What is copy trading?

It’s all in the name! Copy trading allows you to directly copy the positions taken by another trader. You decide the amount you wish to invest and simply copy everything they do automatically in real-time – when that trader makes a trade, your account will make that same trade as well.

You do not need to have any input on the trades, and you get the identical returns on each trade as your chosen trader.

Copy trading is one of the easiest ways to use another trader’s expert knowledge. It also means that you don’t lose any control over the outcome. You still have the ability to close trades, and open new ones when you want.

But by copying another trader, you could potentially make money based on their skills.

In fact, no advanced knowledge of the financial market is required to take part!

The Story of 'copy trading'

The history of copy trading goes back to 2005 when traders used to copy specific algorithms that were developed through automated trading. Brokers recognised the potential of having systems where any linked to that trader could automatically copy their trading account. There was no need to constantly monitor email signals or trading ‘chat’ rooms. We think they were onto something…

Out of this were born Etoro and Zulutrade who allowed traders to connect their personal trading accounts to their platform. Traders no longer had to submit their specific strategies. The popularity of copy trading has since exploded.

According to a recent survey…

  • 1 in 3 say a traditional stock market approach is over-complex and this can be simplified by automatically following traders
  • 1 in 4 investors said they were considering Social trading last year
  • Social trading platforms are expected to grow to €40bn in 2020 (annual growth of 96%) and €70bn in 2025 (annual growth of 48%)

How does copy trading work?

Copy trading is automated trading made easy. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide:

1 Select a trader who best matches your goals to follow, by using the tools provided by the platform FXTM Invest to filter the available traders. What is important to you? Perhaps it’s their number of followers, or profitability, risk level, the total amount of funds they manage or their return on investment. You might choose a combination of these – it’s completely up to you based on whatever you think is important.
2 Decide your investment amount, and how you will share it among different managers. Be balanced and don’t put all your eggs in one basket, so choose how much to allocate to each chosen trader if you have selected more than one person to copy. For further guidance, watch our short video guides.
3 The copy trading platform will then automatically replicate all the selected trader’s positions in your trading account.
4Add more funds if you like how the trader is performing. Or, reduce your exposure to one trader and keep your portfolio diversified by not investing too much in a single trader. You can replace your existing ones at any time, just keep in mind that you’ll need a separate Invest account for each trader you decide to follow.
5There are no special fees to use the copy trading function, apart from the ones you pay the Strategy Manager whenever they make a profit. Any brokerage fees that would apply to a normal trade will be applied to copy trades.

What markets are most suited to copy trading?

You can copy trade across all markets, including: FX, indices, stocks and Commodity markets.

If you want to enter the FX market but are short of time, copy trading allows you to get involved without having to learn advanced technical skills. This can be very time-consuming.

It is very simple to trade in and out of different markets if you want more exposure in one over another. Perhaps you are less familiar with technology stocks but have always wanted to trade Apple or Netflix?

Let’s remind ourselves about the FX market, which is by some distance the biggest traded global market:

  • The global FX market is worth $1,934,500,000,000
  • This is 27x larger than the equities market
  • FX trading daily volume is 53x more than the NYSE
  • Over 85% of FX transactions take place solely on the majors i.e. EURUSD, USDJPY, GBPUSD, USDCAD, AUDUSD, NZDUSD and USDCHF.
  • Find out more about FX and how it works

The benefits and risks of copy trading


The advantages of copy trading are the reason it has become so popular.

What is the goal? To find traders that have a strong track record and trading style that you want to emulate.

Or you can spread your risk across your portfolio which will enable you to ride the ups and downs in markets so that you can trade over the long-term.


copy trading offers an interesting and reachable route into trading. Huge advances in social trading and the multiple social trading networks means this is now freely available.

Upskill your own trading knowledge

copy trading allows you to follow the trading activity of experienced traders, some of whom have years of expertise and know-how. You can learn from watching by replicating their success and developing your own trading.


with the huge variety of trade strategies on offer, you can now allocate your portfolio to numerous providers across different assets. By spreading the risks associated with individual decisions, you can offset losses if one trader performs poorly. You could also potentially make money in several types of market environments.

Ask yourself…

do you want some oil exposure as Saudi Arabia becomes prone to more acts of sabotage? Do you want to take advantage of intraday moves during Jerome Powell’s press conference? Or perhaps you are content with a quieter life, lower volatility, green investing perhaps? You can get whatever exposure you want, on your terms by tapping into a wealth of global expertise.

Free time

you can continue to trade in the markets throughout the day as someone you have chosen is monitoring them and trading. This means you can spend time on your other hobbies!


The main risk with copy trading is an obvious one – you are taking part in some risk with financial implications. Trading by its nature is a high risk, high reward endeavour.

