Freedom24 Review: Competitive European Broker?

In recent weeks and months, there has been a new broker that has been discussed time and again in the financial industry: Freedom24.

My Freedom24 review is an attempt to provide an objective analysis of who or what is behind Freedom24, where the underlying risks are, what advantages and disadvantages there are and for whom the broker could be worthwhile.

Please note that this review is based on my personal researches on Freedom24. There is no guarantee for the accuracy of the information presented, nor for any investment decisions that may come from it. You can find out more in my disclaimer.

Last Update: 19 March 2024


Freedom24 Review: Overview

To begin with, I have put together a brief summary of the most important Freedom24 information.

Founded:2008
Legal Name:Freedom Finance Europe Ltd
Headquarter:Limassol, Cyprus
Regulation:Yes (CySEC and SEC)
CEO:Timur Turlov (November 2008)
Account Management:Free
Order Fees:From EUR 0,008 per Share
Return Savings Account:3,89% for EUR Deposits
Finances:Latest Annual Reports
Bonus:Up to 20 Stocks for Free (Until end of April 2024)

About Freedom24

freedom24-review-logo

Freedom24 is a trading platform of Freedom Finance Europe Ltd, which has its registered office in Cyprus and is regulated there by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).

This company is in turn a subsidiary of the American Freedom Holding Corporation, which has been listed on the NASDAQ since 2019 and whose activities are monitored by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Investors can invest in 40,000 stocks and up to 1,500 ETFs on the most important stock exchanges in America, Europe and Asia via the Freedom24 broker. Bonds, futures and options can also be traded with Freedom24.

The broker also offers a savings account with variable annual interest and daily interest crediting.

The Origin Story

freedom24-review-timur-turlov

Timur Turlov, now the majority shareholder of Freedom Holding, grew up with his single mother during the upheaval in the Soviet Union. He first came into contact with the world of finance at the age of 15 when he completed an internship at a trading company. He was later employed by a bank in Moscow, which was forced to lay off all its employees during the financial crisis.

As a result, Freedom Finance was founded by Timur Turlov, who was only 21 years old at the time.

Freedom Holding, which was set up in 2015 and in which Timur Turlov holds 72% of the shares, has also been listed on the New York tech exchange NASDAQ since October 2019. At the end of August, the company’s market capitalisation was over USD 6 billion.

Ownership

The majority shareholder of Freedom Holding is the Russian-born Kazakh Timur Turlov, who holds 72% of the shares in the company. The businessman, who has his roots in Kazakhstan and lives there with his family of six, gave up his Russian identity in 2022 and took on Kazakh citizenship instead.

Timur Turlov’s fortune is estimated at USD 3.5 billion.

Freedom Holding Corporation

freedom24-review-aboutThe Freedom Finance Group offers a wide range of services. These include brokerage, investment, banking, advisory and transaction services.

The holding company’s most recent turnover was USD 316 million (June 2023) with a net profit of just under USD 68 million.

More than 370,000 customers worldwide are managed by 2,500 employees. In Europe, the company has offices in Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Poland and Cyprus.

Business Model & Finances

The business model of Freedom24 is based on the provision of financial services in the area of investments and asset management. With the help of the broker, investors can access the international financial markets and use the Freedom24 trading platform to invest in financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, ETFs, commodities and other asset classes.

The Freedom24 business model also includes asset management and financial advisory services.

Monetization

How does Freedom24 earn money?

The company’s main sources of income include order fees, portfolio commissions (funds/ETFs), deposit fees, interest margins and brokerage commissions.

On the positive side: As Freedom24 does not earn its money through refunds, as the majority of many German neobrokers do, the “payment for order flow” ban introduced in the EU from 2026 will have no negative impact on Freedom24.

Quite the opposite: Freedom24’s offering could then become significantly more competitive compared to other online brokers, as competitors will have to adjust their fee structures and redistribute some of the costs to investors.

Profitability

Freedom24 is profitable. According to the business figures for Q2/2023, the holding company’s revenue increased from USD 180 million in the same quarter of the previous year to USD 435.6 million.

freedom24-review-finances

Freedom Holding’s net profit, on the other hand, totalled USD 115.5 million. In the same period of the previous year, this figure was only USD 27.2 million. Investors can gain further insights regarding reported business figures on this page.


Sign Up and Bonus

To open an account on Freedom24, investors must be at least 18 years old. The technical requirements for registration include a mobile phone, access to the Internet and a working camera.

