Whether you’re a beginner or experienced investor, you’ll want a stock broker that offers low fees, a large number of stocks and ETFs, excellent customer service, and easy-to-use mobile and web platforms.
However, with so much choice, it can be an investment in itself to find the best fit for your needs.
Having invested in the stock market for more than a decade, I compiled this list of European brokers based on my experience. After years of research and testing out these options for myself and talking with other investors who have tried them too, my ultimate 6 are based on price, products, ease in use, regulatory oversight, investor protection – and accessibility across Europe.
Best stock brokers in Europe
Here are the top stock brokers in Europe, based on years of research:
- DEGIRO – Best for overall and for beginners
- Interactive Brokers – Best for trust and low trading fees
- eToro – Best for zero commission stocks
- XTB – Best for combining stocks and trading
- Firstrade – Best for investor protection and US stocks
- Bitpanda – Best for stocks and crypto
Some online stock brokers in Europe are best for beginners and have very low fees, while others appeal to experienced investors with large portfolios. Whether you’re looking for low fees, specific investment products, or value safety above all else, this ranking has you covered.
Best for overall and low fees
Trade across 135 markets with zero monthly fees, no hidden fees, or secret spreads. Trusted & regulated since 1974.
Best for beginners & free ETFs
Buy selected ETFs with zero commissions. Winner of 80+ broker rewards. Used by 1+ million investors.
Best for $0 commission
Trade 0% commission real stocks. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
Quick comparison of the best stock and ETF brokers in Europe
|Best for||Beginners & free ETFs||Trust & low fees||Commission-free trading||Trading||Investor protection||Stocks & crypto|
|Inactivity fee||€0||€0||$10 after 12 mo.||€10 after 12 mo.||$0||€0|
- Looking for more advanced options? Here are the best trading platforms in Europe
- Keep tabs on the go with the best mobile trading and investment apps
- Want to speculate on Bitcoin? These are the best cryptocurrency exchanges for Europeans
Detailed breakdown of the best brokers for Europeans
1. DEGIRO: Best overall and best for beginners
#1 Best stock broker in Europe
With more than 1,000,000 European investors and 80 international rewards, including “Top Rated Overall Investment Platform” by the Financial Times, Amsterdam-based DEGIRO tops my ranking as the best online stock broker in Europe.
- Ultra-low trading fees and zero-to-low non-trading fees
- Zero-commission monthly ETFs trades
- Access to thousands of stocks across 50 markets and 30 exchanges
- An easy-to-use web platform suitable for those new to investing
- Regulated in two tier-one countries
Things to keep in mind
- Limited geographical availability
- No support for debit/credit cards and e-money services
- The education section is very fundamental
- No. of free trades could be increased
Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.
Fee-wise, it’s no surprise DEGIRO has become so popular among European investors as it offers ultra-low trading fees, zero non-trading fees, and monthly commission-free ETF trades.
DEGIRO is owned by Flatex Bank, a large German bank, and is regulated by the tier-one financial authorities, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), and the Dutch Central Bank (DNB). DEGIRO is also registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. Moreover, clients are protected under the EU directive on investor compensation schemes, and assets are kept with a segregated custodian separated from the assets of the broker.
DEGIRO main features
|Products||Stocks, ETFs, bonds, options, futures|
|Supported countries||See list|
|Regulation||AFM (Netherlands), FCA (UK)|
|Time to open an account||48 hours|
|Base currencies||CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HUF, NOK, PLN, SEK|
DEGIRO is a solid choice if you want to save on costs, as it has no minimum deposit, no minimum trading requirement, and no inactivity fees. Not only that, DEGIRO charges no fees for account opening or closing, deposits, withdrawals, annual maintenance, custodial services, or maintaining your account.
- Commission-free ETFs: DEGIRO is popular for its commission-free ETFs. Each month, clients can buy or sell a number of popular ETFs commission-free, regardless of the order size. See the list of included ETFs and the terms here.
