Explore investment platforms: Your guide to choosing the best platform for your needs

Lukasz Glowacki
Table of contents
Lukasz Glowacki

Explore investment platforms: Your guide to choosing the best platform for your needs

Thanks to online investment platforms, more people now have access to investments than ever before. These platforms offer individuals the opportunity to invest in various financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and more. However, choosing the right investment platform can also be a challenge. In this guide, we look at the key factors you should consider when choosing an investment platform.

Table of contents

Understanding investment platforms 

What you should consider when choosing an investment platform

  • Investment Options and Asset Classes
  • Fees and Commissions
  • Ease of use and accessibility
  • Sources of information and instructions
  • Support and service
  • Security and Regulation
  • Mobile Apps and Technology

Popular investment platforms in Germany


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Understanding investment platforms

Investing platforms, also known as online brokerage platforms or investment platforms, are digital platforms that allow individuals to buy and sell financial securities and manage their investment portfolios. These platforms provide access to various financial markets and enable investors to execute trades, monitor their investments, and access research tools and resources.

What you should consider when choosing an investment platform

Choosing the right investment platform requires careful consideration of several factors. Here are some key factors to consider when making your decision:

  1. Investment Options and Asset Classes

Pay attention to the range of investment options and asset classes offered by each platform. Do they offer access to stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds or other financial instruments that align with your investment goals? Also, make sure the platform offers the diversification options and flexibility you need to build a well-diversified investment portfolio.

  1. Fees and Commissions

Check the fee and commission structure of the platforms. Look for transparent pricing and consider the costs associated with trading, account management, fund transfer and other relevant services. Also look out for hidden fees or costs that could affect your investment returns.

  1. Ease of use and accessibility

An easy-to-use platform with an intuitive interface can make the investment experience more enjoyable and efficient. Look for platforms that offer easy navigation, clear instructions and useful features such as portfolio tracking and performance analysis. Consider whether the platform is accessible via desktop devices, mobile devices or both.

  1. Sources of information and instructions

Access to reliable research tools, market analysis and guidance can offer significant benefits to investors. Look out for platforms that provide comprehensive market insights, real-time news updates and guidance to help you make informed investment decisions and expand your investment knowledge.

  1. Support and service

A good support offering is essential for investment platforms. Evaluate the availability and responsiveness of support channels such as phone, email or live chat. Consider service quality ratings and make sure that the platform offers quick and helpful support when you need it.

  1. Security and Regulation

Investment platforms handle sensitive financial information, so security should be a top priority. Look out for platforms with reliable security measures such as data encryption, two-factor authentication and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocols. When opening an account, also make sure that the platform is regulated by reputable financial authorities to further safeguard your investments.

  1. Mobile Apps and Technology

If you want to manage your investments on the go, you should also pay attention to the availability and functionality of mobile apps offered by the platform. Mobile apps should offer a seamless experience and allow you to monitor your portfolio, carry out transactions and use key features from the convenience of your mobile device.

Popular investment platforms in Germany

There are a large number of renowned investment platforms in Germany that cater to different investment needs. Here are a few examples:

  • eToro: Known for its social trading features that allow investors to follow successful traders and copy their trades.
  • Zero: Known for their competitive pricing and extensive investment options, including stocks, ETFs, cryptos and savings plans with no order fees (plus market spreads).
  • FlatEx: Simple trading of securities at a fixed price of just €5.90, suitable for inexperienced and experienced investors.
  • comdirect Depot: Investors can invest in thousands of shares, ETFs, funds, warrants, bonds and certificates on all German trading venues as well as on trading venues in eleven other countries. There are also around 1,000 ETFs available for savings plans.

Important: Research and compare different platforms based on your specific investment goals, preferences and the factors mentioned above.

Tips for inexperienced investors

Investments are a powerful tool to build wealth and secure your financial future. It may seem intimidating at first, but with the right knowledge and approach, everyone has the opportunity to become a successful investor.

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade is a leading brokerage firm in the United States known for its comprehensive range of investment and trading services. It offers a robust platform that caters to investors of all experience levels, from beginners to experienced traders. Although it primarily serves US clients, TD Ameritrade also offers its services to German investors.

