Trading 212

Trading 212 is a reliable fintech company hailing from London. This is the preferred broker of choice of many traders with its transparency, competitive spreads, and broad portfolio that spans more than 1,800 financial instruments. Here you can trade with stocks, commodities, indices, cryptocurrencies, and Forex pairs in a trusted environment.

Instead of taking the familiar route with the commonly utilized MetaQuotes software, this broker has opted to build and use a proprietary trading platform. The company claims to be the first broker in Europe and the United Kingdom to offer no-commission stock trading, providing millions of customers with access to the lucrative stock market.

In addition to its browser-based platform, Trading 212 is instantly accessible on the fly via cutting-edge iOS/Android applications that have been downloaded by more than 14 million people. The company follows strict policies for negative balance protection and ensures instant execution of its clients’ orders without the risk of hidden fees.

Regulations

Launched in 2013, Trading 212 quickly made its way into the spotlight by offering traders from more than 45 countries a secure and fully regulated trading environment. The company is registered in England and Wales. It is authorized to provide its services by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under license number 609146.

Trading 212 also has a strong presence in Southeastern Europe. It has registered offices in Bulgaria where it falls under the regulations of the local Financial Supervision Commission, with registration number RG-03-0237.

The brokerage company upholds all security-related requirements of its regulators. It protects customers from negative balances. The money clients deposit to their Trading 212 balance is stored separately in segregated accounts at trusted banks.

The funds of UK customers are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Under this scheme, each investor from this jurisdiction is entitled to a compensation of up to £85,000 in the case of Trading 212 declaring insolvency.

Meanwhile, Bulgarian customers’ funds are covered by the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF), an independent legal entity headquartered in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia. Under the ICF policies, each Bulgarian customer of Trading 212 can be compensated with up to 90% of their funds, with a fixed ceiling of €20,000.

Trading Instruments

At Trading 212, you have an immense selection of more than 1,800 instruments you can trade with, including 150 Forex currency pairs, commodities, stocks, and indices. Additionally, you can also trade with cryptocurrencies, having a choice from Litecoin, Bitcoin, Dash, Ripple, Ethereum, and more. We comprehensively cover all of these instruments below so stay with us, if willing to learn more.

Forex Trading

Trading 212 is home to an impressive foreign exchange portfolio that comprises over 150 Forex currency pairs. The broker supports all majors including the EUR/USD pair, which ranks on top of the list of the most traded instruments at this platform. Minors are included but there are also more exotic options such as BGN/MXN, HKD/ZAR, NOK/PLN, and SEK/DKK, among many others.

There are two types of spreads here, floating and fixed, depending on what pairs you trade. As for the margin, it is set at 5% for retail traders and 1% for professionals. The Forex trading markets are, of course, open to traders 24 hours during working days. You can go long or short with your positions and will enjoy very fast order execution at this platform.

Stock Trading

The selection of assets at Trading 212 is huge. Clients can diversify their experience by trading with the stocks of some of the largest companies across Europe, Asia, and the United States. Some of the biggest names you can add to your watchlist include Panasonic, Apple, Amazon, Sony, Visa, and Twitter.

Minimum traded quantities vary between different stocks and so does the margin, although it generally ranges between 5% and 20% for professional traders. Retail customers can trade stocks with a fixed margin of 20%.

Apart from spot trading with currencies, clients have the option to trade CFDs. One key difference here is that there is no need for one to own the underlying assets to trade CFDs.

Instead, you are speculating on the price movements of the instrument, i.e. whether it will go up or down. If the stock value moves in your chosen direction, you will profit. If it moves in the opposite direction, you will lose money.

It is important to specify that the CFD is a leveraged product, and as such, it can be rather risky to trade with, especially if you lack previous experience.

Trading 212 itself has posted a disclaimer on its website that warns customers that roughly 76% of its retail clients suffer losses as a result of trading with CFDs. This is a complex instrument, so we recommend using it only if you understand how it works and can afford to take such financial risks.

Indices Trading

At Trading 212, you can trade with over 30 indices. Both major and niche markets are available but the biggest advantage here is that index trading comes with no commissions on the side of the broker. Spreads are mostly floating, although there are some markets where this in-built cost is fixed.

The minimum traded quantities range from 0.01 to 400 lots, but this is again instrument-based. The minimum margins required for professional traders are 0.20% while those for retail accounts start at zero for the US Tech 100 Index and reach 20% for some of the available markets.

Some of the options from this trading category include the CAC 40, the German DAX Performance Index, the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index, the Hong Kong 50 Index, the Spanish IBEX 35, the S&P 500, Nikkei 225, Euro Stoxx 50, and the Nasdaq 100 Index.

Commodities Trading

Both soft and hard commodities are available for trading with this broker. This category features more than twenty options, starting with the soft commodities which are grown instead of being mined.

There is a decent range of base and precious metals including copper, palladium, platinum, and silver. Gold is the most traded option with this broker. You can trade with natural energy sources such as natural gas and Brent oil.

Soft commodities such as cocoa, coffee, cotton, and sugar are yet another alternative at Trading 212. The margins for retail clients are either 5% or 10%, based on the exact commodity. Professional traders will benefit from margins that range from as little as 0.33% to 5%.

Trading Platforms

Trading 212 provides clients with the ultimate flexibility to trade directly in their browsers without having to deal with the download and installation of any software. The broker relies on proprietary software for the execution of trades. This is a breath of fresh air considering the fact most other brokers implement third party software from MetaQuotes.