- Discount trading costs: With the ‘Basic’ account, most international ETFs only cost around a €2 plus 0.03% of the total order value. For stocks, you pay £1.75 plus 0.022% on each trade on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), with a maximum of £5.00. On German Xetra you pay €4.00 plus 0.05%, with a maximum of €60. Trading stocks on other European exchanges only cost around €4.00 plus 0.05%.
- Low non-trading fees: Trading in a currency different from your own incurs a 0.10% fee of the traded amount. For each stock exchange you trade on, DEGIRO charges a connectivity fee of €2.5 per year, except for the LSE which is free.
Investors looking for an all-around easy-to-use, low-cost broker will find DEGIRO an excellent fit. While noticeable drawbacks include slow customer support and a lack of in-depth educational resources, all-in-all DEGIRO delivers a great package for everyday investors, including tier-one regulatory licenses, beginner-friendly trading platforms, extremely low fees, and commission-free ETF trades. I think this robust combination makes DEGIRO a winner for buy-and-hold investors.
2. Interactive Brokers: Best for trust
#2 Best stock broker in Europe
European investors looking for a highly trusted broker that has stood the test of time will find Interactive Brokers the best possible fit. Interactive Brokers was founded in 1978 and is one of the largest online brokerages in the world, with regulatory licenses in 11 tier-one jurisdictions, a superb capital position of $9 billion, the strongest security track record, and the lowest possible trading fees across all major asset classes.
Interactive Brokers offers the lowest commissions and the largest list of stocks, ETFs, bonds, funds, options, futures, forex pairs, metals, and cryptocurrencies from 140 international exchanges in over 33 countries, all accessible from a single investor account. European users can enjoy this experience to the fullest thanks to Interactive Brokers’ local presence in the European continent and number of supported countries.
- Ultra-low trading fees across all asset classes
- Highly trusted with 40+ years of history
- Largest number of stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds, and funds
- Great for active trading
- The cheapest margin rates
- Supports more currencies than any other competitor
- Regulated by 11 financial authorities
Things to keep in mind
- IB’s trading platforms are feature-rich but can be overwhelming for beginners
- Little hand-holding for beginners
Read more: My review of Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers main features
|Products||Stocks, ETFs, FOREX, bonds, funds, options, futures, commodities, cryptocurrencies, robo-trading|
|Supported countries||Most of Europe|
|Regulation||SEC, FINRA, NYSE (USA); FCA (UK), CSSF (LUX), CBI (IE), MNB (HU)|
|Time to open an account||72 hours|
|Base currencies||22, incl. EUR, GBP, USD|
Interactive Brokers offers some of the lowest trading fees and commissions available on the market (see examples below). The broker operates with two pricing models for international clients: fixed and tiered pricing. For both pricing structures, there are €0 monthly inactivity or custodian fees and no account minimums. Unfortunately, Interactive Brokers does not offer its commission-free ‘Lite’ account to European customers.
- Fixed pricing plan: Interactive brokers has a simple pricing plan for occasional investors. When buying a Euro-denominated ETF or stock on a European exchange, you pay around 0.10% commission of the trade value, with a minimum of €4 and a maximum of €29. This plan includes all commissions, currency exchange fees, and regulatory fees, making it easy to figure out.
- Tiered Pricing: Interactive Brokers also offers a leveled pricing plan with decreasing commissions for larger volumes. This plan requires more calculations but will generally be cheaper when executing larger orders. You only pay around 0.05% of the trade value for Euro-based products, with a minimum of €1.25 and maximum around €29. On top, you pay a clearing fee of €0.1, plus currency exchange fees.
Why Interactive Brokers
As a stock broker for European retail investors, Interactive Brokers appeals with its plethora of products, rock-bottom pricing, long history, and high level of trust. Interactive Brokers used to be great primarily for larger portfolios because of an inactivity fee for maintaining an account. However, in July 2021, the broker eliminated this fee along with any account minimums. This combination of low trading commissions and zero account maintenance fees makes IB more or less an ideal brokerage for large and smaller investors alike.
