Best Social Trading Platforms

Richard Montana | August 1, 2022

A copy trading platform effectively enables anyone to trade the financial markets by copying traders. Copy trading is simply when investors copy the trades of other traders on the platform, giving them access to diversify their trading portfolios and to see the trading skills of others in action. It can be a useful tool for beginners to gain insight into effective trading strategies, while continuing their education.

Online trading can be very complicated, especially for beginners who have no previous trading experience. Learning to trade with consistent results can take many years of studying and practice. Some aspiring traders simply do not have enough time to become a professional full-time trader and may consider using a social trading platform instead.

However, with the increasing popularity of social trading, there are many copy trading platforms and services to choose from. This can seem overwhelming at first, which is why we have compiled this handy social trading platform guide to help you decide which copy trading platform is best for you.

Top 10 Social Trading Platforms

Here you will find our best social trading platforms, based on thousands of hours of extensive research, testing and analysis across hundreds of brokers. Upon conclusion of each of our broker reviews, we have assigned each social trading platform with a rating.

Some of the most important factors that contribute towards a good platform for copy trading have been considered including the features and functionality. We have carefully examined things such as the financial instruments, tools, fees, usability, education, versatility, funding options, regulation, customer service and more.

Each of our chosen copy trading platforms have undergone and passed our stringent broker reviews with flying colours, based on what we consider to be amongst the most important considerations when choosing a platform for social trading.

These platforms are well-established within the online brokerage industry, providing a great range of social trading products and services to traders and investors of all experience levels.

Having the best platforms according to our findings listed in one place, can help you save time when looking for the best copy trading platform for your own individual needs.

Broker
Rating
Regulated
Min. Deposit
Founded
Max. Leverage
1.

ADGM FRSA, ASIC, BVIFSC, CBI, FFAJ, FSCA, IIROC, JFSA

Min $100 Deposit

2006

1:400

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
2.

ASIC, CySEC, FCA

Min $200 Deposit

2006

1:30

68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
3.

ASIC, BaFin, CMA, CySEC, DFSA, FCA, SCB

Min $200 Deposit

2010

1:400

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
4.

HCMC, Japan

Min $100 Deposit

2007

N/A

All investments involve risk and the past performance does not guarantee future results.
5.

FCA

Min $500 Deposit

2012

1:200

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
6.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Min $250 Deposit

2018

1:500

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
7.

ASIC, CySEC, FSA, SCB

Min $200 Deposit

2007

1:500

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
8.

CySEC, FCA, FSC, FSCA

Min $10 Deposit

2011

1:300

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
9.

IFSC

Min $10 Deposit

212

1:777

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
10.

VFSC

Min $500 Deposit

2010

1:400

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

AvaTrade

AvaTrade make it into our best social trading platforms list as they offer traders multiple direct and indirect social trading platforms and trading apps. AvaTrade has partnered with some of the best signal providers in the world to ensure that traders can follow the best traders wherever they may be. They also offer self-directed trading across intuitive trading platforms on a wide range of popular trading instruments including CFDs on forex, stocks, commodities and cryptocurrencies.

The AvaTrade social trading platforms include:

  • Mirror Trader – Enjoy manual trading, semi-automatic trading, or automatic trading when following your preferred signal providers. You also get to copy the algorithmic trading strategies developed by experienced traders in conjunction with top developers.
  • ZuluTrade – Select from a large number of signal providers, who have been ranked using various practical parameters including maximum drawdown and average profitability.
  • DupliTrade – DupliTrade is an MT4 compatible platform, which allows traders to automatically follow more experienced traders’ signals and strategies in-real time. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy to build and manage a trading portfolio while gaining valuable insights on successful trading strategies.
  • AvaSocial – AvaSocial’s all about social trading within the AvaTrade community. The social trading app shortens the learning curve. This brings copy trading into focus, where you can discover mentors, ask questions, and copy their trades. By learning from some of the best, you can mimic their performance in your own portfolio.

