Success in any investing activity always boils down to making correct decisions consistently. When trading financial assets online, an investor’s first decision is to choose a brokerage firm to partner with. The importance of trading with a good broker cannot be overstated. No matter your trading knowledge, skill, experience and sometimes even ‘luck’, you stand absolutely no chance of realising success if you trade with a bad or rogue broker. If you wish to trade financial assets online and are about to choose a brokerage partner, there is one name that has definitely crossed your mind – eToro! A pioneer of social trading, eToro is a popular name in the Forex and CFDs brokerage scene with a solid global reputation. But we are not respecters of a name! This is why we have compiled a comprehensive review of the entire trading experience at the brokerage firm so that our readers can decide whether to invest their time and money on the company.
To ensure the review is as objective as possible and it gives a clear picture of the trading services provided by eToro, we sought the views of real account holders. We also tested the broker by opening a live trading account and funding it with our money. Find out below whether eToro lives up to its big reputation or not.
EToro has been at the forefront of FinTech innovation in the retail brokerage scene since the first day it opened its doors to serve the modern, demanding investor. The story of eToro has been that of constant disruption, with the broker keen to stick to its mission of opening up the financial markets for literally any individual in the world.
The broker started out in 2007, with its trademark proprietary platform proving an instant hit among the retail investing community that appreciated it simplistic and graphical representation. But it was in 2009 that eToro became a global hit thanks to the launch of OpenBook, a social trading feature that allowed any investor to track, follow and copy the best performing traders on the platform. The broker is now a global leader in social trading services and innovations, while its trading platform continues to set standards with its professional-grade features as well as numerous handy tools and trading resources.
While eToro allows any type of investor to profit from the financial markets, it also offers generous rewards to profitable, professional traders. The ‘Popular Investor’ program is designed to reward the best performers on the platform. In addition to receiving proper guidance on professional growth, successful traders also get the unique opportunity to earn commissions out of the millions of customers available on the eToro platform that may choose to follow them.
But eToro is more than just a social trading platform. Its dedication to innovation has seen the broker offer extensive world-class trading services. Its trading platform gives traders access to over 2000 financial instruments, while its education section is easily the most comprehensive and relevant in the industry. They run a smooth and efficient banking system and also have an excellent customer support team. They are on top of the world, and it is seemingly because they deserve it.
Why Trade with eToro?
- Global Brand. EToro has a global presence and is regulated in 4 jurisdictions: UK, Europe, Australia and USA.
- Social Trading. EToro is a pioneer of social trading and has continued to advance innovation in the space to allow any investor to benefit from the expertise of THE best performing traders.
- Advanced Trading Platform. The multi-asset platform allows investors to trade over 2000 assets on both desktop and mobile devices.
- Free Stock Trading. Trade popular stocks, such as Facebook and Google, with zero commissions and no fees at all.
- Low Trading Fees. EToro spreads are exceptionally low and competitive.
- Numerous Trading Resources. EToro has a comprehensive education package and offers numerous handy trading tools and resources for traders.
- Excellent Customer Service. The eToro customer support team is friendly, professional, responsive and available 24/7 to serve investors.
- Award-Winning Broker. EToro has, over the years, won multiple broker awards for the exceptional trading services it offers as well as the amazing technological innovations it has pioneered in the industry.
Any serious investor will only want to deal with a regulated broker. This is because you do not want to worry about anything other than your trading activity. Regulation is the first indication that you are dealing with a trustworthy broker. Beyond that, regulated brokers are obligated to hold all investor money in segregated accounts with top-tier banks, completely separate from their operating capital accounts. Regulated brokers also agree to be subjected to random platform checks by relevant bodies that ensure they, at all times, adhere to fair and transparent pricing guidelines across all their available trading assets. For an investor, there is also the peace of mind that a third party mandated by law to protect your interests will be the mediating party should there arise any conflict between you and the broker, legal or otherwise.
When it comes to regulation, eToro has done everything to keep traders at ease. The brokerage firm operates as four subsidiaries:
- eToro Europe serves as the company’s overall headquarters and is based in Cyprus where it is regulated by CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission) under license number 109/10.
- eToro UK is authorized and regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), under firm reference number 583263;
- eToro Australia is authorized and regulated by ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) to provide financial services under License number 491139.
