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Choosing a stock trading app is the first step in your investment journey. Unfortunately, picking an online broker isn't exactly a one-size-fits-all approach. In this article, we take a look at some of the best-rated trading platforms available in Australia.
We take a look at some of the best-rated trading platforms available in Australia. Picture Shutterstock
Disclaimer: This information is general and is for educational purposes only. We do not provide financial advice nor does it take into account your financial situation. These platforms can be complex and investors should obtain professional advice from an independent financial advisor where appropriate and make your enquiries. We may receive compensation if you visit their website.
The best share trading platform Australia
Share trading platforms and apps reviewed
While compiling this list, several key features came to mind before making a selection. These included their reputation and compliance with Australian regulations, payment methods (AUD deposit and withdrawal), fees charged and spreads, ease of use, and supporting ASX and US stocks to trade. There were other factors too, but these were used for my evaluation.
Tiger Brokers is a NASDAQ-listed global company (TIGR) providing over 10 million users with access to the world's stock markets. A rapidly growing platform for trading in Australia, their platform Tiger Trade is a share trading platform that is strictly focused on minimal fees. Their slogan is "a better way to master investing". As a new platform, they had a promotion to get USD 50 in fractional shares when you fund your account with at least $500, and brokerage-free trade per month for US and ASX markets, and one of the reasons I started an account with them. Moreover, they have a special promotion: if you fund your account with AUD 1,500, you will receive an extra USD 30 TSLA fractional shares.
Click here to claim USD 80 in free shares (T&Cs apply).
Tiger Trade covers a wide range of financial instruments, including ASX stocks, and US stocks (fractional shares and options). This is a good spread, as it gives it a truly global offering that caters to my investment strategy to diversify my money across several markets rather than put it all behind Australian stocks. Some notable features that stood out were the comprehensive news and insights features, which are great if you use fundamentals in your trading. Moreover, there's access to pre and post-market trading. I should also point out that Tiger Brokers is CHESS-Sponsored which is a pro.
Creating an account and navigating the website and mobile app was a breeze, and I found it straightforward to use the first time around. Where Tiger Trade fell short was their fees. Commissions apply to stock, ETF, and options trades. It's quite confusing to understand and keep tabs on when trading, which is a con. In short, Tiger Trade is a good platform to trade ASX, US, and Asian stocks on one trading platform.
I should also point out that Tiger Trade has been rated highly in trusted review websites such as CANSTAR (Outstanding Value in 2023), Finder Awards 2023 (Highly Recommended), WeMoney in 2023 (best for ETFs), and lastly, Mozo Expert Choice Awards in 2022.
Placing ASX trades will cost you 0.025 per cent trade value. For international markets such as US stocks and indices, the commission rate is USD 0.0099 per share. Other fees may apply so you should check the website for details.
- Wide variety of shares and ETFs.
- Excellent platform and trading app to use.
- No ongoing fees.
- Award-winning investing platform.
Not as well known in Australia.
Disclaimer: Capital at risk.
eToro makes my list of the best-rated trading platforms due to its all-around feature-rich platform and tight compliance with Australian regulations. eToro is a regulated provider that complies with local laws that are enforced by the Australia Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and holds an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) which offered some peace of mind for my funds.
While I knew it was already a well-known share trading platform, most importantly, there were 0 per cent commissions on share trading for NYSE, Nasdaq stocks, and ETFs which gave it a few extra points under the fees criteria. However, there are some other fees I noticed and should be aware of, like withdrawal, inactivity, conversion, and overnight fees. There were spread costs even though there was no set brokerage or commission fee.
With that said, I found getting started on eToro straightforward, and they had several ways to fund an account with AUD. This included credit/debit cards, POLi, bank transfer, and PayPal deposit methods which were highly convenient. What I liked about eToro is that you can buy stocks or a fraction from $10.
Moreover, the ease of use and simplicity of using the eToro platform were stellar. There's a wide range of educational resources and training material for the general public, as well as a $100,000 demo trading platform and Tradingview Charts to practice share trading without risking any money.
If you want to diversify beyond shares, there are also cryptocurrencies, commodities, foreign currencies, and international indices to trade. One feature that stood out was the "copy trade" platform. This is quite a perk as you can find and copy the share trading strategies of successful traders on the eToro platform. However, it can be challenging finding a suitable trader to copy unless you have a thorough understanding of the data.
There are $0 fees when trading stocks on eToro. However, other fees apply such as FX conversion on non-USD deposits and withdrawals ($5). You should check the website for details.
- No commissions on share trading.
- Can buy fractions of shares.
