Copy-trading allows you to mirror the portfolio and ongoing trades of an experienced investor. This allows you to invest in a truly passive nature – as your chosen trader will determine which assets to buy and sell.
In this guide, we review the Best Copy Trading Platforms for 2021 and walk you through the process of getting started today.
In This Guide
Below you find a breakdown of the best copy trading platforms for 2021. Scroll down to read our in-depth review of each provider!
There are a variety of core factors that you need to look for when choosing the best copy trading platform for your financial goals. For example, will you be copy trading directly with a regulated broker like eToro, or through a third-party platform such as MT4?
Additionally, you need to understand what fees and commissions you will need to pay to copy trade – and what financial markets you will have access to.
After reviewing dozens of providers that are active in the space – the best copy trading platforms can be found below.
Make no mistake about it – if you’re looking for the best copy trading platform for 2021 – eToro wins hands down. After all, the platform is now home to over 20 million clients – many of which utilize the provider’s innovative copy trading feature. The process is relatively straightforward at eToro.
Once you have opened an account, you will then have access to tens of thousands of verified traders that have signed up for the copy trading program. To ensure you are able to find a suitable trader, eToro offers a useful filter system. For example, you can narrow your search results down by average annual gains, preferred asset class, average trade duration, and more.
You then have the opportunity to take a much closer look at each trader’s historical performance at eToro. For example, you can see how much the trader has made or lost each month since joining eToro alongside an assigned risk rating. You can also view the average number of days or weeks the trader keeps a position open and what their maximum drawdown is. Crucially, this allows you to spend some time assessing whether or not the investor has what it takes to trade on your behalf.
Once you have selected a trader to copy, it’s then just a case of deciding how much to invest. This used to stand at a minimum of $200 but has since risen to $500. Nevertheless – and unlike the vast majority of providers in this space, eToro doesn’t charge any fees to use its copy trading service.
Past performance is not an indication of future results
In terms of supported asset classes, eToro offers thousands of markets in the shape of stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, indices, forex, hard metals, energies, and agricultural products. All markets at this top-rated copy trading platform can be bought and sold on a commission-free basis. There are no ongoing platform fees and USD-based deposits are free. Funding your account in another currency will attract a small FX fee of 0.5%.
Getting can get started at eToro should take you no more than a few minutes. You can easily deposit funds with a debit or credit card, as well as e-wallets like Paypal, Skrill, and Neteller. Your capital is in safe hands at all times at eToro – as the broker is regulated on three fronts. This includes the FCA (UK), CySEC (Cyprus), and ASIC (Australia). eToro is also registered with FINRA (US) and if you’re UK-based – you’ll be covered by the FSCS.
67% 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.
Much like eToro, ZuluTrade is a copy trading platform that is suited for newbies. This is because it takes just minutes to open an account and deposit funds - and you can then start copy trading straight away.
The investment process is also similar to eToro, insofar that you will need to spend some time finding an experienced trader that aligns with your financial goals. There are more than 10,000 investors part of the ZuluTrade copy trading program - so you have plenty of choices. However, unlike eToro, ZuluTrade is not a regulated trading platform.
This means that you will need to link your ZuluTrade account to an online broker. AvaTrade is often the go-to broker in this respect. Not only does the platform offer support for ZuluTrade, but it allows you to trade thousands of financial markets on a commission-free basis. You will also find that spreads are very tight at AvaTrade - especially when it comes to major forex pairs and gold.
Once you have connected your ZuluTrade account with AvaTrade, met the minimum deposit of £500, and selected a trader to copy - there is nothing else for you to do. That is to say, your chosen trader will continue to buy and sell assets - and any profits or losses will be reflected in your own account. Perhaps the main drawback with ZuluTrade's copy trading tool is that you will need to pay a profit-based commission to the platform.
Although ZuluTrade claims to be transparent with its fee structure - we had to do a bit of digging to locate the respective commission rate. We found that based on certain conditions - this amounts to 20%. For example, if you invest $1,000 and your chosen trader makes 50% in month 1 - this amounts to gains of $500. Of this figure, the ZuluTrade will keep $100, which leaves you with net gains of $400.
72% of retail CFD accounts lose money with this provider.
Meta Trader 4 (MT4) is the most utilized third-party trading platform in the online investment arena. The platform comes packed with advanced tools, technical indicators, and pricing charts - making it ideal for seasoned day traders. With that said, MT4 isn't just suited for experienced pros - as the platform offers a number of copy trading features.
