Trade Republic Review: The German Answer To European Brokers?

July 6, 2020
Brokers
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Trade Republic is a securities trading bank unique and exclusive to the german audience. It’s regulated by the Deutsche Bundesbank and the BaFin (Federal Financial Supervisory Authority). It’s also a mobile-only broker that lets you trade on shares, ETFs, bonds and some commodities without any commissions at all. Even though it’s listed on the Hamburg Stock Exchange, it offers assets from all the other major international stock markets, so that’s always a plus. On the downside, Trade Republic doesn’t offer any cryptocurrency nor a chance to leverage your investment. Support is limited only to German and English but that’s to be expected of a german-only broker. Also, you won’t find the customizability of a desktop platform nor the research or strategy-making capabilities you would find in other brokers.

Trade Republic is an alternative for germans who are looking for a different and more streamlined way to invest. You’ll enjoy a simpler way to invest in both national and international assets while at the same time benefitting from $0 trade commissions. So, why not give Trade Republic a try?

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a beginner-friendly brokerage account with a lot more diverse options, we cannot recommend Capital.com enough. This broker lets you trade CFDs, Stocks, Indices & ETFs, Forex, Commodities and Cryptocurrencies with $0 Commissions. It also boasts a full-on demo account with no time limit so you can test your strategies for free anytime. So, if you really want $0 commissions with an ample repertoire of international assets to trade, Capital.com is always the way to go.

We analyzed hundreds of data points relevant to the costs, benefits and features of trading with Trade Republic and scored our findings on a 10-point scale across 10 distinct categories.
Fees 10
Signup Process 10
Minimum Deposit 10
Ease of Use 5
Deposit & Withdrawal Options 5
Customer Support 4
Asset Classes 9
Referral Program 0
Demo Account & Educational Resources 0
Safety & Regulation 10
Total 63

In this world of trading, investing, buying and selling, we’re always looking for the best and newest opportunities out there. One of those options recently came up and picked our interest as it’s got quite some new quirks to it. We’re talking about Trade Republic, a new German securities trading bank/broker. Ready to learn what innovation this bank brings upon the trading scene? Let’s dive into this review!

What Is Trade Republic?

Trade Republic is a german securities trading bank that started its conception back in 2015. The concept originally started out as an alternative to banks where trading would be possible from your phone. Mobile trading platforms are commonplace nowadays, but when Trade Republic launched in 2019 it promised a mobile platform to end them all. Yes, Trade Republic is the first securities trading bank in Germany that operates on a mobile-only basis

You might have noticed that we’re referring to Trade Republic as a securities trading bank and not a broker. That’s because, since its conception, Trade Republic spent 4 years getting a banking license. This means that whenever you create an account and trade with this bank, you’ll be dealing directly with a legal and certified banking entity. And if that’s not enough for you, Trade Republic is also partnered with SolarisBank AG, HSBC Germany, BlackRock and the Lang & Schwarz Exchange.

As of this moment, Trade Republic operates all of its trades on the Lang & Schwarz Exchange, which in turn operates on the Hamburg Stock Exchange (HAM). This means that, as of the writing of this Trade Republic review, only german taxable citizens are able to create an account with this bank. Bear in mind that Trade Republic plans to expand into Austria in the following years with an already existing waiting list. Also, we’ll be using the words bank and broker to refer to Trade Republic since it functions as both things.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • $0 Commission trading.
  • Charges a € 1,00 fee per trade, regardless of volume.
  • No deposit, withdrawal nor inactivity fee.
  • Supported by legal entities like HSBC Germany and Solaris Bank AG.
  • All clients are protected for up to € 100,000.
  • A streamlined and easy to use mobile platform.
  • No minimum initial deposit is required to open an account.
  • Offers support in both German and English.
  • Has an official banking license, which makes it a Securities Trading Bank more so than a broker.
  • Up to 7,300 assets if you’re only counting shares and ETFs.
  • Lets you trade assets from the most important international stock markets.
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Cons

  • Only offers support in 2 languages.
  • Support is only available through email.
  • It’s only available for german citizens.
  • Only offers a mobile platform, there are no desktop nor web versions.
  • You can only withdraw/deposit your money to/from a bank account and your assets to/from another broker.
  • Only has 3 types of commodities, Gold, Silver and Oil.
  • You can only trade ETFs from Ishares and Wisdom Tree.
  • Doesn’t offer cryptocurrency.
  • There are no educational resources whatsoever.
  • There isn’t a demo account available.

