Trading 212 Review

Review

Trading 212 is a new type of broker which emerged as fintech companies ventured out to grab market share from old school brokerage houses, democratize the financial markets, and make them more accessible to the masses. The result of these efforts was Trading 212, a revolutionary Forex broker that has developed an in-that now boasts over 14,000,000 downloads and has been ranked #1 in the UK since 2016 and #1 in Germany since 2017. Trading 212 became the first brokerage which offers zero commissions on trading equities, Forex, commodities and other assets.

Trading 212 has over 1,800 assets available which means every trader has a great deal of diversification possibilities when trading with this broker. Additionally, tight spreads and no commissions make Trading 212 a solid option for most traders. Great trading conditions explain why Trading 212 has enjoyed tremendous growth since it hit the scene, the major drawback is that short-selling on equities is not possible with this brokerage which is why many serious equity traders are likely to shy away from it. Short-selling enables traders to make money when an asset decreases in price and the inability to do so with Trading 212 may be its only flaw, but a major deal-breaking one for serious retail traders as well professional clients who seek to transact in equities. This does not apply to CFD trading.

Trading 212 Homepage

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Regulation and Security

Trading 212 is the brand name of Trading 212 UK LTD as well as Trading 212 LTD. Trading 212 UK LTD is registered in England and Wales with company number 08590005 and authorized ad regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under registration number 609146. Trading 212 LTD is registered in Bulgaria with register number 201659500 and authorized and regulated by the Financial Supervision Commission under registration number RG-03-0237. Client funds remain segregated from company funds and the UK regulator is known to be a top regulator.

Client funds are also protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for Trading 212 UK LTD clients, which covers deposits up to £85,000, and by the Investors Compensation Fund or ICF Bulgaria for Trading 212 LTD, which covers up to 90% of deposits with a limit of €20,000. Given the current financial state of this broker, a default is very unlikely, and clients should feel secure when dealing with Trading 212; in the event of unexpected future issues all clients are well protected. As far are regulation, security and protection are concerned, Trading 212 has checked all boxes.

Trading 212 UK Regulation

Trading 212 FSC Regulation

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Fees

Trading 212 is one of the few brokers that offers zero commissions on trades which leaves the biggest portion of their income from spreads. In the Trading 212’s CFD account which is where forex CFDs are offered, the target spread for the EUR/USD is listed as 0.00009 or 0.9 pips which is pretty good considering no commissions are charged. Spreads vary from asset to asset and depending on the asset it can either be a variable spread or a fixed spread. Long and short swap rates also apply, and Trading 212 is very transparent about all costs which are listed on their website. This information can be easily obtained on their website in a well-organized list.

An inactivity fee is charged if no trading activity occurred for 180 consecutive days which is a downside of this broker. A withdrawal fee for bank wires will apply and third-party fees from payment processors should also be kept in mind. Since no commissions are charged and spreads are tight, the biggest cost factor for traders who intend to keep positions open for a prolonged period of time remain swap rates which apply daily.

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What Can I Trade

Asset selection is great since Trading 212 offers over 1,800 assets to trade. This allows for great diversification and only professional clients who trade smaller equities in less capitalized markets will reach their limits. Generally speaking, most traders who will use this broker will find that they have access to a great deal of choices which allows them to operate a well-diversified, cross-asset portfolio. Note that cryptocurrencies are listed under the Forex umbrella. The full list of assets can be easily browsed on the Trading 212 website, but clients will find it easier to search the trading platform which includes all the information required. The openness and transparency of the asset selection on their website is a great example of how a broker should operate and another big positive for Trading 212.

Example of Trading 212 trading assets

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Account Types

Instead of traditional account types, Trading 212 offers three different accounts based on what clients want to trade. It’s important to note that account availability varies by geographic location. The type of account is the same for each trader which is in-line with its mission to democratize financial markets and treat everyone equal. It is worth pointing out that individual traders may qualify for certain bonuses, but traders need to contact support in order to get the details of any bonus which may be applicable to them.

The three different account types are: Trading 212 Invest, Trading 212 CFD and Trading 212 ISA. Trading 212 Invest offers traders to invest and trade in real equities where short-selling is not available. Trading 212 CFD is where most traders are expected implement their trades. Trading 212 ISA offers to take full advantage of tax-free trading up to a certain amount, but this type of account is only available to UK traders. All international clients will trade in the Trading 212 CFD account. The trading terms are essentially the same across all three account types. This Trading 212 review has focused on the Trading 212 CFD account as most traders will be managing their portfolios from this account type.

Trading 212 Account Types

Below are the trading terms for the Trading 212 CFD account which are excellent. This broker is very transparent about all costs involved.

Trading 212 Fee Schedule

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Trading Platforms

Since Trading 212 is a fintech company, it is only natural that this broker provides its own proprietary trading platform. Unfortunately, there is no specific information about the trading platform provided, but it is obvious that mobile trading is front and center while an image displaying a desktop version is available on their website. It would be nice if more information about the trading platform would be available, especially since it is an unfamiliar platform. A demo account can be accessed without registration to test drive the platform, but lack of information about the platform on the website is a misstep on the broker’s side.

