Share Trading Account Finder™ – Compare Share Trading Accounts Online

Compare online share trading accounts here and learn about investing shares with our guides and news.

Anyone has the ability to buy shares and invest in the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) to grow your wealth. Understanding how share trading works as well as researching the companies that you wish to invest in will help you make an informed decision when buying shares to build your portfolio.

Compare share and CFD trading accounts

Rates last updated June 24th, 2016
Rates last updated June 24th, 2016
Details Features
Halifax Online
Halifax Online
Trade US and Australian shares, options, futures and CFDs with no registration fees. Trade 24/7 on your desktop, tablet or smartphone. Commission - AUS shares: $10 or 0.12% Go to site More info
Plus500 CFD Service
Plus500 CFD Service
Trade Australian and international CFDs on shares, forex, indices, commodities and more. $30 welcome bonus available. Commission - AUS shares: Spread only Go to site More info
FP Markets CFD Account
FP Markets CFD Account
Trade CFDs with FP Markets using the IRESSTrader platform. Trade CFDs on international equities, futures and forex. Commission - AUS shares : $10 or 0.10% Go to site More info
IG CFD Trading
IG CFD Trading
Trade from over 10,000 markets with Australia's leading service for CFD trading and forex. Commission - AUS shares: $8 or 0.10% Go to site More info
CMC Markets Stockbroking Account
CMC Markets Stockbroking Account
Trade shares, warrants, options, EFTs, managed funds, bonds and IPOs with CMC Markets today. Commission - AUS shares: 0.1% Go to site More info
Rates last updated June 24th, 2016
Details Features
FP Markets FX Trading Account
FP Markets FX Trading Account
Trade forex using an Electronic Communications Network (ECN) model, meaning FP Markets doesn't profit from client losses. Two account types to choose from. Spreads: From 0.8 pips Go to site More info
Plus500 CFD Service
Plus500 CFD Service
Trade Australian and international CFDs on shares, forex, indices, commodities and more. $30 welcome bonus available. Spreads: Spread only Go to site More info
IG CFD Trading
IG CFD Trading
Trade from over 10,000 markets with Australia's leading service for CFD trading and forex. Spreads: N/A Go to site More info
CMC Markets Stockbroking Account
CMC Markets Stockbroking Account
Trade shares, warrants, options, EFTs, managed funds, bonds and IPOs with CMC Markets today. Spreads: From 0.7 points Go to site More info

Rates last updated June 24th, 2016
Details Features
Commonwealth Financial Planning
Commonwealth Financial Planning
Free initial consultation offer with a financial planner Commonwealth Financial Planners could help you:
  • Grow your super
  • Insure your family and assets
  • Plan your investments
  • Prepare for retirement
Enquire More info

Assessing the risks and using a good broker will also help you understand what you need to do. A good broker or conducting your own research will help you buy shares that could increase your wealth. Since shares are priced in real time based on supply and demand, there are certain techniques that you may want to utilise when buying and selling.

Stock exchanges around the world
The best known stock exchange is the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The NASDAQ, which is another exchange in the USA mainly deals with technology stocks. In Australia, the main stock exchange is the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

What is share trading?

Share trading is the buying and selling of shares. In Australia, all trading is done through the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). The ASX is an exchange group that span primary and secondary market services, including the facilitation of capital flows, trading and price discovery as well as securities settlement for equities and fixed income markets. A stock exchange is central location where a large number of financial assets are bought and sold.

The share market tends to be referred to as a stock exchange that companies are listed on, known as public corporations. The shares of these listed public corporations are traded and issued through the share market, usually through online trading platforms. The financial systems of developed economies tend to have at least one stock exchange where public corporations list their ordinary shares, or 'common stock'. There are other securities too, such as preference shares, other debt securities and derivative products.


