Investing with Vanguard for Europeans: 2020 update

Please Note:

If you are outside Europe and the US, please be sure to read thru the comments on the original of this post. They have become a valuable forum for investors from all over the world.


Who knew?

Certainly not I.

This all started when I wrote a series of letters to my daughter about financial stuff I felt was important for her to understand. Stuff she wasn’t yet ready or interested in hearing. 

I mentioned this to a couple of friends and, at their request, shared the letters. They encouraged me to put them on a “blog” as “posts” so my family and the rest of my friends might read it. 

I simply never dreamed an audience would develop beyond my little circle of friends and family. That’s not false modesty. I quite literally had no idea blogs could or did have larger readerships.

When I started this one, I barely knew what a blog was. In fact, the first blog post I ever read was my own. Then I began reading James Altucher, one of the first people to encourage me on this path. It was probably six months or so later before I stumbled on ERE. And then MMM. And then, and then, and then…

So as you might imagine, it really rather stunned me to see jlcollinsnh develop an international readership. Boy howdy! Given my love of travel, this remains quite the thrill. I first noticed it about ten months in and shared my discovery with the post Where in the World are You.

For the first quarter of 2020, there have been over 980,000 page views and of those, almost 275,000 are from outside the USA. Collectively, the countries of Europe are the second largest market.

But for these readers, the information here tended to come up short. The problem is, the investment tools we have so easily available here in the USA are either very costly or simply unavailable to the rest of the world. And since I know nothing about the specifics of what is available in the rest of the world, other than the core principles of investing described in my Stock Series, there was little here to help.

Fortunately, Mrs. EconoWiser of the Netherlands is here again to help with an update of her very popular 2014 post which is Part XXI in the Stock Series. As you might guess from the name of her blog, she writes about living and spending efficiently. But around about March 2013 she began reading jlcollinsnh and she noticed the woeful lack of specific guidance as to how to implement The Simple Path to Wealth in Europe. But rather than throw up her hands, she set about figuring it out.

She’s done a brilliant job and, if her name sounds familiar, it might just be because I’ve had the frequent occasion to link to several of her posts in helping my European readers. Her research and insights are that impressive. So much so, in fact, I’ve come to think of EconoWiser as the European division of jlcollinsnh International. Egotistical and presumptuous on my part perhaps, but there you have it.

With all this in mind, in 2014 I asked her to write her original guest post summarizing her low-cost index investing strategies for Europeans.

If you live in Europe, this new 2020 update is a must read.

If you live in another part of the world, maybe it will inspire you to follow her lead and figure it out for where you are. (And I’ll have another guest poster!)

If you live here in the USA, read it and appreciate just how easy and inexpensive the options we have here are.

But wherever in the world you are: Enjoy!….


It’s an honour to write a guest post for this wonderful blog. My “uncle JL”, as I like to affectionately call him, has taught me so many things about life and index investing. As a newbie on the index investing topic I decided to check out how this works for Europeans. As I’m a Dutchie myself, I was eager to find out how to make this index investing miracle work for the Dutch and consequently my fellow Europeans. This post will provide a rather general overview of my findings so far. (And is written in British English 😉)

The Strategy

You should be familiar with JL’s strategy if you’ve read his book, The Simple Path to Wealth, or the Stock Series on this magnificent blog. (If you haven’t, you should read the series first and read this blog post afterwards) A summary:

  1. If you can do business with Vanguard, do so as they are the only investment company out there that puts the interests of their customers first
  2. Buy broad-based index funds
  3. Costs matter hugely
  4. Keep it simple

And I’ve got some good news for you: we can apply the jlcollinsnh index investing strategy in Europe as well! Yay!

Investing With Vanguard In Euros

Unfortunately, you can’t open an account with Vanguard in Europe as a private investor. Unless you have €500,000 ready to invest (in which case: well done you!), you’ll have to go through a broker. Yes, let’s envy the American index investors who are able to open an account with Vanguard directly for a moment here and then let it go.

Vanguard Europe currently holds offices in several European countries. You can contact your Vanguard office in Europe. Staff are very friendly and helpful, you can ask all sorts of questions about their products. However, they won’t give you investment advice. If Vanguard doesn’t hold an office in your country I suggest you go to the Vanguard global portal and click on the United Kingdom. Click on “personal investors”, “what we offer” and then ETFs. Vanguard offers exchange-traded funds or mutual funds (I will explain the difference shortly). You will find all the information you’ll need.  I am referring to the British Vanguard website, even though all European Vanguard website content is in English.

Disclaimer: please bear in mind that when investing with Vanguard Europe you are NOT investing with the American cooperative non-profit organization. Vanguard Europe is an independent subsidiary. In my humble opinion their philosophy matches the American parent company exactly. However, it is not a cooperative non-profit organization in and of itself.

Let’s do something useful with our euros instead.

Vanguard Mutual Funds Vs. Vanguard ETFs

First things first, you need to decide whether you want to invest in mutual funds or ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds). In this article I will assume that you want to invest in Vanguard ETFs. The reason for my assumption is that ETFs are index funds that trade on the major stock exchanges and are traded like stocks. Mutual funds might be a bit more difficult to buy for some Europeans. Vanguard ETFs have lower expense ratios compared to the Vanguard mutual funds. They can be bought and sold throughout the day instead of once a day at closing prices. As we do not have IRAs or 401(k) plans to take into consideration, ETFs are a great option for European investors. ETFs pay out all dividends which you will need to reinvest yourself, whereas a mutual fund automatically reinvests the dividend for you. However, transaction costs might be lower for mutual funds if you can obtain these through a broker specialised in index investing.

An overview:

Vanguard Mutual Funds Vanguard ETFs
Higher total expense ratio Lower total expense ratio
Can be bought and sold once a day at closing prices Can be bought and sold throughout the day like regular stocks
Might be a bit more difficult to buy Accessible to all Europeans
Option to automatically reinvest dividend Dividend is paid out, which you might want to reinvest yourself
Transaction costs might be lower through a broker specialized in index investing Regular broker fees apply, however there are cheap ones out there (sometimes even without any fees!)
Very interesting for smaller amounts of money on a monthly basis due to brokerage commissions (if available) The higher the amount you want to invest, the more interesting concerning brokerage commissions, great for lump sums

In this blog post I’ll focus on stocks-only. The same strategy applies to bonds (and REITs if you’re investing in dollars).

Here’s the Vanguard ETF selection you, as a European, are able to choose from:

Vanguard exchange-traded funds TER Available currencies ISIN
Vanguard FTSE All-World High Dividend Yield UCITS ETF (VHYL) 0.29% USD/GBP/EUR/CHF IE00B8GKDB10
Vanguard FTSE Dev. Asia Pac. Ex Japan ETF (VAPX) 0.15% USD/GBP/EUR/CHF IE00B9F5YL18
Vanguard FTSE Developed Europe UCITS ETF (VEUR) 0.10% GBP/EUR/CHF IE00B945VV12
Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VFEM) 0.22% USD/GBP/EUR/CHF IE00B3VVMM84
Vanguard S&P500 ETF (VUSA) 0.07% USD/GBP/EUR/CHF IE00B3XXRP09
Vanguard FTSE 100 UCITS ETF (VUKE) 0.09%  GBP/CHF/EUR IE00B810Q511
Vanguard Government Bond UCITS ETF (VUTY) 0.07% GBP/CHF/EUR IE00B42WWV65

All hyperlinks link to U.K. factsheets. However, the facts are similar for all European countries (even if there isn’t a Vanguard office in your country).

Vanguard has recently (autumn 2019) cut fees (TER; Total Expense Ratio) for most of these funds. The TER for VWRL, for example, was lowered from 0.25% to 0.22%. 

Obviously, we’re investing in a European currency here. I will discuss investing with dollars later on in this article.

Buy Broad Based Index Funds

If you check out the different prospectuses you’ll quickly come to realise that there’s a one-stop shopping option for all your diversification needs. That would be the Vanguard FTSE All-World ETF at 0.22% TER (exchange ticker VWRL). Through this fund you’re investing in 3,371 holdings in nearly 47 countries, including both developed and emerging markets. The fund covers more than 90% of the global investable market capitalisation. This way there’s no need to mix U.S., European and emerging markets yourself as the fund has already done this for you. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include small cap. I’m not telling you what to invest in here, do whatever floats your (Vanguard) boat. Most of my Dutch online FIRE friends and myself invest in this fund. I’m 100% invested in it. (This would be my choice, too: JL Collins)

Floating boat. Not photo shopped, the water in Greece is just that clear.

Here’s the lowdown on the fund:

  Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF (VWRL)
Europe & Pacific 31.09%
North America 57.7%
Emerging Markets 10%
TER 0.22%

Find a broker – costs matter hugely

Now that you’ve checked out the different options in mutual funds and ETFs you’re going to find yourself a broker. You’ll need to invest a couple of hours of your time to find out which one suits your needs best. Google is your friend. Obviously, costs are very important. In The Netherlands we have many wonderful online brokers now, which offer accounts at rock bottom costs and will only charge transaction fees. Check out and compare transaction fees, custody fees, membership fees, and service fees. If you’re not charged for opening an account, why not open several accounts with different brokers so that you can also check out their interface and what not? Oh, and phone them. Ask them lots and lots of questions.

Before We KISS, There’s The Tax Thing

There’s this thing called the dividend leakage, and it’s a pain in the backside for investors. Unfortunately, it’s a significant cost for investors. As most of the European Vanguard funds are domiciled in Ireland you need to be aware of the Irish double taxation agreement. A (non-Irish) European investor is charged dividend withholding tax by the Irish government. Whereas the Irish investor can claim this dividend withholding tax back from their government, the rest of us (in most cases) can’t. You can ask your national tax department on your country’s dividend tax treaty with Ireland. The EU does not approve of this tax, but there is nothing you can do about it. You might want to check out investing with Vanguard in dollars. Hey, what a coincidence. I’ll go through that option in a minute. If not, you’re just going to have to suck this one up.