AvaTrade are one of the world’s largest online brokers in terms of trading volume. They are regulated in an impressive range of jurisdictions including Europe, Australia and South Africa. Their regulatory licenses span over multiple continents. This ensures that you can make safe and secure trades within the all-inclusive trading environment that they provide.

AvaTrade offer a variety of different social trading platforms along with competitive fees, industry leading trading infrastructure and excellent customer support. For these reasons and many more, they easily make it into our best social trading platforms.

Pros
  • Industry leading platforms for novice and professional traders
  • Access cutting-edge automated trading platforms like AvaSocial, DupliTrade, and ZuluTrade
  • Wide range of opportunities and strategies in the market without needing to trade manually
  • Among the most regulated brokers in the world
  • Get refunds on losing trades with AvaProtect™
  • Industry-leading quick withdrawals
  • Global customer support in your language
Cons
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA
  • Possible inactivity fees
  • CFD trading only
  • Minimum deposit of $100

eToro

Of course, eToro earns a spot in our list of the best copy trading platforms. They have established themselves as the leading online social trading platform, offering user-friendly social trading to millions of traders from over the world. Whatever your experience level, the eToro platform has a large range of signal copying and sharing solutions with a vast online trading community. They have a large selection of trading instruments (stocks, forex, cryptos, etc) available across the eToro web and eToro mobile platforms.

Founded in 2006 just like AvaTrade, the eToro online trading platform lets you easily connect with other traders, to view, compare and discuss trading strategies. The patented CopyTrader™ technology allows you to automatically copy trades from another trader’s portfolio, creating your own bespoke portfolio. In addition to copying other traders, you can also place and manage your own trades which can then be offered to other traders for them to copy.

eToro also have a “Popular Investor Program” where top-tier popular investors can earn a second income by being followed and copied by other users on the eToro platform. There is an eToro club which offers a range of exclusive benefits, services, and tools to customers according to membership tier. This includes a dedicated account manager, market analysis, live webinars, expert investment support, premium trading tools, exclusive VIP events and other benefits.

eToro is regulated by some of the most respected regulatory authorities. This ensures that they must abide by strict rules and regulations in place to protect investors and gives their clients the peace of mind that they are using a trusted social trading platform.

I think eToro can be a good social trading platform for anyone who is looking for the most innovative copy trading technology presented in an easily accessible way. There is a reason they have remained at the forefront of the brokerage industry for so many years when it comes to social trading.

Pros
  • eToro is the world’s leading social trading network
  • Friendly, professional and pleasant community
  • Diversify your portfolio across thousands of assets
  • Share ideas and strategies with likeminded traders
  • Vast array of innovative social trading features
  • Plenty of traders to copy signals from
  • Popular investors helps to filter the good from the bad
  • Social news feed helps you follow the financial instruments and traders you like
  • Can integrate with other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter
  • eToro club where you can get rewards
Cons
  • No scalping or hedging allowed
  • $10 inactivity fee after 12 months
  • Minimum deposit of $200 not the lowest
  • There are some high non-trading fees
  • Only one account base currency

Pepperstone

Pepperstone have earned a place in our best social trading platforms. They have partnered with a range of copy trading providers to help traders gain access to strategies from some of the world’s best traders. Pepperstone clients can choose to follow and copy trades from other popular traders using third-party services whilst learning how to improve their own online trading. The copy trading platforms they offer include:

  • Myfxbook – An account mirroring service that lets you copy verified trades without the need to run any additional software.
  • ZuluTrade – Copy trades directly into your account and run them on Zulutrade’s own servers.
  • Mirror Trader – Access over 3,000 global, verified and tested algos.
  • MetaTrader Signals – Access thousands of strategies from MetaTrader’s own copy trading platform.
  • DupliTrade – A marketplace of signals automatically traded on your own MT4 account.

In addition to providing clients with social trading solutions, Pepperstone also offer a wide range of trading instruments for self-directed trading which includes Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies, Bonds, CFDs and ETFs. They provide these markets across a selection of the best trading platforms including MetaTrader and cTrader. These platforms are packed with useful trading tools for conducting detailed chart analysis to find potential trading opportunities.

