investor toolkit 2021

Last Update: November 21st, 2022

Here is a list of all the investment accounts I use on a regular basis. Since it’s quite a long list, I figured it would be easier to have it all on one page and not spread out across the website.

I also added some extras that I use on a daily basis at the end of this page.

Investments

Let’s start with my investments in Peer-to-Peer Lending. Some of the platforms currently offer an investor bonus for new registrations using my links, which you can see in brackets next to their name.

P2P Lending

Here’s the full list of currently available bonus offers and their conditions in the P2P lending space:

Next, let’s have a look at the largest part of my investment portfolio, ETFs.

ETFs

As I’ve mentioned before, I like to keep this part as simple as possible, while being diversified all over the world. That’s why I just buy a single ETF, the Vanguard FTSE All-World (ISIN: IE00BK5BQT80).

Let’s start with my international brokerage accounts, which are likely available for most people in my audience.

ETF Brokers (International)

  • Interactive Brokers – This one is my favorite. IBKR is one of the most trusted, most reputable brokers in the world, for good reason. Extremely low trading fees, no account fees (monthly inactivity fees were removed in July 2021!), no dividend fees and no share lending by default. You can’t go wrong with Interactive Brokers. I just wish it was a bit easier for beginners. Here’s my guide.
  • Degiro – Probably the best known, low-cost broker in Europe. Degiro has some of the lowest trading fees on the market and offers 200 ETFs which can be traded at a reduced flat rate.
  • Trade Republic – No account fees and only 1€ in fees when buying or selling ETFs and stocks (any amount). No investment fees when buying via saving plans. They’re now available in Austria, Germany, Belgium, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Cyprus.

ETF Brokers (Germany & Austria)

Some of these have even better conditions than the international brokers I mentioned. The only downside is, they’re only available for investors from Germany and Austria.

  • Flatex Austria – No account fees and free saving plans on 150 ETFs (1,5€ for other ETFs). They take care of the taxes for you if you’re a resident in Austria, which makes things a lot easier if you’re just starting out.
    I currently have the majority of my ETF investments here, plus a savings plan for the Vanguard FTSE All-World ETF at the beginning of every month. If you’re a German resident, you can check out Flatex Germany.
  • Scalable Capital Broker – No account fees, only 0,99€ in trading fees and free saving plans for ETFs. They just launched in Spain, France and Italy as well and are currently running a free share promotion. Definitely worth checking out if they’re available in your country.
  • Smartbroker – A fantastic broker for instant ETF or stock purchases. Any buy or sell order with a value over 500€ is completely free of charge when using the Gettex exchange on Smartbroker. No brokerage account fees either.

Cryptocurrencies

Here is where I buy my more speculative investments, which mostly consist of Bitcoin and Ethereum:

  • Binance – My favorite place to buy cryptocurrencies right now. The largest digital asset exchange in the world, with the highest trading volume in the sector and very low fees. You can save an extra 10% on trading fees when signing up via my link.
  • Bitpanda – In addition to crypto, they also offer physically backed investments into precious metals like gold and silver and are based in Austria, my home country. Bitpanda even enables users to set up personal saving plans, which allow investors to dollar-cost-average into these volatile assets.
  • Kraken – Another great exchange to buy & hold digital assets with a long history.

Investment Tracking

  • Portfolio Performance – This is the free tool I use to keep track of my investments. I wrote a guide a while back, which you can find here.

Bank Accounts & Cards

Apart from my standard, slow bank account in Austria which costs me 5€/month (and which thus shall not be mentioned), here are three accounts I actually appreciate:

  • Crypto.com – My wife and I are currently using the Ruby Steel VISA card for all of our expenses (details here). We get 1% cashback (in CRO) on every purchase, the card fully refunds our Spotify subscription every month (saving us about 155€/year) and has no card fees. You can use my referral codet2pj8q8nmz to get $25 in CRO tokens if you want to get your own card.
  • N26 – A free German bank account, protected up to 100.000€ due to N26’s European banking license. Due to its integration with TransferWise, the account allows us to make international transfers in other currencies at the market exchange rate, without additional, hidden fees.

Extras

This part has nothing to do with my investments directly, but I figured it’s worth sharing as well.

