First of all, not only do you have to deal with the 1% government stamp duty on all purchases, but you also have to pay some pretty hefty execution fees.
Secondly, you've got to decide whether you want your shares to be held electronically, or whether you want the actual paper certificates. To have the shares held electronically, then you'll have to pay an annual fee. By holding the shares yourself, you don't have to worry about paying the annual charges.
Finally, you've got to decide if you intend on regularly buying and selling stocks. If you intending on trading often, then you need to choose a broker who has low execution costs (each time you execute a buy or sell order, you will incurr a fee). With this in mind, the small-time Irish investor has two realistic broker options.
- Sharewatch offer a small trades, execution-only service, that let's you purchase shares for a flat rate fee of €50 with no annual fee. If you're like me, and don't intend of trading regularly, then it makes sense to choose a broker with no annual fee. The shares are issued in paper form, so they can be stuffed in a drawer until you're ready to cash out. I've personally used Sharewatch and found them to be quite speedy and efficient. You simply transfer your cash to their bank, call them up, buy your shares and give them your details. A few days later, you get your sweaty little hands on your very own share certificates.
- NIB on the otherhand will hold shares electronically and charge an annual fee of €40, regardless of what trading activity occurs on your account. The upside of using NIB though, is that each time you trade, you're only charged €20. If you're making several trades a year, an NIB share account makes a lot more sense than paying €50 a trade with Sharewatch.
In short, if you plan on trading often, then the NIB offer is about the best in the market at present. If you're like me though, and simply want to make a very occasional trade, then Sharewatch is your only man.