Let’s Keep It Simple, Sweetheart!

If you follow these steps you will have identified which fund(s) you are willing to throw your cash at (on a monthly basis?), have found the best and cheapest broker because costs matter hugely and you will have accepted the fact that there is a dividend leakage (or have tried to work your way around it…or have given up on investing after all…don’t!).

Yes, but…what about the dollar version? Oh, so you don’t want to KISS just yet? Okay, here we go!

No thanks.

Investing With Vanguard In Dollars

Again, you want to buy broad based index funds. Of the many Vanguard funds you will be able to choose from through your broker (which we’ll select later on) I chose two different options to illustrate how to go about investing with Vanguard in dollars. You can also buy bonds and REITs through your broker specialised in international stocks. However, for simplicity’s sake I’m referring to stocks-only here. Oh, and make sure you check out Morningstar when comparing funds.

  Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF Vanguard Total World Stock Index ETF
Ticker VTI VT
ISIN US9229087690 US9220427424
U.S. 99.6% 58.60%
Europe 18.4%
Pacific and Emerging Markets 22.6%
Amount of stocks 3592 8218
TER 0.03% 0.09%

Option number one is the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF, which is as close to JL’s favoured VTSAX as we can get. However, as a European investor you’d be investing almost entirely in U.S. stocks. Option number two is the Vanguard Total World Stock Index ETF. This will give you a one-stop shopping experience and all the diversification you’ll need over all markets.  (Also recommended by Malkiel and Ellis in The Elements Of Investing, p. 122) (Also what I’d recommend for my international readers: JL Collins)

Again, Find Your Broker

You’ll want to do another research on finding the best and cheapest broker for your dollar stocks. It could just so happen that the best and cheapest broker for your transactions in euros does not fit the requirements for your dollar transactions. Google is your friend, once again. Check out and compare transaction fees, currency exchange fees (very important in this case!), custody fees, membership fees, and service fees. You also want to inquire after the broker’s custodian, which might not find itself in your home country. This shouldn’t be a problem, you just want to know where your stocks are if ever you need to reclaim them if your broker goes bankrupt.

Due to Dutch law we are now prohibited from investing in dollar-only funds such as VT and VTI since Vanguard (in this case) doesn’t offer a prospectus in Dutch. 

Will LTC Bankrupt the Nation?

 Not Another Tax Thingy?!

Yep, another tax thingy. See, the U.S. government will charge up to 30% dividend withholding tax. However, that depends on your country’s dividend tax treaty with the U.S. My country has a cool deal with the U.S. and thus my dividends will be charged with a 15% withholding tax instead of 30%. The remaining 15% withholding tax can be reclaimed by filling in a W-8BEN form. You should renew this every three years. If you’ve found yourself a broker specialised in investing in dollars, they’ll probably know how to handle this. Ask them about the form. My broker will automatically send me a new form every three years which I can sign online. No biggie. You could also contact your national tax department in order to require after the rules that apply to your specific situation.

Currency Risk

You probably guessed that you’ll need dollars in order to invest in dollars. It’s important that you find a broker who will exchange your euros for dollars at rock bottom costs. However, you also need to bear currency risk in mind. As you live in Europe, you’ll probably want to cash out in euros someday. If the dollar has devaluated strongly against the euro  at that point in time, you might be disappointed. Consequently, if the dollar thrives and the euro doesn’t, you could be in for a windfall. Who knows? Maybe it’s also not all bad news when thinking about long-term investors. Come to think of it, when investing in euros your cash is also transferred into dollars but you just don’t see that happening. The base currency of the index will be in dollars anyway. Investing in euros in international stocks does not totally protect you against currency risk either.

Scary stuff, right? Now, there’s a way to sort of insure yourself against this currency risk. It’s called hedging, it doesn’t come cheap (that’s an understatement) and my guess is uncle JL. probably won’t be a huge fan either. (You guess correctly 🙂  JL Collins) It sort of comes down to you adding euros to your brokerage account. Instead of transferring your euros into dollars, you’re borrowing dollars against a certain rate. You’d then be paying interest on that loan. As we’re long-term investors this would destroy our profits. So let’s just forget about it. I’ve mentioned it, and that’s that.


Now that you have investigated the different options for investing with Vanguard in euros and dollars you can make your own risk analysis. Take into account things such as currency risk, costs, dividend leakage and broker bankruptcy risk (custodian is important here). Choose your strategy and stay the course for the next thirty odd years or so.

You’ve solved the index investing in euros puzzle!

Or the dollar version!

Good luck!


Mrs EconoWiser

Disclaimer: I am not a professional investor or financial adviser nor do I claim to be one. You are solely responsible for your own financial investment choices. I am not responsible for inaccurate information in this blog post. I am merely sharing ideas and findings of my very amateurish investigation in index investing for Europeans.


Here are three books I’ve enjoyed while on virus lockdown.

I am an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction, and find great value in both.

Over the years I have had some friends brag that they only read non-fiction, not wasting their time on fiction. This, to me, is short sighted and shows a lack of understanding what good fiction really is.

Basically it is an imaginary tale but, done well, the facts and setting around it are well researched and sound. That information, being wrapped in a memorable story, is more easily and permanently learned.

We have been swapping tales, and learning lessons from them, since the times we sat around the fire at our cave’s entrance eating delicious meals of woolly mammoth stew while taunting the saber-tooth tigers just beyond the flames..

Until recently, I hadn’t come across any FI fiction. But these two from Dave and Chana Mason are just that, and they are both page turningly good.

Non-fiction, of course, still has its place and this is a good one from Leisa Peterson…

In it she explores the psychological and spiritual side of money. I’ve read other books out there that try and fail on this score. It is, like fiction, tough to do well. This book does it very well indeed.

All three of these books taught me new things and gave me new perspectives on things I already know. Maybe they will for you, too.


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Important Resources

  • Talent Stacker is a resource that I learned about through my work with Jonathan and Brad at ChooseFI, and first heard about Salesforce as a career option in an episode where they featured Bradley Rice on the Podcast. In that episode, Bradley shared how he reached FI quickly thanks to his huge paychecks and discipline in keeping his expenses low. Jonathan teamed up with Bradley to build Talent Stacker, and they have helped more than 1,000 students from all walks of life complete the program and land jobs like clockwork, earning double or even triple their old salaries using a Salesforce certification to break into a no-code tech career.
  • Credit Cards are like chain saws. Incredibly useful. Incredibly dangerous. Resolve to pay in full each month and never carry a balance. Do that and they can be great tools. Here are some of the very best for travel hacking, cash back and small business rewards.
  • Empower is a free tool to manage and evaluate your investments. With great visuals you can track your net worth, asset allocation, and portfolio performance, including costs. At a glance you'll see what's working and what you might want to change. Here's my full review.
  • Betterment is my recommendation for hands-off investors who prefer a DIFM (Do It For Me) approach. It is also a great tool for reaching short-term savings goals. Here is my Betterment Review
  • NewRetirement offers cool tools to help guide you in answering the question: Do I have enough money to retire? And getting started is free. Sign up and you will be offered two paths into their retirement planner. I was also on their podcast and you can check that out here:Video version, Podcast version.
  • Tuft & Needle (T&N) helps me sleep at night. They are a very cool company with a great product. Here’s my review of what we are currently sleeping on: Our Walnut Frame and Mint Mattress.


  1. Markus says

    As a German investor and avid reader of the blog, I have been waiting impatiently for an update to this series. Glad it’s here now.

    I personally wonder why there are only 9 ETFs listed in the “Available Vanguard ETFs for Europeans” table above. The Vanguard website itself names 30 available equity products. What did I miss?

    For many Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF (VWRL) ETF will do a great job in the future.
    My very own portfolio consists of Vanguard funds. I went for a 2-fund portfolio consisting of Vanguard FTSE Developed World UCITS ETF (VGVF) and Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (VFEA)

    Keep up the great work with the blog.

    Cheers from Germany,

    • Arroba says

      I also wonder about this. I am based in Germany too and after careful evaluation I arrived to the same conclusion as you: Vanguard FTSE Developed World UCITS ETF (VGVF) is the best option to follow the general rules we discuss here (invest globally, keep cost down, ETF with good availability, etc.)

      It’s possible that not all ETF offered in Germany are available somewhere else.

      Out of curiosity – which broker are you using? The conditions for many of them keep getting worse: Commerzbank, DiBa, etc.

      • Jan says

        For index-fund only investing, you should go with finvesto (largest selection of ETFs available and cheapest transaction costs) or with trade republic (1€ flat per execution) if you feel hipster-ish.

        Finvesto is great b/c through them you’ll purchase your shares directly from the issuer – from vanguard for example. That’s why they’re so cheap.

        • Andre says

          Hi Jan,

          interesting they buy it directly, was always assuming via exchange. I am pretty happy myself with Finvesto, they have by default auto-reinvestment of dividends and reasonable fees with 0.2% + the quarterly.

          I also created 2 accounts for my kids for their child-benefits which goes directly there into the A1JX52. Reason for the distributed – it shows that money makes money. They will see once they are old enough though

          Thanks, Andre

          • Anton says

            Hello German Fellows,

            how sure are you that this is the best route? I have read on other places online, that the costs for the Vanguard ETFs are much higher for German because of dividend leakage (Steuerleck). Apparently, for Germans it is not a good idea to invest in US funds because the leakage will drive up the costs too much. If you have any good information available regarding this, that would be amazing….

          • Anton says


            Do you mean 0.2% for the fonds costs in total per year? If 0.2% come on top of the normal ETF costs with Finvesto, that sounds unacceptable for me. Then you would end up with costs of 0.4% (without taking into account dividend leakge I assume). E.g. from the Netherlands, you could get the VTI/VXUS combination with total costs of 0.14% as long as you pay BOXIII tax to offset the leakage.

