Invest in Germany as a Foreigner – 2024 Best English Guide

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If you are wondering how to invest in Germany and grow your wealth, this article is for you. This article describes some popular ways to invest in Germany, tips on how to choose a suitable investment, factors to consider before investing, tax impact, and more.

Moving to Germany or new in Germany? Check out our Resources Page for all the help you need!

Why you may want to invest your money in Germany 

You may think: You earn your salary in Germany, and you save your money up in your bank account. So, you are accumulating your wealth with total liquidity. Your money is very safe. Why should you invest in Germany and expose yourself to risks?

Well yes, your money is very safe. But you are losing the purchasing power of your money over time due to inflation. Your 100 Euros today is not the same as your 100 Euros in 30 years. You can probably purchase less with the same amount of money in 30 years.

And that is the reason you may want to invest in Germany. With inflation, you are losing the value of your money if you just let it idle in your bank. On the other hand, due to the compound effect, you can accumulate your wealth to a much higher amount if you start investing early. 

The below table shows the power of the compound effect when you invest 10,000 Euros. You can see that you have a much higher return if you start investing early.

Interest rate
2% 5% 8%
10 Years € 12,190 € 16,289 € 21,589
20 Years € 14,859 € 26,533 € 46,610
30 Years € 18,114 € 43,219 € 100,627

Read also: The Best Investment to Profit From Inflation in Germany

Disclaimer: The statements, comments and other content contained in this article, even if individual issuers or financial instruments are mentioned, are not to be construed as investment advice and do not constitute, directly or indirectly, a recommendation or solicitation to buy, hold or sell any financial instrument or any advice relating thereto. You are responsible for your own risk if you decide to participate in any form of investment.

There are many different kinds of investments. Below you can see some most popular ways to invest in Germany. 

1. Invest in savings accounts in Germany

A savings account is called “Sparkonto” in German. Investing money in a savings account in Germany may be  good for people with low risk tolerance. Low risk also means low return. Investing money in a savings account in Germany may be good for people who

  • Don’t have much money to invest
  • Have not figured out the best way to invest their money yet and want to do the research later
  • Live in Germany temporarily
  • Do not want to bear risks and are not looking for a high return

Don’t worry. If you want to invest in a saving account, your money is very safe as your savings account is secured with 100,000 Euros per person and per account by law. The below two forms of savings accounts are most common in Germany:

Instant access savings account (Tagesgeldkonto)

The difference between your savings account and your normal current account in the bank is that you may earn some interest in your savings account. The interest rate is not fixed, but rather depending on the market. 

Some people like to set up a direct debit so that a certain amount of their salary is transferred to the savings account monthly. This helps them to set some money aside, while earning some interests. You are free to transfer the money from your savings account back to your normal current account at any time. 

Most banks offer instant access savings account. The interest rate is very low now at about 1-2% (or if anything at all). An alternative would be getting a USD/EUR savings account from Freedom Finance which give you up to 5.8% annual income. You can check out more detail here

Freedom24 by Freedom Finance
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If your primary goal is to set aside money for different saving goals, some banks offer up to 25 free sub-accounts to manage your goals like buying a car, going on a trip, etc. You can find a comparison of different English bank accounts here: 
Opening a Bank Account in Germany – Compare English Banking Options.

Fixed deposit account (Festgeldkonto)

The difference between an instant access savings account and a fixed deposit account is that a minimum investment and a fixed period are required for a fixed deposit account. It means that you cannot take out your money freely during this time. However, you will usually get a higher interest rate and this rate is fixed during the term.

The term usually ranges from a few months to a few years. Though many banks offer fixed deposit accounts with a minimum of one year. You can earn around 1% interest at the moment at most banks if you put your money for a few years.

Ferratum Bank allows you to put your money with a minimum of three months already. The term ranges from a few months to three years. You can check the actual interest rate here

2. Invest in private pension plans in Germany

If you are working in Germany, you probably know that everyone must contribute to public retirement insurance. It is deducted automatically from your payslip and allows you to receive statutory pension starting from the retirement age (amount to around 70% of your working net income). The issue is that the retirement age used to be 65, and now it will be gradually increased to 67 due to the aging population in Germany. 

