(Pocket-lint) – Choosing the right broker is always of paramount importance, especially when you’re getting started with trading. Your first experience with an investment app can set the course for all future interactions.
The aspects of assessing a broker’s services are innumerable. Every beginner-friendly service should have low fees, a great web and mobile trading platform, reliable customer service, great educational tools, a low (if any) minimum deposit, and above all, an easy account opening process.
To get his expert opinion on why he chose this list of the best investment apps, you can hear from Prash Raval at Invezz, a qualified trader, investor and regular mobile app user, to find out whether eToro is genuinely the best for a beginner trader.
A quick take
“eToro’s web platform will meet the needs of beginners. To start with, saying it’s user-friendly is putting it mildly.” said Raval. After supplying some basic data, your account is verified, you make a deposit, and you get started immediately. All of this takes less than several minutes!
The platform also features safe login and a transparent fee report. The minimum deposit is low, and its education materials are commendable. There are educational videos, a trading platform tutorial, and the option to open a demo account.
The wide variety of crypto assets – underlying assets as well as CFDs – is quite impressive and makes eToro a very appealing choice for novice traders.
As a downside, eToro does not offer 24/7 phone support. VIP Club members have access to live chat though.
Prash continues, “The app’s mobile platform is generally well-designed with a decent search function, face ID, and touch login”. This can help you get started easily. Its charts are reliable and similar to the web platform experience. However, there are 67 web indicators compared to five here. The app has no drawing tools at all. Those would be a welcome addition to an otherwise well-integrated, cleanly-designed mobile app.
The eToro mobile app, which you’ll find out more about in the next section, has the look and feel of the web version. Synced watchlists create a uniform experience across devices. The app has light and dark mode themes, among other useful functions.
Prash told us that “The best feature of the trading platform is copying experienced investors’ trades. You can also get exclusive perks for sharing your trading strategy.” The platform offers a complete trading experience with thousands of tradeable symbols, including securities, forex, and CFDs.
You can choose between trading CFDs and the underlying assets right from the window of the trade ticket, which is a valuable feature.
eToro also offers crypto trading via underlying asset trading or through CFDs. Not all users of the platform are eligible to trade crypto CFDs. More specifically, the ban affects residents of the UK and the Netherlands. Crypto trading is also not possible in France and its territories.
There are two mobile apps: eToro Money for money and crypto transfers and the basic eToro app. Both are available on the Apple App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android.
You can make deposits and withdrawals of cash and crypto through eToro Money, a separate mobile app. eToroX holds crypto assets and serves as the custodian of private cryptocurrency keys.
eToro’s typical spread on the euro/US dollar pair is one pip, which is a bit above the average for the industry. Although, according to Prash “retail traders don’t choose this broker for its spreads, given the trading fees.”
The platform’s VIP club, the eToro Club, has membership tiers ranging from Diamond to Bronze in descending order. Your tier depends on your balance. Benefits vary depending on your level of membership. eToro Club privileges range from a dedicated account manager and discounts on deposit and withdrawal fees to access to Trading Central.
In terms of trading crypto, eToro’s fees are close to the industry average. You pay a one-time, flat rate of 1 per cent on top of the spread for each buy and sell position. The fee is charged when opening and closing a position.
eToro adjusted its fee schedule recently, which is proving helpful in trading new cryptocurrencies. Trading them could have been costly at the old rates.
The fees on exclusively trading cryptocurrency are even lower on eToroX. However, this platform doesn’t feature the market range available on the main one. It doesn’t have CFD trading either.
eToro offers zero commission on trading US stocks to all users except those based in the US. This is in addition to trading CFD shares. The broker supports fractional shares as well.
Overall, the trading fees are low. The fees on CFD trading and forex are also attractive. ETF trading is free.
One step eToro could take to attract even more beginners is doing away with the inactivity fee. There’s also a $5 withdrawal fee, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you’ve made money!
eToro is a decent option for laypersons who want to harness the power of copy trading. Inexperienced investors will find its intuitive interface helpful. Limits on trades and higher spreads will drive active and experienced traders away.