The best online share trading platforms like Commsec.
The rise of online investing platforms in recent decades has made it easier than ever before for everyday Australians to trade shares, contracts for difference (CFDs), commodities and a wide range of other assets. Commsec is the best-known of the online share trading platforms available in Australia, but that doesn’t mean it’s your only choice when it comes to online trading accounts.
There are plenty of trusted and reliable trading platforms offered by banks and specialist brokers in Australia and around the world, so it’s a good idea to compare your options before deciding on the trading platform that meets all your investment requirements and offers the best value for money.
1. CMC Markets
Access an extensive range of trading opportunities with the company that won the 2014 Shares Magazine award for Best Online Trading Platform
With more than 25 years of industry experience, CMC Markets offers trading platforms to customers in more than 100 countries. From Australian and international shares to CFDs, forex, commodities and more, CMC Markets provides access to more than 10,000 global products.
- Brokerage starts at $11 or 0.1% per trade (whichever is greater)
- Trade more than 10,000 CFDs
- Trade more than 9,000 shares on Australian and international markets
Trade everything from shares and forex to direct market access CFDs with one of the world’s largest brokers.
Invast has been offering competitive trading solutions to its customers since 1960. Designed for experienced traders, the Invast ShareTrading account is available with a range of service levels and market data options.
- Brokerage from $19.90
- 24-hour phone and email support
- Choice of six platforms designed to suit your trading needs
National Australia Bank’s online trading problem aims to make it as simple as possible for you to manage your investments.
nabtrade customers can take advantage of dynamic market data, advanced charting and investment insights to help them make informed trading decisions. Other features include an integrated cash account and the ability to trade Australian and international shares.
- Brokerage from $14.95
- Access more than 10,000 global securities
- Available on PC, tablet or smartphone
Take charge of your investment strategy and enjoy myriad trading options with a Westpac Online Investing account.
The Westpac Online Investing platform is designed to simplify the trading process for casual investors. It offers access to Australian and international shares, managed funds, commodities, options and more.
- Brokerage from $19.95 or 0.11%
- Free live prices
- Company research and market commentary
Which trading platforms offer CFDs?
As well as the opportunity to trade shares, Commsec also allows its customers to open a Commsec CFDs Account to trade on price movements in the value of underlying assets. With trades starting from $10, this account lets you access 7,000 types of CFDs, including Australian and international shares, foreign exchange and commodities.
CMC Markets offers access to more than 10,000 CFDs, with a commission charge of 0.09 5 (minimum $7) on any order. Invast’s IRESSTrader DMA CFD Account charges a minimum of $10 per order and allows you to trade CFDs on shares, bonds and commodities across global markets.
Westpac Online Investing customers who wish to trade CFDs will need to subscribe to professional trading platform Trader Pro.
Which trading platforms let me do currency conversion?
If you’re looking for a broker to allow you to trade foreign exchange, CMC Markets offers CFD trading on more than 330 currency pairs. Spreads start from 0.7 points and trading ideas and strategies are also provided. Invast is also able to offer access to 45 major currency pairs.
It’s also worth noting that when you trade international shares, your trading platform will need to perform a currency exchange for you. For example, nabtrade’s foreign exchange transaction services are provided by NAB, so when you place an order for international shares you will be quoted an estimated exchange rate that includes fees and margins to protect NAB against exchange rate fluctuations. Once your trade is executed, NAB then books a foreign exchange transaction on your behalf.
Which trading platform is reliable?
Just like Commsec, all of the trading platforms listed on this page can offer secure and reliable trading solutions. If you want to enjoy the peace of mind that comes from dealing with an institution you know and trust, you may want to consider opening an online trading account run by a big four bank, such as nabtrade or Westpac Online Investing.
However, HSBC, Invast and CMC Markets are all very well-established and reputable names in global stockbroking, and can all be trusted to manage your money wisely.
Each trading platform has a raft of security measures in place to ensure the safety of your funds and your security details. For example, CMC Markets keeps all client funds fully segregated with a top-tier Australian bank, and it can process trades within milliseconds. Meanwhile, as another example, Westpac Online Investing offers 128-bit encryption when trading.
Which trading platform lets me trade the ASX200, Dow Jones, gold and oil?
In addition to trading Australian shares on the ASX200, Commsec offers access to international markets, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NASDAQ, as well as the option of trading commodities like gold and oil.
Each of the trading platforms listed in this article provides access to the ASX200 and a range of international markets. For example, Westpac Online Investing offers access to the Dow Jones through ETFs and also allows you to trade on more than 30 international exchanges.
In terms of commodities, nabtrade and Westpac provide low-cost access through Exchange Traded Commodities while CMC Markets offers CFD trading on a wide range of commodities including gold and oil.
Which trading platforms have a similar pricing system to Commsec?
As you can see from the company profiles above, brokerage fees are relatively similar across each company. As a comparison, Commsec’s brokerage fees start at $19.95 per internet trade, although like with other companies, higher-value trades attract different fees, such as 0.12% for trades over $25,000.
However, there are sometimes also other fees to consider when operating an online share trading account. For example, while a Standard Westpac Online Investing account does not attract any monthly fee, an Advanced (Trader Pro) account costs $79 per month to allow customers to access streaming dynamic data, full market depth in real time, integrated charting and a range of other features.
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.