How to Buy Shares in Ireland for 2023 – With Low Fees

It’s easier than ever to buy shares in Ireland thanks to the rise of online, low-cost brokers. Investors can purchase shares of their favorite Irish, UK, and global companies in minutes with just a few clicks. 

In this guide, we’ll explain how to buy shares in Ireland and highlight the best stock brokers to use today.

How to Buy Shares in Ireland – Quick Guide

We’ll quickly outline the steps investors can take to buy shares of their favorite companies in Ireland.

  • Step 1: Open a brokerage account. We recommend Lightyear as one of the best stock brokers in Ireland. Lightyear offers more than 3,500 international stocks and ETFs and some of the lowest trading fees in Ireland.
  • Step 2: Verify identity. All new investors with Lightyear must upload a copy of their driver’s license or passport. This verification step is required by financial regulators.
  • Step 3: Deposit funds. It’s free to deposit funds to Lightyear by bank transfer and there is no minimum deposit required.
  • Step 4: Buy shares. Search for a stock to buy, click ‘Buy’, and enter the amount you’d like to purchase in EUR. Then click ‘Buy’ to buy shares in Ireland from the comfort of your own home.

How to Buy Stocks in Ireland – Best Stock Broker Apps to Use

To buy shares in Ireland, investors will need a stock broker. There are a lot of options available, each offering different fees, investment options, trading tools, and more.

Let’s take a closer look at the 3 best stock trading apps in Ireland today.

1. Lightyear – Top-rated Stock App with 3,500+ International Stocks and ETFs, Also Offers 4.5% Interest Rate on Uninvested Capital

Lightyear is our top pick for buying and selling shares in Ireland. This stock trading app offers more than 3,500 international stocks and ETFs, including shares of more than 200 UK stocks.

Lightyear has some of the cheapest trading fees in Ireland. Investors will pay just £1 per order for UK shares and €1 per order for EU shares. US shares have a maximum commission of 0.1%, up to $1 per order. There’s no monthly account fee and ETF trades are free from Lightyear trading fees.

Lightyear home

Another benefit to Lightyear is its multi-currency account. Investors can hold balances in pounds, euros, and dollars all at the same time, then use these different balances to purchase UK, EU, and US stocks. This avoids foreign exchange fees and saves Irish traders even more money when buying shares.

Lightyear also offers investors interest on their uninvested cash. As of 10th August 2023, investors will earn 4.50% APY on USD and GBP balances and 3% APY on EUR balances. 

Investors can trade with Lightyear using the broker’s mobile app (iOS and Android) or web platform. Both are user-friendly, enabling investors to buy and sell shares with just a few taps. Price charts and basic analysis metrics help investors decide which stocks are worth buying. 

Shares available 3,500+ international stocks and ETFs
Fractional shares Yes (Only for US Stocks)
Pricing system £1/order for UK shares

€1/order for EU shares

0.10% up to $1/order for US shares

Minimum deposit None

Your capital is at risk. The provider of investment services is Lightyear Financial Ltd for the UK and Lightyear Europe AS for the EU. Terms apply: golightyear.com/terms. Seek qualified advice if necessary.

2. eToro – Leading Social & Copy Trading Broker with Commission-free Global Stock and ETF Trades

eToro is a zero-commission stock brokerage offering Irish traders the ability to buy and sell thousands of stocks and ETFs. It also offers trading on forex pairs, top cryptocurrencies, commodities, and more.

At eToro, investors can buy shares of their favorite stocks and pay no trading fees. There’s no monthly account fee and no deposit fee, either. eToro requires only a $50 deposit to open an account and the broker accepts bank transfers, credit and debit cards, PayPal, and more.

eToro is one of the world's top multi-asset trading platforms, with over 30 million users

eToro’s global markets include the London Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange, Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and more. Investors can buy fractional shares, enabling them to invest as little as $10 at a time.

One of the unique features of eToro’s trading app is copy trading. Investors can allocated a portion of their funds to automatically mimic the trades of a more experienced investor. There are copy trading portfolios available for US stocks, international stocks, cryptocurrencies, commodities, and more.

The minimum investment in a copy trading portfolio is only $200. Investors are free to copy as many different portfolios as they like.