In recent years, Interactive Brokers has made great efforts to win over less experienced customers with the beginner-friendly Client Portal trading platform that is available in multiple languages. We can only hope they make zero-commission trading available for Europeans in the years to come. All in all, Interactive Brokers has a time-tested, robust offering of investments that will satisfy most investors.
3. eToro: Best for zero commissions
#3 Best stock broker in Europe
Please note: This content is not intended for US users.
With more than 12 million users worldwide, eToro has grown to become one of the most popular online stock brokerages in Europe. eToro offers commission-free stock trading with few strings attached.
- Zero commissions stock trading for residents in certain countries
- Excellent for social and copy trading
- User-friendly web platform and mobile
- Regulated by multiple financial authorities worldwide
Things to keep in mind
- Mix between leveraged CFDs and real equities can be confusing for beginners
- Operates in USD exclusively
- $5 withdrawal fee
eToro’s platforms for mobile and web provide access to over 2,500 instruments. Besides stocks and ETFs, investors get access to an impressive number of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ether, but also commodities, foreign currencies, and indices, all tradable at low costs. Another unique key feature of eToro is the ability to do social trading and copy the strategies of top-performing traders automatically.
We do not endorse Contracts for Differences (‘CFDs’), but we are required to provide the following disclaimer: 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFD’s with this provider.
eToro is regulated by multiple top-tier financial authorities around the world, including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA Licence No. FRN 583263), the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySEC Licence No. 109/10), as well as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
UK residents should note that cryptocurrency trading at eToro is not available to them due to FCA restrictions. In addition, cryptocurrency trading is also not available to residents of France (including French Territories), the Netherlands, and Russia.
eToro main features
|Products||Stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, commodities, indices, CFDs|
|Supported countries||Visit eToro for the most up to date list of supported jurisdictions|
|Regulation||CySEC (Cyprus), FCA (UK), ASIC (Australia)|
|Minimum deposit||$200 – 1,000|
|Inactivity fee||Yes, after 1 year|
|Time to open an account||48 hours|
eToro has commission-free stocks for EU and UK clients, meaning there is no broker fee for buying or selling. For the most part, you will trade and own the underlying asset in your name, not a derivative, which is important in terms of protection. There are also no management fees, ticket fees, or roll-over fees for non-leveraged positions. However, please note that other fees may apply.
- Zero-commissions: eToro has a solid selection of popular real stocks that can be traded with no extra broker fees involved, as long as you don’t use leverage. This includes stock favorites such as Amazon, Boeing, and Tesla. There is no limit to the number of stocks you can buy, making it a great fit for buy-and-hold investors.
- Leveraged trading fees: Thrill-seeking traders get access to a broad selection of leveraged CFD products at competitive spreads (the difference between the ask and the bid price). This includes 94 crypto pairs, 13 indices, 19 commodities and metals, and 47 traditional forex pairs, employable with leverage for shorting or longing.
- Other fees: eToro has no exchange connectivity fees, general management fees, deposit fees, or stamp duty fees. There is a $10 inactivity fee after 12 months, but simply logging into your account will reset the timer. There is a 0.5% currency exchange fee for conversions into USD, and a withdrawal fee of $5.
eToro has come a long way since it was first started in 2006 and now attracts close to 20 million website visits each month. They are fully regulated within Europe, with financial oversight from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK watchdog, and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). Most importantly, European clients are protected by EU or UK investor compensation schemes and own the underlying asset upon purchasing.
By joining the growing trend of free stock trading, eToro offers a great package for investors with fundamental needs, as well as for those with more speculative trades in mind. Thanks to its beginner-friendly trading platforms and simple pricing structure, investors can easily buy and sell over 1,500 stocks and 150 ETFs without worrying too much about fees or complexity.
eToro is a multi-asset platform that offers both investing in stocks and crypto assets as well as trading CFD assets.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% 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.
Cryptoassets are volatile instruments that can fluctuate widely in a very short timeframe and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Other than via CFDs, trading crypto assets is unregulated and therefore is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.
Past performance is not an indication of future results. Your capital is at risk.
eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro.
Other fees may apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees.
