Brokers

4 Best Stock Brokers in Europe for 2020

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Whether you’re a beginner or experienced investor, you’ll want a stock broker that offers low prices, a large number of available stocks and ETFs, excellent customer service, and easy-to-use trading platforms. But with so many brokers to choose from, it can be an investment in itself to find the very best broker in Europe for your specific needs.

We know the sheer number of choices can be daunting, which is why we created this list of the best brokers in Europe to help you make informed decisions about where to invest. After extensive research, we’ve narrowed down the options to five top choices by comparing for price, products, ease of use, and regulatory oversight. Most importantly, we focused on brokers available in multiple European countries.

Without further delay, let’s just jump to our ranking of the best online brokers in Europe.

These are the best stock brokers in Europe

Our rankingBrokerBest forRegulation
#1DEGIROOverall & low costAFM (Netherlands), FCA (UK)
#2Interactive BrokersExperienced investorsSEC, FINRA, NYSE (USA); FCA (UK), CSSF (Luxembourg), and more
#3eToroCommission-free investingFCA (UK), CySEC (Cyprus), ASIC (Australia)
#4TradeStation GlobalBuy-and-holdFCA (UK) 
Our ranking of the best brokers in Europe

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. Without further ado, here are the top five stock brokers in Europe:

  1. DEGIRO: Our top overall broker recommendation for Europeans. DEGIRO offers stock trading at record-low fees and zero-commission ETF investing with few strings attached, making the broker a great choice for price-conscious buy-and-hold investors.
  2. Interactive Brokers: Best for experienced investors, large portfolios, and trust. Interactive Brokers is a highly trusted US-based discount broker available in most of Europe. It sports an unparalleled selection of products, is regulated by nine financial authorities, and offers low-cost trading in a highly professional setting.
  3. eToro: Best commission-free broker in Europe for stocks and ETFs. With over 12m clients, eToro provides a beginner-friendly platform with a broad range of equity markets at zero-to-low fees.
  4. TradeStation Global: Excellent brokerage offering the best of Interactive Brokers but with no monthly fees, a broad range of markets, and sound protection from the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Given the current market uncertainty, you might be interested in diversifying from stocks into European real estate. The best real estate investment platforms have a 100% capital and interest payback record and offer up to 12% returns from secured property loans.

1. DEGIRO

#1 Best stock broker in Europe (in our opinion)

DeGiro: Top online broker in Europe with low fees for stocks and etfs

Best European broker (in our opinion) for : Discount stock trading and everyday investors

With more than 450,000 investors and 65 international rewards, including one from the Financial Times, Amsterdam-based DEGIRO tops our ranking as the best online broker in Europe. DEGIRO is highly popular among European investors because it offers industry-leading low trading fees, zero non-trading fees, and monthly free ETF trades.

Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.

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). It 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

FeesLow
Products Stocks, ETFs, bonds, options, futures
Supported countries See list
RegulationAFM (Netherlands), FCA (UK)
Minimum deposit0
Inactivity feeNo
Time to open account48 hours
Base currenciesCHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HUF, NOK, PLN, SEK

Fees

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 ETF only costs 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.

Why we like DEGIRO

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 complete lack of educational resources, we think DEGIRO delivers a great package for every-day investors, including tier-one regulatory licenses, beginner-friendly trading platforms, extremely low fees, and commission free ETF trades. We think this robust combination makes DEGIRO a winner for every-day buy-and-hold investors.

2. Interactive Brokers

#2 Best stock broker in Europe

4 Best Stock Brokers in Europe for 2020 1

Best European broker for: Experienced investors, large portfolios, and trust

For high-rolling investors with sufficient experience under the belt, Interactive Brokers is most likely the right stock broker choice. Interactive Brokers was founded in 1978 and is today regulated in nine top-tier jurisdictions, with over 600,000 customers worldwide, making the most trusted broker in our lineup.

Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.

Interactive Brokers offers the broadest possible range of tradable products, including access to 140 international exchanges for stocks, ETFs, bonds, funds, options, futures, forex, CFDs, warrants, metals, cryptocurrencies, and robo-trading. European investors can enjoy this experience to the fullest through Interactive Brokers’ FCA-regulated UK-based entity.

Interactive Brokers main features

FeesLow
Products Stocks, ETFs, FOREX, bonds, funds, options, futures, CFDs, warrants, metals, cryptocurrencies, robo-trading
Supported countries Most of Europe
RegulationSEC, FINRA, NYSE (USA); FCA (UK), CSSF (Luxembourg), and more
Minimum deposit0
Inactivity feeYes
Time to open account72 hours
Base currenciesEUR, GBP, USD and more

Fees

Interactive Brokers has low trading fees. However, for portfolios valued under $100,000 there is a $10 monthly custody fee. But any commissions generated from trading will be subtracted from that amount. Unfortunately, Interactive Brokers does not offer its commission-free ‘Lite’ account to European customers, making the broker less suitable for every-day investors with smaller portfolios.

  • 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: For experienced traders, Interactive Brokers offers a leveled pricing plan with decreasing commissions for larger volumes. This plan requires more calculations but will 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 we like Interactive Brokers

As a stock broker for Europeans, Interactive Brokers primarily appeals with its plethora of products and high level of trust more than with its fees. Interactive Brokers is great for experienced investors and large portfolio holders but was traditionally not built with small-time investors in mind.