Account Types: One Is More Than Enough

As of the moment of writing this Trade Republic review, the bank only offers one regular equity account type. This means that you can trade all of the assets that this bank offers with only one account, which is a lot less confusing than other brokers. Where other brokers like TradeStation have separate account types per product, Trade Republic lets you trade all from a single account type.

#1 Fees: $0 Commissions On All Assets

What we found really impressive while writing this Trade Republic review is that the bank integrated a concept better known to American brokers. When Trade Republic launched, it surprised everyone by having a $0 commission cost for all of its assets. Although, there will always be a €1 fee for every trade, regardless of the volume, so either way, it’s fairly inexpensive.

Related: Trade Republic is sometimes called the German Robinhood. Read this Robinhood review to learn how they compare.

When it comes to its non-trading fees, Trade Republic also surprises everyone, by not charging deposit, withdrawal nor inactivity fees. This mostly comes from the fact that Trade Republic is a legal banking entity, so it’s connected to all the other national banks in the country.

Trade republic trading busines investing selling buyingWith Trade Republic, investing can be on the palm of your hands.

Thanks to the simplicity that we found while writing this Trade Republic review in terms of its fees and its $0 commission trades, we give the broker a 10/10 in this category. It’s one of the most straightforward banks when it comes to trading without hidden fees.

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Trade Republic Fees Score: 10/10

 

#2 The Signup Process Is As Simple As It Can Get

While writing this Trade Republic review we found out that the bank has one of the most straightforward signup processes in the market. The process is completely digital, user friendly and fast since it’s all done from your phone.

The German bank opens your account instantly, but you do need to participate in a live video identification with a bank representative. This means that your account verification is subject to when these representatives are online, but most of the time you’ll be able to create and confirm your account on the same day.

For the ease and simplicity of creating and verifying your account, and getting started with trades, we give this broker a 10/10 in this category.

Trade Republic Signup Process Score: 10/10

#3 Minimum Initial Deposit: Totally Free

Another good aspect out of Trade Republic is that it’s as straightforward with its deposit requirement as it is with its commissions. As of the moment of writing this Trade Republic review, the bank does not ask for a minimum initial deposit. This means that you can open your account for free whereas other brokers might ask for a couple of hundred dollars or euros.

Being free and straightforward with its fees and practices earns Trade Republic a 10/10 in this category.

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Trade Republic Minimum Initial Deposit Score: 10/10

#4 Ease of Use: It Could Be Better

Sadly, this is where Trade Republic’s performance starts to falter. As we had mentioned, this bank is only available through a mobile platform, which means that web and desktop trading is out of the table. For some traders, this might not be such a big deal, but for professional traders who like customization and tinkering, it might be. We’re not saying that the Trade Republic platform is bad (because it isn’t), but some people feel more comfortable in front of a computer.

Not having a desktop platform might hinder those traders who like to develop their own custom price alerts and strategies. That’s why Trade Republic is severely hindered when it comes to its availability and its ease of use when compared to other platforms.

In general terms, the layout of the app and how everything works is just fine, but since it’s meant to be displayed on a mobile device, it runs the risk of being too simple. Either way, the Android and IOS applications each have a score of 4,0 and 4,6 in their respective stores, so it’s safe to say that they work. But, some reviews mention that the app usually hangs or lags during intensive market hours, which might end up on losses on your side.

Overall, we give this securities exchange bank a 5/10 in this category. Sure, being a mobile-only broker is innovative, but some issues can arise where you least expect them and some people might simply not like trading from their phones.

trading investing mobile platform

There’s only so much you can do from your phone when talking about investing.

Trade Republic Ease of Use Score: 5/10

#5 Trade Republic Has Very Limited Withdrawal And Deposit Options

Being more of a securities trading bank than a broker brings forth some issues that other brokers don’t have to deal with. Being an official banking institution in Germany means that payment and withdrawal options are somewhat hindered for legal purposes. As of the moment of writing this Trade Republic review, the bank only accepts national bank accounts and other broker accounts as withdrawal and deposit options. When compared to other brokers both on an international and national scale, this is severely limited.

For legal purposes, you can’t deposit to or from the following services:

  • Electronic wallets.
  • Wire transfers.
  • Debit/Credit cards.

Also, when depositing your assets into Trade Republic from another broker, the assets that are not traded there will be bounced back to the original account. All deposits and withdrawal options have to be made to an account that was created under your name, otherwise, it won’t work.

Withdrawals and deposits from your bank or from another broker can last a total of 1 to 6 days before appearing in your account. Usually, national bank transfers take less amount of time while other securities and assets take the longest.

All in all, Trade Republic offers only basic withdrawal and deposit options that are severely hindered compared to other brokers, so the broker gets a total of 5/10 in this category.