    • Alex says

      Hi Markus, why not take the vanguard FTSE NA UCITS etf insgesamt of the ftse all world ans S&P 500. The first is holding the NA companies and has offered better returns in comparison to the last 2. It also has lower TER than the all world ( but higher than S&P 500 by 0,03 ). Is too much diversification a dilution ?

      I like this series here and read the book last weekend – great guy !

    • David Spitze says


      I’m a Yank married to an Australian. I generally spend two months there every year. Vanguard has an Australian operation and I’ve invested in a couple of their mutual funds for over 15 years. Their fees are lower than the alternatives and offer index funds.

      As a retired CPA with an investment background I am the informal investment advisor to my wife’s family and several of their friends. I believe the two Vanguard ETFs, the Australian Shares (VAS, tracks the ASX 300) and the International Shares Index (VGS) are the two best Australian investment choices by far. VAS has a .1% expense ratio (the comparable share fund has a .75% expense ratio for their first tier, which is still better than the competitors), while the VGS has a .18% expense ratio. You will need a broker (my family’s friends use CommSec, and I was a CommSec customer in the past).

      You don’t have to worry about coverting Aussie dollars to US dollars; the ETF’s are priced in AUD. You can also get dividend Reinvestment on these ETFs (instructions available if you do a Google search).

      If I were investing in Australian shares today (I own the funds because 15 years ago the ETFs didn’t exist), these two ETFs would be my only choices.

      • Michael Rosenberg says

        David’s advice is pretty much the norm for Australian ETF investors.

        I do it slightly differently. Instead of VGS, I buy VTS for my international exposure. VTS is just VTI cross-listed on the ASX. I do this because I don’t like investing in Europe.

        It’s a poorly kept secret that Vanguard Australia will let you invest in their wholesale Australian shares managed index fund with $100k, you don’t need the $500k, if managed funds are your thing.

  2. Jelle says

    I’m currently investing with Meesman, a Dutch index fund that invests world wide. The costs are 0.25% per transaction and 0.5% per year in total. This is a bit much if I compare it with the shown costs on this blog post. However Meesman offers me simplicity and convenience. Also they take care of the dividend tax withholding. Would it be smart to change my system and get ETF’s at for example DeGiro?

    I started with Meesman because it was easy and I just wanted to get going, but now that I have more money in it the cost becomes more important.

    Thanks in advance!

      • EconoWiser says

        Hi Markus,

        Thank you for your comment! I totally agree with Peter. Mr FOB offers a great resource when it comes to comparing costs between Meesman and VWRL

    • Markus says

      Hey Jelle,

      have you calculated the estimated savings of switching for your portfolio?
      It might not be worth the effort, if you are happy with what you getting at Meesman.

      I believe, that everything up to ~0.5% cost p.a. is ok, if it helps you to stay invested and saving constantly.

      The difference of 0.28% (0.5% at Meesman – 0,22% for a Vanguard FTSE All-World as an example) is your price for peace of mind, if your happy with what you have.

      And simplicity that’s what this blog is all about eventually, isn’t it?

      • Jelle says

        Thanks for your replies! It helps a lot. For now I will leave it, and in a couple years I will come back to this question and see if I have changed my mind.

        The simplicity of Meesman has got me staying with them. I really like the idea of just throwing money at it and not looking at it at all. Nothing to worry about, even in these weird days of coronavirus.

  3. Ms. Maxi says

    Thank you very much for the update Jim!
    Unfortunately, I cannot invest in Vanguard due to the following reasons:
    – Some ETFs I would like to invest in do not exist.
    – I prefer accumulating ETFs due to tax reasons. And Vanguard just started this year to bring out accumulating ETFs.
    – Vanguard is based on FTSE indices, whereas most other ETFs are based on MSCI. Those two don’t mix well due to their differences (Poland, South Korea…). So either go FTSE or MSCI. I go for MSCI, because there I am offered all the ETFs that I want to buy for my portfolio.

    I do however plan on investing into Vanguard FTSE All-World for my niece. This is the perfect on for that really!

    Greetings from Germany
    Ms. Maxi

  4. Lottie Payne says

    Hi Jim,

    As a UK investor you are able to invest in Vanguard from the get go just like our American friends across the Pond. Vanguard have also now just released SIPP (Self Invested Pension Pots), which allows UK investors to invest in index funds (including Target Retirement Funds) within a pension wrapper.

    Basically, good news all around. I spent quite some time researching all of the different fund options and pension plans if you want an article from a UK perspective.


  5. Olek says

    The most convenient (while still being quite cheap) way for european investor to invest globally is to buy Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF with TER 0.22%.

    Hovewer the cheapest option seems to be SPDR MSCI World UCITS ETF + iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets IMI UCITS ETF. TER will equal 0.12% * 0.9 + 0.18% * 0.1 = 0.13%.

  6. Mr C says

    Thanks Mrs Econowiser!

    Very sound advice. Keeping it simple definitely makes our lives easier – and historically has resulted in better returns. As a UK family we’ve been investing in VWRL since we came across Jim’s Simple Path to Wealth.

    A few wrinkles to highlight. There is an accumulating version of VWRL – VWRP, though not offered on all platforms, and not currently offered by Vanguard UK on their own platform.

    A word of caution for UK investors. VWRP, or any other accumulating funds / ETFs, are subject to UK income tax. The UK tax authorities charge income tax on the ‘virtual’ dividend you receive in an accumulating fund in the year it was received. Which means you have to figure out what the virtual dividend is, track this both for the current year, and for future capital gains tax calculations (since you don’t want to pay CGT on virtual dividends you’ve already paid income tax on. Having just discovered this, I think I will move my VWRP holdings into VWRL. The downside is I will need to manually reinvest, but the upside is less record keeping. Definitely keeps things simpler. And I like Simple!

    Another challenge I’ve experienced is the difficulty of investing if you are not tax resident in your home country (or in the EU if that’s where you’re from). This is because your home country (or the financial institutions in it) will not allow you to invest if you are not tax resident – as the cost to them of ensuring compliance with money laundering regs is much more difficult / costly for non tax residents.

    The regulatory controls for tax residents in jurisdictions in developing countries are often weak, and some of the financial advice verges on criminal. Because brokers who will deal with tax residents outside the developed world are hard to find, you end up speaking to financial advisors who can access brokerages on your behalf.

    When I started looking for a broker when living in Africa, I spoke with several ‘advisors’ who ‘offered’ to assist. I knew I wanted broad based index funds.

    The first two ‘advisors’ I spoke to told me that broad based index funds were not the way to go and suggested some exotic funds that were regulated in offshore markets. Despite a degree in finance and 20 years of experience working in finance roles, I couldn’t understand what was in the funds they recommended, how I would make money for them, or what the fees were. So they were a non starter.

    The third, and final advisor I spoke with, agreed that broad based index funds were absolutely the way to go and offered to pull together an equity / bond portfolio he would recommend and then get me invested in those funds – at a very low cost. Music to my ears. He came back with VWRL and a global bond fund – and I thought this might be the guy. Then I saw the fees. 3% of any initial investment plus a 1% fee for ongoing management and rebalancing! When I spoke with him about these fees, he told me I was being ridiculous in suggesting the fees were high, and that I was clearly a naïve investor. That was the last conversation we had.

    Ultimately I ended up using Interactive Brokers – who I found out about by reading the book Expat Millionaire by Andrew Hallam. Its like the Simple Path to Wealth for expats, with lots of horror stories about how advisors have taken advantage of expats in poorly regulated markets. There are also chapters on where to invest and what vehicles to use depending on your nationality and where you plan to retire.

    Interactive Brokers, a large American broker, seem to be one of two/three brokers who will deal with tax residents in developing countries and also offer low fees. They allow you to invest in several currencies and have a wide range of broad based global index funds – including VWRL.

    One word of caution that Andrew Hallam notes in his book is that there is potentially some exposure to US inheritance tax for non-US citizens since IB is a US broker. It is likely that any cash balances over $50k in your brokerage account would be subject to IHT. But it seems unlikely that any invested amounts would be subject to IHT – after reading Andrew’s book and a bit more research, I felt comfortable using IB as long as I kept my cash balances low. But everyone should obviously take their own tax advice.

    One other area that Mrs EconoWiser briefly touches on is currency. If you are investing in a global fund, it doesn’t really matter what currency you invest in. You are exposed to lots of currencies – just like you’re exposed to lots of individual companies. One unit of VWRL in Euros will cost the same as one unit in GBP or USD at today’s exchange rates. If not, then everyone would be arbitraging this difference away. So if your brokerage allows you to invest in multiple currencies, just invest in whatever currency you have, rather than exchanging before investing. That will save you the transaction fees of the currency exchange. Any playing around with currencies is effectively trying to time the currency markets. And we know that we’re not great at timing investing decisions.

    Apologies for the essay!

    • Rami says

      Thanks A lot for your reply. I learnt a lot.

      I’m from Israel and currently use local broker to buy VT at US. Since you’re using a distributing fund, why not to go with VT, it has much lower expanse ratios.

      My broker has quite expansive minimum charges (8$ per buy/sell in the US).

      IB is also used here (esspecialy in the FI forums here) but it comes with it’s own issues:
      a. Online only in English (Might be problematic for some – not for me).
      b. Due to some Israeli law policy Israeli citizen may not use offshore broker to trade securities which are traded in Israel. The most common problem here is Goverment Bond Funds in NIS which I hold (may change my mind in the future).
      c. In Israel all the brokers/banks take charges and send them automatically to the tax institutions. This may not be optimal, but using acc’ version of funds basically means that it works fine. If you meet some cretiria / trade offsore – you have to submit a tax report. This most likly will require a CPA which will charge you for ~250$-280$ (~1000 NIS). This alone is much more annoying and offsets the high relative costs of the israeli broker.

