A Complete Scalable Capital Review in English. Is Scalable Capital the Best Broker for Expats to Open Their Depot in Germany?
Investing is a topic of importance nowadays. Anywhere you see, people are giving out financial advice, asking you to start investing. And you know what, they are right! It is indeed important that you start investing. To illustrate the importance of investing, imagine this scenario. You have 1000€ in your bank. Of course it does earn a little bit of interest, but the money itself is sitting idle in your bank account. The interest rates offered to you are lower than the inflation rate, meaning over time the value of 1000€ in the market will reduce. You will be able to buy less commodities with the same 1000€ !
On the other hand, imagine you are a smart person who starts investing the 1000€ rather than just saving it. You invest your money in some ETFs that pay you dividends! Now not only are you making money through dividends, but overtime you are growing the value of your money as the ETF you have invested in grows.
Which one sounds better? I am sure you will now have realized why investing makes sense.
What is Scalable Capital ?
Scalable Capital is a digital investment service founded in 2014, with offices in Munich and London. Scalable Capital offers brokerage services in Germany, enabling you to invest in stocks and ETFs in Germany.
Investing in Germany as an Expat with Scalable Capital
We have seen why you need to start investing, but furthermore the important question that lies ahead is how? How can one start investing as an expat in Germany? You might have doubts about it being complicated, but frankly it is not. I started investing as an expat in Germany, and today I have a portfolio of over 100,000€ !
Check out this video where I talk about how you can start investing in Germany using Scalable Capital!
Investing in Germany as an expat is very simple. All you need to get started off with investing is a depot account. A Depot Account is a Securities Account through which you perform the transactions of buying and selling financial instruments such as stocks, ETFs. I have opened my depot with Scalable Capital and I recommend you to do so too! This is why in this article I
Scalable Capital Review – Why I made the switch from Trade Republic?
First, I was investing through the Trade Republic Depot. But as my portfolio and business grew bigger, I felt the need to make the switch to Scalable Capital. With the experience of having portfolios over 100,000€ on both platforms I can definitely give you my opinions on it.
a) The biggest reason for me to change from Trade Republic to Scalable Capital was because of my business. For business reasons, I had to relocate to Romania from Germany. With Trade Republic you canot transfer your depot if you leave Geramny, as the depot is only applicable for tax paying residents of Germany. Whereas on Scalable Capital, I was able to transfer my depot to Romania from Germany without much hassle.
b) Second reason why I made the switch was because I really liked the flexibility that Scalable Capital offered. They had 3 different Brokerage plans namely FREE Broker, PRIME Broker and PRIME Broker Flex. These three plans have differences in subscription fees and transaction charges. Apart from that Scalable Capital also offers free-of-charge trading with their Prime ETF Partners (Invesco, iShares, XTrackers). Scalable Capital offers us more choice of stocks in general than Trade Republic.
c) Finally, I like how Scalable capital as a company constantly try to improve themselves. The always look for ways to improve and become more accessible to an average consumer. For example, the minimum order volume has gone down from 500€ to 250€. Similarly, the minimum amount for a Savings Plan cost has also been reduced from 50€ to 25€. Scalable Capital is working to be more and more approachable for a beginner level investor.
Scalable Capital Review – Things I like
I have told you the reason why I made the switch to Scalable Capital. Now I will share with you my thoughts on the broker. Especially the things I like after the experience of using it for a while now!
- Accesibility – The all important criteria for me is the accessibility of Scalable Capital. I really like the fact that the platform can be used as an app on your mobile phone and on your desktop. This is convenient for me to access the broker during different circumstances. Also the factor of being able to transfer my depot to most European countries gives it an edge for me over other German Brokers.
- Customer Support – I am a big fan of the customer support that Scalable Capital offers. For expats and beginner investors, this is very helpful. Scalable Capital have a robust customer support team and you have several ways to reach them. They provide Live chats, Phone Calls, Chatbots and Emails as options for contact.
- More Options – Simple as that. Scalable Capital has a lot more options compared to other brokers. Especially with their Prime Partner ETFs namely Invesco, iShares and Xtrackers. You get a wide range of options to choose from. I once read about the stock called EPR Properties of Beneficial Interest and wanted to invest in it. But I was not able to find it on Trade Republic at all! In Scalable Capital you have more stock exchanges available, meaning more options!
- The Fees – Coming to the all important aspect, the fees. How much is it going to cost you to open a depot with Scalable Capital? The reason why I absolutely like this broker is because it is by far the cheapest option. Let us take a look at the costs involved briefly.
Scalable Capital Review – Different Plans and Costs involved
Scalable Capital offers three different plans – FREE Broker, PRIME Broker and PRIME Broker FLEX.
|Category||FREE Broker||PRIME Broker||PRIME Broker Flex|
|Subscription Fee||0 €||2,99 € per month||4,99 € per month|
|Transaction Fee||0,99 €||0 €||0 €|
|Savings Plan min order||25 €||25 €||25 €|
|PRIME Partners Free||Yes||Yes||Yes|
For the FREE Broker plan is the ideal one for you if you are a beginner. You can open your depot account without paying any subscription fees. There is a 0.99 € transaction fee or trading fee, that you have to pay per trade. Even with the FREE Broker plan you can invest in PRIME Partners without having to pay any transaction fees! You also get one FREE Savings Plan (Non PRIME Partners too). So overall, you get a fantastic deal.
For the PRIME Broker and PRIME Broker Flex Plans, there are monthly subscription costs of 2,99 € and 4,99 € respectively. But the differnence between the two plans is the payment period. For the PRIME Broker Plan you make annual payment of 36€ (2,99 * 12). On the other hand for the PRIME Broker Flex Plan you make monthly payments of 4,99€. For both plans there are no transaction costs whatsoever. These plans are highly recommended for those traders who are beginners.
Scalable Capital Review – Things that need to improve
Here are some things I feel that Scalable Capital can improve on. It is not necessarily negatives, but it would improve Scalable Capital more. I have said this multiple times that Scalable Capital are a growing company who are constantly working to get better. So let us take a look at a few things that they could aim for :
- Duration for transferring funds between the depot account and the current account (girokonto). Scalable Capital could take upto 2 days to transfer funds. It is one of the things I slighlty would like to see because a few other German brokers are able to provide fund transactions within a few hours. Due to this time period, you need to plan ahead if you want to invest some money in your depot.
- Minimum amount for Savings Plan is 25€. This is a great improvement from the previous requirement of 50€. But competitors namely Trade Republic offer savings plans starting at just 10€.
- Interface. Hear me out, Scalable Capital user interface is great! Especially the fact that we can access it on both mobile phone and desktop is great. But I would find it more useful if there was more information available. Especially dividend information next to stocks and ETFs, and a news column where we keep track of the latest happenings in the stock market would make a lot of difference.
Scalable Capital Review – My Conclusion
So, I have reviewed Scalable Capital completely. To summarise it shortly, I am a big fan! Scalable Capital is the right choice for expats in Germany to go ahead with opening your depot account. The positives from my experience are great, and the negatives are negligible. I am sure that Scalable Capital will continue to work on improving their services further.
If you are an expat in Germany who is new to investing, you cannot go wrong by choosing Scalable Capital. As a beginner, you can start off with their FREE Broker Plan without incurring much costs. As you slowly increase the frequency and the volume of your investments, you can look to upgrade to one of the PRIME Broker plans!
Scalable Capital overall is a great depot for you. Go ahead and get yourself a depot NOW!