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How to buy shares in Ireland

Updated: Dec 12, 2021

You live in Ireland and want to buy shares, what are your options? Whether you’ve decided you think the Tesla juggernaut is going to keep going or your love of Apple products means you want to buy their stock, how do you actually go about buying a little piece of either?


There are a number of different ways to buy shares in Ireland but here are three of the most popular.


DEGIRO


I buy all my shares and ETFs through DEGIRO, I had an account for a number of years with a traditional broker but realised how utterly nonsensical this was when I saw what little return on dividends I was getting was being decimated by these brokers fees.


Pros

  1. Interface: It’s an easy to use interface with lot’s of information on their portfolio of shares, bonds etc. Information available includes analyst views, financials, company profile and more.

  2. Selection: You can purchase ETFs, bonds, options, global stocks. The same cannot be said for competitors like Revolut.

  3. Costs: The costs for buying shares through DEGIRO are a FRACTION of the cost of buying through a traditional broker.

  4. Customer service: I have found their customer service excellent, I made a mistake with a lodgement and got a very prompt answer on their customer helpline.

  5. Stock information: DEGIRO has pop-out interactive charts allowing traders to utilize 13 different indicators, nine drawing tools, and multiple chart types and views.


The DeGiro interface above.


Cons


Some online media outlets cite that while DEGIRO has some research it is not as extensive as some of their competitors in the online only space. Personally I find it more than enough information, and for anyone buying shares for the first time I think it’s more than enough. It’s also streets ahead of what would be the logical next option for most novice investors - Revolut.


Revolut


Pros


Ease of use: a significant proportion of the Irish and UK population already have Revolut so it makes buying a stock very easy, You just go into ‘stocks’ and go from there.


Cons


Selection: if you want to buy certain shares e.g ETFs you can’t unfortunately purchase through Revolut. Only US shares and cryptocurrencies are available for trading and most other asset classes are missing.


Customer service: have you ever tried to get an answer or help on anything from Revolut? They might have a fantastic app, they’re giving the banks a real run for their money regarding personal banking and they’ve a tonne of great personal banking features but good luck getting through to customer service.


Lack of educational tools: There isn’t the breadth of informational and educational tools which you can avail of on DEGIRO.


Fees: While to be fair Revolut provides a certain number of free stock trades, depending on your plan, it on the other hand charges a custody fee and outside the monthly allowance the trading fees are quite high.



Traditional Brokers


Pros


None: I’m not trying to be funny for the sake of it but there are no pros to buying individual stocks through traditional brokers. To be honest for the hassle (compliance, documentation) that’s involved relative to the return I'm not sure they really want your business if you’re investing with under 100k*.


Cons


Fees: it’s an absolute no-brainer. Why would you buy your shares through the traditional brokers. Their fees mean if you trade a lot you completely erode the value of your investments over time.



Above taken from the website MoneyGuideIreland (incidentally, they have lots of excellent resources on buying shares in Ireland).

As you can see the fees for purchasing through a broker are a multiple of DEGIRO's.

Note relating to fees from MoneyGuideIreland: We have not included currency conversion fees for Davy or Goodbody because they don’t specify how much the fees are. However, you can expect to pay as much as 1% at Davy and up to 1.25% at Goodbody when buying or selling shares in a currency other than Euro.



*Don't get me wrong €100k is an awful lot of money but in my opinion and experience dealing with them, (and it was a couple of years so maybe they've changed their tune in the meantime) they don't feel it's really worth their while.


Please note:


Investing involves risk of loss.


As always the above should not be considered recommendations and always please seek independent professional advice before making any financial decisions.


I get an affiliate fee for referrals to DEGIRO. However as anyone who has read the blog, newsletter or attending any talks before will attest I have been singing the praises of DEGIRO for long before there was any referral fee.