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Trading 212 Review UK 2024

Tobi Opeyemi Amure
Reviewed by:
Trading 212 review UK

With 1.5 million users, and an average rating of 4.6/5 stars, Trading 212 has gained serious traction over the last couple of years.

But, is this investing platform all it’s hyped up to be?

In this Trading 212 review, I’ll explain everything that you need to know about the platform, so you can decide whether it’s right for your investing goals. 

Throughout this review, I’ll analyse the platform’s core features, rating them on a qualitative points-based scale. These points then translate into star ratings. For more information on how we test view here.

This article was reviewed by Tobi Opeyemi Amure, a trading expert and writer at InvestopediaInvesting.com, and Trading.biz.

Overall Rating – 4 stars

I give Trading 212 a score of 67.4 points (74.8%), translating to a star rating of 4 stars.

I believe Trading 212 is an excellent platform for beginners, or those who want to invest in simple stocks/ETFs without worrying too much about hidden fees or charges.

However, if you’re interested in different asset classes, such as cryptocurrency or commodities, Trading 212 does feel a little lacklustre. The lack of research tools may also be a deal-breaker for experienced investors. 

Here’s a rundown of the basic pros and cons of Trading 212:

Pros 

  • Excellent platform for beginner investors
  • Low fees
  • Great mobile app
  • Practice account available
  • ISA options available

Cons

  • Lack of key asset classes including bonds and crypto
  • Lacks advanced education resources
  • Research tools could be better
  • Not available in the US or Canada

Here’s a breakdown of how Trading 212 performed in each category:

CategoryPointsStar ratings
Fees9.25
Safety9.55
Onboarding8.94.5
Deposit & withdrawal methods94.5
Markets8.34.5 
Tools73.5
Investment & trading platform8.54.5 
Education73.5
Customer service9.55

Fees – 5 stars

Trading 212’s fee structure is very simple to understand. As a commission-free stock trading app & platform, there are no fees associated with buying or selling shares.

In addition, there are no charges for withdrawals or periods of inactivity. This means that you can invest when and whenever you wish, without the risk of incurring large fees. 

For the average investor, this structure is perfect. Not only is it simple to understand, but it also ensures that any capital gains you may make won’t be swallowed by high trading fees.

However, there is a catch. While you won’t need to pay for standard investments such as stocks and ETFs, you will need to pay a 0.15% conversion fee for CFD trading and foreign exchange trading. 

You will also incur a small 0.15% currency conversion fee should you decide to buy a stock that’s priced in another currency than that of your account. Compared to other options such as eToro, which charges as much as 0.5%, this pricing is very cheap.

Furthermore, Trading 212 gives users the option of holding different currencies in their account at any time. This allows you to circumvent the foreign exchange fee.

Pros

  • Commission free trading
  • No withdrawal fee
  • No maintenance/inactivity fee

Cons

  • CFD conversion fees could be lower

Safety – 5 stars

Trading 212 is considered a very safe trading platform, for multiple reasons.

Firstly, Trading 212 is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means that you can trust the platform to hold your money honestly, and you won’t be at risk of any scams/fraud claims.

Trading 212 regulation and safety.

Furthermore, Trading 212 offers negative balance protection. This means that you’ll only ever be able to lose the capital that you’ve put in, and won’t be at risk of having a negative balance. 

The company also has an excellent track record of financial stability. It was first founded in 2004, being able to survive the 2008 financial crisis. In 2013, the company opened its London office, which is now its primary location. 

The only negatives are the fact that Trading 212 does not hold a banking license, and its financial information is not publicly available. However, this shouldn’t raise any major red flags, especially when considering the company’s track record.

Pros

  • Regulated by the FCA
  • Offers negative bank balance protection
  • Nearly 20 years of operation

Cons

  • Absence of banking licence
  • Financial information is not publically available

Onboarding – 4.5 stars

Trading 212 onboarding section.

I found the onboarding process for Trading 212 very pleasant overall. There were a few hiccups here and there, but on the whole, it was one of the smoothest processes I’ve been through when setting up an investment account.

The first thing to note is that Trading 212 does not accept clients in every country. You will need to check your specific area for more details. However, some of the biggest countries not accepted at the time of writing include the United States and Canada.

