Trading 212 Review
- Commissions and Fees
- Customer Service
Traders know that it all starts with a good brokerage. Trading 212 has attracted the attention of many traders with its multitude of specialties. Read our review to find out fi this U.K. based online trading broker fits your needs.
About Trading 212
Trading 212 is a U.K.-based online trading brokerage specializing in CFDs (Contracts For Difference), forex, commodities, crypto currencies and equities. The broker has made their way into the spotlight by offering free commissions. The diverse product offerings also include in-depth tools through a fully functioning online and mobile platform catering to a global customer base. Keep in mind, U.S. residents are prohibited from trading CFDs. Practice (simulator/demo) and real money accounts are available through a single account.
Based out of London and registered in England and Wales, (Trading 212 UK Ltd. and Ltd.) is the nation’s first zero commission brokerage with over 12 million downloads marking it the U.K. and Germany’s #1 trading app since 2017. Launched mid-2013 and currently operating in 65 countries, this fintech is trying to appeal to the next generation of global traders and investors. They are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The site operates in nine-languages from English to Chinese to best accommodate its international community of users
Trading 212 Commissions and Fees
Trading212 offers free commissions in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Trading212 is not available for US residents at this time.
CFDs have margin interest fees. There are various currency conversion charges ranging from 0.3% to 0.5% depending on the trading instrument.
Stocks and ETFs have a 1-share minimum trade requirement. There is a minimum account size of 29 EUR or $29 USD – this is also the minimum withdrawal amount.
While there are no software or platform fees, a 9 EUR inactivity fee kicks in after 6-months (180-days of inactivity).
It is important to point out the disclaimer regarding CFDs, “80% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with provider”. CFDs are margin-based with financing fees (interest) but avoid the Stamp Duty (transaction tax) and enable shorting. U.S.-based accounts need not worry since they can’t trade them anyway.
Trading 212 Platform Tools
Trade 212 is a flexible trading platform with loads of features and exceptionally comprehensive educational content.
Charts and Indicators
The real-time charting can be set-up for candlesticks, bars or lines and multiple time periods ranging from tick to months. The basic price and momentum indicators/studies like moving averages, Bollinger Bands, RSI, stochastic and MACD are available.
Notably, there are some unique studies available like the Alligator, which is a three-moving average indicator measuring breakouts/breakdowns and subsequent resulting trends that form from them.
Research Tools and Content
Trade 212 has a growing library of video tutorials, lessons and webcasts that cover set-ups like the Alligator as well as macro/micro market events and trading techniques. Viewers can subscribe to their YouTube channel for free access and alerts on new videos.
With over 250 videos, It can seem overwhelming searching through them to find relevant topics to choose from. To better navigate the content, the playlists are segmented by topics ranging from Weekly Trading Vlogs to Technical Analysis and Charting.
The customer support is responsive and knowledgeable. They have omnichannel access via e-mail, chat and phone 24-hours a day/7-days a week.
Order Types and Trading Modes
Entry pending orders can be placed with Limit/Stop, OCO (One-Cancels-Other) and If/Then provisions. Associated pending orders can be placed with Trailing Stop, Profit/Loss provisions in both Hedging and Aggregating Modes. Netting and multiple positions in single instrument are only available with Hedging, while reversing positions can be done in Aggregating modes.
Traded 212 offerings two types of trading modes that users can select. The Hedging modes enables multiple positions in the same instrument to enable spread trading and arbitraging to capitalize on price discrepancies. While there is no options trading, the hedging enables similar gamma scalping-like trading for active traders.
This is a great way to adopt the techniques that pros and market makers employ daily. It’s also a great risk management strategy that helps to cut down on the costs of positions, quantify risk/reward and caps losses, if managed correctly.
The great thing about the Hedging mode enables Netting, which means the platform calculates the net profits or losses in real-time and lets you partially or fully close the position without having to pay the spread twice. Single Close lets you net two opposite direction positions rather than closing separately and avoiding the slippage costs from the spreads.
This is the typical directional trading mode where you take one position at a time in the same direction. Adding more size to the position results in an updated average net price and each new opened position is itself a separate position.
Desktop and Mobile App
Trade 212 can be accessed online through desktop or mobile device. The app is available on Google Play for Android and Apple App Store for iOS. The mobile app has a simple and intuitive design very much like Robinhood and WeBull, but with a lot more functionality and tools.
Platform Differentiators for Trading 212
While the commission-free label is irritating, Trading 212 makes up for it with the depth of tools and the bountiful educational content. The library of constantly updating tutorials is generous and customer service is top notch.
What Type of Trader Trading 212 is Best For
Trade 212 caters to smaller investors looking for sophisticated tools, trading modes and access to a diverse set of trading instruments. It’s also geared towards U.K. users that want to be able to short-sell stocks with CFDs.
- Free commissions
- CFDs enable leverage and short-selling for non-U.S. traders
- Flexible trading platform with unique indicators
- Hedging mode helps limit risk and measure risk/rewards
- Responsive customer service
- Tons of high-quality educational content and webcast
- Practice mode is free and a great way to get acclimated
- CFD executions can be slow
- Not currently available for US traders