      However, I might read the book you recommanded and re-think some of my assumpions.

      Thanks again,

    • lee Richefond says

      Good evening Mr C and Eco wiser
      Hope all is well with you and your families

      Why is VWRL better than VHYL to invest in

      Kind Regards

  7. ST says

    Hi there,

    And what about VWCE Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF (USD) Accumulating. It should be a good choice with its TER of 0,22% and accumulating dividends. This means you don’t take care for dividend taxes and reinvesting of the dividend. I think this is important opportunity and I prefer to us it.

      • EconoWiser says

        I’m working on an addendum as I wasn’t aware of this option. 99.9% of my FIRE friends invest in VWRL FTSE All World with the same TER. The accumulating dividends might be less interesting to the Dutch because of our tax system. However, it might be interesting for the Belgians.
        I’m going to change

        Here’s the Vanguard ETF selection you, as a European, are able to choose from:


        Here’s a selection of the Vanguard ETF selection you, as a European, are able to choose from:

        And add a couple of interesting options.

        Thank you for your comment!

  8. Dorf says

    It was great to hear from Mrs Econowiser again— I miss the updates on her blog.
    I read the original post dozens of time, trying to figure it out and work up the courage to invest in Vanguard directly (in 2014 the minimum was only (!) 100k; they must have raised it). Taking that first step freed us to be more confident investors in other ETFs on other platforms, so I can’t thank you enough.
    We are in a “mixed marriage”, however, of EU/American, and have found we have to separate our investments in order not to be liable to PFIC taxation in the US. This isn’t how we wanted our financial relationship to look. Does anyone know any blogs or websites that address the conundrum of Americans residing in the EU but still subject to US tax laws— how do they invest with an EU partner? Would be grateful for any help.
    Thank you Mrs. Econowiser! Please give us an update on your job, kids, biking, house, decluttering, and side hustle shop! I miss hearing about it!

    • kt says

      I would also be very interested in a blog with this issue. I’m in it too. I’m trying to get started investing, but it looks like I turn left and right and all the doors are slamming in my face.

    • EconoWiser says

      Thanks, Dorf! I am slowly recovering from my writer’s block. I am so glad to hear that you mustered up the courage to start investing through my blog. This makes it all worthwile for me. Well done you!!

    • Nina says

      Hey Dorf,

      I am in the same boat (European, married to someone from the USA), and would love to hear if you’ve come across anything.

      Much love,

    • Forastero says

      The Hodgen Law website ( has a large amount of tax related information for both non-US citizens residing in the US and US citizens residing elsewhere. They do regular online seminars and Phil Hodgen is very approachable both through the comments sections on the blog and via email (although my portfolio would have to grow substantially before I could afford to use him as my attorney 🙂 )

  9. Sean says

    Thank you for this post – very helpful but also thank you in general to this whole blog, which has given me a financial education I never had.

    I currently invest through a stocks and shares ISA (Hargreaves Lansdown) using the Vanguard LifeStrategy Accumulation fund (I want the least hassle as possible) in the UK (Wales to be precise, Jim will be familiar with our little country!)

    It’s the simplest way to get going and I have a monthly direct debit into the fund. As mentioned above, you can now set up a stocks and shares ISA and a SIPP with Vanguard directly, which is cheaper again which I will look to do this year.

  10. Robin Brooke says

    What do you all think about the recently launched (2019) Global Bond ETF from Vanguard ticker VAGP?

    i.e. a two ETF portfolio of VWRL and VAGP?

      • EconoWiser says

        Sounds good! As I don’t “do” bonds, I am not the right person to state an opinion on this. I’m a 100% stocks girl 😉

        If it (VAGP) mimics JL’s recommended bond fund, you’re probably good to go.

  11. chiko says

    Thank you Mrs. Econowiser and JL for the great content and this post. My question is about the withholding tax that is charged if one purchases VTI for example. For me, because I am in Africa and my country has no treaty with the US – that effectively means my VTI dividends will be charged 30% withholding tax. I wonder if this is different for other people, so different that it gets rarely mentioned.

    Am I missing something somewhere, I think 30% or even 10% of earnings is a lot, how have you managed to handle this?

  12. Omar Cruz says

    Hello Mister !

    In Belgium there are NO taxes on capital gains 🙂 Amazing, isn’t it ? Imagine the profit after 20, 30, 40 years… and yes, 0% taxes on that.
    With this in mind, the best is to go with an ETF where all the benefit gets re-invested (accumulation).

    I didn’t see any accumulation version of the VUSA, so finally I went for the equivalent one with ishares.

    • EconoWiser says

      That’s exactly why, as a Dutchie, the accumulation version of VWRL isn’t interesting. And why I’ll be moving to Belgium when I FIRE. 😉

      Funny, how we’re next door neigbours while our tax systems differ so much.

      • Alex says

        Hey EconoWiser,

        Great write-up for all us EU-based investors, thanks a lot for that!

        I am Dutch tax resident seeking to start investing in ETFs. I see that you’ve mentioned several times that the Dutch tax system makes accumulating ETFs less interesting.

        Could you please elaborate on that a bit more, specifically why exactly is that?

  13. asd says

    The post is missing a crucial point: estate tax for non-resident aliens owning US-domiciled assets. This can go as high as 40% for all assets in excess of $60,000 (yeah… $60k!).

    This means that if you are not a US resident or you do not live in a country that has a estate tax treaty, then you should not ever hold US-domiciled assets in excess of $60k (or maybe avoid dying!). It doesn’t matter if you are using a broker based in Europe, Asia, or anywhere else. In this scenario you *must* use an Irish-domiciled ETF alternative.

    • EconoWiser says

      Yup, this topic was wayyyyyyyyy too much for this article. Indeed, the Dutch are prevented from buying VTI for example which is why I wrote the article. However, if hypothetically we’ll be able to buy VTI again I certainly won’t because of what you’ve just mentioned. No need for me or my heirs to get into a fight with the IRS….

      • Arroba says

        This was actually the single most important information point in all this blog and comments. In my opinion it should be added to the very top.

        Any calculation of investing in USD is discarded becasue of it.

    • Un4Seen says

      As a resident of a European country (Romania) I’ve been trying to figure out investing in Vanguard for a few weeks now and my head is spinning. There are just so many pitfalls that I wouldn’t have even imagined. Countless types of fees and taxes coming from the ETFs themselves, from the brokers, from my own state, from the state in which the funds and the brokers are domiciliated. OMG! Could this be more complicated?

      Can somebody please explain in simple terms which Vanguard ETFs are “US-domiciled assets” and which ETFs are Ireland-domiciliated? I mean, if you buy an ETF from Vanguard Ireland, is that an Ireland-domiciliated asset? Or if you buy a Vanguard ETF from Vanguard Ireland which invests in US stocks, like the Vanguard S&P500 ETF (VUSA), is that considered US-domiciliated?

      I’ve read the Simple Path to Wealth and I truly envy the people living in the US. they’ve got it so easy… Here in Europe it just gets infinitely complicated for somebody just starting to understand things. Even choosing a broker in Romania is causing me headaches.

      Thanks in advance for any advice!

      • Mari says

        I currently live in Hungary and have same issue. I don’t understand how to choose a broker and which is a credible one

        • Un4Seen says

          Interactive Brokers or XTB. They are long standing, credible brokers, who have lots of listings available. They are regulated by several European financial institutions and state laws. They keep your money in segregated accounts, so in the event the brokers get in financial trouble, your money is safe. XTB is more for beginners, IBKR is more complex and harder to understand, but larger and electronically safer (eg. has MFA on accounts).

      • Giorgos says

        I personally use Flatex-Degiro for three years now and I am quite satisfied with the services they provide. I live in Greece.

  14. Marco says

    Hi. U.K. investor here. I’m 100% VWRP in tax sheltered accounts and VWRL in general accounts (makes tax self assessment much easier).

    If I decide to add bonds in future I’ll go for VAGP (world bonds)

  15. Jen says

    Hi there
    So appreciate the global outlook and would love to hear if anyone has details regarding as discussed from South Africa?
    (Yes, jlcollinsnh and Mrs. EconoWiser, you even have avid followers here!)
    Vanguard doesn’t seem to have any offices here that I am aware of or brokers through which to invest.
    Would love any input!

    • EconoWiser says

      Hi Jen,

      Sounds like you’re in the same boat that I found myself in and you cannot buy with Vanguard directly. Lucky Americans… The trick is to find yourself the cheapest broker through which you can buy Vanguard ETFs.

      Good luck!

    • Dereck says

      Hey fellow SAFA. Someone else mentioned Interactive Brokers on an earlier comment. I struggled with the same thing and now living in the EU so taking a fresh look at options.

  16. Susanna says

    Hi, we are a family in Switzerland and invest in VT, keeping it as simple as possible – we thought that would be the closest thing to VTSAX – were we mistaken??

    • EconoWiser says


      I am not an expert, as I am not able to buy both funds myself. However, when the Dutch FIRE community was able to buy VT or VTI (we were banned from buying in dollars a couple of years ago) they were happy to buy VT or VTI as those funds were the closest thing to VTSAX indeed.

      You might want to check out:
      for a good comparison between VT and VTI.

      I guess the Swiss are able to buy VT and VTI because they don’t fall under EU legislation?

      • Susanna says

        Thanks Mrs EconoWiser,
        (I feel we got a message from such a celebrity! 😀)
        We’re not Swiss, but live in Switzerland. I don’t know if it is a legislation thing, we just opened an account with IB (seat is Ireland) and just transfer funds there and just buy VT – that’s it.