Luckily, I live in the UK and didn’t face any jurisdictional issues. So the next step was to download Trading 212 from the App Store. Once this was done, I opened up the app and was prompted to put in my basic details including my name, age, and gender.

Next came the verification process. For this, I needed to provide my taxpayer identification number and a valid ID (passport/Driving License and a selfie).

After this, I waited for my documents to be verified. Some users report this taking up to 72 hours, but my account was verified and opened in less than a day.

Once your account has been verified successfully, you’ll be prompted to choose an account type to open. Currently, there are three options, each with their minimum deposit amounts:

  • CFD Account: £10 minimum deposit
  • Regular Invest Account: £1 minimum deposit
  • ISA Account (UK Only): £10 minimum deposit

Ultimately, I had no complaints when setting up my account with Trading 212. The company has greatly improved its onboarding process over the last couple of years.

There was a time when onboarding could take several months due to capacity issues. Now though, it’s as simple as pushing a few buttons and uploading a couple of documents.

Pros

  • Straightforward process
  • Small minimum deposit

Cons

  • Some users have reported issues with the verification

Deposit & Withdrawal Methods – 4.5 stars

Trading 212 offers excellent deposit and withdrawal methods, and does not charge you any sneaky fees for depositing or withdrawing funds. 

Deposits 

Payment methods on Trading 212.

Depositing money into your Trading 212 account couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is click on the ‘deposit’ tab, choose the amount that you’d like to deposit, and then choose your desired payment method.

Deposits are free and most locations offer virtually every payment method you could think of, including:

  • Credit/debit card transfer
  • Google/Apple Pay
  • Traditional bank wire
  • PayPal

It’s important to note that if you pay with a card or Google/Apple Pay, only your first £2,000 is free to deposit. After this, you will need to pay a 0.7% fee. However, as long as you pay with a bank transfer, you won’t incur this fee.

Another thing to note is that Trading 212 offers a very diverse range of base currencies. This effectively allows you to trade with foreign currency without incurring the conversion fee. 

Withdrawals

Likewise, withdrawals are also free to make and are extremely easy to complete. All you need to do is click manage funds, re-enter your password, select the amount you’d like to withdraw, and then click confirm.

From my experience, the withdrawn funds generally landed in my current account around one business day after I requested the funds. However, this may take longer depending on when you create a withdrawal request.

Pros 

  • No deposit/withdrawal fees
  • Very easy to deposit and withdraw funds
  • Wide array of base currencies offered

Cons

  • Withdrawals can take a long time
  • 0.7% fee on card/e-pay methods after depositing £2,000

Markets – 4.5 stars

Trading 212 offers users great exposure to core asset classes such as stocks, ETFs, and forex. However, it also lacks certain asset classes such as bonds and cryptocurrency, thereby limiting a user’s ability to diversify. 

Stocks and ETFs

Stock and ETF options.

Trading 212’s selection of real stocks and ETFs is very impressive, and arguably one of the strongest on the market. Users can buy over 9,000 stocks from 15 different markets. 

Users can also buy fractional shares, meaning they can invest as much or as little as they like. 

There are even options to buy Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), which allow you to invest in real estate for a fraction of the cost.

Buying fractional shares on Trading 212.

This is another great way to diversify your portfolio and earn a higher dividend yield.

If you’re looking to invest in stocks and ETFs, Trading 212 is one of the best choices on the market. It’s simple to invest, easy to find the stocks you’re looking for, and one of the most abundant platforms on the market.

CFDs

The CFD account offers users a much more diverse range of investment classes, including:

  • 179 foreign exchange currency pairs
  • Foreign exchange futures
  • Index futures
  • Commodity futures
  • Treasury futures
  • 1,530 stock CFDs
  • 28 ETF CFDs

CFD accounts are only recommended for advanced investors. The platform has a poor history with this account, with over 68% of investors losing money when trading CFDs. 

This isn’t necessarily a reflection on the types of assets offered by Trading 212. But, it shows that you should be cautious and consider investing most of your money in basic stocks and ETFs.

Cryptocurrency

Unfortunately, Trading 212 does not offer cryptocurrency trading. This is extremely disappointing, as many investors view the crypto market as another way to diversify.

