What is DEGIRO?
DEGIRO is an online broker based in the Netherlands and was founded in 2008, and opened in 2013 to retail clients. Their goal is to create an online brokerage platform that is affordable for the users and making trading stocks as simple as possible. They also provide access to a wide range of financial markets worldwide.
As for all the brokers I am using, I actually checked that it is an actual company. It is indeed registered with the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Amsterdam, with the registration number 34342820. It is also regulated by the Dutch financial regulators AFM and DNB.
Is it safe to invest with DEGIRO?
The question I always l ask when selecting a broker is: will my money be safe? For that, I usually look at two points: what happened if something bad happens, and what is the background of the platform.
Let's start with the background. They have been operating since 2008, which is more than ten years now, so that's a great track record. I started to invest with them four years ago now, and I have nothing bad to report about the platform. As I mentioned before, DEGIRO is fully regulated by the Dutch Central Bank and by the Netherlands Financial Market authorities. It's also registered with the financial authorities in countries in which it operates, for example with the FCA in the UK.
Let's now see what happens if the company actually goes under. The nice thing is here is that stocks & ETFs on the platform are exchange-traded, meaning that even if DEGIRO goes bankrupt, your assets will be safe as you are the owner of the stocks & ETFs you buy via DEGIRO.
Note that they also have two-step authentication available on their platform, which I really recommend activating to keep your account safe in case your password gets compromised.
About the fees on DEGIRO
Fees on DEGIRO are very low, as this is one of the main goals of the company to make investing in the stock market as affordable as possible. First, there is no account opening fee, no inactivity fee (in case you don't trade), and it's also free to withdraw money. That makes it, for example, a perfect platform for long-term value investing (like I do) as you don't make trades that often.
Speaking about trades, fees are also very low on the platform. For example, as an investor on their French platform, it only costs me 0.55€ to buy 2,000€ worth of Apple stock on DEGIRO, whereas with my traditional bank it would cost 32.58€. Note that there is also no fee at all on dividend distributions, which is also great for dividend growth investors. Overall, it is really cheap to invest with DEGIRO, and in most cases, those fees won't impact your investments at all on the contrary to most other brokers or banks.
Opening an account on DEGIRO
Opening an account on DEGIRO is also very easy. It's completely online which I love, and they don't require any initial deposit on the account. In my case, the account was opened within one day, but it can take up to 2 to 3 days. You will just need to fill their forms, and then upload a copy of your ID card or passport. You'll also need to provide the IBAN of the bank account you want to use for deposits and to receive withdrawals.
Once the account is ready, you'll need to confirm that you are aware of risks coming with investing, accept their terms & conditions, and finally deposit some money on their platform.
Depositing & withdrawing money
Depositing money on DEGIRO is quite easy as well, as you simply need to send them a bank transfer with the account you provided when opening the DEGIRO account. Careful, it needs to be in the currency of your DEGIRO account, so I recommend using a service like Revolut or TransferWise if you are using another currency than your DEGIRO account. Once the money is sent, it is usually on my account in 1-2 days.
Unfortunately, so far it is not possible to make deposits via credit card payments, which would fasten up the whole process.
Withdrawing money is also quite straightforward, completely free, and it usually takes just a day to have the money on my account.
Using the trading platform
Compared to other platforms, DEGIRO is also very easy to use. The interface of their desktop website is really clean and responsive, and even for a beginner, it is really easy to start buying and selling stocks on the platform. It's also really easy to see when you received dividends on your account and from which company. It might be too basic for some advanced stock traders, but for most users, it will just be perfect.
They also have a mobile app which is also very neatly done and easy to use.
DEGIRO also offers most of the usual financial products (except Forex trading), however as part of my investment strategy I've only been using stocks & ETFs. The platform gives you access to 32 stock markets across the globe, as well as 5,400 different ETFs. This is a bit lower than other competitors, but again it is enough for most investors and I never had the situation where I was looking for a particular stock and couldn't find it on DEGIRO. They also offer one free ETF trade per month from their free ETF selection.
My opinion about DEGIRO
After more than four years now on investing in the stock market with DEGIRO, I can say that I am really happy with this broker. It's very easy to use, with very small fees, and with no bad surprises at all. I'd say it is a great broker both for long-term investors like me as well as for people trading regularly on the stock market. Therefore, I really recommend using DEGIRO as a broker.
Investing involves risk of loss. This article only represents my own personal experience with the platform, and make sure to do your own research before investing.