How to Buy Shares in Ireland



In this article, we provide some information about where you can buy shares online in Ireland.
We have also included a comparison of the fees charged by some of the main online stock trading platforms available in Ireland.


Share ownership is growing in Ireland . A 2021 survey by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission found that 36% of adults in Ireland that responded owned some sort of investment product. Of that 36% – 52% of them owned stocks and shares. That works out at 19% of adults owning shares.

With the very low interest rates on savings accounts in Ireland in 2022 , a lot of people are probably thinking about 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. However, there is also a chance that they could lose money.
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 thinking of investing money in stocks and shares.

Share Trading Apps


The increased popularity of stock/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 stocks.
In the past year, many online brokerages saw 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 buy stocks in Ireland” or ” the best trading app Ireland”.


In the USA , share trading apps such as Robinhood and FreeTrade are very popular – but they are not available to Irish residents.
However – there is a recent newcomer to the mobile investment market in Ireland – called BUX Zero.
More details about BUX Zero are given below and we compare Degiro Vs Bux and Etoro Vs Bux.


Important

Investing in stocks and shares involves the 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 Stocks and 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 choose yourself without getting any advice . You can trade stocks with no fees at all in some cases.


(More about buying ETFs in Ireland here)


Comparison of Share Trading Fees at Online Brokerages Operating in Ireland.

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

  • Bux Zero
  • DEGIRO.ie (We are using revised fees from20th Dec 2021)
  • eToro
  • Interactive Brokers
  • Davy Stockbrokers
  • Goodbody Online

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



IF you can deposit and withdraw USD , Etoro is the cheapest option in our comparison for trading US shares and UK shares.

Bux Zero worked out as having the lowest fees for small regular Euro share trades if you use their “Zero Order” option.

DEGIRO worked out as having the lowest fees when buying and selling shares on the Dublin Stock Exchange.


Share Dealing Charges Compared


Fees When Buying EU Shares


Bux Zero works out as the cheapest option if you use their “Zero Order” option.

Buy €1000 worh of EU shares each quarter for 5 years then sell for €30000Total Share Dealing Fees and Commissions
Bux Zero
(Zero Orders , Deposit & withdraw Euro)
Zero
Etoro
(Deposit & Withdraw USD)
€4.40 ($5 USD)
Bux Zero
(Market Orders , Deposits & withdrawals in Euro)
€21
DEGIRO
(Deposit / Withdraw Euros)
€104.90
Interactive Brokers
€211.12
Etoro
(Deposit & Withdraw Euros)
€255
Davy€949
Goodbody€1890

Fees on Small Regular Purchases of UK Shares


Etoro worked out as having the lowest fees for small regular purchases of UK shares.(They don’t pass on the Stamp Duty).

Buy €2000 of UK listed shares 4 times a year for 5 years then sell for €50000Total Share Dealing Fees and Commissions including Stamp Duty
Etoro
(Deposit and Withdraw USD)
€4.40
Etoro
(Deposit & Withdraw Euro)
€400.40
Interactive Brokers
(Deposit and Withdraw EUR)
€467.28
Interactive Brokers
(Deposit and Withdraw GBP)
€417.72
DEGIRO
(Deposit/Withdraw Euro)
€553.90
Davy (Deposit / Withdraw GBP) €1344
Goodbody
(Deposit GBP)
€1469
Bux ZeroNot Possible

These fees will also apply when buying shares in UK based Investment Trusts






Buying UK Shares – Fees on Large Purchases

Etoro also worked out as having the lowest fees for larger UK share purchases. (as long as you deposit USD )
Your capital is at risk

Buy €25000 worth of UK listed shares , KEEP for 4 years and sell for €40000 Total Share Dealing Fees and Commissions including Stamp Duty
Etoro
(Deposit and Withdraw USD)
€4.40
Interactive Brokers
(Deposit and Withdraw GBP)
€193.05
Interactive Brokers
(Deposit and Withdraw EUR)
€209.43
Etoro
(Deposit & Withdraw Euro
€290.40
DEGIRO
(Deposit & Withdraw Euro)
€306.30
Goodbody
(Deposit GBP)
€967
Davy (Deposit / Withdraw GBP) €1000
Bux ZeroNot Possible

These fees will also apply when buying shares in UK based Investment Trusts


Buying Irish Shares – Fee Comparison


DEGIRO came out as the cheapest in our comparison for trading Irish Shares. (There aren’t many options.)

