eToro is a winner for its easy-to-use copy-trading platform where traders can copy the trades of investors across over 2300 instruments, including exchange-traded securities, forex, CFDs, and popular cryptocurrencies.
Top Takeaways for 2021
Here are our top findings on eToro:
- eToro was founded in 2007 and is regulated in two tier-1 jurisdictions and one tier-2 jurisdiction, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for trading forex and CFDs.
- eToro is excellent for social copy trading and cryptocurrency trading, and is our top pick for both categories in 2021. Furthermore, eToro offers a user-friendly web platform and mobile app that is great for casual investors, including beginners.
- For trading forex and CFDs, eToro is slightly pricier than most of its competitors, despite recently cutting spreads and introducing zero-dollar commissions for US stock trading. Also, eToro’s range of traditional research materials and tools is limited compared to its peers.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platforms & Tools|
Is eToro Safe?
eToro is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 93 out of 99. eToro is not publicly traded and does not operate a bank. eToro is authorised by two tier-1 regulators (high trust), one tier-2 regulator (average trust), and one tier-3 regulators (low trust). eToro is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Exchange Commission (ASIC) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Learn more about Trust Score.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||No|
Offering of Investments
eToro offers a total of 2361 tradeable symbols. The following table summarizes the different investment products available to eToro clients.
Usability: As a multi-asset broker, eToro goes above and beyond to make the experience smooth for traders. For example, eToro provides the ability to select between CFDs versus trading the underlying asset directly from the trade-ticket window. Subtle, but very useful.
Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency trading is available through CFDs and through trading the underlying asset (e.g. buying Bitcoin). Note: Crypto CFDs are not available to retail traders from any broker's UK entity, nor to UK residents. In addition, cryptocurrency trading at eToro is not available in Russia, The Netherlands, and France (including French Territories).
|Forex Pairs (Total)||47|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
Commissions and Fees
eToro is a market-maker broker and lists a typical variable spread of 1 pip on the EUR/USD, which is slightly higher than the industry average. When comparing fees alone, retail traders don't choose eToro for its spreads, but rather for its social copy-trading platform capabilities (see Platform and Tools section below for more details).
VIP accounts: eToro offers a VIP club membership with five tiers ranging from silver to diamond for traders who maintain balances between $5k -$250k. Depending on the level, benefits vary from a dedicated account manager to discounted withdrawal and deposit fees, access to private signals, and exclusive assets, among other VIP-style account benefits.
Popular Investor program: eToro's Popular Investor program has four levels – from cadet to elite – where you can be eligible to receive various perks. Benefits from this program can range from spread rebates to a monthly payment and even a management fee for those who reach elite status. Popular Investor is for traders who allow other investors to copy their strategy.
Cryptocurrency trading: Overall, eToro has pricing close to the industry average for trading physical cryptocurrency, such as 0.75% for buying or selling bitcoin, while its fiat to crypto conversion fee is high at 5%. Meanwhile, converting from crypto to crypto at eToro only costs 0.1% in addition to prevailing spreads. With a large number of crypto assets and both CFDs and the underlying, eToro is our number one broker for Crypto Trading in 2021.
Exchange-Traded Securities: In addition to trading CFD shares, eToro also offers zero-dollar commission for US stock trading (not available to US investors) and supports fractional shares. To learn more, see our UK.StockBrokers.com review of eToro.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||$200|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||1 (August 2020)|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||N/A|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||Yes|
Platforms and Tools
eToro's main innovation is merging self-directed trading and copy trading under a unified trading experience. It is a winning combination. See our Best FX Brokers for Copy Trading 2021.
Ease of use: At the heart of the eToro platform experience is the ease of carrying out basic operations and completing tasks quickly, such as creating watchlists and adding instruments by searching available markets, as well as placing a trade from each watchlist directly. These design qualities helped eToro rank Best in Class in the Ease of Use category, as well as for Beginners, in 2021.
CopyPortfolios: One innovative tool is CopyPortfolios, where eToro groups traders into a single fund you can copy trade. CopyPortfolios 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 CopyPortfolios. On the other hand, self-directed traders can also use CopyPortfolios to diversify their trading, making it potentially useful for all eToro clients.
