Share trading apps let you place trades and manage your stocks from.
Smartphones are perhaps the most ubiquitous form of modern technology. Not only do we take our phones everywhere with us, but we use them to perform an increasingly diverse array of crucial everyday tasks.
Compare your share trading options
There are around 15 million smartphones in use in Australia, and we use our hand-held devices for everything from browsing the Internet to mobile banking. Recent years have also seen the emergence of another useful financial management tool: share trading apps.
Share trading apps are designed to help you buy and sell shares on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and share markets around the world. They allow you to easily and conveniently place trades whenever you want, stay on top of market movements and build wealth.
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What is a share trading app?
A share trading app is a smartphone or tablet app that allows you to buy and sell shares. Available for both Apple and Android devices, these apps allow you to trade shares directly on the ASX and other international markets. They also offer many of the same features as online share trading platforms, such as market news, live data, company research and stock recommendations.
Research from the 2015 First Half Australia Trading Behaviour Survey found six out of ten Australian online investors use a mobile device to place trades. The main benefit of share trading apps is convenience: they make it possible to buy and sell shares at any time that suits you, allowing you to take advantage of market fluctuations and economic developments.
Australian investors have several trading apps to choose from, some from the “Big Four Banks” and others from specialised brokerage firms. We’ve profiled some of the best apps below - please note that this article only looks at share trading apps, not online share trading platforms with mobile-optimised websites.
Linking your account to a share trading app
In order to use a share trading app, you will first need to open an account with an online share trading platform. Once you’ve provided your details and opened an online account, you can then download a share trading app to your smartphone and login using the same account details.
The share trading app is linked to your online trading account. This means you can check your trading balance, monitor the status of pending orders and view past trades through the app.
Our pick for share trading apps
Here's a selection of apps, their features and pros and cons.
The CommSec app allows you to access the CommSec share trading platform through your iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone. The app allows you to buy and sell shares, view and trade on live prices, and create watchlists to monitor company performance.
You also have the convenience of being able to view all your equities, margin lending holdings and CommBank cash balances in a single page view.
- It's free to download. The CommSec app is available for free for people who have CommSec Trading Accounts.
- You can create watchlists. You can use the app to create watchlists and monitor the performance of different shares.
- You can trade more than just shares. CommSec also offers free apps for trading equities and CFDs.
- Available for Apple and Android only. The app is not available on phones and tablets that do not run the Android or Apple operating system.
nabtrade IRESS mobile
Designed for both Android and iPhone devices, nabtrade IRESS mobile is a share trading-specific app available to customers with a nabtrade account. The app allows you to buy or sell shares from your smartphone, including the ability to place contingent orders, access live prices, market depth and charts.
You can also view your Trading Account holdings, view your orders and order status, see the top ASX gainers and losers, and access customisable charts.
- You can access a range of information. nabtrade IRESS mobile allows you to access an extensive range of useful trading information before buying or selling a share.
- You can access live data. You can access live market data refreshed at a time interval of your choice.
- Hedge your risk with contingent orders. The app offers a range of trading options, including the use of contingent orders.
- Only Androids and iPhones. You’ll need an iPhone or a smartphone running the Android operating system in order to access this app.
Westpac Online Investing
The Westpac Online Investing App is designed for iPhone, iPad and Android users and is optimised for use on smartphones. The trading-specific app allows you to trade shares, warrants, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and exchange traded commodities (ETCs).
You can use the app to create editable watchlists, view live quotes and news, view all your holdings and set up a wide range of customised alerts.
- You can trade more than shares. In addition to shares, the app allows you to trade warrants, ETFs and ETCs.
- You can access live data to make investment decisions. Westpac Online Investing’s mobile app allows you to access live quotes, charts, company announcements and news.
- There are customisable alerts. You can receive alerts for everything from price movements and market-sensitive announcements to dividend dates.
- Not for Windows phones. The app cannot be accessed through a Windows phone.
CMC Markets Stockbroking Mobile Platform
This trading app offers all the functionality of the CMC Markets full website on your mobile device. You can buy and sell shares from your mobile using all order types, including conditional and linked orders. The app also lets you view your current positions and order history, access market depth and up-to-date charts, and view your watchlists and portfolios.
CMC Markets’ mobile platform also provides the latest market news and commentary and is available on iPhone and Android devices.
- A wide range of order types. You can place, buy and sell orders, amend and cancel orders, and use conditional and linked orders to manage your investments.
- Information from the market and experts. CMC Markets provides users with access to an extensive range of useful investment information to help you make the right trading decisions.
- Customise your own watchlists. It’s easy to create and edit watchlists to monitor the performance of stocks.
- Most suitable for experienced traders. The CMC Markets platform is designed for experienced traders and may be too complicated for novice investors.
Bell Direct Mobile App
The Bell Direct Mobile App is a web-based platform available for iPhone and Android users. It allows you to buy and sell shares, access real-time data and market depth, and read the latest company research reports.
You can also enjoy access to live news feeds and company announcements, edit watch screens and track your portfolio.
- It's easy to use. The app makes it simple and intuitive to buy and sell shares.
- You get access to market data. Users can access a wide range of important market data before placing a trade.
- It's free to download. The app is available for free to Bell Direct clients.
- iPhone and Android only. The app is not available on Windows phones.
IG trading app
IG offers a suite of trading apps designed to give you the best mobile trading experience across a range of devices. There are separate apps optimised for use on each of the following devices: iPhone, Android mobile, Windows phone, iPad, Android tablet and Windows tablet.
The app is free to download and provides access to 10,000 markets. You can use the IG app to access live market data and analysis, and trade forex, CFDs, indices and commodities.
- It's free to download. The IG app is completely free to download.
- It uses native designs. You can download a version of the app that has been specifically designed to suit your smartphone or tablet’s operating system.
- The app is regularly updated. The app is updated regularly to improve your trading experience.
- Not suitable for casual investors. The IG app is targeted more towards experienced traders than casual investors.
HSBC Online Share Trading
HSBC Online Share Trading’s mobile app is a web-based program available for iPhone, Android (2.1+) and BlackBerry (OS6.0+). Offered free to HSBC Online Share Trading clients, the share trading-specific app allows you to buy and sell shares, access real-time market data, check out market depth and view the latest research reports.
You can also access up-to-date company announcements, track your portfolio and place trades whenever and wherever you would like.
- It's free to download. The app is offered free to HSBC Online Share Trading customers.
- It focuses on just shares. The app is designed to help you buy and sell shares, unlike some other apps which offers access to a wide range of investments.
- Trading information available to help you make decisions. From real-time market data to company announcements, the HSBC app provides access to a wide range of information to help you make informed trading decisions.
- Not available for Windows phones. The HSBC app is not offered on Windows phones.
Which share trading app is right for me?
The best share trading app for you will depend on your investment knowledge and experience. If you’re new to share investing and looking for an app that’s easy to use and understand, it’s hard to go past the CommSec app.
But if you’re an experienced trader with an in-depth knowledge of how to buy and sell shares, the functionality and depth of information provided by IG’s collection of trading apps make them well worth a look.