What if you could start earning from forex without the need to dedicate a lot of time and resources towards forex learning? What if you also didn’t have to choose between your day job and forex trading? Well, social trading lets you do this and more
The past few years have seen a surge in the number of forex brokerage firms incorporating different social trading features. Most of these have either resulted in developing proprietary platforms while others prefer to adopt some of the leading – and universally accepted – social trading platforms.
In this guide, we have tested various social trading platforms and came up with a list of what we consider the ten best social trading platforms for 2019. But first, how does social trading work?
Note: There is more to social trading than just copy trading or mirror trading. It also encompasses mentorship, networking, and sharing of ideas. And your ideal social trading platform should support all or a larger portion of these aspects of social trading.
Social trading is a form of networking that brings traders, investors, and analysts under one interactive platform. Here, they get to share ideas and insights about the industry while others get to collaborate in forex trading projects.
Inexperienced traders get to learn from the pro-traders by watching how they analyze markets, identify viable trade positions, and create winning strategies. These beginner traders can then copy these winning positions and trading strategies and replicate them in their trading accounts.
There is a caveat though when it comes to social trading. Not every self-proclaimed trader/analyst is worth copying from. To help you identify the best traders to copy, social trading platforms have come up with professional trader qualifications.
The qualification touches on such aspects of their trade as the percentage of wins posted by the trader, maximum drawdown, portfolio diversification, and invested amounts.
What are Pros and Cons of Social trading?
You don’t need in-depth forex industry knowledge: You don’t need to be an experienced forex trader to benefit from social and copy trading. You only need to register a trading account with a broker that supports the practice and choose the copy trading option.
Great source of passive income: Given that social trading can be automated; you don’t have to be actively involved in the trade. You only need to set the basic trading features like the frequency of trades and percentage deposit to use.
Saves you time: Technical and fundamental analysis, that form the backbone of every successful trade can be time-consuming. Copy-trading lets you save time by copying the analysis and resultant trade settings of a pro trader.
Presents inexperienced traders with a chance to make money: Beginners and relatively inexperienced forex traders often have the hardest time making money here. Copy-trading, however, helps fast-track the profitability of their investments.
It is not a free service: By committing to copy other people’s trade settings, you also commit to sharing a portion of the revenues gained. Different brokers have varied remuneration schemes for the pro-traders. Most, however, involves sharing a percentage of profits realized from the copied trade strategies.
It is not immune to risks: Even pro traders make mistakes in reading the markets that can result in massive losses. You should, therefore, brace for either when copying the strategies.
What Criteria are used to Rank the Best Social Trading Sites?
Ease of registration and use
Number of trading instruments
Level of copy trading automation
Best Social Trading Platforms for 2019
1. eToro – Best overall for all traders
eToro describes itself as the ‘world’s leading social trading and investment platform.’ And for a good reason. It was one of the first forex brokerage firms to perfect the art of social trading by providing its clients with an automated copy trading option. This gives beginners, slightly experienced, and part-time forex traders an opportunity to profit from this highly lucrative market.
Others factors making eToro a market leader in the social trading world include its expanded world presence in over 140 countries. We also liked their pro-trader qualification criteria. This takes into account such aspects of their trading history as their biggest downturn, invested amounts, and hourly-risk score. Most importantly, they have two different types of copy portfolios. The first, allows you to copy elite traders while the market portfolio will enable you to copy best performing pooled funds/ investment portfolios.
Hosts numerous social trading features that extend beyond copying traders to copying investment portfolios
Maintains a highly transparent fee and price structure
Relatively easy account opening process
Low minimum operating balance of $200 and a reasonable 20% profit share
Numerous complaints about their unresponsive customer support team that can only be accessed via email
Hosts limited educational and training tools and resources
eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.
Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Past performance is not an indication of future results.
Cryptoassets are volatile instruments which can fluctuate widely in a very short timeframe and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Other than via CFDs, trading cryptoassets is unregulated and therefore is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.
2. CentoBot – Best for Cryptocurrency traders
Centobot is a relatively new entrant in the world of financial markets. But it maintains one of the most technologically advanced trading platforms. We are especially drawn to it because of their recently launched Binary Cent trading platform – an advanced social trading feature that supports crypto copy trading.
We feature it here not just because it is one of the highly innovative crypto trading platforms, but also because of its ease of use. You only have to create an account with Centobot and choose the BinaryCent trading platform. This then directs you to a copy trading platform where you are presented with a list of all the best performing trades. Here, you get to choose the trade positions to enter and the amounts for every trade. Note that you will need a minimum deposit balance of $250 to start trading.
Highly transparent trading platform
Allows for the full customization of your copied strategies
The site hosts several trading tools and indicators
Exposes you to the broadest range of crypto trading pairs that you can choose from
Not transparent about its strategies or the company ownership
3. Naga Trader – Best for global social networking
Naga Trader boasts of having some of the most advanced social trading features that include social networking and copy trading. Social networking involves coming up with unique projects that traders from all over the world can collaborate on. Copy-trading, on the other hand, allows Naga Platform traders to replicate the success of elite traders on the platform to their trades. These two practices have gained unrivaled popularity in the global markets that they have earned Naga Trade a nickname – the “Tinder Of Trading.”