Pepperstone offer low fee trading, tight spreads and fast execution speeds. They are regulated by some of the most respected regulatory authorities and have won multiple awards over the years for their online brokerage services. I think they are an excellent choice of broker for anyone who is looking to trade online by themselves or use automated trading strategies with some of the best conditions that you will find anywhere.

Pros
  • Copy trading signals in a regulated environment
  • Trade a good range of instruments including FX, CFDs and commodities
  • Enjoy low spreads and commission fees
  • Enjoy seamless trading with lightning-fast execution speeds
  • Choose from a wide range of funding methods with local bank options
  • Premium client service available for eligible clients
  • Reach your trading goals with access to award-winning educational resources
  • Fine-tune your trading strategies with the latest technical and fundamental analysis
  • Learn from other traders with automated trading
Cons
  • Do not have a proprietary trading app
  • Minimum deposit of $200 is not the lowest
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA
  • Mostly CFDs offered
  • Not the largest range of instruments you will find

ZuluTrade

ZuluTrade easily make it into our best social trading platforms list as they are one of the largest social trading platforms with over a million users and billions in trading volume. ZuluTrade provide a user-friendly online social trading platform that has a plethora of trading signals which you can choose to copy. You simply just need to sign up with ZuluTrade and connect your brokerage account. ZuluTrade customer service is available 24/7 and in various languages.

Once your brokerage account has been connected to the ZuluTrade platform, you can review the trading signals offered and choose the signals that you want copied into your own account. The ZuluTrade platform enables you to filter and sort the statistics of all the trading signals according to overall returns, duration, drawdown, win rate, average pips, currency pairs, amount of trades, etc. Trading signals can be added or removed at any time.

I think ZuluTrade is a decent copy trading platform but I did find the signal providers to be hit and miss. There isn’t that strict a criterion compared to some other platforms but you can find some potential gems if you are willing to sift through the users who are using poor strategies such as martingale money management and grid trading.

I found the performance of some strategies to be misleading as they were using very high risk which could eventually lead to significant drawdowns and even blown accounts if you are not carefully. That isn’t to say there aren’t good traders on there, just be prepared to do some serious digging.

Pros
  • 70+ compatible brokers to choose from
  • Copy trading signals from other traders
  • Analyse the performance of signals in great detail
  • Automate your trading which can save time
  • Account protection features to help limit risk
  • Easy to navigate platform with lots of features
  • Free to open an account to test the service
  • Active community to meet likeminded traders
Cons
  • No self directed trading platforms
  • Must use a compatible broker
  • Quality of signals are not guaranteed
  • Commission may be marked up to cover ZuluTrade’s costs
  • Many signals to go through can make it hard to find a good trader

Darwinex

Darwinex earn a place in our best social trading platforms list for enabling sophisticated traders to trade the markets with superior trading conditions and investors to back them. You can quickly and easily build your portfolio of traders that you wish to copy from around the world, with access to thousands of strategies suited to different styles of trader.

Darwinex offers the ability to trade your own account or follow the strategy of other traders (DARWINs). Traders who already have a profitable trading strategy can choose to list their strategy on Darwinex and receive a success fee from the profits made by other traders who follow the strategy.

In addition to social trading platforms, Darwinex also provide self-directed investing with direct market access (DMA) trading on interbank spreads sourced directly from prime brokers and starting from just zero pips. They offer online trading on over 300+ assets including forex, stocks, shares, commodities, CFDs, cryptocurrencies, etc. These markets can be traded through one account via a choice of powerful online trading platforms for desktop, web and mobile devices.

I think Darwinex is more catered towards those of you who already have some experience trading online. Whilst they do not have the most straight forward setup when compared to some of the others, they do seem to attract some highly skilled traders. That being said, you won’t find anywhere near as many trading strategies to copy as you would with eToro or ZuluTrade.

