Review of DEGIRO as a Broker for Swiss Investor

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Review of DEGIRO as a Broker for Swiss Investor

I have now been using DEGIRO for about four months. I think It is now time for a review of this great broker.

In this post, I am going to go about all the things I liked about this broker. And of course, I am also going to talk about the things I did not like.

I decided to use DEGIRO four months ago based on costs. Currently, my portfolio is quite small. So, you may have a different experience if you have a significantly more extensive portfolio. But it should be the same for most people.

Investing involves risks of losses. Make sure you are aware of that before you start investing.

DEGIRO

DEGIRO DEGIRO is a great broker for Europe, with extremely affordable fees! Trade securities for as little as 0.5 CHF! Sign up Today! Interactive Brokers

Before I start the review, what is DEGIRO? It is a Dutch brokerage company. The company is still relatively new. It was founded in 2008. Their online platform and opening to the public were even more recent, in 2013. Since then, they now expanded to 18 countries, all in Europe. Switzerland was open in November 2016.

Although it is quite recent, it is now the fastest-growing European brokerage firm. DEGIRO already employs 150 people. They are probably the cheapest broker in Europe. They are currently managing around 35 billion CHF transactions per year.

The media are generally praising them. They have received several awards. But individual reviews were usually not as kind. Several reviews mentioned the lack of security (no two-factor authentication, impossible to change password), the lack of trade confirmations, no mobile application, or problems with the website or the support. But, most of the reviews are from the early days of DEGIRO. And, as we will see in this review, most of these issues have now been solved.

More recent reviews have generally been much better with DEGIRO. And customers are quite satisfied with them.

DEGIRO costs

The main point about DEGIRO is its low fees. That is their primary marketing argument. It is how they try to differentiate themselves from the other brokers. And this is something they are doing quite well.

One essential thing is that there are two types of accounts in DEGIRO: Basic and Custody. In a Basic account, the default, your securities can be lent by DEGIRO to its prime brokers. In a Custody account, they hold your securities separately, and they will never lend them.

If you do not wish DEGIRO to lend your shares, you can opt for the Custody account. You will pay a small tax on the dividends that you receive. This fee is of 1 EUR plus 3% of the dividend, with a maximum of 10%. If you have a dividend-focused portfolio, this may be a bad thing.

Using the Basic account will add a new risk to your account. However, it is still a minimal risk. When DEGIRO lend your shares, it asks for collateral. So if the third party defaults, you will still get the collateral. And I have never heard of anything like that happening. But still, you may want to be careful. In the end, it is always up to you.

If you open a Custody account, you will not have access to Futures and Options, but that is not a problem for ETF investors like me (and you probably!). Moreover,

I am not going to details all their fees now. You can find the details of the fees on their site. The first important thing is that there is no custody fee! You will not pay anything based on the total value of portfolio or inactivity fees. It is incredibly important. It is what will make a lot of difference with other brokers.

Now, for ETFs, there is something else that is good. Each month, you can buy or sell shares of an ETF  for free. You can find the list of the ETFs that are free here. Make sure to check it regularly since they may update the list.

If the ETF you want to buy is not on the free list or if you want to buy or sell a second ETF in the same month, you will have to pay a fee. For each buy (or sell), you will pay 2 EUR plus 0.02% of the amount you buy/sell. If you buy for 1000 EUR of an ETF, you will pay 2.2 EUR of fees. It is a 0.22% fee. If you buy for 5000 EUR, you will pay 3 EUR of fees. It corresponds to a 0.06% fee. Because of the 2 EUR flat fee, you should avoid investing in tiny amounts.

If your base currency is CHF, there is also a fee for currency exchanges of 0.1% of the transaction when you buy or sell foreign positions. It can make a hefty fee if you invest mainly in USD or EUR.

Finally, the last fee is the connectivity fee. You will pay 2.5 EUR per exchange you used (hold or transactions) per year, excluding the SIX exchange. So if you have traded (or held) in OMX and EAM one year, you will pay 5 EUR.

Enough about the fees. IT shows that they are quite affordable. You have to be careful because of the flat fees for buy/sell and the connectivity fees. But if you pay attention to that and use mainly free ETFs, it should be cheap.

DEGIRO website

Now, let’s go to see how to use this broker. The main entry is the website, directly accessible at degiro.ch after you registered an account. I will not cover the registration in detail here since I already explained when I created my account. But it is straightforward to do, and you should be ready in less than 10 minutes. I would strongly advise you to opt-in for two-factor authentication that is now available, for more security!

Degiro Market View
DEGIRO Market View

The main view (Market) gives you the recent information on the market, on the major indices (SMI, S&P500, …) and some news related to the market.

You also see the major currency exchange rates as well as the winners and losers of the day. More importantly, you can see the global information about your portfolio with the total value and the total difference. You can also see the day difference by changing the combo list. I do not use this view much, but it gives quite some information if you want to see the current state of the market.

Degiro Portfolio View
DEGIRO Portfolio View

The most useful view for me is the Portfolio view. You can see all the positions you have and their result. For each of your securities, you can see the total value, the total result, and the day result. It is what will give you the most information on how your portfolio is going. For instance, you can see that mine is not doing very well at this time!