Buy €1000 of Irish listed shares each month for a year then sell for €15000Total Share Dealing Fees and Commissions
DEGIRO€152.50
Davy€320
Goodbody€543
Bux ZeroNot Possible
EtoroNot Possible
Includes €120 Irish Stamp Duty


Buying US Shares – Comparison of Fees on High Volumes

Etoro worked out as having the lowest fees in our comparison IF you can deposit and withdraw in USD (eg. Using N26 or Revolut).
Your capital is at risk

Buy 30000 US listed shares @ $0.50 per share ($15000). Sell after 5 years for $25000.Total Share Dealing Fees and Commissions.
Etoro
(Deposit and Withdraw USD)
€4.40
DEGIRO
(Buy & sell on Frankfurt Exchange)
€21.30
Bux Zero
(Deposit & Withdraw Euros)
€88
DEGIRO
(Deposit & Withdraw Euros)
€113.50
Etoro
(Deposit & Withdraw Euro)
€123.20
Interactive Brokers
(Deposit and Withdraw USD)
€264
Interactive Brokers
(Deposit and Withdraw EUR)
€267.52
Davy (Deposit / Withdraw USD)€1150
Goodbody
(Deposit / Withdraw USD)
€1065


Buying US Shares – Fees on Low Volumes

Etoro had the lowest fees in the comparison IF deposits and withdrawals are made in USD (Using N26 or Revolut).
Your capital is at risk

Buy 1 US listed share every month for a year @ $400 per share. Sell after 2 years for $10000.Total Share Dealing Fees and Commissions.
Etoro
(Deposit and Withdraw USD)
€4.40
Interactive Brokers
(Deposit and Withdraw USD)
€11.44
Revolut (Trade in USD)€24
Bux Zero
(Deposit & Withdraw Euros)
€32.56
Interactive Brokers
(Deposit and Withdraw EUR)
€34.32
DEGIRO
(Deposit & Withdraw Euros)
€43.28
Etoro
(Deposit & Withdraw Euros)
€69.52

Buying Fractional Shares

Etoro came out as having the lowest fees for smaller purchases of fractional shares.(Assuming you can deposit and withdraw USD)
If you use Euros – then Bux Zero will have the lowest fees.
Your capital is at risk

Buy $100 worth of fractional Amazon share each month for 2 years.
Sell after 2 years for $3000
Total Share Dealing Fees and Commissions.
Etoro
(Deposit and Withdraw USD)
€4.40
Bux Zero
(Using Euros)
€13.50
Interactive Brokers
(Deposit and Withdraw USD)
€22
Revolut€27
Etoro
(Deposit & Withdraw Euro)
€28.16
Interactive Brokers
(Deposit and Withdraw EUR)
€66

More here on Where To Buy Fractional Shares


We have not included currency conversion fees for Davy or Goodbody because they don’t specify exactly 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. Both of these brokers allow deposits in USD or GBP if you want to avoid conversion fees . Their trading fees are a lot higher than the others even before any currency fees are taken into account.


We checked these figures in January 2022 and we have included the updated DEGIRO fees that changed on 20th Dec 2021.


Review of Some Online Stock Brokers in Ireland


BUX Zero

The BUX Zero trading platform is a recent newcomer to Ireland. It is owned by BUX which is a European mobile brokerage company, based in Amsterdam. It is a mobile-only platform and is available on Android and iPhone.
The range of shares available to buy is currently around 2300 – a mixture of US and EU shares. The selection of Euro ETFs available to buy is currently around 170 – but more are being added all the time.
Fractional shares are available on selected stocks.

OFFER: BUX Zero is currently offering a Free Share bonus to new customers. (No purchase needed).
BUX will select this Free Share bonus from companies that are available in the BUX App and have a share price between approximately €1 and €200.