Market risk

copy trading, like with any trading in financial markets, involves putting some of your capital at risk. Inevitably, the market risk associated with this means you can lose that capital as the assets your chosen trader has bought and sold may be prove unsuccessful.

Trader Histories

choosing a long-term reliable trader to copy can be difficult. It is up to you to do your own homework to make sure you understand your chosen traders. Sometimes, results can be too good to be true, or a trader is going through a hot streak which means a drawdown is close by.

Execution risk

as with any financial trading, there is risk involved if the assets being traded are illiquid i.e. how easy is it to exit the positions held. You also need to be aware of other areas like what costs are included in the copy trader’s returns and is the bid/offer spread already included in published returns.

Copy trading platform

Most software will have the option of three types of copy trading functionality – automated, semi-automated and manual.

FXTM offers the industry's leading FX trading platforms MT4 directly on your PC, MAC, mobile or tablet so that you can trade at your convenience whenever and wherever you like.

The advanced technology of MetaTrader combined with FXTM’s unparalleled trading services, offers a high quality experience for the user.

  • Manual is most similar to ‘normal’ trading where you decide who to follow and which trades to copy. Many people refer to this as social trading too.
  • Semi-Automated trading lets you view all the positions of your chosen trader. You can then choose which to copy and trade yourself or which to automatically follow which means your chosen trader takes the lead.
  • Automated is the full package and the one that FXTM Invest offers – you choose your traders and the strategies which best suit your risk profile. All positions and subsequent trading are replicated automatically.
copy trading diversification

Copy trading terms

There are some basic terms that you should know before stepping foot into the world of copy trading. We’ve put together a useful list right here:


allows you to hedge trading risks by incorporating different trading strategies and assets in a variety of market conditions. This is a key benefit of copy trading.

copy trading drawdownDrawdown

is the fall in equity in a trader’s account, normally from a relative peak to a relative trough. It can be expressed in absolute terms or in terms of percentage.

copy trading equity lineEquity Line

is the graphical representation of the signal provider’s account balance.

copy trading fundamenta analysisFundamental Analysis

is the understanding of all news including economic and political to forecast future price movement.

copy trading investorInvestor

is the person who follows other traders to utilise their information or directly copy trades from them.

copy trading mirror tradingMirror trading

allows you to copy a trader’s actual strategies.

copy trading money managementMoney/Risk management

is the way to control risk and the most important factor is determining success or failure. How much should we assign to each provider and each strategy?

copy trading signal providerSignal Provider

is the trader who identifies the signals to be followed by the investor or follower/copier.

copy trading slippageSlippage

the pip difference between the order price and the execution price of a trade execution. Due to market volatility or slow internet connection, the order price could change before it reaches the broker for transaction.

copy trading social tradingSocial Trading

allows you to copy transactions made by one or more investors inside a trading network.

copy trading stop levelsStop Levels

the price the trader chooses to close out a live trade in order to limit your losses if the market moves against you. Stop loss levels depend on the trading strategy.

copy trading symbolsSymbols

currency ticker symbols are used in the forex market to represent the pair that is being traded. A currency, such as the dollar, is never bought or sold in absolute terms, but always in relation to another.

copy trading technical analysisTechnical Analysis

often means charts which a trader uses to interpret historic price action and behaviour for future direction.

A more extensive glossary of terms can be found here.

FXTM Invest

FXTM Invest is our unique and innovative way to find the most suitable traders to copy.

FXTM Invest lets you access to the opportunities of trading without any advanced technical skills.

You retain full control of your money and you only pay a fee to your Strategy Manager when they generate a profit for your Invest account

Why not visit FXTM Invest to get started?

copy tradingFXTM invest img

Strategy Managers

Choose experienced traders, follow them, and sit back while they do all the work.

We analyse and track our Strategy Managers 24/7, 365 days a year. We rank them based on their trading performance using numerous performance and quality measures.

You can search and filter by investment return, risk profile, trading style and many more criteria to enable you to find the best strategy for you.

Go to Strategy Manager page to check out our top performing managers.

Already an experienced trader? You could earn additional capital with your FX skills by becoming an FXTM Invest Strategy Manager. We provide you with the tools and the platform, while traders around the world follow and invest in your trading strategies.

Setting Up 5 Easy Steps:

  • 1Choose a Strategy Manager
  • 2Make a deposit from as little as $100
  • 3Automatically copy the Strategy
  • 4Cash in when they profi
  • 5Share a percentage with the Strategy Manager

Visit FXTM Invest to get started.

Ready to try out copy trading with FXTM Invest?

Fill in the form to get started and
you’ll have your own Investment account within minutes!

Want to understand more about how FXTM Invest works? Get in touch – we’re here to help

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Risk warning: Trading is risky. Your capital is at risk. Exinity Limited is regulated by FSC (Mauritius).