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This is a sponsored post by Trading 212.
Trading 212 is an online investing platform that boasts ‘commission-free investing for everyone’.
But is the platform any good? And with so many investing apps out there, what sets Trading 212 apart from the others?
In this article, we’re going to dive into Trading 212’s offering by looking into the features of its platform, fees, plus the usability of its app.
And because we’re working with Trading 212 on this article, we’ve managed to bag a sign-up bonus where Money Magpie users can score a free share of up to £100 when signing up!
Keep on reading for all the details, or click on a link to head straight to a section…
If you’re looking to invest, finding the right investing platform can be tricky to say the least. Quite frankly, there are now so many investing platforms out there it can be easy to become overwhelmed, especially if you’re a newbie investor.
So, if you aren’t sure how to differentiate one investing platform from the next, Money Magpie is here to help…
And yes, while this article is sponsored by Trading 212, we’re not going to pull any punches – you can trust us on that!
Founded in 2004, Trading 212 is an investment platform that allows you to open an account online, or via its (Android/iOS) mobile app. You can invest with as little as £1.
Trading 212 proudly claims it was the first zero-commission stock trading service in the UK and Europe. The platform allows you to trade, not just stocks, but also exchange traded funds (ETFs), foreign currency, commodities, and more.
Both the Trading 212 app and website are snazzy, yet simple. Regardless of which route you take, when you open an account, you’re guided though each and every step in the process. This makes it very difficult to go wrong.
First, you’re asked to select your country of residence. Once done, you’re invited to open one of three accounts – Invest, CFD, or ISA.
Once you’ve selected your account type, you can then set up an account with just your email address and chosen password. Following this you’ll need to verify your identity. Once complete you’re free to add funds at will.
Yet if you aren’t quite ready to invest at this point, then you’ll be pleased to know that the Trading 212 app features a ‘practice’ function within its app. This allows you to get to grips with buying and selling stocks without having to risk real money.
The idea is that once you become comfortable with the process, you’ll have the confidence to invest for real. Yes, a practice function like this is hardly a revolutionary feature, but it certainly gets the thumbs up from us considering it can be particularly useful for beginner investors.
Trading 212 offers more than 12,000 global stocks & ETFs, so you won’t be stuck for choice for what to invest in.
What we particularly like about Trading 212 is just how easy the platform makes it to buy your chosen asset. Unlike some other investing apps, Trading 212 doesn’t seem to make things unnecessarily complex.
For example, if you’re looking to buy a stock – let’s say Tesla – then you simply need to search for it in its integrated search bar.
Once you’ve found your desired Tesla stock – or any other stock for that matter – then you can click on it. You’ll then be diverted to a page where you’ll see its recent performance, and current price. If the market’s open, or you take advantage of Trading 212’s extended market hours, then you can buy the stock on the very same page.
As an added boon, Trading 212 also allows you to buy fractional shares, meaning you can gain exposure to firms, even if you don’t want to expend lots of capital to buy a whole share. This is a very worthwhile feature. For example, at the time of writing, one Tesla share will set you back over $200 USD, so if you don’t wish to allocate such a large sum to a single share, fractional share buying offers a way around this.
As mentioned above, Trading 212 doesn’t just deal in stocks. The platform allows you to buy exchange-traded funds, commodities, and even currency.
If you want to invest in any of these assets, then the process is pretty much the same for all of them. For example, when we searched for ‘oil’ we were given the option to buy an oil ETF, or purchase stocks in oil companies. The app also listed the price of the brent crude oil commodity itself – all under a single menu.
Likewise, it was the same for gold. When we searched for the precious metal within the Trading 212 app we were given the option of buying a gold ETF or gold mining stocks. The live gold price was also shown.
We aren’t exaggerating when we say that Trading 212 makes the whole process of buying pretty much anything you want as straightforward as possible.
At Money Magpie, we believe simplicity is important when it comes to investing, so this is a real plus-point for us.
While we’ve mentioned that the Trading 212 app is very easy to use, this doesn’t mean that its app lacks important, sophisticated features. For example, for users looking for a helping hand, plus the ability to view their portfolio in a less traditional manner, then the platform certainly delivers on these points.
That’s because Trading 212’s ‘Pies’ and ‘Autoinvest’ features allow users to put together a diverse portfolio without the faff. For example, the Pies feature makes it easy to view investments that sit within your portfolio, and to identify which industries and assets you’ve exposure to.
With Trading 212’s Pie feature, you can set up a Pie from scratch, or copy an existing readymade portfolio.
In terms of its Autoinvest feature, we like this as well, partially because it supports pound-cost averaging – a process where you to invest a fixed sum at set intervals. Within the app, you can schedule your own monthly deposits and contributions.
(Ps… to learn more about this investing strategy, take a look at our article that explains the pros and cons of pound cost averaging.)