- eToro USA is duly registered and authorised by FinCEN (The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) as a Money Services Business. Such heavily regulation clearly marks out eToro as one of the most trustworthy brokerage companies in the industry, where investors can confidently go about their trading activity without much worries.
Safety of Funds
You are seeking out a broker so as to make money trading financial assets online. You do not have to lose money in the process. Beyond regulation that ensures you are trading with a safe broker, eToro is also obligated to submit its financial performance results to relevant bodies in their operating jurisdictions so as to ascertain that it is adequately capitalised at all times.
The broker has also implemented top security technologies across its entire website to further enhance the safety of client money. All transactions are managed through Level 1 PCI international payment service while the advanced 128 SSL encryption is applied throughout the site to ensure that private client details are never compromised at any time.
EToro also has a guaranteed negative protection feature. This feature ensures that investors will never suffer losses beyond their available trading capital.
EToro is also a member of the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF), which ensures that investors qualify for compensation of their investment amount in the unlikely event that the company becomes insolvent.
Furthermore, eToro has a responsible trading policy whose aim is to encourage investors to make smart trading decisions that will help them keep their trading capital safe. The broker advises investors to diversify their positions and avoid excessive leverage. There is also the Risk Score feature that alerts traders when they are taking excessively risky positions in the market. The feature can also help investors to filter out the good traders to follow when using eToro’s social trading features.
EToro offers two account types to investors that sign up on the platform: Retail and Professional. The account types are based on the experience and expertise level of investors.
All investors signing up on with the broker are categorised as Retail Clients by default. This is consistent with MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) guidelines that demand retail investors be granted as much protection as possible. Retail clients have access to all trading services and financial instruments offered by eToro and their protection is guaranteed via restricted leverage on volatile assets, best execution at all times and eligibility to the Investor Compensation Fund. Any retail investor can request to be categorised as a Professional Client.
A Professional Client is defined as an experienced and knowledgeable investor who is fully aware of the risks and rewards present when trading leveraged financial products. Professional clients are deemed capable of making consistently proper decisions in the market and be fully responsible for the consequences. When you request to be a Professional Client, eToro will run suitability tests to ascertain that you meet all the qualifications. Professional clients receive the lowest protections as they have to give up some benefits, such as recourse to a mediator and eligibility to the Investor Compensation Fund. However, they can apply maximum leverage levels on all their trade positions across all assets and are also entitled to Negative Balance protection. Professional clients include institutions, such as investment firms, hedge funds and collective investment schemes.
In all the account types, investors are guaranteed best execution, excellent customer support, access to over 2000 financial instruments as well as quick, convenient and efficient banking options.
The Popular Investor Program
The eToro popular investor program is the basis of its social trading. The program rewards traders with unique investment strategies by giving them the opportunity to boost their earning out of traders that follow them. In addition to profits earned out of their trading activity, Popular Investors are also awarded fixed payments as well as commissions based on the AUM (assets under management) of their followers.
Investors that wish to join the program need to do the following:
- Open and Verify your eToro trading account
- Add a real picture to your account profile
- Share your real name on your account profile
- Describe your trading strategy to potential followers
Your application to join the program will be approved by eToro if you satisfy their responsible trading policy guidelines that stipulate as follows:
- You have traded with eToro for at least 2 months
- You have maintained an average Risk Score of above 6 in the last 2 months
- You do not copy other traders
- You have a minimum average equity of $1000
- There is at least 2 months trading history in your Statistics page
The program has 4 levels: Cadet, Rising Star, Champion and Elite.
A Cadet is a new popular investor having at least 1 copier with a minimum AUM of $500. Cadets qualify to be featured on marketing promotions done by the broker.
- Rising Star:
A Rising Star must have spent at least 2 months on the Cadet level, have a minimum of 10 copiers as well as a minimum AUM of $50,000. Rising Stars also have to maintain a minimum average equity of $1000. Rising Stars are paid a monthly fixed income of $500 and can also be featured on the broker’s promotions. They also get to perform fee-free withdrawals.
A Champion must have spent at least 2 months on the Rising Star level, have a minimum of 10 copiers as well as a minimum AUM of $150,000. Champions also have to maintain a minimum average equity of $5,000. Champions are paid a monthly fixed income of $1000 and can make free withdrawals. Champions receive a free subscription to Financial Times and can also be featured on the broker’s promotions.
