You want to trade securities?
For this you will need a securities account, as well referred to as a deposit account or trading account. It's similar to a current account, with the difference that while a current account allows you to particiapte in the payment cycle, trading accounts, as the name already suggests, enable you to trade with securities. These are commonly stocks, bonds and ETFs.
In an ongoing decreasing interest rate environment, current accounts are losing their use in the process of wealth building. It's even worse, cash that stays on a current account without interest is actually lowering your purchasing power. This is due to the inflation we have. In that regards, securities account provide an interesting alternative to increase the value of your holdings, and this particularly over the long run.
How do I open a trading account and what are the costs?
Nowadays, almost every bank offers trading accounts. While for branch banks, the opening has to be done in one of their offices, for direct banks (e.g. comdirect) and online brokers (e.g. Trade Republic), all is done digitally. This allows you as an user to be able to access your account at any time, wherever you are. But more importantly, it considerably reduces the running costs of the account.
Speaking of costs, not every bank offers securities account for free. This is particularly the case for branch banks. On the other hand, most of the direct banks and online brokers will actually offer accounts free of any charge. However, charges may occur when you will trade (buy or sell) securities.
How high these costs are will depend on the banks. It's common to have a variable component (% on order volume) coupled with a fixed fee per trade.
Ok and now how do I open such account?
1. Select your bank
While picking your bank can be a subjective excercise, an important selection criteria should be costs. This is why getquin helps you finding the right bank by providing a transparent overview of all related costs among the available banks.
The above is particularly true if you invest with a long-time horizon, i.e. 10-15 years. Costs can quickly accumualte over time and will effectively reduce the net performance of your holdings.
2. Account opening
Once you picked your bank, you will need to provide some personal information (e.g. name, addresse, contact details). Usually you will need to answer as well a couple of questions on your investing knowledge. This is needed for the bank to set-up a risk profile on yourself, so to be able to advise you against some financial product you may choose that do not fit your profile.
3. Proof of identity
Once the demand has been completed, you will need to confirm your identity. This is mostly done directly via videoconference and requires a valid German identification document (ID or passport). In case you are not a German citizen, you will additionally need to show some proof of address in Germany (e.g. bill, registration document).
4. Start to invest
Now you are all set and can start purchasing securities. Easy no?
Unhappy with your current bank?
Costs are too high or customer service is bad? Then maybe you should consider switching your securities account to another bank. By law, the transfer of your account is free of any charge and usually your new bank takes care of it once you have requested it. However, just be mindful that the transfer can sometimes take up to 4 weeks, during which you cannot trade with that account.
Happy investing :)