Open a portfolio Instructions & comparison 2022: Create an online share portfolio

October 4, 2021
One provider where investors can open a portfolio within a few minutes is ETFinance.

Savings books and other investments have been offering hardly any returns for a long time. Sometimes even negative interest rates are incurred if you want to leave your money in the bank.

For this reason, more and more private users are trying their luck in stocks. To do this, however, you have to open a particular account or deposit, also called a securities account.

As an investor, you can apply for the deposit at your own house bank, for example, or you can look around for a mostly cheaper online bank. Here we clarify how investors can find the best and cheapest deposits. In addition, we also check what you have to pay particular attention to when opening a securities account.

Table of Contents

Where should you open a depot? First, open our depot comparison 2022:

The selection of providers is now quite large, and beginners, in particular, are quickly overwhelmed. It also takes time to decide on a bank or broker.

For this reason, we list a few of the best custody account providers here. These providers are particularly worthwhile if you would like to have all accounts under one roof. This is also appropriate because you can get discounts here.

Open a free deposit

There are now many providers with whom investors can open a free custody account. When choosing the provider, however, investors should pay attention to the custody account fees, but also, for example, to the order fees, the clarity of the trading platform, and the broker’s regulation.

One broker whose free depot we can recommend is ETFinance. The opening of the free depot is effortless with ETFinance and works within a short time.

To open the custody account, investors must first register on Registration is straightforward with an email address and a password.

After confirming the e-mail address, investors only have to deposit money to begin trading on ETFinance.

Various payment options are available to investors for deposits. In addition to credit card payments, payments with PayPal or instant transfer are also possible.

This feature allows investors to start investing in ETFinance on the same day. However, to be able to use ETFinance fully, users have to be verified. The verification process takes place entirely online, and users need a valid passport or ID for this.

At ETFinance, investors can open a free custody account and trade with many securities within a short time. In contrast to other depository providers, the registration process is very simple here, and the deposit verification also works smoothly. In addition, this allows investors to start trading on ETFinance the same day.

On the platform itself, investors can expect a user trading platform with a variety of functions and a large selection of asset classes, such as stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies and bonds. In addition, there are no account management fees for the custody account with ETFinance, and the fees for trading are very low. With stocks and ETFs, for example, there are no commissions.

We, therefore, recommend the ETFinance depot to everyone who wants to open a free depot.

How do you open a depot? Our step-by-step instructions for creating a securities account


We have decided to open our depot for our test winner, ETFinance, to offer the best conditions. In addition, ETFinance is fully regulated and licensed.

More about our test winner, ETFinance, is below in our depot comparison .

1. Registration with ETFinance

First, at ETFinance, you simply enter all the necessary information into the registration form. Then, in addition to personal information, you are usually asked about your level of knowledge about trading. Based on this data, ETFinance then creates a unique risk profile.

This determines which asset classes make sense and which options are not recommended. An example of this can be CFD transactions, as these are associated with a very high level of risk. But, of course, you can still get involved if you want.

 2. First deposit & verification

Now you have to specify a clearing account or make your first deposit using another payment method.

Here is an overview of all payment methods that are available at ETFinance:

Payment optionPossible?
Deposit with credit card✔️
Deposit with PayPal✔️
Deposit with Skrill✔️
Deposit by bank transfer✔️
Deposit with Neteller✔️
Deposit with UnionPay✔️

You then have to verify the account. This is now very easy to do by uploading a passport or identity card.

3. Buy stocks & ETFs online

Once the credit has arrived on the broker account, you can finally buy stocks and other trading pairs. In our example, we are buying Spotify shares.

To do this, enter “Spotify” in the search function. Once you have found the Spotify share, you can also find the current Spotify share value.

Now you have the option of buying one or more Spotify shares, depending on the amount of your own investment. To do this, use the “Order” or “Buy” function.

Now there are mostly some settings with which you can individualise the purchase. For example, should the stock be bought at a certain maximum value? Or do you want to integrate a time limit?

Depending on the purchase options, the share should end up in the portfolio sooner or later. The purchase of the security is then completed.

How do you open a depot account from your mobile phone? Our instructions for iOS & Android:

Opening a depot from your mobile phone is very easy with ETFinance, for example. Likewise, investors can open a custody account with ETFinance in just a few steps.

1. Download the ETFinance app

The ETFinance app can be downloaded free of charge from the App Store and the Play Store. To install it, users have to search for the ETFinance app in the respective app store and click on “Install” .