4. XTB: Best multi-asset broker
#4 Best stock broker in Europe
XTB started in 2002 as a derivatives and forex broker but has now expanded to offer real stocks and ETFs in multiple European countries: the Czech Republic, Germany, Portugal, Poland, France, Spain, and Slovakia, with more to follow in the future. If you reside in one of these jurisdictions you can invest commission-free with XTB in over 2,500 real shares and 200 ETFs across 16 exchanges worldwide.
- Zero commissions for stocks and ETFs for residents in certain countries
- Best overall trading app for mobile
- Best learning resources to educate yourself
- Regulated by multiple financial authorities and publicly traded on a stock exchange
Things to keep in mind
- Real stocks are only available in certain jurisdictions
- The mix between CFDs and real equity can be confusing for beginners
This offer includes top companies like Tesla, Apple, and Amazon, as well as the most popular ETFs from iShares/BlackRock, Amundi, and Lyxor. With the purchase of securities, you acquire company shares and participate in the results in the form of potential dividends.
We do not endorse Contracts for Differences (‘CFDs’), but we are required to provide the following disclaimer: 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
XTB has been making great progress into the fast-changing online brokerage scene of Europe and provides access to a variety of markets besides equities such as stock CFDs, cryptocurrencies, forex, indices, metals, and commodities. Investors can not only trade real stocks, but also synthetic stocks. This new derivative initially behaves like real stocks and reflects the stock value, but instead of being an security, the underlying instrument is a CFD with no leverage. Investors also receive a dividend for synthetic stocks.
What you need to know
- Who it’s for: Equity investors from eligible countries who want to do occasional trading.
- Tradable assets: Real stocks and ETFs in select countries; synthetic shares; CFDs on forex, currencies, cryptocurrencies (not available in the UK).
- Fees: XTB advertises zero commissions on shares; 0.08% per lot for stock and ETF CFDs with a min. of €8 per trade, and a min. spread of 0.5; zero commissions on cryptocurrency trades, but a varying spread applies; no minimum deposit; no deposit fee; no withdrawal fee withdrawals above $100; €10 inactivity fee after 12 months; other fees may apply
- Trading platform: XTB’s proprietary xStation and xStation Mobile platforms have a modern look and feel one-click trading, news feeds, and offer quick access to set market, limit, and stop orders.
- Regulation: XTB is a publicly-traded company and regulated in the U.K. and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (License No. FRN 522157) as well as the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF), and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (License No.169/12).
It’s free to open an account with XTB and there are no activity monthly/yearly fees except €10 if there is “no opening or closing of the position on the Customer’s account within the last 365 days and no cash deposit within the last 90 days.” Fees for trading real stocks and ETFs on XTB may vary and include exchange connectivity fees. There are, however, no minimum deposit requirement, no costs for deposits through bank transfers or via debit cards, no withdrawal fees for amounts over $100, and no fees for closing an account.
5. Firstrade: Best investor protection
#5 Best stock broker in Europe
Firstrade is a well-known, low-cost US online brokerage with extensive investing opportunities for both beginners and experienced investors. The firm was founded in 1985 and is a standout due to its long-standing commission-free trading offer for stocks, options, and ETFs for investors across the world. Eligible European nationalities can trade on Firstrade with $0 commissions per trade, with no minimum deposits or account maintenance fee.
- Zero commissions for stocks, ETFs, options, and funds
- Investor protection up to $500,000
- Securities lending program to earn extra income
- Highly intuitive mobile app
- Advanced charting features
Things to keep in mind
- Only supports USD
- Does not support low-cost online money transfer services, such as Wise.
- Slow customer support
Firstrade offers international accounts high account protection of up to $500,000 through the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), of which $250,000 may be in cash. In addition to the regular compensation scheme, Firstrade provides additional account insurance up to an aggregate of $150 million through their clearing firm, Apex Clearing Corporation.
Firstrade’s web-based platform is basic design-wise but highly functional, whereas the Firstrade mobile app delivers a highly intuitive experience where can do just about anything you need in an investment account. The firm is especially interesting in the area of combining regular investing with options trading and has an extensive library of educational material on the subject.
