investor toolkit 2021

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 aren’t related to my investments, but rather my blog and YouTube channel at the end of the page.

Investments

Let’s start with my investments in P2P Lending, sorted by my current investment on each platform. Some of them 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 in case you’re interested in what’s available for platforms I’m not currently invested in myself: P2P Lending Bonus Offers

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)

  • Degiro – Probably the best known, low-cost ETF & stock broker in Europe. They have some of the lowest trading fees on the market and even offer 200 ETFs which can be traded commission free (ETF list & conditions). Degiro is currently running a 50€ promotion for new accounts until September 30th, 2021 (details here)!
  • CapTrader – The best way to get brokerage account on Interactive Brokers, one of the most reputable brokers in the world, without paying monthly inactivity fees. I transferred my TradeStation account over to them (here’s why) and I’ve been extremely happy that I made the switch. The only thing you need to know is that they have an account minimum of 2.000€.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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. The only downside is, they currently only offer ETFs from iShares, apart from single stocks.

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. However, in my opinion the exchange is a bit more complicated and less user-friendly compared to the other two.
  • FTX – This has become my second favorite crypto exchange after Binance. It has the lowest trading fees in the markets and offers many features you won’t find anywhere else. I also occasionally use it to earn some interest on USD via margin lending.

Crypto Lending

I’m currently playing around with this as a way to generate extra returns on some of my cryptocurrencies and stablecoins like USDC.

  • Celsius Network – The best crypto lending platform in my opinion. 80% of the generated profits (from lending out the digital assets against collateral) are paid out to investors, which can earn up to 13,30% APY on deposits. The weekly earnings are distributed every Monday and investors can withdraw their funds at any time. Celsius Network has a great team led by Alex Mashinsky and currently manages over $24 billion in digital assets. I also recommend checking out their weekly AMAs on YouTube. If you sign up using my Referral Code: 126404c61b you get a $50 bonus in Bitcoin added to your account after depositing $400 or more worth of crypto or stablecoins and keeping your money invested for 30 days. Note: I don’t think their CEL token has much use, so I prefer to earn everything “in-kind” on the platform, meaning I want the interest to be paid out in the same currency I am lending (eg. BTC on BTC, USDC on USDC etc.).

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

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

  • N26 – A free German bank account, protected up to 100.000€ due to N26’s European banking license. My wife and I use this account daily for our shared expenses like groceries. 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. As a result, we also use our N26 account whenever we pay for something in a different currency, which is especially useful when traveling abroad.
  • Nuri – Another free bank account based in Germany, with a 100.000€ deposit guarantee and a free VISA debit card. Here’s what makes it stand out: Free worldwide ATM withdrawals (& conversions) in any currency and you can buy Bitcoin & Ethereum directly on the bank account. Not only that, you can even lend out your crypto and earn some interest directly on your account.
    How to get a 50€ Bonus on Nuri (Limited Promo until November 20th, 2021!)

Extras

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

VPN

  • Surfshark VPN – This is by far my favorite 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 the most. 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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18 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.

  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