In my case, I will still have to work for at least 30 years until I retire. Anything can happen in the next 30 years. Maybe the retirement age will be increased further. Maybe the monthly pension amount will be reduced. Nobody knows. 

In my opinion, to play safe, you may consider investing in voluntary private pension plans if you plan to stay in Germany for the long term. This can serve as an add-on to your public pension plan and may help you to have a good life after you retire.

There are two private pension plans to choose from in Germany:

Invest in Riester-Rente in Germany

This is also called Förder-Rente. You will invest monthly in this private pension. The nice thing about this pension is that you will also get a government bonus that is invested in your pension. You can compare different offers here.

Government bonus

  • 175 Euros yearly
  • A one-time bonus of 200 Euros if you are under age 25
  • 185 Euros yearly per kid if he was born before 2008
  • 300 Euros yearly per kid if he was born after 2008

If you want to know the exact bonus amount you will get based on your individual situation, check out this calculator.

How to get the maximum government bonus?

You need to invest at least 4% of your annual income, with a maximum of 2,100 Euros per year (including both government bonus and the premiums you pay).

Tax benefits of Riester-Rente

You can claim tax on the premiums you pay into the pension plan, with a maximum tax-deductible expense of 2,100 Euros yearly.

When can you receive your pension payment?

If you have joined this pension in 2011 or before, you can receive your pension payment earliest at age 60. Otherwise, you can get your money starting at age 62.

Who is suitable to invest in Riester-Rente in Germany?

You should consider investing in Riester-Rente if you

  • Have children
  • Stay in Germany for the long term
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Invest in Rürup-Rente in Germany

This is also called Basis-Rente. If you join and pay into this private pension plan, you can get tax benefits as the contributions are tax-deductible.

Tax benefits of Rürup-Rente 

In 2023, 100% of the contributions you pay into Rürup-Rente are tax-deductible, with a maximum tax-deductible amount of 26,528 Euros per year.

The benefits of joining Rürup-Rente 

  • Guaranteed life-long pension
  • The amount invested is protected from legal claims
  • The pension amount will not be reduced if you are collecting unemployment benefits

When can you receive a pension payment?

You can receive your pension payment from age 62.

Who is suitable to invest in Rürup-Rente in Germany?

You may want to consider investing in Rürup-Rente if you

  • Have high income, and thus high tax burdens
  • Stay in Germany for the long term

The drawback of both private pension plans

One drawback is that it is a long term investment and it only makes sense if you stay in Germany for the long term.

Besides, the pension payment you will receive later on is subjected to tax. However, normally you will be subjected to a lower tax rate after you retire, as you do not receive your salary anymore.

It means that you may be better off by delaying your tax obligation, i.e. receiving tax benefits when you are young by paying into the pension, and paying tax later on the incoming pension payment after retirement.

Consult a professional

Both pension plans are very complicated. Even if a foreigner knows German well, the plans are still not easy to understand. I joined these plans with the support of an independent English financial adviser. 

I would highly recommend my adviser to you if you are interested in these pension plans. Just write him an email and mention my blog “My Life In Germany” to get a free consultation.

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3. Invest in the stock market in Germany

There are three main ways to invest in the stock market in Germany. You can invest directly in individual stocks, investment funds, or ETF funds.

Invest in individual stocks in Germany

The traditional way is that you do extensive research, find a good company, and invest by buying stocks from this company. 

The drawback is that it is too risky to invest in one single company. If you want to diversify your risk, you will need to invest in more companies in different industries. It means that you will need to do extensive research on each company and spend time checking for the best time to buy and sell for each of them.

Besides, for every buy and sell order, you have to pay a transaction fee. You will also need to have enough capital as some stocks may cost more than a thousand Euros to start with. Invest in several different stocks means that you need to have at least some thousand Euros to be diversified enough.

