How to buy U.S. ETFs πŸ¦… 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/U.K.?

Like you, I was looking to spend some money on πŸ—½ liberty-containing financial instruments. Based on my findings, 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, CQQQ, QQQM, and QQQJ
  • Covered call ETFs QYLD, QYLG, XYLD, RYLD, JEPI, KNG, …

Ways to buy U.S. ETFs

Despite all the boring πŸ’€ regulation (PRIIPs) requiring specific documentation for ETFs (Key Information Document, or KID/KIID), there still are ways for Europeans to legally buy U.S. domiciled πŸ“ˆ ETFs. It’s not even much of a hassle and has very little costs. Let’s have a look at the options.

Method #1: Buy ETFs cheap and easy via πŸ’ Tastyworks

Difficulty: πŸ‘Ά Easy

Minimum: πŸ’Ά ~€2,000

Access: πŸ’― All ETFs

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 offering ETFs, the broker has to support funding from Europe with low fees πŸ’΅ 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 steps below and you’re good to go.

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

  1. Open a Tastyworks accountΒ here.

    Click here for detailed instructions.

  2. Open a CurrencyFair accountΒ here.

    Transfer €2,000+ for a €50 free bonus 🎁, click here for instructions.

  3. Transfer funds from your bank to Tastyworks.

    Initiate cheap transfers via πŸ’± CurrencyFair, click here for instructions.

  4. You can now start buying U.S. ETFs! πŸŽ‰

    Click here to read how to place an order on Tastyworks.

Still got questions? Place a comment below!





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Method #2: Get U.S. ETF exposure 🌎 via CFDs

Difficulty: πŸ‘Ά Easy

Minimum: πŸ‘› ~€500

Access: πŸ›’ 250+ ETFs

Though CFDs aren’t available for all U.S. ETFs, it may still be a good option if you’re mainly interested in the popular ones. The ease and low minimum deposit makes this an attractive option for people looking to buy common U.S. ETFs through a European broker.

Click this link to check out the simple guide I wrote to help you setup your eToro account, and get 🧠 informed about what CFDs are and how to use them to trade U.S. ETFs.


Method #3: Obtain πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’Ό professional investor status, trade unrestricted

Difficulty: 🧠 Medium

Minimum: πŸ’° ~€500,000

Access: πŸ’― All ETFs

Got a large (€500,000+) πŸ’° 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 #4: Buy ETFs by exercising options, for experienced traders

Difficulty: 🀯 Hard

Minimum: πŸ’³ ~€10,000

Access: πŸ”₯ Most ETFs

Still work in progress…





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43 comments

  1. Hi, I am very happy to find your website. I was looking for a way to buy and sell option on American stocks. If I am correct you can transfer money through Currencyfair to Tastyworks. How do you withdraw money from Tastyworks? Also through Currency fair?

    1. Hi Thusyanthan, yes, you can also withdraw back to CurrencyFair, it costs $25. You can also directly withdraw to an IBAN, but it is more expensive ($45). Personally I don’t really withdraw so it’s not an issue for me. Best not to do it too often. Let me know if you got any more questions. Good luck!

      1. Thanks, Let us keep informed if Webull or robinhood or some other company enter the European market.

    1. Hi HS, Not to worry; the U.S. actually has much better protection for your funds in a brokerage account than in Europe. Your funds on Tastyworks are insured through SIPC insurance. Basically, uninvested cash is protected up to $250,000 and you are protected up to $500,000 for your whole account (so if you don’t keep any cash this means your equities are covered up to half a millions dollars, if you keep cash in the account it will be covered up to a maximum of $250,000, hope this explanation makes sense to you). To quote the SIPC themselves:

      “There is no requirement that a customer reside in or be a citizen of the United States. A non-U.S. citizen with an account at a brokerage firm that is a member of SIPC is treated the same as a resident or citizen of the United States with an account at a SIPC member brokerage firm.”

      Here you can read more about it on their website if you are interested.

      As for taxation, it will depend on the country you’re living in. For some countries such as the Netherlands it should not make a difference, while for others there can be tax implications. As you will understand I cannot advise on this so please check with your local tax authority.

