Best trading platform for Europeans in 2018

14 March, 2018
Top 2 trading platforms for Europeans
Saxo Bank DEGIRO
Best trading platform for Europeans in 2018

Choose the best trading platform, we did the research for you. We tested in-depth 16 quality online brokers available for Europeans. Evaluated fees, made online trading platform comparisons, checked product portfolios, tested account opening, investigated research and much more. Our top five picks for the best trading platform for Europeans in 2018 are:

 

  Saxo Bank Interactive B. Strateo DEGIRO tastyworks
Fee structure ★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★
Online trading platform (web) ★★★★ ★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★
Product portfolio ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★
Account opening ★★★ ★★★★ ★★ ★★★★ ★★★★
Research ★★★★★ ★★★ ★★★★★ ★★
Two-step login
Overall rating 4.8 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.0

 

Not sure which one to choose or if it is available in your country? For a personal broker recommendation, check out Brokerchooser's broker selection tool. Input your preferences and you get a personal recommendation fitting your needs. To check whether an EU broker or an international trading platform is available for you, go for the same selection tool. EU broker does not specifically mean it is only for Europeans.

Want to see more options for the best trading account? Comparing all reviewed brokers, visit the broker comparison section.

 

Visit comparison table


What makes the best trading platform?

A trading platform can easily make or break anyone’s success in online trading. It greatly influences both your comfort and your performance as a trader or investor, hence it is crucial to choose the broker with the platform that suits you the most. 

In this article, we have focused on online brokers, tested them on 60 criteria and now will uncover for you the 6 most important criteria you should keep an eye on. This is based on the best online trading platform review. Thus, you can easily find the best broker aligning with your trading style and preferences. The 6 most important criteria for the best international trading platform are:

1. Fee structure: The trading fee of a typical US equity trade can be 50 times higher at one trading platform compared to another. Worth to check the fees.
2. Trading platform:  A user-friendly and well-equipped trading platform can significantly increase your trading comfort.
3. Product portfolio: You want to invest in Amazon and Bitcoin? They might not be available. Check the product coverage before opening an account.
4. Account opening: Some trading brokers require at least $10,000 to invest, others don't set a minimal first-time deposit. Check out what the best investment platforms require.
5. Research:  A more extensive and better quality research can help you to select the best trades. See who provides what.
6. Secure login: We prefer two-step authentication for added security.

 

The broker’s investment protection scheme is an extra important consideration when choosing a trading platform. You can find on this at the end of the article. Let's start!

 

Marketscom banner


Keep in mind - INVESTOR PROTECTION

We recommend only quality brokers, so you can be sure none of the listed online brokers are scams. However, also brokerage companies and other financial companies can go down. Remember Lehman Brothers?

In these cases, it is important to know what happens with your securities and cash on your account. These are usually held in segregated accounts, so even in case of the bankruptcy of the broker, you are safe.

If everything goes very bad and for example, the broker steals your assets, then you have a last resort, the compensation fund of the country where the broker is regulated.

The compensation amounts differ from country to country, so worth checking this before opening an account.

  Saxo Bank Interactive B. Strateo DEGIRO tastyworks
Supervisory authority Danish FSA FCA FINMA DNB, AFM FINRA
Protection amount for European clients Cash up to €100,000 £50,000 CHF 100,000 €20,000 Cash up to $250,000
Securities up to €20,000 Securities up to $500,000

In the US, futures accounts are not covered by compensation.


Best trading platform - COMPARING BROKER FEES

Fees, fees, and fees. We bet this is on top of your mind when you want to select the best online trading platform. Let's kick off with fees than. 

You can compare the trading fees of the biggest markets, the annual financing rates and some non-trading costs below:

TRADING FEES FOR A $2,000 STOCK OR ETF TRADE

  Saxo Bank Interactive B. Strateo DEGIRO tastyworks
USA $15 $1 $15 $1 $3
UK $12 $9 $22 $5 not provided
Germany $14 $5 $17 $5 not provided

As the table shows, the Dutch discount broker DEGIRO is the cheapest. Plus, there are huge differences between trading fees, even if you want to execute a simple US stock purchase. To find out more about how the fares compare between the different trading brokers, check out our ultimate comparison table.

 

Visit comparison table

FINANCING FEE

When you trade on margin you need to pay an annual interest rate for your broker. This is the financing rate/fee. The lower, the better.