The registration process is very intuitive and takes just a few steps:

  • Register with a valid e-mail address and password
  • Enter your mobile phone number and confirm the six-digit code via SMS
  • Specify whether you are registering as a natural person or a legal entity
  • Download the Freedom24 app to continue the registration process
  • Login with previously defined access data
  • Details of tax residence and general tax information
  • Confirm terms of use
  • Verification of identity

Also legal entities can register and invest on Freedom24.

Bonus for New Investors

Freedom24 is currently advertising a bonus campaign that runs from 1 April 2024 to 30 April 2024. Depending on the amount deposited, investors can receive up to 20 free stocks as a gift.

  • Deposit between EUR 5,000 and EUR 19,999: 3 Free Stocks (Code: “APRIL5“)
  • Deposit between EUR 20,000 and EUR 49,999: 10 Free Stocks (Code: “APRIL5” and “APRIL10“)
  • Deposit from EUR 50,000: 20 Free Stocks (Code: “APRIL5“, “APRIL10” and “APRIL20“)

To get free stocks, sign up via this link. Further information about the campaign and how to redeem the bonus codes can be found on this page.


Investing on Freedom24

In the following paragraphs, investors will learn everything they need to know about trading on the Freedom24 platform. Starting with the classic range of stocks and ETFs, the savings account, costs and fees as well as taxation.

Product Portfolio at Freedom24

Freedom24 gives investors access to more than 40,000 stocks, spread across all regions, industries and sectors, which can be purchased via various stock exchanges. In addition, 1,500 ETFs from companies such as iShares, Vanguard, BlackRock and others can be traded.

freedom24-review-offering

Freedom24 Savings D-Account

In addition to the classic broker service, Freedom24 also offers its investors a savings account. The online broker calls this product “Savings D-Account”.

All funds allocated to this “D-Account” cannot be traded. Freedom24 offers its investors an annual interest rate of 5.31% on USD deposits and 3.89% on EUR deposits. There is no upper limit. The minimum investment amount is USD 120.

The savings account is automatically activated for all new registered users. In contrast to other brokers, interest is credited daily, similar to what P2P investors should be familiar with from Bondora Go & Grow or Monefit SmartSaver.

Costs and Fees

The Freedom24 broker offers different account models. Depending on this, different fees may be charged to investors.

freedom24-review-costs-fees

Here is an overview of the current Freedom24 fees:

  • Account Fee: The account can be managed free of charge at Freedom24. The same applies to the clearing account, which can be set up in different currencies.
  • Order Fee: With the free “Smart” model, investors pay a fixed fee of EUR 2, plus EUR 0.02 per share or ETF originating from Europe, the USA or Asia. The “Fix” account, on the other hand, charges a monthly fee of EUR 10, while the “Super” model charges a hefty EUR 200 per month. With the latter variants, the fixed fee is reduced to EUR 1.20 and the fee per share is only EUR 0.012 or EUR 0.008.
  • Foreign Exchange Fee: No explicit fee is charged for currency conversions. Nevertheless, there will certainly be a small margin on the conversion.
  • Other Fees: Other fees apply to both deposits and withdrawals. While SEPA transfers are free of charge, 2.5% of the transferred amount is due for credit card transfers. For withdrawals, on the other hand, investors have to pay a fee of EUR 7.

You can find a detailed list of all costs and fees following this link.

UPDATE: As of 5 February 2024, the Promo, Fix and Super service plans are no longer available on Freedom24.

Freedom24 App

If you want, you can also use the Freedom24 broker via smartphone. The app can be downloaded with the iOS (App Store) or Android (Play Store) operating systems.


Taxation at Freedom24

The tax aspects may vary depending on the country, the investor’s place of residence and the specific financial products traded via Freedom24. In Germany, capital gains are generally subject to withholding tax.

As a foreign-based broker, Freedom24 does not deduct taxes for investors. However, withholding tax is retained on dividend payments. This means that investors must take care of their own tax returns.

The tax information is provided by Freedom24 in the user account. Investors can find this in the “Trade reports” section under the “Transaction report for tax return” tab. There, the tax documents can be downloaded from Freedom24.


Freedom24 Risks

What risk do investors bear with Freedom24? The following sections of my Freedom24 review contain information on the topics of regulation, custody of stocks and reliability.

Is Freedom24 a Safe Broker?

