Trade Republic offers an affordable and easy way for Irish consumers to invest their money and potentially earn a better return on their savings.
With savings rates still near all-time lows, and inflation still near record highs, many Irish people are looking for an alternative option for their savings to ensure the value of their money isn't being eroded away.
And many are increasingly looking to investment platforms such as Trade Republic, which recently started offering customers here 2% interest on their money, as well as easy access to stocks and shares.
We take a look at the company, what it offers, and how to sign up.
Who is Trade Republic?
Trade Republic is a German digital investment platform, which allows users to easily buy and sell stocks and shares, cryptocurrency, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) cheaply and easily through its app or desktop website.
At the heart of the company’s ethos is a drive to make investing more simple and accessible and to ensure it’s not just the preserve of the very wealthy.
The company operates in over a dozen countries throughout Europe and launched in Ireland near the end of 2022.
How do I sign up?
Anyone permanently resident in Ireland who is over 18 and has access to a smartphone, a European phone number and a SEPA bank account is eligible to open an account with Trade Republic
Signing up is simple and registration, including ID verification, can all be done online or on your phone. Note you cannot open a joint account.
Once you’re registered you’ll need to add funds to your account if you want to start trading and investing. You can add funds for free by means of a regular bank transfer. Or you can top up your account using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay - in this case the first top-up is free, after that a 0.7% fee is charged and added separately to your selected amount. For example, if you deposit €100, €100.70 will be debited from your card.
Once you’ve registered and have money in your account you can start buying and selling various investments…
Trading and investing
A big selling point of Trade Republic is the lack of fees and charges.
There is zero commission and you're charged a flat fee of €1 per trade (so €1 when you buy and €1 when you sell). This is cheaper than if you went through a traditional brokerage.
Currently, users have access to around 10,000 stocks and ETFs from leading brands and companies in various sectors all over the world as well as around 50 cryptocurrencies.
- Tap on the stock or ETF you want to buy
- Decide on the amount you want to invest. You can start with as little as €1!
- Confirm your order and that’s it! You can then keep track of all your investments in the portfolio screen
As well as doing one-off trades, you can also set up a savings plan where you can choose to invest a set amount on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis.
Not all stocks and EFTs can be included in your savings plan but there's still a huge amount of choice.
You can save into a single stock, an ETF or multiple stocks and ETFs.
There's no minimum savings term and the amount can be changed or paused at any time.
It's free to set up a savings plan but you'll be charged €1 when you sell or 'cash out' any of your savings.
Although they're called savings plans, a 'regular investment plan' is probably a better name as your money is being invested meaning you could get back less than you put in.
To save/invest regularly:
- Tap on the stock or ETF of your choice
- Decide how often you want to invest
- Enter the amount you want to invest on a regular basis. That’s it!
Get interest on your money
Investing in stocks and shares has its risks of course and may not be for everyone.
But another huge selling point of Trade Republic is that any cash that you hold in your account, which you haven’t invested, will earn you interest on any balance up to €50,000. The interest is currently 4% and this is better than the rates on offer from any of the leading Irish banks right now.
And the interest will be paid out every month, meaning you can benefit much more from compound interest compared to accounts that only pay interest quarterly or annually.
If you sign up to Trade Republic there is no obligation to trade or invest at all. You can simply sign up to avail of the interest if you want.
Is my money safe?
Trade Republic is regulated by BaFin, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany. And it is supervised by both BaFin and the Deutsche Bundesbank. These are both reputable authorities.
Cash which you have deposited (but not invested) is held securely on the company's behalf in an escrow account at partner banks including Citibank Europe and Deutsche Bank. These banks fall under the EU-wide deposit guarantee scheme meaning your money up to €100,000 is protected.
Any investments you have in stocks, shares or ETFs etc are fully owned by you. But in the unlikely event something happens to Trade Republic these are protected up to €20,000.
While trading and investing with Trade Republic is super simple, the simplicity does bring its own risk...
Investing can be risky: the value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may receive back less than your original investment. This is particularly the case if you’re dabbling in cryptocurrency.
Always think carefully before investing any of your hard-earned money and make sure you seek independent professional advice where appropriate.
Alternatives to Trade Republic
Opening a savings account with Trade Republic and investing may not be for everyone.
The good news is that there are plenty more options available if you want to make your money work for you and get a worthwhile return on your savings. Check out our article on alternative savings options for more information.
We also recorded a podcast this year on alternative savings options for consumers if you’d prefer to sit back and listen - you can find that episode here!
Compare savings accounts on bonkers.ie
You can easily compare savings accounts across all providers right here on bonkers.ie.