2. Registration

After the installation is complete, users can open the ETFinance app on their smartphones. In the app, users go directly to the registration page. On this page, users can set a username and password. You must also provide a valid email address.

An existing Google or Facebook account can also be used for registration. The registration is completed by clicking on “Set up an account.”

3rd deposit

The opening of the depot is now complete.

To be able to buy securities, investors only have to deposit money into the account.

There are many different deposit options available to investors.

In addition to a deposit by credit card, payments by PayPal or SOFORT transfer are also possible.

What to watch out for when creating an online depot:


The offer of an online custody account provider includes all services and functions that are available to an investor after opening the custody account. In addition, the depository provider should offer investors a wide range of asset classes, an attractive trading platform, low fees and good customer service. Therefore, it is worthwhile for investors to compare the offers of the respective providers to be able to select the right securities account provider.

Account types

A good depository provider should always offer a virtual demo account in addition to a real account. With this demo account, investors can get to know the platform risk-free before investing real money. The demo account is also ideal for testing strategies and should therefore always be part of the provider’s offer. That is why investors should find out whether the provider offers a demo account before opening a portfolio. Providers with a demo account are preferable to other providers in this case.

Features & Trading Tools

Another essential aspect when choosing the online depot is the functions and trading tools. Above all, investors who want to trade in the markets actively need a portfolio with various functions and tools for analysing securities. Therefore, these investors should determine which analysis tools are available on the respective trading platforms before opening their securities accounts. This ensures that investors have enough information to make investment decisions.

Depot app

The great advantage of a portfolio app is that investors can manage their portfolios anytime and anywhere. Therefore, before opening a portfolio, investors should determine whether the respective provider offers an app and which functions it has. In the best-case scenario, all functions are available to investors in the app that are also available on the website. With an app, investors can react quickly to market changes and get an overview of their portfolio, even when they are on the move.

The payment methods

Before opening a custody account, investors should find out which payment methods the custody account providers offer. While some providers only offer the classic transfer, some innovative providers also offer payments via PayPal, Skrill, Neteller or SOFORT transfer. A wide range of payment methods can ensure that investors can also deposit money into their accounts.


Security plays a major role when choosing the depository provider. For example, ​​financial investments should ensure that the custody account is safe, and thus, both the money and the investors’ data are safe.

A good indicator of security is the regulations that providers are subject to. In principle, custody account providers should be subject to strict regulations. This ensures that investors’ money is safe and that no personal information is disclosed to the public. We therefore only recommend providers who are based in Europe and are therefore regulated by the European authorities.


In the case of a custody account, investors should note that they continue to be the owners of the securities and that the custody account provider only takes on a custodial role. The securities of the investors must therefore be in the provider’s special fund. When selecting the depository provider, investors should therefore ensure that they are subject to strict regulations. We therefore only recommend brokers that are regulated by the European authorities.

Deposit insurance

The deposits of customers are protected by deposit insurance. In the event of bankruptcy of a financial institution, the deposits at South Africa financial institutions are secured up to a value of € 100,000 per account for current, overnight and fixed-term accounts. In other countries, customers’ deposits are often secured up to € 20,000 . This protection gives investors a good basis for their own asset management.

Customer service

If you have any questions or problems, good customer service is of great importance. Investors should therefore contact the customer service of the respective provider before opening the custody account. Good customer service is characterised by various contact options ( email, telephone, social media ), South Africa-speaking service staff and a large FAQ section. This enables investors to solve any problems that arise in the shortest possible time.


Fees are one of the most critical factors for investors in the area of ​​securities trading. High fees hurt returns and can potentially reduce profits significantly. Therefore, investors should read carefully about the fees charged by the custodian. Many providers now offer a custody account with no custody account management fees.

But the fees for buying and selling securities should also be clarified before opening. Especially with established providers, the fees are often significantly higher compared to newer providers. It is, therefore, worthwhile for providers to take a look at new deposit providers.


The spread is the difference between the buying and selling price. Therefore, investors should make sure that the spreads offered by the depository providers are as low as possible. This ensures that investors do not pay too high prices and receive good terms when trading securities. Therefore, for active investors, in particular, it is worth taking a close look at the spreads of the respective providers in the various asset classes.


Brokers charge commissions as a fee for executing investors’ orders. These commissions are high with some providers and can hurt the return. Therefore, investors should inform themselves about the commissions of the depository providers. With some providers, such as ETFinance, there are no commissions for trading stocks and ETFs.