Trade Republic Deposit & Withdrawal Options Score: 5/10

#6 Customer Support: We Hope You Like Emails

We know that Trade Republic is a fairly new bank, but what surprises us the most is how little customer support it offers. As of the moment of writing this Trade Republic review, the bank doesn’t offer phone nor live chat support. Also, support is only offered in two languages, German and English.

However, since email is the only form of support they offer, it’s the best and only tool at your disposal. We’ve sent a couple of emails to all the most important brokers to test how fast they answered and behold, Trade Republic answered in less than two hours. The answers also were straight to the point and helpful, highlighting exactly what we asked and nothing else. In fact, if you want to ask them any questions about their service you can do so by writing them an email to this address: service@traderepublic.com

Overall, we give this broker a total of 4/10 in this category. Only offering email support is somewhat outdated, so adding phone and live chat support is a must, especially if you’re a mobile-only broker. However, we appreciate that as it’s the only support channel, it’s exceptionally good.

Trade Republic Customer Support Score: 4/10

#7 Asset Classes From All Over The World

Stocks

The securities trading bank is a partner with the Lang & Schwarz Exchange. This exchange center is listed in the Hamburg Stock Exchange, but what’s special about it is that its assets are not limited to Germany alone. In Trade Republic you will be able to find assets from:

  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • China
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States
  • Canada

Although you might not get the full list of assets for those countries, you’ll get the most important or well-known ones. Trade Republic also lets you diversify your portfolio with a lot of indices for these assets, so you’ll normally find the assets that are in the following indices:

  • America Select
  • NASDAQ
  • Dow Jones 30
  • Europa Select
  • Euro Stoxx 50
  • DAX
  • MDAX
  • SDAX
  • And a lot more.

If you count all the shares available for exchange you’ll find that there are up to 6,500 shares at your disposal. Not too shabby for a relatively new securities trading bank.

Related: Read our Masterworks Review and learn about a new way to invest never heard of before.

Currency Pairs

As of the moment of writing this Trade Republic review, there’s only one currency pair offered, EUR/USD. We certainly wish there were more, but that’s what’s available to trade in the Lang & Schwarz Exchange.

Gold

Being a traditionally legal entity, Trade Republic lets users trade in commodities. Although, the only ones available for trades are gold, silver and Brent Oil, which is a pretty small list when we compare it to other brokers.

Bonds

Thanks to the Lang & Schwarz Exchange, Trade Republic can reach quite a wide range of assets. Bonds are also available, where you can find 500+ bonds for german companies and other major European contractors.

ETFs

Luckily for you, Trade Republic has a pretty wide variety of ETFs to trade. They have around 400 ETFs on Indices, commodities and currencies, although, not all available ETFs in the L&S exchange are available in Trade Republic. Currently, Trade Republic only offers ETFs from Ishares and the Wisdom Tree.

Related: How To Trade ETFs? Learn to diversify your investments in the most inexpensive way!

ETF Savings Plan

Trade Republic is also offering a savings plan for ETFs, wherewith a minimum initial deposit of €25, you’ll enjoy permanent discounts on this asset. For ETFs, you’ll only have to pay the market value for them and the €1,00 fee for the trade.

Crypto

Currently, Trade Republic doesn’t offer any sort of cryptocurrency nor does it plan to offer it in the near future.

Overall, we give this broker a total of 9/10 in this category since Trade Republic offers the majority of assets a regular trader might be looking for. The best part? If you sum all of the assets together, you reach a total number of 7,400+ assets available at your leisure.

trading investing mobile android ios

We can’t deny that there are some benefits to trading from your smartphone, like for example, being able to trade from anywhere.

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Trade Republic Asset Classes Score: 9/10

#8 Referral Program: Nothing Here Yet

Trade Republic only has 1 year of market experience, so they’re still figuring out what works and what doesn’t. As of the moment of writing, the bank is not offering a referral program and might not offer one in the near future. This might be influenced by the fact that the institution is a legal banking entity and not just a broker.

Trade Republic Referral Program Score: 0/10

#9 Demo Account & Educational Resources: Non-Existent

A bad aspect we can’t hide of this bank is that it offers no educational resources nor a demo account for newer or inexperienced traders. Trade Republic assumes that you know the basics of trading and the definitions of most terms used in the trading scene. Even then, TradeStation is pretty simple to understand, but when it comes to newcomers, it still presents a barrier for them to get into this service.

The L&S Exchange does offer news and insights into some market strategies, but aside from that, you won’t get much further.

As for this category, Trade Republic gets a total score of 0/10 in this category. Seems like beginner traders are out of luck with Trade Republic if they’re trying to learn to trade from scratch. Definitely not an entry-level broker.

