DEGIRO Review 2017


  • Competitive fees for US and European equities and options
  • Broad access to international markets
  • Easy to use web platform
  • High fees for mutual funds
  • No forex trading
  • Your securities can be loaned to third parties

DEGIRO review summary

We recommend DEGIRO for price sensitive equity and option traders focusing on Europe and the US.

DEGIRO is a Dutch discount broker that was established in 2012 and is on the up. Its trading platform is simple and easy-to-use and it offers a wide range of products.

DEGIRO has very competitive trading fees for US and European equities and options and the web trading platform is easy to use, even for beginners.

Besides competitive fees, it provides a special discount for domestic trades (for example in the UK you get 0.004% + 1.75 GBP instead of the general 0.04% + 4 EUR). Another plus is that you get one free ETF trade a month from a list of 700 ETFs. DEGIRO provides access to almost all of the world’s biggest financial markets. Its products range from stocks to the more sophisticated options and futures. The company’s customer service is helpful and speaks the language spoken in your country. The account opening process is fast and straightforward and you don’t need to have a minimum balance.

On the other hand, DEGIRO does not provide any research as it is an execution-only broker. Its product range doesn’t include Forex and its mutual fund fees are high compared to other brokers.

All accounts up to EUR 20k are secured by the Dutch investor protection scheme.

Scroll down for the full DEGIRO review.

Pros
  • Simple digital identification
  • Fast and seamless account opening process
  • Degiro minimum deposit: no minimum
Cons
Pros
  • Easy to use web platform
  • Broad access to international products on a single platform
  • Good product search tool
Cons
  • Your securities can be loaned to third parties in standard account profiles
  • Non-customizable web platform
  • No forex trading
  • No desktop platform
  • No tax efficient accounts
Pros
  • Helpful, easy to reach call center
  • Call center speaks the language used in your country
Cons
Pros
  • Very competitive trading fees for US and European equities and options
  • One free ETF trade per month
  • Competitive financing fees
  • No inactivity fee
  • No money withdrawal fee
Cons
  • High mutual fund fees
  • Yearly fee for mutual funds
  • 2.50 EUR yearly fee (“Setting up trade possibilities”) for stock exchanges you are trading on
Pros
Cons
  • No research provided
  • Major stock markets (USA, Germany, UK)
  • Funds
  • ETF
  • Bonds
  • Options
  • Futures
  • Certificates, CFD

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Complete DEGIRO review

Gergely Korpos, 22 March 2017

 

DEGIRO is a Dutch discount broker that was established in 2012 by a group of former employees at one of the largest online brokers in the Netherlands. DEGIRO is an uptrending brokerage firm and is popular for its very competitive trading fees.

In our review of DEGIRO we tested a Trader account (Profile).

The review contains the following sections:

DEGIRO Review Scores
Overall 3.9
Account protection you get ★★★☆☆
Account opening process ★★★★☆
Money transfer and withdrawal ★★☆☆☆
DEGIRO's product portfolio ★★★★★
Fee structure ★★★★★
Trading platforms offered  
   Web ★★★★☆
   Mobile ★★★★☆
   Desktop Not provided
Research ★☆☆☆☆
Customer service ★★★★★

DEGIRO Review - Is DEGIRO Safe? - Investor protection scheme and regulation

★★★☆☆

We believe that security is the most important broker selection criteria, so let’s kick off with this.

DEGIRO is regulated by the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) and The Netherlands Financial Markets Authority (AFM).  Regulators of other countries -  where DEGIRO offers its services - are also notified by DEGIRO and aware of its operation.  For example, in the UK, DEGIRO is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

We’ve had a lot of questions about how good DEGIRO’s security is. It’s worth remembering that it’s a discount broker, it does not have banking background, and is not listed in a stock exchange. It has received some negative customer feedback in the last three years. However, the company is in active contact with the Dutch regulator which has always found DEGIRO compliant. Plus, all accounts up to EUR 20k are secured by the Dutch investor protection scheme.

 

DEGIRO Review - Opening an account

★★★★☆

Who can open an account with DEGIRO?