Email & Privacy

  • Protonmail – I moved everything from Gmail to Proton a few months ago and I couldn’t be happier with the switch. Emails are stored end-to-end encrypted and nobody except me is able to read what’s in my mailbox, not even employees at the company (unlike Google). I’m using the Mail Essentials business plan, which enables me to send and receive emails from three of my domains via Proton. You usually get the best deal by paying for 24 months in advance and switching the currency to USD. Proton also has an excellent VPN, which is included in some of their plans.
  • Simplelogin – A fantastic email aliasing service, which I like to use in combination with my Protonmail account. Great for when you don’t want to hand out your real email address. Instead, you’re able to create up to 15 email aliases like company.newsletter@slmail.me, which then forward emails to your actual inbox. The best part: You can reply to those emails via your inbox, while keeping your actual email hidden from the recipient (they see it as being sent from company.newsletter@slmail.me). And you can easily delete any of your aliases whenever you want, to never receive emails from that source again. The free plan offers up to 15 active aliases, while you can create unlimited ones (+ use your own domains) via a paid plan. I’m using a paid plan currently. Note: Simplelogin was recently acquired by Proton, so I’m expecting them to be integrated into Proton’s paid subscriptions at no extra cost soon.

VPN

  • Surfshark VPN – An excellent, low-cost VPN. It has a strict no-logs policy, can be used on an unlimited number of devices and it supports the latest Wireguard protocol for an excellent combination of encryption & speed. It also unlocks the Netflix libraries from 18 different countries (a feature we use all the time) and it is P2P (eg. torrenting) friendly. Best of all, it’s a lot less expensive than similar alternatives, at 1,81€/month via this link [83% off!].
    I’ve used NordVPN, Windscribe and Cyberghost before, but I like this one a lot better. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also by far the fastest VPN I’ve ever used, I pretty much always get the max. speed I’m able to get out of my 250 MBit/s home internet line, even while my connection is encrypted via Surfshark. I also use it for security reasons whenever I’m using a public Wi-Fi network.

YouTube & Blogging

Every once in a while, someone reaches out to me to ask how they can start their own blog or YouTube channel. Here are the services I use:

  • WordPress – I use this free CMS for my blog.
  • NameHero – I moved my websites to NameHero in summer 2020 and I couldn’t be happier with the combination of speed, reliability and the quality of the support I received so far. I use the Plus Cloud Plan in the Netherlands (NL) Datacenter.
  • TubeBuddy – I use a TubeBuddy license and the Chrome extension to help manage my videos (and SEO) on YouTube.

Some of these are affiliate links, which help support me, the website & YouTube channel. I only link to services I use and am convinced of myself, none of the links are sponsored.

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34 Comments

  1. I have an account direct with IBKR (Interactive Brokers) and – certainly for UK stocks – the fees are lower than CapTrader.

    Unfortunately IBKR charges a 10 USD ‘Monthly Activity Fee’. Is this the fee absent from CapTrader?
    But then you can earn money from the ‘Stock Yield Programme’ on IBKR which lends out your shares.
    I imagine the latter is negligible for lower balances.

    Also, DeGiro go not charge any dividend fees on Basic accounts. Only the Custoday account charges the 1 EUR plus fee for a dividend. Basic account does what I want.

    Cheers.

    1. Hi Jon,
      yes, the trading fees are lower if you go directly to IBKR. But with CapTrader you don’t have the monthly 10$ inactivity fee, which they have to finance somehow – in this case, it’s via slightly higher trading fees when buying/selling.

      For the vast majority of people (me included), going the CapTrader route is still a much better deal. Thanks to CapTrader I’m paying 2€ for my 1.000-2.000€ ETF order on Interactive Brokers once a month vs. needing to generate 10$ in trading commissions every single month for a direct IBKR account to be worth it.
      And I’m still getting a fully-featured IB account, including the option to opt into the stock yield program.

      That’s true, for most people Degiro Basic is likely enough. I just know some people don’t like the share lending policy (even though it’s collateralized at 103%), which is why I mention these things.

      1. Useful to note that since July 2021 the inactivity fee has been removed, so trading directly through IBKR is a far simpler solution!

  2. Hi Angelo
    Do you know of a way in which a European resident/citizen can buy US domiciled ETFs?
    Is it possible to be classed as an experienced investor by the likes of DEGIRO or cap trader and what annual paperwork is required to avail of these lower cost funds and in my country a more favourable tax treatment 41% vs 33% on any gains.
    I only intend to invest in accumulating ETFs to minimise paperwork

    1. Hi David, sadly I have no experience with US-domiciled ETFs. What’s special about them that you’re not able to get in Europe? Are you sure they have a more favorable tax treatment in your country?

  3. Hi Angelo,

    I have a question. Which broker (ETF fractional shares if possible) would you recommend for new investor from Slovakia. DEGIRO is not available in my country. Was thinking about flatex.at which you mentioned in your videos. Trading 212 is not opening new accounts at the moment. Would really appreciate your help.

    Thanks in advance

    P.S. Love your videos. Keep it up!

    1. Hi Adam,
      I’m not sure if Flatex is possible for Slovak residents. In your case, I would personally go with Interactive Brokers (via CapTrader to avoid the inactivity fees). The only requirement is that you need 2.000€ to start using the broker. I saw fractional shares mentioned regarding Interactive Brokers a few times online, but I haven’t been able to activate them for my ETF yet. That’s something I’ll look into as well.

