Change Review: Easily Invest in Stocks*, ETFs and Cryptos
Last Update: Thu, Aug 10 2023
Disclaimer: 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. Stocks* is a derivative product that replicates the performance of your favourite companies’ shares - full or fractional.
As an investor, it's crucial to select the right platforms & brokers to invest, as they will be in charge of handling my own money. When it comes to brokers, I am looking for platforms that will keep my money safe, have the lowest fees possible, and is easy to use, as well as being innovative.
In this article, I will review a platform called Change and tell you about my own experience with the platform. I'll tell you what is the platform, what are the main features of Change, is it safe to invest there, and of course we'll also see how to get started with the platform.
What is Change?
Change is a company based in the Netherlands and Estonia, and that offers a very innovative take to investing in stocks*, ETFs and cryptocurrencies. They do that via a mobile app that is focused on the user experience, and we'll dive more into this app when talking about how to use the platform.
Change offers to invest in stocks and ETFs by using derivatives - meaning you don't invest directly in a stock or an ETF, but in a derivative that represents the underlying assets. This allows some really cool features, like being able to invest in fractions of shares, which is great for diversification.
They are growing really rapidly as well, being founded in 2016 and now having over 125.000 users that traded over one billion Euros on the platform.
They also put a focus on very low fees across the platform, which is something we'll dive into in the next section.
Fees on Change
Let's start by talking about the fees associated with using Change, which is the #1 thing that I look at when examining a broker.
On Change, it's safe to say that fees are as low as they can be on such a platform. Unlike other brokerages that use complicated pricing structures and high fees to confuse investors, Change has a simple pricing model model and earn compensation only from spreads and overnight fees, among the industry's smallest. Change doesn’t charge any fees for currency conversion rate you can find in major brokerages. It’s important for EU investors as popular financial markets are linked to USD, and with other brokerage you can lose additional 0,5% on each trade.
Note that there are also no fees whatsoever to keep your account open on Change.
On cryptos, you have no fees at all on Bitcoin, and then a small fee to buy other coins, as well as a fee to exchange cryptocurrencies, as it's the case on all other exchanges.
On instruments that I am really interested in, like stocks* and ETFs, there are zero commissions on buying or selling - which is really something great compared to other online brokers. There are also no fees at all on depositing money, wether it's by bank transfer or by card, which is something really nice to see for an online broker.
Moreover, it has the lowest minimum deposit (€10) and withdrawal (€5) if compare with traditional brokerages.
Features of Change
Let's now talk about the main features of Change and what you can actually do on the platform.
Stocks* & ETFs
What I really like about Change is that you can also invest in stocks* and ETFs directly from the same platform. As I mentioned before, you actually invest in derivatives that represents the underlying assets. In terms of the experience for the investor however, it's exactly like you would invest on any online broker.
You can easily browse through stocks* and ETFs inside the app, get information about a given stock, and then invest in just a couple of steps in the app.
Where it's even more interesting is that you can invest in fractions of a share. Let's take Apple for example from the screenshot above: you can invest just 1 Euro in it, and you don't have to buy one full share at $163. This means it's much easier to diversify your portfolio, especially as beginner, compared to other stock brokers.
Overall, I can say I like the fact that Change brings innovations in the field of stocks* investing and makes it so easy to invest in the stock market.
As I mentioned earlier, Change allows you to buy & sell cryptocurrencies as on any exchange. It's really easy to find details about a given cryptocurrency, and you can just invest in one tap in the app.
Most of the major cryptos are available in the app at the moment, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDC, and many more. You can also choose different staking options and get daily rewards in your favourite cryptos.
Change recently also allows you to invest in commodities, which is also something nice to have on the platform as well and that really shows they want to become a platform where you can invest in many asset types in a single place. You can therefore invest in things like oil, energy, or gold - right from your Change account.
Change also has a community right inside the app, where you can learn from other investors and get investment ideas.