Pros
  • Copy trading with industry leading trading conditions
  • Good range of trading instruments in various asset classes
  • Plenty of variations of MetaTrader 4/5 trading platforms
  • Professional trading solutions including FIX API connectivity
  • Direct market access (DMA) with very low trading costs
  • Active and successful traders are well rewarded
  • There is an incentive to make consistent profits
  • They provide some of the best copy trading features in the industry
  • Skilled traders with Darwinex can benefit from an even more competitive trading cost
  • Good range of deposit methods available for all
  • Excellent customer support
Cons
  • Not that many active traders compared to some other platforms
  • Interaction among the Darwinex community of traders is limited
  • There is a high 20% performance fee on profits
  • You only earn a percentage of the reinvested amount
  • Quite a high minimum deposit
  • Deposit and withdrawal fees
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA
  • Slightly more complex than some of the other options

NAGA

NAGA is a popular social investing network where clients can trade and copy investments on over 1,000+ trading instruments including Stocks, Cryptos, Forex, Commodities and ETFs. I am very impressed with the abundance of features including individual trading, copy trading, personalised portfolios, advanced charting tools, market analysis and insights, NAGA wallet and much more.

Pros
  • Trade popular Stocks and CFDs across global markets
  • Impressive selection of 1,000+ instruments to trade online
  • Variety of user-friendly trading platforms
  • Advanced charts, price alerts and professional trading tools
  • Follow top traders and copy their trades
  • Quick & easy account deposit and withdrawal methods
  • Low trading fees and competitive spreads
  • No fees or commissions on deposits
  • Free education with daily webinars
  • Professional 24/7 customer support
Cons
  • Cannot accept clients based in countries that you can find listed on the website
  • Small withdrawal fee and minimal withdrawal amount

IC Markets

IC Markets provided social trading platforms via integration through some of the leading third-party providers. They offer AutoTrade to clients, the next generation account mirroring (trade copy) service owned and operated by Myfxbook. This service allows you to copy the trades of any system you select directly into your IC Markets account. You can also choose among thousands of talented ZuluTrade strategies and follow their trading signals for free in your account. They also have the cTrader copy trading platform that is designed for easy and transparent copy trading.

Pros
  • Intergate with top social trading platforms
  • Powerful trading platforms to use on multiple devices
  • Great selection of financial instruments across various markets
  • Free deposit and withdrawal options for convenient funding
  • Low fees, tight spreads and institutional grade liquidity
  • Range of trading tools for assisting with your market analysis
  • Educational resources such as guides and videos
  • No inactivity fees or hidden costs
  • Excellent 24/7 customer support
Cons
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA
  • No Autochartist or Trading Central
  • Minimum $200 deposit is not the lowest

FXTM

FXTM is an award-winning broker with strict regulation in multiple jurisdictions. They have user-friendly trading platforms, various account types and funding methods, along with a vast range of educational materials and trading tools to help you make informed trade decisions. FXTM Trading Signals are available in MyFXTM via a technical analysis tool that provides data and assessments of market movements across a range of trading instruments.

Pros
  • 250+ trading instruments
  • Various quick and easy account funding methods
  • Multiple account types to choose from
  • Tight spreads and rapid trade execution speeds
  • Commission free accounts
  • Free advanced trading tools
  • Relatively low minimum $10 deposit
  • Large selection of educational materials
  • Multilingual customer support 24/5
  • Islamic swap-free account options
  • Free demo trading accounts
Cons
  • Inactivity fees
  • No managed accounts
  • No FIX API solutions
  • Could add some more individual stocks
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA

Axiory

Axiory is an established online broker that offers CFD trading via cTrader, MetaTrader and FIX API. They also provide you with some additional trading tools and educational materials to help you get the most out of your trading. Using Axiory CopyTrade, you can choose from the expert traders you want to copy and duplicate their trades onto your own account.
to follow and make their strategies your own. All performance data is shared openly with everyone, and you’ll never find hidden fees. You can interact with fellow traders and investors which is a good way to learn and improve your own trading strategies.

