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I was looking into the options of leveraging my main index fund by a certain amount and was recommended to use Degiro's inhouse credit product "Debit Money". Current annual cost: 1.25% pa

Alternatively, I could short a standard money market ETF, which currently yields just about -0.5%, ie would pay half a percent when shorting. Degiro wants 1% pa as a maintenance fee for providing the shares to short, thus making the effective cost of funds 0.5%.

The difference between these two options is obviously a spread of 0.75 percentage points and the fact that Debit money can only be issued up to 70-80% of portfolio value, whereas the MMF-Short is only limited by the (much more lenient) margin requirement. Additionally, debit money is issued only in monthly intervals, whereas MMF-ETFs can be sold and repurchased at any time the market is open.

Now, the only argument I could come up with against the MMF-Short is that you pay about 10€ for every 10k transacted, thus requiring 7.5 re-shorts per year to bring this strategy to par with using Debit Money. Because I would re-short max 4 times a year, I perceive the MMF-Short variant as more attractive.

Can anyone confirm that my thoughts are correct or whether perhaps I'm missing an aspect? Thanks so much in advance!



In order to not overload this post with details, I have of course simplified certain values, so if you're looking at implementing this for yourself, please check the conditions on "Debit Money" and the general fee schedule for your country.

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I could short a standard money market ETF

This reminds me of a Rube Goldberg machine, which is not the image you want your investing practices to conjure up.

If you wish to use margin, despite the risks, then keep it simple: Use a broker. Interactive Brokers is known for low margin rates.

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  • Thanks for the suggestion, the debit money product I mentioned is in fact the equivalent of leverage at other brokers. – Steven Feb 16 at 21:59
  • Also, casino-like brokers do of course make things very convenient, however because they usually deal with futures contracts when they offer leverage, the effective annual interest rates are quite high (besides transaction fees, that's where they make their money after all). The whole point is to reduce those :) – Steven Feb 17 at 18:39

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