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5 best ways to invest money in Australia in 2022

From stocks and cryptocurrency to bonds and index funds, these are the 5 best ways to make your money grow.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

It has been a volatile 2 years for investors who have dealt with COVID-19, rapidly rising inflation, fears of a recession and geopolitical tensions which might have you wondering "what should I do with my money?".

Unfortunately, we live in a time of record low interest rates and high inflation meaning doing nothing with your money will actually see you go backwards.

As such, we have compared multiple investment options and chose the best 5 ways to invest your money based on rate of return, liquidity, time horizon and how much knowledge or technical skills you'll need to have this investment strategy.

Find the best way to invest money in Australia

1. Best investment for those who want to control their portfolio: Shares

Shares have the greatest variety of trading options because you can choose from emerging businesses you think will explode, companies that pay dividends, established businesses in industries that are resistant to downturns and more. It's easy and often free to open a stock trading account and start trading.

  • Where to buy: Online brokers
  • Risk level: Medium to high – varies greatly based on what you own
  • Liquidity: High
  • Minimum: No investment minimums – pending your broker
  • Fees: Starting from $0 depending on the broker
Promoted
Superhero share trading

Our pick for buying stocks: Superhero

  • $0 brokerage fee for US stock trading
  • $0 brokerage for all ETF purchases
  • Low $5 flat rate for ASX shares
  • No account fees or inactivity fee

2. Best investment for those who want to be hands-off: Robo-advisors

Robo-advisors trade automatically based on an algorithm and invest your funds on your behalf. All you have to do is set up guidelines, such as your risk tolerance and preferred investment types, then the algorithm will allocate your funds and rebalance your portfolio accordingly. This is great for people who don't want to dedicate the time and energy to building and maintaining their own portfolio.

  • Where to open: Brokers and financial companies like Six Parks and Stockspot
  • Risk level: Low, medium or high – depending on the strategy you choose
  • Liquidity: High
  • Minimum: Starting from $0 – depending on the robo-advisor
  • Fees: From $0 to 1% – depending on the robo-advisor
Promoted
OpenInvest

Our pick for robo-advisor: OpenInvest

3. Best investment for conservative investors: Index funds

Index funds offer one of the best risk/reward ratios for long-term investing, meaning they offer decent rewards for relatively low risk. That's because major indices have consistently gone up in the past 90 years. For example, the S&P 500 has averaged a 10% annual return during this time, while in Australia the ASX 200 has a 30-year average of 9.4%. If you invested $10,000 into the ASX 200 30 years ago, you would have $146,000 by 2022 and that is after superannuation being introduced, GST commencing, the dot.com bust, the global financial crisis and COVID-19 lockdowns.

  • Where to buy: Brokers
  • Risk level: Low, medium – depends on which funds you invest in
  • Liquidity: High
  • Minimum: No investment minimums
  • Fees: Annual fee of about 1% depending on the fund
Promoted
eToro (global stocks)

Our pick for buying index funds: eToro

Join the world's biggest social trading network now!

  • Try investing on a practice account
  • Trade stocks for
  • No account fee

4. Best investment for risk takers: Cryptocurrencies

Being a relatively new investment option among mainstream investors and institutions, cryptocurrencies are a high-risk, high-reward investment. What’s more, there are always new coins coming out or older ones getting the spotlight every now and then. Because of that, the rate of return could be way higher than investing in stocks. But since cryptos aren’t currently regulated, you could lose your entire investment.

  • Where to buy: Brokers and crypto exchanges
  • Risk level: Very High
  • Liquidity: High
  • Minimum: No investment minimums
  • Fees: Starting from 0% depending on the broker and the exchange
Promoted
Swyftx Cryptocurrency Exchange

Our pick for buying cryptocurrencies: Swyftx

  • Trade crypto, stocks and ETFs
  • 1.50–2.00% operations fee per crypto transaction
  • No account fee

5. Best investment for those close to retirement: Government bonds

Investing in Australian government bonds is one of the safest investments you can make but you'll get a return that matches the risk. This is because the chances of the Australian government not being about to pay its bills are incredibly low, especially any debt in its own currency. As such most investors see it as safer than the share market or ETFs. Investors who are trying to preserve their assets, such as those who are closer to retirement are most likely to trade in the bond market.