Invest in investment funds in Germany

One way to diversify your stock investment is to invest in investment funds. It means that an institution will collect all the investors’ money and buy shares with it. Doing so can help to save transaction fees as the fees are shared among all the investors. 

A fund manager is responsible to manage the fund and decide which stocks to buy. That is why investment funds are also called actively managed funds. The drawback of investing in investment funds in Germany is the high provisions and administration fees for the fund manager (can be as high as 3%).

Invest in ETF funds in Germany

ETF means exchange traded funds. These funds are not actively managed. Instead, they just follow exactly a particular stock market index. An index is a portfolio including shares of different companies that helps investors to assess the market performance.

For example, the German stock index, DAX, includes 40 major German companies trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The MSCI World Index includes more than 1,500 companies across 23 developed countries.

What an ETF fund does is that it will collect money from all the investors and buy stocks following a certain index. For example, if you invest in a DAX ETF, your money (together with those from the other investors) will be invested in the 40 major German companies in a proportion like the DAX index. 

You do not own the stock of those 40 companies directly. Instead, you own one “unit” of the DAX ETF, which is like a share of the ETF. When the DAX index goes up, the DAX ETF will go up as well because the ETF includes shares of the same companies as the DAX index. It means that your one “unit” of DAX ETF now is worth more and you can sell it to another investor at a higher price to make a profit.

Note that ETF is generally used as a long term investment. It may help to grow your money in the long term (at least 10 years). For example, you can use it as an investment for your retirement. However, you are free to buy and sell your ETF at any time.

It is also common to invest in ETF with a savings plan, meaning that you invest a fixed amount monthly in your ETF. It is easy and may increase your wealth in the long term.

Advantage of investing in ETF funds in Germany

  • Risk diversification: For example, if you invest in the MSCI World ETF, your money is diversified to 1,600 different companies in 23 different countries without needing a lot of capital.
  • Low administration fees: There is no fund manager as the ETF is passively managed (just following an index). The total expense ratio (TER) is usually under 1%.
  • Low workload: You can buy and hold your ETF with a savings plan. No need to analyze each company’s performance all the time or decide what to buy and sell. It is a passive investment.invest in stock_investment_invest in germany to make money_expat guide_my life in germany_hkwomanabroad

Investment funds vs. ETF funds – What is better as an investment in Germany?

The success of an investment fund depends on the performance of the fund manager. Even though an investment fund may out-perform the market, this rarely happens. And don’t forget the high fees that you need to pay for the fund manager. 

My parents-in-law used to invest in an investment fund but they didn’t have a good experience with it. Their fund manager was not doing a good job but only considering his own commission. The fees were expensive and the fund barely made any profit. The bank actually closed the fund in the end and all the money was lost. 

I know. It is only one particular story. Maybe they were unlucky. 

You may think that a fund managed by a human is better than one managed by a robot. Is that really true? Studies show that only a few investment funds actually perform better than the market after deducting the fees. Some funds perform better in certain years but bad in other years. In general, it is hard to find an investment fund that has success continuously in all years. To me, it sounds more like a gambling game from the fund manager. Besides, the fund manager fees reduce a lot of your profit over time.

Read also: 20 Ideas to Make Money from Home that Anyone Can Do

My personal experience of investing in the stock market in Germany

I personally bought ETFs for a long term investment. The reason is that I do not want to spend much time and effort analyzing the market, and I want my portfolio to be as diversified as possible.

I bought the MSCI World ETF and the MSCI Emerging Markets ETF, which were great for me as a beginner. The MSCI World ETF covers more than 1,500 companies in many developed countries, while the MSCI Emerging Markets ETF includes more than 1,200 companies in different emerging markets like China and India. 

With both of these ETFs, my investment is more or less covering the whole world. I usually ignore the current price fluctuations. I don’t look at the price so much as it is not good for my emotions. I want to look at my ETFs again after I retire and hopefully realize some profit.