BUX Zero is regulated by the AFM, The Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets.
All client funds held at ABN AMRO Clearing Bank are protected by the Dutch Bank Guarantee scheme up to €100,000.
Deposits and withdrawals on BUX Zero from Irish customers can be made by SEPA bank transfer. There are no deposit or withdrawal fees. More here about Bux Zero in Ireland

BUX Zero Fees

  • US share trades on BUX Zero are commission FREE – but there is a 0.25% foreign exchange fee. (i.e €1 on every €500 )
  • EU Shares/ETFs – commission is €1 per trade.
  • However , customers can opt for a ” Zero Order” trade on all EU stocks and ETFs- which will be commission-free.
    • Zero Orders will be executed at the end of the trading day, between 4 and 5 pm (Central European Time). Orders placed after 4 pm (CET) will be executed on the following day. If the price differential at the trade exceeds 5% for sell orders or 4% for buy orders, the zero-order is cancelled.
  • UK shares are not available yet.

At BUX Zero, the maximum amount you can invest in a single order is €25,000. You can of course put in as many orders as you’d like. The minimum order is €10.
As with all share trading – Investing involves risks. You can lose your deposit.


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. in 2020
You can use the DEGIRO desktop site or their mobile app for share dealing. The account currency is in Euros only.

Deposits can only be made on DEGIRO by bank transfer and there is no minimum deposit amount.
Read more here about Degiro

DEGIRO Share Trading Fees (Updated 20th Dec 2021)

  • Irish shares : €2 per trade + 50c handling fee
  • UK Shares €3.90 per trade plus 50c handling fee plus 0.25% currency conversion.
  • European shares: €3.90 per trade plus 50c handling fee.
  • US shares : €0.50c per trade handling fee plus 0.25% currency conversion
  • ETFs – some are fee-free otherwise €2 per trade plus 50c handling fee.
  • Annual fees – DEGIRO has an annual fee for connecting you to exchanges. This fee is currently 0.25% of your account value capped at €2.50 per exchange per year. There is no fee for using the Irish exchange for Irish residents.


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

TIP: On Degiro – many of the major US stocks listed on NASDAQ or NYSE can also be purchased on European stock markets – so if you are buying large amounts this would be a good way to avoid any currency conversion fees in Degiro.
For example, buying and then selling $5000 USD worth of shares on the NASDAQ with DEGIRO would result in $25 in currency conversion fees plus €1 handling fees and a €2.50 annual exchange fee. (Total = approx €28.50)
Using Degiro to buy and then sell the equivalent amount of Tesla shares on the Frankfurt stock exchange would cost just €11.30 in commission and fees .


You can sign up to DEGIRO here.


Your capital is at risk. Other fees may apply

Please note that Investing involves risk of loss.



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).

The Etoro share trading app works on Apple and Android. More details here about using Etoro in Ireland

You can buy fractional stocks on eToro – the minimum purchase is $10. This is great for smaller investors who can’t afford to pay a few thousand dollars for a single Amazon or Apple share.


ETFs are also available – but be warned, they can only be “bought” as CFDs – so you don’t actually own them and there will be fees charged on them. (We have not included ETFs from Etoro in the price comparison because of this.)

Etoro Share Dealing Fees

Etoro charges NO Commission on the buying or selling of shares and they also pay the stamp duty for you on UK shares, which is 0.5%.
They do charge a $5 USD flat charge for all withdrawals.

Etoro currently requires a minimum deposit of $50 for Irish customers. ($500 if using bank transfer).
However, they sometimes increase this limit at very busy periods.

There can be currency conversion fees on Etoro – but these can be avoided. (see below)
All incoming non USD deposits are automatically converted to US Dollars and conversion fees are charged.
The conversion fee on Euro deposits by bank transfer is 0.5%
On Euro deposits, with a debit card or Paypal , the conversion fee is 1.5%.
Withdrawals into a Euro bank account or debit/credit card or PayPal will also incur a 0.5% currency conversion fee if you don’t withdraw US dollars.
All withdrawals also incur a flat $5 dollar withdrawal fee.

You need to ensure you are buying shares on Etoro and not entering into a CFD (unless you intend to). It is important to check, before you buy, that the “leverage” is set to X1. (More information about CFDs.)

How to Avoid Currency Conversion Fees on Etoro

Deposits of USD

If you use a fee-free debit card such as N26 or Revolut to deposit US Dollars you will avoid the Etoro conversion fee.
N26 will not charge any fees on any spending in USD.
If you use Revolut – and plan on spending more than $1000 in a month in USD – you will be better off upgrading to Revolut Premium to avoid any conversion fees on Revolut. (0.5%)

Withdrawals of USD

Withdrawals from Etoro to an N26 debit card are allowed in USD. N26 will convert it to Euros at a good exchange rate and no fees. However , Etoro only allows withdrawals to debit cards up to the amount originally deposited using that card . So you will need to withdraw any profits you make to a bank account or Paypal. You

Revolut accounts can now be used for deposits and withdrawals of USD on Etoro. (Previously it couldn’t). You may have to fill in a transfer form and provide some bank statements showing how your Revolut account was funded.