Pros
  • Excellent choice of top trading platforms
  • Decent selection of 150+ trading instruments
  • Brilliant Autochartist market analysis software
  • Free demo trading accounts
  • Minimum $10 deposit
  • FIX API trading solutions
  • Prompt 24/5 customer support
Cons
  • Does not currently support cryptocurrencies
  • Not the cheapest commission fees or lowest spreads
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA

FXPIG

FXPIG have a range of customised trading solutions for traders of all experience levels. Primarily operating as an STP forex broker, they provide the excellent cTrader and MetaTrader platforms along with a FIX API and PAMMs. You can choose from a range of copy trading solutions and a decent selection of managed accounts. It is not the easiest of copy trading solutions so beginners may wish to consider one of the other options. On the other hand, FXPIG have a powerful trading environment and utilise innovative trading technology which may be of interest to the more advanced traders and institutions.

Pros
  • Professional cTrader and MetaTrader platforms
  • Institutional FIX API trading solutions
  • PAMM accounts for money managers and investors
  • Tight spreads and low commission fees
  • Rapid trade execution speeds with plenty of liquidity
  • Choice of price feeds depending on your strategy
  • Very good trading conditions
  • Great for trading forex pairs
  • Free demo trading accounts
  • Excellent client focused support
Cons
  • Limited non-FX trading instruments
  • Minimum $500 deposit to open a real account
  • Limited educational materials for beginners
  • Clients not accepted from some countries

Social Trading Guide

What is Social Trading?

An online social trading platform allows traders around the globe to discuss and share trading strategies and signals with each other. Similar to any other social network, a social trading platform can have a personal profile, followers/following list, news feed and more.

The main advantage of a social trading platform is that you can choose to copy trading signals of other traders directly into your own trading account. This allows traders with little experience to benefit from the trading skills and expertise of professional traders. Most social trading platforms will allow you to sort and filter signals so that you can select only those that meet your individual investor goals and preferences. You should be able to add or remove signals at any time whilst setting your desired risk level.

How Does a Copy Trading Work?

Copy trading is a popular method of automated trading where trade positions are copied from one trading account to another. Copy trading is actually quite straightforward for traders, especially when compared to some more complex forms of investing. Traders can add their desired investment amount, select a trader to copy, and then the copy trading platform will replicate all the selected trader’s positions into their trading account. The 3 main components of copy trading are:

Signal provider

A signal provider is someone who makes their trading account and activity available on a copy trading platform for other traders to copy. Signal providers are usually compensated for the trading activity they bring to the broker who is providing the platform. Some will also get a success fee depending on how well their trading signals perform.

Signal follower

A signal follower can join a copy trading platform and choose from the signal providers for those who they wish to copy trades from. As a follower, you can choose to copy trades of one or multiple providers and also set your desired risk level. You should be able to add or remove signals at any time.

Copy Trading Platform

The key component that brings the signal provider and signal followers together, is the copy trading platform. This is where the providers can share their trading signals and where the followers can find traders to copy. Some copy trading platforms will have a handful of signal providers and others may have thousands. You should be able to filter signal providers according to various factors such as how long they have been trading, returns, drawdowns, risk, instruments traded, trading style and more. If you wish to copy trades, you will need to ensure that the broker supports copy trading on their platforms.

What are the Types of Copy Trading?

There are various brokers who offer copy trading functionality – some are semi-automated, automated, or manual.

Automated copy trading

Fully automated copy trading is when you select the traders to follow according to your personal trading requirements and risk preferences. From then on, all positions from the traders that you are following, will be copied into your own trading account without any human intervention.

Semi-automated copy trading

Semi-automated copy trading involves adding an extra step to the process. In this instance, you are able to decide in real time if you would like to copy each trade, or not. On the traders that you do decide to copy, you are free to manage and close them at anytime in which you wish to do so. Alternatively, you can let them run and they will still be managed automatically by the signal provider.