DEGIRO officially supports accounts opened in the following 18 countries:

  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

DEGIRO review: countries supported by DEGIRO

Facts that it’s good to know about accounts

It worth knowing that there is no minimum account balance. This is a big advantage of DEGIRO if you want to invest smaller amounts of money.

Within the DEGIRO trading platform you can choose between different account profiles, which basically means different account setups, with the two categories being the Custody and the Standard profile.

The Custody profile is a more secure account, but has some limitations:

  • your securities are segregated
  • your securities cannot be loaned to third parties
  • you cannot trade with derivative products

“What’s this?” I hear you ask yourself. “With standard profiles DEGIRO can loan my securities to third parties?” Yes, that’s right. In all likelihood this won’t be a problem, but if you want to sell stock and have to wait for your securities, it could generate some stress.

In its help centre DEGIRO says the fee structure of the Custody profile is higher, but in reality we found that only dividend and coupon processing fees are higher. The trading fees are the same for both profiles.

DEGIRO review: account categoriesin Degiro

Within the Standard profile you can choose between four sub-profiles: Basic, Active, Trader and Day-Trader. The difference between these is to do with the availability of riskier services, like margin trading, short selling and trading with derivatives. Some of the profiles may not be available in some countries. You can read more about DEGIRO profiles here.

It is worth knowing that at the time of our review DEGIRO does not provide tax-free account options like ISA or others that apply in other European countries. One exception is Sweden where ISK is provided for Swedish customers.

The base currency of your account is always the currency of your home country. This means that you will get a GBP account if you register at www.degiro.co.uk as a UK citizen. This applies for the trading platform language as well: your platform will be in German if you register at www.degiro.de.

However, there is a trick if you want to have an investment account with a different currency. All you have to do is register on the DEGIRO website of the country whose currency you want to use: if you are a German citizen, but want to have a GBP account, you can register at www.degiro.co.uk, which allows you to fund your account via your German EUR or GBP denominated bank account. There are some exceptions here: for example you cannot open a Danish account as a German citizen, so make sure to always call customer service before opening a “foreign” DEGIRO account.

Account opening process

The account opening process is seamless and fast and your account will be functioning within 2-3 days. The account opening process is all online and identification is digital.

DEGIRO review: the start of the account opening process at Degiro

DEGIRO promises a 10-minute registration process. This holds true for the initial registration, where you have to provide your personal details.

For the initial registration you need:

  • a copy of your passport or ID card
  • the bank account number from which you will fund the investment account

DEGIRO review: during account opening

After the initial registration you will have three additional tasks before your account is activated and you can trade:

  1. You need to complete an appropriateness test. By completing this you will be aware of the financial risks of trading.
  2. You need to agree to the conditions for real-time prices.
  3. You need to transfer money to your investment account.

 

DEGIRO Withdrawal Fee and Money transfer

★★☆☆☆

Money transfer

The money transfer options differ from country to country, but the manual transfer works everywhere. DEGIRO has national bank accounts in all of the 18 supported countries so you won’t need to make international money transfers.

To give an example, for UK citizens two money transfer options are available:

  1. Degiro SOFORT - instant deposit.
  2. Manual transfer – this is usually available in your account after two working days. Most UK banks limit each transfer to GBP 10,000.

DEGIRO review: a screenshot of money transfer at Degiro

Money withdrawal

You can start withdrawing money by using the web trader platform. DEGIRO ensures that the withdrawn amount is transferred back to your bank account within three working days. We verified this and received the amount within one working day.

It is good to know that you can only transfer money to your nominated bank account.

DEGIRO Broker Review - Product portfolio

★★★★★

Via DEGIRO you will have wide access to international markets in different asset classes.

DEGIRO really shines in equities and ETFs, futures, options and corporate bonds.

Forex is the only asset class that is really missing from the product portfolio.

The available asset classes to trade:

  • Equities
  • Funds
  • ETFs
  • Bonds
  • Options
  • Futures
  • CFDs
  • Certificates
  • Warrants

Below you can find the available international markets to trade in.