Read more about Using Etoro in Ireland


Overall, even with currency fees. Etoro still works out a lot cheaper than the “old school” established Irish brokers. If you can get around some or all of the currency conversion fees by using N26 or Revolut – then it will be cheaper still.
Often, for investors who want to invest little and often, Etoro can work out as the cheapest option especially with UK shares because of the zero stamp duty. Check the figures in the table above.



(Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees)


Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers is a worldwide company and in Ireland, they are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland . 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. You can only use bank transfers (Wire/SEPA) for deposits and withdrawals, so no debit/Credit card, PayPal, or any other means of transferring money. By using a Wire transfer, you have one free withdrawal per month. Subsequent withdrawals in that same month will incur a fee of EUR 8.00. With SEPA (transfers only in EUR), you also have one free withdrawal a month, after which a fee of EUR 1.00 is applied.

Interactive Brokers Fees

The tiered fee structure at Interactive Brokers seems complicated and there are variable extras depending on the exchange used. We have used their fixed fee option for our comparison.

  • US shares $0.005 per share. (Min $1 ; Max 1% of trade)
  • Shares on the Irish stock exchange are not available to trade.
  • UK Shares 0.1% (Minimum charge £4)
  • Euro Shares/ ETFs 0.1% per trade Minimum charge €4
  • Currency Conversion 0.002% (Min $2)


Interactive Brokers


Davy Stockbrokers

Davy Stockbrokers are based in Dublin and 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 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 per trade.
  • €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.)


See the table above to see more examples of how Davy compares to DEGIRO and eToro

Signup at Davy Select here


Goodbody Online

Goodbody has been involved in the Dubin Stock Exchange since 1874. In March 2021 Goodbody Stockbrokers was bought by AIB. 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)


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.
Revolut limits each trade to a maximum value of USD $10,000. (or 500 shares)

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. You’ll need to invest at least US$1.00. The minimum fraction of a share you can buy is 0.00000001.

Since Brexit , Revolut is not allowed to publicise or promote its stock trading facility to customers in Ireland or the rest of the EU. Revolut states that “Customers have to initiate such services at your own exclusive initiative; where we provide you services on this basis, they are not deemed as provided in the territory of the European Economic Area”


Share Trading Fees on Revolut

  • US shares €1 per trade
    • Standard Revolut account holders get 1 free trade each month.
    • Revolut “Plus” account holders get 3 free trades a month.
    • Premium account holders get 8 free trades a month
    • Metal account holders get unlimited free trades.
  • There’s a 0.12% annual custody fee on Revolut. For example, you would be charged $12 a year if you held $10,000 worth of 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 stock trading alternatives to Revolut or RobinHood in Ireland – then, as our comparison above shows, Degiro , Bux Zero and Etoro have the lowest charges for buying shares in Ireland


Currency Risk


For Irish residents, having to use US Dollars as the base currency in Etoro and Revolut – will also expose you to any fluctuations in the USD/EUR exchange rate. Sometimes these risks can work in your favour, other times they don’t. For example, let’s say your Etoro or Revolut portfolio (in USD) rose by 12% in a year, and the US Dollar also rose by 10% against the Euro . In this case, your net return will be increased to 22% when you convert your profits to Euros But the reverse is also true; if the US Dollar fell by 10% against the Euro – you would get a net return of just 2% when you convert your profits.



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 most of 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 Exchange Traded Funds here.


Stamp duty on Shares

Stamp duty is chargeable on the purchase of all Irish and UK shares.
The stamp duty rates are:

  • 1% on Irish Shares
  • 0.5% on UK shares.

This will be the same for all brokers. However, Etoro absorbs the stamp duty for you on UK shares – but they don’t currently allow the purchase of Irish stocks.


Taxation of Profits From 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 Capital Gains 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


You may also be interested in the following articles

How to Buy Bitcoin in Ireland

Fractional Shares

Buying Cryptocurrencies in Ireland

CFDs and Spread Trading in Ireland


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