The Global Financial Crisis (GFC)

The GFC had a huge impact on the debt and equity markets and is still evolving in the Asia Pacific. The crisis, which started around mid-2007 is said to reflect the underlying issues of the structure of a publicly listed corporation. Since the entities are separate, it is said that the management of a company may not be acting in the best interest of the shareholder.

What is a share or stock?

It is a financial claim to a portion of the residual cash flows of a corporation. A 'share' holder can benefit from the net profits of the corporation, after all other liabilities have been paid. The amount of benefit that shareholder receives depends on the number of shares that the shareholder has bought in the company. Other liabilities that the company is required to pay before the shareholders include: their employees (salaries and wages), debt holders (such as loans), suppliers of the business (cost of goods and services) and taxes.

What makes a share different to other types of liabilities is that as equity, they actually own a portion of the company. They have a right to vote in the affairs of the corporation including who sits in the board of directors. The shareholder can also vote on resolutions at general meetings. The relationship between shareholders, the board of directors and the managers of the company reflect the nation of the corporation.

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How does online share trading work?

Getting started in the sharemarket first requires some spare money, usually a minimum of about $500. After you’ve reserved enough funds, the next step is to find a broker or online share trading platform. Brokers work at firms or through a trading platform. They take your orders and enter them into the market and may also take you on as a client and provide advice, research and financial planning to help you with your investments depending on the package you've chosen.

As part of your strategy, you also need to decide whether you’ll be trading shares for the long or short term. Generally, long term investors are more likely to succeed. For the long term investor, 8 to 12 carefully selected shares may give you a low-risk portfolio compared to one that has only 2 to 5 shares, because you're diversifying your assets. Researching the public corporations that you’re interested in is also partial to the way shares work. You need to know what the companies do and how they will deliver their profits to their shareholders.

Definition: Ordinary share or common stock
The main form of equity that is issued by a publicly listed corporation and gives the owner certain rights as a shareholder

A legal entity formed under the regulations of Corporations Law of a country is called a publicly listed corporation. These are listed on a formal stock exchange and requires that the entity complies with the rules of that exchange.

Corporations tend to list its shares on the exchanges of its home country but some multi-national corporations can choose to list their stocks on international ones, such as the NYSE of the London Stock Exchange. The main type of shares traded is the ordinary share or 'common stock'. The term 'ordinary share' is more commonly used in Australia whereas 'common stock' is an American term.

How does the ASX trading work?

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) lists more than 2,000 companies, each of which is listed on the exchange to raise funds from investors. In turn, investors can earn a profit by buying shares in a company which then performs well.

From the hours of 10am to 4pm on Monday to Friday, investors can buy and sell shares in companies listed on the ASX. The basic idea behind share trading is to sell shares you own for a higher price than you bought them, although you can also use shares to generate income through dividend payments.

You can buy shares in individual companies through an online trading platform, or you may decide to invest in an index like the ASX 200, which tracks the performance of the 200 largest companies listed on the ASX.

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What are the best beginner trading sites?

There are several trading sites that offer a range of features designed with beginner traders in mind. If you’re new to online share trading, a good place to start could be with the platforms offered by the big four banks: Commsec, Westpac Online Investing, nabtrade and ANZ Share Investing. These sites all offer affordable brokerage fees and a range of education and research resources to help you learn the ins and outs of trading.

However, the best way to find the right trading site for you is to weigh up the pros and cons of each and compare a range of options. Check out the profiles of different trading platforms above.

What strategies can I use in share trading?

  • Market order - This usually involves telling your broker to sell your shares at the ‘best price’ or at the current price. Because these orders are done quickly and efficiently, they usually have the lowest commissions.
  • Limit order - This is when you tell your online broker the price you’re willing to accept if you’re selling or buying shares. The purchase will only go through with your approval, and they are only processed at the price you’ve set. If the shares fall further than the price you’ve mentioned then the broker may sell some of the share or none.
  • Stop order - Similar to limit orders, this type of order lets you set a price as to when you want to buy or sell shares. When the share hits the price you’ve asked, the order is processed immediately.
SALLY'S SHARES

Sally owns 150 shares of XYZ Company trading at $50 per share. Media hype estimates that it will fall to $30 per share. Sally could sell the stock outright with a market order, but she doesn’t want to miss out on any potential gains in the case that she’s made the wrong decision.