      Thank you, I’m very happy to hear that!

  4. Hello Angelo,
    Thanks for your blogs they are quite insightful. I have a question for you, at the moment you have invested in multiple platforms (crowdlending, shares, crypto..). How do you track all the accounts and earnings from each account? Do you maintain an excel sheet or something?

    I am also in a similar situation. I have investments in few crowdlending platforms (Peerberry, Viainvest, Robocash) and have share accounts with eToro and Scalable. However, its quite a pain to get a monthly overview of how much I have earned/lost.

    And looks like you have system to calculate Monthly Income reports. Could you please share your ideas on that too?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Sud,
      I use the free tool Portfolio Performance to track my investments in P2P lending on a monthly basis. You can find some details in this post. You can also use it to track stocks & ETFs, which I only do once/year though, to see my yearly performance (after entering all monthly purchases that year). I’m sure you can use Portfolio Performance to track crypto as well, but you might need to add the value of some assets manually.

      My own system still has some room for improvement for sure 🙂 Every couple of months my wife and I group all of our shared assets together in an Apple Numbers file to see if our net worth is moving in the right direction.
      Hope this helps!

      1. Hey Angelo,

        Many thanks for the hint. After your suggestion, I have been using Portfolio Performance and it really looks cool. Finally I have got a dashboard to manage all different investments.

        However, it would have been great if there was a web-based dashboard which I can use from any mobile or laptop. Otherwise I am totally satisfied with Portfolio Performance.

        Thanks again

  5. Hi Angelo,

    for CapTrader, if I deposit Euros and want to buy stocks in USD, do you know what is the currency conversion fee? Thank you!

    1. Hi Mirabella,
      it should be this if I’m not mistaken.

      You could also look into converting/sending USD to your Interactive Brokers account via Revolut (only 0.30€ fee) or TransferWise (now called Wise), if that ends up being cheaper.

  6. Hello Angelo, first of all thanks a lot for all your tips and advices. Being a foreign living in Austria and not (yet) a German speaker, when comes to investments and taxes is something non-trivial.
    My question: do you have a comparison between Flatex and Hellobank? All my ETf’s are in Hellobank, but after watching some of your videos I might consider changing it.
    Thanks a lot 🙂

    1. Hi Guilherme, my pleasure!
      Sure, here’s what stopped me from using Hellobank:

      – 0,12% brokerage fees/year (that’s 120€/year when you reach 100.000€ in investments!). Brokerage fees (especially as a percentage) are a no-go in my opinion, as those increase as your account grows.
      – 18€/year fees for your clearing acccount
      – Higher fees vs. Flatex when buying/selling stocks/ETFs
      – Higher fees and smaller choice regarding ETF savings plans (“Sparplan”)
      – Dividend fees if I’m not mistaken (not sure if’s the same for ETFs)

      I would go with Flatex instead personally.

      Hope this helps! 🙂
      Btw, hit me up if you need some help setting up a savings plan with Flatex for example.

      1. Tks a lot! That is what I was looking for
        And I really appreciate your offer, danke 🙂

  7. Hi Angelo, thank you very much for creating this blog space as well as your youtube video content, it’s very helpful!

    I have a couple of questions regarding using flatex for ETF’s, as I am completely new to ETF’s and investing in general.

    I reside mainly in Austria, however, currently, I am not here. And I saw that when opening my flatex account, you enter your address and it says Bitte geben Sie Ihre Adressdaten an (gemäß Ausweisdokument). So, I would still need to put in my Austrian Address, which sadly means I won’t receive important information to start off with?

    Also, I was wondering if you are planning to do a video or tutorial on how to buy ETS’s using flatex and your personal recommendations. I saw you have a video for Degiro, however, I recognized for Austrian residents it is more beneficial to use flatex? I am currently in Austria as a student, so I have a student residence permit, not sure if that changes anything?

    Thank you very much once again and have a great rest of your day!

  8. Thank you so much Angelo for this amazing post. I have been watching recently your videos on youtube and I am very interested.
    your way of investing is so simple and yet effective !
    Keep up the good work

  9. Hi Angelo,

    I’ve been reading your website and I find it very insightful! Thanks for sharing all these tips and info.

    I have a question. I want to open an account with DEGIRO and I am resident in Netherlands. I have a passive investment strategy and my idea is to make monthly transfers for long-term investment. I was really happy to get confirmation from what I read, as I also wanted to keep it simple and invest in the Vanguard FTSE All-World.

    Would DEGIRO charge a fee for my single monthly transfer?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hey Jerry,
      My pleasure, I’m glad to hear you like it!
      Degiro doesn’t charge anything for transfers to/from the account, if that’s what you mean.

