eToro Review UK
This eToro UK review is based on my own experience of actually using the platform for many years, as opposed to some reviews online where it is clear the writers haven’t a clue what eToro is or what it can do.
Furthermore, not only do I use the platform to buy shares on eToro, I am also a member of the eToro copy trading community and a Popular investor with my own UK based portfolio, followers and copy traders.
Therefore, the following eToro review will be fact based from a UK user’s perspective, and will hopefully provide you with the necessary information required before you consider signing up to the eToro platform.
What is eToro
eToro UK has a combination of services and features that other basic stockbrokers or investment platforms don’t have. For example, as well as being a stockbroker with over 2,700 stocks and shares to choose from, they also have an extensive selection of FX currencies, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, commodities and indices available through its innovative platform and Mobile app.
It also specialises in being a social investing community whereby customers can copy other peoples portfolios, known as copyportfolios, or they can select a pre made smart portfolio if they don’t want to do the research themselves.
There is also an eToro club where users who have at least $5,000 (£4,166) in their accounts can join, which grants access to some investment guidance, and even free access to subscription services like the FT or Wall Street Journal.
Who owns eToro
eToro was founded by Yoni Assia, an Israeli born visionary with a strong interest in finance and computer science. It is still privately owned with a number of different investors from Israeli, US and China.
Is eToro safe
From the UK’s perspective, eToro is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This currently means that up to £85,000 of your money is protected from certain events such as the collapse of eToro themselves. It is important to note that this does not apply to investment losses or bad investment decisions.
Being a global business, eToro is also licenced by the following:
• Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission
• Markets in Financial Instruments Directive
• Australian Securities and Investments Commission
The eToro platform also secures customers’ personal information using SSL encryption — an internet security protocol that encrypts data before it’s transmitted between computers.
To increase security, they have also recently added a two-factor authentication system for eToro login requests, this means you’ll need to enter a verification code sent to your mobile phone via SMS to access your account on some occasions.
From personal experience it seems that you need to do this every 4-5 days or whenever you haven’t been logged on for a while which is fair enough.
eToro Product Range Summary
Whilst eToro does offer a very wide selection of services and products, as set out in bullet format below, it does lack a few important features for UK customers which I hope in due course they will add.
Included on eToro
• 2,700 global equities
• Cryptocurrencies (examples as below)
• Bitcoin (BTC)
• Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
• Dogecoin (DOGE)
• Ethereum (ETH)
• Ethereum Classic (ETC)
• Litecoin (LTC)
• Stellar Lumens (XLM)
Not included on eToro
It may be because the founders are not UK based, that the thought of a tax efficient ISA product has been missed. This is of course disappointing for UK traders, but I’m sure they will add the product in the not too distant future.
As with the ISA, the lack of a SIPP pension account does seem to be missing out on investment opportunities for UK investors. One would hope it is on the eToro IT developers urgent “to do” list.
eToro Demo Account
A popular facility/feature is the eToro demo account that can give new investors the opportunity to practice trading with $100,000 of demo money before risking any of their own funds on the main trading account.
UK customers may ask why the amount is in $ and not £, but that is a common feature across the platform. eToro only deals in $, so when you add £100 to your account it will be converted into circa $120 depending on the exchange rate of the day. This situation is quickly overcome once you get used to it.
Open a demo account below and try for yourself for free.
One of the key attractions for UK stock traders (myself included) is the fact that eToro offer zero commission and zero tax on buying and selling UK stocks.
It isn’t completely cost free as there is still a small spread between the buy / sell prices as you would expect, but if you plan to buy and sell a lot of UK stocks then this can save you a fortune.
As noted above, as eToro only trades in USD, conversion fees are also applicable when you deposit or withdraw money in any other currency such as GBP, whilst usually quite small it’s something to watch for.
If you plan to buy bitcoin on eToro, or use eToro for any crypto trading then there is a 1% buy and sell fee for each transaction.
One slight bug bear of mine is the odd fact that eToro charges a flat fee of $5 (£4) when you want to withdrawal your money. The fee is waived for bigger accounts, but it does seem a bit petty to me TBH.
There is also an inactivity fee of $10 per month if you don’t trade on your account for 12 months, not a problem for me personally, but again one to watch out for.
Minimum Deposit -$50/£40
Minimum Trade - $1
UK Stocks & Shares Trading - Commission and Tax Free
Crypto Trading - 1% on buy and sell
Non Trading Fee -$10 pcm after 1 year inactivity
Withdrawal Fee -$5
eToro Smart Portfolios
The etoro smart portfolio service is designed to help customers diversify their portfolios with a premade pre-selected collection of assets.
There are a number of different smart portfolios, some focus on niche areas such as technology or crypto only, and others are composed of stocks and shares that pay dividends or stocks and shares that aim to grow more rapidly overtime.
It is then up to the customer to decide which one or selection of smart portfolios they wish to invest in, depending on their own attitude to risk and reward.
The etoro copy trader facility is one of the key social community services on offer through the platform.
CopyTrader simply enables you to copy the portfolios of more successful and experienced eToro traders.
