- Maximum rate: 1.5% p.a.
- Standard variable rate: 0.1% p.a.
- Monthly fees: $0
Compare Australian investment accounts
Find the best savings accounts, term deposits and share trading platforms for you.
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Must read: Looking for the best investment account?
There's no single investment account that's best for everyone as all our needs are different - and what's best for you might not be best for someone else. Keep in mind that we don't compare every product in the market, but we hope that our tools and information will allow you to compare your options and find the best investment account for you.
There are many ways that you can grow your money. Savings accounts, term deposits, superannuation, share trading and foreign exchange are all investment options that people use to increase their wealth.
Each type of investment account offers a different return on the dollar and associated level of risk. As a general rule, the safest options offer the lowest returns, while the riskiest options have the potential for big returns. If you’re looking to earn more from your money, start by considering whether you’re comfortable taking a loss.
Other factors, such as investment size and horizon, also play a part. If you'd like to invest your money outside of super, you can find an analysis of other investment accounts below.
No-risk investment accounts
Low or zero-risk investments where your money is guaranteed include high-interest savings accounts and term deposits. With these kinds of investments, you'll make a small capital gain on your money with no potential for loss. If a financial collapse occurs, your money is guaranteed by the government to the amount of $250,000.
Savings accounts are among the most widely used types of investment accounts by Australians because they're completely safe and your funds can be deposited or withdrawn at any time without hassle. High-interest savings accounts offer the most competitive rates in the market.
Key features of a savings account
- Has no minimum deposit requirements
- Is an ongoing investment
- Earns income from interest payments based on the size of your cash deposit
- Sometimes pays bonus interest during an introductory period
- Allows your money to remain available to withdraw when you want
- Can be easily accessed online or at a bank branch
- Is usually low-fee or has no fees
A notice saver is a relatively new product in Australia and a hybrid between a term deposit and a savings account. While your interest rate is variable as with a savings account, you can't access your funds immediately. Instead, you need to give notice of a month or more to withdraw your money. Notice periods are usually 30, 60 or 90 days.
Key features of a notice saver
- No term date, but requires that you give notice to withdraw funds, typically 30, 60 or 90 days
- Has a variable rate of interest which may benefit you
- Is an ongoing investment; funds are withdrawn to a linked transaction or savings account
- No minimum deposit usually required
A term deposit is a set and forget investment. You agree to deposit your money for a fixed term and get paid a fixed amount of interest over the life of the investment. As a banking product, there is no risk that you will lose your funds. On the other hand, if interest rates go up and you're locked into a lower rate account, you risk being stuck in an underperforming investment.
Key features of a term deposit
- Has a minimum deposit requirement higher than a savings account
- Requires you to lock your money away for a term ranging from one months to several years
- Pays a fixed rate of interest over the life of the investment
- Is a fee-free investment, though break fees apply for withdrawing funds before the end of the term
- Is available to both personal and institutional investors
- Is not an ongoing investment, but funds can be rolled over to another term deposit at maturity
Riskier investment options
Any investment held outside of a bank account will carry some kind of risk because funds aren't guaranteed by the government if a company collapse occurs. At the same time, there's an opportunity to make higher returns and the risk of a company collapse is low for many well established organisations – it's all about doing your research.
Non-banking investments include ETFs, P2P funds, share trading, managed funds and portfolios offered by robo advisers. The following investments offer varying levels of risk and wont be suitable for everyone. Click through to their respective guides for more information.
Peer to peer (P2P) lending investment accounts appear similar (at face value) to term deposits, but because they're non-bank investments, you don't have the same safety guarantee. They offer a fixed rate – typically much higher than those of savings accounts or term deposits – and your funds are locked down for a specified term.
Key features of p2p investing accounts
- Competitive return on investment typically higher than savings accounts or term deposits
- Investors take on a higher level of risk than with term deposits and there's no guarantee of a return
- Funds are locked away for a set period of time
- Your funds are being loaned to borrowers
- It's not an ongoing investment, but funds can be rolled over
Share trading accounts allow you to buy and sell stocks and other listed financial instruments – such as exchange traded funds – by acting as an intermediary to the stock market.
With an online share trading platform you can buy and sell shares on your computer or mobile with lower fees than you'd normally get when you go through a personal full-service stock broker.
Compare share trading platforms
Important: Share trading can be financially risky and the value of your investment can go down as well as up. Standard brokerage is the cost to purchase $1,000 or less of equities without any qualifications or special eligibility. Where both CHESS sponsored and custodian shares are offered, we display the cheapest option.
Key features of share trading accounts
- Gives you access to a wide range of investments including shares, ETFs and listed investment companies (LITs)
- Charges a brokerage fee when you trade shares
- Share trading has the potential for very high capital gains
- There is the potential to lose money if your investments perform poorly
- Is available for personal and institutional investors
- Can deposit and withdraw funds easily online
Forex trading has the potential for both high gains and big losses. Rather than buying shares for capital growth or investing into a high interest fund, forex traders speculate on the future price movements of international currency pairs. For this reason, forex is not "investing" in the traditional sense – rather it is trading.
Compare forex accounts
Trading CFDs and forex on leverage is high-risk and you could lose more than your initial investment. It may not be suitable for every investor. Refer to the provider’s PDS and consider the risks before trading.
Forex trading account key features
- Forex trading requires specialist knowledge
- Can be opened by both personal and institutional investors
- You need to pay fees to the forex platform provider in the form of spread
- Typically gives you access to other investments such as commodities and CFDs
- Can leverage investments, which allows you to trade with more capital than you actually have. This can magnify both profits and losses.
Robo advisers are a relatively new service to Australia where you can enter your details online and be matched with an investment fund based on your profile. They offer competitively low fees compared to standard investment advisers and competitive high rates of return.
Most robo advisers feature a mobile app, so they make it easy to deposit your funds into and monitor the performance of your portfolio. They also tend to offer a broad range of investment portfolio choices, from aggressive to conservative and are relatively low risk investment choices.
Compare robo advisers
Key features of robo advisers
- Low fee investment funds
- Matched to an investment fund based on your profile
- Easy to access and monitor online or on your mobile
- Broad range of investment fund options
- Can access Australian and international theme investments
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