Doing complex tasks like managing your investments used to be cumbersome or straight out undoable earlier. However, with the recent rise of mobile-only financial services including banks and investment platforms each player has invested a lot in simplifying every part of the user experience. This combined with the rise of commission-free services is contributing a lot to making life a lot easier for beginner investors.
And these apps are not just dumbed down versions of the desktop or web interfaces. The eToro app practically provides you with all of the functionalities available on the web. You can open and fund the account, pick assets, trade them, monitor your portfolio and withdraw your money back to your bank account using only the mobile app.
Let’s take a look at how eToro’s app compares to the apps of similar brokers:
|Mobile app rating (5 is the best)||4.9 stars||4.9 stars||4.4 stars|
And let’s see all the pros and cons of the eToro app.
App store ratings
It’s safe to say that users do like the app with most of them rating them 4 or 5 stars, no red flags there. However the average rating is somewhat lower on both stores than that of the direct competitors.
Apple App Store
The app is well maintained, several fixes and improvements are published monthly. The current rating is 4.7 out of 5 stars but it’s based only on 5 ratings for the iPhone app and 6 ratings on the iPad app.
Android Play Store
Similarly well maintained as the Apple variant, out of more than 125.000 reviews it has a rating of 4.1 out of 5, with most of the reviewers rating it 5 star.
Here’s how this stacks up against the apps of XTB and Trading 212 (rating and downloads based on Play Store data, update frequency based on App Store data):
|Average rating||4.9 stars||4.9 stars||4.4 stars|
|User-friendliness||Market, Limit, Stop-loss, Trailing stop-loss||Market, Limit, Stop, OCO||Market, Limit / Stop, Stop-loss / Take-profit, Trailing stop|
The app definitely has a modern look and feel to it. This means that areas are easy to touch because they are big enough, the screens are not too busy and it’s very responsive in terms of speed. At the first couple of use the various highlights and alerts that communicate new features and products (like recently redesigned screens, new Money app, etc.) can be disturbing a little, but they are not overwhelming and they come up only once.
Installation, how to get it
eToro itself maintains their app on the official Apple and Google stores. While it’s easy to find some unofficial versions with a simple Google search, especially catering for Huawei users, these official stores are definitely the ones that are recommended. Once you are in the app store of your choice, you search for eToro and you are looking for the app with the green icon with the white “e” sign. eToro has another app as well called eToro Money, which is a different story.
The easiest route to buy something, like a stock is from your main app screen. No matter how you customize your app, you’ll have the “Discover” menu at the bottom. You can start from there, so these are the steps:
- Click the “Discover” button
- Click on the “Search” bar on top
- Enter the name of the asset, like “Tesla” - you can use the ticker as well e.g. TSLA
- Click the “Open Trade” button
- Set the amount
Couple of notes here to these steps:
- At the top of the screen it reads “at market” - this means you’ll buy the share on the price that it is traded at in the second you hit the order button. If you change this to “rate” in the top right corner, you can set at what price you want to buy the share. eToro will buy the share for you when the price of the share reaches that.
- When you set the amount, you can choose between “units” and “amount”
- “Unit” allows you to state how many shares you want to buy, i.e. 5 Tesla shares - in this case the money you’ll pay will be this figure multiplied by the actual price of the share
- “Amount” allows you to state for how much you want to invest in that share. E.g. “I want to invest $100 in Tesla shares” - in this case this figure will be divided by the actual price and you’ll end up having as many shares as your amount will allow.
- Stock exchanges have opening hours and they are not open working 24-7. If you want to buy an asset that is traded on a stock exchange (like Tesla, which is traded on NASDAQ), and you buy outside of these trading hours your order will be executed when the market opens. You can still make your order any time though, just keep this in mind.
- If this is your first trade after having just opened the account, you won’t have any funds on your account. That’s ok, you can still go through the above steps, it’s just that in this case instead of “Open Trade” you’ll see “Deposit Now”
The search function
The search function is very flexible as it searches not only for stocks and forex pairs but for users as well. Also, you can freely use either the ticker sign or the name of the company or asset you are eyeing.
One minor annoyance might be that after looking at the details of a result (like a stock), when you click “back” on the detail screen, unfortunately your search box is empty which means you have to type your search query again.