You can look through hundreds of successful traders according to their asset selection, such as stocks and shares, commodities or crypto. You can also search according to the geographical areas in which they invest, or in which stock markets they prefer, and of course one of the really great features about the etoro copy trader facility is you can rank all the popular investors results in order and then very easily select one or more of the very very best traders on the platform.
Of course, past performance doesn't guarantee an equally successful future, but they must be doing something right. You can review both annual results and monthly results in easy to compare table formats.
In order to help you make your selection, etoro also calculates a risk score for each trader based on various metrics including the risk level of the assets held and the frequency of trading.
For example, a portfolio consisting of dividend income generating stocks and shares held for the long term, would be classed as lower risk, maybe a Level 3 or 4, compared to a frequently traded portfolio of cryptocurrency and Bitcoin, which would be classed above 8 due to the increased risk of crypto and frequent trading.
One final point to note is you are able to copy up to 100 etoro users so you don't have to select just a few, you can diversify your portfolio with a very good selection of the best of the best!
eToro Popular Investor
Etoro popular investors are the expert users that you would copy in the copy trader feature noted above.
They have their own portfolios that they have created overtime, and etoro has assessed them as being appropriate to join the popular investor programme.
There are certain metrics you need to achieve such as duration of holding and number of copiers who follow you, and also certain minimum amounts of personal assets ($5,000) held and the value of your copy traders assets, minimum $50,000.
Certain levels of the popular investor programme are able to earn a fee each month if their metrics are approved by etoro.
The eToro platform has a modern looking trading screen that is easy to navigate and very functional.
A simple menu selection on the left-hand side, and a wide full screen viewing area for doing your trading and researching stocks and shares.
If you dig a little deeper you can find reports for profit and loss, dividend payments, costs and expenses all on downloadable XL spreadsheets or PDF versions.
This is available both for web browsers and mobile apps.
The eToro mobile app is both functional and effective, I haven’t ever had any issues with it myself, although I do note some reviews saying that the app can crash from time to time.
The search facility is easy to grasp as is the buying and selling of stocks once you have got used to it.
How to sell on eToro
Buying and selling on etoro is very easy once you have got the hang of it. The best way to learn is to use the demo trading account and keep making buy and sell transactions whilst you are not using real money.
Alternatively, checkout the video below if you want to see how to sell on etoro.
How to open an eToro account
Opening an account with etoro is easy as everything is done online, and in a matter of minutes you will be set up with a basic account that you could use for trading.
The 2 types of account on offer are the eToro demo account for practicing, or the eToro live account where you can start trading for real.
There is a minimum deposit of £10/$10 to start trading and the minimum amount for a UK bank transfer is now just $50, circa £40, which was recently reduced from £500.
Prior to funding your account to begin real trading you will be asked to provide some ID documents, such as name and proof of address. These can be uploaded quickly and easily and are usually verified within 24 hours.
You can fund your eToro account by any of the means noted below.
• Uk Bank Debit Card
• Wire transfer
As mentioned before, do remember that etoro operates in U.S. dollars, so whenever you make a transaction in GBP it will be converted into USD on your account screen. That said you are able to amend the currency view of your portfolio from U.S. dollars to any denomination including GBP under the settings tab.
Is eToro good for beginners?
If you’re new to investing, eToro could be a very good entry platform for beginners, as it is easy to navigate, and provides a free dummy / demo account to practice on until you know what you are doing. Both browser and mobile app are intuitive and easy to use.
eToro is also very cost-effective, especially if you are trading UK stocks and shares whereby you won’t be charged any commission, tax or management fees on the stocks you buy and sell.
The social community and copytrader feature would also be a good fit for beginners, as they could simply copy the most successful traders on etoro and make money passively.
eToro Research and Education
Anyone, even non eToro clients, can visit eToro and gain access to lessons on investments, market news, and different types of asset training, all via the eToro Academy. The topics can range from beginner level to very experienced level.
Another must for new traders or beginners is the opportunity to access a ‘practice demo account’ that enables you to invest a $100,000 virtual fund so you can practice buying and selling without using real money.
This is a feature I would recommend all new eToro users try out to gain experience of how the platform works.
eToro Customer Service
If you have any difficulties with the platform the first port of call I have found is to use the help pages and type in your query in the search box. 9 out of 10 times you can usually pull up the question you are seeking, and then find the answer that way.
If you are unable to find the question you have through the help box, use the live chat function or the web-based ticketing system. The ticketing system is not an immediate response as it usually takes 24-48 hours for responds to be given, but when it comes it is usually polite and helpful.
eToro Review UK Summary
With over 20 million users worldwide and one of the largest social trading communities online, eToro are clearly doing something right.
I personally think that one of the key attractions to the etoro platform is the ability to trade unlimited UK stocks and shares both commission free and stamp duty tax free, which can really make a huge difference with transactional costs being removed.
Furthermore, the copytrader and popular investor features also draw a crowd from users who simply want to copy somebody else's experience, and from those who fancy themselves as being a bit of a fund manager and aim to become popular investors themselves, or at least these features encouraged me to sign up!
I hope you found this eToro review UK useful and are now able to decide if you want to give eToro a try.
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