How to Trade ETFs on eToro – Ultimate Guide to eToro ETF Trading 2021

How to Trade ETFs on eToro – Ultimate Guide to eToro ETF Trading 2021

Global interest in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) has skyrocketed in recent years – with more people than ever opting to trade or invest in them. Social trading platform eToro will make your ETF endeavors a breeze.

Regardless of whether you have zero experience of ETFs, or the platform itself is new to you – this guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to trade ETFs on eToro.

We are going to walk you through the ins and outs of the many tradable ETFs available on eToro,  potential fees to consider, and how to place your first trading order.

 

Table of Content

     

    eToro - Buy and Invest in Assets

    Our Rating

    • Buy over 2,400 stocks
    • Trade thousands of CFDs
    • Deposit funds with a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or bank account and PayPal
    • Perfect for newbie traders and heavily regulated
    • Only real cryptos are available for US users
    75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

     

    Step 1: Open an Account on eToro

    Before we get into the nuts and bolts of how to trade ETFs on eToro – you need to go through the signup process. If you have already opened an eToro account prior to finding this guide, you can skip forward to Step 3.

    Nonetheless, if you have yet to register – there is nothing to worry about, as this usually takes fewer than 10 minutes from start to finish.

    In order to get things moving, you will need to tell eToro who you are. The information the platform will require is as follows.

    • First and Last Name
    • Nationality
    • Home Address
    • Date of Birth
    • National Tax Number
    • Email Address
    • Mobile Phone Number

    You will be required to choose a username and a password that only you would know. Next, eToro is going to send you a short code via SMS – enter this when prompted.

    You will now need to verify the information you have given. This can be done by uploading a clear copy of your government-issued ID – think along the lines of a passport/driver’s license. As per KYC, you will also need to prove your address by providing the broker with a recent utility bill or bank statement.

    Step 2: Add Funds to Your Trading Account

    It goes without saying that before you can begin to learn how to trade ETFs on eToro, you need to add funds to your trading account. As such, in order to even try and make a profit – you first need to put some of your own funds on the line.

    You should note that eToro is denominated in US dollars, which includes your account balance, and all deposits and withdrawals. Although, this shouldn’t cause a problem for most of the world. This popular trading platform serves over 17 million clients, from more than 140 countries.

    You don’t need to worry about personally exchanging your currency to USD, as eToro will do this for you – for a 0.5% FX fee. To clarify, this fee is only chargeable if you deposit in an alternative currency to US dollars.

    Furthermore, this broker is 100% commission free – so such a small fee shouldn’t affect you too much as you will save money elsewhere.

    When it comes to the subject of accepted payment methods, there is a whole host to choose from on eToro:

    • MasterCard
    • Visa
    • Neteller
    • Maestro
    • Skrill
    • Paypal
    • Bank Wire

    As you likely know, if you are eager to start trading ETFs right away then you are best to avoid a bank transfer – as this can take days to process.

    Step 3: Search for ETFs to Trade

    Assuming you have successfully validated your account, you can now begin your search for ETFs to trade. eToro offers access to over 252 ETFs

    To get the ball rolling you can type the name of the specific ETF you want to trade into the search box. When it appears in the drop-down list – select the relevant ETF.

    Here we are searching for Vanguard ETF ‘VOO’. Alternatively, if you don’t know which ETF you are interested in, you can simply hit ‘Trade Markets’ and select ETFs from the row of available markets.

    As we said, there are over 250 on eToro, so we couldn’t possibly list them all. Nevertheless, for inspiration, see below a list of some of the most commonly traded ETFs on this platform:

    • Vanguard S&P 500 ETF
    • iShares Core FTSE 100 UCITS ETF
    • iShares MSCI All Country Asia
    • Alerian MLP ETF
    • SPDR S&P 500 ETF
    • ARK Invest’s Fintech Innovation Active ETF
    • SPDR Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF
    • Vanguard Long-Term Bond ETF
    • SPDR DOW 30 ETF
    • Global X Funds Global X Cloud Computing
    • The Direxion Daily S&P Oil & Gas Exp. & Prod. Bear 2X Shares
    • iShares MSCI Netherlands ETF
    • and heaps more

    As you can see, on eToro you are able to access ETFs from stock markets all over the world, and on a variety of asset classes.

    Industries available on eToro include:

    • Healthcare
    • Basic Materials
    • Services
    • Conglomerates
    • Industrial Goods
    • Utilities
    • Consumer Goods
    • Technology
    • Financial

    This means you can access a plethora of shares from some of the biggest companies in the world. All without needing to concern yourself with stock jargon, technical analysis, or earnings reports.

