It’s tight, but we’re calling eToro the ultimate winner. It’s a great investment platform, perfect for beginners and advanced traders, low cost, and a huge range of investment options. And, as you can buy the assets directly, you can use it for longer term investment and even buy crypto (Plus500 is great too, but only offers CFDs – more on those below).
Keen to find a great new trading platform? Or narrowed it down to eToro and Plus500? Good choice – they’re two of the best trading platforms out there, but ultimately which is the best for you? Let’s find out.
eToro is a pretty awesome investment and trading platform – it’s perfect for beginners all the way to advanced traders, and used by over 30 million people worldwide (that’s a lot!) – it’s well established, and has been around since 2007.
What makes it different from other investment platforms is that it offers social trading (copy trading), so you can follow, interact and copy successful traders – it’s a big worldwide community investing together.
Nuts About Money tip: if you’re only looking for a copy-trading or social trading platform. eToro is the best copy trading platform.
You don’t have to interact with anyone if you don’t want to though, the platform itself is great, and it’s low cost, with a huge range of investment options – including stocks, ETFs, crypto, currencies and commodities (real things such as gold and silver).
Learn more: here’s our eToro review. eToro also offers a demo account.
Already keen to get started with eToro? Head over to the eToro website¹.
Plus500 is one of the most established trading platforms in the world. It’s been around since 2008 and now has over 24 million customers (compared to 30 million with eToro).
It’s pretty unique as a trading platform, you can see a range of insights from all the other investors on the platform. For instance, you can see the top trending stocks, most profitable trades, and stocks everyone is buying or selling. It’s all pretty cool.
That’s alongside it being a great all-round trading platform, with a huge range of investment options and low cost.
By the way, all the investments are CFDs (Contract For Differences), which means you are trading the price of an asset, rather than buying the asset (like a stock) directly (typical for most trading platforms).
Learn more: here’s our Plus500 review. Plus500 also offers a demo account.
When we say investment platform, we mean the software you actually use to make the trades and investments – so the website and mobile apps on your phone. With both eToro and Plus500, they’re great.
eToro is perfect for beginners all the way to advanced traders – the platform is easy to use and you don’t need previous experience.
You can research all the investments on the platform and find new trades yourself, or join in with the community and view and copy successful traders.
Plus500 is similar. It's also great for beginners all the way to experienced traders – although slightly more complicated. When viewing an asset you'll see all the advanced features traders like – so that’s a chart of the current and historic price, alongside the trading volume (how many people are buying and selling), and other advanced features.
If you’ve never traded before, it might be a bit complicated, but Plus500 does offer everything you need to learn.
In terms of the mobile apps themselves, they’re both great for mobile trading – with both, you can do everything you can on their website (via a desktop computer), and they offer a great way to trade on the go.
Overall, we’re going to give this one to eToro. It’s easier to get to grips with, and easy to find and navigate to all their investment options – you can also see conversations about those assets too.
However, if you’re an advanced trader already, you might find Plus500¹ is better suited for you.
When it comes to getting started, the minimum deposit for eToro is $50, and with Plus500, it’s £100.
eToro and Plus500 are both great options – although you might find eToro a bit easier to get started.
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.
eToro vs Plus500: account options
This one is going to be quick, with both eToro and Plus500, you can only open a standard trading account – typically called a General Investment Account (GIA). This is typical with all trading platforms that offer CFDs, as you can’t trade CFDs within other account types.
The other popular account type for investing in the UK is a Stocks and Shares ISA (where you can save tax-free).
There is a difference between the two investment platforms – Plus500 is purely a CFD trading platform, so you can only trade CFDs (trade the price of an asset), whereas with eToro, you can trade CFDs, but also buy the assets directly (e.g. buy and own stocks).
This is an important difference, as you may want to buy the asset directly for some investment strategies, such as longer term investing (rather than day trading). And, if you want to trade crypto in the UK, by law you have to buy the asset directly, rather than using a CFD broker.
Nuts About Money tip: if you’re keen on crypto trading, check out the best crypto exchanges (eToro comes out top).
Although CFDs offer huge benefits, such as trading both price directions (so predicting a price will go down in future).