Annual financing rate Saxo Bank Interactive B. Strateo DEGIRO tastyworks
USD 9.5% 2.7% 2.5% 2.4% 8.0%
EUR 8.0% 1.5% 3.5% 1.3% not provided

NON-TRADING FEES

Non-trading fees can also lower your investment/trading performance. Inactivity fee is interesting for buy and hold investors, while withdrawal fee for those traders who are transferring out their profit every month.

  Saxo Bank Interactive B. Strateo DEGIRO tastyworks
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee $100 / 6 months, after 6 no-trade months $10 / month, if you do not generate any commission in that month CHF 25 / 6 months, if no trading in the previous 6 months or less than 5 trades in the previous year No No
Deposit fee No No No No No
Withdrawal fee No $10 (for USD)

For bank transfers:

2 CHF/EUR/GBP/USD to a Swiss bank account

15 CHF/EUR/GBP/USD to a foreign bank account

No

$25 for US citizens

$45 for non-US citizens

Now that we compared the fees, trust us, you need to look into a bit deeper than just fees when selecting a broker. Let's investigate the best brokers one by one. 


SAXO BANK

6

BACKGROUND:

Danish investment bank specializing in online trading and investments.

RECOMMENDED FOR:

Investors aiming for a great research and trading platform with a broad access to the international markets.
OVERALL SCORE: 4.8 / 5

Visit broker

best-trading-platform-blogpost-saxo-bank-web-trading-platform-screenshot

1. Fee structure ★★★★☆

Saxo Bank, as our Saxo Bank review shows has an okayish fee structure. Its trading fees are mid-range, a bit more competitive than its peers. Most of its non-trading fees are favorable, except the financing rate. Saxo Bank's trading fees float in between fee champions, like Interactive Brokers and DEGIRO, and the big incumbent players like BNP Paribas and Comdirect. However, its minimum trading fees are quite high. Saxo Bank has quite attractive non-trading fees. There is no account or withdrawal fee and Saxo only applies an inactivity fee if you don’t make any trades for six months. The financing rate is very high in the current low-interest rate environment, being 8% + the relevant benchmark rate. 

2. Web trading platform – ★★★★☆

Saxo Bank's trading platform, the SaxoTraderGO is a great platform. It is easy to navigate and provides all features.

3. Product portfolio – ★★☆☆☆ 

Saxo Bank will give you wide access to international markets in almost all asset classes: equities, ETFs, forex, bonds, options, futures, CFDs, cryptos.

4. Account opening ★★★☆☆ 

Account opening is available for almost all residents and is fully digital. However, a $2,000 minimum funding is required. Almost any private client can open an account with Saxo Bank, although there a few exceptions. You can’t open a trading account if you are resident in the following countries: US, Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Syria or North Korean. Some Canadian residents (Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador) are also prohibited from opening accounts due to local regulations.

5. Research★★★★★

One of the best platforms when it comes to research with their dedicated trading site, tradingfloor.com. They offer equity research, news and opinions from their strategists, a calendar for macro events, and you can search for trade signals. They also have a robo-advisory service, SaxoSelect, offering balanced, equity and trading strategies in portfolios managed by professionals. On the other hand, most of the research is trade focused as opposed to investment (i.e. more technical analysis than portfolio allocation).

Compare to best alternative broker


INTERACTIVE BROKERS

5

BACKGROUND:

One of the biggest US-based discount brokers

RECOMMENDED FOR:

Recommended if you want low fees and can deal with a complicated trading platform. Not ideal for beginners.
OVERALL SCORE: 4.5 / 5

Visit broker

best-trading-platform-blogpost-interactive-brokers-web-trading-platform-screenshot

1. Fee structure ★★★★★

Interactive Brokers, as our Interactive Brokers review shows, has outstandingly competitive commissions and fees - even among the discount service providers

2. Web trading platform – ★★☆☆☆

Interactive Brokers' web trading platform, the IB Webtrader is good for execution with a very advanced order management panel. Some of the standard functions like technical analysis are missing or underdeveloped. It is obvious that this is not the core product of IB, they are optimizing their efforts for the desktop version, which is great

3. Product portfolio – ★★★★★ 

All asset classes are available: equities, ETFs, forex, funds, options, futures, bonds, CFDs and cryptos.

