It’s easy in three steps

For years there has been hardly any interest on savings. That is why more and more people want to invest their money in stocks and funds. For this you need a deposit. How to find the right one for you and open it up.

Almost everyone has a checking account these days. You need it for the basic things: the rent is deducted from him, the salary comes in here or you pay for your purchases in the supermarket with your debit card.

To trade in shares or set up a fund savings plan, however, you need a securities account. It is best to set up this on the Internet at a direct bank. A custody account works in a similar way to online banking for a current account: Here you will find an overview of all your investments – and you can easily add or sell them.

But which is the best securities account for me? Where should I open a securities account? And how does it even work? t-online answers the most important questions.

Why do I need a securities account?

It’s simple: you need it to invest in stocks, ETFs, funds or other asset classes. Your deposit works like a bank account. Here you will find a list of all your investments. In the securities account you can search for asset classes, select them and use the buy function to invest directly in individual securities.

Branch bank or direct bank: where should I open a custody account?

When opening a securities account you have three options: You can open one at a branch bank, a direct bank or an online broker on the Internet.

  • Examples of direct banks: DKB, Comdirect, Consorsbank, ING or Norisbank

You will receive personal advice at a branch bank. On the other hand, deposits at branch banks are significantly more expensive than if you open one on the Internet. With an online broker, i.e. a securities dealer on the Internet, or a direct bank, the personal service is not required. But the costs are significantly lower than with a branch bank.

  • Examples of online brokers: Flatex, Smartbroker, TradeRepublic or SBroker

How do I open a securities account?

Opening a securities account is child’s play. Since providers on the Internet are significantly cheaper than branch banks, we will show you in the following three steps how to create a deposit with a direct bank or with an online broker:

  1. Apply for a deposit: First, you need to fill out an application on the bank or broker’s website. Personal data such as name or address are required here. You must also state whether you have previous experience in stock trading or how much risk you would like to take. The legislator wants to prevent inexperienced investors from buying unsuitable products. With pure smartphone brokers, all of this happens in a corresponding app. In order to actually be able to trade with your securities account, you still need a so-called clearing account. The easiest way to open this is at the direct bank or broker with whom you would like to open your account.
  2. Establish identity: The provider then wants to check your identity. Because banks and brokers have to be sure that the application actually comes from you. This is done using the Post-Ident procedure or the Video-Ident procedure. In the first case, a postal worker in a branch confirms your identity by showing your identity card. In the second case, this is done via video chat with the provider – directly from your computer or smartphone.
  3. Activate depot: Now you have to wait for the provider to send you the documents with which you can activate your depot. This is usually done by post. However, there are also brokers and banks that will send you everything by email. Then follow the steps in the guide. Now you can get started and buy stocks, bonds, funds or ETFs. Alternatively, you can set up a savings plan.

What does a depot cost?

A securities account alone costs a maximum of custody fees. However, these costs for opening and managing the custody account usually do not apply to Internet providers such as direct banks or online brokers. However, if you want to trade shares via the securities account, there are additional costs. An overview:

  1. Order fees: Every time you buy or sell stocks, you have to pay order fees to the depository provider. With online brokers and direct banks, these are usually lump sums of five to ten euros. With some providers, a certain number of orders is free, the cheapest brokers now even offer a flat rate where you can trade as much as you want for a monthly amount.
  2. Trading venue fees: In addition to the order fees to the custodian provider, there are trading venue fees, i.e. exchange fees. Depending on where a broker or direct bank buys or sells your desired stocks or bonds, these fees can vary. The price can also vary from trading venue to trading venue for each asset class. It is usually cheaper than trading on the stock exchange if you instruct your bank to buy from a so-called direct dealer. This means a securities dealer who holds stocks and fund units in stock. In this so-called “over-the-counter trading”, stocks and fund units are often cheaper because you save the exchange fees.
  3. Additional costs: Exchange rate gains above the saver lump sum of 801 euros must be taxed in Germany. The so-called “final withholding tax” amounts to a flat 25 percent of the income.

Compare providers: what is the best depot for me?

Before you open a securities account, you should first compare different providers. It is best to use relevant portals on the Internet. You should consider the following criteria when comparing:

  • Costs: What are the costs per order? Are there any costs for the depot itself? In any case, costs are crucial as they reduce your return on investment, called revenue.
  • Selection: How many funds, stocks or ETFs can you invest your money in? This is therefore crucial if you have special investing preferences.
  • Savings plan: Is it possible to set up a savings plan? What does this cost? In which ETFs or funds can I invest my money? These questions are important if you are planning to set up a savings plan.

How do I transfer my securities?

Transferring the assets you have acquired to someone else is usually very easy. All you have to do is fill out a form on the website of the online broker or the direct bank. Basically, you should consider two different cases:

  • Transfer to a friend: If you want to transfer your depot to a friend, this counts as a sale. This means that you have to pay taxes on the income generated. That is a flat rate of 25 percent of the flat-rate withholding tax for income above the saver lump sum of 801 euros.
  • Transfer to a relative: If you want to transfer your deposit to a relative, there is no withholding tax because it is legally considered a gift. However, inheritance or gift tax can apply here. However, this only applies from a deposit value of 20,000 euros if you transfer your deposit to siblings or parents. If you want to give it to your child, the exemption limit applies up to 400,000 euros, or 500,000 euros for a spouse.

Duration of a carryover
It usually takes two weeks for all stocks, bonds and fund units to arrive at the depot. In certain cases – for example if the shares are foreign – the transfer can take even longer.

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