Choosing a broker is an important step when starting to invest. There are many different options available, so picking the right one for you is challenging. We take a closer look at LYNX, a Dutch broker. We'll look at the pros and cons, the fees, convenience of setting up an account and safety. By the end, you'll be able to decide if LYNX is a right broker for you to invest your savings, or if another broker suits you better.

Pros and cons of using LYNX

✅ Pros of LYNX ❌ Cons of LYNX
Transparent fees Not the cheapest
Large selection of ETFs Targeted for traders
Fractional shares Not easy for beginners
No savings plans

The story of LYNX

LYNX has a real focus on trading! This is from their Dutch website.

LYNX was launched in 2006 in Amsterdam. It's grown to over 300 employees and has offices spread out across ten countries. They formed an initial and crucial partnership with Interactive Brokers which allows them to offer a variety of investment choices. The broker MEXEM also benefits from a partnership like this.

They have over 60,000 customers and provide a variety of access to different exchanges and all types of securities. LYNX is available in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland.

Fees

Fee structure

It's free to create an account. Also, there's no membership fee. So  in most cases, you'll only pay a transaction fee for whenever you buy or sell something.

LYNX have quite a standard fee structure which is based on a commission of each purchase. Let's take a closer look at the pricing:

Transaction fee Minimum fee
Stocks 0.09% €6
ETFs 0.09% €6
Bonds 0.14% €6

External transfer costs are free

LYNX doesn't charge fees to transfer funds away which is a bonus if you're looking to switch brokers down the line.

Fees for ETFs

LYNX isn't the cheapest broker on the market. For instance, it costs €6.00 when buying €1,000 of the popular ETF IWDA by iShares. DEGIRO, MEXEM and even ING Self Invest are cheaper:

Convenience of LYNX

Savings plan ❌ No
Fractional shares ✅ Yes
Customer support ✅ FAQ, email, phone, chat
🇧🇪 TOB ✅ LYNX handles it
🇧🇪 Dividend tax ❌ LYNX doesn't handle all of it
🇧🇪 Reynders tax ❌ LYNX doesn't handle it
🇧🇪 Declare your account to the NBB ❌ You have to do it yourself

Targeted for traders

LYNX offers two trading platforms. On the one hand, a professional trading platform for serious investors. But also a simplified trading platform called "LYNX +" for the investor who does not trade intensively.

LYNX supports 100+ different types of orders. You can run complicated orders like limit orders, market orders, stop, stop limit, market if touched, limit if touched, trail, relative, etc... This means it's a powerful broker, but it also makes it a lot more complex in use. It's clear that LYNX targets the experienced trader rather than the beginning investor.

Automated savings plans

LYNX doesn't offer any saving plans or any type of automation for their customers. You'll have to manually send money towards your account to top it up and then make the trades.

Fractional shares

A popular investment strategy is euro-cost averaging, where you invest periodically instead of investing large lump sums in one go. You invest at fixed times, for instance every month, regardless of how the markets are performing. Most people are paid monthly, so it makes sense for their investments to follow the same pattern. Fortunately LYNX offers fractional shares!

Customer support

LYNX has a good customer service. They respond quickly to emails and answer your questions in a clear and transparent manner. Their FAQ covers most of your queries and they also offer a phone service with a local number for where you're based.

🇧🇪 TOB ("beurstaks" / "taxe boursière")

There’s a tax on the transaction every time you buy or sell a security in Belgium. The rules concerning the tax rate are complicated, also for ETFs. Depending on the characteristics of the ETF, the transaction tax varies between 0.12% and 1.32%.

Fortunately LYNX helps you with this and handles it for you.

🇧🇪 Dividend tax

LYNX helps you with the dividend tax but not fully. In Belgium, any dividend you perceive is taxed at 30%. Accumulating funds, which directly reinvest dividends, are a way around this tax. On the other hand, distributing funds distribute their dividends, which means they're taxable. We spoke with LYNX's customer service team on February 19 2024 to clarify the dividend tax. They let us know that LYNX automatically withholds the dividend tax for the country wherein the dividend was issued, for example on US dividends, they will withhold the US withholding tax. For Belgian dividends, they will withhold the Belgian Tax ("Roerende Voorheffing").

However, as a Belgian resident and LYNX user, you will still have to declare these foreign dividends and the dividend tax that was already paid on Belgian Dividends. For this, LYNX provides an annual statement where you can see your dividend income and the tax that was deducted.

🇧🇪 Reynders tax

For ETFs that consist of at least 10% bonds, there is a 30% tax on the profits made when selling. For example, if you bought a bond ETF  at €100 and end up selling it later for €130, your net profit will only  be €21. The other €9 will go to the Belgian state through this tax.

Unfortunately LYNX doesn't withhold this tax for you. You will have to calculate and declare it yourself.

🇧🇪 Does LYNX require declaring your account to the NBB?

Yes, LYNX is a foreign broker so you have to declare your account to the National Bank of Belgium as well as on your yearly tax declaration. We've written an extensive guide to help you declare your account.

Setting up an account

Let's dig into the details of setting up your LYNX account for the first-time.

🕰️ Time to open an account ❌ 2 to 4 days
🙋 itsme ❌ No
📱 Mobile app ✅ Yes
💻 Web app ✅ Yes
🙂 Ease of use ⭐ 3/5
🧒 Children accounts ❌ No
💑 Joint accounts ✅ Yes

Time to open an account

Setting up an account through the app is possible, although it’s not very user friendly. You need to run through a series of questions concerning security, profile, education, experience, product knowledge, etc… which are easier to answer from a computer rather than on your  mobile phone due to the complexity. After answering the questionnaire, you will receive an e-mail to start your verification, after which your details will be checked and processed. The opening time for your account is between 2 and 4 business days.