In this case, she could make a stop order and instruct her broker to sell the stock if it fell down to $45 a share. If she did this and the stocks decreased to $45, then all of her stocks with XYZ company would have been sold. However, once the set price is triggered, the broker will try to sell the shares at the best possible price, which means the $45 Sally set isn’t guaranteed. Sally’s shares end up selling for $25.

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How do managed funds and derivative products work?

To support the primary and secondary roles involved with ordinary shares and hybrid securities, stock exchanged tend to provide a range of specific equity-based managed and derivative products. These products tend to get their value from the value of one security, or a group of securities listed on the exchange. These securities are said to be in the 'physical market', that is, the stock exchange. Equity-based managed products provide the opportunity to invest in a diversified portfolio, or a market sector through one product, rather than multiple. For example, an investor can purchase an exchange traded fund (ETF) which is based on 20 major stocks listed on the ASX and represents the main sectors of the Australian share market.

The value of the ETF depends on the value of the underlying shares. For an equity-derivative, the price of the derivative will have a direct relationship with the price of the corresponding equity security as quotes on the stock exchange. An example is when an Australian investor buys an option contract, which is a derivative, that provides the right to buy 100 Woodside Petroleum Ltd shares at a particular price, or by a determined date.

The option's price is based on the current price of Woodside Petroleum Ltd shares; the value of the contract will depend how the share prices change. Derivative products are known as 'exchange traded contracts' in the ASX. The main features of these are that they have set terms and conditions. Alternatively, over-the-counter contracts are available from financial institutions and fund managers do not have a standard across the market and the terms and conditions are negotiated from the buyer and writer. Be mindful that the terms and conditions tend to be different from country to country.

Jargon Buster
Derivative - a product to help with risk management and derives its value from an underlying security
Physical market - a market where commodities or financial instruments are issued or traded
Exchange traded contracts - a standardised form of a financial contract traded on the stock exchange
Over-the-counter contract - contracts that a not standardised and is negotiated between a writer and buyer
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Share trading platforms with the major banks

Most of the banks have an online share trading platform, here we compare the ones that the big four have provided:

  • CommSec - Winner of Money Magazine’s best feature packed online broker for 2013, Commsec provides a range for tools and support for investors at every level. With features such as portfolio management, trading, cash management, margin lending and managed funds, you may be able to use them to your advantage. There is also a CommSec app available.
  • ANZ Share Investing - Online trading with ANZ means you’ll have access to a range of free research from Australia’s leading research providers. You can also earn Qantas Points as you trade. With a range of tools and education platforms, you can benefit from a range of investment options.

How does ANZ Share Investing work?

ANZ Share Investing offers a convenient and simple way for people to buy and sell shares, warrants, options and exchange traded funds online.

Once you sign up for a free ANZ Share Investing account and deposit funds from your bank account, you can place orders to buy and sell a range of assets - all from your own computer. You can also take advantage of market news and analysis, stock recommendations, research and more to help you make informed trading decisions.

  • NABtrade - Whether you trade frequently or you’re just a casual investor, NABtrade makes it easy to trade online with competitive brokerage fees. With an easy-to-use interface and extensive research available online, you can use NAB’s range of tools to compare, scan and research shares.
  • Westpac Online Investing - Trade up to 30 international markets with the Westpac Active Trader Advantage account. With margin lending available and a daily share tracker, you can also benefit from Westpac’s research and support. You can also access your portfolio over the phone or through your tablet.
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How do I compare or choose the best share trading platform for my situation?