The brand that traditionally dealt with stock, commodities, and futures CFDs also has in its product list crypto coins. It also went ahead and launched their coin – the Naga Coin. It is available on both the MT4 desktop and mobile app, and you will need a minimum initial deposit of $500 to start trading.
It is actively involved in multiple global money markets
You get access to leverages of up to 1:200 and low trading commissions
You get to copy both elite traders and the successful market portfolio
It gives you access to the NAGA social trading network where you meet, interact, and share with fellow NAGA traders
4. Ava Trade – Best for multiple copy trading platforms
AvaTrade – one of the most reputable forex brokerage firms in the world – will also allow you to copy trade on its platform. Copy-trading here is granted to members with real active accounts either directly or indirectly. Here, you start by creating and funding your account before connecting it to the ZuluTrade or Duplitrade platforms.
You can then use either of these to copy and replicate pro trader’s strategies. This makes AvaTrade one of the few brokerages that give you more than one option when it comes to selecting the copy trading platform. The minimum deposit amounts for a real trading account typically stands at $100. You will, however, need a minimum $500 if you hope to copy trades on the platform.
Ranks traders based on a proven history of successful trades and minimal drawdown
The minimum trading balance of $100 makes it appealing to beginner traders and others with insufficient capital
Hosts multiple social trading tools and features
The low spreads and minimal fees and charges only apply to pro traders as retail traders get exposed to hidden fees
5. Zulu Trade – Best for hosting the most advanced social trading features
Zulu Trade is by far, one of the most advanced social trading platforms. Founded in 2007, Zulu Trade has gone on to usher in significant changes in the world of forex and binary options trading. And all these can be attributed to its wide array of social trading features as well as the depth of its data collection and analysis tools. It also partners with one of the widest pool of reputable forex and CFD trading brokerage firms.
Zulu Trade works by gathering as much investor trading data as possible. It records elite investor’s trades, their trading strategies, and their aggression of taking up positions and compares it with other Zulu Trade users. A beginner can then decide on the pro trader to copy by first deciding on the strategy they wish to adopt and the target markets. They then will be presented with a list of all successful pro traders with whom they share a brokerage firm.
Highly versatile as it allows you to copy and customize winning strategies to match your trading style
Maintains a friendly user interface that makes the platform beginner-friendly
Highly regulated and partners with a relatively high number of brokerages
Limited tradable financial instruments as it only supports forex markets
6. Tradency Mirror trade – Best for risk effective risk management strategies on copied trades
Before eToro and ZuluTrade, there was Tradency – a pioneer forex broker that offers both social and copy trading services within its native mirror trader platform. It helped the social trading niche as most of the new social trading sites borrow heavily from its operations. However, as most networks sought to come up with more social trading tools, Tradency chose to maintain its original mirror trading tool.
This explains why it has minimal trading tools that involve networking, mentorship, or sharing ideas. The much you can do on Tradency is view the portfolio strategies of different elite traders and mirror (duplicate) them on your account. It also isn’t an independent brokerage but a trading platform. This implies that your preferred broker will determine such aspects of trade as leverage and the minimum deposit.
Highly transparent with the current and historical trading data of the different signal providers
Its risk management tools allow you to customize and control your exposure for every copied trading strategy
Grants you total control of your trades and will enable you to close them by just logging into your mirror trader
There have been incidences of double charge where brokerage firms charge extra commissions and fees to mirror traders
Ameritrade is a highly reputable trading platform offered by an equally reputable bank in the U.S – TD. The fact that highly regulated brokers back it gives investors a sense of confidence and trust that most other brokers and trading platforms can’t match. Its approach to social trading is also different from that of major industry players.
For instance, while some like eToro and Zulu Trade pay too much emphasis to Copy Trading, Ameritrade seeks to leverage social media and industry influencers in helping its clients make more informed investment decisions. This involves coming up with social media bots that help traders get around the system, receive mentorship, and even execute trades automatically. There are also others that capture social media and Wall Street influencer’s sentiments towards different financial markets and shares it with their clients.
Stretches social trading beyond the reach of the platform to capture the pro-investor and industry influencer sentiments
Has the backing of a fully registered and licensed bank
Unlike most social trading platforms, it pays close attention to mentorship
Will only support limited social trading tools – doesn’t support copy trading
8. Darwinex – Best for wide access to financial markets
Darwinex is probably one of the newest entrants into the global social trading scene. And it brings with it a new, unique, and highly effective strategy-sharing approach. Unlike all other social trading platforms with a copy trading feature, Darwinex doesn’t reveal the trading strategy to prospective copiers.
It classifies the strategy as an investor’s asset and hides it in a Darwin. Interested individuals will then pay an agreed sum amount to access the strategies. This is unlike such platforms as Zulu Trade and eToro that charge a percentage of earnings made from the use of the investor’s strategy. The trader is then free to copy, replicate, and customize this strategy in their trading accounts without being subjected to additional costs.