Disclaimer: This is not an investment advice or recommendation to invest. Remember that there are always risks involved in trading stock. While you can earn, you can also suffer losses. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Never invest an amount that you cannot afford to lose! And only use investment products that you understand.

How to invest in individual stocks, investment funds, or ETF funds in Germany?

You will need to open a securities account (Depotkonto) with a bank or other discount brokers. For example, you can open an account with Smart Broker or Trade Republic. These are commission-free broker with extremely low handling fee.

These brokers allow you to invest in individual stocks, funds, and ETFs. You can also choose to invest by using a monthly savings plan. Not sure which broker you should use? Check this out: Best Online Broker Germany – Top 5 Comparison – English Guide

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Read also: Best Crypto Exchange in Germany – Compare the Top 5

An alternative: Investment managed by both human and machine

If you are not comfortable to let only a machine to manage your money like in the case of ETF funds, but you also don’t want to invest in an investment fund and pay an expensive fund manager, ROBIN can be for you.

ROBIN is a digital wealth management system from Deutsche Bank. It allows you to open a profile, stating your individual preference and risk tolerance level. Based on your profile, a machine will help you to invest in different ETF funds globally and monitor your trading activities daily. The good thing about ROBIN is that there is a portfolio manager who checks your investment portfolio to make sure your money is invested wisely. So, the work is done by both humans and machines.

Some great features of ROBIN:

  • The portfolio is based on your individual risk preference
  • Investment in diversified ETF portfolio globally
  • Starting capital with only 500 Euros
  • Human and machine optimization
  • You can pay in and take out money any time
  • You can quit at any time
  • Clear costs and transparent fees (around 1%)
  • Daily monitoring and ongoing optimization of your investment portfolio

ROBIN offers a combination of experienced portfolio managers, advanced risk management, and mature technology. Your investment is tailor-made to your individual preferences and risk tolerance level, without the need for you to spend time and effort in managing it.

Tips: If you register for a new ROBIN account before 31 Mar 2024, you can save the management fee of 0.75%  until 30 Jun 2024!

Robin from Deutschebank_invest in Germany to earn money_Deutsche Bank_banner_
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All investment involves risks. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Never invest an amount that you cannot afford to lose.

4. Invest through social trading in Germany

Social trading is also called copy trading. It is for people who are interested in stock trading but do not want to spend time and effort to analyze the stock market. Through a special trading platform like eToro, social trading allows you to subscribe to a signal trader and copy all his trade transactions.

A signal trader is another trader on the same platform who is supposed to be more successful and experienced in trading. When you subscribe to a signal trader, your account will automatically follow and make the same transaction whenever your signal trader does a transaction. On the other hand, a signal trader will get more commission if he has more subscribers.

You can open a free English demo account at eToro to try and play around first.

Disclaimer: 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Benefits of social trading

  • Save time in doing technical analysis on your own by just following the trade transactions of a professional
  • Great for inexperienced traders as they can benefit from the professional decisions of more experienced traders
  • You can view every single transaction made by your signal trader and place restrictions on what trades you want to follow or not
  • Help you to generate a passive income as no time and effort is needed to study about trading
  • Diversify your risk by choosing multiple expert traders to follow
  • Avoid making emotional trade by leaving the decisions to the trade experts
  • You can see the risk level and the strategies of different signal traders and decide which one you want to follow

Similar to stock trading, there are risks involved in social trading. Nobody can always predict the market. You may grow your money through social trading. But you can also suffer from the loss. Consider carefully if you can afford the risks of losing money. 

Read also: 9 Ways to Earn Money in Germany as a Student

5. Invest with P2P lending in Germany

P2P lending means “Peer-to-peer” lending. Usually, if you want to borrow money from a traditional bank, they will charge you a very high interest rate. On the other hand, when you put money in a traditional bank account, you earn nearly no interest. A traditional bank is expensive. They have to pay for their branches, their employees, etc. and have a high overhead.

With P2P lending, you can lend money with a much higher return. Through an online platform, it cuts out the middle-man cost and operates with lower overhead. That is why it is much cheaper than a traditional bank.

