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Best brokers for funds for Europeans

To help you to find the best online broker for funds in 2020, we went ahead and did the research for you. First, we selected 71 quality online brokers, then we tested them with real accounts. We evaluated their selection of mutual funds, the fees they charge and much more. We went deep, so you won’t have to. 5 made it to the top in Europe. We highly recommend all 5 to you. And now, without further ado...

Our top 5 picks for the best online brokers for funds in Europe:

  1. Swissquote is the winner. Access to many markets and products. No inactivity fee. Rock-solid background.
  2. LYNX in the second place. Wide range of markets and products. Low stock and ETF trading fees. Great mobile platform.
  3. Hargreaves Lansdown rounded out the top three. Easy-to-use trading platforms. High-quality educational tools. Great customer service.
  4. Interactive Brokers, numero quatro. Low trading fees. Wide range of products. Many great research tools.
  5. TradeStation Global. Low trading fees. Wide range of products. Fast customer service. Just made it to the list with being number five.
Best online brokers for funds for Europeans
Broker Info Funds fee class # of available fund providers
#1 Swissquote Swiss investment bank Low 340
#2 LYNX Netherlands-based stockbroker Low 260
#3 Hargreaves Lansdown UK-based stockbroker Low 160
#4 Interactive Brokers US discount broker Average 260
#5 TradeStation Global UK-based global stockbroker High 260

All 5 brokers are considered safe. They are regulated by at least one top-tier financial regulator.

What makes a good online broker for fund investing? First, they need to offer fair fees for buying and selling funds. Second, they should also offer access to a good selection of fund providers.. It’s also important that the inactivity fee shouldn’t be high and we also look at the broker’s overall score as well. Easy to list, but hard to figure it out. We are testing brokers along ~300 criteria with real accounts and real money. We know what's up.

Not sure which broker? For a tailored recommendation, check out the broker finder tool. You can enter your country and it will show only the relevant brokers. Want more details? Compare brokers with this detailed comparison table.

And now, let's see the best brokers for fund investors for Europeans one by one, starting with the winner, Swissquote.

Swissquote Logo

#1 Best brokers for funds for Europeans
Swissquote

4.7

Swissquote is a Swiss investment bank established in 1996. It has two main trading arms: a Swiss unit for trading stocks, funds, options and futures and a company in the UK for CFDs and forex.

Formally, Swissquote Bank Ltd is based in Switzerland and is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), the country's financial regulator.

The other entity, Swissquote Ltd, is UK-based and offers CFDs and forex trading. It is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK's financial authority.

Swissquote is considered safe because Swissquote Bank Ltd has a banking license, it is listed on the Swiss stock exchange, discloses detailed financials regularly and has a long track record.

In this review, we focus mainly on the Swiss entity, but also discuss services of the UK arm, especially in the case of CFD and forex trading. To make it clear which company we are talking about, we will refer to the Swiss entity as "Swissquote (CH)" and to the UK-based entity as "Swissquote Forex (UK)".

Pros Cons
Access to many markets and products High trading fees
No inactivity fee Confusing trading platform selection
Rock-solid background Some research tools are not free

Open account

#1 Swissquote
Fees

Swissquote has low fees when it comes to buying and selling funds.
Best online brokers for mutual funds
Swissquote LYNX Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global
Fund fee class Low Low Low Average High
Mutual fund $9.0 $6.6 $0.0 $15.0 $25.0
Inactivity fee No Yes No Yes No

* Note: We excluded the following fees:

  • Ongoing fees (expense ratio): All mutual funds have a fee called expense ratio, or sometimes called a management fee or operating expense. This fee is deducted daily and depends on the fund itself, not your broker. Annually it is usually between 0.10% - 2.5%, depending on the fund. There might be different series or classes, which are identified by a letter. For example, a fund Series ‘A’ for retail investors could charge 0.5%-0.1% more than the same fund Series ‘I’, but the latter might have a minimum investment of $200 000.
  • Front-load and redemption fees: Again this depends on the mutual fund itself. Some might charge one or both. Usually this one-time fee is between 0 and 5% when you purchase the fund (front-load). If you sell, a redemption fee might apply.
  • Short term redemption fees: some brokers might charge if you sell your fund within 30/60/90/etc. days. We assumed a longer time horizon (6 month+) for investors.
  • Performance fee: Some funds deduct a %age for above-benchmark net returns, typically 10%-20%. So for example, if they managed to beat the SP500 index by 2% in a given year, they’d deduct 0.2% (if the performance fee was 10% and their benchmark was the SP500)