At the forefront of this is its support for forex EAs (Expert Advisors). The concept here is that by downloading a software file and installing it into MT4 - the forex EA will trade on your behalf 24 hours per day. The respective software file will have a set of pre-defined conditions built into it via an algorithm.
When the algorithm spots a profit-making opportunity, it will proceed to place a trade. This allows you to sit back and day trade around the clock without needing to do any research or place any orders. There are, however, two main considerations that you need to make when using this top-rated copy trading platform. Firstly, you will need to personally find a suitable forex EA - as this isn't provided by MT4. There are thousands of providers in the space - so make sure you perform lots of research.
Secondly, MT4 is a third-party trading platform and not a broker. As such, you will need to find a suitable online broker that not only offers support for MT4 and forex EAs - but heaps of markets and competitive fees. In this respect, Libertex is arguably the best MT4 broker in the industry. This is especially the case if your chosen forex EA takes a day trading strategy. After all, Libertex does not charge any spreads - so the EA can target modest but frequent gains without getting hammered by indirect fees.
Libertex also offers commission-free trading on many stock CFDs. Other assets come with a commission that typically sits below 0.1% per slide. The minimum deposit is $100 at Libertex and you can fund your account with a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or bank account transfer. With that said, it's also worth using the Libertex demo account facility first and then linking this to MT4. In doing so, you can test your chosen forex EA out in a risk-free manner.
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83% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site.
Meta Trader 5 (MT5) is the younger counterpart to MT4. This third-party trading platform works much the same as MT4 - albeit, it is often used by those looking to CFDs as opposed to just forex. MT5 also comes with more advanced charting tools and technical indicators - and just like MT4, offers full support for forex EAs and automated trading robots.
With that said, MT5 also offers a fully-fledged mirror trading feature that in many ways - works in a similar way to eToro. This is because you can browse through thousands of traders that use the MT5 platform and then elect to copy their ongoing trades like-for-like. MT5 charges a monthly subscription fee for this that will vary depending on your account and the specific trader you are copying.
Alternatively, you also have the option of obtaining a forex EA or robot from a third-party platform and then installing it into MT5. Either way and much like MT4 - MT5 is a trading platform that sits between you and your chosen broker. As such, you will need to find a suitable brokerage site that is compatible with MT5. One of the best MT5 brokers that we came across is FinmaxFX. This CFD trading platform offers everything from forex, stocks, and cryptocurrencies to metals, energies, and bonds.
Perhaps the main draw with FinmaxFX is that is a high-leverage MT5 broker. For example, while retail traders in the UK, Europe, and Australia are capped to just 1:30 on major forex pairs, FinmaxFX offers leverage of up to up to 1:200. This means that a small account balance of $200 would permit a maximum forex trading position of $40,000. A leverage of 1:200 is also offered on indices and gold. Non-gold commodities and bonds can be traded with leverage of 1:100, stocks at 1:20, and cryptocurrencies at 1:10.
Although you need to tread with caution when using such high levels of leverage, this allows you to engage in a copy trading strategy with a small amount of capital. Additionally, your chosen MT5 copy trader or forex EA might take scalping or day trading strategy - meaning that it will target small gains. As such, leverage via FinmaxFX ensures that your financial gains are viable. In terms of account minimums, this starts at $100 at this top-rated broker.
Your capital is at risk.
Mirror Trader is an innovative copy trading tool developed by Tradency. This particular tool is different from the other providers we have discussed thus far - as you will be basing your mirror trading decision on a specific strategy as opposed to selecting an individual trader.
This allows you to automate your trading endeavors based specifically on your desired strategy. For example, you might come across a strategy that focuses on scalping. This will see the copy trading tool place dozens of low-risk buy and sell positions throughout the day when an asset is stuck in a tight pricing range.
Alternatively, you might decide to copy a strategy that focuses on breakouts. This is when an asset smashes through a previously identified resistance level. Either way, there are heaps of strategies offered by the Mirror Trading tool. You can easily review each strategy in great detail - by looking at its average monthly gains, risk rating, return on investment, maximum drawdown, and more. With that said, Mirro Trader is a third-party add-on, so you will need to link it up with a supported online broker.
Once again, AvaTrade is a good option here - which we discussed in detail in our earlier section on ZuluTrade. When it comes to fees, Mirror Trading itself doesn't charge anything to use its copy trading tool. Although some brokers charge an additional subscription to link your Mirror Trading account, AvaTrade offers this on a fee-free basis. As AvaTrade is a commission-free broker, this means that the only trading fee you need to factor in is the spread.