Equities
Europe North America Asia and Oceania
London Stock Exchange NASDAQ Hong Kong Stock Exchange
Xetra New York Stock Exchange Tokyo Stock Exchange
Börse Frankfurt NYSE MKT (AMEX) Singapore Exchange
Euronext Paris NYSE Arca Australian Securities Exchange
Euronext Brussels Currenex  
Euronext Amsterdam Toronto Stock Exchange  
Vienna Stock Exchange Toronto Ventures Exchange  
SIX Swiss Exchange    
OMX Copenhagen    
Bolsa de Madrid    
OMX Helsinki    
Athens Stock Exchange    
Budapest Stock Exchange    
Irish Stock Exchange    
Borsa Italiana S.p.A.    
Oslo Stock Exchange    
Warsaw Stock Exchange    
Euronext Lisbon    
OMX Stockholm    
Prague Stock Exchange    
Istanbul Stock Exchange    
Futures Bonds Options CFDs
Euronext Derivatives Amsterdam Euronext Amsterdam Euronext Derivatives Amsterdam Euronext Derivatives Paris
Euronext Derivatives Brussels Euronext Brussels Euronext Derivatives Brussels London Stock Exchange
Euronext Derivatives Paris Euronext Paris Euronext Derivatives Paris  
Eurex Euronext Lisbon NASDAQ OMX Nordic - Stockholm  
MEFF XETRA NASDAQ OMX Nordic - Copenhagen  
NASDAQ OMX Nordic - Copenhagen OTC via DEGIRO Order Desk NASDAQ OMX Nordic - Helsinki  
NASDAQ OMX Nordic - Oslo   NASDAQ OMX Nordic - Oslo  
NASDAQ OMX Nordic - Stockholm   MEFF  
NASDAQ OMX Nordic - Helsinki   Eurex  
Borsa Italiana S.p.A.   Borsa Italiana S.p.A.  
CME   CME  

 

DEGIRO Review - Structure of Degiro fees

★★★★★

Trading fees

DEGIRO is one of the cheapest choices for European equity, US equity and options trading.

If you are interested in Asian equities and mutual funds, DEGIRO fees may seem higher, but still competitive in the European landscape.

DEGIRO review: trading fees imposed by Degiro

DEGIRO provides a discount for your domestic equity market. For example if you open an account from the UK, you can trade on the UK market for 0.004%+ GBP 1.75 instead of 0.04% + EUR 4.

As well as a discount you have one free ETF trade every month, which allows you to choose from a list of 700 ETFs. The size of this trade doesn’t matter as long as it does not generate a short position. If you increase the position in the same ETF in the same month you made the trade it will be still free as long as:

  • you trade the same direction, long or short, as before
  • the trade is more than EUR 1,000

Below you can find DEGIRO's trading fees.

Stocks, ETFs, CFDs, leveraged products and warrants Trading fee Maximum trading fee
United Kingdom EUR 4 + 0.04% EUR 60
USA EUR 0.5 + USD 0.004/share -
Germany – XETRA EUR 4 + 0.04% EUR 60
Germany – Zertifikate-Börse Frankfurt EUR 2 + 0.1% .
Germany – Frankfurt (Stocks)  EUR 7.5 + 0.08%   
Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands EUR 4 + 0.04% EUR 60
Norway, Austria, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland EUR 4 + 0.04% EUR 60
Canada EUR 2 + CAD 0.01 per share  -
Australia, Hong Kong , Japan, Singapore EUR 10 + 0.05% -
Poland EUR 5 + 0.15% -
Hungary, Greece, Czech Republic, Turkey EUR 10 + 0.15% -
     
ETFs Worldwide EUR 2 + 0.02%  -

You can choose between manual and automated currency conversion, which come with different commissions.

Currency conversion Transaction fee
Manual conversion EUR 10 + 0.02%
Automated conversion 0.1%

During our DEGIRO review we tested the manual conversion but I did not get any confirmation message after submitting the conversion order, so I tried it twice more. We realized that the conversion was actually executed three times, generating extra commission of EUR 20. So be careful with manual conversion and don’t wait for the confirmation message!

The weakest point of DEGIRO’s trading fee structure is the mutual fund fee, where DEGIRO is quite expensive compared to the big European players. And if this isn’t enough you also have to pay an annual asset management fee, which is unusual.

