How to Buy Shares Online in Ireland

With the interest rates on savings accounts in Ireland so low, some people might be looking into alternative investment options for some of their money.
Buying shares is one method of potentially making a return from an increase in share value and also from dividends. In this article, we will show you where you can buy shares online in Ireland and which is the cheapest method.


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 people might want to try and make some money from stocks and shares.


After sharp falls in share prices in March 2020 because of coronavirus, there has been some very good recovery in some share prices since then. Interestingly, we saw much larger numbers of people searching for ” How to buy shares online in Ireland” and “how to buy stocks in Ireland” or “online trading in Ireland ” in the weeks after the stock markets fell.


Important

Investing in stocks and shares involves risk of loss. Shares can fall in value as well as rise.
We do not recommend that anyone should invest money they cannot afford to lose. 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 shares in companies like Amazon , Alphabet (Google) , Ryanair or Tesla , they become a shareholder in that company.
A person can also own shares of several kinds of other 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 include the London Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange etc.
The Irish Stock exchange is known as the ISEQ.

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 online “execution-only” trading account with a brokerage. That means you can buy or sell shares or ETFs that you chose yourself without getting any advice from a broker. You can trade stocks with fees as low as 50c in some cases.
(More about ETFs here)


A comparison of the share trading fees at some online brokerages operating in Ireland.

We have compared the fees charged by :

  • DEGIRO
  • eToro
  • Interactive Brokers
  • Davy Select
  • Goodbody Online.

The fees shown are for buying or selling shares / ETFs.
Stamp Duty charges have been included on the UK and Irish shares as well as estimated currency conversion fees where applicable.


These figures were checked in January 2021.

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 they were 22 times cheaper than the most expensive alternative.
Etoro worked 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 they are. But 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.


Review of Online Share Brokerage Fees in Ireland


DEGIRO

Dutch firm DEGIRO launched its online stock brokerage services in 2013.
DEGIRO now operates in 18 European countries – including Ireland
The Investors Chronicle / Financial Times voted DEGIRO the Best Low-cost Stockbroker in 2018 and the best mobile share dealing app in 2019.

DEGIRO is regulated by the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) and the Dutch Central Bank (DNB). It uses EU passporting rules to allow it to operate across the single market. Share dealing can be carried out on the DEGIRO desktop site or on their mobile app. 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%

There is no minimum deposit with DEGIRO.
DEGIRO is partnered with Flatex Bank to hold client’s uninvested cash. Flatex bank is guaranteed by the German Deposit Guarantee Scheme. So all DEGIRO client’s uninvested cash is covered, up to €100,000.

If you bought 1000 US shares worth €10,000 ,kept them for 5 years and then sold them for €15000 , DEGIRO would charge you a total of €46.50 in fees and commission including currency charges.



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


You can sign up to DEGIRO here.


Etoro

Etoro was founded in 2007 and operates in more than 140 countries with over 11 million users. 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). The number of ETFs available is small and limited to the US only.
Trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is also possible on eToro.

Share Dealing Fees at Etoro

They charge no commission on the buying or selling of shares and they also pay the stamp duty on UK shares, which is 0.5%.


What’s the catch? I hear you ask
Well – for customers who don’t have a US Dollar bank account there are some currency conversion fees. All incoming deposits have to be converted to US Dollars with a fee on Euro bank transfers of 0.5%. Withdrawals into a Euro bank account will also incur a 0.5% currency conversion fee plus a $5 dollar charge.
It looks like you might be able to use a fee-free debit card such as N26 to deposit in US Dollars and avoid the Etoro conversion fees .. Then you would have to get any withdrawals paid to the N26 card – which should also be possible. We will be checking this out in early 2021.
Etoro asks for a minimum deposit of $200.


Overall, even with currency fees. Etoro still works out a lot cheaper than the established Irish brokers. For investors who want to invest little and often – Etoro can sometimes work out cheaper than DEGIRO with UK shares because of the zero stamp duty. Check the figures in the table above.


Etoro also allows you to take advantage of ‘fractional ownership’ of a stock. This makes it easier for smaller investors to get expensive stocks like Amazon in their portfolio.

With Etoro – If you bought 1000 US shares worth €10,000 , kept them for 5 years and then sold them for €15000 you would not pay any commission or account maintenance fees. Assuming you deposited and withdrew Euros – you would be charged €125 in currency conversion fees by eToro. If you had a USD bank account – there would be no fees at all.
See the table above to see more examples of Etoro Vs DEGIRO

You can Join Etoro Here


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 €29
  • Maintenance Fees : Minimum commission of $10 every month. (This fee is waived if you have over $100k in portfolio
  • 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 Select

Davy stockbrokers are based in Dublin and are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. The minimum investment is €500. Davy Select seems to be a popular site for people checking out Irish ISEQ share prices. You cannot buy or sell shares on the Davy app.

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 as far back as 1874. Fexco bought Goodbody Stockbrokers in 2011 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

  • Charge of 1% 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



Alternative Share Buying Apps

Revolut

Revolut allows customers to trade selected shares on the New York Stock Exchange (about 750 companies). They do not give access to stock markets in London, Dublin or Europe. Nor do Revolut allow trading of ETFs, index trackers or investment trusts.
Basic Revolut account holders get 3 free trades each month. (A trade is a buy or a sell)
Premium account holders get 8 free trades a month.
When you use up your monthly free limit, trades are charged at £1 each.
(Vs $0.50 on DEGIRO.)


Revolut limits each trade to just US$1,000. So it’s not really for the serious investor, it’s more for people who want to dip their toes into trading shares. You can buy fractions of shares – which is great if you can’t afford or don’t want to risk the $3000 dollars or more for an Amazon share.

There’s a small 0.01% annual custody fee. For example. If you held £25,000 worth of shares with Revolut , you’ll be charged £2.50 a year.
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 in Ireland nor in the rest of Europe. It is only available for use by residents of the USA. Their planned launch in the UK earlier this year was postponed and then abandoned.


WeBull seems to be another popular stock trading service in the USA. Webull is a mobile app-based brokerage that features commission-free stock and exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading. WeBull is not available in Ireland or Europe , it is only available to residents of the USA.

If you are interested in affordable share trading in Ireland – then, as our comparison above shows, Degiro is the best priced option.


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 absorb 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 make a gain on a share trade, the state is going to be looking for 33% of it as Capital Gains Tax . This is 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. There are no tax-free exemptions with DIRT on deposits.


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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