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DEGIRO ETF Investing – an Ultimate Guide in 6 Steps

Making the most of your money in Europe has never been easier. There are plenty of platforms now you can use to invest with, my favourite one being DEGIRO. In this article, I will guide you through DEGIRO ETF investing.

What is an ETF?

An ETF is an exchange-traded fund, a type of investment fund that invests your money in underlying securities. These securities can be stocks, bonds, or real estate for example.

ETFs come in all different colours and sizes. I personally like the cheap ones. They tend to invest in broad-based market indexes (such as the S&P 500 or the MSCI World Index) and are passively managed.

Because they are managed passively, these ETFs are very cheap. I always try to invest in funds with lower costs, since every euro I bring to a fund manager is one I can’t keep for myself!

DEGIRO Index Funds

Luckily, I found that you can invest ETFs with DEGIRO pretty easily. They offer a lot of high-quality ETF options from fund managers such as Vanguard, Blackrock (iShares) and Fidelity.

These ETFs should follow a broad index of stocks, and if they do, you’ll probably be alright. Index funds are not always a better choice, but for most investors I think they are a viable option. I know I only invest in index funds, using ETFs such as VWRL.

Use my link to sign up for DEGIRO. It’s at no extra cost to you, and it helps me run this website. Just click the link of your country and give it a go! NL / DE / AT / ES / IT / PL / SE / UK

The ETFs I invest in are VWRL and IUSN. In this article I explain why I use these two funds.

Who is DEGIRO?

I’ve mentioned DEGIRO a few times now. Who are they?

DEGIRO is an online investment broker originally from The Netherlands. A few guys from another broker formed DEGIRO because they wanted to provide cheaper access to investments.

DEGIRO offers a lot of cheap ETFs that you can use to build wealth and eventually become financially independent!

Investing in ETFs with DEGIRO

In this article, I will guide you through investing in ETFs with DEGIRO step by step. It’s not hard, just follow the article and you’ll be fine.

Please always remember I’m not giving financial or investment advice. Always do your own research and/or consult your financial advisor before making financial decisions.

Step 1 – Choose an Investment Strategy

Before you can start buying ETFs with any broker, you have to decide how your investment strategy is going to look like. I have written a lengthy article explaining my investment strategy here.

Although I can’t give investment advice for most people investing in a simple ETF portfolio would be recommended. This is due to low costs and high diversity.

An example could be putting your age as a percentage in bonds, and the rest in a world-wide stock fund such as VWRL or IWDA.

Step 2 – Choose your ETFs to Invest In

After you have decided on your investment strategy, it’s time to pick the ETFs you’ll be buying at DEGIRO. There are a few things to consider:

  • Asset type (stocks, bonds, others)
  • Diversity (worldwide or niche)
  • Costs (total expense ratio and DEGIRO transaction costs)

I personally chose VWRL and IUSN for my stock portfolio, but your situation might be different.

In my opinion, the best funds for passive investing are VTI and VXUS but unfortunately, the EU government doesn’t allow funds without documentation in a country’s official language anymore. These two funds are only documented in English, so you can’t buy them in The Netherlands.

A website like JustETF.com can also help in choosing the right ETF for you.

Next to that, you can access the DEGIRO ETF list with commission-free ETFs here. It is not super easy to navigate, but what I usually do is copying the ISIN code and putting it in Google. From there, go to Morningstar or any other website to read about the ETF you’re investigating.

For the commission free ETFs, conditions apply and differ per country. The Dutch conditions can be found here. The English conditions can be found here.

You will see that VWRL is on this ETF list, but IUSN is not.

Step 3 – Sign-up with DEGIRO

Now that you know the funds for your DEGIRO ETF investing, the fun starts. You can create your account with DEGIRO if you haven’t already.

Use my link to sign up for DEGIRO. It’s at no extra cost to you, and it helps me run this website. Just click the link of your country and give it a go! NL / DE / AT / ES / IT / PL / SE / UK

You will click the button to create an account and then you have to fill in the form.

After this first form, you will have to go through another couple of ones. There’s also a knowledge test you have to complete before your account can be created. This doesn’t take long.