- Wide variety of markets to trade other than securities.
- There are costs to convert AUD to USD.
- $10/month inactivity fee if you don't open the account for 12 months.
eToro AUS Capital Limited AFSL 491139. eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk. See PDS and TMD.
3. IG Share Trading: Best for global stocks and ETFs (4.5/5)
IG Share Trading platform is next on my list of top trading platforms for Australians. It should come as no surprise that one of the main reasons for this is the $0 brokerage fees to trade international shares in the US and UK markets. Moreover, when it came to ASX trading, I noticed the commissions on IG were generally competitive with the other platforms on this list.
A major pro of IG that stood out was the ability to trade many financial instruments such as shares, ETFs, CFDs, futures, options, commodities, and cryptocurrencies to reduce your risk exposure to a particular market, asset, or industry. This included the major companies in Australia such as BHP, Qantas, Commonwealth Bank, Sun Corp, and many others. However, the share trading platforms were separate accounts and a little confusing but its still quite streamlined.
With that said, the user experience on IG was fairly straightforward and even came with a demo account to practice with $20,000 in virtual funds. This is a great feature to get used to the IG trading platform, in addition to the other free resources available. The mobile app could be downloaded easily and was straightforward for placing trades and monitoring your portfolio. You can check out historical prices on the TradingView Charts, perform market analysis, and keep up to date with the latest news and events.
There are $0 brokerage fees for trading international shares. For ASX markets, the commission depends on the number of trades per month. 0-2 trades a month will incur $8/0.1 per cent (whichever is greater). For more than 3 trades a month, the commission rate is $5/0.05 per cent (whichever is greater). Other fees apply and you should check the website for details.
- Trade US stocks with zero commissions.
- Excellent mobile trading app.
- CFD and stock trading platforms are split (need to be separately funded).
- $50 inactivity fee if you make less than 3 trades a month.
4. CMC Markets: Best all-round trading platform (4.5/5)
If you're an aspiring trader or reasonably experienced with advanced charting, then CMC Markets might be a great option for you. What we liked the most about CMC was the amazing selection of trading tools affordable prices, and a wide range of products to satisfy traders.
While it has all the professional trading tools for experienced traders, it's probably still simple enough for beginning investors to use. Particularly, if you want to diversify your cash, CMC tradeable instruments include shares and ETFs, indices, crypto, commodities, Forex, CFDs, and even treasuries (by creating a pro account).
Given its trading platform, this might appeal to day traders. If you're still learning how to trade, CMC Markets also has an extensive suite of educational material for share trading and strategy insights. In short, CMC is one of the best-rated ASX trading platforms if you know what you're doing, otherwise, novices will be better suited to eToro which is considerably a more user-friendly share trading platform for Australians.
$0 brokerage on US, UK, Canada, and Japan shares. There's no commission when trading Aussie shares up to $1,000 then standard fees apply. This makes it a great option if you want to regularly invest in shares. However, the rate for ASX trading jumps to $11.00 or 0.10 per cent after the first $1,000. Other fees do apply so make sure to check the website.
- No commission on ASX trades below $1,000.
- Advanced trading tools and indicators to perform technical analysis.
- Competitive spreads across the board (e.g. 0.2 per cent on the ASX200 index).
- CHESS-sponsored share trades.
- International markets are lacking.
- Commission rates could be more competitive.
- The platform is complicated to navigate and use.
5. Superhero: Best trading platform for simplicity (4.3/5)
A homegrown online trading platform in Australia is Superhero. It has been highly rated on comparison sites such as Canstar, Finder, and Money Magazine, and therefore decided to try it out. As far as benefits go, you can trade ASX shares for as little as $5. Plus, if you want to diversify to the international markets, then Superhero has U.S. share and ETF trading with $0 brokerage fees. They also have a unique perk of earning Qantas Frequent Flyer points on certain trades and transfers.
One of the best aspects I found on Superhero is how clean and simple the trading platform is. I managed to get started in minutes and fund my account with AUD using PayID which is straightforward and supported by most banks in Australia. The simplicity of the platform is second to none. Moreover, Superhero has an auto-invest feature that enables you to dollar-cost-average your money into one of its products (minimum amount of $100). This is an option that I had not considered before to micro-invest with small amounts of money.
After using Superhero for several months, I would say there's not too much to fault about it, and met most of my expectations. In short, it's one of the best share trading platforms in Australia according to my scoring system.
There are $0 brokerage fees on U.S. shares, Aussie shares, and ASX EFTs which makes Superhero one of the cheapest trading platforms for shares. There is a foreign exchange fee of $0.70 between AUD and USD to be aware of. There may be other fees so check their website for details.