Much like MT4 and MT5, cTrader is a third-party trading platform that sits between you and your chosen brokerage site. The platform is particularly popular with advanced traders that need access to advanced order types, fast entry execution, and Level 2 pricing fees.
With that said, cTrader is also behind a growing community that consists of both newbies and seasoned pros alike. This is because experienced traders can broadcast their proven strategy to the cTrader platform and in turn - this can be copied like-for-like. This is a win-win situation, as newbies get to trade in a fully automated manner while the strategy broadcaster will earn a commission.
Once you have chosen an investment strategy to follow, you can then set up risk-management tools to suit your financial goals. For example, you can elect to apply leverage on your positions or set a maximum stop-loss price. There is full transparency on cTrader, meaning that you can view the historical trading results of your chosen strategy broadcaster before taking the plunge. There are two ways in which you might be charged to copy a strategy via cTrader.
In some cases, this is based on volume - so the more you invest the less you will pay. In other cases, you will pay a performance fee. This means that the more the trader makes you, the more they make themselves. Either way, cTrader is a third-party add-on that you need to link with a compatible brokerage site. We found that the best copy trading platform for this purpose is Pepperstone.
This popular cTrader broker specializes in low-cost CFD instruments. This includes everything from forex and gold to stocks and indices. There are no fees charged by Pepperstone to use cTrader, which is great. In terms of actual trading commissions, this depends on the account you decide to open - of which there are two to choose from. The 'Standard account is commission-free, with all fees built into the spread. The 'Raw' account comes with 0 spreads, but a fixed commission.
The exact commission depends on the underlying currency of the asset you are trading. For example, assets priced in USD will cost you $3.50 per slide. Pepperstone is also a great choice as the platform has been around since 2010 and is regulated by the FCA. There is no minimum deposit at this free trading platform and you can fund your account with a debit/credit card (Visa or MasterCard), bank transfer, or Paypal.
Duplitrade offers a similar service to Mirror Trader, insofar that you will have access to a wide variety of trading strategies - all of which you can copy like-for-like. With that said, we found that Duplitrade has a broader scope of strategies on its platform - making it ideal for diversification purposes.
To give you an idea of some of the strategies offered by Duplitrade, one option that you might consider is the 'Major' system. As the name suggests, this focuses exclusively on major currency pairs like EUR/USD and GBP/USD. This copy trading strategy makes buy and sell decisions through technical indicators such as the RSI, ADX, and Parabolic SAR.
Since the strategy was launched in late 2019, it has generated verified net profits of 207%. Another popular copy trading strategy at Duplitrade is that of the 'Robust' system. On top of major forex pairs, this also focuses on gold and indices. This strategy will focus on mean reverting points and breakouts in a fully automated manner.
Since its inception in mid-2019, the Robust copy trading system has made net profits of 405%. In terms of getting started, Duplitrade requires access to your chosen brokerage account. Once again, we think that Pepperstone is the best option in this respect - due to previously discussed low commissions and spreads on offer.
Before getting started with Duplitrade, it is important to note that the minimum deposit stands at a whopping $5,000. The good news is that you can spread this $5,000 across as many copy trading strategies as you wish. This allows you to take a more risk-averse approach to automated trading.
Attempting to get your head around copy trading platforms can be a daunting task. On the one hand, you have simple platforms like eToro - which offers everything in-house. That is to say, you simply need to open an account with the broker, deposit funds, and then select which traders you wish to copy.
On the other hand, you then have copy trading providers like MT4, MT5, and cTrader - all of which are third-party platforms as opposed to brokers. As such, you then need to find a suitable brokerage site and connect this to your chosen copy trading platform.
Taking these complexities into account, the sections below will explain how the best copy trading brokers work.
First and foremost, let's start with the basics. Copy-trading does exactly what it says on the tin. That is to say, you will be 'copying' another trader that is actively involved in the financial investment scene. In more simplistic terms, if your chosen trader decides to go long on AUD/USD - you will do the same.
If the same trader then decides to short-sell Facebook stocks, again, you will do the same. The main concept here is that you can actively trade without needing to do any of the legwork. This is because your chosen copy trader will make all investment decisions. This includes the end-to-end process of analyzing the markets, performing research, and placing orders.
In turn, any profits or losses that your chosen copy trader makes will be reflected in your own brokerage account. This will, of course, be at any amount proportionate to what you have invested - and there be might some fees or commissions involved.
Here's a simple example of how copy-trading works in practice:
Of course, not all trades like the example above will result in financial gain. The key point here is that everything that the trader does is mirrored like-for-like in your own portfolio. As such, both profits and losses need to be taken into account.