Open account More

#1 Swissquote
Markets and products

While there are many boutique firms, the biggest fund providers (asset managers) like Fidelity, Vanguard, Franklin Templeton, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and BlackRock have hundreds of funds, so you’ve probably heard of them already.
Swissquote markets and products
Swissquote LYNX Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global
Fund providers (#) 340 260 160 260 260
Swissquote other products, besides funds
Swissquote LYNX Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes No Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes No Yes Yes
CFD Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Crypto Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Open account More

LYNX Logo

#2 Best brokers for funds for Europeans
LYNX

4.2

LYNX is a Netherlands-based stockbroker founded in 2006.

LYNX is an introducing broker of Interactive Brokers (IB). In practice, this means that your deposited funds will be held by IB but fees are charged by LYNX. You can also use IB's trading platforms. 

LYNX is considered safe because both LYNX and Interactive Brokers are regulated by top-tier financial authorities.

Pros Cons
Wide range of markets and products Deposit and withdrawal options limited
Low stock and ETF trading fees €3,000 minimum deposit
Great mobile platform Overly complex desktop platform

Open account

#2 LYNX
Fees

LYNX has low fees when it comes to buying and selling funds.
Best online brokers for mutual funds
Swissquote LYNX Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global
Fund fee class Low Low Low Average High
Mutual fund $9.0 $6.6 $0.0 $15.0 $25.0
Inactivity fee No Yes No Yes No

* Note: We excluded the following fees:

  • Ongoing fees (expense ratio): All mutual funds have a fee called expense ratio, or sometimes called a management fee or operating expense. This fee is deducted daily and depends on the fund itself, not your broker. Annually it is usually between 0.10% - 2.5%, depending on the fund. There might be different series or classes, which are identified by a letter. For example, a fund Series ‘A’ for retail investors could charge 0.5%-0.1% more than the same fund Series ‘I’, but the latter might have a minimum investment of $200 000.
  • Front-load and redemption fees: Again this depends on the mutual fund itself. Some might charge one or both. Usually this one-time fee is between 0 and 5% when you purchase the fund (front-load). If you sell, a redemption fee might apply.
  • Short term redemption fees: some brokers might charge if you sell your fund within 30/60/90/etc. days. We assumed a longer time horizon (6 month+) for investors.
  • Performance fee: Some funds deduct a %age for above-benchmark net returns, typically 10%-20%. So for example, if they managed to beat the SP500 index by 2% in a given year, they’d deduct 0.2% (if the performance fee was 10% and their benchmark was the SP500)

Open account More

#2 LYNX
Markets and products

While there are many boutique firms, the biggest fund providers (asset managers) like Fidelity, Vanguard, Franklin Templeton, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and BlackRock have hundreds of funds, so you’ve probably heard of them already.
LYNX markets and products
Swissquote LYNX Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global
Fund providers (#) 340 260 160 260 260
LYNX other products, besides funds
Swissquote LYNX Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes No Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes No Yes Yes
CFD Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Crypto Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Open account More

Hargreaves Lansdown Logo

#3 Best brokers for funds for Europeans
Hargreaves Lansdown

4.4

Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the biggest UK-based stockbrokers. It was founded in 1981 and is regulated by the top-tier Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In addition, it is a listed company and a constituent of the FTSE 100, a stock index of the biggest listed companies in the UK.

Hargreaves Lansdown is considered safe because it has a long track record, is regulated by a top-tier authority, and is listed on a stock exchange.

Pros Cons
Easy-to-use trading platforms High fees for stocks and ETFs
High-quality educational tools Offline account opening for clients outside the UK
Great customer service Only GBP base currency

Open account

#3 Hargreaves Lansdown
Fees

Hargreaves Lansdown has low fees when it comes to buying and selling funds.
Best online brokers for mutual funds
Swissquote LYNX Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global
Fund fee class Low Low Low Average High
Mutual fund $9.0 $6.6 $0.0 $15.0 $25.0
Inactivity fee No Yes No Yes No

* Note: We excluded the following fees:

  • Ongoing fees (expense ratio): All mutual funds have a fee called expense ratio, or sometimes called a management fee or operating expense. This fee is deducted daily and depends on the fund itself, not your broker. Annually it is usually between 0.10% - 2.5%, depending on the fund. There might be different series or classes, which are identified by a letter. For example, a fund Series ‘A’ for retail investors could charge 0.5%-0.1% more than the same fund Series ‘I’, but the latter might have a minimum investment of $200 000.
  • Front-load and redemption fees: Again this depends on the mutual fund itself. Some might charge one or both. Usually this one-time fee is between 0 and 5% when you purchase the fund (front-load). If you sell, a redemption fee might apply.
  • Short term redemption fees: some brokers might charge if you sell your fund within 30/60/90/etc. days. We assumed a longer time horizon (6 month+) for investors.
  • Performance fee: Some funds deduct a %age for above-benchmark net returns, typically 10%-20%. So for example, if they managed to beat the SP500 index by 2% in a given year, they’d deduct 0.2% (if the performance fee was 10% and their benchmark was the SP500)

Open account More

#3 Hargreaves Lansdown
Markets and products

While there are many boutique firms, the biggest fund providers (asset managers) like Fidelity, Vanguard, Franklin Templeton, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and BlackRock have hundreds of funds, so you’ve probably heard of them already.
Hargreaves Lansdown markets and products
Swissquote LYNX Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global
Fund providers (#) 340 260 160 260 260
Hargreaves Lansdown other products, besides funds
Swissquote LYNX Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes No Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes No Yes Yes
CFD Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Crypto Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Open account More

Interactive Brokers Logo

#4 Best brokers for funds for Europeans
Interactive Brokers

4.9

Interactive Brokers was founded in 1978 and is one of the biggest US-based discount brokers. The broker is regulated by several financial authorities globally, including top-tier ones like the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

As it has licenses from multiple top-tier regulators, Interactive Brokers is considered safe. Having a long track record and publicly disclosed financials while being listed on a stock exchange are also great signs for its safety.

Pros Cons
Low trading fees Complicated account opening process
Wide range of products Complex desktop trading platform
Many great research tools High inactivity fee

Open account

#4 Interactive Brokers
Fees

Interactive Brokers has average fees when it comes to buying and selling funds.
Best online brokers for mutual funds
Swissquote LYNX Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global
Fund fee class Low Low Low Average High
Mutual fund $9.0 $6.6 $0.0 $15.0 $25.0
Inactivity fee No Yes No Yes No

* Note: We excluded the following fees:

  • Ongoing fees (expense ratio): All mutual funds have a fee called expense ratio, or sometimes called a management fee or operating expense. This fee is deducted daily and depends on the fund itself, not your broker. Annually it is usually between 0.10% - 2.5%, depending on the fund. There might be different series or classes, which are identified by a letter. For example, a fund Series ‘A’ for retail investors could charge 0.5%-0.1% more than the same fund Series ‘I’, but the latter might have a minimum investment of $200 000.
  • Front-load and redemption fees: Again this depends on the mutual fund itself. Some might charge one or both. Usually this one-time fee is between 0 and 5% when you purchase the fund (front-load). If you sell, a redemption fee might apply.
  • Short term redemption fees: some brokers might charge if you sell your fund within 30/60/90/etc. days. We assumed a longer time horizon (6 month+) for investors.
  • Performance fee: Some funds deduct a %age for above-benchmark net returns, typically 10%-20%. So for example, if they managed to beat the SP500 index by 2% in a given year, they’d deduct 0.2% (if the performance fee was 10% and their benchmark was the SP500)

Open account More

#4 Interactive Brokers
Markets and products

While there are many boutique firms, the biggest fund providers (asset managers) like Fidelity, Vanguard, Franklin Templeton, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and BlackRock have hundreds of funds, so you’ve probably heard of them already.
Interactive Brokers markets and products
Swissquote LYNX Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global
Fund providers (#) 340 260 160 260 260
Interactive Brokers other products, besides funds
Swissquote LYNX Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes No Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes No Yes Yes
CFD Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Crypto Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Open account More

TradeStation Global Logo

#5 Best brokers for funds for Europeans
TradeStation Global

4.6

TradeStation Global is the brand of TradeStation International Ltd, which is based in the UK and is regulated by the top-tier Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

TradeStation Global is a combined product offered by Interactive Brokers (IB) and TradeStation. Here are its most important elements:

  • The account opening, deposit/withdrawal options, and available products are the same as at Interactive Brokers.
  • You can use both Interactive Brokers's and TradeStation's own desktop platform.
  • TradeStation Global charges its own fees, and offers its own customer support and educational tools.