    • Where to buy: Brokers and directly from the government via broker
    • Risk level: Low
    • Liquidity: High
    • Minimum: No investment minimums with bond ETFs, but a $100 minimum investment if you buy bonds directly
    • Fees: From $0 to 0.1% – depending whether you buy bond ETFs or bonds directly
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
Promoted
Bell Direct Share Trading

Our pick for buying government bonds: Bell Direct

Get $300 free brokerage until 30 June when you move to Bell Direct. T&Cs apply.

  • Extensive trading capabilities
  • Trade on Australia and global exchanges
  • No account fee

Bonus: Best investment for inflation

Believe it or not, inflation can be a good time to get in on certain market sectors. Consumer staples, for instance, are typically resistant to volatile periods. This is because regardless of the price, consumers need to buy these items. As such, businesses will simply pass on rising input costs to their customers.

Not only are brands with pricing power usually strong performers during a period of high inflation, energy and commodities are typically the big winners. One of the major drivers of inflation can be rising costs of commodities. It goes without saying rising commodity prices are good for the commodity sector.

5 steps to start investing

Now that you have an idea of the best ways to invest your money, here’s how to start:

1. Identify your goals, time frame and risk tolerance

  • Time horizon: Your time frame should dictate your risk. The sooner you'll need the funds, the more liquid you want to keep them. This way, a dip in the market (assuming it recovers, but we don't know how long it will take) won't destroy the retirement fund you'll need in a year.
    • If you’re nearing retirement, typically a low-risk investment, such as bonds, is the way to go. You would earn less, but the risk is minimal compared to stocks or crypto.
    • If you’re younger, you have a long way to go before retirement so you might want to consider setting aside some funds for riskier investment options (like more speculative stocks or crypto).
  • Risk: Be honest with yourself about how much risk you can reasonably tolerate. If it is going to be impossible for you to watch your portfolio drop in a downturn, you'll want to use a robo-advisor (which is immune to emotional investing) or invest in lower-volatility assets like bonds. Remember, an easy way to hedge risk is through diversification – investing in different assets so that your entire portfolio doesn't depend on the success of one investment.
  • Goals: Do you want to be highly involved in picking stocks? Are there some industries you aren't comfortable investing in? Is your goal retirement or do you have other shorter-term goals? The answers to these questions, as well as those above, will dictate the best way to invest your money.

2. Decide how much help you need

Investors who are just starting out or those who never had the chance to manage their portfolio may consider using a robo-advisor or consulting an expert. Investors who want to try their luck can always start by themselves, as many platforms have research tools and low barriers to entry. Make sure you use money that won’t impact your life if you lose it.

3. Choose your account type

Depending on your goals and investment time frame, you can choose several types of accounts:

  • Self managed super fund (SMSF). Superannuation is compulsory in Australia, but for those who want to manage their own retirement they can select a SMSF. This comes with the perk of being able to choose your own investment but comes with drawbacks including costs associated with the account, legal and compliance obligations and that your money will no longer be professionally managed. In Australia, regardless of what type of super fund you choose your employer should be adding 10% to this account, which needs to be paid out every quarter. But for those looking to accelerate their wealth they can take advantage of the tax benefits with superannuation. Earnings in super are taxed at 15%, which is likely less than your marginal tax rate.
  • Individual accounts. This is the most common type of account you can open with any broker and start investing your money as soon as your funds land. This account has no limits to depositing and withdrawing but gains are taxable.