Furthermore, competitors like eToro offer excellent cryptocurrency trading options to users. This may convince you to steer clear from Trading 212, especially if you’re after high-risk options. 

Bonds

Similarly, Trading 212 does not allow users to purchase bonds. Bonds are an excellent way to diversify your portfolio and reduce risk.

You also won’t be able to set up a Self-Investment Personal Pension (SIPP) through Trading 212. So, if you’re looking for more stable investing options, this platform might not be the best choice for you.

Pros 

  • Excellent range of stocks and ETFs
  • Strong CFD trading options
  • Users can buy fractional shares

Cons

  • No cryptocurrency trading
  • No bond/SIPP options

Tools – 3.5 stars

Research/Data Tools

Trading 212 offers innovative investing tools such as Pies, as well as basic research tools. However, there is a distinct lack of other tools such as trading suggestions. 

Pies

Trading 212 create your pie section.

One of Trading 212’s best features is the fact that you can create a personal ‘Pie’. A pie is essentially an amalgamation of stocks/ETFs of your choosing, which are weighted by you.

This allows you to invest in a wide range of securities by clicking just one button, instead of needing to invest in each one individually.

There are also hundreds of publicly available pies, created by other users. This allows you to diversify your investments adequately, without first having to do any research, making the tool perfect for beginner investors.

(Just make sure you trust the person who created the pie).

Other Tools

Economic event section on Trading 212.

Trading 212 also offers excellent tools for research including 212 charting tools, 50 technical indicators, and fundamental data such as financial statements. The economic calendar is also easy to use. 

However, there is also a lack of key tools such as trading suggestions or a basic newsfeed. Chart customiaation can also be a headache at times.

Pros

  • Innovative ‘Pies’ feature
  • Solid research tools

Cons

  • No trading suggestions
  • Chart customisation tool could be better

Investment & Trading Platform – 4.5 stars

Trading platform on Trading 212.

Platform

As a platform, Trading 212 is near-flawless. A browser version and a downloadable app are offered to users, and both are excellent to use.

The web platform is nice and easy to use, with everything you could need just a couple of mouse clicks away. Beyond this, it’s aesthetically pleasing with a light theme and visual representations of key data. 

However, the real star of the show is the app. Even if you’ve never used an investment platform before, you won’t be intimidated by Trading 212.

This is because everything is laid out in accessible menus. There is also an excellent search feature that allows you to find virtually anything in a couple of seconds. 

Making a Trade

Making a trade on Trading 212.

I found making a trade with Trading 212 a very easy process. I used the mobile app version out of personal preference. But, the web-trading platform is also excellent.

To make a trade, I opened up the app and then deposited some funds into my account. The funds had arrived within seconds.

From here, I went to the search bar and typed in ‘Vanguard S&P 500 ETF’. The ETF I was looking for appeared straight away, and when I clicked on the result, I was greeted with a host of information.

This included the current market price, the previous year’s price, a visual graph of how the ETF has performed, and an option for turning on price alerts.

Buying the share was incredibly easy. All I needed to do was click the massive blue ‘Buy’ button, select the amount I wanted to invest, and confirm the order. The entire process took no less than a couple of minutes, and at no point was I lost or confused.

Quality-of-Life Features

Various other quality-of-life features make Trading 212 an excellent platform to use. For instance, the mobile platform offers over 50 charting tools, allowing you to analyse the performance of virtually any stock on the market.

The mobile app also supports price alerts on popular stocks so that you can keep up to date with the market. Honestly, for most investors, these alerts aren’t going to mean much. Nevertheless, it’s still a nice touch. 

Another useful feature is the ‘Demo’ account, which allows you to trade with £5,000 of virtual cash. This is a great way to practice your investing and even play around with riskier options without putting your own money at stake. 

Another great feature is the Filter function. This allows you to filter down a list of stocks based on their prices and can help you find the right stock for your portfolio. 

However, Trading 212 does lack a few key features that other competitors offer. 

For instance, Trading 212 does not support copy trading. The MT4 and MT5 trading platforms are also not compatible.

This absence severely limits a user’s ability to trade forex on Trading 212. So if forex makes up a large part of your portfolio, you may be better off opting for a platform such as SaxoTrader.