Both Interactive Brokers and TradeStation are reputable brokers, regulated by top-tier financial authorities. While Interactive Brokers is listed on the NASDAQ, TradeStation itself is not: only TradeStation's parent company Monex is listed, on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Pros Cons
Low trading fees Only bank transfer allowed for deposit and withdrawal
Wide range of products Complicated account opening
Fast customer service Limited education materials

Open account

#5 TradeStation Global
Fees

TradeStation Global has high fees when it comes to buying and selling funds.
Best online brokers for mutual funds
Swissquote LYNX Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global
Fund fee class Low Low Low Average High
Mutual fund $9.0 $6.6 $0.0 $15.0 $25.0
Inactivity fee No Yes No Yes No

* Note: We excluded the following fees:

  • Ongoing fees (expense ratio): All mutual funds have a fee called expense ratio, or sometimes called a management fee or operating expense. This fee is deducted daily and depends on the fund itself, not your broker. Annually it is usually between 0.10% - 2.5%, depending on the fund. There might be different series or classes, which are identified by a letter. For example, a fund Series ‘A’ for retail investors could charge 0.5%-0.1% more than the same fund Series ‘I’, but the latter might have a minimum investment of $200 000.
  • Front-load and redemption fees: Again this depends on the mutual fund itself. Some might charge one or both. Usually this one-time fee is between 0 and 5% when you purchase the fund (front-load). If you sell, a redemption fee might apply.
  • Short term redemption fees: some brokers might charge if you sell your fund within 30/60/90/etc. days. We assumed a longer time horizon (6 month+) for investors.
  • Performance fee: Some funds deduct a %age for above-benchmark net returns, typically 10%-20%. So for example, if they managed to beat the SP500 index by 2% in a given year, they’d deduct 0.2% (if the performance fee was 10% and their benchmark was the SP500)

Open account More

#5 TradeStation Global
Markets and products

While there are many boutique firms, the biggest fund providers (asset managers) like Fidelity, Vanguard, Franklin Templeton, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and BlackRock have hundreds of funds, so you’ve probably heard of them already.
TradeStation Global markets and products
Swissquote LYNX Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global
Fund providers (#) 340 260 160 260 260
TradeStation Global other products, besides funds
Swissquote LYNX Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes No Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes No Yes Yes
CFD Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Crypto Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Open account More

Best online brokers for funds for Europeans in 2020 - Fee comparison included
How did we pick the best brokers for funds?

We tested brokers based on more than 300 criteria. Below, we will show you the 4 most important criteria we took into account while picking the best brokers for funds.

4 important criteria for the best brokers for funds for Europeans
Fund fees
  1. The commission for buying funds is typically zero / or a flat fee around $10-80. Watch out if the fee is given in %age terms, in this case the better brokers have a maximum fee (cap) in place.
  2. We do not include any entry or exit fees (‘load fees’) in the calculation, as it depends on the fund if they have it or not and not specific to the broker. Also ongoing fees are excluded as they depend on the fund itself
  3. We also didn’t include any ‘Short term redemption fee’ some brokers might charge if you sell your fund within 30/60/90/etc. days. We assumed a longer time horizon for investors.
Number of available fund providers Check the product coverage before opening an account, because your favorite mutual funds might not be available. The higher number of funds your broker offers, the bigger chance you’ll find a fund that suits your needs.
Inactivity fee Funds are very often used by buy and hold investors. You buy the fund and then check the performance from time to time. But what if your broker starts charging high inactivity fees because you didn’t trade for a while?
Overall score Brokers with a good platform, payments and customer service will have a better overall score, so it’s something to consider.

Are these brokers safe?

Mutual funds are typically sizable buy and hold investment - so you certainly don’t want to add an extra risk by using a less reputable broker. These brokers are all considered safe. You can be sure none of them is a scam. They are regulated by at least one top-tier regulator. Some of them are also listed on an exchange, and some have a banking background.

Best online brokers for funds for Europeans in 2020 - Fee comparison included
Why can funds be useful in your investing journey?

Mutual funds are pooled investment vehicles managed by professional portfolio managers, who do the research, pick the investments, and monitor the risk of the fund.

In Western Europe they are sometimes referred to as SIVAC, which is the French name of open-ended mutual funds.

It is worth mentioning that there are some passively managed funds, like Vanguard index funds that track an index for a very low cost and are similar to an ETF. But in this article we’ll focus on open-ended actively managed mutual funds.

Open-ended means that there is no ‘expiry’. Investors can buy and sell the fund each day, and if there are more buyers than sellers, the fund manager will use the proceeds to invest following the fund’s strategy. For example in a US Large Cap Tech Fund, the fund manager could use the new money to buy into (more) Apple or Facebook shares.