Cryptocurrency tools: eToro users can find crypto trading ideas and copy other individual crypto traders, as well as copy groups of traders, across 94 supported cryptocurrency pairs. For investors looking to hold the underlying crypto assets, eToroX offers the eToro Mobile wallet app. This app acts as a custodian using a multi-signature scheme and nearly matches the brand's forex mobile app.
Copy trading structure: All traders on eToro trade manually. Fully automated trading systems, such as those supported on MetaTrader, are not permitted at eToro. Therefore, when you copy another trader on eToro, you can be sure they are placing each trade manually. This quality is useful to know as many other social trading platforms that aggregate the performance of traders usually permit both discretionary (manual) trading as well as automated strategies, while eToro's network consists solely of manual trading.
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||No|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||No|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||66|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||13|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||No|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||6|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
Overall, eToro's research is competitive but not quite award winning.
Research tools: There is a standard economic calendar, earnings reports calendar, news headlines, daily market analysis series, and podcasts. That said, several of these features are not directly integrated into the eToro platform.
Fundamental Analysis: It is worth noting that eToro does an excellent job incorporating fundamental analysis into its platform for shares trading. That said, eToro still trails leaders such as IG and Saxo Bank in this category, as there are few articles from eToro’s in-house staff under the market analysis category.
Sentiment data: Rather than show sentiment based on all users, only the trades of top traders at eToro are used to calculate sentiment data (taking it a step above the usual sentiment tools brokers provide). This is comparable to how CMC Markets shows sentiment data.
Wall newsfeed: eToro uses a Twitter-style wall feed of collective commentary for a given instrument. This public feed appears as a stream of updates from other eToro users to give you an idea of what other traders are posting about in the eToro network. The content is sourced by eToro users and can vary in quality. It is certainly unique; that said, I find content that is generated by in-house staff or from third-party professionals to be of higher quality, on average.
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||No|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
eToro offers weekly webinars and a respectable range of educational content on its blog, which includes materials from other categories such as research and company announcements. The one critical downside is navigation; filtering and browsing to find what you want is difficult because education is not centralized in one spot. For comparison, see education leaders FXCM, Saxo Bank or IG.
Educational articles: On its crypto blog, there are just five articles under a dedicated "Education" link from the main drop-down menu, whereas the main eToro site has video tutorials and a "Trading School."
Integrated educational content: eToro has taken it a step further beyond the standard explanatory text found alongside an instrument details section, next to each symbol it offers within its platform. For example, rather than just list the contract specifications, eToro provides extra information for beginners to learn about symbols such as the EUR/USD, including reasons to consider before trading.
Trading School: There are a handful of videos under eToro's "Trading School" series, which I found to be very basic. The broker has a good number of videos on its YouTube channel, including seven archived webinars and content covering cryptocurrencies and shares, along with platform tutorials.
YouTube videos: Overall, I found it hard to distinguish between research, promotional, and educational videos as there was occasional overlap across these themes.
|Has Education - Forex||Yes|
|Has Education - CFDs||No|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||No|
|Videos - Beginner Trading Videos||Yes|
|Videos - Advanced Trading Videos||Yes|
|Investor Dictionary (Glossary)||Yes|
|Tutorials/Guide (PDF or Interactive)||No|
Overall, eToro has done an excellent job with its mobile experience. Testing the mobile app on Android, eToro maintains the look and feel of the web version, including a dark and light theme. Functionality such as syncing watchlists helps to unify the platform experience across devices.
Charting: 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.
Cryptocurrency wallet: The eToro Wallet is a separate mobile app where users can deposit and withdraw actual cryptocurrencies that are held by eToroX, which acts as the custodian of their private keys and broker. The eToro Wallet closely resembles the look and feel of the eToro mobile app, including support for social trading.
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||No|
|Watch List Syncing||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||5|
|Charting - Draw Trendlines||No|
|Charting - Trendlines Moveable||No|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||No|
eToro is great for retail traders who want to crowdsource investment ideas using the power of copy trading, or for highly experienced active traders who want to be rewarded for sharing their ideas with other traders.