Presents the trader with highly sophisticated trading and risk management tools for trade customization
Highly versatile and compatible with both the MT4 and MT5 platforms on Mac, Windows, Linux and as smartphone apps
Gives you access to a wide range of markets with leverages of up to 1:200
Doesn’t accept U.S traders
You stand to lose both your investment and the amounts spent on buying a strategy should it fail
9. Tradeo – Best for the most transparent trading platform
Social trading refers to the different finance and investment industry player’s ability to interact freely, share ideas, and network. And Tradeo lives true to this. The forex broker provides its clients with not just one of the widest range of social trading and networking features but also the most transparent trading platform.
Here, you have full access to any other trader’s signals and orders that are visible on the chart. This, according to Tradeo, makes it possible to social trade in a more personalized manner. They also have highly effective copy trading features that let you copy your favorite pro trader’s strategies and automatically replicate them on your trading account.
The complete transparency and visibility of the trading strategies and market orders on a free chart make it beginner-friendly
Boasts of a highly sophisticated yet simple to use platform
There is no limit to how much time or virtual currency you can spend on Tradeo’s demo account
Relatively affordable minimum account balances for copy traders of $250 with attractive leverages of up to 1:200
Doesn’t accept U.S clients
Has a limited number of tradable financial products
10. MyFxbook Autotrade – Best cross-broker platform
First off, it is important to mention that Myfxbook is not a forex broker. It is a platform on which you can host your different broker accounts, and share your results.
In it’s less than a decade of active operations in the industry, Myfxbook has morphed into a household name. And this can be attributed to this unifying feature as well as its auto trading platform. Its rich social trading features are evidenced by the platform’s transparency. And this makes it possible for you to view orders and trading strategies entered into by other investors. Plus it has an automated copy trading tool that lets you copy and replicate winning strategies in your trading account.
It is highly transparent making it beginner-friendly
Helps you better manage all your trades on a unified platform
Maintains a strict qualification criterion for pro traders ensuring that you only copy your trades from the best
It is highly versatile and available on the Web Trader, DC, and Mobile apps
Social trading has, in the past few decades, ushered in the much-needed revolution in the global financial markets. It has made collaboration on forex trading projects possible and eased most financial market trader’s access to mentors.
It has also ensured that you don’t need to spend months pursuing different forex training courses to start earning from the market. More importantly, it brings along a rich resource of trading tools and features like the all-popular copy trading. This has leveled the playing field and made it possible for beginners and part-time traders who lack either time or market analysis skills to reap just like their mentors.
What is social trading?
Social trading refers to the art of collaborative trading. And it allows traders to watch and follow their peer’s trading strategies and replicate them as their own through either copy trading or mirror trading.
How does social trading work?
When you are social trading, you are either trading in collaboration with the trading gurus or using their informed marketing strategies to your advantage. Trading in collaboration involves getting trading insights from these pro traders for free or at a fee. Using their strategies, on the other hand, involves watching their trading behavior and replicating their trade strategies on your trading platforms.
Is there a difference between social trading and copy trading/mirror trading?
Social trading is an aspect of trading in the forex markets that encompasses direct and indirect forms of collaborative trading. Copy-trading, also known as mirror trading, is a branch of social trading that involves copying trading strategies and market analysis behaviors of pro traders and replicating them in your trading account.
How do I tell the best pro trader to copy?
Different brokerage firms and trading platforms have a defined criterion that they use to identify pro traders. Nonetheless, some of the factors to keep in mind when determining a viable investor to copy include:
Their choice of markets
Aggressiveness in trade
Adherence to risk management practices
Percentage wins and biggest drawdown.
How much do I need to engage in social trading?
There is no standard limit as to how much investment is needed to start social trading. In most cases, the minimum initial deposit and trading account balances required for copy traders have to be set by your preferred brokerage firm.
Does social trading expose my trading account balance at risk?
Yes. While you may be getting insights and even copy the trading strategies of pro traders, your trades here aren’t immune to risk. They too often have their analysis wrong, which exposes you both to risk.
Can I copy trades from more than one pro-traders at a go?
The number of trading strategies you can copy at any given time is dependent on the forex broker’s rules of engagement. Brokers with the highest levels of transparency like Myfxbook and Zulu makes it possible to closely monitor and even follow the trading strategies of more than one professional trader.
Do I always have to use the pro-traders recommended settings?
No, virtually all the forex brokerage firms and their social trading platforms allow for the customization of the copied strategies.
For instance, if you feel like your preferred pro trader is too aggressive with their positions, you can use the risk management tools availed to customize the position to fit your trading style.
All trading carries risk. Views expressed are those of the writers only. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The opinions expressed in this Site do not constitute investment advice and independent financial advice should be sought where appropriate. This website is free for you to use but we may receive commission from the companies we feature on this site.
Edith is an investment writer, trader, and personal finance coach specializing in investments advice around the fintech niche. Her fields of expertise include stocks, commodities, forex, indices, bonds, and cryptocurrency investments. She holds a Masters degree in Economics with years of experience as a banker-cum-investment analyst. She is currently the chief editor, learnbonds.com where she specializes in spotting investment opportunities in the emerging financial technology scene and coming up with practical strategies for their exploitation. She also helps her clients identify and take advantage of investment opportunities in the disruptive Fintech world.