing isn’t possible.
What tools are available?
Trading 212 provides a range of useful tools for analyzing, charting, and viewing. The charting tool comes with myriads of templates and indicators, both customized and pre-set.
The broker also offers a real-time news feed and an integrated economic calendar you can access whenever you want.
Regarding research and education, the platform provides how-to videos for beginners. If you’re new to the world of trading and investing, it’s strongly advisable to check them out.
How does the platform work?
You can access the Trading 212 platform via your desktop browser or a mobile app. Instead of standard Meta Trading 4 or 5 platforms, the broker implements its own.
The web-based trading venue is quite intuitive and well-designed. It’s incredibly user-friendly and easy to navigate, so even traders with minimal experience can use it without much struggle. Taking its excellent functionality, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the platform is acclaimed in numerous Trading 212 reviews.
The layout is very well-organized. On the left, you can see the watchlist of assets you’re following. The pending orders and previous purchases are next to it. If you want to modify your transactions after monitoring live trends, you can do it there.
The main part of the screen shows a detailed graph of the asset you’re following. On the right side, you can see tips or videos.
In case you need them, you can set price alerts and notifications about orders, essentials news or margin calls. Those appear as pop-up messages.
Is there a Client Portal?
Trading 212 provides a clear and straightforward portfolio and free reports. To assess them, you need to click on your username, then choose the “Report” option. Under it, you can check your balance, profit or loss, charged or earned interest (swap points), as well as other important information.
Trading 212 Fees
The broker is famous for its transparency. Its pricing plan is straightforward, so you needn’t worry about Trading 212 hidden fees or commissions.
Regarding Invest and ISA account trading fees, they are non-existent. Trading 212 charges zero commission on stocks and ETFs. This doesn’t apply to the CFD account, though.
You shouldn’t be much bothered about non-trading fees either, as the brokerage charges almost none of them.
As opposed to other brokers, you won’t be paying a Trading 212 inactivity fee if you’ve been inactive for quite a while.
Yet, what you should keep in mind is that you may be charged a deposit fee of 0.7% if the overall sum of all deposits you’ve made exceeds $2,000. Still, this applies only to electronic wallet deposits. If you choose the wire transfer, you won’t pay anything.
Conversely, you shouldn’t be concerned about your withdrawals. They will never be charged, as there isn’t a Trading 212 withdrawal fee.
Trading 212 Mobile App
Along with a high-quality web platform, Trading 212 has an outstanding mobile app too. Just like the platform, it’s intuitive and easy to use and understand. All information shows in a graph you see on your screen.
To switch between sections and assets, you just need to swipe. If you want to set price alerts and notifications, access forums, reports, or educational videos, you can do so from the main menu.
The app is available for Android and iOS. Unfortunately, there isn’t a Trading 212 Windows app.
Trading 212 Customer Service
Customer service is at your disposal 24/7. But you can contact it via email only, as Trading 212 doesn’t offer live chat or phone support.
Although somewhat limited, customer service works well, replying to your questions promptly and giving straightforward and relevant answers.
Trading 212 Alternatives
In this section of our Trading 212 review, we’ll compare the broker with other stock trading apps to help you find a free investing app that suits your needs best.
Trading 212 vs eToro
Unlike Trading 212, eToro accepts US traders. The brokerage is available in 41 states. Yet, Americans are limited only to crypto trading. It’s worth knowing that the company is planning to expand its services in the near future.
Another striking difference is the minimum deposit. To invest with Trading 212, you need to deposit at least $1 or $10, depending on the account. eToro, on the other hand, requires US traders to deposit a minimum of $50.
As opposed to Trading 212 commission and fee-free investing, eToro charges an array of both trading and non-trading fees. Thus, the cryptocurrency fee is 0.75%-4.50%, while the spread depends on the coin. The inactivity fee is $10, and the minimum amount you can withdraw is $30.