Mutual funds Trading fee Annual fee
Euronext Fund Services EUR 7.5 + 0.1% 0.2%
Non Exchange Listed Investment Funds (Non-STP) EUR 75 + 0.1% 0.2%
FundShare Cash Funds Free Free
Bonds Trading fee
Germany – Xetra / Frankfurt  EUR 5 + 0.04%
The Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, France EUR 2 + 0.05% 
OTC Bonds (i.e. Norwegian) EUR 75 + 0.02%
Options Trading fee
USA - CME, CBOT, CBOE, NYMEX, COMEX USD 0.5 / contract (excluding exchange fee)
Germany EUR 0.75 / contract
Spain EUR 1.5 / contract
The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Portugal EUR 2 / contract
Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark  EUR 0.5 / contract
Other Countries EUR 2 / contract
Option exercise / assignment EUR 1 / contract
Futures Trading fee
NYSE Liffe - Amsterdam, Brussel, Lisbon, London, Paris EUR 2.5 / contract
EUREX main indices - EURO STOXX 50, DAX, DAX Mini  EUR 0.75 / contract
EUREX other stock indices EUR 2.5 / contract
EUREX bonds EUR 2.5 / contract
USA - CME, CBOT, NYMEX, COMEX USD 0.5 / contract
MEFF EUR 1.5 / contract
Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark EUR 0.5 / contract

You can compare DEGIRO's trading fees with other broker's fees in our comparison table.

Other fees

In terms of other fees, DEGIRO is very competitive, although there are some unusual fee categories.

To be more specific, the financing fees, and the fact that there are no inactivity and money withdrawal fees make it competitive.

Financing fee Fee
EUR EONIA (minimum of 0) + 1.25% 
USD USD LIBOR (minimum of 0) + 1.25% 
GBP LIBOR (minimum of 0) + 1.25% 
SEK STIBOR (minimum of 0) + 1.55%
DKK DKK Tomorrow/Next (minimum of 0) + 1.75%
NOK NOWA (minimum of 0) + 1.50%
PLN WIBOR (minimum of 0) + 3.50% 
HUF BUBOR (minumum of 0) + 2.50% 
CZK PRIBOR (minimum of 0) + 3.00%

At the other hand you have to pay an annual EUR 2.5 fee for each stock exchange on which you executed a trade. This fee is called “setting up trade possibilities”, don’t ask us why.

Other account fees Fee
Account fee Free
Inactivity fee Free
Manual money transfer, in/ou Free
Degiro SOFORT immediate payment EUR 2
Transfer portfolio to DEGIRO EUR 10 / position
Transfer portfolio to DEGIRO EUR 10 / position + external costs
Short stocks from 1%
Email and phone orders (max volume EUR 100.000) Surcharge of EUR 10 + 0.1%
Exchange margin (futures, options) Benchmark + 1.25%

You can find the full list of DEGIRO fees on their website. Here’s a link to the UK fee structure.

DEGIRO Review - Trading platform

Web platform

★★★★☆

DEGIRO’s web platform is simple and easy to use. Even a beginners will find it easy to conduct simple transactions like share dealing.

You can choose between a one-step or two-step login. We recommend the latter as it is more secure.

On the front page you have

  • an overview of your portfolio
  • announcements, open and last transactions
  • information about the financial markets, price data, chart
  • a basic news panel with brief news

This platform has very limited customization features. You can hide the portfolio and transaction panels, but the market information panel cannot be personalized.

DEGIRO review: a screenshot of Degiro's web trading platform

The menu structure is logical and you’ll find everything quickly and easily. The search console provides the result in different asset class categories: for example if you search for Apple, the result will show Apple stocks, CFDs and warrants as well.

Degiro's search tool in their web trading platform - A Degiro review by Brokerchooser

The interactive chart is easy to use and comes with several technical indicators, but unfortunately the charts cannot be saved.

DEGIRO review: screenshot of an interactive chart in Degiro's web platform

You can place your order online, by phone or by email. If you do it by phone you’ll find that it’s more expensive.