The Propriety Browser-Based Platform

We tested the platform in Google Chrome but it works on a variety of other popular browsers as well, including Mozilla Firefox, Explorer, Safari, and Opera. We encountered no lags in the process and are pleased to report to readers that the execution of orders is lightning-fast here.

To the left side of the interface, you have a watchlist that enables you to keep track of the available markets. It also shows you the hottest trading signals that are currently popular with other clients of the broker. If you wish, you can also add customized watchlists of your own.

By opening the Instrument Details box for a specific market, you get to see all the important information you might need to make an informed trading decision. This shows you the stats for the day and the changes in the prices for the respective day, week, year or month. Here is where you can also check for additional information about leverages, margins, spread type, and swap time.

All the features are clearly visible which adds to the platform’s ease of use. Customers can choose from around ten time periods that range from a minute to one month. There are many great tools to the benefit of customers who prefer to implement trading strategies.

Zooming in and out is possible and so is selecting from different types of charts, including the candlestick, Heikin-Ashi, the line, area, and bar formats. There are many different categories of indicators you can use for technical analysis of trends.

Some of the most popular options are Bollinger Bands, the Arnaud Legoux Moving Average, the Relative Strength Index, and the Simple Moving Average. The charts are fully customizable, allowing traders to draw and insert notes into their charts.

The platform is also equipped with notifications, an economic calendar, and a section for analysis and the latest news from the financial industry. On top of that, you get to watch educational videos straight from the platform.

Trading 212 Android and iOS Apps

Trading 212 prides itself on the excellent experience it ensures for smartphone and tablet users. The broker’s mobile app has been downloaded more than 14 million times and has over 40,000 ratings from customers, with most users reporting a positive experience on the fly.

It has been consistently topping the chart for the most used trading app in the United Kingdom since 2016. The app also climbed to the number-one spot in Germany in 2017. You can obtain it for free either from the App Store or from Google Play since it works seamlessly on both operating systems.

The iOS app supports a motley range of languages in addition to English, with some of the other options being French, Dutch, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Arabic, and German. It is compatible with iPods and iPhones that operate on iOS 11.0 and above.

As for the Android app, it has been optimized for version 5.0 of the operating system or later and already has more than 5 million installs from the Play Store. Either way, users get to enjoy competitive spreads even at news time, user-friendly charts for technical analysis, laudable customer service, and no-commission trading across tons of markets.

Payment Methods

Trading 212 accepts a versatile selection of payment methods, including bank transfers, Visa, Maestro, and Mastercard debit/credit cards, the e-wallet Skrill, Dotpay, Giropay, ePay, and Google Pay. It is worthwhile mentioning the broker does not accept cash transfers made directly to its bank account.

Card deposits are executed very quickly. If you choose this option, you will have your Trading 212 balance funded within ten minutes after approval. Bank transfers are by far the least time-efficient solution because they take between 2 and 3 working days.

As for withdrawals, the waiting times are usually 2 to 3 days. There are no additional fees on Trading 212’s side if you use a credit or a debit card. Customers, however, can incur extra charges on behalf of their bank.

The broker has established the practice of returning withdrawals to the same payment methods clients used for deposits. Customers can open live accounts in one of the three supported base currencies, USD, GBP, and EUR.

Account Types

Until November 2017, Trading 212 gave its customers the chance to open separate demo and live accounts. Then the broker decided to remove the hassles associated with running two separate accounts. Currently, the two types are merged into one, with users having the option to switch back and forth between their demo and real-money accounts.

Opening a demo account takes literally seconds. Only enter your email address and your password of choice and you are good to go. The demo account enables you to practice with over 1,800 markets and comes with all the useful functionalities of the live version.

Users have access to an economic calendar, an education center, tools for chart customization, and many useful indicators for technical analysis. The maximum leverage is 500:1.

When you are ready to switch to a live account, you will have to undergo a couple of routine checks to ensure you are fully aware of the risks associated with trading.

Being a fully legitimate and licensed broker, Trading 212 is obliged by its regulators to establish the identity of each customer. For this purpose, they will also ask live-account users to send their ID cards for identification, a process essential for their own security.

The minimum balance you need to run a live account is $100 but there is no ceiling on the amounts customers can deposit. Some customers might be displeased by the lack of options where account types are concerned.

No two traders are the same. Customers differ in terms of risk tolerance, preferences, and trading needs, so offering a choice of several account types with different features is definitely a plus for a brokerage company.

Support

This rapidly growing broker offers support in a vast range of languages, including English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian, Romanian, and Chinese. It also offers a decent range of communication channels you can use to get in touch with a support representative.

It is recommended to use the live chat facility if you are in urgent need of assistance. There, you can count on immediate, very professional, and adequate service. If the query you have does not require an urgent response, you can send it via email at info@trading212.com although using the ready-made contact form is an alternative.

Support is also provided over the telephone. The number for clients from Bulgaria is +359 800 46049 while customers from other accepted countries can use the UK number, which is +44 20 3769 9897.

Conclusion

The most distinctive trait of Trading 212 is that the broker pioneered the zero-commission trading with shares and ETFs across the United Kingdom and various European countries. Other than that, the company has done an excellent job of crafting a simplified proprietary platform, ensuring all clients, regardless of their background and knowledge, can enjoy a seamless trading experience.

The demo and live accounts are merged into one, which is convenient because you can switch back and forth between the two modes, especially when you are looking to try out new strategies risk-free. However, we think that a little more diversity in terms of live account types would have been great for traders with different preferences and levels of risk tolerance.