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Trading 212 Review

Elizabeth Anderson

Written by Elizabeth Anderson
Edited by Carolyn Kimball
Fact-checked by Steven Hatzakis

January 19, 2024

Your capital is at risk.

Trading 212 is an investment platform that offers commission-free share dealing, making it a low-cost alternative to more traditional brokers. Novice investors may find the platform somewhat complicated to navigate, but there is the option to open a practice account while you get to grips with it.

If you are looking to simply execute share or ETF trades, we think Trading 212 is a great option. For novice investors or investors looking for more diversification through mutual funds, another broker may be a better option.

Trading 212
4.5/5 Stars Overall
  • Minimum Deposit: £1.0
  • ISA: Yes
  • SIPP: No

Trading 212 pros & cons

thumb_up_off_alt Pros

  • Offers ISAs, meaning you don’t have to worry about tax on potential returns.
  • User-friendly mobile app.
  • Commission-free stock and ETF dealing, and you can buy fractional shares.
  • Offers practice accounts.

thumb_down_off_alt Cons

  • Does not offer a SIPP.
  • Limited educational materials when researching investments.
  • Only offers stocks and ETFs; does not offer mutual funds or bonds.

Overall summary

Feature Trading 212 logoTrading 212
Overall Rating 4.5/5 Stars
Charges & Fees 5/5 Stars
Investment Choices 4.5/5 Stars
Mobile App 4.5/5 Stars
Website 4/5 Stars
Ease of Use 5/5 Stars
Education 4/5 Stars

Charges and fees

Trading 212 is among a handful of newer brokers, such as Freetrade, that have disrupted the market by offering commission-free stock trading. Investors don’t have to worry about paying dealing charges, meaning you can invest small sums of money without your investment being swallowed up by charges.

Trading 212’s charging structure is simple – there are no fees for buying and selling shares. However, you will be charged a small currency conversion fee if buying a stock listed overseas. For example, if buying Apple in U.S. dollars, you would pay 0.15% when buying (and 0.15% when selling) for converting pounds to dollars.

Trading 212 charges 0.15% on trades that are done on investments priced in another currency to that held in your account. This is much cheaper than other platforms, such as Halifax Share Dealing and Interactive Investor, which charge more than 1%.

However, Trading 212 allows you to hold multiple currencies in your investment account so you don’t always have to incur foreign exchange fees every time you buy shares in another country. Examples of different currencies you can hold include U.S. dollars (USD), euros (EUR), pound sterling (GBP) and the Swiss Franc (CHF).

There are no charges for withdrawing money from Trading 212. You are also not charged inactivity fees if your account lies dormant. Overall, this makes Trading 212 very competitive on fees, particularly when compared to traditional brokers. One criticism I have of Trading 212 is that you cannot do share transfers in or out of your investment account — you have to cash in your holding first before buying again.

Scenario pricing: When calculating annual share dealing costs, trading frequency and account balance are the two most important factors to consider. Assuming a £30,000 portfolio in a traditional, taxable share dealing account, here are four scenarios of how much Trading 212 would cost based on trade frequency:

  • 5 trades per year = £0
  • 12 trades per year = £0
  • 36 trades per year = £0
  • 120 trades per year = £0
  • 3 fund trades per year = £0
Feature Trading 212 logoTrading 212
Minimum Deposit info £1.0
Share Trading: 0-9 Deals/ Month info £0
Share Trading: 10-19 Deals/ Month info £0
Share Trading: 20+ Deals/ Month info £0
Annual Custody Fee: £0 - £250,000 info £0
Annual Custody Fee: £250K-£500K info £0
Annual Custody Fee: £500,000 - £1m info £0
Annual Custody Fee: £1m and over info £0
Bonds - Corporate - Fee info N/A
Bonds - Government (Gilts) - Fee info N/A
ETFs - Fee info 0
Investment Trusts - Fee info 0
Telephone Dealing Fee info N/A
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query_stats What type of trader are you?

Our guides can help you choose the right broker for you and the way you trade: whether you consider yourself an investing beginner, a more experienced active trader, or a mobile-first trading enthusiast.

Mobile trading apps

Trading 212’s mobile app is highly rated by users, and has a rating of 4.6 stars out of almost 200,000 ratings on the Apple store and 3.8 stars out of 134,000 ratings on the Google Play store.

I found the app fun to use – particularly as you can open a demo account funded with £5,000 of virtual money, allowing you to test your own investment hunches without losing any cash. I also liked the fact it’s easy to get investment inspiration, by seeing top winners and losers, U.S. greats and the most traded and new companies.

Trading 212 offers more than 50 charting tools on its mobile app - an unusually large amount on mobile compared to other brokers - which is appealing to experienced investors looking to analyse trends and historical performance.

Tap for a demo of Trading 212’s U.K. trading app.

Website

The Trading 212 website is comprehensive, allowing you to buy and sell in real time. I liked the fact you can see upcoming economic events and there are extensive charting tools available for free to all users. This includes more than 50 indicators such as Simple Moving Average to help you analyse historical trends in the price of a stock you are researching. Click on ‘Advanced chart’ to discover the full range of charting tools.