Features of P2P lending:

  • Earn up to 15% return by depositing money into P2P online platform like Income Marketplace.
  • Start with as low as a 10 Euro deposit
  • Free for investors
  • Invest in different loans including real estate loans, car loans, personal loans and short-term loans
  • Very easy to use and understand
  • A relatively low-risk way of investing
  • Safety features such as buyback obligation, cashflow buffer, and junior share
  • Almost no time and effort is needed
  • Optional auto invest saves you time by creating your investment portfolio based on your individual criteria

Depending on the loan originators and other factors, the exact interest rate can vary. It is better to deposit your money into the P2P platform than letting it sit in your bank account for almost nothing.

Again, before investing your money, you should make sure that you fully understand all the risks by reading thoroughly the terms and conditions from the online platforms. Never invest an amount that you cannot afford to lose.

Check out Income Marketplace now!

All investment involves risks. Never invest an amount that you cannot afford to lose.

Read also:

6. Invest in real estate in Germany

The real estate market can be a great investment if you can afford it. In my opinion, my best investment is to have my own house and stop paying rent. Why should I make someone else rich by paying him rent? If you are paying rent, can you afford to still pay rent once you are retired? 

For us, it just makes so much sense to have our own property. In our case, our own house is the best investment that we have ever made.

Here are some other reasons why you may want to buy a house in Germany:

  • You can get a mortgage from the bank for as low as 1 – 2% interest rate now. 
  • No need to worry about increasing rent or being forced to move out. Be aware that it is unlikely to find a new flat that has as low rent as what you are paying now (if you have been living in the same flat for some years)
  • You have total control over how you want your house to be. You can make structural changes, have pets, build extra doors and rooms, etc.
  • If you sell your investment property after you own it for 10 years, you do not have to pay the 25% capital gain tax!
  • There are no restrictions for foreigners in Germany to buy property (self-occupied or for investment)
  • In case you leave Germany, you can rent out your property (or sell it!)

Read also: Buying a House in Germany – As a Foreigner

Invest in a buy-to-let property

Let say if you have your own house already. When you save up your next bucket of money, it may be time to think about buying an investment property. Why not let someone paying for your mortgage? 

You may feel thankful after you are retired, because you may have a monthly rental income or you may get a capital gain by selling your property. Not to mention all the tax advantages that you may get during all the years.

To buy a house, the main barrier is your ability to get a mortgage. You can use this free online mortgage calculator to quickly estimate how much interest rate you can get. Just enter your house price, your first installment amount, and some other basic info.

Use an all-inclusive service

I personally have two investment properties in Germany. I bought these properties via my financial adviser who provided an all-inclusive service. So, I didn’t need to do any research or look for the properties myself.

Instead, my financial adviser provided all the services including property selection, location research, mortgage, tenant management, etc. For these two investment properties, I even got a rental guarantee and the rental pool service, which greatly reduced my risk as a landlord.

If you are interested, you can  contact my financial adviser and mention my blog “My Life In Germany” to get a free consultation. Or read this post for more details about how I did it: Real Estate Investment Germany – 3 Ways To Invest

Disclaimer: Real estate investment involves high capital and substantial risks. There is no guarantee that you will profit from the investment and the property prices can rise or fall in the future. Your capital is at risk. Only invest an amount that you can afford to lose.

Transfer money internationally

If you need to transfer money to Germany to buy a house, the worst thing you can do is bank transfer. For money transfer, I would recommend you to use the services from CurrencyFair:

  • Pay only 3 Euros fee no matter how much you send
  • The exchange rate is much cheaper compared to traditional banks
  • Set a higher exchange rate and the transfer will only take place once this rate is reached

Currencyfair is also offering 10 free transfers at the moment if you want to try it out for free.

currencyfair get 10 free transfers
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What kind of investment is the best for you?

Before you start to invest in Germany, you should ask yourself: 

What is the ultimate goal for your investment?

