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 offer currently offer an investor bonus for new registrations using my links, which you can see in brackets next to their name.

P2P Lending

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)!
  • 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:

  • Bitpanda – My favorite place to buy cryptocurrencies. They also offer physically backed investments into precious metals like gold and silver and are based in Austria, my home country. Bitpanda even offers personal saving plans, which allow investors to dollar-cost-average into these volatile assets.
  • Binance – The largest digital asset exchange in the world, with the highest trading volume in the sector and very low fees. Additionally, you can get a 10% cashback on any commissions you pay when signing up via my link.
  • Kraken – Another great exchange to buy digital assets, with slightly lower fees compared to Bitpanda. However, in my opinion the exchange is a lot more complicated and less user-friendly compared to the other two.

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 – In my opinion, no other crypto lending platform comes close to this one. 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 $9,5 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 $30 bonus in Bitcoin added to your account after depositing $200 or more worth of crypto or stablecoins and keeping your money invested for 30 days.

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.
  • Bitwala – I opened this one recently and I really like it so far. It’s another free bank account based in Germany, with a 100.000€ deposit guarantee, free worldwide ATM withdrawals and a free MasterCard. But here’s what makes it special: Not only can you trade digital assets like Bitcoin directly on the bank account, but you can even earn interest on the ones you hold.

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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2 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.