Feature Trading 212 logoTrading 212
Web Platform info Yes
iPhone App info Yes
Android App info Yes
Stock Alerts info Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies info 54
Charting - Drawing Tools info 25
Charting - Notes info Yes
Charting - Display Corporate Events info No
Charting - Stock Overlays info No
Charting - Index Overlays info No

Investment choices

Trading 212 offers around 10,000 investments, a huge range for investors, although it’s limited to stocks and ETFs. A big drawback is that Trading 212 doesn’t offer mutual funds (also called open-ended funds). This may be a downside for investors looking for diversification. On the plus side, particularly for newer investors, Trading 212 is one of just a few platforms — along with Freetrade and XTB — to offer fractional shares, making it easier to buy small amounts.

There is also the option to invest in contract for difference (CFD) products, allowing you to bet on expected market movements and to invest in more assets such as gold and foreign exchange. However, CFD trading is typically aimed at experienced investors due to high risk. Everyday investors will likely select an Invest or ISA account. Around 78% of retail investor accounts with Trading 212 lose money when trading CFDs, the company says.

Feature Trading 212 logoTrading 212
Share Trading info Yes
CFD Trading info Yes
Funds info No
Research - ETFs info No
Bonds - Corporate info No
Bonds - Government (Gilts) info No
Investment Trusts info Yes
Spread Betting info No
Crypto Trading info No
Advisor Services info No

Education

Trading 212 offers a good range of educational articles on topics such as using indices for investing, how to read financial statements and an explanation of different asset classes. There are around 30 videos aimed at helping newer customers understand how the stock market works, covering topics such as how to choose your first investment and whether to invest in big or small companies.

However, there are no webinars for people looking for more in-depth information or answers to questions. Overall, I found the educational experience more basic than offered by other platforms such as eToro and IG, but there is enough to help new customers get started.

Feature Trading 212 logoTrading 212
Education (Share Trading) info Yes
Education (Funds) info Yes
Education (Retirement) info No
Client Webinars info No
Client Webinars (Archived) info No

currency_pound Are you new to investing?

We thoroughly tested 17 top U.K. brokerages to find the best choices for beginner investors. Read more in our guide.

Final thoughts

Trading 212 is a great broker for investing in the stock market. Its key selling point is the fact you can buy and sell stocks at no cost, except a small charge if you are buying shares in a currency not held in your account.

Another advantage is that you can start with a practice account, meaning you can apply different trading strategies without having to worry about losing real money. This feature is especially beneficial to beginners. This type of practice trading, also called paper or virtual trading, is typically offered by brokers that offer CFD trading, such as eToro and Interactive Brokers.

One main drawback of Trading 212 is that it doesn’t offer a SIPP, meaning investors can’t benefit from tax relief on investments earmarked for retirement.

Overall, Trading 212 offers a great way to get to grips with stock investing. When you are ready to trade, you can buy fractional shares so you can invest with lower amounts of money and you won’t have to worry about trading fees.

However, more experienced investors looking for a wider range of assets may prefer another platform that offers a more complete experience.

About Trading 212

Trading 212 launched commission-free trading in the U.K. in 2017, the first broker to offer this, and has been in existence since 2005. The broker offers three main services: invest, ISA and CFD.

Can Trading 212 be trusted?

Trading 212 has been in operation since 2005, so it has a long history of being in business. It is an established broker in the U.K. and is regulated by the relevant financial authorities.

Is Trading 212 regulated in the U.K.?

Trading 212 is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the U.K., meaning investments up to £85,000 are protected should the company cease trading for reason.

Does Trading 212 have high fees?

Trading 212 is one of the cheapest investment platforms for everyday investors looking to invest in the stock market. The company makes money through CFD (contract for difference) trades, allowing it to charge no fees or low fees for other investing activities.

Do people actually make money on Trading 212?

Like with any platform, the gains and losses you make will depend on your own investment decisions. No one knows how a company stock will perform in future. CFDs are more risky investments and around four in five investors trading CFDs will lose money.

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Methodology

For the UK.StockBrokers.com Annual Review, we assessed, rated, and ranked 17 U.K. share dealing platforms over a 10-week time period. Each broker’s platforms and features were exhaustively tested by hand and graded on 53 different variables. In total, over 25,000 words of research were produced.

We thoroughly tested and compared features of prime interest to everyday investors, including but not limited to:

  • Investment choices, such as whether the broker offers trading of shares, ETFs, funds, bonds, and CFDs; and offers SIPP and ISA accounts.
  • The broker’s charges and fees for investing.
  • Functionality and design of mobile apps and website platform, and a fluid experience moving between app and web.
  • Usability of tools such as charting and watch lists.
  • Market research, such as screening, news and analysis.
  • Educational resources including tutorials, online courses, videos, webinars and articles.

Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors with quality data they can trust. Our lead researcher and writer, Elizabeth Anderson, has more than a decade’s experience as a financial journalist and market researcher. Elizabeth’s expertise is backed by a team of veteran fellow traders, data auditors, editors and project managers who work to ensure that UK.StockBrokers.com reviews and guides are the most unbiased and complete in the industry. Read more about our team.

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About the Editorial Team

Elizabeth Anderson
Elizabeth Anderson

Elizabeth Anderson, lead writer and researcher, has been a financial journalist for more than a decade. In addition to her work with UK.StockBrokers.com, she has written extensively for major publications including BBC, The Times and Bloomberg. A keen investor herself, she is passionate about helping people understand finance and investing.

Carolyn Kimball
Carolyn Kimball

Carolyn Kimball is managing editor for Reink Media and the lead editor for the StockBrokers.com Annual Review. Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money.

Steven Hatzakis
Steven Hatzakis

Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.

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