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The best share trading platforms to feel green even on red days

So you can spend your time crunching stock performance instead.

Best online share trading platforms
Promoted
$0 commission on stocks
Platform highlights:
  • Pay $0 trade fees on AU, US, Hong Kong and European stocks
  • Access the NASDAQ and S&P500
Promoted
Trade fractional shares
Platform highlights:
  • Trade US and Australian shares with $0 brokerage fees for 30 days. T&Cs apply.
  • Get advanced trading tools and access free pro market data.
Promoted
$0 brokerage
Platform highlights:
  • Trade Australian and global stocks
  • Quality research and trading tools
Promoted
Get 7% p.a. on uninvested cash
Platform highlights:
  • Trade US options for US$0.95 per contract
  • Advanced charts and trading tools

Compare share trading platforms

Important: The standard brokerage fee displayed is the trade cost for new customers to purchase $1,000 of either Australian or US shares. Where a platform charges different fees for both US and Australian shares we show the lower of the two. Where both CHESS sponsored and custodian shares are offered, we display the cheapest option.

What's the best trading platform in Australia?

With dozens of share trading platforms in Australia, it's not easy to work out which one is best suited to you.

The best app for beginners is going to be very different to a platform that suits active or professional traders. Meanwhile, somebody that wants to invest in Australian shares and ETFs may have no interest in currencies trading or international markets.

The fees can also change depending on how often you trade in a month, a quarter or a year. In fact, recent Finder research found that the average share trader could save approximately $1,048 in brokerage fees a year by switching to a more suitable broker (calculated on 7 trades per month of $1,000).

It may even save money to have more than one platform. For example, you could have an app to trade US stocks, an app for ASX shares and another for currency markets.

What's your trading style?

There are many different kinds of share traders. Once you know which category you fall into, you'll be able to more easily pick the best share trading app for you. For example, there are casual traders, active traders and long-term investors.

This will influence the features you're looking for in an online broker. From the ease of use of the system through to the market research information available, it's important that the platform complements your trading needs.

Ask yourself the following questions to determine your trading style:

How often will I trade? If you buy or sell shares once or twice a month (or even less), you're a casual investor. You may want to avoid brokers that have an inactivity fee or charge higher broker fees for less frequent trades.

If you intend to buy and sell shares multiple times in a day, you're an active trader. You'd want to look for platforms that offer low brokerage for high-frequency trading and an extensive range of trading features, such as charting tools and order options.

Am I a trader or an investor? Traders try to make money from share price movements by buying and selling stocks frequently – often several times in a day or week.

Investors use the "buy and hold" strategy by targeting quality companies they think will rise over a long time frame and possibly offer dividends. They may only buy and sell a few times in a year. Investors may find the inactivity fee more important than a stock analysis feature.

For traders, a low brokerage fee and advanced features are key. They might find the stock analysis feature more important than an inactivity fee.

How will I place trades? Will you be placing all your trades online, via a mobile app or over the phone? Make sure the app offers your preferred choice and check the fees.

What will I be trading? Do you want to trade Australian shares, US shares or other international markets? Some online brokers also offer other markets such as global currencies. Depending on what your priorities are, you may wish to get a broker that offers all of the above or several different brokers – one for each market.

How much money am I trading? Do you intend to invest a lump sum of $5,000 into the stock market or would you prefer to make several small trades of a few hundred dollars? Brokerage fees sometimes differ depending on the amount you're buying and selling per month, per year or by trade.

How to compare online brokers

There are plenty of things you'll need to consider when looking at different platforms. Of course, it all comes down to how you're intending to use it.

Here are some of the key features to look at when comparing online share trading platforms:

  • The broker fees. Almost every online trading platform will charge you a brokerage fee (also called a commission fee) when you buy or sell shares, ranging from around $10 to $30 per trade. These fees may be calculated as a percentage of the transaction amount for larger trades and may also be lower depending on how frequently you trade.
  • Monthly fees. Some providers charge ongoing subscription or inactivity fees where you're charged if you make too few trades. This will especially be the case where a platform offers an extensive range of features for advanced traders.
  • What can you trade? Some trading platforms will not only give you access to Australian shares but also international shares. Others will also allow you to trade currencies, indices and much more, so look for this functionality if it's important to you.
  • Ease of use. Share market trading can be complicated and often requires you to respond quickly to market changes. With this in mind, look for a platform that allows you to make fast and precise trades with minimum fuss.
  • Access to market data. Does the platform offer dynamic, real-time or delayed market updates? Some platforms offer research and broker analysis on individual stocks that can come in handy.
  • Order types. Consider the options available when you're buying or selling shares. Can you place orders at market and/or at limit and are other order types such as stop/loss orders an option to add more flexibility to your trading?
  • Reporting. Check what reporting tools each platform offers to help you track how your trades are performing, record dividends and pass on any relevant information to the ATO at tax time.
  • Customer support. Look for phone, email and live online chat support. Does it offer customer service 24/7 if you're having trouble placing a trade?
  • Education. Some platforms also feature a range of educational tools and resources, such as how-to guides and webinars, to help you get more out of your trading account.
  • Security. How secure is the platform and what measures are in place to ensure the safety of your funds?