It’s also worth knowing that Trading 212’s Autoinvest feature supports dividend re-investing. This is where you can set up your portfolio, so it automatically re-invests any dividend payments for you. Likewise, you can also use the Autoinvest feature to automatically rebalance your portfolio. This can help you ensure your investments will always remain within your tolerance for risk.
Overall, we welcome Trading 212’s Pie and Autoinvest features, particularly because you can customise them to suit your personal financial goals. Again, both features are straightforward to use, so you needn’t be a stock market professional to use them properly.
When it comes to its Invest or ISA accounts, Trading 212 doesn’t charge any fees for trading, as long as you’re trading assets in pounds. If not, (for example, say you wish to buy shares listed in US dollars) you’ll be charged a 0.15% FX fee as part of the trade.
Likewise, if you trade currency through the platform (you can trade GBP, USD, EUR, CHF, DKK, NOK, PLN, SEK, CZK, RON, BGN, HUF) then you’ll be charged the ‘perfect’ interbank exchange rate, plus a 0.15% FX fee.
We say ‘perfect’ as there really is no cheaper exchange rate than the interbank exchange rate. It’s the same rate used by the banks. Furthermore, one can completely avoid paying the 0.15% FX fee by using multi-currency accounts.
Trading 212’s multi-currency accounts allow you to hold money and trade in multiple currencies. This means you won’t have to convert money each time you want to place a trade in a different currency.
There are no fees for bank transfer deposits.
If you want to fund your investment or ISA account via a card payment, including via Google Pay and Apple Pay, then you won’t pay any fees until you’ve deposited a total of £2,000 GBP. If you go over this limit, then a 0.7% fee applies. So, to ensure you don’t pay any fees for depositing funds it’s probably best to stick with bank transfers – just be mindful of any fees that may be charged by your bank.
Viewing statements, closing your account, and withdrawals are all fee-free.
Aside from the above, it’s worth noting that Government fees may also apply when trading shares. For example, the UK Government applies a 0.5% Stamp Duty charge when buying UK shares. Likewise, if buying or selling shares with more than £10,000 then you may have to pay a £1 ‘PTM’ levy.
The Trading 212 website has a full list of these fees, so make sure you understand them all before investing.
If you’ve cash in your account but you don’t invest it, then Trading 212 will pay you 2% on your balance, with interest calculated daily. While this is better than nothing, it’s far from a market-leading interest rate.
For example, you can grab a much higher interest rate via a normal easy-access savings account, so do try to avoid keeping a lot of uninvested cash in your Trading 212 account.
While we’re working with Trading 212 to write this article, we’ve told you that we’ll give our honest opinion regardless.
So… *drumroll*… we’re pleased to say that we are very happy to give the platform our seal of approval.
First things first, we like the interface and usability of Trading 212’s app and we welcome the fact that the platform makes it so easy to buy stocks, commodities, ETFs, or other assets just by using its integrated search bar.
The app’s built-in Autosave and Pie features are other big plus points, which no doubt will appeal to investors looking for a bit of a helping hand in order to set up and maintain their investments.
The ability to automatically rebalance of your portfolio, set up and schedule regular deposits, plus the option to reinvest dividends are other positives, which puts Trading 212’s app alongside the very best in our opinion, especially for beginner investors.
Its fees are affordable too and… perhaps more importantly, transparent! This means you should never come across an unexpected fee when using the Trading 212 platform.
It should also be noted that Trading 212 has been around for almost two decades so it’s well established. It currently holds £3.5 billion in client assets and cash and claims an impressive 4.6 out of 5 score on TrustPilot with more than 23,000 reviews, which isn’t too shabby.
So yes, here at Money Magpie we’re happy to recommend the Trading 212 app, thanks to its simple app, useful features, and affordable fees. Yet, as we always say when it comes to choosing any type of investment platform, we’d still encourage you to explore other options to ensure the platform works for you. After all, while the app may be a good option if you’re looking to trade regularly (due it its 0% commission on trades), if you’re looking to passively invest by buying an index tracker fund, for example, then you may be better off with an alternative platform.
Also, before committing any funds to the Trading 212, we recommend that you download the app and take the time to play with its practice feature first, which will allow you to first test the waters.
Also, do take the time to carefully compare Trading 212’s fees with other investing apps out there. Remember, the investing platform market is very competitive, so it’s always worth shopping around. For more on this, take a look at our article that explains how to choose an investment broker.
Fancy bagging a free share of up to £100?
If you’re happy to give Trading 212 a go, then ensure you sign up using this link. That’s because once you deposit funds, you’ll receive a free, random share worth up to £100.
Alternatively, use the promo code “MONEYMAG” directly on the Trading 212 website or app.
This is not financial advice. When investing, your capital is at risk. Investments can rise and fall and you may get back less than you invested. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Terms and fees apply – https://www.trading212.com/terms/invest.
MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor. Information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.