Then you have to connect your bank account. This is done easily by putting in 1 cent through iDeal.

Now your account is ready! But I would strongly recommend to fill in form W8-BEN first to be able to claim back some of the dividend tax you paid on any US-based securities.

You can find the form under your account settings > online forms:

DeGiro ETF Investing - Online form W8-BEN
DEGIRO ETF Investing – Online form W8-BEN

Step 4 – Transfer Money to DEGIRO

With your brand-new account, you are now able to transfer money to DEGIRO. You can see DEGIRO as just another account where you put your money in.

With the money you put in, you can then buy investment funds.

To put in money, just log-in to your account and press the button to deposit cash into your account. Depending on your country, there are different ways to do this. In The Netherlands, we can easily deposit cash with iDeal, a payment service by Dutch banks.

Step 5 – Purchase your ETFs with DEGIRO

With the money in your account, you can start purchasing your ETFs. This is a very easy task. Just look up the ETF code in the search bar on the top-right side of the screen. From there, you can place your buy order.

DeGiro ETF Investing - Lookup ETFs
DEGIRO ETF Investing – Lookup ETFs

I have made my two ETFs favourites in the DEGIRO portal. That makes them even easier to find!

DeGiro ETF Investing - Favourites
DEGIRO ETF Investing – Favourites

Buying ETFs with DEGIRO is super easy. You divide the amount you want to invest (i.e. 1,000 euros) by the price of the ETF (i.e. 100 euros) to get the number of shares you’re going to buy. Now if this number isn’t a nice whole number, you have to round down to find the number of shares you can buy.

Then you will just press the green buy icon and put in an order. During market hours I mostly use market orders, but you can also use limit orders (and set the buy limit accordingly) just as well.

DeGiro ETF Investing - Buying ETFs
DEGIRO ETF Investing – Buying ETFs

It’s really that simple!

Step 6 – Enjoy the Ride!

Okay, let’s recap what we’ve done here. First, you created an investment strategy. Then you decided on which ETFs to buy. The third step was to create an account at DEGIRO after which is deposited cash and purchased your first shares.

You’re now ready to enjoy the ride. You will be tempted to watch your portfolio daily. Do not do this. Stock prices fluctuate heavily. There will be days you’re in the green and days you’re in the red. Don’t sweat these red numbers. Just focus on the long term. Market timing is pointless!

And whatever you do, don’t sell during a market correction or crash! Let your ETFs sit in your account and accumulate more and more wealth over time. Enjoy the ride!

Use my link to sign up for DEGIRO. It’s at no extra cost to you, and it helps me run this website. Just click the link of your country and give it a go! NL / DE / AT / ES / IT / PL / SE / UK

More on Selecting Free ETFs

DEGIRO offers a list of “free” ETFs. The reason I put free between quotes, is that the ETFs are not free of course. You are just able to buy these “DEGIRO free ETFs” without paying a commission.

While that is a big plus, commission-free ETFs are not necessarily better than ETFs that you do pay a commission for.

In my case, I invest in a few of the commission-free ETFs with DEGIRO, but I also own funds that I do pay a small fee for.

These fees are one-off, and therefor they won’t make or break your investment returns. The real danger is in expensive management fees on your ETFs, of which I have none.

Conclusion on DEGIRO ETF Investing

As you have seen in this article, investing in ETFs using DEGIRO is not hard at all. You just have to come up with an investment strategy, and then execute. I hope the article here helps with that.

How are your investments coming along? Do you use DEGIRO, what are your experiences? Let me know in the comments below.

33 thoughts on “DEGIRO ETF Investing – an Ultimate Guide in 6 Steps”

  1. Hello! What other trading platforms do you use? Investor protection at DeGiro and others is EUR 20000.

    Reply
    • Hi CashMove, thanks for your comment! I don’t use any other broker than DeGiro. I’m not sure why it is a problem that only 20k is insured. If DeGiro goes bankrupt, your ETFs are safe (they’re held in a separate holding entity).

      Reply
      • Agreed. You should never be holding your cash on any exchange anyway. The fact that they even have up to 20k insured is great, but not even necessary.

        Never hold your cash on an exchange.