      If you’re talking about monthly investments into the Vanguard FTSE All-World ETF, you can buy it commission free on Degiro: here’s the list and conditions

      This post/video might help as well.

  10. Dear friend i would like to start investing for the long term and i follow you to get more familiar with the subject and alsl educate myself more. I liked Degiro as a platform but unfortunately they don’t have Cyprus as a country of choice. My base is Cyprus. The only platform you suggest me then is interactive brokers? A bit more complicated than Degiro in terms of opening an account etc…
    Also i do most of my purchases of crypto through crypto.com, is it something you suggest or you don’t like the platform?

    Thank you very much

  11. Hi Angelo,
    I hope you are okay in these hard times with Corona especially in Austria right now. I also live in Austria and I want to start with stocks and cryptos. I made an account on Flatex because they do my taxes for me so I do not have to worry about that. Can you recommend some of the Crypto sites that also do taxes in Austria for me? I have already invested some small amounts on Binance but still, I am not sure what I can do about taxes and all that. Thank you for your answer in advance.
    Best regards,
    Petar

    1. Hi Petar, there is no tax-easy solution for crypto yet. The only option would be to for example buy a Bitcoin ETN/ETC via Flatex (eg. from Vaneck or 21Shares) – if you sell there, they’ll tax profits for you at the 27,5% KESt rate. Otherwise, I would just buy and hold and not do any crypto-crypto trades, to not over-complicate things. All of that should get a bit easier starting on March 1st, 2022, after which profits from crypto and stocks will be taxed at the same 27,5% rate. Bitpanda, the Austrian exchange, is planning to start taking care of Austrian taxes for investors in 2022 or 2023.

  12. Hi there. Do you know if there is a way to deposit Euro to my Binance account without a fee? They’ve taken away the option to deposit directly from bank account. 1.8% fee to deposit by card. Any help appreciated. Thanks.

  13. Hello Angelo,

    I was researching and deciding which ticker to buy from the ETF Vanguard FTSE All-World (ISIN: IE00BK5BQT80).
    I have found the following tickers available on Interactive Brokers:
    – VWRA is traded in USD in London (LSE)
    – VWRP is traded in GBP in London (LSE)
    – VWCE is traded in EUR in Germany (IBIS2)

    My question is, due to the fact that I am European based, should I go for the VWCE that trades in euros and avoid currency conversion charges?

    Thanks for your reply and for your contribution!

    1. Hi Antonio,
      Yes, buying VWCE traded directly in Euros is the best/easiest option and you save yourself the extra currency conversion. I do the same.
      This video could be helpful, as I discuss some of these things there (eg. finding the right ticker symbol and placing orders): https://youtu.be/_Dpv7fE1OJA
      My pleasure!

  14. Hello Angelo,

    I have seen that you gabe flatex is for Austrians. Being a red white red card holder can I invest using flatex?

    1. Hi Pankaj,
      not sure what you mean by red white red card holder. Are you based in Austria (do you have to pay taxes in Austria)? Then yes.

  15. Hey there Angelo, let me start by saying that you’re creating some kickass content on YT and I couldn’t be happier that I discovered your channel. Kudos!

    Whilst P2P is not a focus of mine (at least for the time being), your long term investing approach and mindset has definitely added tons of value to myself and other fellow European investors (most investing channels on YT are unfortunately still geared towards the US demographic).

    I’m currently in the process of setting up a long term ETF investment plan for my company, and based on your videos, I couldn’t help by navigate to your all time favorite Vanguard FTSE All-World (ISIN: IE00BK5BQT80)

    However, after backtesting it with Curvo and comparing it with iShares MSCI ACWI UCITS ETF (ISIN: IE00B6R52259), they are pretty comparable (similar fund size, draw downs, etc) and iShares seems to perform just a tad better over time (https://prnt.sc/RzvT8MYerm2K).

    The only difference I could think of is the Inception Date, FTSE All-World being the more recent one (2019).

    Would you care to comment on your thought process and perhaps other criteria that lead you to drill down to FTSE All-World?

    Super thankful for your content. Cheers, Joseph

    1. Thank you Joseph, I’m very happy to hear that. When comparing the Vanguard FTSE All-World (Distributing, as its older but has the same performance) with the iShares MSCI ACWI on JustETF over the longest possible time frame, Vanguard’s ETF is 6,5% ahead in performance since 2012: Screenshot

      Curvo is probably not taking fees or each ETF’s tracking difference to the index into account correctly, which would explain the “real world” difference over the past couple of years.

      Either one is great though in my opinion, we’re just looking at minor details 🙂

      1. Ah gotcha. Thanks for taking the time to reply and for all your amazing content. ❤️