4. Open your investment account

Depending on who manages your account, there are 2 types of investments accounts to choose from:

  • Standard account with an online broker. This is the most common option for those who want to place their own trades and choose their investments. You will need to open a stock trading account, which is easy and usually free.
  • Robo-advisor. This option is for those who want an algorithm to manage their account based on parameters set by the investor.

5. Deposit and invest

Once you open and fund your account, it’s time to put your money to work. Make sure to choose the best way to invest, depending on your financial situation and goals.

Compare stock trading and cryptocurrency platforms

1 - 10 of 10
Name Product Standard brokerage fee Inactivity fee Markets
ThinkMarkets Share Trading
$8
No
ASX shares
Exclusive: Sign up through Finder and get 3 months of free trading up to 50 trades. Offer available to new customers only.
Following your first three months, enjoy $8 flat fee CHESS sponsored brokerage as well as free live stock data all from the convenience of an easy-to-use mobile app
IG Share Trading
$5 – 8
No
ASX shares, US shares, UK shares, ETFs, and more
Exclusive: Finder customers who apply for a share trading account in June will be able to trade Aussie shares from $2.50 commission until the end of August. T&Cs apply.
Enjoy some of the lowest brokerage fees on the market when trading Australian shares, international shares, plus get access to 24-hour customer support.
Tiger Brokers
Exclusive
Tiger Brokers
$6.49
No
ASX shares, Global shares, Options trading, US shares, ETFs
Exclusive to Finder: Sign up to Tiger through Finder and on completion of your first deposit of any amount or transfer of shares receive 4 extra free grab shares. T&Cs apply.
Get started with $0 brokerage on ASX and US stocks for the first 3 months upon completion of your first qualifying deposit. Also receive a free Apple share if you deposit $3,000 or more.
SelfWealth (Basic account)
$9.5
No
ASX shares, US shares
Trade ASX and US shares for a flat fee of $9.50, regardless of the trade size.
New customers receive free access to Community Insights with SelfWealth Premium for the first 90 days. Follow other investors and benchmark your portfolio performance.
CMC Markets Invest
$0
No
ASX shares, Global shares, mFunds, ETFs
$0 brokerage on global shares including US, UK and Japan markets.
Trade up to 35,000 products, including shares, ETFs and managed funds, plus access up to 15 major global and Australian stock exchanges. Plus, buy Aussie shares for $0 brokerage up to $1,000. (Limited to one buy order per stock per trading day).
Bendigo Invest Direct
$19.95
No
ASX shares, Global shares, Options trading, mFunds, ETFs, Warrants
Gain access to 12 markets from one account with Bendigo.
Invest in Australian shares and access major international markets through a trusted local brand. Plus, fine tune your investment knowledge with Bendigo’s advanced research and analysis tools.
GO Markets Share Trading
$7.70
No
ASX shares, Forex, CFDs, ETFs
Zero Brokerage on your next 50 trades!
Simply transfer an existing HIN before 30 June and pay no fees on your next 50 transactions. Alternatively, transfer your existing shares and receive 5 transactions at zero cost for each shareholding transferred, once again up to 50 free trades. T & Cs apply
Saxo Capital Markets (Classic account)
$5
No
ASX shares, Global shares, ETFs
Access 22,000+ stocks on 50+ exchanges worldwide
Low fees for Australian and global share trading, no inactivity fees, low currency conversion fee and optimised for mobile.
Bell Direct Share Trading
$15
No
ASX shares, mFunds, ETFs
Get $300 free brokerage until 30 June when you move to Bell Direct. T&Cs apply.
Bell Direct offers a one-second placement guarantee on market-to-limit ASX orders or your trade is free, plus enjoy extensive free research reports from top financial experts.
Superhero share trading
$5
No
ASX shares, US shares, ETFs
Sign up & fund your account with A$100 or more and receive US$10 of Tesla stocks on Superhero. T&Cs apply.
Enjoy $0 brokerage on US stocks and buying ETFs as well as a flat $5 fee to trade Australian shares.
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Compare up to 4 providers