Manual copy trading

This method of copy trading is the closest to normal trading, with the addition of access to the knowledge and strategies of other traders. You can analyse their previous trading experience and get some insight in to what factors prompted them to enter or exit trade positions. You can then decide who you would like to manually follow and which of their trades you would like to copy for yourself.

Why is Copy Trading so Popular?

In recent years, copy trading platforms have gained increasing popularity amongst retail traders all around the globe. This is primarily due to the advancements in technologies that have enabled numerous brokerage firms to offer copy trading services to their clientele.

It presents a way for users of all experience levels to trade the financial markets without needing to allocate the time to do it themselves. However, copy trading is not just a solution for beginners. Even the more experienced investors can copy traders in order to diversify their portfolio and learn new trading strategies from other traders.

Advantages of Copy Trading

With so many traders choosing to use copy trading platforms and follow signal providers, there are clearly some advantages to doing so. Some of the main advantages of copy trading are as follows:

  • Trade various financial markets online without needing the time, knowledge or skills usually required.
  • Copy trading can free up time for those who have another career or wish to allocate time to learning how to trade online
  • Copy trading allows traders to choose signal providers with a trading style that suits their own individual risk tolerance and trading goals.
  • Copy trading could also be considered a way to diversify an overall trading portfolio. You can still trade manually if you wish to do so and also follow signal providers juts for some inspiration for your own trading activity. When copy trading, some traders may select different signal providers in order to hedge trading risks in case different trading strategies become successful in different market conditions.

Risks of Copy Trading

On the surface, copy trading may seem like a way to trade online by taking advantage of others experience. However, there are significant risks involved with copy trading that all aspiring traders need to be aware of. Some of the inherent risks associated with copy trading include:

  • As with any trading or investment strategy, you can lose all of your capital. Copy trading is considered high risk with absolutely no guarantees of past performance repeating itself. You should never take historical results as an indication of future results as anything can happen in trading. It is imperative that you have a clear understanding of the significant risks involved with trading online and never ever risk more than you can afford to lose.
  • Choosing a consistent trader to copy is not an easy task. A trader who is having a good streak at the moment, may hit a rough patch. If you are not careful, drawdowns can catch you off guard and result in big losses.
  • Copy trading does not take into consideration your personal financial circumstances or investment goals. You are effectively relying on a third party for trading decisions but absorbing full liability and responsibility in the case something was to go wrong.
  • There are also signal provider risks. The signal provider may discontinue their copy trading service without notice, or get margin called by their broker, and this could inconvenience you if you so not have an alternative plan in place. The trader you have chosen to copy may also change their strategies to become more aggressive, and this could mean riskier trades without your knowledge.
  • If the broker providing the copy trading platform was to go out of business, you may not be able to copy trading signals like you were before.

Choosing a Social Trading Platform

Following on from our best social trading platforms list, we will now look at what social trading platforms are used for and the most important factors to consider when looking for a reliable social trading platform.

Regulation

It is important to ensure that the social trading platform is regulated by one of the most respected regulatory authorities. By using a regulated broker, investors have some form of protection should something go wrong. Regulators put in place strict rules and regulations that the broker must abide by which can ensure traders that they are using a social trading platform which is operating with the upmost integrity. You can verify if a broker is regulated by checking the regulatory license number with the relevant authorities to ensure that the regulation is legitimate and up to date. Most experts and professionals would only trade with a regulated broker. If you use an unregulated broker and something went wrong, there may be no recourse.

Instruments

As each online brokerage can offer a range of different asset classes to trade via their online social trading platforms, you should check to make sure that they offer the particular markets that you are interested in trading. You may plan to diversify your investment portfolio in the future so consider the product range as it could make it easier to expand your portfolio when the time is right to do so. This can include Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Indices, Options, ETFs, CFDs and Futures.