Since we are left with scarce information, what we do know is that all normal trading operations are supported. It remains unclear, and unlikely, that third-party applications can communicate with the trading platform which rules out automatic trading with existing applications; no mention of APIs were made anywhere on the website. Given the information available makes the offered trading platform acceptable to new traders, but an unacceptable choice for established traders who have either created their own or purchased third-party software which they use as part of their trading routine.

For many traders this means that no-commission trading comes at the cost of abandoning their existing software, which may be a price to steep to pay. Trading 212 is pushing its own platform as a complete solution and it has gathered plenty of attention as judged by the 14,000,000 plus downloads. Despite this, many traders use auto-trading software and they are left out unless they plan to invest more capital and create costly workarounds in order to take advantage of the great trading conditions offered at this broker.

Trading 212 does offer ProQuant which allows traders to create automated trading solutions, which could also be a limitation for new traders who want some help. This is the only known form to operate automated trading solutions with the Trading 212 platform which makes it an unacceptable choice for established traders. The desktop version is browser-based, with no downloads required. A browser extension is available.

ProQuant is the only way to operate automated trading solutions.

ProQuant service for auto trading

This is the Trading 212 browser version of its trading platform:

Trading 212 Browser Extension

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Unique Features

The unique feature at Trading 212 remains commission-free trading in over 1,800 assets across multiple sectors. There are very few other standout features offered by this broker. This broker focuses on clients who seek to trade free of commissions on their trading platform and sticks to the bread-and-butter business of brokerage operations. Trading volume is key for the profitability of this broker and all facts point towards a solid execution of their business model.

While Trading 212 manages a blog, updates are few and far between. The latest post was published more than six weeks before this Trading 212 review. This is another sign that operating their trading platform remains the focus with other services treated more as a hobby than as professional brokerage.

Company Information

  • Broker's Name : Trading 212
  • Headquarter : United Kingdom
  • Regulation : MiFID, FCA

Account Information

  • U.S. Clients Allowed :
  • Minimum Deposit : $29
  • Maximum Leverage : 1:300
  • Commissions / Spreads : Fixed and Variable Spreads
  • Account 1 : Trading 212 Invest UK Only)
  • Account 2 : Trading 212 CFD
  • Account 3 : Trading 212 ISA (UK Only)
  • Demo Account :
  • Islamic Account :
  • Segregated Account :
  • Managed Accounts :
  • Institutional Accounts :
  • Deposit Options :
  • Withdrawal Options :

Instruments Traded

  • ETFs :
  • CFDs :
  • Commodities :
  • Metals :
  • Stocks :
  • Oil :
  • Gold :
  • Binary Options :
  • Indices :

Trading Platforms

  • Type of Platform : Proprietary platform, Web-based
    • Platform Languages :
      • Multiple Languages
    • OS Compatibility :
      • Mac
      • Windows
      • Linux
      • Mobile
      • Web
      • iPhone
      • iPad
  • Trading Signals :
  • Charting Package :
  • Market Analysis :
  • Chart Trading :
  • Automated Trading :
  • Scalping :
  • Hedging :
  • Mobile Alerts :
  • E-mail Alerts :
  • Trailing Stops :
  • Guaranteed Stop Loss :
  • Guaranteed Limit Orders :
  • Guaranteed Execution :
  • One-click Execution :
  • OCO Orders :
  • Interest on Margin :
  • Web-based Trading :
  • Mobile Trading :

Customer Support

    • Website Languages :
      • Multiple Languages
  • Support Hours : 24/5
  • E-mail Support :
  • SMS Support :
  • Chat :

Pros and Cons

  • High Level Educational Material
  • World-wide Customer Support
  • Demo Account
  • Proprietary Platform Only

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Research and Education

When it comes to research, Trading 212 does offer an analysis section which together with a news section and an economic calendar comprises the research capabilities offered by this broker. Once again, this is not an area Trading 212 pays too much attention and each analysis is limited to one paragraph which touches the basics. Where Trading 212 shines with its trading conditions, it fails with its research department.

In order to fully compete with top tier brokers, this is a section which clearly needs to be improved. Offering no commissions is a great start, but by no means should this be the end of what is offered. Currently, this is where Trading 212 stopped its own development which drags down the overall great core of this broker. It is worth to keep this broker on your watch list as services may expand in the future and add value to the overall end product offered to its clients.

 

There is an education section filled with videos on their official Youtube channel which promises weekly updated and has over 350,000 subscribers. This can be relevant for the millennial crowd which appears to be the target crowd for this broker.

News

The news section is updated through the day, but usually limited to one-to-two sentences and is more of a headline compilation service. The source is listed as Trading 212 and traders can get the link of the report, but at the time of this Trading 212 review the links didn’t work.