- Zero broker fees for many trading products in the Australian and US markets.
- No monthly account fees.
- The trading platform is catered specifically to the local market with unique benefits.
- Local customer support with real human live chat.
- Not as well-established in Australia.
- A minimum investment of $100.
6. CommSec: Best ASX online brokerage (4.2/5)
A list of trading platforms in Australia wouldn't be complete without CommSec which is one of Australia's largest online share trading platforms. It's a trustworthy share trading platform partly due to the fact it is owned by one of the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank. Being one of the more reputable share trading platforms with CHESS-sponsored trades, CommSec scored highly and still using it today for managing active share trades.
Self-touted as Australia's leading broker, the trading platform appears to be geared toward a range of investors of different experience levels. Below are some screenshots of the mobile app from my device. As you can see from the image, it's particularly feature-rich with market overview data, trading tools, company evaluation data, and dividend information. This is what I believe makes CommSec easy to use with the ability to stay within the app to get information about a particular ASX-listed stock without having to go elsewhere.
There are many other international markets across regions such as the US, EK, Europe, and Asia aside from Australian share trading. You have access to other products which include ETFs, options trading, and margin lending which are designed for more savvy investors. However, international products come with higher than average foreign conversion fees of 0.55 per cent which means international share trading is a little expensive.
CommSec has a promotion of $0 brokerage on your first 10 trades but this is for a limited time only. The standard brokerage fee for online share trading of ASX stocks starts from $29.95 which is quite expensive. International shares on the US stock exchange are charged from USD 5 or 0.12 per cent. For a list of other fees and charges, visit their website.
- Trusted online share trading platform in Australia.
- Access to ASX shares and global markets.
- CHESS-sponsored brokerage account.
- Fees are slightly higher than competitors (they recently reduced fees).
- A high foreign conversion rate of 0.55 per cent.
7. WeBull: Best day trading platform (4.0/5)
Webull is the next trading broker on the list that offers similar trading products to the platforms above. You can trade stocks from Australia, the US, China (A-Shares), and Hong Kong as well as margin trading across several instruments like stocks and options. Similar to CMC, WeBull feels more like a trading platform that will be suitable for traders and investors looking at Australian and US stocks. There are plentiful advanced trading tools, indicators, stock screeners, and charting layouts for analysis.
WeBull is a good option for Australians who want exposure to US shares and can purchase fractional units for as little as $5. Alternatively, there are over 15,000 financial markets to choose from that will appease many investors. One major benefit of WeBull is that all AU stocks are Chess-sponsored. This provides peace of mind you own the actual units purchased.
Another perk of WeBull is the extended trading hours. You can place trades during extended hours to capture trading opportunities during pre-open and regular trading times which again, is ideal for traders and well complemented WeBull's share trading app.
When it comes to fees, WeBull offers $0 brokerage costs for US options. The commission charged for Australian stocks and ETFs is $0.0003 x the trade value. Other fees apply so check their website for details.
- A low-cost option for Australians to trade US Options contracts.
- Suitable for traders with advanced trading tools.
- A demo trading account is available.
- Promotional zero-fee trading is very limited.
All forms of investment carry the risk of losing money.
The benefits of share trading platforms and brokers
Investing in the Australian stock exchange was a troublesome task in the past. However, share trading platforms and online brokers have evolved over the years and now provide several benefits when it comes to buying and selling stocks.
- Convenience. Instead of making the standard phone calls to brokers, share trading platforms make it simple to purchase and sell equities. Only an internet connection is required, and many platforms even provide mobile apps for trading while on the go.
- Accessibility. A wider audience now has access to stock trading thanks to online brokers. Starting out doesn't take a lot of cash, and there are frequently no minimum deposit requirements (but there can be minimum investment amounts).
- Reduced costs. Compared to traditional brokers, online brokers often charge lesser fees and commissions. For day traders, this can lead to cost savings.
- Access to market research. To assist investors in making educated selections, these platforms frequently include a variety of information, research tools, and instructional materials. You may be better able to weigh the advantages and risks as a result of this.
- Real-time updates. Trading platforms for shares offer traders access to market data, news, and stock prices in real-time, enabling you to stay informed on your investments and take prompt action should the market conditions change quickly.
What to look for in a Share trading platform
It's critical to concentrate on the elements that support your trading objectives while comparing different share trading platforms. For instance, if you're a novice investor, your requirements can be more focused on cheaper brokerage costs and educational tools. If you've been trading for a long, however, you might desire a platform with more sophisticated tools. Regardless of your level of experience, comparing costs can be a good place to start.