  • Little or no commission fees. Some brokers may charge extra for different types of orders, so it’s important to check these fees before you commit to anything. You may also come across brokers that don’t offer limit orders.
  • Lots of flexibility. When you put in a order for a particular share, you may have a few options such as designating lot, time frames and placing rules. Designating a lot is when you buy the same share many times, so you should be able to advise your broker exactly how many shares you want to sell. Setting a time frame involves you deciding how long a share is active for trading and placing rules allows you to issue an ‘all or none’ restriction on your trade.
  • Availability of advice. Traditional or ‘old school’ brokers used to be about giving you a personalised service. They hand pick stocks for you they and will look after you when you visit them in their offices. Online or self-service brokers are missing that element of face to face interaction, but they give you the tools you need to make a decision such as documents, videos and real time updates.
  • Easy accessibility. If you’re an online investor and prefer trading through the internet then having access to a branch or an office will probably not be important to you. However, some investors, both online and offline, may still prefer access to an office. Some firms also let you transfer money easily from one trading account to a high interest savings account, as well as a linked debit card to your accounts.
  • Speed of execution. When you agree to buy or sell shares both online or offline, it doesn’t meant the transaction is done instantly. Your order is then processed through ASX where it waits to be filled. Some brokerages will go through the effort of giving your shares the quickest path to other traders, which is generally beneficial because it aligns with the true value of the shares you’re buying or selling.
  • Safe and reliable. This is particularly important if you’re an online trader, because if the system is unavailable or fails, it could affect how many times you can trade a day.
  • User friendly. Again, this is important if you’re an online trader because you need to understand exactly what you’re doing. If you’re new to investing then you may want as few buttons as possible before moving onto advanced trading systems.
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What are the pros and considerations of share trading?

Pros

  • Generally flexible. There are no shortage of buyers and sellers when it comes to trading shares, which means you can buy and sell when it's convenient for you.
  • More liquid than other investments. In comparison to other investments such as property, shares can be sold quickly. Property on the other hand can take up six weeks for the purchase to be settled.
  • Considered a low cost investment. Again, compared to other investments, the costs of buying and selling a share is quite low. With online trading, these costs can be reduced even further.
  • Low capital needed. Another benefit is that you don’t need a huge sum of money to start trading with shares. The minimum amount of shares that must be purchased in a newly listed company is $500 worth.
  • Can diversify. With so many industries on the ASX, you can diversify your shares across many industries to reduce your risk. However, you're still prone to systematic risk.

Considerations

  • Can be volatile. The behaviour of shares is unpredictable. The more volatile a share is the more it fluctuates in value.
  • Can be risky. Trading can be risky depending on the share you buy, which means you need to be as informed as you can. Trading should be done with funds that won’t hurt your lifestyle if they fall in value.
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What are some risks when it comes to share trading?

There are a few general rules to follow if you’re going to trade shares. Here are some basic guidelines to help you maximise your success:

  • Don’t pool in all your cash. The stock market is a fast moving environment, so opportunities will come and go. You may want to keep some funds on the side to take advantage of those opportunities.
  • Try to minimise fees and costs. Trading is generally short term and is constantly happening, meaning that transaction costs can add up very quickly. Look out for things like commissions, capital gains tax and maintenance fees.
  • Always have a strategy. Before selling or buying shares, always have a predetermined plan of action for everything you do. Whether it’s to cut losses or to maximise profits, ensure that you always have cash for the next opportunity.
  • Know the market. Discover what kinds of events trigger the market. This means doing some research and staying informed by regularly reading financial publications and websites. Charts reflecting trends and advice from your broker will also help you as they convey what’s been happening in the past. Understanding how the experts do it may also be beneficial.
  • Be virtuous. Fear and greed can lead to short term solutions. Using your discipline and patience can give you a clearer mindset in assessing trends and prices of shares.
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Share trading vs property investment - which one is a better investment strategy for me?

