For example, the “Aktiv-Depot” of the Berliner Volksbank costs 697 euros per year in a sample calculation by the renowned specialist journal “Finanztest”. It is significantly cheaper with the Smartbroker, which charges just 18 euros for the “large sample depot”. In plain language: Those who change can save several hundred euros a year – without sacrificing selection or service.
The editors of “Finanztest” (the magazine belongs to the well-known “Stiftung Warentest” brand) have the price lists of nine nationwide branch banks, 13 regional offers from savings banks and cooperative banks as well as 13 direct banks and online brokers in an extensive study (edition 11/2020 ) examined. The result of the independent jury: “The smart broker came out on top for all sample portfolios. Purchases of securities cost a flat rate of 4 euros, orders from other trading venues are sometimes even cheaper or even free ”. With a view to other brokers, the “Finanztest” writes: “None of the ‘classic’ providers can keep up.”
In fact, it is mainly the well-known banks that stand out negatively in the ranking. For example, Commerzbank’s “Classic Depot” costs 757 euros per year in the example calculation described above. The shopping cart for the “medium-sized sample depot” is even more expensive. According to the “financial test”, Commerzbank customers have to reckon with 822 euros per year. The “medium-sized model portfolio” contains assets of 50,000 euros, spread over 13 items. There are also twelve orders for EUR 6,000 and EUR 2,500.
For comparison: the fees for the smart broker amount to just 55 euros in the same model calculation. The difference (and thus the savings potential for investors) amounts to an impressive 767 euros. When switching from the Berliner Volksbank, even 831 euros are possible. Hypovereinsbank customers can save up to 627 euros a year, and anyone who has previously owned a “Comfort Private Depot” at Deutsche Bank pays 586 euros less for the same shopping cart with Smartbroker.
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In view of this price differential, the clear conclusion of the “financial test” should come as no surprise: “With the branch banks and savings banks, […] much as before. Customers usually not only pay annual fees for their securities portfolio, they also pay around 1 percent of the order total for every purchase or sale. ”But the emerging online brokers are often anything but cheap. Maxblue, Consors, Comdirect, ING, S-Broker and Flatex come up with fees of between 100 and 184 euros in the model calculation for the “large sample depot”. This means that the online brokers are cheaper than the long-established large banks from Frankfurt, but are still (up to) ten times as expensive as the smart broker, which only started in December 2019.
How do these prices come about? Smart broker– Board member Thomas Soltau knows the answer: “Branch banks are generally expensive because they have to co-finance the entire bank and, above all, branch operations and the necessary staff. In addition, very few providers pass on price advantages to customers. We, on the other hand, made sure from the start to position ourselves as efficiently as possible and deliberately forego income from fees. We want to make trading attractive again and, in my opinion, the price hurdles must first be removed. “
The “new front runner smart broker“- according to the testers – proves that this approach works. Around 60,000 investors opened a smart broker account within ten months. The Berliners now manage assets worth around 1.4 billion euros. Soltau and his team have already implemented fee reductions several times.
Smartbrokers trade via the gettex stock exchange Equities, funds, ETFs and bonds therefore already for 0 euros. At Lang & Schwarz, investors pay 1 euro per order – in both cases from a volume of at least 500 euros. At all other German stock exchanges, the service still costs only 4 euros. Since the middle of the year, it has even been possible to trade derivatives free of charge via the premium partners Morgan Stanley, HSBC, UBS and Vontobel.