      Good luck!

  2. Hi Bertrand,
    With Tastywork can we buy the TQQQ?
    As a French nationality living in France, can I use Tastywork?

  3. I GUESS IT IS WORTH MENTIONING THAT WHEN YOU DEPOSIT YOUR MONEY THROUGH CURRENCYFAIR INTO YOUR TASTYWORKS ACCOUNT YOU ARE CHARGED AROUND $20 (MORE THAN $25 IN MY CASE) FOR WHAT TASTYWORKS AND CURRENCYFAIR CALL INTERMEDIARY BANK FEES. IF YOU WANT TO BE FAIR YOU SHOULD ALSO MENTION THIS THINGS, BECAUSE DUMB PEOPLE LIKE ME WOULD NOT KNOW THAT.

    1. Hi Gianluca, I do mention this in detail in my guide. I would advise reading it. However, you do get free trading and if you use my link you also get a €50 bonus, which should make up for these costs. Hope this helps!

      1. I’m really sorry…I should have paid more attention. I also want to add that so far the Tastyworks support team has been very fast on answering my emails and indeed supporting me and clearing my doubts. Thanks by the way πŸ˜‰

  4. Hello,

    Another way to trade US ETFs from Europe is to open an account housed by a Swiss broker, outside the EU. There you can purchase US ETFs, but not US index funds, without restriction.

    Rgds

    JC

    1. Hello JC,

      You are correct that Swissquote offers U.S. ETFs at the moment. However, you should be aware that Switzerland, like the EU, will also adopt European PRIIPs regulation starting next year. Most likely this means Swiss brokers will no longer be able to offer U.S. ETFs to their clients, just like E.U. brokers can’t… Additionally, Swissquote isn’t exactly cheap either. Both these things considered, I would therefore suggest using a U.S. broker (like Tastyworks) instead.

      Good luck!

      1. Hi, I can, for now at least… You could use Swissquote. It’s rather expensive, but they accept EU residents. However, from next year onward buying U.S. domiciled ETFs will be banned on the platform, so it’d probably be better to use a U.S. based broker such as Tastyworks if you want to buy ETFs such as TQQQ and SOXL.

  5. Hi, thank you very much for the info. This really works!
    I thought there is no way to get around these EU regulations. So I have been using CFD via CMC to trade US ETFs. There are 2 major issues with this approach. I have to pay holding fee (~3%/y) on the whole contract value. The choice of stocks is limited, especially leveraged ETFs like TQQQ are not available.
    I had some issues with tastyworks to verify my address. Since I live in Bulgaria, most official documents are in cyrillic letters, but tastyworks requested my address in latin. In the end I sent them a copy of the green card of my car insurance and this worked!
    Also CurrencyFair offer really good exchange rates.
    Thanks again and good luck!

    1. Hi Peter, great tip regarding the Cyrillic, hopefully this will also help others. Glad this method managed to save you some money! πŸ™‚

  6. Hello, can you please also comment on the tax issues, when i buy US ETF from for example tastyworks you recommended. What is the process to file the tax reports?

    1. Hi Serik, totally depends on your country. Basically in some countries such as the Netherlands you only have to provide the value of the account, just like you would for any European account. But for other countries there can be complications e.g. non-UCITS investments might be subject to a higher tax rate. Sorry but I cannot really advise on taxes; your local tax authority will probably be best suited to answer such questions. All the best!

  7. Tastyworks will accept applications from US citizens who are resident in the US and from British citizens who are resident in the US. Perversely, it will not accept applications from US citizens who are resident in the UK. It is precisely US citizens resident overseas who would benefit most from being able to invest in US ETFs through them, given the problematic US tax treatment of any non-US fund as a “passive foreign investment company”. (There’s an exception under the US-UK tax treaty for funds held within pension plans, but I was hoping to find a way to invest non-retirement savings in funds.)

    1. Hi Jules, indeed it used to be possible to do so, but it seems it isn’t possible any longer. Perhaps it’s possible to open up the account with a U.S. address (family?), but I’m not sure about this…

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