Elites must have spent at least 2 months on Champion level and have minimum AUM of $500,000. Elites also have to maintain a minimum average equity of $20,000. In addition to a monthly fixed income of $1000, Elites are also paid a 2% commission on their annual AUM. The broker has set the maximum AUM per Elite at $30 million. The benefits of being an Elite Popular Investor include free withdrawals, marketing features, Financial Times subscription and a dedicated Platinum Account manager.
EToro regularly updates its benefits for different levels of Popular Investors.
Can I Make Money on eToro by Copying Popular Investors?
EToro’s appeal is largely because it allows any type of investor to earn from the markets no matter your knowledge or experience level. We followed some popular investors to find out whether it is indeed possible to make money by simply copying the trades of these traders. We were able to make considerable profits, but we found out that social trading is simple but not exactly easy.
It takes great skill to pick out a good investor that will help you realise your trading goals and ambitions. EToro helps investors by displaying the best performers as well as their risk profiles, but the following tips worked best for us:
- Risk Profile. We only filtered out traders with a risk score of 4 or below.
- Diversification. It is advisable to follow multiple top traders so as to diversify your portfolio.
- Consistency. It is important to pick out traders who have a history of at least 12 months and have closed over 100 traders. This will be a great indication of a popular investor with a solid, profitable trading strategy.
It is also vital to assess the AUM of an investor and ensure that the bulk of the copiers are live account holders and not demo traders.
eToro Trading Platform
The eToro trading platform is feature-rich and uses cutting-edge technology to provide investors with access to over 2000 financial instruments that include Forex pairs, Stocks, Indices, Commodities and Cryptocurrencies. The platform is user-friendly, intuitive, graphical and packed with innovative features to help any trader gain the maximum advantage when trading their favourite financial assets online.
Some of the platform features include:
All eToro clients can open a free and unlimited demo account funded with $100,000 in virtual funds. You can start your trading career by building a virtual portfolio and accessing all eToro brokerage services without putting any money on the line.
The exclusive Research Tab delivers market commentary and insights of experts and professionals from some of the world’s top financial institutions.
You can perform trade operations by just a single mouse click. This feature ensures that traders never miss their optimal prices in a market that is fast and dynamic.
Risk Management Orders
There are innovative risk management orders such as stop loss, trailing stop and take profit that ensure traders are in control of their risks and rewards in the market at all times. Stop loss orders help limit losses when prices go against you while trailing stops help in booking partial profits when prices go in your favour. Take profit orders help traders secure their profits when a predetermined price has been achieved.
The platform features interactive charts with numerous technical, fundamental and sentimental analysis tools to help investors make the best decisions when trading their favourite assets. The Watch List tab available allows traders to pull out a list of their favourite assets and view trading conditions such as leverage spreads and rollover fees (if any).
At eToro, traders can make money round the clock, literally. Investors can place certain orders during offline hours or even when the platform is undergoing maintenance.
The multi-asset platform is web-based and accessible in both desktop and mobile browsers. There is also a standalone mobile trading platform compatible with both iOS and Android, featuring amazing touch capabilities as well as the full functionality of the desktop alternative.
When you sign up with a broker, you essentially choose a trading partner. A good partner must have your success as a key priority. This is exactly what it feels like when you trade at eToro. The Education section is, without doubt, the most comprehensive and relevant in the industry. On the section, investors get access to News and Analysis, Interactive Podcasts, Daily Market Reviews, Trading Guides and Tutorials, Video Tutorials, as well as a guide on how to take full advantage of the various FinTech features available on their platform.
In addition to Education, there are numerous other handy tools and resources available at eToro such as:
These are thematic investment products designed to help investors limit risks and diversify their portfolios when implementing copy strategies in the market. EToro has two types of CopyPortfolios: Market Portfolios, which combine various asset CFDs such as tech stocks and specific industry indices under a single strategy; and Top Trader Portfolios, which are made up of consistently best performing popular investors.
The eToro Economic Calendar
The Economic Calendar streams the release of economic and political news and events that may have an impact on the prices of various financial assets. The tool is simple, yet detailed. It displays all scheduled events and updates information in real-time. The tool also rates the degree of impact (high, low, medium) any scheduled event is expected to have on an underlying financial asset. This tool is handy for investors who wish to take advantage of price changes that are triggered by news releases.