Explore the best trading platforms

Trading platforms are software applications that facilitate the buying and selling of various financial instruments such as shares, bonds, commodities and cryptocurrencies. They offer users access to real-time market data, trading tools, research tools and order execution functions.

Buying and Selling Stocks etfs

Buying and selling shares is an essential part of investing in the stock market. By choosing a stock broker, opening a trading account, conducting thorough research, placing stock orders, monitoring your investments and making informed selling decisions, you can navigate the stock market with confidence.

Investing on your own: how to take control of your financial future

Investing on your own is a popular approach for individuals who want to take control of their financial future. You make your own investment decisions without relying on financial advisors or online brokers.

Shares, ETFs and options

Individuals can participate in the financial markets through shares, ETFs and options and potentially earn returns on their investments. Although these instruments have some similarities, there are also important differences and they serve different investment purposes.

What are stocks?

Shares, also known as stocks, represent the ownership of certain companies. When you buy a share, you become a shareholder in that company and are entitled to the company's assets and profits. Shares are usually traded on stock exchanges and offer the potential for capital appreciation and dividend income.

Investing in stocks

Investing in shares consists of buying shares in individual companies. Stock selection can be based on a variety of factors, including company fundamentals, industry outlook and growth potential. Investing in stocks requires research and analysis to identify companies with solid financials, competitive advantages and growth prospects.

Benefits of Stock Investing

Investing in stocks offers several benefits, including:

  • Potential capital appreciation: Shares have the potential to increase in value over time, which can benefit investors' capital appreciation as the company grows and expands.
  • Dividend income: Some companies distribute part of their profits in the form of dividends, providing investors with a regular source of income.
  • Ownership and voting rights: Shareholders have certain ownership rights, such as the right to vote on company matters and to participate in meetings.
  • Portfolio diversification: Including equities in a diversified investment portfolio can potentially help to spread risk and increase overall returns.

ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds)

What are ETFs?

When you invest in ETFs, you buy shares in a fund that represent proportional ownership of the underlying assets. ETFs offer flexibility because, like shares, they can be bought and sold at market prices throughout the trading day. They are designed to offer investors broad market exposure or targeted sector exposure.

Advantages of EFT investment

Investing in ETFs offers numerous advantages, including:

  • Diversification: ETFs provide instant diversification as they hold a basket of securities within a single fund. This diversification helps to reduce the impact of the volatility of individual stocks or sectors on the overall portfolio.
  • Liquidity: ETFs are traded on the stock exchange and allow investors to buy or sell shares at market prices throughout the trading day.
  • Transparency: ETFs regularly disclose their holdings so that investors know which underlying assets they are investing in.
  • Lower costs: ETFs generally have lower expense ratios than investment funds, making them a cost-effective investment option.

Risks of ETF Investing

Investing and etfs in ETFs also carries risks, including:

  • Market and sector risks: ETFs may be exposed to market volatility and sector-specific risks if they track a specific index or sector.
  • Tracking error: ETFs aim to replicate the performance of an underlying index. However, there may be slight deviations, known as tracking errors, due to factors such as fees and market conditions.
  • Liquidity Risk: While ETFs are generally liquid, certain ETFs with low trading volumes may experience wider bid-ask spreads, potentially impacting the execution price.

What are Options?

Options are financial derivatives that give investors the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an underlying asset such as shares or ETFs at a predetermined price within a specified period of time. Options can be used for various purposes, including hedging, income generation and speculation.

Investing in options

Investing in options involves buying or selling option contracts on an exchange. Call options give holders the right to buy the underlying asset, while put options give them the right to sell the underlying asset. The prices of options are influenced by factors such as the price of the underlying asset, the time remaining until expiry and market volatility.

Benefits of Options Investing

Investing in options offers several advantages, including:

  • Flexibility: Options provide investors with strategic alternatives to profit from various market conditions, including bullish, bearish, and neutral scenarios.
  • Limited risk: The purchase of options limits the investor's risk to the premium paid for the option contract and offers a predetermined maximum loss.
  • Income Generation: Options can be used to generate income through strategies like writing covered calls or cash-secured puts.
  • Hedging: Options can be used as a hedging instrument to limit potential losses or protect gains on an existing equity or ETF position.