        Reply
      • Dear B, First thanks for sharing useful information and insights which motivates & keeps many like me on the right path to FIRE. I am a beginner to FIRE but following it passionately & have a question for you all experienced investors about the separate company (SPV) that DeGiro makes use of. Why is this needed & how does this save our stock holdings from degiro going bankrupt. For example suppose, I buy Apple shares in my degiro custody account & have zero cash on my account so everything is invested in stocks or ETFs. The shares are bought by me & they maybe saved in a digital form in one of the depositories but how do i stand to lose those stocks/etfs from degiro going bust. And what is this 20K insuring me against because stocks could crash & one could still lose all the money. Even if degiro goes broke (i hope not of course) then i still have my Apple shares & no cash on the degiro account. So how does this matter?
        Hope my question is clear enough.

        Reply
        • Hi WanabeFIRE,
          So you basically have two questions. The first is why DeGiro (or any other broker for that matter) holds your investments in a different company. That’s simple. Say if they were to put your investments onto their balance sheet, and they go bankrupt, your investment becomes part of the bankruptcy. That means you stand to lose your investments.
          Of course, this is unacceptable to investors. That’s why brokers have to keep their investor’s securities in other entities.
          The 20K insurance is to help you get (some) of your money back after a potential bankruptcy from your broker, in which they didn’t separate their balance sheet and your investments. At least, that’s how I understand it.
          That means that as long as DeGiro keeps your investments in a separate entity, you will never have to rely on the 20k insurance.

          Thanks for stopping by!

          Reply
  2. Hi B,

    May I ask which type of De Giro account did you choose?
    I’m not sure if it’s mentioned in the article.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Hello.
    Nice post. Very useful.
    So now that more and more people are talking about an imminent recession you will continue with your investing strategy concerning ETFs, right? But if you would have to start now, would you do it or you will wait a bit and invest in something else?

    Ciao

    D

    Reply
    • Hi Daniel, I’m not qualified to give investment advice, you will have to make your own decisions. What I’m going to say is my opinion.
      In my opinion you should start as soon as you have the money. Because we don’t know where the market is going, and on average the market goes up more often than down, investing sooner rather than later is on average a good decision. Of course this can mean that you will lose out a little bit if you invest right before the crash. But the opposite is also true. If you wait for a crash, but that happens only after another 50% gain, you have lost money.
      Make your own decisions, but don’t be afraid. Maybe start small, spread your allocation to bonds if you’re risk averse. Keeping money in the bank is rarely good advice.

      Reply
  4. Hi B, after listening to all of the podcasts, now enjoying the websites as well (thumbs up!). Is there any difference in where to buy the ETF’s? For example, VWRL can be bought at Euronext, Swiss or London? Bart

    Reply
    • Hi Bart, thanks for listening and reading! As for your question, it does make sense with regards to liquidity for instance. If the liquidity (daily trade volume) is good, it doesn’t matter where you buy the tracker. Even the currency in which you buy doesn’t matter (since the actual pricing of the tracker is based on its underlying assets, not the currency of the ETF itself). Currencies do matter for FX fees, so if your broker is charging additional fees for trades in foreign currencies, try to find one listed in your own.

      Of course this is not financial advice, merely some clues about where to look. Please do your own research.
      For what it’s worth, I buy the EUR denominated tracker on Euronext but the others track the same index so will yield the same returns (after considering exchange rates).

      Reply
  5. Thanks for the article. I have a DeGiro account. A few of the ETFs that I’m interested in are only traded on the LSE (London Stock Exchange). My account is in Euro. Is there any drawback in trading on the LSE with a euro account? Thanks!!!

    Reply
    • Hi Rick. Please remember that I don’t give financial advice. What I write about here is just my opinion. You have to make your own choices.
      Now, with that out of the way, let’s look at what’s going on.

      If you want to invest in a fund that’s listed on the LSE and is denominated in GBP, you will have to transfer your euros to pounds when you buy the fund. As far as I know, DeGiro does this automatically for you when you place a buy order. Investing in a GBP fund is no problem. If the fund is diversified across the world, i.e. many currencies, it doesn’t matter what currency the fund itself is. Heck, you can even buy the same ETF in EUR, GBP, CHF, and the performance might look different. However, this is not true. If you correct for currency rates changing, their performances will be equal or close to equal because they track the same stocks.

