A detailed analysis and comparison of various stock brokers to find out the best broker in Germany as of 2022. Does Scalable Capital retain the top spot? Read to find out more!
In the modern day, investing money is easy regardless of where you are. Especially in a country like Germany, you are really spoilt for choice. We have many stock brokers to choose from. But which among them is the best choice? This is exactly what we will be finding out in this article
What are the features of the best broker in Germany?
As I said earlier, there are many choices for you when it comes to choosing a stock broker in Germany. Therefore we need a set of parameters that will help us narrow our choices down. Eventually, the best combination of these features will help us pick the best broker in Germany.
Here is a shortlist of all the brokers that we will be using for the comparison:
Subsequently, the parameters to select the best brokers are as follows:
- Ease of Signing Up
- Markets and products
- Customer Support
Firstly, we talk about the most important parameter – that is Fees. As with most things, money is a key part of our decision making process when it comes to choosing a broker in Germany. We need to choose a broker that does not ending up costing a lot. The costs include signing up fee (if applicable) and brokerage fee for trades executed.
Here is a table of all the fees charged by the 5 shortlisted brokers:
|Fee per Trade
|Fee for executing Savings Plan
Firstly we made sure that all our five choices are relatively affordable when it comes to fees. But it is obvious that there is still some difference between the brokers.
All the brokers can be signed up for FREE of cost, as in no monthly subscription. However, you do have the option of choosing a subscription plan with Scalable Capital. The FREE BROKER comes without a monthly fee. On the other hand the PRIME BROKER and PRIME BROKER FLEX cost 2.99 and 4.99 euros a month respectively.
Scalable Capital, Trade Republic, Flatex, and Comdirect all have comission/brokerage fees for every trade executed. Amongst this, Scalable Capital clearly has the lowest fee per trade.
Although eToro does not charge anything per trade, there are non-trading fees that come with an eToro depot. For example. a withdrawal fee of 5 €.
A close call between Scalable Capital & Trade Republic for the best broker in Germany !
Despite the difference between Scalable Capital and Trade Republic being negligible, there are a lot of other advantages to opening your depot with Scalable Capital. You can find out more by reading my blog post comparing the two brokers.
Ease of Signing Up
This is a very important criteria, and it is not to be taken lightly. Signing up for a broker of your choice needs to be easy, especially if you are an expat. The requirements to sign-up must be simple and easy to meet. Because, we do not want to complicate things for ourselves unecessarily!
As an expat in Germany, it is easy to open your depot with Scalable Capital than the other options. For instance, Trade Republic only supports a few nationalities when it comes to acceptance policy. Unless you have a German Passport already, it could be hard to open your depot.
On the other hand, Scalable Capital supports a vast majority of passports from non-EU countries. Expats from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, UAE and many other popular non-EU countries can very easily open up an account with Scalable Capital.
Signing up process should also be easy and convenient. Flatex, Comdirect both offer digital sign-up processes but it is only easy for German & Austrian residents. Otherwise, it is quite complicated. The sign up process for Flatex and Comdirect is also slow.
Trade Republic, Scalable Capital, Flatex and Comdirect do not have a minimum deposit requirement. On the contrary, eToro has a minimum deposit of 200 USD. This is not ideal.
Markets and Products
In this section, we compare the investment scope you get with each brokers. There is actually a lot of difference between these brokers. Ideally, the best brokers will provide us more options when it comes to accessible markets and products.
When we talk about markets and products, we are referring to the stock exchanges available on this broker. The range of stocks that we can invest in. We also consider the range of asset classes that each broker has to offer.
- Scalable Capital : With Scalable Caital you can trade over 6,000 shares from all the world’s major indices and invest in savings plans. You can also invest in Prime Partner ETFs of Scalable Capital . These are Invesco, Xtrackers and Ishares.
- Trade Republic : Gets you access to over 7500 stocks and 1500 ETFs. Stocks, ETFs, Derivatives, Crypto are all available on Trade Republic
- Flatex : At flatex you can trade almost all product types except options, futures and cryptos. There are also special products like warrants, certificates and turbos. Most available exchanges focus on EU markets.
- eToro : You can select any one of the more than 2,500 stocks currently offered. However, a lot of stocks are not unavailable on eToro.
- Comdirect : You can trade with almost all types of assets at Comdirect. There is also a great selection within asset classes, covering a lot of German, European and overseas exchanges. There are around 27 Stock markets and 1700 ETFs accessible.
Customer Support and Services
Customer Support is a deal-breaker. If a broker has all great features, but poor customer service, it does not make sense to choose the broker. Especially as an expat in Germany, you need to look for the best customer support and service offered.