New investors can get started with eToro with a paper trading account. This enables investors to practice with $100,000 in virtual money to explore the trading app and practice buying shares.

Shares available 3,000+ international stocks and ETFs
Fractional shares Yes
Pricing system 0% commission for stock and ETF trades
Minimum deposit $50

Zero commission means that no broker fee will be charged when opening or closing the position. Other fees apply including FX fees on non-USD deposits and withdrawals. For additional information regarding fees, click here. Your capital is at risk.

3. XTB – CFD Broker Offering Trading on 2,100+ International Stocks

XTB is a little bit different from other stock brokers in Ireland. Instead of buying and selling shares directly, investors buy and sell contracts for difference (CFDs). Investors never own the underlying stock.

There are advantages to trading stock CFDs. XTB enables traders to leverage their trades up to 10:1, for instance. So, with $100, an investor could trade up to $1,000 worth of a stock. Investors can also easily short a stock using CFDs if they believe its price will fall.

XTB home

XTB offers CFDs for more than 2,100 global stocks and 60 ETFs. There are no trade commissions, although traders will pay fees in the form of a spread between the buy and sell price for a CFD.

XTB offers a powerful trading platform called xStation 5. It’s available for web and mobile and gives traders the ability to conduct in-depth technical analysis of stock price movements. XTB also provides investors with a market news feed and economic events calendar.

There’s no minimum deposit to open a trading account with XTB. Irish investors can make a deposit by bank transfer, credit or debit card, PayPal, and Skrill, all with no fees.

For investors who want to trade more than just stocks, XTB also offers CFDs for forex, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.

Shares available 2,100+ international stock and ETF CFDs
Fractional shares Yes
Pricing system Variable spread
Minimum deposit None

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 80% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

How Stock Investing Works

Investing in stocks involves buying shares of publicly traded companies. Owning a company’s stock means an investor owns a small piece of that business.

Owning shares won’t necessarily get investors a seat at board meetings. But it does give them the ability to attend investor meetings. Investors can also potentially earn profits in two ways: share price appreciation and dividend payouts.

Share price appreciation occurs when the price of a stock goes up after an investor buys it. Investors can then sell the stock. Their profit will be the difference between what they paid for the shares and what they sold them for.

Share price appreciation is not guaranteed. Investors can lose money if a stock goes down in value after they buy it. However, over the long run, the stock market has historically gone up. The US market, measured by the S&P 500, has gone up an average of 10.25% per year since 1957

S&P 500

Dividends are cash or stock payouts to a company’s investors. Not all companies pay dividends, but many do. Dividends are typically paid out monthly, quarterly, or annually.

How much a dividend is worth is measured using a metric called dividend yield—the dividend per share divided by the share price. Dividend yields can change over time and companies can cut or suspend their dividends at any time. So, investors should look for companies that have historically increased their dividend year after year when investing for dividends.

How Do I Find Stocks to Buy?

One of the most challenging parts of stock investing is deciding which stocks to buy and when. After all, timing is everything for investors who want to buy low and sell high.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways investors can find stocks to buy.

Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental analysis involves examining a company’s financial performance to determine whether it can generate investment returns.

Typically, fundamental investors look for stocks in 2 categories: undervalued stocks and growth stocks.

Undervalued stocks are stocks that have a current share price lower than what an investor thinks their share price should be based on their financial performance. Investors can calculate a “fair value” price for a stock using different combinations of financial metrics like revenue, debt, and net profit.

Importantly, just because a stock is undervalued does not mean its price will go up immediately. Undervalued stocks can remain undervalued indefinitely.

Growth stocks are companies investors think can grow their revenue and profits rapidly in the years ahead. Investors often look at metrics like customer growth and retention or earnings growth to identify growth stocks.

Growth stocks are often overvalued based on their current financial performance, with the expectation they’ll justify a high share price with future returns. However, some growth stocks stall out, so investors need to choose carefully.

Technical Analysis

Technical analysis involves examining a stock’s price movements to find opportunities to buy and sell for a profit.

Typically, technical analysis is used by stock traders and short-term investors. Technical analysis isn’t concerned with whether a company is a “good” company, but rather what its share price will do next.

