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I've done a bit of research and it seems that Ireland doesn't have a huge amount of firms that handle investment portfolios.

I found: Zurich, Davy, Irish life, Aviva, and anything that offers insurance basically. The Zurich Prisma 4 Fund seems to be performing well.

Firms like Cantor Fitzgerald & Davy seem to cater towards big investors 250K+ and have a lot of fees.

The alternatives are my own bank (AIB) with fees of 1.8% for a portfolio and some smaller firms like MoneyCube 1.5%.

The cheapest alternatives are online-only brokerages like eToro and DeGiro. They have very low fees and it's completely do-it-yourself.

I have about 1-5K to invest as well as 100/month going forward. I value flexibility as well - I may want to take a break from it or pull out after 5 years.

Are eToro and DeGiro legit? If they go under can I get my money back?

Would you bother with the bank or traditional firms in my situation?

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  • I don't know the answers to your questions, so I'll ask what you need to ask: are investment companies regulated in Ireland? If -- for example -- DeGiro goes bankrupt, what rights do you have as an Irishman in Ireland? (They are in the US, so you'd get your money back in the case of fraud or bankruptcy by the brokerage.)
    – RonJohn
    Jul 19, 2021 at 1:26
  • If DeGiro and eToro are legitimate, and they charge flat fees, then invest quarterly, not monthly; that will reduce the loss due to fees.
    – RonJohn
    Jul 19, 2021 at 1:27
  • As far as I'm aware the firms you have listed are both legitimate firms, although I have heard strange things about eToro not selling traditional products but rather CFDs. That doesn't mean you're necessarily entitled to anything if they go bust. But read the sign-up contracts.
    – user253751
    Jul 19, 2021 at 10:18

2 Answers 2

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I have about 1-5K to invest as well as 100/month going forward.

That is more than enough to get started. For perspective, my foray into investing started with me collecting cans for their 5 cent deposits. I would wake up early collect the cans in my town, turn them in and make between $8 or $10. When it got to be $250 I started investing.

So what you have is more than enough money to start.

I may want to take a break from it or pull out after 5 years.

This to me indicates, that you are not ready. Investing is for the long term, pulling in and out of the market destroys profits. I would advise to wait until you are ready for a lifetime of investing.

Being US based, I cannot comment about the products offered in Ireland. However, your research seems well thought out and I feel that you are in a good place to make a wise decision and gather further information.

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The most important thing to do is open a tax-free retirement account. That way your capital gains are not taxed until retirement. https://www.pensionsauthority.ie/en/lifecycle/private_pensions/

My advice is to go with one of the top firms, eToro is fine. Don’t worry about them going bankrupt. They won’t go bankrupt. If a top brokerage firm ever goes bankrupt, then the world as we know it would come to an end.

Start out by buying shares in the top stock index fund ETF. In the USA, that is either SPY or QQQ. There is nothing better than buying a tax-free stock index fund at a young age and just holding onto it until retirement, adding to it periodically when the market dips. Do not ever sell, but always add regularly when the market dips.

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  • eToro is by far not a "top brokerage firm". They might be very noisy on social media,but they're a tiny fraction of the size of the real big ones by any metric (say, revenue according to Wikipedia of $0.6bn vs >$10bn for the likes of Charles Schwab or Fidelity, likewise for AUM). I'd be surprised if they even made it into the top 100 worldwide. Also,size doesn't guarantee anything,the Lehman Brothers were way bigger and still went belly up.
    – TooTea
    Dec 19, 2021 at 9:06
  • @TooTea as far as I can tell, eToro is the largest firm available to the OP who is apparently from Ireland. Also if any client of Bear Stearns or Lehman owned equities, they kept those equities. Cash maybe, but doubtful any (small) investors lost cash either. Dec 24, 2021 at 21:11

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