eToro is the world’s top social trading platform and a trusted online broker that also offers its services to South African traders. Established in 2006, eToro currently provides millions of international traders from 170 countries with an innovative electronic trading platform with a broad range of financial instruments. These include Forex, EFTs and Contracts for Difference (CFDs) in commodities, precious metals, indices, stocks and crypto currencies.
As well as achieving broad acclaim for pioneering the innovative concept of social trading, eToro enjoys a solid reputation for reliability and transparency. The all-encompassing social trading platform developed by eToro, is not only user-friendly but allows traders to observe and copy trades made by other traders, successfully operating on the eToro platform. The goal of social trading is to tap into the collective know-how of the massive ‘pool’ of experienced traders, so as to increase the returns to those investors who are less ‘savvy’ about trading financial assets online. We would like to point out that traders are not obliged to carry out social trading at eToro. The financial instruments and broad choice of trading tools can be used for trading without copying traders already active on the trading platform.
eToro Regulation and Security
eToro has its European offices in Limassol where it operates with a licence for Cypriot Financial Firms under the regulations of CySEC. The UK company is based in London where it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Both the UK and Cyprus registered companies comply with the EU wide MiFID rules governing the trading of financial instruments. In line with the licensing regulations, eToro keeps customers’ money in separate top tier banks to protect them in case of the business failing. Significantly, eToro takes online security very seriously protecting sensitive client data with SSL encryption technology. A point that we found especially impressive is that eToro doesn’t share personal customer data without asking for permission demonstrating an ethical attitude.
eToro Account Types
eToro offers customers the opportunity of opening a regular trading account and then requesting that it be changed into an Islamic account in order to conform with Sharia law. The eToro accounts includes the demo or virtual portfolio which is risk free and permits traders to go between the live trading account and the demo account as they please.
Live Trading Account at eToro
To register an account at eToro is easy and creates a basic account giving access to the live portfolio or the virtual portfolio. To begin trading with real money, customers must make a deposit of at least $50. Moreover, the minimum trading volume allowed after leverage is 1,000 units.
The eToro live trading account gives access to the eToro trading platform with multiple features described below. Traders using the eToro trading account can use the copy trading feature free of charge. Importantly, the fees/commission for trading on the eToro platform are incorporated into the spreads between Ask and Bid prices.
Followers of the Islamic faith can open a regular eToro account and after depositing a minimum of $1,000, request that the account be converted to an Islamic account. After submitting documents to verify the account, it will be adapted to comply fully with Sharia Law. Significantly, no interest is charged or paid to account holders on positions remaining open overnight and leverage is interest free. Fees are taken through the spreads, a method fully compliant with Sharia law and account holders do not pay account management fees for having an Islamic account.
eToro Demo Account
To gain access to the virtual portfolio that is the demo account at eToro, customers need to open a regular trading account at eToro and select ‘Virtual Portfolio’ within the account. Importantly, traders are permitted to switch between the live and virtual portfolios in seconds and as often as they like. To do this, traders need to deposit at least $50 to activate the live trading account. The free virtual portfolio at eToro replicates live trading in real market conditions. The only difference is that traders are given virtual money by eToro to use for practice and any profits are not withdrawable. The virtual account includes the powerful copy trading feature, so clients can learn how to build a people-based portfolio and follow their trading activity.
Spreads and Leverage at eToro
Leverage is offered to traders at eToro depending on the types of financial instruments they choose to trade. The maximum leverage of 5X is offered for trading ETFs and the maximum for trading stocks is 10X. For trading commodities and indices up to 100X leverage is available. Traders in Forex can get leverage between 50X and 400X. Spreads at eToro which are effectively the commission paid for trading on the platform are in the spreads that start from 2 pips.
eToro Trading Platform
There is a single iconic trading platform at eToro designed to suit all types of retail trading activities in financial instruments. eToro used to offer a Web Trader platform and a separate ‘OpenBook’ social trading platform. The two platforms have been integrated into the award winning eToro social trading platform with all the previous features included and plenty of improved features added. The platform features include the Copy Trader, live rates and charts as well as stop loss and profit orders settings. We found that the eToro trading platform provides traders with broad flexibility for trading in a vast number of investment solutions.
This is the stand out feature at eToro and what has made the company famous in the industry and it’s free to use. With the copy trader, any registered customer can watch the activities of people trading at eToro and copy their trades in real time. Conveniently, traders can link their trades to a number of apparently successful traders and automatically replicate what they do as soon as they do it. eToro claims that 80% of the copied trades are successful making it attractive to inexperienced traders in particular. The advantage of using copy trader is that traders with little knowledge of financial trading can learn about financial trading by studying traders who consistently perform well. Nevertheless, the copy trader includes a ‘Copy Stop loss’ setting allowing traders to manage the risks of every copy trade.
Popular Investors Program
Successful traders who have at least one copier following them and make a minimum $1,0000 deposit, can ask to join the unique popular investors program. Basically, members of the popular investors program can earn up to $10,000 a month in commissions and rebates in addition to their trading profits.
Mobile Trading Platform
eToro have developed a free mobile trading app giving registered customers the opportunity of managing their trading portfolios and connecting with fellow traders whilst on the move. Importantly, traders can open and close positions, use the Copy Trader, watch live market activity and access the trading tools available on the desktop platform. The eToro mobile apps are available for download in the Apple App store for iOS devices and in the Google Store for Android devices.
Education at eToro
Traders at eToro are invited to use the ‘One Stop Shop for Education and Information’ that is the online trading Academy. All the information is free and presented in an understandable way through webinars, videos, eCourses and more.
eToro Customer Support
eToro provides extensive information and FAQs, covering most aspects of setting up an account and trading on the website. Additionally, customers can count on multi-lingual live support 24 hours a day, five days a week. Whilst customers can access their accounts 24/7, the trading hours for eToro are 9pm GMT on Sundays until 9pm GMT on Fridays. Direct live chat is offered on the interface and customers can send written messages on a prepared contact form. Nevertheless, we did notice that eToro warns customers that written responses may be delayed due to rapid growth of the business. We hope that this situation is temporary as eToro emphasises that a trader’s success or failure can depend on reliable 24-hour support.
eToro Payment Methods
eToro accepts deposits made with a broad range of payment methods popular around the world. Clients can choose from China Union Pay, Visa, Mastercard and Diner’s Club credit/debit cards, bank transfer or a broad range of digital payment methods that currently include Yandex, Skrill, PayPal and Neteller. Because eToro only operates in US Dollars, deposits and withdrawals made in other currencies are charged a currency conversion fee on every transaction. It’s important to realise that the maximum deposit is just $2,000 if the eToro account has not been verified with the necessary documents. This is not just an eToro policy but legally required for compliance with financial services regulators.
eToro Withdrawal Policy
Processing withdrawal requests typically takes one business day when customers are quick to provide all the required documents. eToro takes $25 to process each withdrawal request and that’s in addition to any transaction fees that may be charged by the payment method provider. A key point to remember is that delivery time for withdrawals depends on the payment provider and is beyond the control of eToro.
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