4. Account opening ★★★★☆ 

The trading account opening process is overly complicated and slow. Interactive Brokers is present on all continents hence other than legal restrictions - like a complete ban on CFD trading in the US - we did not encounter any limitations.

Interactive Brokers changed its minimum deposit requirements from $10,000 to $0 for individual clients. In some cases, the required minimum amount has remained. $2,000 is needed as a minimum deposit if you open a margin account. Margin account means that you trade with borrowed money, also known as leverage.

5. Research★★★☆☆

Interactive Brokers research has endless possibilities, but it requires a trader having the experience and time to exploit it.

Interactive Brokers provides:

  • Free third-party research and news
  • Premium third-party research and news with subscription
  • Free Daily IB (own) video commentaries
  • Free own technical analysis tools
  • Free fundamental data

Compare to best alternative broker


STRATEO

23

BACKGROUND:

Strateo is a Swiss-based online broker founded in 2009 as a subsidiary of Keytrade Bank in Belgium. In 2016 Strateo joined the group Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, France.

RECOMMENDED FOR:

Great online Broker for beginners and buy and hold investors.
OVERALL SCORE: 4.4 / 5

Visit broker

best-trading-platform-blogpost-strateo-web-trading-platform-screenshot

1. Fee structure ★★★☆☆

Strateo, as our Strateo review shows, has an average pricing policy. Not competitive, but also not the most expensive, very similar to Saxo Bank's pricing. Within the trading fees, the stock, ETF and mutual fund pricing is the middle of the market, while bond trading and leveraged products like options, futures, and CFDs have quite high trading fees. Non-trading fees are not the most competitive, but satisfactory for a buy and hold investor. Financing rates are quite competitive.

2. Web trading platform – ★★★★☆

The Strateo web platform offers a clean and easy-to-use interface. It can be easily navigated, and customers will have no problem understanding the basic functions. 

3. Product portfolio – ★★★★★ 

Strateo has an excellent product portfolio offering, you can find almost all of the asset classes you would like to trade with: equities, ETFs, forex, funds, options, futures, bonds, cryptos.

4. Account opening ★★☆☆☆ 

Fully digital account opening is possible, but only from some 20 countries. We could not find out exactly which countries can apply for this, but most likely Western European countries. For others, the trading account opening was not fully digital, and rather slow. This should be a faster, less painstaking process. However, we note that Strateo customer service was very helpful.  

Customers from 100 countries may open trading accounts, the exact country list of who can open an account is not public. Brokerchooser believes most of the European countries are covered. You may want to check out Brokerchooser's guide to opening an international broker account. 

Initial deposit of $/€/CHF 1000 (or equivalent base currency) is required for a standard account, Strateo Pro trading platform can be unlocked at CHF 10,000 (or equivalent) minimum 

5. Research★★★★★

Strateo's research is provided by Excess Return research company, a third-party provider.

Brokerchooser tested the Strateo Standard account, therefore we had access to the standard research center, on Strateo’s client website. Strateo states that the research you get with the standard account is a summary/conclusion, for an extensive research, you need to unlock Strateo Pro (CHF 10,000 or more of funding). Brokerchooser felt that research on Strateo is extensive and well organized, with relevant analysis and tips for investing opportunities.

Compare to best alternative broker


DEGIRO

15

BACKGROUND:

Rapidly growing Dutch discount broker.

RECOMMENDED FOR:

Price-sensitive buy and hold investors and traders looking for only execution.
OVERALL SCORE: 4.3 / 5

Visit broker

best-trading-platform-blogpost-DEGIRO-web-trading-platform-screenshot

1. Fee structure ★★★★★

DEGIRO, as our DEGIRO review shows, has one of the lowest fee structures in the market. In most of the asset classes is more competitive than Interactive Brokers. It also provides one free ETF trading in a month, a great offer for buy and hold investors. DEGIRO offers highly competitive trading fees. In terms of non-trading fees, DEGIRO is very competitive. No inactivity, withdrawal fees, plus very competitive financing rates. On the flip side, there is an unusual fee category, "setting up trade possibilities". This is an annual €2.5 for each stock you want to trade on. Also, pay attention to the manual currency conversion, it is costly.

