Living in a tiny country with half a foot in the Arctic has its advantages. There’s the free healthcare system and social security network, plus lots of nature, fresh air and gorgeous scenery. You’ve heard all of that before, I’m sure.
What we don’t have though, is access to many of the services available to our friends in countries like the US, the UK and Australia. Things like travel hacking, free Amazon shipping and Vanguard.
Yup, not even travel hacking. We checked, and in short, there are two companies offering credit cards that earn travel points. One has issues with treating their workers ethically, and the other is expensive. No thank you.
But although we write in English in order to reach a broader audience, we are still occasions when we wish to address some specific tips for our part of the world. Nordnet is one such site (we have no affiliation to Nordnet, we just want to help other Nordic savers). What is Nordnet?
Nordnet is, as far as I understand it, the Nordic equivalent to Vanguard, Betterment, and all the other investing platforms.
It is an investment bank where you can buy shares, stocks and index funds. I’ve only been using their page for a couple of months so far, but have had no issues. You transfer money to your Nordnet account as you would transfer between any other two banks, or you can set up automatic transfer and investment in specific funds.
The good thing about Nordnet, is that instead of having to create one account for each bank or company you want to buy papers in (KLP, Nordea, DnB, etc), you make only one account with Nordnet, and they take care of all the trading for you.
It does seem like banks are moving in the same direction of offering more than just their own stocks and funds as well, but that was not the case when I investigated it in 2017. Plus, my bank took fees whenever I bought anything, which annoyed me, so I am in the process of moving all my (albeit meagre) investments over to Nordnet.
I have found the site easy to use, although the search function can take a little tweaking to find what you are looking for. It also takes a stab at your risk level and other fun analytics.
A word of caution
Some banks, being the greedy institutions that they are, ramp their fees up when you trade through Nordnet compared to buying directly from them. Always make sure to check just how much each fund demand in fees (and if you’re standing between two otherwise similar funds, choose the one with the lowest fees).
Nordnet is a fairly small bank so far, and as such, they run campaigns! The most lucurative of which is Superfondet, or the “super fund”. The super fund is an index fund run by the bank, investing in the respective country (so for me, it is a Norwegian index fund).
The essence of the campaign is that they take 0% fees. They admit themselves that this is a pure marketing strategy. Even if you are only allowed to invest 100k NOK, that is still attractive. I will keep saving in this one every month until it is full.
I am by no means an expert in the investing world. I am risk averse by nature, and stash a lot of my spare change in my emergency fund and tax advantageous mortgage savings account (BSU). I do know that to keep up with inflation though, investing is the better option. But you do have to keep a cool head when the market falls. No panic selling or you’ll be worse off than if you just socked it away in a savings account!
In addition to the Super fund, I have only invested in KLP index funds so far (page in Norwegian). While they are not philantropists, at least they have some ethical guidelines they need to follow. Plus, they are the cheapest index funds I have been able to find in Norway so far. Times may change.
But if you know of anyone else, or someone who invests ethically, be sure to let me know!
In addition to KLP, I keep searching for good funds that invest environmentally sustainable. It is difficult, they are expensive, and I am not entirely sure just how sustainable they really are all the time. I suppose the alternative is to research some proper good companies and invest in stocks, but that sounds terrifying.
Where’s my green, sustainable, fair, planet improving index fund at?