They also offer the ability to trade with leverage, which is where you can trade with more money than you have – it’s high risk, so please be careful. This is also called margin trading.
In terms of the actual range of investments, eToro offers: stocks, commodities (real things like gold), ETFs (groups of shares), currencies (forex trading), crypto (e.g. Bitcoin) – and there’s a huge range options within each investment type. You can find the whole range on the eToro website¹.
With Plus500, it’s again similar, with a huge range of investment options within stocks, commodities, ETFs, currencies (forex), and crypto (not UK). There’s also ‘options’ (via CFDs), which are contracts to buy an asset in future at a set price (they are typically used by advanced traders). You can find the whole range on the Plus500 website¹.
Overall then, we’re going to give this one to eToro – as you can buy assets directly, alongside trading CFDs – so are able to invest using multiple investment strategies (such as long term investing), all for a very low cost (more on fees below). And, you can trade crypto alongside stocks and shares and other assets (if you want to).
eToro vs Plus500: fees
Did we mention they are both quite similar? Well, when it comes to the fees, they’re similar again. The main fees are spread fees and currency conversion fees.
Both platforms use spread fees – that’s a small fee included in the price of an asset (when you buy and sell). It's kind of like a hidden fee within the asset (although you’ll be told the amount when you buy or sell). So, if you sold it immediately, you would get slightly less than what you bought it for.
It’s a bit confusing, but it’s used by pretty much every trading platform out there. They’re also sometimes called forex fees.
The spread fees are low on both eToro and Plus500, and what you’ll end up paying all depends on the assets you trade – with the more popular assets having lower fees.
Currency conversion fees
You’ll also pay a currency conversion fee if you trade assets that aren't in your local currency (e.g. Pounds). For instance, trading US stocks in Dollars.
With eToro, the whole platform is run in Dollars, which makes things a bit easier, but this means if you deposit Pounds (GBP) into your account, it will be converted into Dollars (USD) straight away. The fee is 0.50%, which is reasonable compared to most trading platforms.
With Plus500, you’ll only convert your money when you want to trade in another currency, e.g. when you buy US stocks – and the currency conversion fee is higher at 0.70%.
On both platforms there are some additional fees, such as overnight fees if you hold a CFD position overnight (very low fees), and fees for inactivity (3 months with Plus500, and 12 months with eToro (both $10 per month)). There’s also a $5 withdrawal fee with eToro.
Note: by the way, eToro actually pays Stamp Duty for you if you buy UK stocks directly. Pretty nice of them – saving 0.50% per purchase.
Overall, as the spread fees are similar, and trading US stocks is very popular – so the currency conversion fees will likely be one of the biggest costs, we’re giving this round to eToro, where the fee is 0.50% (vs 0.70% with Plus500).
eToro vs Plus500: customer reviews
We like to look at customer reviews to get a good idea of the customer service, and the customer satisfaction overall.
On the popular reviews website, Trustpilot, eToro has an excellent rating of 4.3 out of 5, from over 20,000 reviews. Lots of the reviews mention how good the customer service is, and how great the platform is overall.
Plus500 also has a great score, although just a bit lower, with 4 out of 5, and from over 11,500 reviews. Lots of reviews mention how great the trading software is, and the customer service.
eToro vs Plus500: who’s the winner?
Both eToro and Plus500 are great trading platforms, so whichever one you ultimately pick, you’ll be using one of the best out there.
However, we’re going to give it to eToro. It’s great for beginners (and advanced traders), as it’s easier to use, has low fees, and a wide range of investment options – and you can also buy assets directly, alongside trading CFDs, which means you can buy and hold investments long term (without any ongoing fees), and trade crypto if you want to.
It’s also great for copy trading (social trading), being able to learn from and interact with other investors, and simply copy their trades.
Plus500 is great too, and if you’re an advanced trader, it’s one of the best day trading platforms. It’s suited for CFD trading, there’s a huge range of investment options, and the platform itself is great, with advanced features, and unique insights based on data from other traders on the platform.
To recap, if you’re just starting out, we recommend getting started with eToro¹. It’s great for advanced traders too, but if you are more experienced, you might also find Plus500¹ works perfectly for your trading strategies.
All the best trading!
eToro and Plus500 are both great options – although you might find eToro a bit easier to get started.
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