Besides fee-free trading, Firstrade offers investors the opportunity to generate additional income and improve returns by lending their securities to financial institutions for short selling. Interest is accrued on a daily basis and paid out to you once every calendar month. There are no restrictions on stocks that are lent out and the account holder can sell at any point. This unique feature could potentially improve returns greatly for investors with large holdings.
Firstrade is currently available in the following European jurisdictions: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
You now know the most important aspects to watch out for when choosing a stock broker in Europe. In the end, the most important thing is that the broker is reliable and that you’re satisfied with the level of fees you’re paying and the selection of products available. Personally, I think it’s sometimes worth paying a bit more to feel that my money is safe and that I can rely on the broker for several decades into the future.
How to chose a stock broker
There is no one-size-fits-all stock broker, and sometimes you’re going to need more than just one.
Stock brokers often specialize in different areas or cater to different investor groups. You might find some European brokers have vast product assortments and numerous trading platforms available but are equally more expensive.
In contrast, discount brokers in Europe may have a small repertoire of investments and only a single platform but have meager prices.
Know your needs
The best stock brokers in Europe generally offer the same set menu: individual stocks, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), bonds, and instruments and derivatives like options, futures, and varying leveraged products.
Beginners often choose to invest in a combination of stocks and ETFs. Hand-picking stocks can be advantageous if you wish to better manage your portfolio or have information about the sector to potentially beat the market.
However, ETFs like an S&P 500 tracker gives you exposure to many different companies, usually at a meager cost, and requires few trading decisions and time to manage. If you believe gold or another commodity presents a safe haven during financial turmoil, gold ETFs give you the ability to invest in a market and currency-hedged product.
Fees and commissions
Research how much the broker charge in fees and commissions for buying and selling your favorite investments. A low-fee online brokerage lets you keep most of your profits for yourself without charging too much for converting currency, withdrawing money, or adding hidden fees or markups to trades.
Whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced investor, you’ll want a trading platform that’s easy to navigate with a user-friendly design. The best European brokers offer a web-based and mobile option to keep track of your account, buying, selling, and researching new markets and products.
Unfortunately, there are very few brokers out there with a clean public image and zero complaints about them. In recent years, Trustpilot and other popular review sites have been spammed with fake reviews and fake offers to recover lost money, making it difficult to separate genuine reviews from false ones. We suggest you spend some time researching Reddit or similar forums that are more strictly moderated to familiarize yourself with the first-hand experience of other investors.
All European Union member states have adopted in full or partially the same regulatory framework for investment services and activities called MiFID II and MiFIR.
An authorized broker will also be able to “passport” or offer its financial services to residents in other members states based on the authorization given in the country where it has an address.
For example, many brokers choose Cyprus as their European base as the country has the lowest cooperate tax of only 12.5% and because the government has adopted the MiFID in full.
In theory, all EU-based and regulated brokers are subject to much the same rules and scrutiny. In practice, your safety as an investor largely depends on the abilities and resources of the national financial authority overseeing the broker.
Bodies also enforce varying rules, and there are differences in terms of money segregation and withdrawal times. Moreover, strictly regulated brokers are not too big to fail, and strict regulatory oversight is by no means a guarantee of indefinite financial solvency.
5 Simple investment strategies for beginners
- Time in the market, not timing the market: This investment strategy is based on the belief that a good thing will happen over time if you just wait long enough. This strategy is one of the most important ones to remember when trying to invest. I would never invest in anything, for example, and then try to time the market. That’s a bad idea because I’ll either lose money or make minimal gains. The best thing you can do is make your purchase and just wait for it to get more valuable before selling it.
- Dollar-Cost Averaging: This next investment strategy is one that you might have heard of before. This strategy works by just investing your money in increments over time rather than all at once. The idea behind this strategy is that if you invest too much money all at once, then the market will drop, and you’ll lose all of your money. So, investing in increments gives you time to make up for any losses before they become too great.
