eToro: Selecting traders to copy

eToro OpenBook

After you've opened a demo or real account, you can start trading or selecting gurus you want to follow or copy. eToro's interface (click here to see it) shows you the flow of trades in real time. On this page, you can directly copy the transactions you see by just clicking on the "Copy" link. You can also comment on the trades of other members.

If you want to copy all of the trades of a specific trader, you can find him in the ranking of traders or use eToro's "Guru Finder". The trades are copied proportionately: if the guru risks 2% of his account, the risk to your account will be 2% of the amount you allocated to the guru.

The trader/Guru Finder screen (see image below) allows you to list the traders based on several criteria. You can also use popular search filters:

  • Top traders copied in the UK
  • The most copied traders
  • Manual traders
  • Photo and full name
  • Limited weekly loss
  • Frequent trader, 6M
  • High profitability ratio

You can only adjust your risk level, the other filters are provided by eToro (you cannot create your own filters). The ranking of gurus on the social trading network can be displayed for periods of 3, 6 or 12 months.

etoro Guru Finder

Copiers: The number of people who copy the guru's trades with a real account.

Weekly drawdown: The maximum weekly drawdown shows the biggest weekly decline in capital during the period. We don't think that this figure is very useful because the trader's drawdown is more representative of his risk level. If his positions fall to -90%, and the trader cuts them when they go back up to -10%, the displayed drawdown will be 10%. However, the trader will indeed have risked 90% of his account.

Daily exchange volume: Total amount of money invested by the trader. It is calculated using the average daily trading volume divided by the average daily amount of funds invested. A higher number indicates that the trader regularly uses a large portion of his account.

Number of profitable weeks: Ratio of the number of profitable weeks in relation to the number of weeks selected.

Profit: The profit calculation is based on the "Modified Dietz" formula which takes into account all of the trader's transactions. All commissions earned and all deposits/withdrawals to and from a guru's account entail a recalculation. It is also important to note that these figures reflect both the outcome of closed positions as well as any open positions, at any given time.

The commissions that gurus earn affect their monthly performance, so your account's performance cannot be identical to that of a guru that you are following. The statistics displayed are indicators that help you compare and choose gurus, but they are definitely not profitability forecasts.

The tools offered by eToro to rank and filter the traders do not deserve the "Advanced Filters" label as indicated in the interface. In fact, in 2013, eToro replaced the advanced filter function with the "popular searches" tool and in our opinion the previous search function was more useful than the current solution.

So in summary, due to this lack of advanced filters and transparency in terms of percentages of profits, it is not always easy to find gurus that match a specific search.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 65% 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.

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