        We are not financial tech people and use the IB interface at its most basic-basic level. We used the Mustachian Post tutorials mostly, and figured out the rest ourselves. Perhaps this helps?

        I was honestly wondering if VT was a good choice because it is an ETF and VTSAX is not. But as I said, it is difficult for us to understand the difference exactly.

        All the best and thank you again, perhaps this was helpful for you too!!

  17. RO says

    Hi All,

    I am living and working in Vietnam and just opened an Etrade account via which I am investing in Vanguard funds- easy!

  18. Dries says

    I’m from Europe (Belgium). There’s a workaround to obtain VTSAX in Europe.

    After reading – studying actually – the stock series blog posts and the simple path to wealth, I started looking to buy VTSAX which is not available in Europe. However, we can buy ETFs and the ETF version of VTSAX is VTI. Performance and TER are basically identical.

    The issue for Europeans: new rules since early 2019 have made it impossible for Europeans to buy ETFs that don’t have an investment product fiche in the local language. VTI has no info in e.g. French, Dutch etc… and is therefore blocked from buying.

    The good news: there’s a workaround. Buy writing a put option for VTI (you sell someone the right to sell you VTI shares in the future for a price you agree on now), I was able to obtain VTI shares. This is not something for absolute beginners, but if you’re like me and want to stick as close to the simple path to wealth as possible, this is the way to go. You could do the same for VBTLX by buying BND.

    Currency risk: with VTI your portfolio is in USD. That’s a risk for Europeans. During the recent bear market due to Covid 19, I found out that the drop was mitigated because in times of crises the USD is still the go to currency and became more expensive vs the Euro.

    And @Jim: I’ve converted my entire strategy from investing in individual stocks to the simple path strategy. Currently the proud owner of 4512 VTI shares. Fits perfectly in my ambition to live a simple life as a minimalist. My biggest challenge is still to dare to FIRE and simply enjoy at my age of 44. Or more precisely: find an occupation when FIREd. Thanks again for all the blogs!

    • Jérôme says

      Hi Dries,

      I’m also from Belgium and had some questions about this topic. Since you look like pretty knowledgeable and expert on the matter, would it be possible to get in contact?



  19. Giorgos says

    Hello and thank you for giving us great (also free) financial education.
    I am an investor from Greece. I’m invested totally in VUSA through the dutch broker degiro. Do you believe that VWRL is a better choice?

    • Michele says

      I have the same doubt but it depends on where (geographically) we want to invest.
      The VWRL is a global etf with only 55% in US while VUSA is 99% investing in US.
      Are you only investing in VUSA or you also found out a good Bond to replicate the VBTLX in Europe?

      • EconoWiser says


        I think VUSA is a great choice, for all the reasons JL states about those US based companies in it operating on an international level and therefore you’re still buying international through those companies.

        However, in the near or distant future things might shift and one might want to (slowly start buying) a global ETF.

        Hope this helps!

        • Ricky says

          Hi im a UK resident wanting to start investing now as im 18. In this stock series it is reccomended to put 100% in VTSAX.
          Would the closest thing to this in the UK would be the…

          As youve stated times may shift should i just invest in this fund and nothing else or invest in the VWRL along side it, or go for the LS100 as that is a popular approach in the UK.

          Sorry for all the questions would just like some advice as most of the advice seems geared to American citizens or European excluding UK

  20. harvardbmw says

    I’m not sure if my questions are relevant, but I’ll ask anyway:
    I’m a US resident (only for tax purposes) and currently own VTSAX. I assume that once I leave the US I won’t be a US resident anymore sineI don’t have a green card).
    As a nonresident can I keep my VTSAX while I’m abroad? What are the tax implications?
    I would appreciate any help.

    Thank you!

    • Reynolds says

      No. Foreign people cannot buy mutual funds under the FATCA law. You either have to convert them into VTI, the ETF version of vtsax or cash out.

      • Forastero says

        I spoke with Vanguard on the phone yesterday to address this point as we plan to retire from the US to the EU some time soon. They said that it will be possible to keep my US Vanguard account open and operate as a non-resident alien after having renounced a US citizenship or Green Card.

        Doesn’t resolve the estate tax problem though 🙁

  21. Michele says

    Hi all, I am Italian and looking at the vanguard’s website here, I think the best options are VUSA and VUTY to replicate VTSAX and VBTLX.
    They are cheap and available on DEGIRO broker.
    What do you think about it?

    • Matteo says

      Ciao Michele. Purtroppo come avrai visto per noi italiani la maggior parte dei fondi/etf di cui parlano non sono accessibili.. su cosa ti sei orientato alla fine?
      Io avevo anche visto un etf azionario globale che mi sembrava una buona scelta
      “ ishares CORE MSCI world ucis etf usd (acc)

      • Michele says

        Ciao Matteo, io ho optato per VUSA alla fine perchè volevo un etf espressamente di Vanguard ed esposto solo su US.
        Adesso sto valutando se prenderne uno Globale come VWRL oppure solo Paesi emergenti come VFEM

        • Francesco says

          Hi Guys,
          Qualche blog interessante per investitori italiani in Italia dove discutere e confrontarci? Metodi per ottimizzare la, ahimè,alta tassazione capital gain? Magari possiamo sentirci per email e scambiare idee.

          • Carmelo says

            Ciao ragazzi.

            Ottima idea quella di Francesco.

            Posso sapere cosa (se c’è) non vi convince del VWCE?

  22. Gary says

    Dear Jim.

    I really need help.

    I have read your book, multiple times cover to cover and you have completely transformed my life, so thank you.

    My girlfriend is now starting to understand FI and interested in getting involved however she is struggling to understand how an index fund earns compound interest.

    Her argument is an index fund does not pay interest so how can it increase in compound interest?!

    I was wondering if your daughter may have had the same difficulty understanding and if you had any easy to understand post or video that I could show her to explain this to her. I feel awful that I have got her interested but cannot explain her simple questions in easy to understand format so I thought I would come to the man that made it seem all so simple to me.

    Any help would be really appreciated. Thank you for everything that you do.


  23. Jim G says

    I’m in the UK and currently invested fully in LifeStrategy 100 via Vanguard UK. What would be the benefits of switching to FTSE All-World fund?

  24. Primfire says

    Hi All,
    Thank you for the wonderful information. I am based in London, UK and am new to index investing with Vanguard and had a couple of questions, that I’d be really grateful if you would be able to answer. Firstly, I would be considering an allocation of 90% Equity and 10% Bonds. In the UK the ISA is the Tax Free Account (free from dividend, interest and CGT) with an annual limit of 20k, whereas the GIA is taxed on dividends, interest and CGT regardless of whether or not I were to choose income or accumulation units. I intend to achieve FI and live of my portfolio by withdrawing 3-7% per annum. My question would be would it be best to put 100% bonds in my 20k ISA annually – or a mix of bonds and equities in order to get some Capital Growth? And then in my GIA should I only put Equities as that way upon withdrawals I would only be charged CGT as opposed to income tax which is much higher than CGT? Secondly, being from London but with a love of the USA I am wondering if it would be better to go for the FTSE Global All Cap Index Fund (0.23%) or the US Equity Fund (0.10%) (The uk equivalent of VSTAX)?

  25. Joshua says

    Hello Everyone,
    My wife and I are new to the FI movement, and we are trying to figure out how we should invest now that we are debt free. She is European, and I am American. All of our working/investing years will be in the US, but we are considering permanently living in Europe sometime after we reach FI. We will be using Vanguard, and our main concern is how to transfer our investment from the US. Would VTWAX solve our situation?
    Thank you so much Mr. Collins

    • Forastero says

      Hi Joshua,
      When transferring assets from the US to Europe, everything depends on where you will be retiring (EU, UK, somewhere else?) Look to see if the country where you would like to retire has an income tax and estate tax treaty with the US and, if so, read the treaties and technical notes that accompany them.

      I would do the background reading now as it could affect how you invest today. For example, Roth accounts are taken into account in the UK/US treaty but not in the French one and so it doesn’t make much sense to invest in Roth accounts if you plan on moving to France as you will possibly/probably be taxed twice.

      If your wife plans to renounce a Green Card or you plan to renounce your citizenship, research the exit tax/HEART act. It is not in your interest to become a covered expat under any circumstances!

      If your employer offers a match, it is probably in your interests to invest in a 401k until you go to Europe. Within the 401k invest in whatever you feel comfortable with (VTSAX, VTI, whatever), what you invest in will not affect how you will take that money to Europe (JL has an article on buckets in the stock series if you don’t see why).

      The bogleheads forum is a good place to look up US investing issues when moving internationally (TedSwippet is the forum expert).
      Best of luck

  26. Daniel says

    Hello Mrs. Econowiser,
    first and foremost, thank you for the informative post!

    I would like however to raise some questions regarding a few aspects I didn’t quite understand, any feedback would be much appreciated:

    – as far as I could research it, Europeans are prohibited from buying non-UCITS ETF’s since they have no KIID prospectus (Is there also a Dutch law prohibiting Dutch nationals from holding dollar only funds?), so basically for an EU national, investing (in dollars) in US domiciled ETFs is not really an option if they want to keep things relatively simple, right?
    – since most EU nationals won’t be buying from Vanguard directly but through a broker, are there any financial (or other) benefits in insisting on a Vanguard ETF versus a similar (reputable) ETF tracking the same index, having the same TER and the same portfolio size?
    – now I do not know about Dutch laws and why an accumulating ETF is not advantageous to you for tax reasons (you touched on this in earlier comments), however am I right in assuming that generally, an accumulating ETF is the way to go since there is less hassle and less expense in reinvesting the dividends manually? – regarding Irish DWT (dividend withholding tax), according to the website of the Irish revenue service (point 6 of the website you linked above), to the best of my understanding, non-Irish residents are exempt from DWT (as long as they are tax residents in other EU member states or countries with tax agreements). I really had a scare when reading your point about DWT, so could you please confirm if I’m wrong here?
    – finally a question to both you and Mr. Collins, (a point he touched on in his stock series, but I would like to hear your fresh take on it today): since the global economy is so interconnected, are there any downsides for a European investor to just put their money into an S&P500 fund rather than an All-world fund, since there is a clear advantage on TER?