Maybe you want to

  • Buy a house?
  • Have a wedding?
  • Have kids?
  • Travel?
  • Retire early?
  • Have a good life after retirement?

Once you know your goals, you will know if you need a short or long-term investment.

Then you need to also ask yourself the following questions:

What is your risk tolerance level?

If you can’t bear much risk, savings account or P2P lending may be for you. If you are willing to take more risks, then you may want to invest in the stock market, social trading, or real estate.

How much money do you have for investment?

Not so much money? P2P lending, savings accounts, and ETF monthly saving plans do not require that much capital. Needless to say, you will need to save up some money before you can afford to buy a property.

How much do you need to spend and how much can you save monthly?

Draw up a plan with your monthly spending and savings. You can even make a rough estimate for the next 30 years. By doing so, you can see how much you can save roughly per month. You can then know if you can afford to pay monthly into a private pension plan or an ETF savings plan.

If you want to buy a property, you can also estimate how long it takes until you save enough to afford your first property.

How much time can you put into your investment?

If you want a passive income without putting too much effort into your investment, savings account, private pension plans, ETF funds, social trading, P2P lending are all possible. If you are buying individual stock or a property, you will need to spend time doing some research before starting.

How flexible do you want your investment to be?

Be aware that private pension plans and real estate investment are generally for the long term. You need to pay a lot now but you may enjoy the benefits in the future. Don’t invest in those if you want to have a lot of flexibility.

How fast do you want your money to grow?

Fast returns involve higher risk. While you can have a very low risk by investing in savings accounts, you will also earn almost nothing.

How long do you stay in Germany?

If you are not staying in Germany for the long term, private pension plans may not be for you. For real estate, you may still manage it even if you do not live in Germany anymore. It may require some organization but it is possible.

How much tax are you paying now?

If you have a high income, you are likely paying a lot of taxes in Germany. One great way to invest in Germany is to increase your yearly tax return. For example, investing in private pension plans in Germany allows you to claim the contribution expenses to reduce your tax burden. When investing in a buy-to-let property in Germany, your mortgage interest and the maintenance cost of your property are also tax-deductible. 

You may be impressed by how much taxes you may save. You may make quite some money by saving your tax!

Note that this blog is not qualified to give you any tax advice according to German law. If you need more details and specific advice on your personal situation, we would highly recommend you to consult a tax adviser or the German tax office.

Read also: Private vs Public Health Insurance – What is Better for Expats in Germany?

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What to consider before you invest in Germany?

You should consider the following before investing in Germany.

Risk buffer

You shouldn’t invest all your money. Instead, you should keep a risk buffer (around three to six months’ salaries) so that you can make sure you have money to pay for any unexpected expenses. 

Besides, before starting to invest, you should clear all your debts first in case of any.

Be aware of scams

Does an investment sound too good to be true? There are scams everywhere on the internet. I always see comments on Facebook about making $100,000 in 24 hours. 

If a person can earn that much in such a short time, do you think he will be posting these comments? I would never click on those links as they just sound ridiculous. 

Understand the risks

Every form of investment comes with different levels of risk. While you need some risks to earn some returns, you should fully understand what kind of risks are involved. Read the contract thoroughly or consult an independent financial adviser. If you need financial advice, you can  contact my financial adviser and mention my blog “My Life In Germany” to get a free consultation.

Diversify your investment

Don’t put all your money into one form of investment. You may want to invest in different forms to spread your investment risks. For example, we invest some money in our house, some in ETF, and some in the private pension plans in Germany.

Understand your rights

In Germany, you have two weeks cooling-off period after signing a contract, which means you can cancel the contract without costs. You should use it if you don’t feel fully comfortable with what you have signed.

Read also: Insurance in Germany – Which One Do You Need?

what to consider before investing_investment_invest in germany to make money_expat guide_my life in germany_hkwomanabroad

Tax impact when investing in Germany

Germany is famous for its high tax rate. The bad news for investors is that all the capital gains are subjected to a 25% investment tax in Germany. This is a really high tax rate! It means that if you earn interest/ dividends or if you have a gain after selling your shares/ your investment properties, 25% of your profit will be gone to the tax office.