2. Web trading platform – ★★★★☆

DEGIRO’s web platform is simple and easy to use. Even beginners will find it easy to conduct simple transactions like share dealing. On the flip side, price alert function is missing and customization is limited,

3. Product portfolio – ★★★★★

DEGIRO offers a wide access to international markets in all asset classes except forex. Available asset classes: equities, ETFs, funds, bonds, options, futures, CFDs, cryptos.

4. Account opening ★★★★☆ 

DEGIRO has a very easy and fast account opening process. As a plus, you don't need a minimum deposit. On the flip side, you can only change your base currency in a tricky way.

5. Research★☆☆☆☆

DEGIRO does not provide any research, although this is absolutely normal for a discount broker. Within the web and mobile platform you have a basic news panel with short, but informative market news. Technical analysis lovers have some interactive charting tools but don’t expect anything too special.

Compare to best alternative broker


TASTYWORKS

18

BACKGROUND:

Tastyworks is a US discount options broker. It is quite young, established in 2017.

RECOMMENDED FOR:

Price-sensitive option traders focusing on the US.

OVERALL SCORE:

4.0 / 5

Visit broker

best-trading-platform-blogpost-tastyworks-web-trading-platform-screenshot

1. Fee structure ★★★★★

Tastyworks, as our Tastyworks review shows, has a competitive fee structure. Additionally, it is easy to understand. It prices $1 per contract for option trades and a fixed $5 for a stock trade. In contrast to other brokers, tastyworks only charges for opening a position, closing is free of charge. This is easy to understand, but where did tastyworks land compared to its competitors? To the forefront, having lower prices than most of the established brokers. At stock trading it is among the best trading sites, but a bit behind Interactive Brokers and DEGIRO. At options it has the same price as DEGIRO being better priced than IB. 

Tastyworks’ non-trading fees are well summarized and easy to comprehend. A big plus, and quite unique that it does not charge an account fee or inactivity fee.

2. Web trading platform – ★★★★☆

The web trading platform is well structured, but it is also complex. It is equipped with a very strong option trading panel and in our tastyworks review we found with a little bit of practice an advanced trader could easily find everything.

3. Product portfolio – ★★☆☆☆ 

Tastyworks has a somewhat limited product portfolio, you can access the US market via option, futures and stock trading.

4. Account opening ★★★★☆ 

The account opening process is really fast. Tastyworks offers a 1 to 3 days approval time, but our account has been approved within the same day of registration. At the time of tastyworks trading platform review, the broker listed Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK, and Uruguay being eligible to open an account. 

For the standard account, there is no minimum account balance, but a $2,000 balance is needed for the margin account to retain full margin privileges.

5. Research★★☆☆☆

Tastyworks redefines research and trading. It does not provide traditional analyst reports, fundamental data database, or technical analysis tools. However, it provides tastytrade, a lively financial video streaming channel. We liked tastytrade very much, but as almost all other research tools are missing, the research section is quite limited and focuses almost only on option trading.

Compare to best alternative broker


Bottom-line

We hope, you managed to pick your favourite from the recommended best trading platforms. If you are still uncertain which the best trading platform for Europeans in 2018 is, this little summary might provide further clarity.

 

Beginners can feel comfortable with Saxo Bank, while more advanced traders would appreciate its great tools, charts and a wide range of research. Its fee structure is middle range, not the most competitive.

 

Visit broker

best-trading-platform-blogpost-saxo-bank-logo

Interactive Brokers is designed for advanced traders and investors. We like it since it has tons of functions, a competitive fee structure, and great markets coverage, but stay away if you are a beginner.

 

Visit broker

best-trading-platform-blogpost-interactive-brokers-logo

Swiss Strateo is a good choice for those starting their investment journey and aiming for more research support. Frugal buy and hold investors might feel they are paying too much for a transaction here.

 

Visit broker

best-trading-platform-blogpost-strateo-logo

Price sensitive buy and hold investors and traders should consider DEGIRO with its highly competitive fees and wide market access. Even beginners can handle its trading platform, however, research and education are not provided.

 

Visit broker

best-trading-platform-blogpost-DEGIRO-logo

Want to trade only options, futures, and stocks on the US market? tastyworks is your broker. Fees are great and the its innovative research and education support is amazing. Unfortunately only the US market is accessible.

 

Visit broker

best-trading-platform-blogpost-tastyworks-logo

 

Still not sure? Get a personal recommendation.

 

 

AUTHOR

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager
Follow Brokerchooser on Twitter

Share

Comments