Technical analysis uses a variety of different mathematical indicators and patterns to investigate price movements and make predictions. Traders who use technical analysis often create alerts so that they don’t miss an opportunity as it unfolds.

Popular Stocks Lists

One of the best ways to generate investment ideas is simply to look at what stocks are popular right now. These aren’t necessarily the best stocks from a fundamental or technical standpoint, but trending stocks frequently experience big price movements that investors can profit from.

Notably, 90% of returns in the S&P 500 this year came from just 10 popular stocks. So, investors can potentially beat the market just by investing in popular stocks. 

Many brokers offer real-time lists of what stocks are being bought and sold most frequently on their platforms. Investors can use these lists as a starting point for their own analysis or to discover new companies they may not have previously heard of.

Stock Picking Services

Investors can also get investment ideas from stock picking services. These tools, which include newsletters and stock research platforms, offer actionable ideas about what stocks to buy.

There are many different stock picking services to suit different types of investors. Some focus on growth stocks, some on undervalued stocks, and others on dividend stocks. Some stock picking services recommend short-term investments, while others have investment time frames of 5 years or longer.

Popular Stocks in Ireland Now

To help investors start building a portfolio, let’s take a look at 5 of the most popular stocks to buy in Ireland today.

1. Accenture

Accenture is one of the largest publicly-traded companies headquartered in Ireland. This global consulting firm trades on the New York Stock Exchange and has a market cap of nearly $210 billion.

Accenture img

Accenture is up more than 28% in the last 5 months. It has a relatively moderate price-to-earnings ratio of 28.14, which suggests that the stock could be slightly undervalued. 

In addition to Accenture’s potential for price appreciation, the stock also pays a dividend of 1.42%.

2. Ryanair

Ryanair is another well-known Irish company. It offers flights throughout Europe and between Europe and the US.

Ryanair price

The stock trades on the NASDAQ stock exchange in the US. It’s up more than 44% in the past year thanks to the travel industry’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stock pulled back recently because of lukewarm guidance during an earnings call regarding winter travel expectations. However, this could be an opportunity for investors who are bullish on the travel industry to buy Ryanair shares at a discount.

3.BP

Oil giant BP trades on both the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. The company is up more than 30% over the past year, even as oil prices have fallen.

BP price

That’s thanks in part to investors’ bullishness on future oil prices and BP’s potential production from new offshore oil platforms.

BP is attractive to many Irish investors as a dividend stock. It pays a dividend yield of 4.29% and boosted its dividend as recently as last year.

4. Amazon

Amazon has a strong presence in Ireland, and many investors like to invest in companies they know. So, it should come as little surprise that Amazon is one of the most popular stocks to buy in Ireland.

Amazon price

The stock is up 28% in the last 6 months and currently has a lot of bullish momentum behind it. Amazon shares are still nearly 40% below the all-time high they set in 2021.

Despite being one of the world’s most profitable companies, Amazon doesn’t pay a dividend. So, investors in Amazon shares are betting that this tech company’s dominance will continue and its share price will continue to rise.

5. Barclays

UK bank Barclays is frequently among the most-traded stocks on the London Stock Exchange. It also trades on the New York Stock Exchange in the US. The bank has a market cap of $33 billion.

Barcalys price

Barclays is up 12.5% over the past year, but its performance has lagged the broader market thanks to concerns over bank runs in the US and Europe. For Irish investors, that means this might be an opportunity to take a contrarian view and buy Barclays shares at a bargain.

One of the benefits to owning Barclays shares is that the stock pays a hefty dividend. At today’s share price, the dividend yield is a whopping 6.54%.

How to Buy Penny Stocks in Ireland

Penny stocks are stocks that have a low share price. For US stocks, penny stocks are any shares priced under $5. For UK stocks, penny stocks are any shares priced under £1.

Penny stocks can be highly volatile, meaning their price can go up or down rapidly with little warning. Investors may also have a difficult time buying or selling them at the current market price because there aren’t that many people trading penny stocks.

Another thing to keep in mind about penny stocks is that they often aren’t required to submit the same financial documents to regulators as large-cap stocks. So, investors need to be aware of scams when trading penny stocks.