    Thank you!

    • Un4Seen says

      Daniel, these are great questions and I’d be happy to see them answered. Have you, by any chance figured them out since you have posted them?

  27. HEONG KEONG GOH says

    Hi, I am Dr Goh HK, I have started a blog after learning what I learned in this website.
    I am a practicing doctor in Malaysia and made numerous mistakes in my investment journey. After reading Mr Collins book, I think the best way to beat the market is actually riding along with the overall market.
    I am very thankful to you Mr Collins and hopefully can join you for your 2021 Chautauquo

  28. George says

    Great article, thanks and great to see Vanguard in Europe.

    I agree FTSE All-World UCITS ETF (VWRL) – 0.22% charge – is the “best” fund.

    However, I also think that we can reduce fees by going for:
    1. FTSE Developed World UCITS ETF (VEVE) – 0.12% charge – as 90% of our portfolio
    2. and FTSE Emerging Markets UCITS ETF (VFEM) – 0.22% charge – as 10% of our portfolio.

    This *should* give us the exact same portfolio as VWRL. Does anyone else agree/disagree or have they done the same? Thanks!

    • Hk Goh says

      I invest 65 percent in VUSD, 20 percent in VWRD and 15 percent in bonds, VDTY. For Malaysians n Singaporeans, I think these are the best we can get.

  29. John says

    The Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF isn’t an Accumulation and I was wondering what that could potentially mean in fee’s when reinvesting the yield?

    I can invest into my SIPP wrapper with Vanguard (Self Invested Pension) so gain all the tax benefits.

    I am UK based and looking for closest to VTSAX or Global Index.

    I found the following on Vanguard.

    U.S. Equity Index Fund – Accumulation (0.10%), similar to VTSAX?
    FTSE Global All Cap Index Fund – Accumulation (includes small caps) – 0.23%
    FTSE All-World UCITS ETF (VWRL) 0.22%

    What are your thoughts?

    • Olek says

      Actually, there are two versions of Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF:
      distributing (IE00B3RBWM25) and accumulating (IE00BK5BQT80). Both have 0.22% TER.

    • Ricky says

      Hi im also a UK investor and in the same situation as you. Researched the closest to VTSAX which was as you stated the U.S. Equity Index Fund.
      Also the Total world index fund is also the closest to the Glabal fund.

      Just a question…
      How are you allocating your investments as in percentage wise and is there any reason you are not just settling for the LS100?

    • Olek says

      If you’re an European, why would you limit your long-term investments only to 500 companies listed on US stock exchange?

      • Michele says

        I disagree. If you are European, it doesn’t mean you should invest in Europe or in Total market etfs.
        It’s totally up to us where to put our money.
        I think for example that US is still the best market out there..

        • Olek says

          Historically, US market was very strong, however no one knows if it will stay this way forever. I don’t try to guess and invest global.

          • Jerome says

            Hello, I’m French and in 2016, I made the choice to invest exclusively in the sp500. For the past few months, i’ve added an etf that replicates the long-term treasury bond index.

          • Ricky says

            So what percentage do you allocate your funds? Do you invest in VTSAX + Global or something else?
            If so why?

  30. Hk Goh says

    I am using VDTY ( Treasury bond) as my bond ETFs. There is no US total bond index listed in Europe. You can combine VDCP which is a US corporate bond if you want. For BND, about 17 percent of it is corporate bonds.

  31. Fernan says

    Hi! I’m from Argentina!
    I’m actually trying to read the stock series and have doubts about how I could do it from here, so this post inspired me to start looking.
    If you are interested, our coin, the “peso Argentino”, it’s very devaluated, we live in constant inflation, we mostly put our saves in dollars, but there is a catch, the actual government puts a limit to how much we can buy for a month, maybe this sounds weird to you but it’s not the first time that happens through the years.
    So I can only buy 200 dollars every month, (if i can) and try to invest them. and these vanguard guys sound very good but imagine my fear when I have to put all my saves in another country far away. So here I am, reading and thinking.
    I will try to find some index found similar here, in my local stock market, but I don’t think that it will be as much as efficient.
    If anyone of Latinoamerica reads these I really appreciate some guidance. for now, I check the vanguard page.
    I love the blog! keep it up!

  32. Harry Satterthwaite says

    Hi All,

    Having recently read JL Collins The Simple Path To Wealth and being a UK resident and tax payer, I went on a path to find the best equity investment index for the lowest expense ratio. I have found the following and would appreciate it if someone could comment to confirm I am on the right track and aligning with JL Collins advice contained within the book. I am 24 years old so have a long accumulation career ahead of me! are currently offering ‘U.S. Equity Index Fund – Accumulating’ which has a OCF @ 0.10% plus an annual Vanguard account fee of 0.15% capped at £375.00 (so portfolio at £250,000) total ~0.25% depending on portfolio size. A few questions with this index fund:

    1. Is it the closest UK Vanguard fund aligned with the US Vanguard VTSAX?
    2. Will there be an issue with currency exchange from GBP to USD?
    3. Is there generally anything to note or be concerned about with this fund?
    4. Would 0.25% overall fee generally be considered ‘reasonable’? I note US Vanguard fee for VTSAX has an expense ratio of 0.04% and they don’t appear to charge annual account fees. The overall variance being 0.21%.
    5. Alternatively, there is the S&P 500 UCITS ETC with a lower OCF of o.7%. Would the lower OCF be advantageous or better to gain exposure to the whole US stock market albeit with a slightly higher cost? What exactly is an ETC?
    6. What would the closest Bond alternative be to VBTLX?

    Additionally, in terms of tax efficiencies, obviously the UK tax structure is very different to that of the US. Would the correct UK efficiency hierarchy be correct as follows:

    1. Make use of Government Workplace Pension Scheme and match whatever your company does up to their maximum amount. Ensure to invest in something aligned closely with VTSAX if not available as above via Vanguard.
    2. Invest the remaining amount in a Vanguard SIPP to take advantage of the HMRC tax relief. Total yearly contribution for 20/21 is £40,000 so less anything contributed in point 1 above
    3. Invest your ISA amount which for year 20/21 is £20,000
    4. Should you have anything further remaining, invest in a Vanguard General Account

    Advice much appreciated,


    Harry Satterthwaite

    • Ricky says

      Hi i am in a very similar situation to you as im a UK resident and looking to start out on this indexing jounrey.
      So will try answer your questions and would aslo like to know what you chose as your funds and if you have found any answers to your own questions.

      1) Yes from my research the U.S. Equity Index Fund – Accumulating is the closest thing to VTSAX in the UK
      3) Nothing concerning as like JL collins states America is globalised through its companies, so surley for the longterm this fund will be great.
      However as new markets are emerging and there possibly could be a new powerhouse in the future. It would aslo be a good choice to diversify with a global fund eg)VWRL.
      6) U.K. Government Bond Index Fund – Accumulation

  33. Miguel says

    Hi everyone!

    I have recently become familiar with index funding after reading a few books (The simple path to wealth, among others).

    I am now at the point of choosing where to invest, and I am struggling to understand what are the differences and implications – if any – (taxes withholding, dividends, etc) between the following two funds:

    – Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF (EUR) | VWRL [isin: IE00B3RBWM25] and
    – Vanguard Global Stock Index Fund Investor EUR Accumulation [isin: IE00B03HCZ61]

    My broker offers the second one, but not the first one, and I am trying to understand the differences before starting my index path.

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Jan says

      Hi Miguel,

      Both are index funds. The second one is a regular Mutual fund, the first one is an exchange traded fund (ETF).

      About the mutual fund:

      About the ETF

      Both are roughly similar in composition. As always, it comes down to cost. How much does your broker charge per purchase? Is there a cheaper alternative available?

      And secondly, make sure you’re aware of tax implications. The mutual fund is accumulating, which means no dividends are paid out to the investor; they’re immediately reinvested instead.
      The Vanguard ETF is „distributing“, which means dividends are paid out and taxes may apply. Always do your own research regarding taxes or ask a professional.

      Good luck!

      • Miguel Ruiz says

        Thanks Jan!

        It seems that mutual fund is better option for me, having no fees from my broker (CNMV regulated), and only 0.18 % Vanguards.

        Appreciate very much your response.

  34. John says

    Hi everybody my name is John, I am from Germany. I wonder why no one of you would put all your money simply into an Vanguard S&P 500 ETF as recommended in the book?

    The TER on Vanguard S&P 500 is among the lowest I could find (0.07%) and the average return used to be extremely attractive compared to most of the alternatives.

    What exactly is the reason not to put my money into an S&P 500 as an european based investor? Why would it be more risky to me than to an american based investor?

    Thanking you in advance, John 🙂

    • Jan says

      Good question. While it is true that many companies that constitute the SP are global players, it’s still a US-Focused index. There’s no guarantee that the US markets will, as a whole, continue to outperform.

      You are of course free to bet on US outperformance to continue…

      The Vanguard FTSE All World ETF is 50% allocated to US assets. Quite enough IMHO, given the current (august 2020) overvaluation of many US assets.

  35. Dr Goh H says

    Dear John,
    That’s a good question. According to John Bogle, founder of Vanguard, investors do not need to own international stocks other than US stocks. But the world is rapidly changing. We can’t deny that the USA is currently the biggest economy of the world but what will happen after 20,30 or 50 years from now?
    I still believe we should own some international stocks and I allocate 20% of my funds into VWRD. The cost of VWRD is 0.22% and it is certainly higher than VUSD ( which is 0.07%).