I like the fact that this is built-in inside the app, and not some external community like a Facebook group.
Change Debit Card
Change also allows you to order a physical debit card that is then attached to your account. The card can then be used to make purchases by using for example cryptocurrencies that are present in your account.
You can pay directly with your crypto using the card. Conversion of the asset takes place immediately when going shopping without any hassle within the app.
The Change App
At the core of the Change platform is their dedicated mobile app for Android and iOS, which is super easy to use and has all the features that I described earlier in the article.
I for example used the app to open my account and get verified, as well as to deposit money, and it was super easy to use and a smooth experience.
Is it Safe to Invest on Change?
We now need to talk about the safety of your funds on the Change platform, which is central when picking a cryptocurrency exchange or stock broker, as they will be the one handling all your funds.
First, Change is a fully regulated platform, as the platform is regulated in Estonia for their crypto services, and also regulated by the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets in the Netherlands for their CFD services (and therefore for their stock & ETFs trading services). Because of that, your funds in stocks* & ETFs are protected up to 20,000 Euros by the investor compensation scheme.
They are also fully compliant with all European regulations about investor's privacy and security, and have all the funds safely kept in offline wallets, as it's a general practice on crypto exchanges.
As for all the financial platforms I review, I also checked the profiles of the founders of the platforms Kristjan Kangro and Gustav Liblik. It was really easy to find information about them, and looking at their past experience they definitely have a strong experience in the financial sector.
Getting Started with Change
It is actually really easy to get started with Change and start to invest in a matter of minutes - which is really something I like to see with such a platform, as some other platforms in the field still have a lengthy signup process.
Here, you just need to fill a simple form inside the app when you first install it.
Once your account has been created, you will have to go through some identify verification process, but on Change this process is completely automated and is done all within the mobile app, and took me less than 5 minutes.
Then, when the process is completed you can actually start depositing money on Change. You can do that with the usual bank transfer but also using your credit card. Note that you still need to do a bank transfer for the first deposit, in order to verify your account. However, it supports instant transfers, and my account was therefore activated in less than one hour.
Note that you can deposit a minimum of 10 Euros, which is really low and nice to see as other brokers still sometimes requires you to deposit over 100 Euros or sometimes even more.
Once you have the money on your Change account, you can start investing right away in cryptocurrencies for example, and start exploring assets available on the platform. Note that for stocks* & ETFs, there is an extra process to go through, and it took about a day to get my account fully verified before I could invest in stocks*.
Once this was done, I could actually invest and tried it to enlarge my own portfolio. I for example went into more details for the Intel stock:
Then, I decided to invest just 10 Euros in Intel stock, which is possible thanks to fractional shares investing:
Finally, in just one swipe up I could buy the stock, and it was right there inside my portfolio:
The whole experience of using the app was really smooth, and was also completely free of any bugs that are usually inherent of mobile apps.
The only thing I feel is lacking for now is the absence of a web app, but I reached to them about it and they told me it should come at some point.
Final thoughts on Change
As we saw inside this review, I was really pleased with the Change platform. I has an excellent reputation, it is fully regulated, and the platform is really easy to use with a lot of different assets you can invest in.
So to sum up, is Change a great platform to invest in digital assets? I would say it depends on what you are looking for in an investment platform. If you are solely interested in investing in cryptocurrencies, there are probably could be better options regarding variety of assets. However, if you want to buy Bitcoin, it will be much cheeper to buy with Change than with other platform. Change doesn’t charge deposit and withdrawal fees as well as commission for BTC trades.
However, if you are looking for one platform where you can invest in all types of assets including stocks* & ETFs via derivatives, I believe think that Change is a great platform to consider. It brings a really innovative take on the field of investing in stocks* & ETFs for example with fractional shares. So if you are looking for a solid platform with an easy to use app that allows you to invest in a large variety of assets, then Change is definitely the platform you need.