You can also see the dividends that will happen soon. One thing that is missing here is the total value in the base currency. I use the total value in the base currency to compute my net worth in each currency. It makes it easier to follow the performance of the position without issues with currency fluctuations. If you only care about the current total result in CHF, it should be fine. And it would be better if we could select the columns we want. However, it gets the job done.

Degiro Position View
DEGIRO Position View

You can also get details about each of your position. It will give you the history of the price of this position and some information on the prices. However, it only gives you the total value of this position, not the current number of shares. This view should provide more information. For instance, the history of buy and sell would be great. Also, the day results and total results should be here as well.

Degiro Buy/Sell View
DEGIRO Buy/Sell View

If you want to buy/sell, you only have to click on the button in the position view, and you can configure your order. You can then choose between different types of orders. For instance, you can use a limit order to say you want to buy ten shares at a maximum of 183 EUR. Then, they will execute the order as soon as possible. It will give you an estimate of what it will cost you. This view is pretty good. It is effortless to use.

That is it for the web application. It is a pretty straightforward tool. It gets the job done, but it is pretty limited in information, and some things are missing from some screens. Moreover, there are no customization possibilities. It may be the computer scientist in me that talks here ;) Hopefully, it will improve in the future. But itis still quite enough for a passive investor like me.

DEGIRO mobile application

Another way to access your DEGIRO account is to use the mobile application. You can download the app on your phone, on Android, or Apple. I only tried the application on Android. I do not think there are significant differences between the two versions.

Since you already have an account, it is straightforward to set up the application. After you have set up the connection to your account, you will have to use a passcode to connect. Something I dislike about this is that you have to use a 5-digits passcode. Such a password is way too short, and I do not like the lack of security. One can argue that your phone is already protected. Still, we should be able to use an arbitrary password here.

The application is very straightforward to use. If you are already using the web application, you will see that it is quite the same. It is just smaller, and some information got moved or is not here. I will go over the different views. They are the same as the web application.

Degiro Mobile Market View
DEGIRO Mobile Market View

The default view is once again the Market view. You can see your balance and day result, but not the total result as you could in the web application. If you want to see the different indices and the winners and losers of the market, you have to scroll down quite a bit.

Degiro Mobile Portfolio View
DEGIRO Mobile Portfolio View
Degiro Mobile Portfolio View Continued
DEGIRO Mobile Portfolio View Continued

On the portfolio view, you can finally see your total result. And also some global information about your portfolio. You can see every position in your portfolio. But, you cannot see the total result of your positions. It is lacking. I do not care about the daily result. I am more interested in the total results of each of my position.

It took me a while, but I have finally found out how to see the total result of each position in the mobile application. You have to touch the daily result, and it transforms into the total result!

Degiro Mobile Position View
DEGIRO Mobile Position View
Degiro Mobile Position View Continued
DEGIRO Mobile Position View Continued

You can also access information about each of your position. As you can see, the first thing is the graph. It is barely readable. It should be lower on the view. You can see the shares, current price, current bid/ask information, and global price information. You may notice that you cannot see your results. There is no information here about the daily and total results of the position. It is a problem for me since there is no way to see the total results of each position in the mobile application.

Degiro Mobile Buy View
DEGIRO Mobile Buy View

To buy or sell, you use one of the large buttons at the bottom of the position view. It opens another view. It is effortless to use, nothing much to say here. It is not a very nice view, but it gets the job done.

Overall, the mobile application is not bad, but not very good. It should add more information. It should focus on the vital information first rather than put everything together. Moreover, the application is wasting a lot of screen space for non-important stuff. Most of the text is too big for me. Some customization of the views would be welcome. But it is straightforward to use. Since I use the web platform more than the mobile, it is OK for me. If the mobile application is your primary platform, you may be disappointed.

Conclusion

DEGIRO DEGIRO is a great broker for Europe, with extremely affordable fees! Trade securities for as little as 0.5 CHF! Sign up Today! Interactive Brokers

I am really satisfied with DEGIRO as a broker so far. It is very cheap and straightforward to use. There are a few problems, of course. The web interface is good but lacks some information and has a few issues. The mobile application has the same issues. It has even less information, and its security is lacking. But these will improve over time. I have no doubt.

If you are an active trader and want a lot of information about your positions, it is likely too limited for you. But for simple passive investors, investing around once a month, it is pretty good. I have also had a few contacts with the support, and I think it is pretty good.

If you are interested in DEGIRO, I have a guide about how to buy ETFs on DEGIRO.

Or, if you are interested in other brokers, you can read about the cheapest broker: Interactive Brokers.

Regardless of the broker, you need to remember that Investing involves risks of losses. Make sure you are aware of that before you start investing.

What about you? What do you think of DEGIRO? Which broker do you use?

Mr. The Poor Swiss

Mr. The Poor Swiss is the author behind thepoorswiss.com. In 2017, he realized that he was falling into the trap of lifestyle inflation. He decided to cut on his expenses and increase his income. This blog is relating his story and findings. In 2019, he is saving more than 50% of his income. He made it a goal to reach Financial Independence. You can send Mr. The Poor Swiss a message here.