Community

One of the main concepts of social trading is to copy trading signals (follow) of other traders. The larger the user base of a social trading platform, the greater your choice of signals will be. However, it is important to not just consider the quantity of traders but also the quality of their trading strategies. You can usually do this by checking the performance of the various signals offered from within the social trading platform. Some platforms will have a handful of signal providers whereas others will have hundreds or even thousands. The more signal providers there are, the more choice you will have to find trading signals to copy that fit within your preferred trading style and objectives. Just always remember that past performance is by no means any guarantee of what will happen in the future.

Tools

The platforms built-in trading tools can be useful to assist you with filtering signal providers, adding/removing signals, analysing markets, managing account and more. Most social trading platforms will contain some important tools for searching and analysing the different trading signals that they offer. Check that these tools are freely available and sufficient enough to filter results according to your own requirements. Some users may need more specific statistics compared to others who might just want to see the overall profits and drawdowns. You may also require a specific tool that is important to enhance your personal social trading experience. Thus, check that the platform incorporates these tools. The more trading tools available, the more comprehensive the overall copy trading experience can be.

Fees

The majority of social trading platforms will charge a fee to either the signal provider, follower or both. Some fees may be fixed and others may be performance based. It is important to understand what fees are charged and to calculate them within your money management and trading strategy. If you plan to also conduct self-directed online trading, you should be aware of the spreads, commissions, swaps and any other fees.

There may be a fee to pay just for using the social trading platform although this is rare and most are provided free of charge. You will only usually pay depending on your trade activity unless using a specialist social trading platform that has advanced functionality. There can also be swap fees for holding trades overnight, inactivity fees, funding fees and other fees. As broker fees can vary and change, it is important that you check and are clear about all of the fees involved. If you are looking to save as much as possible on your trading costs, you can take a look at our best discount brokers.

Commissions

The commission you pay for your trading activity can vary from broker to broker. Some trading strategies such as scalping rely on small price movements and thus performance can be affected by commission. It is important to consider the overall costs you will incur and the affect that will have on your trading strategy.

Spreads

The spread is the difference between the buy and sell (bid/ask) price which can vary depending on the volume of liquidity and quality of liquidity providers that an online broker has. Some brokers offer fixed and variable spread accounts, some will offer commission free accounts but instead mark up the spread to make up for this. In general, the more liquidity that the broker has, the tighter the spreads can be. It is important to account for the spread when planning your trading strategy, especially if you are planning on following or providing a scalping strategy.

Swaps

If you hold a position with your online broker overnight then you will probably need to pay a swap fee. This is an interest fee for the procedure of moving open positions from one day to another, also known as the rollover. This is another cost to factor in to your money management and trading strategy. Some social trading brokers offer swap free Islamic trading accounts that conform with Sharia law which allows Muslims to engage in online trading through their platforms.

Other Fees

In addition to the platform, spread, commission and overnight swap fees, there may be additional fees for account inactivity, funding and more. You should check to ensure that you are aware of and understand all of the potential fees that you can incur.

Usability

Some social trading platforms are built around technology that you may already be familiar with, such as the MetaTrader platform. However, some social trading platforms are unique to a particular broker and will require some practice to familiarise yourself with how it works. Ensure that it is a platform that you find use friendly and ideally has plenty of online tutorials to help you understand how it works. You will find that there are lots of MetaTrader brokers which is one of the most user-friendly platforms that can be used for manual, automated and copy trading. It even has an integrated marketplace where you can subscribe to trading signals.

Whilst most copy trading platforms tend to have a sleek and modern user interface, some are more intuitive than others. You may wish to try and a few different platforms to see which layout and features you prefer the most. Some will be more complex than others with an abundance of tools in addition to copy trading. Then there may be those that are strictly for copy trading whereas others may also allow you to trade manually. Also consider if the platform is available for desktop, web and mobile devices. Which platform you choose, will depend on your own personal needs.