Order types

You can select from several order types and three order terms, although not all of them are available for every tradable instrument. You can check the availability of the order type and term of the specific instrument in the order panel.

DEGIRO review: order entry on Degiro's web trading platform

Order types:

  • Limit order
  • Market order
  • Stop loss order
  • Stop limit order
  • Limit hit order
  • Join order

You might not be familiar with the limit hit and join orders, since these are specific to DEGIRO.

The limit hit order

This is a special limit order, which means your order is only sent out to the stock exchange (or other place of execution) “it is clear that the required price can be obtained” (Orders and order execution policy).

The join order at Degiro

Join order is basically an order for internal execution only. This means your order will be executed only if DEGIRO finds another DEGIRO client on the opposite side of the trade. For join orders you will receive a 5% commission discount for equities and EUR 0.05 for options. You have to turn this order type on within the trading platform.

Order terms:

  • Day order
  • Good-till-date order
  • Good-till-cancel

Order execution

A lot of questions and negative comments have arisen in the past regarding DEGIRO’s execution policy, with particular problems surrounding internal matching.

DEGIRO says “The primary rule of DEGIRO's Order Execution Policy is that Orders are always executed at a price that is equal to or better than the current prices on the reference exchange(s) used by DEGIRO.” This means you can always get the exchange price or a better internal or non-exchange price. This sounds good, but it decreases the transparency of the execution. In 2015 the Amsterdamtrader blog did an execution test and DEGIRO’s execution policy turned out to be questionable and not at all transparent. The good news here is that DEGIRO is very flexible and you can opt out from the internal matching mechanism at any time.

We haven’t had any negative experiences with DEGIRO’s execution.

After execution you can receive email alerts but text message alerts are not available.

Currency conversion

As already described, within one platform you can have only one base currency, so if you are planning to trade on foreign markets you will probably need to convert currency on a regular basis. DEGIRO provides both automated (AutoFX) and manual conversion.

AutoFX automatically converts the exact amount you need for the trade, while with the manual option, big surprise, you have to do it manually. Be advised that the manual conversion has a pretty high fixed EUR 10 conversion fee, plus the 0.02% variable cost. The AutoFX cost is only 0.1% and no fixed fee is applied here.

Mobile platform

★★★★☆

DEGIRO recently upgraded its mobile platform.

The new platform has a basic but good design and it’s pretty straightforward to use.

Screenshot of Degiro's Mobile Trading Platform

The upgraded platform has better security as is now uses a five digit extra password. It has all the most important functionalities:

  • Market overview
  • News
  • Charts
  • Portfolio information
  • Transaction and account history
  • Security order
  • Money transfer order

Screenshot of a chart in Degiro's mobile trading platform

The weakest link is the product search console, which doesn’t allow you to search by asset class category and the asset class of a specific instrument cannot be identified. This part needs to be further developed.

Desktop platform

DEGIRO does not provide a desktop platform.

 

DEGIRO Review - 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.

 

DEGIRO Review - Customer service

★★★★★

DEGIRO customer service is helpful, reliable and most of the time they answer your questions well. We asked tons of difficult questions and almost always received very relevant answer.

A big advantage is that you can contact the customer service in the language of your country (if you come from one of the 18 countries that are supported).

If you’re set on meeting the DEGIRO team or talking to customer service in person, you’ll have to travel to Amsterdam or Sofia as that is where there offices are.

 

DEGIRO Review - Special offers

DEGIRO doesn’t have any special offers at the moment.

 

DEGIRO Review - Bottom line

We hope this DEGIRO broker review has been useful for you.

DEGIRO’s rise is not a fluke. It is a good choice if you want a simple platform for execution but don’t want to spend a fortune on fees. DEGIRO is far cheaper than its big European competitors and only Interactive Brokers can compete with in terms of fees. At the same time DEGIRO has outstanding access to international markets, which is also very convincing.

As is usually the case, cheapness comes with some shortfalls. With DEGIRO, unfortunately the shortfalls are in transparency and the perception of security. Due to these negative factors, DEGIRO has had a somewhat mixed reputation, although it is working hard on regaining its clients’ trust by improving its services.


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