Less experienced 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 higher spreads and small maximum trade sizes will be a limiting factor.
When it comes to social copy trading and crypto trading, eToro remains our number one choice in 2021, and won our award for #1 Trader Community.
Is eToro trustworthy?
eToro is trusted by over 5 million traders globally and is licensed in numerous countries to hold client funds and provide brokerage services. Following a $10.4 billion merger, eToro plans to be listed on the NASDAQ in Q3 2021. To avoid being the victim of a scam, you should only choose well-known regulated brokers, and eToro is a safe broker to use.
Factors that determine trust in financial services include proper regulatory licensing, operational history, adequate financial capital to ensure solvency, and a track record of excellent customer service. In all of these areas, eToro has proven itself more than capable of earning clients’ trust.
Is eToro really free?
The cost of eToro’s copy-trading service is incorporated into its spreads. So while it may be “free” to use eToro in terms of commissions, you still incur trading costs, such as the bid/ask spreads.
All online brokers make money by charging commissions, spreads, or a combination of both (and may receive rebates and the like). You don’t pay anything extra beyond spreads, and carry costs if you choose to hold positions overnight.
Can you make money with eToro?
You can make money with eToro, though doing so — as with any broker — is never guaranteed. eToro’s value proposition is its social copy-trading capabilities, which allow you to select from its vast database of traders and copy trades in real time. But bear in mind you can also lose money when dealing with investments such as trading forex, stocks, CFDs, and cryptocurrency, including with eToro.
The key to making money at eToro as a trader is making the right trading choices, including risk-management decisions, to keep average losses smaller relative to average profits over time (whether you are trading manually or copy trading).
For copy-trading at eToro, that means you must do enough analysis to sort through the database of investors and decide which, if any, to copy, and how much to allocate to each strategy provider, as well as setting any maximum draw-down limit (that is, a value where you automatically stop copying if a certain loss threshold is breached), and whether to copy traders that are already open or only new trades.
Is eToro good for beginners?
eToro is a great choice for beginners. Its trading platform is easy to learn and not overly complex. eToro does an excellent job at balancing useful tools and features in a web platform and mobile trading app that is user-friendly. While being good for beginners doesn’t mean it is easy to make money, it’s easier to use eToro than some of the more sophisticated trading platforms out there.
One challenge beginners may face on eToro is conducting sufficient analysis when deciding which investors to copy, and looking at more than just the absolute returns that a given trader has achieved.
For example, you might consider the risk score, the average number of trades placed per week, and average profit, loss, and holding time for a given investor that you are considering copying.
What type of broker is eToro?
eToro can act as a market-maker or agency broker, depending on the eToro entity that holds your account and other factors. Market-maker brokers act as the counterparty to your trade, while agency brokers send your order to other market-makers in return for any rebates, profit-sharing, widened spreads and commissions.
For example, eToro U.K. and eToro Europe both act as market-makers but can also hedge their client’s trades and act as a matched-principal (agency broker) if needed as part of the firm’s internal risk management process. What matters is that brokers adhere to best execution regulations, and eToro is obligated to do so where it is mandated by law.
As an early pioneer in social copy trading, eToro was founded in Israel in 2007 as a financial trading technology developer. After launching its first product, it has since grown to service over 15 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. The brand's crypto exchange, eToroX, is regulated by the Gibraltar FSC and registered in the US with FinCEN as a Money Service Business (MSB). Read more on Wikipedia about eToro.
eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.
Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Past performance is not an indication of future results.
Cryptoassets are volatile instruments which can fluctuate widely in a very short timeframe and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Other than via CFDs, trading cryptoassets is unregulated and therefore is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.
eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro.
2021 Review Methodology
For our 2021 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 27 international forex brokers over a three month time period. Each broker was graded on 108 different variables and, in total, over 50,000 words of research were produced.
While encouraged, broker participation was optional. Each broker had the opportunity to complete an in-depth data profile and provide executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting.
All data submitted by brokers is hand-checked for accuracy. Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .1% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
"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.
About the author: Steven Hatzakis Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.