In reviewing the best social trading platforms for 2021 - you might have noticed that there are many different ways in which you can get involved.
To ensure you select a copy trading system that best meets your needs, we would suggest reviewing the following sections.
eToro is unique in the sense that it offers an 'all-in' copy trading feature. By this, mean that eToro is primarily a regulated brokerage site that allows you to buy, sell, and trade assets without paying any commission. Its copy trading tool is therefore an add-on that is offered in-house.
Crucially, this means that there is no requirement to use a third-party platform like MT4 or download automated trading software. Instead, you simply need to open an account with the broker and choose a verified investor that meets your financial goals and tolerance for risk.
We explain how to choose a copy trader at eToro shortly - but for now, let's look at a quick example of how this tool works in practice.
As you can see from the above, the eToro is the best copy trading platform to use as everything is conducted on a single platform. Plus, all financial instruments are traded commission-free and there is no surcharge or performance fee to use the copy trading tool.
The next copy trading option that you have at your disposal is to utilize an automated robot. Otherwise referred to as a 'bot' or 'EA', the best trading robots are pre-programmed by third-party developers and backed by an algorithm.
This in itself is a major advantage, as human traders will only be able to dedicate a certain amount of time per day. On the flip side, the main drawback with automated robots is that they are somewhat intransigent. This is because they can only follow pre-programmed code - so have no understanding or knowledge of financial news or fundamental analysis.
Additionally, robots and automated software programs need to be installed into a third-party platform like MT4, MT5, or cTrader. This means that you will also need to find a suitable brokerage site and connect it to the respective platform.
Another great option to consider in your search for the best copy trading platform is a forex signals service provider. This allows you to copy trade but in a semi-automated manner. In its most basic form, your chosen signal provider will send you trading suggestions that are formulated through its own independent research and analysis.
Here's an example of what a trading signal looks like:
As you can see from the above, you are copy trading in a semi-automated manner because you first need to decide whether or not you wish to act on the signal. Then, you will need to head over to your chosen broker and place the suggested orders.
This option is potentially more suited for those of you that wish to copy trade in a more controlled manner, as opposed to automating the entire process.
You might also consider copying a specific trading strategy as opposed to mirroring an individual investor like-flor-like. This is a service offered by third-party trading platforms like Duplitrade and Mirror Trader. Both of these providers offer a wealth of different strategies - most of which focus on short-term day trading or scalping.
You can select a strategy based on its past performance or the respective financial instrument. You can also select a strategy based on risk and its return on investment since hitting the live markets. Much like a forex EA or automated robot - this copy trading strategy requires you to engage with multiple stakeholders.
For example, not only do you need to open an account with a provider like Duplitrade, but you then need to select a specific strategy. And of course, you will also need to find a suitable online broker that offers support for your chosen copy trading provider.
Although copy trading allows you to take a hands-off approach to invest, you still need to put a little bit of groundwork in. This is because you need to spend some time researching the many copy traders that your chosen platform offers.
In fact, when using a top-rated provider like eToro, you'll have access to tens of thousands of verified investors - so you need to know what to look out for in choosing the best trader for your financial goals.
To help clear the mist - below we discuss the most important factors to consider when searching for the best traders to copy.
Perhaps the first port of call is to think about which assets you wish to passively trade. For example, are you looking to copy a seasoned day trader that focuses on forex, or a long-term buy and hold investor that specializes in stocks?
Or, maybe you want exposure to the cryptocurrency trading scene or a volatile commodity like gold? Either way, it's best to stick with a trader that is actively involved in your preferred asset class.
Once you have filtered down by your chosen asset class - it's then time to focus on performance. After all, you'll want to be copying the very best copy traders in the industry.
The only way to do this is to look at the trader's historical performance. At eToro, you can specify two key metrics to find a top-rated trader that meets your goals - which are listed below.
For example, you might want your chosen trader to have made at least 30% over the past two years. In entering your requirements, eToro will only show you traders that meet this criterion.
Many of the copy trading platforms that we reviewed today make it somewhat difficult to assess how much risk you are taking by selecting an investor. Sure, you might have access to the maximum drawdown percentage, but this in itself doesn't give you a clear idea of how much risk the respective trader typically likes.
With that said, copy trading broker eToro presents a risk rating on all of its copy traders. This is automatically determined by the eToro algorithm - based on series of metrics.