Experiences and user opinions

The experiences and opinions of other users about the depository provider can be a good decision-making aid. Therefore, it is worthwhile for investors to look for the experiences of customers of the respective securities account provider on the Internet before opening a securities account. These experiences often give a good insight into the specifics of the respective provider and can help investors in their decision-making. However, investors should note that every investor is different and therefore has different expectations and demands.

Most of us already have a house bank, where we usually handle all transactions such as salary, etc. The question now arises whether the securities should not be deposited in the custody account at the same bank. So you would have everything with the same provider and with luck and negotiation could definitely get better conditions.

However, the question is also: Do you smoke a special and qualified advisor, or do you want to decide on the deposit yourself? Those who want to decide for themselves about all entrances and exits are usually much better off with an online broker than with a house bank.

This is partly because the custody account at online banking is mostly free and the order commission under which the bank lie.

Investors who want advice, on the other hand, should consider the deposit with a house bank. The costs for the securities transactions are usually significantly higher, and more fees may apply. However, this can be worthwhile for a good consultant, as it can also win a lot of money.

On the other hand, you can lose a lot of money with a bad advisor. So, in the beginning, you should check to what extent the consultants at the bank compare because the extra fees are only worthwhile if these are good.

Especially if the investment sums are not that high, you only get standard advice, which does not bring you that much as a customer. As an alternative, you can, therefore, also consider an independent financial advisor.

For this, however, the costs are even higher. These usually only advise from five-digit amounts. In the beginning, you should also get precise information about the quality and suitability of the consultant, as there are still fraudsters and blenders here too.

It is also essential to know the scope and product range of the individual depots. To do this, you have to ask yourself the following question: Which investment products do I want to trade? What does a depot cost?

Nowadays, there is a large selection with differences in handling, as we have already mentioned above. In addition to stocks, ETFs and certificates, there are also more risky options such as CFDs, futures and options.

The individual providers differ significantly in what they offer. In addition, the respective banks also differ in the offers of the trading venues. Lately, the securities have also been handled more and more directly outside of the stock exchange . There are then no fees for exchanges – a great advantage that should not be overlooked.

In addition, the transaction is processed immediately and is therefore confirmed in real-time. However, not everything is available this way. Nevertheless, you should check this beforehand, as the journey can be worthwhile.

It is also important that you can freely set your limits for buying a share from the broker or bank. So you can rule out paying too much money. First, however, you have to make sure that the provider does not charge any fees for setting your limits.

If this is the case, it is advisable to look for a new provider quickly. Especially for users who have been around for a long time, brokers also offer more complex OR types.

This includes, for example, trailing stops, where your own limits can then be easily and dynamically adjusted. But this is only appropriate if you have already gained some experience.

We recommend ETFinance, as this broker offers the cheapest fees and a wide range of trading options and different types of orders.

Check deposit insurance

In theory, insolvency can affect any institution or bank.

It is all the more important to check what happens to the money of the customers of this bank in the event of insolvency.

Because not every provider protects their own money equally well.

All deposits within the EU are legally protected up to € 100,000.

However, if more money is involved, it is advisable to check carefully what would happen in the worst-case beforehand. You can find out more about this from the Association of South Africa Banks on the Internet.

What do I need to consider?

Above all, one should ignore temporary bait offers and securities with special welcome bonuses. You shouldn’t trade too often with existing order fees. Otherwise, the fees will wipe out too much of the return.

It is also best to trade during the normal opening hours of the stock exchanges, as this is when liquidity is usually greatest. Even if your own investments should be designed for the long term, checking your account at regular intervals is always advisable.

In addition to the price development, you often have to keep an eye on the dividends and other distributions separately.


How does a depot work?

The custody account is the central account for investors in securities trading. Investors pass on a buy or sell order to the custodian bank via the custody account.

The bank then acts as a broker for the investor and places the respective order on the respective stock exchange.

The respective orders are billed via the clearing account. For example, if an investor places an order to buy a share, the bank buys the share on behalf of the investor and withdraws the money for this purchase from the investormost affordable’s clearing account. The share is then placed in the investor’s custody account and kept there. Nowadays, depots are managed digitally.

The custody account is the account in which the securities of an investor are kept and through which the orders for a purchase or sale of a security are processed. The securities within a custody account are always the property of the investor. The bank acts only as an intermediary between the investor and the financial markets.

Money deposit advantages & disadvantages

A custody account has some advantages and disadvantages that investors should know before opening a custody account.


  • Central account for managing securities
  • Overview of your assets
  • Fast opening
  • Management fully digitally possible
  • Low fees with online providers

The great advantage of having a custody account is that it can be viewed as a central location for managing your own assets. In addition, investors need a custody account in order to be able to participate in securities trading and can use this to process all securities transactions in one place.

