By: Alex Busson | Updated: 28th July 2020.
Trading 212 is geared towards ‘technical’ traders – those using chart patterns and news events to help determine when to buy and sell. Its user-friendly mobile app has over 15 million downloads and an average of 4.3 stars on Trustpilot. The app is free to download, with no fees on stock/ETF trades.Read full review >
The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back all the money you put in. All investments carry a varying degree of risk and it’s important you understand the nature of these risks.
The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back all the money you put in. All investments carry a varying degree of risk and it’s important you understand the nature of these risks. Remember that taxes can be complicated and the tax benefits of this, or any, product depends on your personal circumstances. Tax rules are subject to change.
Trading 212 is geared towards ‘technical’ traders – those using chart patterns and news events to help determine when to buy and sell. Its user-friendly mobile app has over 15 million downloads and an average of 4.3 stars on Trustpilot. The app is free to download, with no fees on stock/ETF trades.
Trading 212’s practice account is ideal if you’re new to stock trading. All you need is your name and email to begin. Trading 212 lets you play with a virtual £50,000. View the tutorials, place fantasy trades and try its 60+ trading tools – all without risking a penny of your hard-earned cash.
I’ve been an investor for almost 10 years, and learned most lessons the hard way. You name the daft mistake and I’ll show you the negative returns on my statement. Today I’m a financial copywriter with a much better handle on things, and my expensive tuition has (finally) recouped those dreadful losses.
A Trading 212 account is free, with zero fees on stock and ETF trades. And you don’t pay any penalties for leaving your account idle.
Trading 212 makes its money on the small “spread” between the bid and ask prices. Normally, when you buy a stock, you pay a little over the market price. When you sell a stock, you receive slightly under the market price. This leaves a small sum in the middle for your broker. These differences are nominal, but on several million trades add up to a lot of money.
Trading 212 lets you buy and sell stocks with zero fees.
This really is a tremendous bonus. Many accounts charge you around £10 whenever you place a trade. If you’re a buy-and-hold investor, these fees don’t matter too much. However, if you’re trading frequently, they add up fast. Buy and sell just 5 stocks and you could lose around £100 even if those share prices didn’t fall!
With Trading 212 you don’t have this worry.
You also pay no foreign exchange fees. This potentially saves you even more money in foreign markets.
Suppose you’re in the UK and want to buy shares on a U.S. market. You’re effectively placing 2 trades, because you must trade your sterling into dollars first.
Again, if you’re a long-term investor, foreign exchange fees are negligible. Trade frequently, however, and you could find it’s a drain on your account. For these reasons, Trading 212 is ideal for short-term traders.
The app is free to download. You pay no subscription fee and no penalties for inactivity.
Trading 212 offers 3,000+ stocks and ETFs from the U.S, UK and European markets. Buying shares is a breeze.
Companies are divided by industry – financial, healthcare, energy, technology, you name it. Choose a sector that interests you. Trading 212 lets you compare short-term price charts at a glance.
When you click a company, you’re shown the current market price. An easy-swipe slider lets you dial up to the number of shares you wish to buy. Before you place a trade, you’re shown a review of your order with a brief time-limit to accept.
Trading 212 also lets you buy fractional shares. This is a huge help if you have a small account or want to diversify across several companies. As I write this (06/07/2020), one share of Amazon costs over $3,000. That’s a lot of money to stake on one share. Fractional shares solve this problem by letting you invest in a piece of one share.
You have you more control over how much you buy.
Trading 212 is easy and intuitive. It’s actually fun to use.
However, this can also be dangerous. When you’re on a mobile app, swiping around on a whim, it’s easy to make haphazard decisions with your money.
Trading 212 also lets you toggle into a ‘CFD platform,’ where you can take leveraged positions “on margin.” The subject is too in-depth for this review. However, understand that leveraged trading is more risky. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, then you can lose a lot of money extremely fast.
Fortunately, Trading 212 lets you practice with a virtual £50,000.
It’s ideal if you’re still learning. You can play with the trading tools, watch its tutorials and make crazy bets with your pretend cash.
As I’ve said, Trading 212 seems to be geared towards the short-term trader. This is most evident in its research tools.
Broadly speaking, there are 2 types of stock research – fundamental analysis and technical analysis. Fundamental analysis is all about judging the fair value of a company. You might look at debt levels, price-to-earnings ratios, cash flow etc. This helps you decide if the stock is a fair price.
Technical analysis is based more on chart patterns. You might use indicators – like moving averages, trading volumes and Fibonacci lines – to help you estimate where the price is heading next.
Although both methods have merit, fundamental analysis is more suitable for long-term investors. And Trading 212 has virtually no fundamental research tools.
However, as a technical platform it’s terrific.
You can pull up charts on any available company. Play around with its 60+ chart tools and indicators to help you gauge whether the price is going up or down. There’s also a newsfeed of economic data, with analyses to help you predict how the markets might react.
If you’re a beginner, Trading 212 is also full of helpful video-tutorials, so you can learn as you go along. These videos are clear and succinct, usually under ten minutes, with no waffle.
You can open a practice account with just your name and email address. If you like the platform, and you’re ready to use real money, you’ll need proof of your ID and address.
Then, you can open your account with a £1 deposit.
You can contact Trading 212 through 24/7 live chat, email and phone. However, I’ve noticed the website steers you towards their online ‘Help Centre’ and email contact form; I get the impression they’d prefer you didn’t call.
If you’re interested in short-term stock trading, then Trading 212 is certainly for you. You should at least set up a practice account to see how it works.
The tools are easy and intuitive. It’s fun. And the tutorials don’t bog you down with technical jargon and waffle.
Personally, I would use Trading 212 for my “casino money,” as opposed to a serious retirement portfolio. Yes, you could use this app to hold stocks long-term. (And you can even use an ISA wrapper, so your gains are tax-free).
However, a diversified retirement portfolio might also include bonds and other types of funds not available on Trading 212. Or you may also want personalized financial advice with an expert consultant.
Trading 212’s zero-fee trading is a huge positive, but shouldn’t be a deciding factor for buy-and-hold investors.
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