Property prices and share market volatility often lead to this question, and the answer is anything but simple. As per the ASX/Russell Investments 2014 Long-term Investing Report, Australian shares outperformed residential property in between December 2003 and December 2013, a 10 year period. However, over two decades, while returns from shares stood at 8.7%, returns from investments in residential property yielded better returns, at 9.9%. Investing in shares is relatively easy, and you don’t need too much money to start.

Buying property, on the other hand, comes with significant costs, which includes a substantial sum in the form of stamp duty. Selling a property if you need access to funds quickly is not always easy, but this is not the case when it comes to selling shares. Another plus about investing in shares is that you get the ability to diversify your investments. Investing in property scores over investing in shares in terms of stability, mainly because of the volatility linked to the share market. Share prices, you should know, can fluctuate noticeably in short spans of time, but this is seldom the case with property. Investing in property also gives you leverage when it comes to borrowing in the future. If your decision to own a home is more because of a lifestyle factor, you may want to consider spreading some of the risk by investing part of your money in shares.

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What are some alternatives to Commsec?

Commsec, or Commonwealth Securities, is Australia's largest discount stock broking firm, but you get various other options from which to choose, some of which include the following.

  • Westpac Online Investing. You can use this platform to trade in Australian and international shares as well as warrants and options.
  • HSBC Online Share Trading. Use this platform to deal in Australian shares, warrants, and options. Get up to $600 as brokerage rebates in the first three months.
  • HalifaxOnline. This platform allows you to trade in Australian and American shares, options, CFDs, futures and forex.
  • FPMarkets. You can use this platform to trade in Australian shares, CFDs, and futures, as well as forex.

Click here to see more alternatives to Commsec.

Can I link a non-Commonwealth Bank account to my Commsec account?

Unfortunately, you cannot link a non-Commonwealth Bank account to CommSec. If you end up changing your banking details with CommSec all share transactions then settle through the newly nominated account. The new account should carry the exact same name as mentioned on your CommSec trading account.

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What’s a foreign exchange bot?

A foreign exchange bot is like any other Internet bot, which is essentially an application capable of running automated tasks in the online world. Upon activation foreign exchange bots can find, open, and manage trades automatically, and they can work well in complementing manual forex trading. There are a number of foreign exchange bots from which to choose and know that not all perform equally well. A good way to narrow down on a suitable alternative is to take a look at the bot’s previously generated monthly returns over a period of time, but know that this method is not foolproof.

What’s the advantage of using a foreign exchange bot?

The main advantage of using a foreign exchange bot is you don’t have to learn complex strategies, and you can get access to a range of trading results, statistics and charts with ease. When the market remains open you can trust your bot to keep an eye on proceedings for you. You can get your bot to cover multiple forex charts, giving you the ability to increase your coverage considerably. Some such bots come with dual modes of operation, allowing you to choose between making larger trades or more number of trades. What also helps is that such bots can work with accounts of varying sizes, from micro lots to large lots.

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What are some popular USA share trading sites?

There are numerous American share trading sites, but not all are as good. Here’s a list of some of noteworthy alternatives.

  • TD Ameritrade
  • ANZ Share Investing
  • OptionsHouse
  • TradeKing
  • Scottrade

The following are Nasdaq’s online broker partners.

  • OptionsHouse
  • Fidelity
  • Scottrade
  • Interactive Brokers
  • Schwab
  • ANZ Share Investing
  • TradeStation
  • Loyal3
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How do franked dividends work in Australia?

Australian company tax applies on dividends you might receive through shares you own, and it applies at the rate of 30%. The idea behind franked dividends is that this practice eliminates the possibility of taxing dividends twice.  As a shareholder, you can reduce the tax you pay on dividends you receive owing to tax imputation credits. What this basically means is the business that issues the dividends ends up paying partial taxes on the same even before the dividends get to you.