    We recommend having a good look around the library of available ETFs so that you know what is accessible. Just incase you spot a money-making opportunity.

    Step 4: Buy ETFs or Trade CFDs?

    When learning how to trade ETFs on eToro as a low-cost mutual fund alternative – it’s important to think about whether you actually want to trade or invest.

    For those unaware, the two are entirely different. As such, eToro enables clients to invest in ETFs in the traditional sense, or trade ETF CFDs.

    See below to clear the mist.

    Invest in ETFs on eToro

    Put simply, if you elect to invest in ETFs, you are buying a bunch of stocks outright – much like with traditional shares. The difference is that you don’t need to research and invest in individual companies. Instead, you are automatically investing in heaps of stocks via one single trade.

    For instance, the popular Vanguard FTSE All-Shares ETF covers 600 companies from various industries in the UK. If you wanted access to some of the biggest US companies you might look at investing in the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF, which tracks 500 large-cap companies.

    Purchasing ETFs also means that if the stocks within the ETF pay their investors dividends, you will also get a payout. This will of course be in proportion to your share, and tends to be distributed every three months.

    If you intend on holding onto your investment for weeks, months, or even years – this is going to be the best way for you to access ETFs on eToro. As we touched on, this broker doesn’t charge a cent in commissions, so you don’t need to worry about ongoing account management fees.

    Trade ETFs CFDs on eToro

    When thinking about how to trade ETFs on eToro, you might have considered trading them as CFDs. eToro makes this process a breeze as the platform is so easy to navigate.

    For those who might be unaware of the CFD phenomenon, a Contract for Difference is an agreement drawn up between you and your broker. The CFD is simply tasked with monitoring the real-world price of your chosen ETF.

    For instance, let’s say you are looking for exposure to the US markets and want to trade the Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF. If the NYSE prices this ETF at $82.85, your CFD instrument will also be valued at $82.85. If the Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF rises or falls in value by say 2.5%, so will the respective CFD – and so forth.

    Crucially, unlike in the case of investing in ETFs, you won’t actually own any shares or bonds – so you will not be entitled to dividends.

    Long and Short Positions Supported

    One of the reasons that so many people flock to trade their chosen asset via CFDs is that you are able to ‘go short’ or ‘go long’. This enables you to try and make gains from the rise or fall of the ETF.

    For instance:

    • If you think the ETF is undervalued, therefore likely to increase in price – you can ‘go long’ and create a buy order
    • If you think the ETF is overvalued, therefore likely to decrease in price – you can ‘go short’ and create a sell order

    Are you can see from above, short selling via ETF CFDs is really easy on eToro.

    For further clarification, see a practical example below:

    • Let’s imagine you are trading the PowerShares DB Oil Fund as a CFD
    • At $9.14 you think this ETF is due to fall in value
    • With this in mind, you place a $1,000 sell order on the PowerShares DB Oil Fund
    • Your prediction was correct, as the ETF fell to $8.40.
    • As such, your CFD is also now priced at $8.40
    • This ETF CFD is now worth 8% less than it was when you initially placed your sell order
    • This means that you made a profit of $80 from your $1,000 stake

    Leverage

    By now you hopefully have a clearer picture of how to trade ETFs on eToro via CFDs. You should also have a firm grasp on going long or short on the aforementioned instruments.

    As such, we can now talk about how to trade ETFs in terms of using leverage. Leverage goes hand in hand with CFDs on any asset, so ETFs are no different. This tends to be displayed as a ratio, such as 1:2, 1:5, and such.

    Importantly, US clients will not be able to access leveraged CFDs on ETFs, or any asset for that matter. This is due to the ruling by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), prohibiting these contracts for Americans.

    When it comes to the maximum leverage limits – this depends on where you live. For instance, those in the UK, Australia (as of April 2021), and most of Europe – will usually have leverage on ETFs capped to x5.

    The easiest way to get your head around leverage if you are a newbie is to multiply it by your stake. For example, if you stake $200 using x3 leverage, your position is worth $600. As such, if you had instead opted for x5 leverage, your $200 is magnified to $1,000.

    We mentioned above that you can multiply the leverage by your stake. This also applies to your profits and losses on any trade. For instance, if you made gains of $40, but added x5 leverage – your profit would be $200.

    As is no doubt obvious, had the above trade gone the other way, your losses would have also been boosted. This can lead to account liquidation. So we do advise that leverage be exercised with caution, especially for newbies.

    Overnight Financing Fees on eToro

    Leveraged instruments such as ETF CFDs come with fees attached. This is called an ‘overnight financing fee’, although some brokers might refer to it as a ‘swap fee’.

    Overnight financing fees are charged on a daily basis and usually come at a slightly higher cost on weekends.