For investors, two questions should take centre stage when it comes to the security of a broker:

  • How is the company regulated?
  • How are the stocks protected?

Regulation: Freedom Finance Europe Ltd. operates in accordance with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and is regulated by the Cypriot CySEC and the US SEC. The parent company Freedom Holding Corp. is also listed on the NASDAQ and must therefore also maintain a high standard of compliance and transparency.

Custody: Stocks that investors buy via Freedom24 are held in custody by a custodian. For stocks from a US stock exchange, this is Vision Financial Markets LLC, whereas for stocks from an EU stock exchange, this is Euroclear Bank based in Brussels (Belgium).

Is Freedom24 a Serious Broker?

Founded in 2008, the holding company is licensed by the SEC (USA) and Freedom Finance Europe Ltd. by CySEC (EU). Freedom24 therefore fully fulfils the requirements of the EU Markets in Financial Instruments Directive MiFID II.

Although there are also reports that make serious allegations against the company, ranging from the circumvention of sanctions, falsified income, the mixing of client funds to market manipulation, no verifiable evidence could be provided.

The source of the allegations also suggests that monetary interests may have played a role in the campaign.


Pros & Cons

Below I have summarised the most important advantages and disadvantages of my Freedom24 experiences to date.

Advantages

  • Offering: Investors have access to 40,000 stocks and 1,500 ETFs on over 15 stock exchanges in Europe, the USA and Asia. Bonds, futures and options can also be traded with the broker.
  • D-Savings Account: Investors receive variable annual interest with daily interest crediting via the D-Savings Account.
  • Regulation: The company is regulated by 3 financial supervisory authorities in Europe and the USA.
  • Costs: The fees at Freedom24 are variable and therefore offer a good variety for different types of investors.

Disadvantages

  • Withdrawal Fee: Freedom24 charges a withdrawal fee of EUR 7, which is very unusual compared to other brokers.
  • Taxation: As Freedom24 is a broker based abroad, investors must take care of the taxation of their income themselves. All necessary information is provided by the broker though.
  • Savings Plans: The broker does currently not offer any savings plans, which is a major disadvantage for many passive and long-term oriented investors.

Freedom24 Alternatives

Freedom24 is a solid online broker with a wide range of services. However, there are a few features that the platform lacks or where investors can trade at more favourable conditions.

For investors based in Germany, I would recommend Scalable Capital as a Freedom24 alternative.

Scalable Capital is a regulated broker from Germany that not only has lower trading fees, but also offers a variety of free savings plans, unlike Freedom24. As with Freedom24, Scalable Capital also offers a special savings account with attractive interest rates. In addition, both deposits and withdrawals are free of charge at Scalable.

If you are not an active trader and do not necessarily need access to a large number of exchanges, Scalable Capital could be a good Freedom24 alternative.


Conclusion Freedom24 Review

Freedom24 is a suitable broker for active traders who want to have access to several stock exchanges from a single trading account. The online broker offers over 1,000,000 stocks, ETFs, options and futures, enabling private investors to trade a large pool of financial instruments. The trading of CEFs, which is not offered by other neobrokers in Germany, can also be utilised at Freedom24.

For investors who would rather invest passively via a savings plan and who do not require access to international stock exchanges, other brokers such as Scalable Capital or TradeRepublic are the better option due to their cost structure and the possibility of trading fractional shares.


Disclaimer: Your capital is at risk. The forecasts and past performance are not reliable indicators of future performance. It is important that you conduct your own analyses before making an investment. If necessary, you should seek independent investment advice from a certified professional.

Hi, ich bin Denny! Seit Januar 2019 schreibe ich auf diesem Blog über meine Erfahrungen beim Investieren in P2P Kredite. Meine Analysen sollen Privatanlegern dabei helfen reflektierte und gut informierte Anlageentscheidungen treffen zu können. Dafür schaue ich mir die Risikoprofile der einzelnen P2P Plattformen an, hinterfrage deren Entwicklungen, teile meine persönlichen Einschätzungen und beobachte übergeordnete Trends aus der Welt des Crowdlendings.    
Mein Bestseller "Geldanlage P2P Kredite" gilt in Fachkreisen als das beste deutschsprachige Finanzbuch zum gleichnamigen Thema. Zudem versammeln sich in der P2P Kredite Community auf Facebook tausende von Privatanlegern, die sich regelmäßig über die Anlageklasse P2P Kredite austauschen. 

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