CASE STUDY: STEVE AND FRANKED DIVIDENDS

Steve received a fully franked dividend of $1,400, along with a franking credit of $600. Since the business in question paid $600 from the dividend, the total dividend stood at $2,000 ($1,400 + $600). When time comes to file taxes, Steve should declare the entire $2,000 as part of his taxable income. If the marginal tax rate that applies in his case is $15%, he will have to pay $300 as tax towards the dividend. Since the business already paid $600, he can expect a refund of the difference, which is $300. In case a higher tax bracket applies on Steve, he might not get any refund, and he could even have to pay additionally.

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How do I compare managed funds?

Australian customers have scores of options when it comes to choosing managed funds. You should ideally look for funds that invest in asset classes and industries you have knowledge of, and ones that are in line with the time frame you’re after. Paying due attention to fees and charges is also important.

  • Active or passive. An active fund is one that has a fund manager or more buying and selling investments at regular intervals to outperform specific market indices. Passive funds, on the other hand, buy portfolios that mimic indices, therefore offering returns in line with the index in question.
  • Single or multi-sector. Risk and returns depend on the kind of fund you opt for, and these vary in, both, single asset and multi-sector funds. With single asset funds, your options include investing in cash funds, funds targeting fixed interest and bonds, mortgage funds, and property funds. Wit multi-sector funds, you can choose between high returns and low risk, or try to strike a balance between the two.
  • Long-term performance. A good way to establish if you should invest in any given fund is to take a look at its performance over the last five to seven years. You can also compare the performance of a managed fund alongside an index fund to see how it’s performing when compared to its relevant market.
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How do I compare share or stock brokers?

Comparing share brokers before you pick any one is important, and going through the following should simplify the decision making process.

  • Narrow down on required features. Not all stock brokers offer the same features, so it helps looking for one in accordance to your needs. For example, if you’re a frequent traveller you could benefit by working with a broker that offers a mobile trading app. How often you get market updates can vary from one broker to the next, as can your ability to invest in options, futures and securities.
  • Reputation. It pays to work with a well established mortgage broker as this brings experience to the table. Besides, larger brokers tend to offer more in terms of trade tools and features.
  • Fees. Find out just how much you would have to pay as fees at the very onset, mainly because some online brokering firms charge fees that they fail to disclose upfront.
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Where’s the best place to invest $1,000 per month?

Determining the best place to invest your money will depend on a wide range of factors. These can include your investment goals, your appetite for risk and even the tax implications.

Consider why you want to invest the money and how long you are saving for. Are you aiming to reach a particular goal, such as putting together a deposit for a house or eventually generating enough income from your investments that you no longer have to work? Do you have a particular timeframe you need to meet - are you investing for the short-term or for a longer period? And are you looking for a safe and reliable investment or something that combines a higher level of risk with the potential for larger returns?

For many people, the best place to begin investing funds is in a high interest savings account. These accounts are offered by a huge selection of banks and credit unions across Australia and offer stable investment returns without requiring any special knowledge or a high initial spend. You could possibly then look to invest some of the savings from your high interest account in shares, starting out with reliable ‘blue chip’ shares and later moving on to diversifying your investments as the worth of your assets grows.

However, if you want expert advice tailored to your individual needs and circumstances, seek help from a financial adviser.

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Who’s the best person to speak to for investment advice?

For reliable investment advice you can trust, make an appointment with a financial adviser. Financial advisers will take the time to assess your personal situation and needs before creating an investment strategy to suit. They can also answer any questions you might have and help you understand all the risks and benefits involved with different investments.

Who’s the best to speak to about overseas investments?

Once again, the best place to start when you need advice about investing overseas is a financial adviser. Your financial adviser can help you understand the ins and outs of investing overseas - whether you want to put your money into shares, property or something else - and will be able to point you in the right direction if you require more specific advice.

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What are some investments teenagers can make?

If you’re still in your teens and you have saved some money to invest, well done. There are plenty of investment options you can choose from to make your money work more for you, so seek out a reputable financial adviser for assistance.