Trade Republic Demo Account & Educational Resources Score: 0/10

#10 Safety & Regulation: Top Notch German Regulation

When it comes to trading, there’s no better regulation than the one you can get when dealing with a broker that is close to being a bank. The good thing about Trade Republic is that it’s a bank and it’s also a partner of another bank called Solaris Bank AG. So, all deposits in your Trade Republic account are legally secured with up to € 100,000 per trader. These funds are secure in a trustee collection account with Solaris Bank AG in Berlin. This is then regulated and supervised by the Deutsche Bundesbank and the BaFin (Federal Financial Supervisory Authority).

All securities in your custody account are of your property and are kept by HSBC Germany, but they always belong to you.

All in all, Trade Republic offers one of the most regulated and safest trading investments in Germany. Being regulated by some of the top heavyweights in the country, we can easily say that this bank earns a solid 10/10 in this category.

Trade Republic Safety & Regulation Score: 10/10

Euro money cash trading investing

There’s no better way to invest than in trusted and legal entity.

Now we’ll compare Trade Republic to our highest-rated broker, Capital.com, which scores 91/100 points.

Trade Republic Vs. Capital.com

Over the course of using and reviewing all of the most important brokers in the scene, we’ve come to notice what really works and doesn’t. We’ve chosen Capital.com as the broker that ticks almost every aspect that we consider the most important in an international broker, so the ultimate test for a broker in our reviews is comparing it to Capital.com.

First off, according to our total scores, Trade Republic gets a total score of 63, which is a little on the low side. Instead, Capital.com earns a total score of 91 on these same standards we’ve judged Trade Republic. So, without further ado, let’s delve into what makes Capital.com a better broker than Trade Republic.

Ease of Use: Mobile-Only Vs. Desktop, Web And Mobile

Back at the start of this Trade Republic review, we mentioned that this bank offers a Mobile-Only platform. This comes as something innovative where trading is a lot simpler in order to be on your phone, but it brings some drawbacks. Instead, Capital.com offers the full list of platforms, desktop, mobile and web. The best thing about it is that you find a lot of similarities between the desktop platform and the mobile one. This means, that Capital.com’s mobile platform is as powerful as its desktop sibling, so you get as much tinkering and customizability while on the go.

Customer Support: Email-Only Vs Live Chat, Phone Lines and Email

A very important aspect of any broker is its customer support. Where Trade Republic only offers its email for support, Capital.com offers one of the best customer support out there. Not only it offers all three Live chat, phone support and email options, but all of them offer relevant information and are quick to assess any issue you might be experiencing.

Trade Republic might offer good customer support but they can only reply to a certain amount of emails per day, whereas Capital.com has multiple ways to deal with this aspect. Also, this doesn’t concern too much the customer support area, but it’s still worth mentioning that Capital.com offers a dedicated account manager. In this way, you won’t have to start from scratch with a new agent in customer support since your manager knows your history and might be able to solve the issue faster than anyone else.

Another thing to note is that Capital.com offers its support in 13 languages, whereas Trade Republic only does so in 2.

No Educational Resources Vs A Complete Library To Learn From

As we had already mentioned, Trade Republic has no educational resources whatsoever. It does have a pretty thorough FAQ section about how the site works and the specifics of some services, but aside from that, there’s not much else to find.

Instead, Capital.com offers a fully complete demo account for free with no time limit whatsoever. The broker also has a respective glossary for specific and general terms regarding its platform and the overall trading terminology. So, all in all Capital.com offers service that’s more thorough and complete while also being more accessible than most, including Trade Republic.

We believe that Capital.com is almost always a 10/10 when it comes to most categories we listed earlier. For that reason, we believe that it is truly the best way to get into trading from wherever and whatever experience you have in trading. If you want to learn more about Capital.com, you can always read this review thoroughly.

capital.com trading investing broker

We can’t recommend capital.com enough, if we’re being honest here.

Trade Republic Review In Summary: A Nice And Safe Alternative For German Traders

At the end of the day, Trade Republic is not a bad service at all. It presents an alternative exclusive to experienced german traders who are looking for less confusion and tinkering and more for a streamlined experience. The best benefit it has is that it’s a legal banking entity where your assets will be safe no matter what.

If you’re a german trader with some experience and you enjoy being able to buy and sell assets from the comfort of your phone, you’ll definitely enjoy using this bank.

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Alternatively, again, if you want to have a broker with $0 commissions and investments that go beyond Germany and a couple of countries, Capital.com is the safe way to go. It’s also relevant to mention that it’s very beginner-friendly for those traders who are barely in the first steps of their careers.

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