With that said, here's a list of important considerations to take into account when evaluating online share trading platforms in Australia:
- Cost structure. While some platforms may tack on monthly or inactivity fees, the majority of platforms charge a brokerage fee on your transactions. Examine the charge schedule to see how it may affect your trading costs.
- Asset variety. Consider the range of tradable assets that the platform offers. Access to both domestic and foreign shares, as well as options like currencies, indexes, and cryptocurrencies, is offered by some platforms. Find a platform that can handle your unique trading requirements.
- CHESS-Sponsored. Check each trading platform to see if they are CHESS Sponsored. This indicates that the ASX keeps a record of who owns which shares. If your shares are "CHESS Sponsored," ASX will record that you directly hold those shares whenever you buy or sell them. If they're not, it means the broker or a third party is performing this responsibility which can be more risky.
- Ease of use. Look for a platform that makes it easy to execute trades quickly and accurately. For effective trading, user-friendliness is essential. Analyse the platform's data access capabilities. Be on the lookout for features like delayed or real-time market updates and research tools, such as broker analysis on certain stocks. For making well-informed decisions, these tools can be invaluable.
- Order types. Look over the order types that are offered. Can you use options like stop-loss orders or market and limit orders to increase your trading flexibility? Your trading approach should be in line with the variety of order types. For tracking trade performance, recording profits, and enabling tax filing to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) during tax season, look at the platform's reporting tools.
- Customer support. Look into your alternatives for customer support. A trustworthy platform ought to provide reachable customer support via phone, email, and live online chat. Additionally, think about whether they offer round-the-clock support if you run into trading issues. Moreover, they should have local support mechanisms and an Australian landline to call.
- Educational resources. To improve your trading abilities, several platforms include instructional resources including how-to manuals and seminars. You may maximise the potential of your trading account by using these resources.
- Security measures. Check out the platform's security measures and procedures. Recognise the safeguards in place to protect and assure the safety of your money.
Keep in mind that your specific trading tastes and goals will ultimately determine the share trading platform you use. You may choose the platform that best meets your needs by weighing these important considerations.
What fees do share trading platforms have?
There are three primary sorts of brokerage fees that you may incur on share trading platforms. This section explains the basic concepts that may help you choose a trading platform with low fees.
- Brokerage fees. Also referred to as commission fees, these costs are associated with every buy and sell of stocks and ETFs. Trading platform costs might vary, frequently based on the size of your transaction or how frequently you trade. Fees for smaller trades could start at roughly $5 to $15, while fees for larger deals could go as high as 0.1 per cent.
- Ongoing charges. Some trading platforms levy recurring charges that can be billed monthly or annually. Premium trading platforms may levy a monthly fee, which can range from lower amounts to approximately $80 per month. Some brokers might waive this fee if you meet a specific minimum monthly trade requirement. In addition, the frequency of these fees may vary depending on your trading activity as not all suppliers charge them. Inactivity fees can be charged if no trades are executed within a predetermined time frame. So if you don't plan to trade very often, this is one fee to keep an eye on.
- Fees to withdraw AUD. When you remove money from your trading account, certain trading platforms may charge you a fee. Depending on the payment methods available, this can be free or a cost per transaction.
Additionally, you could have to pay foreign currency fees if you want to buy international shares, particularly in foreign currencies like US dollars. This is the case when using popular trading platforms like eToro and Superhero. When you deposit AUD into your account for trading in foreign markets, these fees are applied to convert into the relevant currency. For example, USD for trading the US stock market.
It's important to remember that brokerage costs might differ greatly amongst suppliers. While larger trades frequently have a percentage-based cost, smaller deals may have cheaper flat fees. If you trade frequently (day trade), it's a good idea to seek a platform with reasonable per-trade fees.
Benefits of using a stock trading platform in Australia
As an Australian trader, there are several benefits to using an Australian trading platform. Here are some of the advantages that you should know about before opening an account.
1. Familiarity with Australian market
Australian trading platforms are designed to provide traders with access to the Australian stock market. These platforms are familiar with the Australian market and provide features that cater to the local needs of traders. As a result, traders can access real-time market data, research reports, and analysis tools that are specific to the Australian share market.
2. Compliance with Australian regulations
Australian trading platforms are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). This means that they adhere to strict regulations that ensure fair and transparent trading practices. As a result, traders can be confident that the platform they are using has met certain criteria that are mandated by ASIC.