  36. Grant says

    Interesting read from a UK investor. One topic that has not been discussed whilst evaluating the VWRL fund is selecting a similar product that adhered to ethical, social and governance investing i.e excluding non renewable energy/weapons etc from your portfolio.
    Vanguard have a fund named: ESG Developed World All Cap Equity Index Fund – Accumulation. This fund is similar to VWRL in that it holds 3,964 stocks across the globe. The added bonus here is that looking at the past 5yrs of data this has outperformed VWRL by nearly 3.5% !
    I was curious to hear some arguments as to why this fund wouldn’t be the choice of European investors when comparing to VWRL? Not only are you investing in better companies for the sake the planet it appears that it may also generate better returns.
    Thank you

  37. Gaurav Sobti says

    I am from India, please advice which index fund to go for and why.

    I have done my own research and confused between SBI Nifty 50 Index Fund and HDFC Nifty 50.

  38. giulio says

    HI all, just discovered the blog!

    Quick question

    I am a Uk resident and I am considering of Inveting trough Vanguard too and more specifically buying VTSAX. However as far as I have understood in Europe we can’t buy in directly. What about buying VTSAX using a third party broker like Interactive Brokers? Is it anny good or too “complex” and expensive. How does it compare VS buying ETS’s directly fom Vanguard UK?\

    Hope it makes sense?



  39. Sam says

    Hello everybody

    I am trying to get started and while this part was very quick on that post, which is find a broker, a cheap one..
    There are many great low fees or even free ones, like Degiro, trading212 and IBKR….

    My real problem and it’s a big deal for me, is protection against malfunction and banckruptcy of the broker. While many posts talks about investing, I have made an intensive research and found out that you are never actually risk free.

    In Europe I mean.. if you’re in US or Canada, you’re lucky as your local regulators not only regulate the broker, but you also have insurance schemes that covers you up to USD 500000 in US and even 1M CAD in Canada…. In Europe though, EU based brokers like Degiro or any other, are only covered up to 20,000 Eur.
    While these brokers are regulated by local entities (for example for Degiro, AFM in NL), This doesn’t prevent criminal acts or frauds, actually AFM has just fined Degiro for non complying and putting investors in danger.
    Even the biggest broker, IBKR, was recently fined I think 35M USD or so for AML and others..

    I was leaning towards IBKR as it’s UK entity covers up to 85,000 GBP, however, with Brexit close, IBKR is moving it’s EU based clients that were on the UK entity to a new entity based in Luxomborg, again with the lousy small coverage of 20,000 Eur.

    I find it amazing how in Europe, we pay the highest taxes and get the lousiest protection !

    Can anyone share with me their opinion on the topic? I want to get started, but I also don’t want to be risking my capital, especially at times where big names going bankrupt is not so uncommon.

    Cheers from an expat living in Portugal !

    Reply ↓

    • says

      Very good question.

      Protections in case of bankruptcy is also critical. Again, your protection with IB will depend on where you are domiciled. The SIPC will protect US Investors. SIPC protects your assets up to 500K USD. On the other hand, SIPC will only protect your cash up to 250K USD.

      For European investors, it is a bit more complicated than that. Your protection will depend on what you are trading. With forex, CFDs, and non-US options and futures, you are protected by the FCA, up to 85K GBP. For stocks, bonds, funds, and US options, you are protected by the SIPC, up to 500K USD (cash is only protected with 250K USD).

      IB has another program that allows you to insure more than that. Also, in general, your shares are held in your name and not in the name of the broker. In that case, you should be able to recover all your shares if it fails. But it could take time.

      Another major benefit of doing business with IBKR is that it does not carry any proprietary inventory. IBKR solely acts as a facilitator for client trading and does not make any directional bets. Two of the most significant broker-dealer bankruptcies of the past decade (Lehman Brothers and MF Global) were caused by the risk generated from proprietary holdings.

      Since IBKR does not make proprietary bets, the risk of IBKR going bankrupt and client funds being tied up in a liquidation is significantly less than other broker-dealers that which take proprietary positions. Additionally, IBKR’s clients do not have to worry about their broker making proprietary bets against them.

      You can contact me in telegram @Its_kal_el

      • Sam says

        Please don’t steer the conversation away from the main concern, which is HOW ARE EUROPEANS COVERED OR INSURED.

        I was leaning towards IBKR as it’s UK entity covers up to 85,000 GBP, however, with Brexit close, IBKR is moving it’s EU based clients that were on the UK entity to a new entity based in Luxomborg, again with the lousy small coverage of 20,000 Eur.

        So it’s always a risk of capital for anyone in EU !!

  40. Ricky says

    Hi im a UK resident wanting to start investing now as im 18. In this stock series it is reccomended to put 100% in VTSAX.
    Would the closest thing to this in the UK would be the…

    So should i just invest in this fund and nothing else or invest in the VWRL along side it, or go for the LS100 as that is a popular approach in the UK.

    Would just like some advice as most of the advice seems geared to American citizens or European excluding UK

    • G.K. says

      You should look into opening an ISA (tax wrapper) with Vanguard direclty. I was happy to find out here in the UK we can directly deal with Vanguard and any gains/growth inside the ISA is tax free. Forever. You can contribute a max of 20kish per year but there are other ‘ISAs’ available. Do your own research to check what suits you.

      P.s VWRL is the one-stop shop. It covers the globe that’s pretty much as diverse as you can get…

      Again, do some more research, you’ll end up learning a lot and it might spark something, just a thought.

  41. says

    Greetings from Cyprus 🙂

    I am so glad to see so many people from so many countries discussing investing and creating long term growth! I make my investments through interactive brokers.

    The strategy I am following is a 100% equity portfolio, 70% US, and 30% International. The 70% US is allocated in 35% LCV (Large Cap Value), 35% SCV (Small Cap Value) and the 30% international is allocated in 12% LCV, 12% SCV, and 6% in Emerging markets.

    The UCITS ETFs that I have invested are the following

    iShares Core S&P 500 UCITS ETF (35%)

    iShares MSCI USA Small Cap UCITS ETF (35%)

    iShares Core MSCI Europe UCITS ETF EUR (Acc) (12%)

    iShares MSCI EMU Small Cap UCITS ETF (12%)

    iShares Core MSCI EM IMI UCITS ETF (6%)

    I have recently created my blog as I want to spread the word about how important investing is and make an impact on people’s life. I wrote a detailed article about this strategy. I don’t know if I am allowed to post my article here, but I will as we have common ground if it’s prohibited the admin can take it down.

    As a European investor, I am very happy I came across this article and this blog, and for sure from now I will be visiting it daily.

  42. Markus M. says

    In theory and logical it makes sence to invest in a global index fund instead the S&P 500. But practical it is very probable to get lower returns, because there are good reasons why US stocks performed better in the past. Investing in so many different markets with a global index fund is like an insurance product, more security will costs you money. Of course one thing is for sure, the advantage of the US stocks will not last forever. But nobody can predict when this will change. Investing in non-us stocks is betting this change will happen in the near future. But it is probable that US stocks will perform better then non-us stocks for another 50 years.

    I live in germany and I for myself think the returns of the S&P 500 will not be as good like in the past, but I think in the worst case it will be still as good as the return of a global index fund. With non-us stocks I have a higher risk of underperforming because the non-us countries still haven’t the corporate culture which benefits shareholder like in the US. The most non-us companies are bad capital allocators and doesn’t return much money to the shareholders. This is why non-us stocks performing so bad. An extreme example are japanese companies, where the shareholder is the last thing for what the management is working for. No other country has this long history of shareholder friendly culture like the US and I see no signs, that other countries will adapt to this culture. If the US economy will doing worse, the S&P 500 companies will still earn a lot of money because 40-50% of the revenues comes from outside the US and then I bet this exposure will increase.

    I also see no currency risk for european investors in the long run, as long as the S&P 500 has so much revenues outside the US, because if the US-Dollar devaluate against other currencies, then the company-profits in other currencies will increase. So the earnings of international diversified US companies will be stable and the earnings are what drives the stock prices in the long run.

    • Michele says

      These are my thoughts as well.
      So that’s why I am fully invested with VUSA right now.
      If I see a change in 10-20 years, I can always buy another ETF to consider Emerging Markets or Europe as well but I think we are not close yet..

  43. Jasper says

    Thanks for the insights. As a Dutch private investor I invest most of my money in Vanguard funds. Vanguard S&P 500 for my pension and Vanguard FTSE All World for the study of my son. In Holland you can buy both of them without transaction fees.

  44. Peter Minev says

    Thanks for the valuable article. Living in Germany I’ve face the challenges with a bit of irrelevant information quite a lot, e.g. very popular trading platforms, which are not accessible outside USA.

    I’ll definitely review Vanguard in more details, thanks for the EU friendly recommendation 🙂

  45. Dereck says

    Thanks for a great article. I’ve recently relocated to France and started looking at options to invest in ETF’s.

    I called Vanguard an in France and it’s only open to retail investors, the minimum amount has increased from 500K to 1M. Also as a retail investor you do not get access to the platform and have to deal with the trading agent directly.

    I see you can open an account directly in the UK hopefully this comes to the rest of the EU at some point. My question now is if you have any recommendations for IB’s in France? I’m not a native French speak so struggling on the google front.

    • Borja O. says

      Hi Dereck.

      I live in France too (I’m from Spain).

      I’ve discovered uncle Jim and the Index Funds during this last two weeks. I’m investing in Vanguard’s ETFs on an online broker called saxobank (I’m not related to them in any way). I only pay the commission when I buy or sell. It is 2,5€ for less than 1000€ operations, 5€ for operations between 1000€ and 5000€, etc. If you find better conditions, please, tell me.