Many stock brokers in Ireland don’t offer trading on penny stocks or offer only a limited selection of penny stocks. Some brokers specialize in penny share trading, but they often charge higher trading fees than our top-rated Irish stock brokers.

Are Shares Taxed in Ireland?

If investors make a profit from buying and selling shares in Ireland, they must pay taxes on that profit.

Profits from share price appreciation are known as capital gains and are subject to capital gains taxes. In Ireland, the current capital gains tax rate is 33%. Investors don’t have to pay capital gains tax on their first €1,270 in capital gains each year.

Profits from dividends are taxed at a rate of 25%. All profits from dividends are subject to Ireland’s dividend tax.

How to Buy Shares in Ireland – Step-by-Step Guide

Ready to buy stocks in Ireland? We’ll walk investors through the process using Lightyear, our top-rated Irish stock broker. The process is similar for other stock apps in Ireland.

Step 1: Open a Lightyear Account

Head to Lightyear’s website and scan the QR code to download the Lightyear app. The app is also available through the Apple App Store and Google Play store.

Lightyear sign-up

Tap ‘Sign Up’ and enter a name, email, date of birth, and country of residence. Lightyear will send an email to verify the investor’s email address. 

Step 2: Verify Identity

Lightyear requires investors to upload a copy of their driver’s license or passport to verify their identity. This step is required by financial regulators to prevent fraud and money laundering.

Step 3: Deposit Funds

Lightyear offers free deposits by bank transfer. Investors can deposit funds in USD, GBP, or EUR.

Lightyear deposit funds

Tap ‘Deposit,’ then select a deposit method. Enter account details and the amount to deposit, then tap ‘Deposit’ again to initiate the transfer. Funds from a bank transfer are typically available to invest in 1-3 business days.

Step 4: Buy Shares

In the Lightyear app’s dashboard, search for a stock by name or browse the lists of stocks to find shares to buy. Tap on the stock and then tap ‘Buy’ to open a new order.

Lightyear assets

Enter the amount to invest in the stock, then review the order and tap ‘Buy’ to complete the purchase. Investors can monitor the performance of their current holdings through the Lightyear app.

How to Sell Shares

When investors are ready to sell shares, they can navigate to the Lightyear dashboard and tap on ‘Investments.’ Tap on the stock they want to sell, then tap ‘Sell.’ 

Lightyear how to sell

Enter the amount to sell, review the order, and tap ‘Sell’ to sell the shares. Cash from the sale will be available immediately in an investor’s account. 

Conclusion

Brokerage apps like Lightyear make it incredibly easy to buy and sell shares in Ireland. With Lightyear, investors can trade more than 3,500 international stocks and ETFs with very low trading fees. They can also earn interest on their uninvested cash.

Lightyear is available for iOS, Android, and the web. Investors can try it today to buy their first shares in Ireland.

Your capital is at risk. The provider of investment services is Lightyear Financial Ltd for the UK and Lightyear Europe AS for the EU. Terms apply: golightyear.com/terms. Seek qualified advice if necessary.

References

https://www.officialdata.org/us/stocks/s-p-500/1957

https://learn.robinhood.com/articles/2jXBtXBLTdNeSnsUyT3xPc/what-is-dividend-yield/

https://smartasset.com/investing/fundamental-analysis

https://school.stockcharts.com/doku.php?id=overview:technical_analysis

https://www.thestreet.com/investing/stocks/short-list-of-companies-comprises-about-90-of-2023-stock-market-returns

https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/ryanair-q1-profits-soar-cuts-fy-passenger-forecast-boeing-delays-2023-07-24/

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/bp-reports-q2-profit-845-billion-boosts-dividend-2022-08-02/

https://www.sec.gov/investor/schedule15g.htm

https://taxsummaries.pwc.com/ireland/individual/income-determination

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Viraj Randev

Based in Wembley, England, Viraj graduated from the University of Surrey before pursuing an internship at DBS Bank in New Delhi. Following that experience, Viraj pivoted to a personal passion - creative writing - quickly becoming a top-rated Upwork freelancer and gaining further experience on OwlRatings. Currently Viraj is now part of the Techopedia team lending his knowledge of the financial markets to the site, reviewing trading platforms and offering tips for beginners to investing. In his spare time he also enjoys script writing.