There is also some good news. In 2023, you have a tax allowance of 1,000 Euros yearly on your capital income. For real estate, if you have owned your investment property for ten years, this 25% capital tax can be waived. That is why it makes sense to buy your property and own it for a long time in Germany.

If you are a U.S. citizen, things get even more complicated. Even if you live in Germany, you are required to file tax to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). To avoid being double-taxed, you should familiarize yourself with the tax impact when investing in Germany. 

For more details, you can check this out: 

Note that this blog is not qualified to give you any tax advice according to German law. If you need more details and specific advice on your personal situation, we would highly recommend you to seek professional help (read below).

Getting professional help

Tax impact is one of the most important factors when deciding how you should invest in Germany. If you are not an expert, I would highly recommend that you get professional advice from a tax adviser to fully understand every aspect before making your investment. You can use Yourxpert to get a free online initial assessment from a tax adviser.

Simply write your question in the below question box to get a free online initial recommendation from a tax adviser. If further actions are needed, you will get a non-binding offer with the price and you can decide if you want to go for it.

If you do not live in Germany

You still need to file your tax return to the German tax office in case you own an investment property in Germany! It can be challenging for non-residents to do tax filing by themselves, especially when all the formal documents are only in German. 

For those who don’t live in Germany, the best is to use the tax filing service from Property Tax International. They can help to file your property tax in Germany so that you don’t have to deal with the German bureaucracy. Besides, they speak English and can give you tax advice regarding your property in Germany.

Property Tax International Banner_filing property tax for non resident in Germany_Mylifeingermany_hkwomanabroad
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The importance of having a financial adviser

A financial adviser looks at your overall financial situation (income and expenses, future goals, risk level, etc.) and suggests you some suitable forms of investment. As an expat in Germany, it is challenging to understand all the complicated concepts and be informed of all the suitable investment possibilities.

We love our financial adviser who explains to us thoroughly about different investment possibilities and the associated risks. He doesn’t work for a specific bank or company, so you can be sure that he can give you independent advice. 

Just write him and mention my blog “My Life In Germany” to get a free English consultation.

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Please note that no investment can guarantee a profit. Every investment is associated with risks and can lead to a complete loss of your invested money.  

This article is intended to provide you a brief overview of investing in Germany. The statements, comments and other content contained in this article, even if individual issuers or financial instruments are mentioned, are not to be construed as investment advice and do not constitute, directly or indirectly, a recommendation or solicitation to buy, hold or sell any financial instrument or any advice relating thereto. 

You are responsible for your own risk if you decide to participate in any form of investment. This blog is not a financial consultant by law and we do not accept any form of liability resulting from reading this article. We cannot give you investment advice or financial services. You should consult a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. Our blog makes no guarantee as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information in this article. 

If you need more details and specific advice on your personal situation, we would highly recommend you to consult a financial adviser and a tax adviser.

Do you invest in Germany and how? What can you recommend to other expats in Germany? Leave a comment below and share your experience!

About the author

Originally from Hong Kong, Sindy spent 13 years in Germany before moving to the US. Her blog is your ultimate resource for navigating Germany, offering pro tips on bureaucracy, job hunting, education, culture, family life, and more.

With a "been there, done that" attitude, Sindy, a certified public accountant, draws on her extensive finance and accounting background to provide professional insights with a friendly touch.

Having navigated German life with her German husband and raising two kids there, Sindy brings a personal touch to her advice. Let this blog help fellow expats like you navigate the ins and outs of life in Germany!

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37 Replies to “Invest in Germany as a Foreigner – 2024 Best English Guide”

  1. I am not sure what your “professional” has told you, but it is not entirely true that you have to pay capital gain tax if you sell it earlier than after 10 years. This only applies if you have not lived on the property yourself.