A good place to start for many younger investors is a high interest savings account. You don’t need any investment or financial know-how to start building a savings balance in this way and there are plenty of high interest online accounts to choose from. Shop around for a great rate but remember to read the fine print about any special conditions that may apply, such as minimum monthly deposits.

The next option is shares, which can be easily and conveniently traded via any number of online share trading platforms. Rather than doing your own research and choosing companies to invest in, a safer and easier option might be to invest in a managed fund.

Property investment is another option but, just as with any other type of investment, be aware that there are risks attached.

Finally, while it may sound boring, investing in your education is often the best way to set yourself up for a secure financial future, so make sure to examine all your options.

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Is investing in American real estate a viable option?

As well as investing in the Australian property market, you may be interested in looking further afield and adding some American real estate to your investment portfolio. In the aftermath of the GFC a few years back, there are still plenty of houses in cities across America selling for very little, especially when compared to the prices on offer in most Australian cities.

However, there are plenty of risks involved when buying property overseas. For starters, if a property is listed very cheaply it’s usually for a very good reason - i.e., that no one wants to buy in that area. Without actually visiting the area in which you plan on buying, it’s very difficult to grasp whether buying a house there would be a good investment. Either visiting the States yourself or having someone you trust completely handle things overseas for you is definitely recommended.

How do I transfer shares to another individual?

If you ever want to transfer shares to another person without going through the usual buying and selling process - for example if you want to give a parcel of shares to your son or daughter - the process is actually reasonably straightforward. You’ll need to download and complete a ‘Transfer Form for Non-Market Transactions’, which you should be able to find on the ASX website or via your share trading platform.

Your stockbroker or financial adviser can answer any questions you have about how to fill out the form correctly.

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Is it possible to invest in a small number of shares (<$500 value of shares)?

The ASX has a minimum order size of $500 when buying shares, so you’ll need to be willing to spend at least that much if you want to get started on the share market. Trades of less than that value are not allowed.

It’s also worth pointing out that your trading platform may impose its own minimum limit on order sizes, such as $1,000.

Can Aussie investors purchase shares from an IPO in Australia? How?

IPO stands for Initial Public Offering and refers to when a company lists on the stock exchange in order to raise money by selling shares to investors. You may also see an IPO referred to as a float.

If you expect a company’s share price to rise once it is being traded on the open market, you can purchase shares at a set price during the IPO. You will typically be required to purchase a minimum amount of shares and you can view a list of upcoming IPOs on the ASX website.

To research a company launching an IPO and determine whether it could offer a sound investment opportunity, check out the prospectus each company must submit to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

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What does it mean when companies are going to split their stock?

This is when a public company increases the number of shares available. They’re appealing to investors because they bring the share price down as there is more supply.

Can you still lose money if you invest in bonds?

You can still lose money if you invest in bonds, although they swing less severely in value.

What’s the easiest way to invest in commodities?

Commodities are raw materials or primary agricultural products. Understanding the future prospects of the market is paramount if you decide to invest in commodities. Experts also recommend that you set up a separate brokerage account just to buy and sell commodities.

Commodities are raw materials or primary agricultural products. Understanding the future prospects of the market is paramount if you decide to invest in commodities. Experts also recommend that you set up a separate brokerage account just to buy and sell commodities.
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Share market and share trading glossary

If you’re new to the world of share trading, you might not know the lingo in the industry.Here’s a glossary of the common terms used in the trading world. Print it or memorise it however you like - it’s here for your reference.

All Ordinaries (All Ords)

The All Ordinaries Index is an index of common shares in the Australian Stock Exchange. It is a market weighted index of about five hundred of the biggest companies in Australia. Established in January of 1980 by the Australian Securities Exchange at 500 points, it's the major measure of the performance of the sharemarket in Australia. The companies are weighted by size using terms of their market capitalisation (or the total value of all of their shares.)