For example, a high-risk rating would be assigned to a trader that focuses on volatile assets like Bitcoin and oil, alongside an above-average maximum drawdown. At the other end of the scale, a low-risk rating might be assigned to a trader that focuses on blue-chip stocks and index funds through a diversified portfolio. The risk rating goes from 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest).
Another key metric that we like when selecting a copy trader is that of the average trade duration. This is because you can assess the specific strategy that the trader takes.
For example, if the trader has an average trade duration of 6 months - then you know that they are a long-term buy and hold investor. If the individual has an average trade duration of just 5 hours, then you know they are a day trader.
If you're interested in opening a copy trading account but your mind is blown as to the sheer size of information we have presented today - fear not. In this section of our guide, we are going to walk you through the process of joining the best copy trading broker for 2021 - eToro.
You will first need to open an account with eToro. As this copy trading platform is a regulated broker - you will need to enter your information and contact details - and then verify this via documentation.
Required documents include a government-issued ID and proof of address (issued within the last 3 months). Unlike other trading platforms in this space, eToro will verify your documents pretty much instantly.
eToro will now ask you to make a deposit. You can choose from a debit/credit card or e-wallet if you wish the deposit to be processed instantly. Alternatively, you can transfer funds from your bank account, but this might take several days to arrive.
In terms of account minimums, this will depend on where you reside. US citizens need to deposit a minimum of just $50, while most other nations need to cover at least $200. A select number of nationalities needs to deposit no less than $1,000. Irrespective of where you live - the minimum investment per copy trader is $500 - so do bear this in mind.
Now that you have funded your eToro account, you can proceed to find a trader that you would like to copy. On the left-hand side of the screen, click on the 'Copy People' button.
As noted earlier, there are tens of thousands of verified copy traders - so you will need to make use of the filter buttons. You can scroll back up to our section on How to Choose Traders to Copy for further guidance on how to select an investor.
Once you have selected a trader to copy at eToro, you will need to click on the 'Copy' button. An order box will then appear asking you how much you wish to invest. Once again, the minimum is $500.
There is also an option to copy ongoing trades. This means that in addition to copying the trader's current portfolio of assets, you will also mirror all future buy and sell positions.
Finally, click on the 'Copy' button to complete your investment.
This guide has reviewed the best copy trading platforms to consider in 2021. We have covered everything from copy trading brokers, automated robots, signals, and third-party platforms like Mirror Trade and Duplitrade. While all of the providers discussed today are worth considering - we found that the overall best copy trading platform is eToro.
This regulated broker - which is home to over 20 million clients, allows you to choose from thousands of copy traders without paying any commission. The minimum investment per trader is a reasonable $500 and you can exit your position at any given time.
We found that there is no competition when it comes to the best copy trading platform for 2021 - with eToro head and shoulders above any other provider in this space. This is because you will be using a regulated platform that gives you access to thousands of verified copy traders and there are no fees or commissions charged.
The copy trading phenomenon is very simple. Once you select a trader that you would like to copy, you need to decide how much you wish to invest (minimums apply). Then, anything that the trader buys or sells will be mirrored in your own brokerage account like-for-like. As such, this allows you to follow the investments of a trader that has a long-standing track record in the online trade arena.
Yes, copy trading is legal, albeit, you need to ensure that your chosen broker is regulated.
Copy trading can be a great idea if you wish to actively trade in a passive manner. This is because your chosen trader will perform all of the required research and analysis, and then place the required orders. However, there is no guarantee that you will make money when copy trading. After all, if the trader that you are copying loses money, so will you. This is why it's important to conduct lots of research into a trader before investing any money.
Copy trading minimum will vary depending on which platform you use. At eToro, for example, the minimum is just $500. However, if opting for Duplitrade, the platform requires a minimum deposit of $5,000.
Fees will vary from provider to provider and you might need to pay this on two fronts. For example, if opting for the mirror trading service at MT5, you need to pay a monthly subscription. Additionally, you might also need to pay trading commissions - depending on which MT5 broker you use. With that said, popular copy trading broker eToro not only offers this tool on a fee-free basis - but it doesn't charge any commissions.
You certainly can. In fact, the vast majority of investors that sign up for a copy trading program engage in day trading strategies. This means that by copying them, you can day trade in a fully automated manner.
Kane Pepi is a British researcher and writer that specializes in finance, financial crime, and blockchain technology. Now based in Malta, Kane writes for a number of platforms in the online domain. In particular, Kane is skilled at explaining complex financial subjects in a user-friendly manner. Kane has also written for websites such as MoneyCheck, InsideBitcoins, Blockonomi, Learnbonds, Buysharesand the Malta Association of Compliance Officers.
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