eToro Broker Review
- Commissions & Fees
- Investment Offerings
- Trading Platforms
- Customer Service
- Education and Research
If you trade in the stock market then you know how important a good broker is. Broker, eToro, has become one of the world’s top social trading platforms. Read our review to learn all you need to know about eToro and how this broker can affect your trading.
eToro was founded in its current form in 2007. Since that foundation, the company has gone on to become one of the world’s leading social trading platforms. The Israeli company under the leadership CEO Johnathan Assai, now have a presence in over 100 countries and have recently announced plans to launch into the U.S. market for the first time. At the end of 2017, eToro announced that they were servicing the accounts of more than 8 million traders.
eToro keeps things basic and efficient in this regard. The broker offers only two account options. Those are the standard account and a demo account. This means there is only one, real-money account option. The demo account provides a virtual $100,000 for you to hone your trading skills if desired.
The minimum deposit in most countries of operation to get started with eToro is $200. The exception to this rule is in Israel, where a $10,000 minimum deposit is required.
Availability and Ease of Opening
eToro is available globally to residents of most countries. This totally numbers around 140 nations, though there are a number of exclusions. Among these, the countries which stand out as being unable to open an eToro account include Canada, Japan, and Brazil. These are added to other excluded countries, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Cuba, and North Korea.
Until recently, the United States was also excluded, however, that has now changed with the company announcing its plans to launch into the US market very soon. The company have already made demo accounts available to USA residents and plan to open real money deposit capabilities very soon. You can check their progress on the eToro USA homepage.
Opening an account could not be more convenient. Simply follow the on-screen instructions and input some basic personal information and you will be ready to begin trading. One additional point to note is that accounts will require verification after more than $2,250 has been deposited. This ID and address verification is also completed on-screen.
eToro Investment Offerings
eToro is widely renowned for the range of markets in which it offers trading, beyond the 47 currency pairs on which they offer forex trading, the platform also offers 1,300 stocks, 83 ETFs, 13 indices, 6 commodities, and 14 major cryptocurrencies.
Almost all of these products, when purchased using the leverage which eToro offers, are executed as CFDs. This means that no ownership of the underlying assets exist when you engage leverage in trading on the platform in most cases. Non-leveraged buys on equities, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies are owned and traded as real assets.
A core tenant within the operational model of eToro is social trading. In this respect, the platform offers an attractive major feature to its users. This is, CopyPortfolios.
CopyPortfolios allows you to follow the trades of other eToro users in a social media style setting. Through this you can also view all of their relevant statistics in regard to profits and trading success. If you like what you see, you can select to automatically copy the trades of that person. The system will effectively do the rest.
Beyond that, as opposed to copying individual traders, you can invest in entire funds managed by an eToro professional and made up of a variety of products within one particular interest area. Each portfolio is assigned an associated risk grading on a number basis.
These products provide an ideal entry point for new traders who perhaps lack sufficient time to engage with other platforms or take on the learning curve when it comes to trading.
Commissions and Fees
eToro does not charge any commission on trades. Instead, they build fees into the market spread. Here is a list of average spreads among all of the major market areas which the platform offers:
- Currencies (3-6 pips on major pairs)
- Commodities (5-15 pips. Gold 45 pips)
- ETFs (0.09% per side)
- Cryptocurrencies (1%-2.9%)
- Stocks & indices (variable)
The platform does incorporate a variety of non-trading fees. These include a withdrawal fee of $25, and a currency conversion fee of between 50 and 250 pips to convert any non-US currency.
An inactivity fee is also charged. This will be incurred if a depositing account has not been logged in for a period of more than 12 months. In the case of a non-depositing account, this period reduces to 4 months. The inactivity fee is $10 per month.
Platforms and Tools
eToro offers their own proprietary web-trading platform, and a mobile trading platform for accessible trading on the go. These also function as a style of social hubs akin to a social network in the sense that you can follow the trading behaviors of other users in your news feed.
Web Trading Platform
The web-based eToro platform looks and feels sleek, very much in the model of a social network. Your trading hub is clearly laid out, displayed in clear number and chart form within the main center of the screen. Navigation is easy using either the taskbar on your left or the search function where you can easily display any market or keep an eye on your fellow trader’s portfolios.
It is extremely visually appealing and intuitive. It has none of the surgical-like financial appearance of some other forex trading platforms. This means it can be highly attractive to new traders or those who prefer a more hands off approach.
In terms of customizable options and charting analysis, options are scarce, therefore, if you enjoy getting into the grittier end of the markets, other options may be preferable.
Mobile Trading Platform
Following the same user-friendly lead as the web-platform, the mobile platform has a very favorable user-interface which makes everything flow very well and seem to happen with ease. From the convenience of your Android or iOS device, you can access all of the same portfolio data, charting, and account information as on your computer. The app also features alert notification capabilities which are customizable and can send push notifications to your device.
How Does eToro Stand Out?
From the outset, eToro is quite different from the usual forex broker. This begins in the fundamentals with their core focus on social trading. As such, this model has made eToro be extremely customer-centric. This is evidenced in the development of their platforms which function as much like a fast-flowing social network as a trading platform.
Following on from this is the ease of use which the platform tries to embody. This makes it extremely appealing to new or time-sensitive traders who can benefit from a completely packed and professional service with minimal need for technical input.
In the area of customer support, eToro does provide 24 hour service, 7 days per week, although this service is only practically accessible through their online ticketing system. Using this system, you contact the company with your query and they respond to you through email. This system has been noted as frustrating by some users who had very detailed or time-sensitive questions.
Having been around for over a decade and amassed millions of users around the world, eToro establishes a great deal of trust immediately based on this experience and reputation. This is quantified in more practical terms though through their registration with various globally respected financial regulators. Namely, these are CySEC, FCA, and ASIC. These bodies act as industry regulators in the EU, UK, and Australia respectively and provide some of the most stringent oversight in the financial world.
Carrying with is a renowned industry reputation over more than a decade of operations, eToro has proven to be as welcoming and user-friendly as ever. They have managed to combine efficient and powerful trading solutions and packaged them in such a manner to appeal to users around the world of all trade experience levels.
The intuitive platform and ease of use which is evident across the entire eToro platform is exactly the thing which has managed to attract such a strong user base and allowed the company to become a household name.
- Extremely easy to use with a negligible learning curve. Ideal for new or inexperienced traders.
- Both web-based and mobile platforms are visually impressive and with a range of innovative features making copy-trading easy and fun.
- A globally recognized brand where security of funds and regulatory compliance can be virtually guaranteed
- Limited platform capabilities in terms of in-depth analysis may not appeal to more experienced traders.
- Fees are slightly higher all-round than some other platforms.
- Customer service only offers an electronic contact system which can be slow.