  2. I looked into Trade Republic but I have to be a permanent resident to use that app.
    I am a US expat living in Germany for 1 year now and have looked into Interactive Brokers.
    Any recommendations on an expat friendly brokerage other than those listed above in the article?

    1. If you are from the US, you may want to first familiar yourself about the US tax requirement. As far as I know, all your foreign investment will be taxed back in US as well. I have a guest post with an overview about filing US tax in Germany. I am not from the US myself, so I can’t really advise on this so much. What I heard is that many US expats avoid having investment in Germany to avoid the US tax. If you would like to trade stocks, you may want to use a US platform instead. I suggest talking to other US expats in Germany to get some suggestions. Hope it helps.

  3. Awesome post, man!
    I have been staying for Munich for almost an year now and I must say this is very accurate.
    Good job!

  4. Great article with a huge amount of helpful informations. I am living in Germany for more than a year, and I learn a lot in this post.
    Great Job and Thanks a lot.

  5. This is one of the best, most succinct, most practical overviews for ex-pats investing in Germany that I’ve seen. It’s also great for Germans who speak English. Simple, understandable, with excellent coverage of the most major investment opportunities for the beginning investor. I’m sending the link to all my ex-pat friends and English-speaking Germans who are interested in investing. Thank You Sindy.

  6. Hi, Great Article! Thanks.

    do you have some information on Mutual fund sin Germany where the inittial Capital amount is guaranteed?

    1. I have bought both pension plans in Germany (Riester and Rürup) and in both plans, there is a guaranteed capital amount. The amount depends on the risk level I choose. So, I believe there are other funds that include capital amount as well. If you want to get more details, you can contact my financial adviser. He will be able to give you more detailed advice on this. Hope it helps!

  7. Hi & thanks for such a complete reference of investing solutions. I have got a question though!

    As an employee I want to know what does happen to my tax situation if I earn some money from other sources like youtube channel, website advertisement or if simply rent my flat in Airbnb when I am in a trip?

    1. Thanks for reading! If you are an employee but earn side income, you need to first register yourself (Gewerbeanmeldung). This needs to be done if you are planning to earn money, e.g. with Youtube, website advertisement, and so on. Even if you earn just a little bit, you will have to file tax on those income, on top of your employment income.

  8. Thanks a lot for nice post. Can you please also introduce investment in Gold and other metal here in Germany ?!

  9. Germany is one of the best place to invest in businesses. The role of Equity makes a huge difference. You have described it in a very simple and easy way that how it works and what are the things that we need to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing this information about Stock. Subscribed!

  10. Hi, your blog is so informative. I would like to get advice from your financial planner. I would appreciate if you could send me the contact details.


  11. Hi Sindy, thanks so much for reply. I fixed an appointment with Dirk for a consultation. I was wondering whether any blog about bausparplan

  12. Thank you very much for providing such a clear explanation. This has been very helpful! You should keep writing because you are very good at it. A thoroughly researched article. Regards from another expat.

  13. This article is quite elaborate and i dont know how i managed to read it to the end. every single line is interesting and providing a lot of information. Thanks very much and keep writing. To the best of my knowledge most of the investment plans are for permanent Residents and not for those that are still on temporal basis; true or false?

    1. Thanks for reading my article. I am glad to hear that you like it. To your question, it depends on what kind of investment. If you need a mortgage to invest in real estate, then yes, you will likely need to be a permanent resident to get a mortgage successfully. If you want to invest in pension, yes, it will make sense only if you plan to stay in Germany for the long term. If you are interested in stock investment, you can do so even if you don’t plan to stay in Germany for the long term. So, it really depends. If you want individual advice based on your situation, it is best to consult a finance adviser. Hope it helps! Sindy

  14. Whay is suitable for contract employee in germany? I will going back to philippines after 2 years. I want 5 to 10 yrs investment and life insurance both.

    1. Rain,

      Unfortunately I am not able to give you financial advice here.
      But I would highly recommend my adviser to you. He helped me with all my investment.
      I am sure he will be able to advise you based on your individual situation.

      Hope it helps,

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