What fees will I pay to trade shares?

There are 3 main fees that commonly apply when you use online share trading platforms – brokerage fees, monthly fees and foreign exchange fees if you trade global shares.

Brokerage fees vary greatly between providers but typically start at around the $10 to $20 range. For large transactions, fees of around 0.1% and up usually apply. If you're planning on making lots of trades, you'll want to keep an eye out for a platform that offers low per-trade fees.

Some providers will not charge any monthly fees at all. However, more advanced trading platforms and those that offer premium services will often charge a monthly fee that could be as high as around $80 per month. A number of brokers will waive this fee if you perform more than a certain number of trades each month.

Finally, remember that many brokers offer different membership levels – for example, gold, silver and platinum – which offer different features and therefore attract varying fees.

  • Brokerage fees. Brokerage fees (also called commission fees) are the charges that apply to each buy and sell transaction of stocks and ETFs. They usually vary depending on the size of your buy or sell order or how often you trade.
  • Ongoing fees. These apply monthly or annually, but not all providers will charge ongoing fees. This may depend on how frequently you trade, for example, inactivity fees are often charged if you don't place any trades within a certain period of time.
  • Withdrawal fees. Some brokers charge a fee to withdraw money from your account.
  • Foreign exchange fees. If you want to buy US or other global shares, you'll need to pay an exchange fee when you deposit money into your account to convert your Australian dollars to the applicable currency.

Why you can trust Finder's share trading experts

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We're free

Our comparison tables are completely free to use. We link you directly to the brokers' secure application page. On a regular basis, we update the fees and conditions of all share trading platforms in our database.
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We're experts

We've researched and rated 40+ trading platforms and brokers as part of our Finder Awards. We've published 100+ guides, and our in-house experts regularly appear on Sunrise, 7News, and SBS News.
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We're independent

Unlike other comparison sites, we're not owned by a bank, insurer, or broker. That means our opinions are our own, and you can compare nearly every share trading platform and broker in Australia on Finder.
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We're here to help

Since 2016, we've helped over 300,000 Australians find the right stockbroking account by comparing fees and account features. We'll never ask for your personal information. We're here to help you make a decision.
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involve substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances and obtain your own advice before making any trades.
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Mariam Gabaji is an editor and tech and utilities expert at Finder with 12+ years of experience as a journalist. Her goal is to help households cut through the industry jargon and save money on their household bills. Her expertise is often featured in media including the ABC, Yahoo Finance, 9News, 7News, A Current Affair, The Guardian, SBS and Money Magazine. See full bio

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Investments analyst

Kylie Purcell is the senior investments editor and analyst at Finder. She has completed a Certificate of Securities and Managed Investments (RG146) and specialises in investment products including online brokers, robo-advisors, stocks and ETFs. See full bio

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57 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    JaneJuly 15, 2024

    Is Apex Investments Ltd a real Australian company and fully regulated by ASIC?

      AvatarFinder
      SarahJuly 16, 2024Finder

      Hi Jane,

      You can search the ASIC register here.

      There are many scams to be aware of these days, so if you are noticing in red flags or being pressured into making a decision about investing your money, it’s a good idea to pause your plans while you do more research.

      Best of luck!

    Default Gravatar
    NadineMay 2, 2024

    I would like to know if Trader AI is legit? I read an article on them, then signed up but received a phone call from very pushy salesperson that raised many red flags for me. I ended the call and decided not to pursue it. The other thing that raised a red flag was that the article said it was an app-based product, but when I searched, I couldn’t find the app – I’m on android – so my initial registration was done online, but not via an app. I found this odd.

      AvatarFinder
      SarahMay 30, 2024Finder

      Hi Nadine,

      We’re not aware of this platform and can’t provide personal advice, but it is a good idea to follow your instincts if you notice any red flags. A reputable trading platform should not use pressure tactics to get your business. It’s also a good idea to research the company online and your due diligence again showed red flag. Well done for following your instincts! And best of luck on your trading journey.

    Default Gravatar
    VigneshMarch 9, 2024

    Hi, can I buy US EFT from Australia without a CFD in Etoro?

      AvatarFinder
      ElizabethMarch 26, 2024Finder

      Hi Vignesh,

      Yes, you can directly buy and sell US stocks listed on the NYSE and Nasdaq through eToro.

      I hope this helps,

      Elizabeth

    Default Gravatar
    harryFebruary 15, 2024

    I would like to trade Aussie shares.. I am a permanent resident of Australia/USA Citizen. What on line Aussie platform supports me ?

      AvatarFinder
      ElizabethMarch 12, 2024Finder

      Hi Harry,

      As a resident you should be eligible for most online trading platforms. You usually need a bank account, tax file number and a form of ID (such as a licence) to sign up and start trading.

      You can use the page above to compare your options.

      I hope this helps,

      Elizabeth

    Default Gravatar
    LCDecember 29, 2023

    Has Finder given awards to Pepperstone in 2023?

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