    As per the above, we are looking at the iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF on eToro. As you can see, the swap fee is just $0.08 any day of the week. The fee charged will vary depending on the asset you are trading, your stake, and also the leverage ratio you apply – if any.

    We have listed a handful of different countries along with the time the fee kicks in, to give you a clearer picture:

    • 17:00 New York, USA time
    • 22:00 UK time
    • 23:00 Berlin, Germany
    • 09:00 Canberra ACT, Australia

    Ultimately, just make sure you factor in the overnight financing fee when trading ETFs on eToro.

    Step 5: Set up an ETF Trading Order

    As you’ve made it through Steps 1 to 4 of our How to Trade ETFs on eToro Guide – you’re probably eager to learn how to place an order. Upon pressing the ‘Trade’ button, an order box will appear on your screen.

    To get the most out of your ETF trading experience on eToro, it’s vital that you have a clear understanding of different orders, and what’s available to you.

    Buy or Sell Order

    The first and most basic order you need to decide between is a buy and sell order.

    To recap:

    • If you think the price of your chosen ETF will fall in value – select a sell order
    • Alternatively, if you have a feeling the price will rise – select a buy order.

    You should note that the latter is selected for you automatically. As such, if you want a sell order – make sure you select it manually. When you click ‘sell’, you will notice that your order changes to a CFD trade.

    Set Rate

    When contemplating how to trade ETFs on eToro, you should know that without choosing between a ‘market order’ and a ‘limit order’ – the broker won’t know how you wish to enter the market.

    Market Order

    By selecting a ‘market order’, you are telling eToro that you like the current market price of the ETF. Consequently, eToro will execute your order immediately.

    It is important to be aware that the price you see when you complete your order can differ slightly from the one you actually get. For instance, you might open your ‘market order’ when the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF is priced at $347.18.

    But, the price you actually get could be $347.17. This is unavoidable and simply down to supply and demand, and ever-shifting ETF prices.

    On eToro, a ‘Market Order’ is the default order, so if you want to opt for a limit order – make sure you manually select it. Furthermore, if you want to place this order when the respective market is closed – eToro will execute it as soon as the market opens.

    Limit Order

    If you consider yourself a long-term investor, you will want to stick with a simple market order. If you are planning on trading ETFs on a short-term basis, a ‘limit order’ will be most suitable.

    For those unaware, a ‘limit order’ enables you to decide on a precise price at which to enter the market. This order lends itself well to people who look to make frequent but modest gains.

    In terms of how you might use a limit order when looking at how to trade ETFs on eToro, take a look at a practical example:

    • Let’s say that eToro is quoting $347.18 on the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF
    • However, you are not interested until the Vanguard ETF hits a price of $368.00
    • This is when the limit order comes in – set your limit order to $368.00
    • By setting up a limit order at this price – eToro will automatically execute your order when the ETF hits that specific price point
    • Importantly, this order will remain as it is until either the ETF rises to $368.00, or you cancel it

    Don’t forget, if you are a short-term trader and want to set up a limit order you will have to do it yourself. Don’t worry if you are new to trading online, as eToro makes placing orders super easy. Simply press the ‘Rate’ button by the ‘At Market’ box and you can enter your limit order price there.

    Amount

    Next, in the amount box, you can enter the amount you wish to stake on your ETF trade. In other words, how much are you willing to risk on your prediction?

    As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to remember that eToro is denominated in USD. This is still the case even if the ETF in question is priced in euros and such.

    The minimum stake on eToro for ETFs is just $50. This means if you had your eye on the iShares NASDAQ 100 UCITS ETF, but didn’t have $740 spare – you could invest $50 and own 6.75% of a share instead. This is a great way to diversify your portfolio.

    Stop-Loss

    The stop-loss order is one of the most important orders you can educate yourself on – especially when learning how to trade ETFs on eToro. This order enables you to limit your losses on any trade.

    To give you an example, let’s say you are trading the Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF. You don’t want to lose more than 3% on your position. As such, you can simply set a stop-loss order 3% lower than the current value. Consequently, if this Vanguard ETF falls in value by 3% – eToro will close your trade immediately.

