How to Buy Shares in Ireland

With the current low interest rates on savings accounts in Ireland, many people are looking into alternative investment options for some of their spare cash.
One way of potentially making a return is by buying shares. It is possible to profit from any increase in the share value and also from any dividends.
There have been some huge share price rises in recent years of companies like Tesla , Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple. So it’s understandable that more people are becoming interested in trying to make some money from stocks and shares. However, there is also a chance that they could lose money.
In this article, we will show you where you can buy shares online in Ireland and compare prices from some of the stock trading platforms available in Ireland.

Share Trading Apps


In the USA , share trading apps such as Robinhood and FreeTrade are very popular – but they are not available to Irish residents.
The increased popularity of share trading apps such as Robinhood in the last year or two has resulted in a rise in the number of younger people becoming involved in buying and selling shares. In the past year, many online brokerages have seen record numbers of new sign-ups We have seen much larger numbers of people searching for ” How can I buy shares in Ireland?” and “How to invest in stocks in Ireland” or ” the best trading app Ireland”.


Important

Investing in stocks and shares involves risk of loss because shares can fall in value as well as rise.
We do not recommend that anyone should invest money they cannot afford to lose. More importantly, if you want a guarantee that you will not lose any of your money, then the stock market is probably not for you.


Stocks and Shares Explained

A share is a small part of a company that you can buy for a set price.
When someone buys a share in companies such as Amazon, Alphabet or Tesla , they become a shareholder in that company.
A person can also own shares of several kinds of financial instruments: such as investment trusts, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs)


Stock
is the generic term for shares. The Stock Market is made up of various exchanges where shares are bought and sold by stockbrokers. These exchanges include the London Stock Exchange(LSE) , New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Irish Stock exchange (ISEQ and several others.

Share prices can move up or down in value, depending on the performance of the stock market, the current profitability of the company and the expected future profitability or potential of the company.


Cheapest Way to Buy Shares in Ireland

The cheapest and easiest way to buy stocks and shares in Ireland is to have an “execution-only” trading account with an online brokerage. That means you are able to buy or sell shares or ETFs that you chose yourself without getting any advice . You can trade stocks with fees as low as 50c in some cases.
(More about ETFs here)



A comparison of Share Trading Fees at Online Brokerages Operating in Ireland.

We compared the fees charged by the following online stock brokerages :

  • DEGIRO.ie
  • eToro
  • Interactive Brokers
  • Davy Stockbrokers
  • Goodbody Online

The figures shown below include Stamp Duty charges for UK and Irish shares. Currency conversion fees are also included below unless it is stated otherwise.

In our comparison of online share dealing fees and portfolio management costs – DEGIRO came out as the cheapest in all but one scenario.
In one example, DEGIRO were 22 times cheaper than the most expensive alternative.


Special Offer – Anyone who joins DEGIRO before the 1st September 2021 will have all their transaction fees up until Nov 1st refunded. (Maximum refund of €50)



Etoro works out as the cheapest option for smaller regular purchases of UK shares.


Share Dealing Charges Compared

TransactionsDEGIROEtoroInteractive
Brokers
DavyGoodbody
Buy €1000 of Irish shares
each month for a year.
€150Not possibleNot Possible
€320€543
Buy €500 of UK stocks
every month for 10 years. Sell for €80,000
€1280€705€2183€4434€5061
Buy €10,000 worth of
US shares @ $10 each
and sell after 5 years for €15000.
€46.50€125€516€1050
€880
Buy €10000 of UK
shares, keep for 2
years then sell them
at a 20% gain.
€102€114€274€466€518
Buy €1,000 of Euro
ETFs each month
for 5 years
€282.50Not possible$600
(€530)
€2399€3615


We have not included currency conversion fees for Davy or Goodbody because they don’t specify how much the fees are. However, you can expect to pay as much as 1% at Davy and up to 1.25% at Goodbody when buying or selling shares in a currency other than Euro.


We checked these figures in June 2021.


Review of Online Share Brokerage Fees in Ireland


DEGIRO

Dutch firm DEGIRO launched its online stock brokerage services in the Netherlands in 2013.
DEGIRO now operates in 18 European countries – including Ireland.
Readers of the Investors Chronicle / Financial Times voted DEGIRO as the top-rated investment platform and investment app.
DeGiro B.V. merged with flatexDEGIRO Bank AG in early 2021, creating the biggest online execution-only broker in Europe with its own banking license.
Flatex DEGIRO Bank Dutch Branch, trading under the name DEGIRO, is the Dutch branch of flatexDEGIRO Bank AG.
As a German regulated bank, flatexDEGIRO Bank AG is primarily supervised by the German financial regulator, the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin )It uses EU passporting rules to allow it to operate across the single market.
You can use the DEGIRO desktop site or their mobile app for share dealing. The account currency is in Euros only.