Actively managed funds could also choose not to invest the money right away and park it in cash, for example waiting for a better entry point into stocks.

If investors collectively are sellers of the fund, the fund manager could sell shares to raise money or if he hoarded some cash as in the previous example, he could just use that cash to pay investors who want to exit the fund.


Until ETFs became widespread, mutual funds were the only way to get exposure to a diversified portfolio without having to buy into 20-30 individual stocks or bonds.

Funds usually have a benchmark, for example, a US-focused large cap equity fund can be benchmarked against the S&P 500 index.

Do mutual funds still have any advantage over ETFs? The answer is it depends.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of ‘closet index funds’ that just mimic the benchmark they are following, so for example, they’d just buy the S&P500 components with the almost same weighting as the index. Obviously this strategy cannot have any excess return, and you just end up paying a higher fee compared to an ETF.

To learn more about ETFs, be sure to check our article: How to buy ETFs online?

However, there are funds that are actively managed and they do deviate from the index components which can lead to over or underperformance. (There are some actively managed ETFs as well, but it’s not discussed in this article).


You’ll find that most actively managed funds that are benchmarked against major indexes, like the S&P 500 usually underperform their benchmark, in ‘good’ times (when the stock market rises) and therefore usually underperform in the long run as well. (You might want to read more about this in the following CNBC article: Active fund managers trail the S&P 500 for the ninth year in a row in triumph for indexing)

On the other hand, mutual funds sometimes don’t fall as much as indexes and ETFs in bear markets and market downturns or have lower correlation to stock market movements.

To get an idea about how certain mutual funds have performed in the past, it is advisable to check their Morningstar ratings.

Some investors also put a lot of emphasis on the person who’s managing the fund, although it’s not guaranteed that ‘star’ managers will continue to outperform. However it can be a good sign if the fund’s manager has been the same person for a long time.

Most brokers have screeners for funds, our advice is to put in the time and effort to find the fund that is suitable for your investment goals.


To wrap it up, ideally you want to find a mutual fund that can

  • Overperform their benchmark or
  • Have (sometimes significantly) lower risk than the general stock or bond market, but returns are not that lower, or
  • Have low or inverse correlation with other investments you may have, therefore can be a good candidate for portfolio diversification.


On the negative side, the ongoing fees of a fund are a drag on the performance.

Compared to stocks, mutual funds offer less flexibility. Mutual funds are priced once a day, so you would not know the price at which you purchased the funds until the end of the business day. Also underperformance versus stock index benchmarks (and ETFs) is very common among mutual funds.

Note that there are so Closed-End Funds (CEFs). This article doesn’t cover them. They are traded on the stock exchanges, like stocks and can trade on a premium or discount compared to their Net Asset Value (NAV), depending on investors being optimistic or pessimistic on the fund’s prospects. They are not open to new money, only existing shares are traded.

Open-ended funds accept new money and honor redemption requests once on a daily basis and while there might be a bid-ask spread applied to Net Asset Value (NAV), generally any selling and buying will be based on the daily closing NAV. In this article we cover open-ended funds.

Best online brokers for funds for Europeans in 2020 - Fee comparison included
Bottom line

You saw the details, now let's zoom out. Here are the best online brokers for funds for Europeans:

Best online brokers for funds for Europeans for 2020
Swissquote LYNX Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global
Fund fee class Low Low Low Average High
Fund providers (#) 340 260 160 260 260
Inactivity fee No Yes No Yes No
Overall score 4.7 4.2 4.4 4.9 4.6
Open account Open account Open account Open account Open account

Swissquote is our winner, the best online broker for funds for Europeans. Access to many markets and products. No inactivity fee. Rock-solid background.
All are considered safe, and a great choice. Pick the winner, or any runner-up and take the next step in your investment journey. Let us know what you think in the comment section.
Still unsure? Use the broker finder and find the best online broker for you.

Author of this article

András Iván

Author of this article

Andras has over 4 years of experience analysing and trading equities and bonds. He believes that active trading and a more passive investing approach both have merits and everyone can find a strategy that fits their needs. He's eager to help identify the characteristics of specific brokers, so the best match can be found for each client.

András Iván

Broker Analyst

Andras has over 4 years of experience analysing and trading equities and bonds. He believes that active trading and a more passive investing approach both have merits and everyone can find a strategy that fits their needs. He's eager to help identify the characteristics of specific brokers, so the best match can be found for each client.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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