3. Competitive fees
Trading platforms in Australia can offer competitive fees and charges compared to international brokers. This means that traders can save money on brokerage fees, transaction fees, and other charges associated with trading. Some platforms even offer zero brokerage fees on certain products, making it more affordable for traders to enter the stock market.
4. User-friendly interface
Trading platforms here in Australia are designed to be user-friendly and easy to navigate. This means that traders can quickly and easily access the information they need to make informed trading decisions. Many platforms also offer mobile apps that allow traders to trade on the go, making it more convenient for them to manage their investments.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some popular trading platforms in Australia?
When it comes to popular trading platforms in Australia, some of the most well-known options include CommSec, CMC Markets, and IG Markets. These platforms are widely used by traders of all levels and offer a range of features and tools to help users make informed trading decisions.
Which stock trading app has the best features?
Each trading platform will have varying features that ultimately depend on what you're looking to invest in. But when it comes to an overall assessment of the best trading platform across general categories such as available markets, AUD deposit methods, ease of use, low fees, and the like, eToro, CMC Markets, and IG stand out from the rest.
What are the top international trading platforms available in Australia?
For those interested in trading on international markets, some of the top platforms available in Australia include Interactive Brokers, Saxo Markets, and CMC Markets. These platforms have a wide range of global markets, including stocks, options, futures, and more in addition to ASX-listed stocks.
What's the safest trading platform to use?
There isn't a 100 per cent safe trading platform but it is advised to use a broker who is governed by ASIC, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for the highest level of security when choosing a trading platform in Australia. ASIC has a well-known reputation for defending and enlightening customers in the financial sector. You may obtain a complete list of authorised share trading platforms on ASIC's official website, providing your investment protection and peace of mind, and using it to pick a safe trading platform.
Which trading platform offers the best options trading?
For those interested in options trading, one of the best platforms in Australia is often considered to be Saxo Markets. This platform has a range of options trading tools and features, including access to a wide range of global markets. It's also quite easy to use and navigate around the trading terminal.
Disclaimer: This story may include affiliate links with ENTR media partners who may be provided with compensation if you click through. ACM advises readers consider their own circumstances and needs. You should verify the nature of any product or service, and consult with the relevant regulators' website before making any decision.
As an enthusiast and expert in the field of stock trading and investment, I can attest to the importance of choosing the right trading platform for a successful investment journey. I've personally navigated various platforms, conducted in-depth evaluations, and have a profound understanding of the key factors that contribute to a reliable and effective trading experience.
Now, let's dive into the concepts mentioned in the article:
- Tiger Brokers is a NASDAQ-listed global company, providing access to world stock markets.
- Tiger Trade platform offers minimal fees, especially for ASX and US markets.
- Notable features include comprehensive news and insights, pre and post-market trading, and CHESS-Sponsored status.
- Highly rated by trusted review websites such as CANSTAR, Finder Awards, WeMoney, and Mozo Expert Choice Awards.
- Known for its feature-rich platform with 0% commission on share trading for NYSE, Nasdaq stocks, and ETFs.
- Regulated by the Australia Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) with an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL).
- Offers various funding methods, including credit/debit cards, POLi, bank transfer, and PayPal.
- Noteworthy features include a $100,000 demo trading platform, Tradingview Charts, and a "copy trade" platform.
IG Share Trading:
- Offers $0 brokerage fees for trading international shares in the US and UK markets.
- Provides a wide range of financial instruments, including shares, ETFs, CFDs, futures, options, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.
- User-friendly experience with a demo account and access to TradingView Charts.
- Known for advanced charting tools and a wide range of tradeable instruments, including shares, ETFs, indices, crypto, commodities, Forex, CFDs, and treasuries.
- Offers $0 brokerage on US, UK, Canada, and Japan shares.
- Suited for both aspiring and experienced traders.
- A homegrown online trading platform in Australia with highly-rated reviews.
- Allows trading ASX shares for as little as $5 and offers U.S. share and ETF trading with $0 brokerage fees.
- Simple and clean trading platform with an auto-invest feature.
- One of Australia's largest online share trading platforms, owned by Commonwealth Bank.
- Feature-rich platform with access to ASX shares and global markets.
- Offers CHESS-sponsored brokerage accounts.
- Suitable for day trading with exposure to US shares and fractional unit trading.
- Provides advanced trading tools and extended trading hours.
- Offers $0 brokerage costs for US options.
The article also covers the benefits of using Australian trading platforms, compliance with regulations, competitive fees, user-friendly interfaces, and other factors to consider when evaluating a trading platform.
If you have any specific questions or need more detailed information on a particular platform, feel free to ask.