DEGIRO Share Trading Fees

  • Irish shares : €2 + 0.05% per trade
  • UK / European shares: €4 +0.05% per trade capped at a maximum of €60
  • US shares : €0.50 per trade + (USD 0.004 per share)
  • ETFs – some free otherwise €2 plus 0.03%
  • Annual fees – DEGIRO has an annual fee you for connecting you to exchanges. This fee is currently €2.50 per exchange per year but there is no fee for the Irish exchange for Irish residents.
  • Foreign exchange fees – Manual = €10 plus 0.02% OR auto = 0.1%

Special Offer – Anyone who joins DEGIRO before the 1st September 2021 will have all their transaction fees up until Nov 1st refunded. (Maximum refund of €50)

Deposits can only be made by on DEGIRO by bank transfer and there is no minimum deposit amount.
DEGIRO is partnered with Flatex Bank and the bank is covered by the German Deposit Guarantee Scheme. This means that DEGIRO client’s uninvested cash is covered, up to €100,000.

If you bought 1000 US shares worth €10,000 on Degiro.ie , kept them for 5 years and then sold them for €15,000, DEGIRO would charge a total of €46.50 in fees and commission including currency charges.
Your capital is at risk. Other fees may apply


See the table above to see more examples of DEGIRO charges compared with Etoro other online stockbrokers.

Please note that Investing involves risk of loss.


You can sign up to DEGIRO here.


Etoro

Etoro was founded in 2007 and it has over 20 million registered users spread over more than 140 countries.
Irish residents will use eToro (Europe) which is based in Cyprus and regulated by the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission. It uses EU passporting rules to allow it to operate across the single market.
Etoro has access to several stock exchanges around the world (But not Dublin).

You can buy fractional stocks on eToro – the minimum purchase is $50.
ETFs are also available – but they can only be “bought” as CFDs – so you don’t actually own them and there will be fees charged on them. The Etoro share trading app works on Apple and Android.

Etoro Share Dealing Fees

Etoro charges no commission on the buying or selling of shares and they also pay the stamp duty on UK shares, which is 0.5%.
You need to ensure you are buying shares and not entering into a CFD. It is important to check, before you buy, that the “leverage” is set to 1. There are fees on CFDs . (More information about CFDs.)


What’s the catch? I hear you ask… No Fees?
Well – there are some currency conversion fees on Etoro
All incoming deposits will be converted to US Dollars and conversion fees are charged. The conversion fee on Euro deposits by bank transfer is 0.5% and on Euro deposits, with a debit card, the conversion fee is 1.5%.
Withdrawals into a Euro bank account or debit/credit card will also incur a 0.5% currency conversion fee plus a flat $5 dollar charge.


However – you could use a fee-free debit card such as N26 or Transferwise to deposit in US Dollars and avoid the Etoro conversion fee. But, you would also have to have any withdrawals paid back to the same card – which should be possible.
(Etoro states that USD deposits can’t be carried out by using Revolut cards.)

Etoro normally requires a minimum deposit of $200. However, they sometimes increase this at very busy periods.


Overall, even with currency fees. Etoro still works out a lot cheaper than the “old school” established Irish brokers. If you can get around the currency conversion fees – then it will be even cheaper cheapest
Sometimes, for investors who want to invest little and often , Etoro can work out cheaper than DEGIRO, especially with UK shares because of the zero stamp duty.
Etoro might also be useful for regular investments in shares in UK Investment Trusts such as the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust which is currently not available on DEGIRO. Check the figures in the table above.

Fractional Shares

Etoro also allows you to take advantage of fractional ownership of a stock. This makes it easier for smaller investors to get some exposure to expensive stocks like Amazon or Tesla etc. (Minimum purchase is $50).
Once again – make sure you are buying stocks with leverage set to 1 otherwise you are entering into a Contract for Difference which will result in fees and potentially bigger losses.

With Etoro – if you bought 1000 US shares worth €10,000 , kept them for 5 years and then sold them for €15,000 you would not pay any commission or account maintenance fees. However, if you deposited and withdrew Euros, you would incur currency conversion fees of €125.
But if you had a USD bank account – there would be no fees at all.
A $10 monthly inactivity charge is made on any remaining available balance after 12 months with no login activity,
See the table above to see more examples of Etoro Vs DEGIRO

(Your capital is at risk. Other fees may apply)


Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers is a worldwide company and Irish residents will deal with the UK branch, Interactive Brokers U.K. Limited. They are authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. Online share trading can be carried out on a desktop or also on the IB app. Funds can be held in several currencies including USD, EUR and GBP

Interactive Brokers Fees

  • US shares $0.005 per share
  • Irish shares not available to buy.
  • UK Shares £6 per order up to £50k. (Over £50k = £6 +0.05% Max £29)
  • Euro Shares 0.1% , Min €4 . Max depends on exchange – ranges from €0 to €99
  • Maintenance Fees : Minimum commission of $10 every month. (This fee is waived if your portfolio is more than $100k ).
  • Currency Conversion 0.002% (Min $2)

Their $10 minimum commission per month makes them an expensive option for most investors.
If you bought 1000 US shares @$10 each and kept them for 5 years then sold them for €15000 , Interactive Brokers would charge you €516 .
Compared with DeGiro – Interactive Brokers would be about €470 more expensive.