Trading 212 vs Plus500
Being UK-based as well, Plus500 is possibly the greatest rival to Trading 212. But Plus500 focuses only on CFD trading, whereas this is just one of the options available with Trading 212. Furthermore, Plus500 has a somewhat higher currency conversion fee, amounting to 0.7% compared to Trading 212’s 0.5%.
In case you want to withdraw your funds, you’ll need to wait 3-7 business days. Trading 212 withdrawal time is shorter, taking about 3 days to get your money. Lastly, Plus500 charges a $10 inactivity fee.
Trading 212 vs Robinhood
Even though Trading 212 welcomes beginners, it’s geared towards more experienced investors ready to dedicate their time and efforts to build their portfolio.
If you’re a newbie, Robinhood would be a better solution for stock trading and investing. The minimum deposit is $0, and the app has no fees whatsoever, so it’s completely free to use. Most importantly, it accepts US residents.
Trading 212 vs Freetrade
Just like Robinhood, Freetrade is aimed at beginners, as opposed to Trading 212 which is oriented towards more advanced investors. Plus, Trading 212 allows day trading, which Freetrade is trying to avoid.
Both brokerages allow commission-free stock trading. But Trading 212 has a richer offer of assets. Furthermore, it includes CFD, unlike Freetrade, which focuses only on stocks and funds.
To finalize our Trading 212 review, we’ll discuss what we liked and didn’t like about the brokerage.
Trading 212 is an excellent trading platform regulated by a top-tier UK authority, the FCA. Its primary focus is on CFDs and forex. Yet, its offer also includes stock, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. Unfortunately, Trading 212 doesn’t support options or future trading.
The minimum deposit is quite low — $1 for Invest and ISA and $10 for CFD accounts. Investing is completely free, as the broker doesn’t charge any commission. Unlike its rivals, Trading 212 also lets you withdraw funds without any charges.
A minor drawback is the 0.7% fee charged for deposits made via electronic wallets — Google Pay, PayPal, etc. Yet, this could be easily avoided by depositing funds via bank transfer.
The trading platform is user-friendly and easy to use, even for complete beginners. Speaking of whom, the broker offers a vast array of video and educational material, as well as a demo account, that newbies should check out before they start investing real money.
On the negative side, Trading 212 doesn’t accept traders from the USA and Canada, along with investors from some other countries. Therefore, US and Canadian stock enthusiasts and options traders will have to look for another brokerage firm.
- Commission-free trading
- Excellent trading platforms
- Low minimum deposit
- Great education material and videos
- A vast array of assets to trade
- Unavailable in a list of countries, including the US and Canada
- No short-selling allowed
- High CFD and forex fees
- No phone and live chat support
Is Trading 212 trustworthy?
Yes. Trading 212 is regulated by the FCA, one of the top-tier regulatory bodies in the UK. Furthermore, your funds (up to $85,000) are covered by FSCS in the UK and ICF (up to $20,000) in Bulgaria.
Can you lose money with Trading 212?
Unfortunately, yes, especially with CFD trading. Some 76% of retail investor accounts lose their money when trading CFDs with this broker due to leverage. Beginners are strongly advised not to trade CFDs until they gain enough knowledge and experience.
What is the minimum deposit for Trading 212?
Trading 212’s Invest and ISA accounts require you to deposit at least $1, whereas, for the CFD account, the minimum amount required is $10.
Is Trading 212 safe long-term investment?
Trading 212 focuses on CFD trading, which isn’t a good long-term investment due to the high risk involved. In fact, such an investment is similar to gambling — you can lose all your funds in the blink of an eye. Besides, CFD traders may be charged for overnight positions, so long-term investing wouldn’t be a wise idea.
Is Trading 212 good for beginners?
Rather not. As we’ve discussed in our Trading 212 review, the broker does welcome beginners. It even offers a demo account with a virtual fund of $50,000 and lots of videos and educational material. Yet, it's more oriented towards experienced traders. So, if you’re new to investing, you might want to try out an app such as Robinhood, which is designed specifically for beginners.