Leverage

Most social trading platforms will offer leverage to traders. In a nutshell, leverage allows you to open a position larger than you could with your current balance. For example, if you had leverage of 1:30 and a trading account balance of $10,000, you could effectively open a position size of $300,000 (10,000 x 30 = 300,000). Whilst this may seem tempting and can increase potential profit, it can also greatly increase the risk. It is therefore of the upmost importance that you have a clear understanding of leverage and how it works before trading leveraged positions. If you require a certain leverage level, you should check to ensure that the copy trading broker provides it.

Education

Some copy trading brokers will include educational resources to help teach users not just about how to use the platform but also trading in general. If you are the type of trader who prefers to be directed and shown how to use certain software and tools, it could be a good idea to make sure that you choose a social trading platform which has an abundance of tutorial videos and guides to teach you how to use the platform. If you are new to trading and need as much guidance as possible, you might want to explore our best brokers for beginners.

Requirements

You will need to make sure that the social trading platform will run on your computer, VPS or mobile device by checking the specification requirements. Some platforms will run directly in your web browser so make sure it is compatible. Each online social trading platform will also have a minimum deposit requirement which is worth considering.

There are copy trading brokers who will have a minimum deposit requirement in order to be able to use their platform. Whilst some brokers have a minimum requirement of just $1, others can require $200 or more. Most brokers tend to also offer demo trading accounts which can be a good way to practice using the copy trading platform before investing.

Signal providers also need to be wary about the minimum requirements. If you are planning to offer trading signals, the broker may require you to provide historical results over a sustained period of time on a real live trading account. This can help to filter out the professional and novice signal providers.

Funding

Each social trading platform will offer different options for making deposits and withdrawals to and from your online trading account. Most brokers will accept bank wire transfers and credit/debit cards, whilst some will accept e-wallets. These methods may be more convenient for some traders. It is therefore worth considering what payment options are available and if they meet your needs.

Support

It can be frustrating to require support and have to wait forever for an answer. It is therefore important to check how responsive the brokers customer support team is. If you have a general or technical question then ideally you would want to get a quick and helpful response from the customer support team. You can check what support options are provided as online chat can usually be the fastest and most convenient for most traders. Customer service hours are also worth considering as is the brokers time zone. If you trade from the UK during the day time then you would ideally want a broker who has an EU office that is open during normal working hours. If you trade from Australia primarily during the evening, you may consider a broker that has support available 24 hour per day. Also make sure support is offered in a language that you are familiar with. Not only should they be quick to respond, they should also be polite and clear in their responses.

How to Join a Copy Trading Platform?

If you have made it this far, you should now have a clear understanding of copy trading and what to look for in a copy trading platform. You may be ready to open a copy trading account in order to start following signal providers, or to provide your own signals. This can be a quick and easy process that involves the following steps:

1. Choose a copy trading platform

2. Open a social trading account

3. Start following or providing trading signals!

It is that simple! Although, please always keep in mind the risks involved with copy trading online that we discussed within this article.

Conclusion

In this social trading platform guide, we have covered what we consider to be the best social trading platforms and some of the things that you can look out for when choosing the best copy trading platform for your own individual needs.

You can follow and copy trades from popular traders using third-party services while learning how to improve your own trading. Social trading can be a good way to get access to trade the markets utilising the skills of other traders for those of you who do not currently have the time or skills required to trade online.

However, there can be no guarantee of how any signal copying service will perform. Past results are not an indication of what will happen in the future.

It is important to remember that you choose a trading broker and platform that meets your requirements and use this information only for educational purposes and not as advice. Take your time to research and conduct your own due diligence.

You can even test a copy trading platform with a free demo account to see if they are suitable before making a commitment. Please feel free to use our broker comparison tool if you need some further inspiration.

About the Author

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Richard Montana
Richard has many years of experience in broker research, testing, analysis and reviews. He knows what to look for through years of trading himself with different brokers and listening to the feedback of others.

Review Methodology

For all of our broker reviews, we research, validate, analyse and compare what we deem to be the most important factors to consider when choosing a broker. This includes pros, cons and an overall rating based on our findings. We aim to help you find the best broker according to your own needs. You can read more about our review process.