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Degiro vs Interactive Brokers - my experiences

If you are new to investing you might be asking yourself how to do it and which broker to use. In Europe there are a bunch of popular ones, but for serious investing people usually recommend either Degiro or Interactive Brokers. This blogpost is not an ultimate guide to those two products, I’m just a normal investor and I want to share some of my experiences. I also only use the web desktop versions as I don’t want to do investing (or trading) from mobile. Your mileage might vary. Why Interactive Brokers and Degiro are good options for your brokerage? Trusted companies - not likely to disappear Work across different countries (easy to transfer assets if you move countries and support different tax regimens) Low fees (there use to be a regular fee for Interactive Brokers for accounts with assets below 100k, but it’s no longer the case) Access to many different investment products My history of using Degiro and Interactive Brokers I started stock investing with degiro. I have a basic acc
Recent posts

How I ended up with an overly complex portfolio

If I exclude employee pension contributions, as of October 2021 I’ve been investing for a little over three years. I didn’t know where to start and it seemed risky and complicated. Funnily enough I think I was much more anxious about paying taxes correctly than losing money. I had this unjustified confidence in myself that I will make good, rational decisions regarding the investments, but filling the tax forms correctly… oh my! In this post I will describe my investing journey and how I ended up with an overly complex portfolio. I hope you'll enjoy it! Early beginnings I started with a clean slate. Or, almost. I had stocks of the company that I work for. They give employees stocks as part of the compensation - it's called Restricted Stock Units ( RSUs ). But apart from that, the best experience with investing I had was having a savings account with a tiny interest. I knew very little about real estate investing at first. No one in my close family did it, none of my friends did

Good property management companies are worth their weight in gold

Real estate might not be that passive One of the biggest differences between stock market investments and owning real estate is that real estate is much more work. With the stock market, one of the best strategies is to keep regularly buying more shares of a diversified fund, and that’s it. You don’t need to sell (and you shouldn’t really!) and there is no need to spend a lot of time researching if you found the right diversified fund (e.g. VWCE) With real estate, the buying itself is a lot of work and that is usually just a beginning. Unless you buy the place rent ready, it needs to be renovated. You need to find the right tenant, which includes advertisements, tenant verification, showings and so on. Once you have a tenant, things sometimes break and you are the one responsible for fixing them. When the tenant leaves you need to check the state of the place, clean it and do any necessary repairs and find a new tenant again. It’s a lot of work and small things add up. Especially if yo

Buying a property: renegotiating after the inspection

In this post I want to share some tips about renegotiating the offer on the property after receiving the results of the survey (inspection) and valuation. I am not an expert negotiator and there are many real estate investors that are more experienced than me, but there isn't much content about it. A post like this in the past would be a great help for me. The advice here is based on my recent purchase of a rental property in Dublin in which both the survey and the valuation showed some problems. I successfully used their results to lower the price of the property even though the market at the time was very hot. Photo by  Sora Shimazaki  from  Pexels What to expect from renegotiating after the survey When you buy a property , after the seller accepts your offer you enter the ‘Sale agreed’ phase and you should quickly get the valuation and survey scheduled. Before you officially sign the contracts you can still walk away or renegotiate if you are not happy with the results of the s

Buying a rental property in Ireland through the pandemic: sale agreed to keys in hand

My partner and I managed to buy a rental property with a Buy To Let mortgage in Dublin, Ireland during the Covid-19 pandemic. It took ages though, just going from sales agreed to keys in the hand took over 6 months. In this post I want to describe how the process looked like for us after the seller accepted our offer. You can find a very good article about how this process generally works at  citizensinformation website . I would recommend reading that before you bid on the properties. In this post, I won’t talk about the exact numbers on this deal, I have made a youtube video about it back in November that you can see here .  Closing process and the required team To get your offer accepted when you are buying with debt you need to have a mortgage pre-approval, which tells the seller that you are likely to get a mortgage. When I was buying my primary residence in Dublin, we used AIB which had good rates and had an office very close to work. However, the process of dealing with the bank

What I spend money on - 3 month review

In this post I will review three months of my spending, January to March 2021. I didn’t have any major expenses during these months such as medical bills, car insurance or home repairs, so I know that I should not be extrapolating the three month average to the whole year. I will not share my earnings in this post, but I have to admit that I am very well paid and I share my expenses with my partner, we have no kids. And even though I could spend much more I live well below my means. Depending on your budget and earnings my spending can look to you like a lot or like a little. 10 years ago, as a student, I used to live for about 300 euro a month which barely covered my housing (in a shared room in a subsidized dorm in a cheaper country) and food. Compared to that, my spending now feels extravagant. On the other hand I think I’m much cheaper than lots of people in my earning bracket, and my partner occasionally calls me a scrooge. I live in Dublin in Ireland which is an expensive city an

Should you read Rich Dad, Poor Dad?

If you, like me, listen to real estate or financial independence related podcasts, you probably have heard people mentioning Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki as their favorite Real Estate related book. There is even a person who counted it! In about 300 episodes of the Bigger Pockets Real Estate podcast, the guests mentioned it 135 times ( source ) ! So, should you read it then? If so many people recommend it, it can’t be a bad book, right? Well, until recently I didn’t have an opinion, but this month I finally read that book and I can report back to you. It was a quick and exciting read, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Here is why: Rich Dad, Poor Dad makes an Investor lifestyle look very appealing and a regular job very unattractive, but it doesn't present a fair perspective The book encourages risky investment types and contains dangerous advice There are some good tidbits that can point you in the right direction, but overall provides little practical value. If you want to act