Davy Stockbrokers

Davy Stockbrokers are based in Dublin and they are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. The minimum investment is €500. Davy Select is their online trading platform and it seems to be a popular site for people checking out Irish ISEQ share prices. They do have an app as well, but it is not possible to buy or sell shares on the Davy Select app. The fees shown below are the online fees for the Davy Select Personal Investment Account (Execution-Only).

Online Share Dealing Fees at Davy Select:

  • Trading fees of 0.5% – Minimum €14.99.
  • €25 Foreign Transaction Settlement Charge per trade for each trade of shares listed outside Ireland and UK .
  • Execution Service Fee of €50 per quarter ( less any commissions paid that quarter).
  • Minimum Fee per trade for shares listed outside Ireland and UK : 0.06%.
  • Foreign exchange fees not specified but “max 1%.” (But you can deposit Euro / GBP or USD if you are able to do so and avoid conversion fees.)

If you bought €10,000 worth of US shares with Davy Select , kept them for 5 years and sold them for €15000, Davy would charge you a total of €1050 in commission and service fees. Compared with DEGIRO – Davy online is €1000 more expensive.
See the table above to see more examples of how Davy compares to DEGIRO

Signup at Davy Select here


Goodbody Online

Goodbody has been involved in the Dubin Stock Exchange since 1874. In 2011 Goodbody Stockbrokers was bought by Fexco and they are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. You need to deposit a minimum of €5000 to open an online trading account with Goodbody.
Goodbody does not have a share trading mobile app.

Online Fees at Goodbody

  • 1% charge on the first €25k of a transaction – then 0.5%. ( Minimum fee €25.)
  • A €25 charge on all US and European trades.
  • Maintenance Fee €100 year plus VAT
  • Foreign exchange fees – “up to 1.25%”. (You can deposit GBP/USD to avoid fees)

If you bought €10,000 worth of US share, kept them for 5 years and sold them for €15000 – Goodbody would charge you €880 in maintenance fees and commission. Compared with using DEGIRO – Goodbody would be €830 more expensive.
See the table above to see more examples of DEGIRO Vs Goodbody.

Sign up at Goodbody here



Some Alternative Share Trading Apps

Revolut

Revolut allows customers in Ireland to trade in selected shares on the New York Stock Exchange (about 750 companies). They do not give access to stock markets in London, Dublin or Europe. Revolut doesn’t allow trading of ETFs, index trackers or investment trusts. One other disadvantage of buying shares with Revolut is that you can’t transfer your shares to another broker.

You can buy fractional shares on Revolut, which is great if you can’t afford ,or don’t want to risk ,a large amount on one company. Share dealing for Revolut is carried out by a third party broker called DriveWealth LLC.


Share Trading Fees on Revolut


Standard Revolut account holders get 1 free trade each month. (A trade is a buy or a sell)
Revolut “Plus” account holders get 3 free trades and Premium account holders get 5 free trades a month.
Once you exceed your monthly free limit, you will be charged £1 per trade.
(Vs $0.50 on DEGIRO.)
There’s a small 0.12% annual custody fee on Revolut. For example, you would be charged £30 a year if you held £25,000 worth of shares.

Revolut limits each trade to a maximum of just US$1,000. Because of this limit, we think that Revolut is not really for the serious investor, it’s more for people who want to dip their toes into trading shares.


Find Out More at Revolut


Robinhood

In the USA, a share trading app called Robinhood has become very popular with novice investors. Robinhood is not available to buy shares in Ireland or the rest of Europe. It is only available for use by residents of the USA. Their planned UK launch in 2020 was abandoned.

Another popular stock-trading app in the USA is called Webull.
Webull is a mobile app-based brokerage that features commission-free stock trading. Webull is not available in Ireland or Europe, it is only available to residents of the USA.

If you are looking for affordable alternatives to RobinHood in Ireland – then, as our comparison above shows, Degiro and Etoro have the lowest charges for buying shares in Ireland




ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds)

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) are a good method of investing in a wider portfolio of shares. You can buy ETFs from all the stockbrokers we have listed above. An ETF, also known as a tracker, is a product that follows an index, commodity, bond or composition of products. You can think of it as a basket of shares.

Read more about Buying ETF Funds here.

Stamp duty on Shares

Stamp duty is chargeable on the purchase of all Irish and UK shares. The rates are: 1% on Irish Shares and 0.5% on UK shares. This will be the same for all brokers. However, Etoro absorbs the stamp duty for you – but they don’t currently allow the purchase of Irish stocks.


Taxation of Shares

Capital Gains Tax (CGT).
If you buy shares in Ireland and make a profit when you sell them, the state is going to be looking for 33% of the profit as Capital Gains Tax . This is currently the same rate as the DIRT tax on deposit accounts. Unlike DIRT, the first €1,270 of taxable gains in a tax year are exempt from CGT.

More details here about Tax on Sales of Shares in Ireland

More here about Irish Taxation of Dividends from Shares

See here for Information about Taxation of ETFs in Ireland

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Or CFDs and Spread Trading in Ireland


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