With a custody account, investors also have an overview of their own assets at any time and can easily manage them anywhere. Thanks to technical progress in this area, investors can now open a portfolio in a few minutes and invest in many markets through this portfolio. In addition, most providers can manage their depots completely digitally.

While banks have traditionally charged high fees for trading securities, trading securities with online custodian providers is very cheap. Often the providers do not charge any custody account fees and sometimes also no fees for order execution. For example, with a custody account provider like ETFinance, there are no fees for buying stocks and ETFs.

In addition to the advantages, there are also disadvantages to having a deposit with an online provider.


  • Often no investment advice
  • Most investment decisions have to be made by yourself
  • No advice in the branch
  • Trading platforms are often complicated

Compared to traditional providers, online custody account providers often do not offer investment advice. Thanks to the abundance of information on the Internet, investment advice from an advisor is now often superfluous, and the information can be found free of charge on the Internet.

One point that often deters many investors is the trading platforms used by online providers. These are usually not designed to be user-friendly and, therefore, sometimes difficult for investors to use. However, providers have recently made significant progress in this area. ETFinance can be cited as a prime example here.

The broker has created a very user-friendly trading platform on which even beginners can find the right securities in just a few steps and start trading securities.


What should you look out for when opening a depot? (What eighth section insert)


The account opening is now very easy for many vendors. However, there are a few points that investors should pay attention to when opening a portfolio.

1. Fees

Fees play an important role in choosing the right portfolio, as excessively high fees can negatively affect returns. A good custody account should, therefore, not have any custody account management fees.

In addition, when considering fees, investors should consider buying fees, selling fees, and fees for savings plan execution. With many providers, these fees are significantly higher compared to other providers. It is therefore always worthwhile to compare different providers.

2. Asset classes

The selection of asset classes and stocks within these asset classes are important aspects when opening a securities account. Therefore, investors should make sure that the custodian offers a wide range of asset classes and securities. This enables investors to find the right securities and manage the entire portfolio within one custody account.

The most important asset classes are stocks, ETFs, funds, bonds, cryptocurrencies and commodities.

3. Trading platform

An attractive and user-friendly trading platform characterises a good portfolio. This ensures that investors always have an overview of the development of their own portfolio and can trade securities without any problems. In addition, options for analysing the securities should also be available on the platform.

4. Regulation

Investors should ensure that the custody account provider is subject to strict regulations when opening a custody account. This ensures that the provider is reputable and that investors can trade securities safely and with confidence at all times. Investors should play it safe on this point and only choose brokers regulated by the European authorities.

5. Customer service

Investors should make sure that the securities account provider offers good customer service when opening a securities account. If there are any questions or problems relating to your depot, good customer service is important. Good customer service is characterised by easy accessibility and friendly and competent employees.

Open a deposit with Sparkasse, Comdirect, Ing Diba, Volksbank, Consorsbank or DKB – why we can recommend ETFinance as our test winner

There is an abundance of providers on the market for securities accounts. In addition to the large financial institutions such as the Sparkasse, Volksbanken, Comdirect and many others, there are now also new online providers that have enjoyed growing popularity in recent years.

The new online deposit providers are characterised by a clear focus on the customer and low fees. One of these providers is ETFinance. In our large depot comparison, we compared the depots of various providers and chose the broker ETFinance as our test winner. But how can ETFinance stand out from the big competition?

First of all, the deposit at ETFinance is completely free. Established providers such as the Sparkasse or the Volksbanken have to pay annual custody fees. One of the most positive aspects of ETFinance is the quick opening of a portfolio . Investors can open a custody account with ETFinance within a few minutes and start trading securities.

ETFinance was also able to convince us in the area of ​​the trading platform. The broker offers users a user-friendly trading interface that can be operated intuitively both on the desktop and in the apps. This means that investors can follow the development of their portfolio at any time and trade in securities.

The trading platform also offers investors a wide range of tools for analysing securities and many useful functions, such as a price alarm and a watch list.

ETFinance can also stand out from the competition in the area of ​​asset classes. In addition to stocks, ETFs, bonds and commodities, investors can also participate in the ETFinance cryptocurrencies act. There is no such offer at Comdirect or the DKB, for example.

The ETFinance depot is also characterised by innovative offers in the field of asset management. For example, with so-called copy trading, investors can easily copy the strategies of successful investors automatically. This makes asset management even easier.

Because ETFinance is subject to the strict regulations of the European authorities, investors can also trade securely and with confidence on the platform.