All popular investors have a risk score that is displayed on their profiles. The Risk Score has values of 1 to 10; where 1 is least risky and 10 implies the highest possible risk. The score grades the strategies popular investors implement in the market and can help traders filter out the best and most consistent performers who can help them realise the investing goals.
Earnings Reports Calendar
For Stocks traders, the earnings reports calendar comes in handy as it lists all the upcoming earnings reports scheduled to be released by the underlying companies. This can help in putting together a money-spinning stock watch list.
Fees and Spreads
At eToro, investors are guaranteed minimal fees and spreads, which will ultimately ensure that their profitability is enhanced. To start with, it is free to open an account and no deposit fees will be applied. There are also no fees charged when investors decide to use CopyTrader or CopyPortfolios.
When trading stocks and ETFs via the eToro platform, investors pay no commissions, no rollover fees, no management fees, no ticket fees, and not any other additional broker fees.
When trading CFDs, the spread (the difference between the bid and ask prices) is the only transaction cost applied. EToro has low, competitive spreads to allow investors to implement virtually any strategy in the market. Spreads of currency pairs start from as low as 1 pip; Commodities spreads are as low as 2 pips; Indices spreads are as low as 4 pips; Stocks and ETFs CFDs spreads start as low as 0.09%; while Cryptocurrencies spreads start from as low as 0.75%.
There are also positive and negative swaps applied on positions that run overnight. The entire rollover fee structure is available on the site, but traders can also view all the trading conditions of an underlying asset by highlighting it on the eToro platform.
EToro operates a safe, secure and efficient payments processing system that accepts deposits and processes withdrawals using a variety of global convenient methods as outlined in the table below.
|Method||Deposit Time||Withdrawal Time|
|Wire Transfer||4-7 days||1-2 business days|
|Credit/Debit Cards||Instant||Up to 8 business days|
|PayPal||Instant||1-2 business days|
|Neteller||Instant||1-2 business days|
|Skrill||Instant||1-2 business days|
|Klarna/Sofort Banking||Instant||Up to 8 business days|
|Online Banking||Instant||1-2 business days|
|China UnionPay||Instant||1-2 business days|
The minimum deposit is $50 for retail clients and $10,000 for corporate clients. For Wire Transfer, the minimum deposit is $500 for retail clients. The base currency for all trading accounts at eToro is the US dollar. All deposits made using any other currency will be converted at prevailing exchange rates.
EToro processes all withdrawal requests within 1 business day, and thereafter funds will reflect on your end depending on the payment method you use. Withdrawals are only processed on verified trading accounts. The minimum withdrawal amount is $30 and withdrawal fees start from $5.
Account Opening and Verification
It is simple and straightforward to open and verify an eToro trading account. The procedure can be completed in a few moments using the steps below:
- On the official eToro homepage, click on ‘Join Now’.
- You will be redirected to a registration form where you will be required to fill out personal details such as your name, username, email address, phone number and your password. There is also the option of signing up with Facebook and Google.
- Review the terms and conditions of eToro, and if you accept them, proceed to submit the form by clicking the ‘Sign Up’ button.
- As a regulated broker, verification is required on all eToro clients. Verification required the submission of proof of identity and proof of address documents for KYC purposes.
- EToro will also perform further suitability tests on clients to ascertain that they are well suited to utilise the services offered by the broker.
- After verification, investors can proceed to deposit funds into their accounts and start trading their favourite assets on the eToro platform.
Visitors, as well as existing eToro customers, can all contact the broker’s Customer Centre and open a ticket for any issue they want addressed. There is also live support for urgent matters. Additionally, the eToro website is available in 21 languages and there is a comprehensive FAQs page available here where investors can find answers to popular questions on Verification, eToro Community, Copy Trading, Deposits & Withdrawals, Education, eToro Partners, Trading Accounts, eToro Wallet, Trading & Investment, as well as Troubleshooting Procedures. The eToro customer support team is available round the clock to provide professional and urgent solutions to all issues that affect investors on the platform.
EToro is a solid and reputable company that has rightly earned its status as one of the top global CFD brokerage firms in the world. The broker has pioneered numerous innovations that have set the standard in the industry. By being committed to the trader, EToro has continued to disrupt the brokerage scene and made it possible for literally any investor to make money with as minimal risk as possible in the financial markets. No matter your investing knowledge or experience, eToro is reliable and trustworthy brokerage partner that can help you realise your trading goals and ambitions.