In recent years, Interactive Brokers has luckily made great efforts to win over less experienced customers with the beginner-friendly Client Portal trading platform that is available in multiple languages. Hopefully, they will also 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

#3 Best stock broker in Europe

4 Best Stock Brokers in Europe for 2020 2

Best European broker for: Commission-free stocks & ETFs

Claiming more than 12 million users worldwide, eToro has grown to become one of the most popular stock trading platforms in Europe. The broker is regulated by multiple top-tier financial authorities around the world, including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

We do not endorse Contracts for Differences (‘CFDs’), but we are required to provide the following disclaimer: 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

eToro offers commission-free ETF and stock trading with no strings attached, including popular picks like iShares Core S&P 500 and iShares Core MSCI World. 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 key feature of eToro is the ability to do social trading and copy the strategies of top-performing traders automatically, with no extra cost.

eToro main features

FeesLow
Products Stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, commodities, indices, CFDs
Supported countries Most of Europe
RegulationCySEC (Cyprus), FCA (UK), ASIC (Australia)
Minimum deposit$200
Inactivity feeYes, after 1 year
Time to open account48 hours
Base currenciesUSD

Not available in: Albania, Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia.

Risk warning: We do not endorse Contracts For a Difference (‘CFDs’), however, EU law requires that we provide the following disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% 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.

Fees

eToro has commission-free stocks and ETFs for EU and UK clients, meaning there is no broker fee for buying or selling. Most importantly, you will own the underlying asset in your name, not a derivative. There are also no management fees, ticket fees or roll-over fees for non-leveraged positions.

  • Zero-commission stocks and ETFs: eToro has a solid selection of popular real stocks and ETFs that can be traded with no extra broker fees involved, as long as you don’t use leverage. This includes more than 150 ETFs like iShares and Vanguard, and 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.

Why we like eToro

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.

4. TradeStation Global

#4 Best stock broker in Europe

4 Best Stock Brokers in Europe for 2020 3

Best European broker for: Buy-and-hold

TradeStation Global is an FCA-regulated introducing broker to Interactive Brokers UK. With TradeStation Global, you can access all features of Interactive Brokers, one of the largest and most trusted brokers in the world, but avoid paying the $10 monthly fee and receive much faster support, all while legally being a client of Interactive Brokers. After opening an account, you can log in directly to Interactive Brokers’ website or mobile app.

Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.

With TradeStation Global, you can trade on 140 exchanges worldwide, with access to around 13,000 stocks, and close to 100 ETFs, all tradable at very low fees. Moreover, you can use all the platforms of Interactive Brokers, including the beginner-friendly and easy-to-understand Client Portal, the IBKR mobile app, as well as the more advanced Traders Workstation, but also TradeStation’s proprietary platform that is geared towards professionals.

TradeStation Global main features

FeesLow
Products Stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, commodities, indices, CFDs
Supported countries Most of Europe
RegulationFCA (UK)
Minimum deposit$1,000
Inactivity feeNo
Time to open account48 hours
Base currencies22

Fees

TradeStation Global charges no fees for accounting opening, inactivity, or depositing, and offers one free withdrawal per month. On the other hand, the minimum initial deposit is $1,000, and Credit/Debit card top-ups are not supported.

  • Stock and ETF fees: US stocks and ETFs cost $0.007 in commission per share, with a minimum of $1.5, while the commission for most European and Asia-Pacific shares is 0.12% of the traded amount, with a minimum averaging €1.8. Other fees apply, including clearing fees and exchange fees, but they are generally in the low end.

Why we like TradeStation Global

TradeStation harmonizes the best parts of Interactive Brokers—low fees, exceptional number of products, and fantastic trading platforms—with the needs of both beginners and professionals.

In terms of safety, TradeStation clients in the European Economic Area are protected up to £85,000 by the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme, one of the best protections in Europe. When you open a TradeStation Global account you are officially the customer of Interactive Brokers UK, a daughter company of the Interactive Brokers Group which has rock-solid financials and a total equity of $8.3 billion as of mid-2020.

Some drawbacks include an unnecessary complicated account opening process and a sharp learning curve. However, novice traders get access to excellent learning material and live webinars, while investors can choose Interactive Brokers’ user-friendly and near-foolproof Client Portal. All in all, this unique combination makes TradeStation Global a solid broker choice.

Guide: What to look for in a stockbroker?

There is no one-size-fits-all stock broker, and sometimes you’re going to need more than just one. Just like fruits and vegetables may vary in quality among different grocery stores, stock brokers tend to specialize in different areas. Some European brokers have very large product assortments and numerous trading platforms available but are also more expensive, while discount brokers in Europe, on the other hand, may have a small repertoire of investments and only a single platform but have very low prices.

Know your needs

European stock brokers generally offer the same set menu: individual stocks, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), bonds, as well as 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 manage your portfolio more precisely or have information about the sector to potentially beat the market.

However, ETFs like an S&P 500 tracker gives you exposure to a lot of different companies, usually at very low 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 gives 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 secret fees or markups to trades.

Ease-of-use

Whether you’re beginner or 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.

Reputation

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.  

Regulation

To protect retail investors, all European Union member states have adopted in full or partially the same regulatory framework for investment services and activities called as 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, a lot of brokers choose Cyprus as their European base as the country has the lowest cooperate tax of only 12.5% but also because the country has adapted 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 degrees of 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.

FAQ

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 they 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 expensive 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 which 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 risk to increase the potential return, cryptocurrencies and peer-to-peer lending may be worth exploring.

Methodology

We are dedicated to providing readers with honest, in-depth reviews and rankings of online investment and trading platforms. Our ratings are the result of 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 used represent the lowest rating (one star) to the highest rating (five stars).

About the author: Lucas Peterson is an investor and expert finance writer with over 10 years of industry experience. Lucas has previously served as editor for a major financial news outlet in his European home country but now spends his time dealing with investments, managing his real estate portfolio, and learning about blockchain technology. To learn more about Lucas, visit his profile page.