Similarly, day trading is quite frankly painful on Trading 212. The platform simply isn’t built for day trading, and as a result, trade execution times are far too slow. Furthermore, the availability of highly liquid stocks is limited. 

If you want to get into day trading, you need a platform that’s specifically built for this. Trading 212 isn’t, and you’d be better off looking to other more-suited day trading platforms

It’s also worth noting that the web version doesn’t support several tools that the mobile app includes, such as price alerts and charting. This does take some of the appeal away from the platform.

However, as long as you use the app, you won’t feel like anything major is missing.

Pros

  • Near-perfect mobile app
  • Demo accounts available
  • Price alert notifications

Cons

  • No desktop trading platform
  • Limited customisability
  • Forex and day trading aren’t the best

Education – 3.5 stars

Education section of Trading 212.

Trading 212 offers plenty of educational resources on investing and personal finance, which are particularly useful for beginners.

For instance, there are over 30 videos on the company’s official YouTube channel, explaining everything from financial statements to building a diverse portfolio. 

If you prefer written content, there are also a bunch of articles on the Trading 212 site. Again, these are geared towards beginners but offer simple explanations for otherwise complex topics.

The only thing that’s missing from Trading 212’s training repertoire is webinars. So, if you’re a more advanced trader looking for detailed insights into specific markets and options, you might be better off looking for another platform.

eToro, for instance, offers much more detailed information for the advanced investor.

Pros

  • Beginner friendly content
  • Easy to access

Cons

  • Limited information for more experienced investors

Customer Service – 5 stars

If you have any issues with your Trading 212 account, you’ll likely find that the customer support team will quickly resolve the issue. Out of all the investment platforms I’ve tried over the years, the Trading 212 customer service stuck out to me.

For one, Trading 212 offers both a live chat and email support system. Both of these options are excellent, and it doesn’t feel like a hassle to get a team member’s attention.

When you email for support, all you need to do is fill out a brief form detailing your question or query. During this process, you’ll receive links to relevant FAQ articles that may solve your issue. If they don’t, you will likely receive an email within a few hours. 

The live chat feature is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means that whenever you have an issue, you’ll be able to get support within a matter of moments. 

When you do get in contact with a member of the team, they know what they’re doing and will get to the bottom of the issue in a few minutes. Oftentimes, they’ll even sort the issue out on their end, meaning you don’t have to do a thing.

The only criticism you may have is the lack of phone support. However, I often find that phone support takes far too long to resolve any issue I have with other platforms. So, the lack of this support with Trading 212 honestly isn’t a massive issue.

Pros 

  • Customer service is easy to access
  • Quick and relevant responses
  • 24/ availability

Cons

  • Lack of phone support

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, Trading 212 is an excellent investing platform for beginners, or those who just want to invest in a few stocks or ETFs.

However, if you’re interested in exploring other markets or want to learn more advanced investing techniques, the platform might not have the resources you need. 

FAQs

Is Trading 212 safe in the UK?

Yes, Trading 212 is considered safe for UK users. It is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which ensures that the platform operates in compliance with strict financial standards and provides an added layer of protection for investors. Trading 212’s FCA regulation helps to instill confidence in users regarding the security and reliability of the platform. However, as with any investment service, users should also exercise caution and conduct their research before making any financial decisions.

Is Trading 212 a good way to make money?

Trading 212 can be a viable platform for making money through stock trading and investing, offering a user-friendly interface and commission-free trades. However, success in making money depends on individual investment strategies, market knowledge, and risk management. Like all trading platforms, it carries risks, and profits are not guaranteed.

How popular is Trading 212 in the UK?

According to a study on Statista, in total, 13% of UK neo-banking and neo-brokerage users say they like Trading 212. However, in actuality, among the 39% of UK respondents who know Trading 212, 33% of people like the brand.

Will Fenton is the founder of Sterling Savvy. He is a personal finance expert and writes about trading, investing, budgeting, and other financial topics.

Along with his education in Economics & Finance, he has experience working in the financial services industry in London working for one of the UK’s leading financial companies, “a trustworthy and respected provider of news, education and market analysis for the everyday investor”.

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