Australian Securities Exchange code/ASX code

This is the unique code given to the companies listed by the ASX.

Bear market

This the term used to describe a time when the prices of shares in general are declining.

Blue chip

These are shares in large companies which are known for being able to turn profits, regardless of a good or bad market, and are considered to have a lower risk.

Brokerage

This is the fee you will pay to a stockbroking firm when they buy or sell shares on your behalf.

Bull market

This is the term used to describe the market during a time when share prices are on the rise.

CHESS (Clearing house electronic sub register system)

This is the system which will perform the settling of share trades, and provides the electronic transfer of share ownership.

Conditional order

This term describes the instruction to monitor a certain stock or share on your part and, should it reach a target price set by you, buy or sell the share/stock for you automatically.

Contract note

This is a document which confirms the transaction, either between a pair of dealers or a client and broker and will include the cost, quantity and type of share which is traded.

Delayed price

This is the price, delayed typically by 10 or 15 minutes, which is not actually the current price of the share.

Delisted

This is used when a company has been removed from the Official Listings of the exchange and the shares will no longer be quoted.

Derivative

A derivative is a financial instrument which derives value from an underlying instrument. These include share price indices, shares, commodities, fixed interest securities, foreign currencies and more. Some forms of derivative are warrants, futures and exchange-traded options, among others.

Dividend

The dividend is the distribution of profits from a company to its shareholders. This is generally a number of cents for each share.

Dynamic data

Online trading systems offer this service, allowing the user to view live market info without the need to refresh your browser.

Float

This is the term used to describe the initial raising of funds through public subscription to a security or securities. An example is the first time that shares are offered for a company through the share market.

Fundamental analysis

This is the overall examination of a company's financial standing including strengths and weaknesses without factoring in daily price movements and volume variations.

Futures

These are contracts to either sell or by a certain asset, or its equivalent in cash, at a specified date in the future.

Government Bond

A debt security issued by a government with the promise to pay periodic interest.

Holder Identification Number (HIN)

This will identify a particular person as the owner of a security or securities on the CHESS sub register, and you should keep this number stored in a secure manner.

Limit order

This is a special instruction from a client to a broker to either buy or sell securities at a decided price or better.

Listed company

A company that has agreed to follow the ASX Listing Rules and has shares which are bought and sold through the ASX.

Live price

This is the price at the exact moment in time of a share.

Market depth

This is a snapshot of the supply and demand, or how liquid a certain share is.

Market order

This is an order from the client to a broker to either sell or buy a certain share at the current market price immediately.

Option

This is the contract between two different parties which hands the buyer/taker the right (not an obligation) to either buy or sell an asset at a specific price on and/or before a specified date.

Short selling

This is generally seen as a major contributing factor to market volatility during the current financial crisis. This is when one sells a financial instrument which they do not own, intending to buy it later at a much lower price.

Securityholder Reference Numbers (SRN)

These numbers are used to identify an issuer-sponsored holding, and they all begin with an 'I'.

Straight Through Processing (STP)

This is a very efficient way to process a transaction electronically. It includes several stages including settlement, trading and clearing.

Trusts

A relationship where one party gives another the right to hold a portfolio of securities on their behalf.

Unlisted company

A company which isn't listed on the ASX, and generally can't be traded on the ASX either.

Volatility

This refers to a measure of the amount of fluctuation in price.

Warrant

A financial instrument which gives the holder the right to purchase a security at a specific price within a specified time frame.

Yield

This is your income return on an investment, and refers to dividends. It's typically expressed as an annual percentage

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2 Responses to Share Trading Account Finder™ – Compare Share Trading Accounts Online

  1. Default Gravatar
    Richard | May 30, 2016

    Hi there I have my drivers license with me what do I now!

    • Staff
      Shirley | May 31, 2016

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please choose a share trading provider you would like to sign up with. Click on “Go to site” and follow the prompts to sign up.

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