EU investing

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Euflag.jpg This page deals specifically with investing in the European Union

EU investing shows how you can apply the Bogleheads investment philosophy if you live in the European Union (EU). You must be aware of a few things described below

US domiciled funds distribute their income periodically, and you must pay withholding tax to the US government. There may be other tax-related problems with US domiciled funds, depending on your country of residence. In short, US domiciled funds aren't designed for investors from the EU.

There aren’t enough low-cost index mutual funds available in the EU, but there are a lot of index exchange-traded funds (ETFs) available. You can find all the ETFs available in the EU at etfinfo.com (enter keywords into the search field, such as "REIT", "emerging markets", "MSCI ACWI" etc. or use the advanced search function). These ETFs are usually domiciled in Ireland or Luxembourg. You should consult with your tax advisor before investing in ETFs. You must carefully read the Key Investor Information Document (KIID) and the prospectus of each ETF you choose. Look for important tax-related information in these documents. For example, UK citizens should investigate whether the chosen ETF has "UK Reporting Status" or not, French citizens should look for "Plan d'Epargne en Actions" (PEA) eligibility etc.

Some of the country pages in the Non-US domiciles in this wiki category contain sample portfolios or suggestions for (ETF) funds. While these can be taken to draft a first portfolio it is good to post a question on the forum as every country is different and the recommendation might change over time.

This page is not intended for US (tax) resident investors, as their situation is very specific.

Example of EU domiciled ETF providers

Fig.1.Brussels Euronext Exchange
EU Domiciled Providers
Provider Website
Amundi ETF link
BlackRock iShares link
Deutsche Bank db X-trackers link
HSBC ETFs link
Lyxor ETF link
SPDR ETFs Europe link
Vanguard UK link

EU legislation : UCITS, MIFID II and PRIIPS

While every EU country has its own legislation there are a number of EU guidelines that most EU countries implement: + UCITS

  • MIFID II
  • PRIIPS

Since 2018, the European MIFID II and PRIIPS have become effective. The goal of this legislation is to protect the individual investor.

As an unfortunate side-effect, it becomes difficult or even impossible for residents of the EU community to purchase US-domiciled funds.

Accumulating/capitalizing vs. distributing ETF share classes

One of the bigger differences between US domiciled ETFs and EU domiciled ETFs is that EU domiciled ETFs can reinvest the received dividends/interests, without distributing them. As such, in some countries, dividends are not taxed.

Base currency vs. trading currency vs. currency of the underlying asset

The same ETF can have different share classes, and can be listed on several different stock exchanges in different currencies.

Dividend taxation

Investors that hold funds that hold securities are taxed at multiple levels: level of the asset, level of the fund, level of the investor. Depending on the situation of the individual investor, one can optimize the taxation.

Net total return vs. gross total return index

Securities lending

Index tracking strategies

Notes

See also

References

Further reading

External links