Here are a few things we look out for:
- Customer Support Accessibility – Live Chats, Phone Calls, Emails
- Support offered in English
- Mobile App and Website Services
- Accessible Online
Having these features would be ideal for the broker to be the best choice. Here is a table that categrozies the brokers with the above features:
|Support in English
|App & Website
|Yes, but delayed
Which is the best broker in Germany?
We have compared all the individual features between the brokers. But the best broker in Germany overall, needs to have a good combination of all the features above. What is the use of a broker with low cost, if it is hard to sign up for and the customer support is terrible? Therefore we look at all the combination of the factors and then decide.
a) Automatic Tax Collection Service
The benefit of using German brokers like Scalable Capital is that they automatically collect taxes for you and transfer those taxes to the German tax authorities or the ‘Finanzamt’. This means at the end of the year when you are filing your taxes, you do not have to do any extra paperwork or fill out any unnecessary forms.
This alone makes Scalable Capital for me the best choice to go ahead with along with its super nice interface that you can use.
b) Flexibility to move to other EU countries
Another advantage that you get with Scalable Capital is the flexibility to move around Europe. Yes! You can transfer your depot to other European countries if you ever have to move out of Germany. I personally did this myself while moving to Romania from Germany. With other brokers you would have to close the depot before moving out of Germany.
There are a few conditions to meet :
- You are over the age of 18
- You are not subject to US Taxation
- If you have a place of residence within EU
- You have a current account within the SEPA region
- Using Scalable’s services as an offer from a foreign provided
It is obvious that Scalable Capital is the winner here. With the FREE Broker Plan there are no monthly fees,. There is a 0.99 € fee per trade and savings plan for FREE of cost. Comdirect and Flatex have very high brokerage fees. eToro does offer commission free trading, but there are non-trading fees that makes it a bad deal overall.
Compared to Trade Republic, Scalable Capital is 0,01 € cheaper.
d) Ease of Signing Up
Among all brokers, we need the easiest and the quickest sign up process. Also for expats, we need a broker that does not require a German Passport. Scalable Capital once again offers the easiest of them all. Signing up and identity verification is super easy. You can refer to this blog post where I explain the process of signing up to Scalable Capital:
e) Markets and Products
In this section, there seems to be a bit more competition for Scalable Capital. Trade Republic, Flatex and Comdirect all seem to offer a wide range of stocks and ETFs to invest in. Only eToro has a relatively low options on the offer.
f) Customer Support and Service
Flatex and Comdirect do not provide Customer Support in English. As expats, this makes things difficult. Moving on the modes of support provided, only Scalable Capital has different ways to reach the customer support. You have the option to reach out through Phone Calls, Emails, Live Chats and SMS.
In general, all the brokers seem to have a user-friendly website.
All things considered, Scalable Capital once again remains the best possible choice under this parameter.
My opinion on Scalable Capital – Best Broker in Germany ?
In October 2021, it had been a year since I switched to Scalable Capital from Trade Republic. At the time, I made this video explaining why Scalable Capital is still the best broker in Germany. Another year later, I believe the same!
It is clear to see that Scalable Capital has an edge over other brokers. I have invested more than 150,000 € in both Scalable Capital and Trade Republic. I can definitely vouch for Scalable Capital being the best in my experience.
Do you want to see more videos where I share my experience? Check out my Youtube channel Brandevise. I post content on Business, Finance, Investment etc., for those who are living in Germany and the EU.
Scalable Capital is always improving itself
Ever since launching in 2014, Scalable Capital has been working to make investment and wealth management cheaper, with the help of technology. I see Scalable Capital as a company that works on constantly improving themselves. Here are some examples from 2021:
- In July 2021, Scalable Capital expanded into the Derivatives Market.
“Scalable, which recently become one of Europe’s newest fintech unicorns, says clients are now able to trade certificates, warrants or other leveraged products via partners HSBC and HypoVereinsbank onemarkets. Goldman Sachs will join as a third partner soon.”Daniel Lanyon, ETF Stream
- In November 2021, the ‘minimum required amount’ for investing in Savings Plans & Digital Wealth Management Assets were reduced further.
“When we first started five years ago with our digital wealth management, we introduced a service for the rich to the middle of society. Now we are going one step further and drastically reducing the minimum investment amount. This allows us to attract even more people for whom traditional financial products were not an option because of high entry levels, high costs or low interest rates”Erik Podzuweit, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Scalable Capital
Most notably of all, Scalable launched Crypto Offerrings in December 2021. This is a big upgrade that took Scalable Capital a further level above. Just in the year 2021, the company has made such big changes. I believe it is a company that is actively looking to improve for the better.
Scalable Capital has been the best broker in Germany for a few years now. And this trend only seems to continue. There is good competition from other brokers, but Scalable Capital has the upper hand in terms of all the parameters that we discussed above.
However, all of the observations above are of my own opinion. I have used my knowledge and experience to compare the brokers. None of this is financial advice, so I would suggest you to do your research before getting started!