How to buy U.S. 🦅 ETFs from Europe?

In many countries, buying U.S. domiciled exchange traded funds (ETFs) is very hard or seemingly impossible to do. Are you also wondering how to buy U.S. ETFs from Europe?

Like you, I was looking to spend some money on 🦅 freedom and 🗽 liberty-containing financial instruments. While doing research, I uncovered a few ways to achieve that goal, despite the restrictions.

Because of repeated requests for advice from others, I decided it would be easier if I share my findings online. Therefore, I have compiled a free and easy guide that will let you buy any U.S. ETF you like, such as:

  • 🇺🇸 Vanguard VOO, VTI and VXUS
  • 🇺🇸 ARK Invest ARKK, ARKQ, ARKW, ARKG, and ARKF
  • 🇺🇸 ProShares UPRO, TQQQ, SPXU, and SQQQ
  • 🇺🇸 Direxion SOXL, DFEN, SPXL and TECL
  • 🇺🇸 Invesco TAN, QQQ, and QQQJ
  • and many more…

Ways to buy U.S. ETFs

Despite all the boring 💤 regulation (PRIIPs) requiring specific documentation (Key Information Document, or KID), there still are a few ways for Europeans to legally buy U.S. domiciled ETFs 📈 without much of a hassle, and very little costs—if not for free altogether. Let’s have a look at the options.

Method #1: Buy ETFs cheap and easy via 🍒 Tastyworks

This method is by far the most accessible of all. It works by simply using a U.S. based broker instead of a European one. Besides buying ETFs, the broker has to support funding from Europe with low fees 💵 for this to be attractive. So far, I’ve found it works great with Tastyworks.

Tastyworks also doesn’t charge any fees for buying stocks and ETFs, a major advantage compared to most European brokers. Follow the guide below and you’re good to go.

  1. Open a Tastyworks account here, instructions here.
  2. Open a Currencyfair account here (transfer €2,000+ for €50 free bonus 🎁), instructions here.
  3. Transfer from your bank (EUR, GBP, SEK, NOK, etc.) to Tastyworks via 💱 CurrencyFair, instructions here.
  4. Once your funds have settled, you can now start buying U.S. ETFs, instructions here.

Still got questions? Place a comment below!

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Method #2: Obtain 👨‍💼 professional investor status, trade unrestricted

Got a large (€500,000+) 💰 portfolio and want to stick with a European broker when buying U.S. exchange traded funds? In that case, obtaining professional status might be suitable for you. Find the instructions here, but be aware this method will only suit a very select group of people.

Method #3: Buy ETFs by exercising options, for experienced traders

Still work in progress…

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    1. Hi Lucas, it depends on your country so I cannot go in detail for all of them. But generally you just list the account when filing taxes in your country of residence as you would with a local account and that’s it. You pay 30% tax on dividends by default, but—depending on your country—Tastyworks will automatically fill out your W-8 BEN and apply the treaty rate (if there is one—generally there is). E.g. for Netherlands the rate is 15%, so they lower it for you already and there’s no work required on your end.

      Lastly, there is an estate tax, meaning that in case an account holder passes away, there will be a tax on balances over 60k, but there are treaties that address this as well. So if you deposit over 60k, you’ll have to look up the treaty for your country and find the rate (or absence thereof).

      Hope this helps you out a little, I cannot really go in detail too much as I’m not a tax adviser.

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