In summary, we can say that ETFinance is the test winner for us in our depot provider comparison. The provider was able to convince us above all with the low fees, the attractive trading platform and various innovative offers in investment. That is why ETFinance is our recommendation for everyone looking for an innovative and reputable depository provider.

Open deposit duration

It takes to open a depot varies from provider to provider and can take anywhere from a few minutes to several weeks. With most providers, the opening of the securities account can be completed within a week. The time it takes to open a securities account depends, among other things, on the applications to be filled out and the verification process.

One provider where investors can open a portfolio within a few minutes is ETFinance. To open a custody account with ETFinance, investors initially only need an email address and a password. The verification process at ETFinance runs completely online with a valid identification document.

After the opening and verification is complete, investors can use one of the many deposit options to deposit funds into the ETFinance account and start trading.

This fast opening of the custody account enables ETFinance to clearly differentiate itself from other brokers and banks. It is often important for investors to open the custody account as soon as possible so as not to miss an investment opportunity. We therefore recommend the ETFinance portfolio to all investors who want to open a portfolio quickly and smoothly .

Comparison of the fees of the most popular brokers


A particularly important point when comparing the banks are the transaction fees , as these differ greatly and can often make the difference. If the winnings are low, high fees can wipe out the winnings completely.

Every purchase and sale incurs fees that are payable by the investor . This includes the order commission that the bank charges for executing the transaction. But also the brokerage fee and the trading place fees are included.

A comparison should be primarily the order commission kept in mind, as this varies mainly depending on the size of the transaction. A transaction can quickly cost up to € 50 and more.

However, this depends heavily on the provider, and so there are now banks that completely dispense with size-dependent order fees. With these providers, you pay the same amount of fees for a theoretical order over € 1 as for € 10,000.

Here is a comparison of the most popular depot providers. We compare the fees of the largest brokers with the following example:

  • We buy securities worth € 1,000
  • We hold the stocks for a month and sell them again
  • We assume that the course will not change in the 30 days

With these assumptions we now compare the fees of Comdirect, ETFinance & Plus500:

Depositfor freefreefor free
Purchase fees3.90 €free3.08%
Holding feesfor freefree0.05%
Sales charges3.90 €Spreads3.08%
Total fees€ 7.80Reasonable€ 92.32

Special features of funds and ETFs: What do you have to consider?

If you are looking for long-term investment opportunities, funds are an interesting option . You should also keep the conditions for the funds in the back of your mind for the respective depot.

Before opening the respective custody account, you should also clarify how many funds you can actually trade there and how high the fees for them are . This also applies to the now very popular ETFs that we cover in other current articles.

If you havvariousen’t dealt with it yet, it’s worth taking a look. You should pay particular attention to the issue surcharges when it comes to providers, as these are usually between 3-5% .

With a fund of € 10,000, fees of several hundred euros can be incurred. However, these fees can be avoided or reduced if you know exactly what you want from the start and what the respective conditions are.

What is an online deposit at the bank or a share account?

An online deposit at the bank is a special account in which securities can be kept. Investors need a custody account to be able to trade securities.

All securities trading by an investor takes place via a deposit at the bank. In the area of ​​stock trading, the securities account is sometimes also called a stock account. As the name suggests, shares are deposited in this special account. This means that the shares are “stored” in this depot.

After buying a share, it is placed in the deposit, and when it is sold, the security is removed from the deposit and sold.

Open Depot Conclusion – Our experience and recommendation:


Everyone who wants to trade in securities needs a deposit. Most banks now have their own offers, which is why there is something for every taste. You should then choose a provider depending on your experience.

It is also useful for beginners when everything is under one roof. At the same time, you should also consider how important personal advice is to you and whether you need someone to advise you on business.

We at Securedbrokers recommend our test winner, ETFinance, as it offers the best conditions. In addition, ETFinance is fully regulated and licensed.


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In contrast to a “normal” bank account used for salary payments, for example, a deposit is not intended for general payment transactions. As the name Depot suggests, only securities that are also known as stocks are stored there.

When comparing the banks, a particularly important point is the transaction fees, as these differ significantly and can often make the difference. If the winnings are low, high fees can wipe out the winnings completely.

All deposits within the EU are legally protected up to € 100,000. However, if more money is involved, it is advisable to check carefully what would happen in the worst-case beforehand. You can find out more about this from the Association of South Africa Banks on the Internet.

Above all, one should ignore temporary bait offers and securities with special welcome bonuses. You shouldn’t trade too often with existing order fees. Otherwise, the focusses will wipe out too much of the return.

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