      So your question does it matter if I invest in funds on the LSE, well probably not. You will most likely have to pay your broker for the connectivity to this exchange, but that is only a few euros per year, I pay 2.50 EUR per exchange per year.

      Reply
  6. Why not Flatex? no fees + a bankaccount with protection to € 100.000

    Why iShares MSCI World Small Cap UCITS ETF and not all in 1 Etf , Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF which had always beter results?

    Reply
    • Flatex is not necessarily cheaper, because their exchange doesn’t always have favourable rates.
      The FTSE all world is VWRL if I remember correctly, and that doesn’t include small cap. That’s why I also have IUSN.

      Reply
      • My thesis is that you already have a very large diversification with VWRL and also a better result than with (also) IUSN. So why should you add IUSN (or other ETF), unless you definitely want to add small caps.

        Reply
  7. Hey really enjoying your content, keep it up! Would you know if you can setup automated investing in DeGiro (monthly, quarterly, etc.) since this would make it easy to cost-average during the year.

    Also, what do you think of other brokerage platforms? Have you tried any of them?

    Reply
    • Hey, thanks for stopping by! Unfortunately you cannot setup automatic investing. Just login every month or quarter, it only takes five minutes.
      I have not dabbed (yet) with other platforms apart from Flatex (which I didn’t like).

      Reply
  8. Hi, i really enjoy your website and your information is truly appreciated.
    Could you please tell me if there are many differences between the basic profile and the custody profile and what should i choose

    Reply
    • The easiest difference is in Basic, DeGiro could do security lending. Not sure exactly how it works, but basically there is little additional risk that makes DeGiro money which they translate to lower fees for you. In Custody they don’t lend securities but you pay more money in fees when you receive dividends.

      Reply
  9. Hi Bas,

    Thanks for your blog. Its really helpful & enjoyable.

    I have a question regarding the procedures of an Order at DeGiro. I have used a Limit order to buy VWRL (free etf). However, I see that the order did not go through in one ‘go’, but in two separate transactions. Does this mean I have to pay transaction costs for the second transaction?

    How do I make sure my whole limit order goes through in one transaction?

    Reply
    • Hi Iron, thanks for visiting and commenting! I don’t know what you can do to make sure it goes through in one order. Basically what happens is you post an order in the central order book saying I want to buy X shares of VWRL for price Y. Then someone else comes along and agrees to sell you some shares for that price. However, that might be less shares than you are trying to buy, which means your order got fulfilled in two transactions.
      You should check your order/transaction history. That will show you whether you paid transactions costs or not. If you did pay them, send an email to DeGiro asking them for clarification and possibly a refund.
      Thanks for stopping by and please let me know if you know more.

      Reply
  10. Hi! Thank you for all your valuable content. I was thinking of going long on VWCE since this is an accumulating all world ETF and I don’t want to worry about reinvesting the dividends. I am also using IBKR since DGiro has stopped all new registrations. The disadvantage of this is that unlike the distributing counterpart which is domiciled in Amsterdam, this one is domiciled in Germany. Would this have further tax implications? Would appreciate your thoughts :)

    Reply
    • Hi Rajeev, thanks for stopping by!

      DeGiro have mentioned that they didn’t stop new registrations, but rather postponed/queued them. So you can still sign-up for an account (using my link :-)), and you will be put on the waiting list.
      About the tax implications, honestly I don’t know. I’m not a tax expert. I guess there might be something to do with dividend withholding tax but I’m not sure. It might be worth looking into though!

      Reply
  11. Thanks again!

    The question is, I see many tickers for the same fund from different cities and exchanges I assume, what are the differences? And does it make a difference for me if I buy any of those ETFs?

    Reply
    • The ticker might differ when you buy it from a different exchange. It’s the same fund so it doesn’t matter. I would buy one from an exchange in the same currency as my income. In the end it doesn’t matter with regards to performance, but it might save you a bit in currency exchange.

      Reply

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