Trading 212 News Offering

Economic Calendar

The economic calendar offered by Trading 212 is the one you will find at many outlets online and offers a nice overview of economic reports with the expected impact. Navigation is easy and the overall presentation is clean.

Economic Calendar

Analysis

A one-paragraph analysis is hardly a professional approach to delivering an analysis to clients. It appears that only ten assets are covered, given the 1,800 assets available this is a major fail and it would have been better not to offer anything at all. This shows that Trading 212 is indeed a fintech company which is dabbling in a service industry it may not fully understand.

Analysis of basic assets

Education

When it comes to education, more effort has been placed into this service. As younger traders love videos, Trading 212 has taken advantage of this and made its educational content available on its official Youtube channel which appears to be fairly popular. Content is added weekly which shows commitment.

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Customer Support

This will most likely be the section of Trading 212 which most traders will never have to use, but there are some items which the broker asks clients to reach out for such as special promotions or bonuses which are granted on an individual basis. Traders can either call, send an e-mail or fill out the web form available on the website; live chat is also available. Support hours were not mentioned, but regular business hours can be assumed.

Contact form

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Bonuses and Promotions

No bonuses or promotions are offered, but they may apply on an individual basis and Trading 212, in their FAQ section under “Miscellaneous” state that traders should ask support through chat which is available on the website or directly from inside the trading platform.

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Opening an Account

Traders will have to complete the online application which consists of a multi-step process. After new clients click on “Open an Account”, a pop-up appears and the process is started. A green progress bar gives new clients a rough idea of how many more windows they have to browse through and provide data. It would have been nicer if this process would take place in one window, but the required information is the same as with other regulated brokers in order to satisfy the AML/KYC requirements.

Open account page

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Deposits and Withdrawals

Trading 212 offers bank transfers, credit and debit card payments, Skrill, Dotpay, Giropay, and Direct eBanking as deposit and withdrawal options. Certain fees will apply for deposits and withdrawals as per their FAQ section. While bank wire fees are the norm, some brokers reimburse their clients for the costs in order to have zero costs with deposits, other deposit fees should only be on the side of the payment processor used. Bank wires are charged with a small and unnecessary €5 fee on top what the bank will charge.

Processing times are listed as 10 minutes for debit/credit card deposits and 2-3 business days for bank wires; for withdrawals to debit/credit cards and for bank wires the times are again listed at 2-3 business days. There is no mention on the other payment options. It would be nice for Trading 212 to offer a complete table with all costs involved.

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FAQ

Where is Trading 212 based?

Trading 212 is headquartered in London, UK.

How does Trading 212 make money?

Trading 212 earns the majority of its income from spreads on its 1,800 assets. Small, unnecessary fees are charged which remain more of a nuisance than a cost. 

How can I deposit into an Trading 212 account?

Trading 212 offers bank transfers, credit and debit card payments, Skrill, Dotpay, Giropay, Carte Bleue and Direct eBanking.

What is the minimum lot size at Trading 212?

The minimum trading size depends on the asset traded and a complete list can be obtained on the broker’s website.

When does a margin call take place at Trading 212?

Trading 212 issues a margin call at 45% with an automatic stop out at 25%.

Is Trading 212 regulated?

Trading 212 is the brand name of Trading 212 UK LTD as well as Trading 212 LTD. Trading 212 UK LTD is registered in England and Wales with company number 08590005 and authorized ad regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under registration number 609146. Trading 212 LTD is registered in Bulgaria with register number 201659500 and authorized and regulated by the Financial Supervision Commission under registration number RG-03-0237. 

What is the maximum leverage offered by Trading 212?

Trading 212 offers maximum leverage of 1:300, but this is available to professional clients only.

How do I open an account with Trading 212?

Trading 212 has an online application form which is standard operating procedure.

Does Trading 212 offer the MetaTrader Trading Platform?

No, Trading 212 offers its own proprietary trading platform.

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Summary

Trading 212 is a broker operated by a fintech company. This has broker has disrupted the brokerage scene by offering commission-free trading. The trading conditions are great and with over 1,800 assets available for trading across multiple classes, it is a great broker for new traders. Its target market is clearly new millennial traders who seek to trade on the go from their mobile devices.

Established traders who have their own trading software will be disappointed as Trading 212 offers only its own proprietary trading platform with no support for existing automated trading programs. It offers ProQuant which allows the creation of automated trading robots without the need to program which is yet another sign that it targets new millennial traders while it remains an unacceptable choice to advanced and professional traders.

Regulation, safety and security of funds are top of the line with the FCA out of the UK serving as its main regulator. It subsidiary is additionally authorized and regulated by the Financial Supervision Commission in Bulgaria. Client’s funds are segregated and are insured in the unlikely event of financial default. Traders can rest assured that their capital is well protected.

Trading 212’s primary short-fall remains its research department or lack of a quality one educational offering.

This is definitely a broker to watch out for and if Trading 212 decides to improve its services it will be a credible competitor for big, established brokers. For now, there is a solid foundation on which this broker can expand if it decides to do so; otherwise its explosive growth story may be short-lived.

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