- If the price drops: You won’t be able to buy as much with one significant investment, so instead of making that big of an investment if the price drops suddenly, just wait until the price of it goes back up, then buy more. This strategy might work best if you invest the same amount at regular intervals. So some people do this by investing the same amount of money every month. If you don’t have any extra cash in your budget for investment, then just try to put away a little bit of money each week.
- The Diversification strategy: This is a practical and essential investment strategy to remember because it will help you to not lose all of your money should something unexpected happen. The diversification strategy tells us that we shouldn’t put all of our eggs in one basket. We should try to divide up our investments into more than just two groups. Maybe we have our money invested in the stock market, but we should also invest a little bit of it into something that isn’t so volatile.
- Investing in ETFs over single stocks is an excellent way to diversify your investments because they can give you more bang for your buck. You’ll have less risk because ETFs comprise several stocks, and you can divide your money into different sectors. You’ll have to do a little research on this one, though, if you want to make the most out of it.
What is a stock brokerage?
A stock brokerage or broker is a firm that gives investors access to securities exchanges in return for a commission. Modern brokerages facilitate the connection between investors and exchanges through feature-rich online software called trading platforms.
What is a stock?
A stock is an investment that represents the partial ownership of a corporation. Stock owners are entitled to a share of the corporation’s profits. Strictly speaking, “shares” are units of stocks. But in everyday financial language, “stocks”, “shares”, and “equity” are used interchangeably.
What are ETFs?
An exchange-traded fund or ETF is an investment that usually follows a major index like the Dow Jones or S&P 500, but it can also track a specific industry sector such as information technology or represent a collection of securities from developing markets. While owners of ETFs do not own any underlying assets, ETFs are popular because they offer low expense ratios and reduce exposure to individual securities through diversification.
How do I choose an online broker?
Choosing the right online brokerage presents the biggest obstacle for most new investors. When it comes to selecting a broker, there’s no one size fits all choice. Depending on your experience and specific needs, you may need accounts with multiple independent brokerage firms. Brokers tend to specialize in different areas and those who don’t are mostly expensive for beginners.
What is the best European stock broker for beginners?
For new investors, choosing the right brokerage account is about much more than having access to thousands of products. The best stock brokers for beginners offer simple pricing structures, fast online support, and excellent onboarding tutorials. Above all, a simple trading platform without too much fuss is key to getting started.
What European stockbroker offers the lowest fees?
For private investors with small and medium-sized portfolios, the cheapest stockbrokers in Europe are DEGIRO, eToro, and Revolut. All three are popular discount brokers with very low fees.
Who are the largest brokerage firms in Europe?
Many of the largest brokerage firms in Europe do not disclose their financials publicly, making it difficult to compare them for size. However, in terms of revenue and number of users, the largest European brokers include Saxo Bank, IG, DEGIRO, and Comdirect.
Can I invest in US stocks from Europe?
In short, yes. Most respected European brokers will let you invest in US stocks and provide access to US securities exchanges. However, you cannot buy US-domiciled stocks in Euro, which means you need to account for the currency exchange rate risk.
What are the best alternatives to stocks?
There are plenty of alternatives to stocks that may help you build a more diverse portfolio. The best alternatives to stocks include real estate crowdfunding and commodities like gold and silver. If you’re comfortable taking higher risks to increase the potential return, cryptocurrencies may be worth exploring.
Which broker charges the lowest fees?
For normal stock trades, DEGIRO and eToro offer the most competitive prices. While DEGIRO has the edge for cheap currency conversions and has no inactivity fees, eToro offers the most competitive all-in pricing plan with zero-commissions stock trades. Both platforms are great to save on costs.
Methodology: How the best brokers in Europe were selected
We’re dedicated to providing readers with honest, in-depth reviews and rankings of online investment and trading platforms. Our ratings result from several months of testing all aspects of a platform, focusing on the products and markets available, the overall platform experience, fees, the account opening process, safety, account security, and our experience with customer support. Our ranking is visualized with stars representing the lowest rating (one star) to the highest rating (five stars).