By Steven Hatzakis
February 18th, 2019
Last Updated: March 22nd, 2019
The ForexBrokers.com Annual Review (3 years running) is among the most cited in the industry. Our Head of Research, Steven Hatzakis, is frequently referenced as a leading analyst covering forex brokers and cryptocurrency. Learn more.
As an early pioneer in social copy trading, eToro was founded in Israel in 2006 as a financial trading technology developer. After launching its first product, it has since grown to service over 9 million users with an innovative platform that continually evolves to be one of the largest social networks globally, with clients in over 170 countries.
In March 2018, eToro announced it had raised a $100 million round of private equity financing led by China Minsheng Financial, the SBI Group and Korea Investment Partner, and other investors, valuing the company at $800 million.
eToro is popular for its powerful copy-trading platform on which traders harness the results of the crowd to find opportunities and copy the trades of other real-time users across over 1,400 instruments, including CFDs on popular cryptocurrencies.
- User-friendly and innovative web and mobile platforms.
- Powerful social trading tools.
- CopyFunds for investors.
- CFDs on seven major cryptocurrency pairs, including bitcoin.
- Wide spreads on forex.
- Risk/reward ratios are limited to predefined ranges.
- Automated trading strategies are not permitted.
Trading with a forex broker traders can trust is crucial to success. Unfortunately, forex fraud and scams are common in the industry. To help investors find trustworthy brokers, we have created a proprietary 1-100 score (the higher the better), which we call Trust Score.
|Publicly-Traded Company (Listed)||No|
|Regulated in Major Hub||Yes|
|Regulated in Emerging Hub||Yes|
|Authorised in the European Union||Yes|
Commissions & Fees
eToro is a market-maker broker and lists a typical minimum fixed spread of three pips on the EUR/USD, which is on the high end of the range when comparing brokers with fixed and floating spreads, making it a more expensive platform.
- For high volume traders who deposit over $20,000, eToro offers a premium account that provides additional perks such as withdrawal priority and access to an online trading room, among other VIP-style account benefits.
- eToro’s Popular Trader program has four tiers – from cadet to elite – where you can be rewarded with various perks ranging from spread rebates to a monthly payment and even a management fee for those who reach elite status. Unlike an active trader program, which usually requires volumes and/or deposit thresholds to be met, the popular trader program encourages traders to focus on producing successful results to receive applicable incentives.
- When comparing fees alone, retail traders don’t choose eToro for its spreads, but rather for its platform and social trading capabilities tools (which are discussed further down), as its pricing is otherwise expensive.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||$200|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||3.00|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||N/A|
|Active Trader or Premium/VIP||Yes|
Platforms & Tools
eToro has done well merging self-directed trading and copy trading together under a unified trading experience. It’s a winning combination.
- Ease of use is at the heart of the eToro platform experience. It is easy to carry out basic operations and do things quickly, such as creating several watchlists and adding instruments by searching available markets, as well as placing a trade from each watchlist directly.
- One innovative tool is CopyFunds, where eToro groups top traders into a single fund you can copy trade. CopyFunds help bridge the gap for investors who want to use eToro on a passive basis, as they can create a portfolio based entirely on one or more CopyFunds. On the other hand, self-directed traders can also use CopyFunds to diversify their own trading, making it potentially useful for all eToro clients.
- Besides CopyFunds, other features such as the editors’ choice and popular traders serve as additional ways eToro attempts to find you the best traders to copy and/or follow. With platform settings, eToro offers the ability to set a default trade size, leverage selection, and even a default stop and limit levels, per instrument traded.
- Chart drawing tools could be made more accessible by moving them to the upper toolbar of the chart window. In the current setup, they are bundled together with the technical indicators.
- All traders on eToro trade manually. Fully automated trading systems are not permitted, which means when you copy another trader, you can be sure they are placing each trade manually. This is useful to know as many other social trading platforms that aggregate the performance of traders usually permit both discretionary (manual) trades as well as automated strategies, while eToro’s network consists solely of manual trading.
- If you just want to use the eToro platform for just self-directed investing, it is balanced for that too, although there are unavoidable social elements woven throughout the experience.
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|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||No|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||67|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||14|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||No|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||6|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
To score Customer Service, ForexBrokers.com partnered with customer experience research group Customerwise to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the UK. For our 2019 Review, 229 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks.
- Average Connection Time: <1 minute
- Average Net Promoter Score: 5.6 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 3.3 / 10
- Overall Score: 5.3 / 10
- Ranking: 16th (23 brokers)
- View Infographic
Overall, eToro’s research offering has a good foundation but can be improved.
- In 2018, eToro boosted its research offering with the addition of TipRanks, which powers the new research tab on its platform.
- Beyond a standard economic calendar (which can only be viewed on the website) and news headlines (also found only on the website), there are few research options on eToro in the traditional sense of technical and fundamental analysis.
- eToro does, however, incorporate many social elements into its available research tools when it comes to market sentiment. For example, rather than show sentiment based on all users – only the trades of top traders are used to calculate sentiment data (taking it a step above the usual sentiment tools brokers provide). In addition, collective commentary about an instrument will appear as a stream of updates from users to give you an idea of what other traders are posting about in the eToro network, compared to StockTwits, for example.
- Adding news headlines and incorporating the economic calendar into the platform experience would help fill the gap in the research tools available on the eToro platform.
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||No|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
Overall, eToro has done a great job with its mobile experience.
- Testing the mobile app on Android, I quickly noticed after logging in that eToro has done very well in maintaining the look and feel of the web version.
- Functionality such as syncing watchlists helps to further unify the platform experience across devices.
- Like the rest of the mobile app, the charts were responsive and closely matched the web platform, even though just five indicators are present compared to 67 on the web.
- Drawing tools were missing from the app entirely and would be a welcome enhancement. Otherwise, the charts in the mobile app are nicely integrated and function well, despite the lack of drawing tools.
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Trading - Forex||Yes|
|Trading - CFDs||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||No|
|Watch List Syncing||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||5|
|Charting - Draw Trend Lines||No|
|Charting - Trend Lines Moveable||No|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||No|
Offering of Investments
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to eToro clients.
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||47|
|CFDs - Total Offered||1449|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||Yes|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||Yes|
When you place a trade on eToro, there is always a default stop-loss order and limit attached to manage the risk/reward of each trade, which can be adjusted within certain permissible ranges (usually up to an amount equal to the margin used). While this mandatory stop-loss and limit can be a good safety net to protect beginners, it may limit more experienced traders as certain strategies are not supported because of this rule.
eToro’s expansion of its Cryptocurrency CFD offering in 2018 took a leap forward compared to its peers (read our eToro Crypto review), and the broker further defined its position to stay ahead of trends. Also in 2018, the broker expanded its reach into the physical cryptocurrency market by obtaining a Money Service Business (MSB) registration in the US, as well as utilizing its ASIC-regulated entity to expand its offering. This helped eToro become our number one broker for crypto, from among 28 brokers in our 2019 annual review.
eToro can be great for retail traders who want to crowd source investment ideas using the power of copy trading, or for highly experienced traders who want to be rewarded for sharing their ideas with other traders.
Newer traders requiring handholding may find the user-friendly platform an added benefit. That said, I do not recommend eToro for active or high-volume traders as high spreads and small maximum trade sizes will be a limiting factor.
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"There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses." Learn more.