LYNX requires a minimum deposit of €3,000 to open up an account.

Create an account on the web

Fill in some forms and create an account in less than 15 minutes on LYNX

Although they don't use itsme, it's still quite easy to register an account using LYNX. You fill in your details, upload your documents stating who you are and then you're account will be reviewed and checked. To open an account, you'll need your IBAN plus a copy of our passport or ID (and €3,000 to cover your first deposit).

Ease of use: 3/5

It can quickly get confusing when using the trading tools on LYNX (powered by Interactive Brokers)

As it's purely a trading app, LYNX shows many details that aren't very relevant to most investors, especially for buy-and-hold index investors. This makes the mobile experience can get quite clunky and fairly difficult to find the information you need to make an investment decision. On the web version, there are far too many options for investors on the beginning of their journey. However, for the more knowledgable investors, the tools LYNX offers are really helpful to provide you the analysis you're seeking. The trading tool they promote is the Trader Workstation (known as TWDS) which has been developed by Interactive Brokers. It can get a bit complicated to use though. That's why we've rated it a 3 out of 5!

Joint accounts

Yes, you're able to set up a joint account with LYNX!

Children accounts

You can't create children accounts. All investments have to be in your name.

You can create a business account but you have to deposit €20,000.

Is LYNX safe?

Regulator AFM (Netherlands)
Past issues with the regulator ✅ No
Protection of financial assets €20,000
Cash safeguarded by deposit guarantee €100,000
Securities lending ❌ Yes (opt-in)
Payment for order flow ✅ No

Who is the regulator?

LYNX is a regulated entity in the Netherlands. Therefore it's under the supervision of the AFM.

Have they had any issues with the regulator?

Based on our research, we can't find any information that LYNX has had any issues with any regulator.

How much of your assets are protected by the investor protection scheme?

Your assets are protected by the standard €20,000 European investor protection scheme as they are based in the EU.

Is your cash protected by the deposit guarantee scheme?

Yes, your money is protected by the Dutch €100,000 deposit guarantee scheme.

Does LYNX do securities lending?

LYNX does participate in securities lending but you have to agree to join the "Stock Yield Enhancement Programme". If you own stocks that are in demand in the securities lending market, LYNX will borrow these stocks, deposit collateral into the client's account, and then lend the shares out. However, you have to opt-in for this service and you can find all the details on their website.

Does LYNX do payment for order flow?

No, They do not do payment for order flow (PFOF). It is an important source of revenue for many new brokers, including another German provider Trade Republic. This practice involves routing your orders to certain market makers, who then pay the broker for the right of executing these orders. PFOF can work at your detriment, as brokers may prioritise payment over executing the best possible trade for you.

We have also compared LYNX with other brokers if you want to dig deeper:

The easier way: Curvo

Brokers push you to trade and to pick individual companies to invest in. Rather than picking individual stocks such as Amazon or Tesla, index funds are a way to buy the whole market, across all sectors and regions of the world. Essentially, you own a small portion of thousands of companies throughout the world. Instead of betting on a particular company, you are placing a bet on the global economy.

Rather than having to pick the right stocks or ETFs among the thousands available through a broker like LYNX, you invest in a portfolio that is tailored to you and your goals. These portfolios are composed of globally diversified index funds, meaning you earn a piece of the growth of the global economy, and they're best suited to make the most of your savings long term. And they're secure, as they're managed by NNEK, a Dutch investment firm under supervision of the regulator in the Netherlands (AFM).

Create an account in minutes through Curvo's app

We believe that investing is an important tool for our generation to improve our financial well-being and to prepare for our future. We are building Curvo to fulfil that vision, by making good investing easy and accessible to all:

  • Diversified portfolio set up for you: The best portfolio for you is built by NNEK based on your time horizon and financial goals. Simply answer a short questionnaire and you’ll get everything set up for you.
  • Automated savings plans: Through Curvo’s app you can set up a monthly contribution from €50. That means that money is automatically invested for you in your portfolio. Put your savings on autopilot!
  • Fractional shares: All the money you send towards your portfolio is fully invested by NNEK. No cash is left on the side.
  • No TOB 🇧🇪 : Significant savings as the portfolios aren’t liable for the Belgian transaction tax (or "TOB"). This saves you between 0.12% and 1.32% for every time you buy or sell!
  • Sustainable investments: Your investments focus on one guiding principle: don’t invest in companies that are considered destructive to the planet. This means that sectors like non-renewable energy, vice products, weapons and controversial companies are all excluded.
  • Project yourself into the future: Through Curvo you can see how much your portfolio is expected to be worth in the future. You can answer questions like “how will increasing my monthly contribution by €50, €100 or €200 affect my long-term savings?” to give a concrete idea for the “future you”.

Learn more on how it compares to investing through a broker.

Summary

LYNX can be an overwhelming broker to use for first-time investors. It's better suited to more experienced traders as it has a variety of options and can get a bit confusing at first. It feels a bit daunting to a first-time investor. The pros of LYNX is that it handles fractional shares and has a transparent fee structure. It also helps by withholding taxes. However, its most important drawback is that it's a bit more expensive in comparison to other European brokers. The fees add up and negatively impact your returns, especially if you're trying to invest on a monthly basis and over the long-term.

Questions you may have

Is LYNX a bank?

No. It's a broker and not a bank. Through a broker, you gain access to the financial markets, where you can buy stocks, ETFs, bonds and even more complex products like financial derivatives.