    To offer you some pointers on setting up a stop-loss order:

    • You must manually set your stop-loss order up yourself
    • This is easy – just click ‘Stop-Loss’ and enter the price you want the order actioned at
    • You will be unable to enter a percentage, however, this will be shown to you as you enter the price

    You could keep reentering the stop-loss price until you hit the percentage you want. Alternatively, you can perform a simple calculation of the price required yourself:

    • Imagine you are trading the SPDR DOW 30 ETF – which is priced at $305.33
    • You are looking to limit your losses to 4%
    • If you elected to ‘go long’ on the ETF, believing the price will rise – you will have to set the ‘stop-loss’ order to 4% below $305.33. This means your stop-loss should be set to $293.11
    • If you elected to ‘go short’ on the ETF, believing the price will fall – you will have to set the ‘stop-loss’ order to 4% above $305.33. This means your stop-loss should be set to $317.54

    If the price of the SPDR DOW 30 ETF reaches the stop-loss price -eToro will close your position automatically. This means that once you have placed your order, you are able to passively mitigate your losses. This is because you have your exit plan firmly in place.

    Take-Profit

    A take-profit order works in a very similar way to a stop-loss order. The key contrast being that whilst stop-loss orders limit your losses, take-profit orders lockdown your gains.

    For instance, you might want to make a profit of 8% on the SPDR DOW 30 ETF – which is currently is priced at $305.33.

    Let’s take a look at an example of how that will work when it’s time to trade ETFs on eToro:

    • You decide to ‘go long’ on your SPDR DOW 30 ETF, as you believe the price will rise. As such, your take-profit order should be set to 8% above $305.33. Therefore, your take-profit price on this trade should be $329.75
    • You decide to ‘go short’ on your SPDR DOW 30 ETF, as you believe the price will fall. As such, your take-profit order should be set to 8% below $305.33. Therefore, your take-profit price on this trade should be $280.90

    Setting up a take-profit order yourself is super easy on eToro. Simply hit ‘Take Profit’ and enter the price you wish to set this order at.

    In doing so, that is your entry into the market as well as exit covered. Not only that, but eToro will execute both orders for you at your desired price – whether that happens to be your take-profit or your stop-loss order.

    Confirm ETF Trading Order

    All you have to do now is check over the details you have entered to make sure all is correct. Once you are happy click ‘Open Trade’.

    As we mentioned earlier, if the specific ETF market is closed, you will instead be shown ‘Set Order’. If this is the case, eToro will action your order the moment the markets reopen.

    Step 6: Withdrawing Your Profits From eToro

    You will most definitely need to withdraw your profits from your eToro account at some point further down the line, and back to your bank account, e-wallet, or debit/credit card.

    The good news is you can cash out any time on eToro, irrelevant of whether the prospective market is open or not. Crucially, you must make sure you have completed your ID validation first – meaning your photo ID and proof of address.

    On eToro, the minimum withdrawal amount is $30. If you are not from the US, you will also be liable for a $5 withdrawal fee. Furthermore, it’s important to note that you will need to have any withdrawals sent back to the original payment method used. This is as per regulatory rules and is largely to prevent financial crime.

    The Verdict: How to Trade ETFs on eToro

    In this guide on how to trade ETFs on eToro, we covered everything from the nuts and bolts of exchange-traded funds and how they work – to opening an account in 5 easy steps.

    We also walked you through how to create various orders on the platform to better enhance your trading experience. There are many benefits to trading ETFs on eToro, such as the super easy to navigate website, making it perfectly suited to newbies.

    Then you have the protection of regulation from not 1, but 3 of the biggest and best-regarded bodies. All of which are tasked with keeping the space clean and safe for everyone. And of course – you can trade ETFs on eToro without paying any commission!

     

    eToro - Buy and Invest in Assets

    Our Rating

    • Buy over 2,400 stocks
    • Trade thousands of CFDs
    • Deposit funds with a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or bank account and PayPal
    • Perfect for newbie traders and heavily regulated
    • Only real cryptos are available for US users
    75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

     

    FAQs

    What ETFs can I trade on eToro?

    eToro is home to over 250 ETFs, covering various international markets - from Hong Kong to the UK, US, Germany, and beyond.

    What are the eToro ETF trading fees?

    eToro charges zero commission. This means that you are able to trade ETFs until your heart's content without paying a cent.

    What is the minimum ETF trade on eToro?

    The minimum ETF trade on eToro is a mere $50 - regardless of how much the ETF is quoted at.

    Does eToro offer leverage on ETFs?

    Yes, eToro offers clients up to x5 leverage on ETF CFDs. This enables you to multiply your stake by 5.

    Do you get ETF dividends on eToro?

    Yes, if the stocks in your chosen ETF payout dividends and you have not elected to trade CFDs - you will receive payments. This is usually distributed every three months or so.

    Author : Samantha Forlow

    Samantha Forlow

    Samantha is a UK-based researcher and writer that specializes in all-things finance. This covers everything from traditional equity and fund investments, to forex and CFD trading. Samantha has been writing financial-based content for several years and has a variety of publications in the online domain. Crucially, she is able to explain complex financial subjects in a newbie-friendly manner.