1 - 10 of 37
Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Cryptocurrencies
Digital Surge Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency, POLi, Osko, PayID
AUD

303
cryptocurrencies

Finder Exclusive: Receive $10 BTC on sign-up and verification.
An Australia-based exchange with a focus on simplicity that allows users to purchase a range of cryptocurrencies with AUD.
CoinSpot Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, BPAY, Cash, Cryptocurrency, POLi, PayID
AUD

368
cryptocurrencies

CoinSpot lets you buy, sell and swap 100s of cryptos from its simple-to-use desktop or app trading accounts.
Swyftx Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, Osko, PayID
AUD, NZD

313
cryptocurrencies

Finder Exclusive: Receive $20 BTC on sign-up and verification.
Buy and sell a wide range of cryptocurrencies at competitive rates on this Australian exchange.
FTX Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Cryptocurrency, Wire transfer, PayID, Credit or Debit Card
USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, HKD, SGD, TRY, ZAR, CAD, CHF, BRL

276
cryptocurrencies

Sign up through Finder for a 5% discount on all trading fees. T&Cs apply.
FTX is an exchange built by traders for traders, with a range of derivatives markets such as options and futures with deep leverage, in addition to standard spot markets. Note: Not available for US customers.
Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, Osko, PayID
USD, AUD, GBP, CAD, EUR, CNY, RUB, TRY, NGN, UAH & 40+ more

371
cryptocurrencies

Earn up to USD100 in rewards by completing welcome offer tasks within 7 days of sign up. T&Cs apply.
Binance is the world’s largest exchange by trading volume. Get started with instant zero fee AUD deposits and withdrawals in Australia, and enjoy low trading fees, a wide selection of cryptocurrencies and 24/7 local customer support.
CoinJar Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer, Cash, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay
AUD, GBP

52
cryptocurrencies

CoinJar offers a simple way to buy, sell, or trade cryptocurrency with AUD. Enjoy free and instant deposits, fees start from 0.05% and withdrawals are free to your bank account
Independent Reserve Exchange
Cryptocurrency, Osko, PayID, EFT, SWIFT
AUD, NZD, USD

27
cryptocurrencies

Trade AUD and other fiat currencies against a wide range of cryptos at competitive rates.
Cointree Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cash, Cryptocurrency, POLi, PayID, Online banking
AUD

278
cryptocurrencies

Finder Exclusive: Get $10 BTC after verification. T&Cs apply.
Buy 280+ cryptocurrencies with fast-growth portfolio insights, and the ability to swap any coin to any other instantly.
eToro Cryptocurrency Broker
Bank transfer, Debit card, Neteller, PayPal, Online banking, Skrill
EUR, GBP, NZD, USD, AUD, CAD, HKD, SGD, CHF, NOK & 5+ more

73
cryptocurrencies

Finder Exclusive: Buy USD$500 worth of crypto and get a USD$50 bonus.
Disclaimer: Volatile investment product. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Copy the trades of leading cryptocurrency investors on this unique social investment platform. $10 minimum deposit.
KuCoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency, PayPal, Wire transfer, Credit or Debit Card, SEPA
USD, EUR, GBP, RUB, CNY, AUD, KRW, JPY, TRY, VND & 40+ more

599
cryptocurrencies

Finder exclusive: Sign up and use code 1xf56 for one month of VIP 1 benefits. Deposit/transfer more than 0.1 BTC to KuCoin within 7 days of registration for 1 month of VIP 2 benefits. T&Cs apply.
Browse a variety of coin offerings in one of the largest multi-cryptocurrency exchanges and pay in cryptocurrency.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Online stock trading
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, 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 involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

Bottom line

The best way to invest money in Australia depends on factors like your financial goals, risk tolerance, level of involvement and time frame. There is no single best way to invest your money, but these 5 investment options (stocks, robo-advisors, index funds, cryptocurrency and bonds) are good places to start when you are deciding how to invest money in Australia.

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