Risks of the option investment

  • Time decay: Options have an expiry date and lose value over time. If the underlying asset does not move significantly in the expected direction, options can also lose value.
  • Volatility risk: Options are influenced by market volatility. Sudden changes in volatility can have an impact on option prices.
  • Complexity: Options involve complex concepts and strategies that sometimes require a deep understanding of the underlying mechanisms and risks. It is therefore important to inform yourself before you get involved in options trading.

Choosing the right investment instrument

The choice between equities, ETFs and options depends on your investment objectives, your risk appetite and your best overall investment strategy. It's important to consider factors such as your time horizon, desired level of involvement in investment decisions and your understanding of the instruments before making a decision.

The brokerage account: An important tool for investing in the financial markets

A brokerage account is a type of financial account through which individuals can buy and sell various financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, investment funds, ETFs and other securities. It serves as a gateway for investors to the financial markets and to carry out their investment transactions.

Functions and advantages of brokerage accounts

Brokerage accounts offer various features and benefits that enhance the investment experience:

Trading platform

Stockbroking companies offer online trading platforms through which investors can place buy and sell orders for securities. These platforms are characterized by intuitive interfaces, real-time market data, charts and order execution features. An easy-to-use trading platform can significantly simplify the investment process for account holders.

Research and analysis tools

Many online brokerage companies offer research and analysis tools to help investors make informed investment decisions. These tools include up-to-date market information, company reports, financial statements, analyst recommendations and screening tools. Access to comprehensive research capabilities can help investors evaluate potential investments and keep up to date with market trends.

Order execution

Accounts with stock brokerage firms enable investors to execute their stock market orders efficiently. They can place market orders, limit orders, stop orders and other order types depending on the desired execution parameters. Prompt and reliable order execution is crucial to achieving the desired price and executing the trade effectively.

Portfolio management

Accounts with stock brokerage firms typically offer portfolio management tools that allow investors to monitor and manage their investments. These tools provide a consolidated overview of holdings, transaction history, performance metrics and asset allocation. Portfolio management helps investors track their progress towards their investment goals and make adjustments as needed.

Account monitoring and reporting

Accounts with stock brokerage firms provide account holders with regular statements and reports summarizing their holdings, transaction history, dividends received and other relevant information. Account holders can view these reports to assess the performance of their investments and keep track of their financial activities.


Choosing the right investment platform is one of the most important decisions when starting to buy and sell shares and can have a significant impact on your investment success. With online trading platforms, you should consider factors such as investment options, fees, ease of use, research resources, customer support and security. ETF trading platforms are the best choice if you want to invest in fractional shares and options commission-free and on mobile devices. Take the time to explore and compare different platforms in more detail to make an informed decision that will allow you to build a successful investment portfolio.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Do I have to have previous investment experience to use an investment platform? No, investment platforms are aimed at both experienced and inexperienced investors. Many platforms offer information material, guides and research tools to help beginners understand the investment process and make informed decisions.
  2. Can I switch platforms if I'm not happy with mine? Of course it is possible to switch investment platforms if you are not happy with your current platform. However, it is important to consider any associated costs or restrictions, such as transfer fees or potential impact on your investment positions.
  3. Are investment platforms subject to financial services supervision? Reputable investment platforms are generally regulated by financial supervisory authorities such as BaFin in Germany. Regulation serves the purpose of supervision and ensures that the platforms comply with certain standards and protect the interests of investors.
  4. Can I open several investment accounts with different platforms? Yes, you can open several investment accounts with different platforms. This allows you to diversify your investments or take advantage of the special features of each platform. However, you should be aware of any fees or account management requirements associated with using multiple accounts.

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Lukasz is an experienced, young investment autodidact who has been looking more and more into the potential sustainable consequences of his financial investments over the last few years. In his blog he shares any knowledge, as well as tips and tricks that have helped him on his way and lets you participate in his journey.


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