      If you are going to stay in France for more than 5 years and you will be paying taxes in France, maybe you can take a look at PEA investment accounts (on any broker in France). If you don’t extract money from them during at least 5 years, you won’t pay part of the taxes (just the social security contribution part). The only problem is that you have to invest in French or European (EU) companies or funds.

      As I already had some money on a PEA account, I’ve selected a Vanguard’s ETF (FTSE Developed Europe ex UK UCITS ETF (VERX, ER .10%)). I will invest the new periodic deposits on a regular investment account on the same online broker and I will choose the Vanguard’s ETF S&P 500 UCITS ETF (VUSA, ER .07%). I have other possibilities, as FTSE All-World UCITS ETF (VWRL), but its ER is .22% and I prefer the even lower cost of the S&P 500 one.

      If you find some other interesting opportunities, let me know.

      Regards and good luck!

  46. nnamdi says

    Your thoughts on vanguard FTSE Developed World ex-U.K.

    I currently invest in this fund but don’t see it recommend, it has lower cost and great performance

    Am I missing anything?

  47. Giorgos says

    Hello! Thanks for the great info!

    Some online brokers charge a fee of 1€+3% of the dividend, when a dividend is issued every quarter. Does it make a difference in the long run. I tried to calculate the and the investment return is reduced by aprox. 0,05% for last year ,e.g. 8,5% instead of 8,55%. Is it a significant cost in the long run, given that I only invest in extremely low-cost ETFs of Vanguard?


  48. Giorgos says

    Hello! Thanks for the great info!

    Some online brokers charge a fee of 1€+3% of the dividend, when a dividend is issued every quarter. I tried to calculate the and the investment return is reduced by aprox. 0,05% for last year ,e.g. 8,5% instead of 8,55%. Is it a significant cost in the long run, given that I only invest in extremely low-cost ETFs of Vanguard?


  49. ba32107 says


    Thank you for this great article, it’s very useful. However, I am pretty sure that the “Before We KISS, There’s The Tax Thing” section is wrong. No EU citizen has to pay withholding tax to the Irish government.


    Can you please update this article, as this is going to be very scary and confusing to potential investors when they read about it the first time.

    • Alina says


      It was a bit confusing for me too. I just finished reading this post and things have changed (luckily) – there’s no tax applied for non-Irish investors holding Ireland domiciled ETFs. But your home country surely applies one!

      This post made me more aware of the different fees and taxes, to be careful about and do my own research. I very much appreciate the effort of writing it and sharing all this information!

      Thank you!

  50. Philipp says

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks so much for all this super helpful thread and discussion.

    I am currently based in the UK (where I work and pay tax), but German. I plan to return to Germany within the next 1-2 years. How do I invest in index funds?

    1. Can I open an account with a broker in Germany to buy ETFs there? I assumed that this would be possible as long as I then paid my taxes on the gains in Germany. However, brokers like TradeRepublic say that you can’t open an account with them unless you’re a German (tax) resident. Is this correct?

    2. In case I can’t invest in Germany at the moment, does it make sense to invest in the UK for now? Is there a way to transfer my holdings to Germany when I move? What do I need to consider and what risks are there? E.g. would I need to use a broker that operates both in the UK and Germany? Are there any risks around currency fluctuations?

    I would be super grateful for any advice!


  51. ba32107 says

    Hi Philipp,

    I’m in the same shoes as you. Currently living in the UK, planning to return to my home country in the EU in the next few years. I’ve spent a lot of time researching this topic, so I think I can help you out.

    Since you’re currently a UK tax resident, it makes a lot of sense to start investing here. You also have a generous tax-free allowance, so it makes sense to use it. You basically have three options:
    1. You choose a broker that operates in both countries. Even if you find one (I believe Interactive Brokers might do), you might still need to have your portfolio moved within the multi-country broker. I recommend messaging the would-be broker to find out.
    2. You invest in a UK broker now, and try to have your portfolio transferred to a German one when you move. The upside is that you move your holding as is, no need to pay tax. However, make sure to ask your would-be broker if they can transfer to another country before you open an account.
    3. The simplest option: you invest in the UK now and not worry about the move. When the time comes, you liquidate all your holdings, transfer your cash to Germany (via Transferwise), then open a brokerage account there and continue investing. This is the route I’m taking.

    I went with the 3rd option because the other options either limit me with my broker of choice or my fund of choice (e.g. you’d need to invest in something that will ALSO be available in Germany). Here I want to invest in a specific fund that is only available in the UK.

    Additionally, if you have under £20000 to invest, you can put everything into an ISA account. Then any gain and dividend will be tax free. This is really important: when you move, you can simply sell everything in your ISA, don’t pay any tax, and you start with a clean slate in Germany. This is better than moving your portfolio, because you’re already at a tax advantage.

    If you have more than £20000 to invest, then you’ll also need to open a general trading account, and take the capital gains tax penalty when you move. If you move in 1-2 years, this is not going to be too much to be a pain.

    The only risk is, if your investment is in the red when you’re planning to move, then you can only sell it as a loss. What you can do in this case is, just leave it here in the UK – most brokers will allow you to keep the account open, although you won’t be able to pay additional money into it.

  52. Sebastian says

    Late to the party.
    The FIRE-Movement won’t work in Europe as it does in USA.

    20.000 left when your broker goes bankrupt sucks and leaves someone to jump out of his / her window.
    (Assume you have half a million in it)

    If you want to be secure you need 25 different brokers.

    Have fun with your taxes.

  53. Jan says

    When you are located in The Netherlands and consider all costs related to investing in 2021 your best options for fund/broker in an all world stock portfolio are:
    -Northern Trust World + EM via ABN AMRO Bank
    -Vanguard VWCE via DeGIRO kernselectie (since april 2021)
    -VTI/VXUS with options through Interactive Broker (quite complex and only for 100k+>)

    • Raf says

      Hi Jan, thanks for these suggestions. I’m curious about how you came to these three, and how they compare to the Vanguard FTSE All-World ETF that Mrs. EconoWiser suggests in the article. I’ve just started learning about investing and I welcome any advice in furthering my own research. Groet!

  54. Ana says

    How about for US Citizens living in an European country? Can we keep investing in our US Vanguard accounts, as we were before leaving the US? Should we leave those accounts alone and look for brokers in Europe who invest in Vanguard funds?

  55. Emma says

    Hello there,

    I wonder if there is any update to this topic in a post-Brexit world?

    I’m a British national, now living and paying tax in Spain. I cannot invest in Vanguard in the UK anymore (big sad face)…or can I?

    I am also a UK tax payer due to (very small) property rental income. So, can I continue to invest in Vanguard UK account despite being a non-resident tax payer?

    I arrived in Spain and received my residency permit before Brexit but during the transition period so I have no idea what my rights are.

    Any advice would be very welcome as my own research is not providing answers so far.

    Big thanks,

  56. KARMEN says

    The truth is that we have been economically affected by this pandemic and not only in Spain, throughout the world. I think it is time to broaden our horizons, to minimize the economic impact a bit. My economic activity is consulting in the HR area and I have created a company in the British Virgin Islands with a bank account with Foster Swiss, financial advisers. They guided me and also facilitated the whole process.

  57. Axel says

    Mr Collins, many thanks for all the great content and advices !
    Following your investment philosophy, I’ve been investing for a few months now in a Vanguard Index Fund (VWCE) via a broker (I’m living in Belgium and have no direct access to Vanguard Funds) but I keep asking myself a simple question : I’m 34 and I want to keep investing for the next 30 years in the fund, but what if the broker I’m using (DeGiro) is going out of business over that timespan ? Do I risk to loose all that investment ? Do you have any suggestion to mitigate that risk ?
    Thanks a lot for your help !

  58. Caitlin says

    Hi, I’m based in the UK and I was wondering if anybody knows if JL Collins would recommend the FTSE Global All Cap Index (acc) over the VWRL ETF for somebody who is UK based and in their accumulation phase? I would really appreciate anybody replying as I’ve newly read the simple path to wealth and excited to get started on my investing journey. Thanks, Caitlin

    • Andreos says

      Accordingly with their european website, that’s only for UK, Germany and Switzerland, right? Because from other european countries one can´t access Vanguard’s private investors website.

  59. Zarko says

    Hi All,

    I see a number of comments regarding accumulating ETFs and some are suggesting that it’s a way to avoid paying capital gains tax on dividends since they are automatically reinvested. This is a wrong assumption and very much a subject to country-specific tax regulation. For instance, in Italy the tax laws impose the withholding at source at 26% tax rate on ETFs.



  60. Bobg says

    Seeing as Ireland gets mentioned so many times in this post, I feel the need to post a cautionary message for Irish resident investors to be very careful in incorporating ETFs or funds into any retirement strategy.
    Take the time to research the (archaic and shortsighted, ‘imo’), “deemed disposal rule”.
    There is much positive commentary promoting the use of funds as a diversified strategy, however, this deemed disposal rule could remove much of the compounding benefits from ETF investing for irish residents and take you 8 years to realise it.

  61. Guy says

    Newbie here. Georgian citizen, trying to avoid exchanging currencies, which index can I buy in Euro? I’m using interactive brokers.

  62. OlivierG says

    We are about to start this index investing journey. My wife is American and I am European and currently living and being residents in Asia for a few more years before we move (either to the US or Europe – we have not decided yet).

    Meanwhile we are in Asia, does anybody know whether my wife is able to open an account with Vanguard in the US, even though she resides abroad, to buy the relevant low-cost indexes?

    With respect to my personal situation as European, all I can seem to find is that I should setup a brokerage account to buy the relevant low-cost indexes as Vanguard does not seem to be directly available otherwise. Does anyone happen to know whether how it will work once I change residency with the broker (e.g. IBKR) and whether I am able to simply transfer to another without having to cash-out and reinvest as I would then be worried of tax implications obviously.

    Looking forward for some feedback

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