- Trusted brand
- No inactivity fee
- News and research
- Data and monitoring tools
Not so great for
- WebIRESS charting isn't free
- No live chat support
CommSec is the fully owned, online trading arm of Commonwealth Bank. With over 20 years of share trading experience, it's one of the most widely used platforms in Australia.
With a CommSec Share Trading Account, customers can buy shares online quickly and affordably via its easy to use desktop or mobile app. Our CommSec review shows clients have access to real-time quotes, news and state-of-the-art charting to help them get the competitive advantage to succeed in the share market.
|Type of broker||
Company issued options
|Standard brokerage||From $10|
Launching in 1995, CommSec is one of Australia's oldest share trading platforms for the retail market. Today's it's among the country's largest and most well-known online brokerages, offering Australian and international shares, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and self managed super fund (SMSF) accounts.
You don't need to be a banking customer of the Commonwealth Bank to open a CommSec Share Trading Account, but it does allow you to easily view and move between banking and trading accounts with a single login. If you've experienced the confusing mess that flicking between multiple accounts and logins can serve up, you'll know how handy this type of integration can be.
The CommSec Share Trading Account offers features that are useful for both novice and advanced investors – however the platform is simple enough to use that new investors won't be too overwhelmed.
While its brokerage fees aren't the lowest on the market for trades of more than $1,000, there's no minimum trade requirement on your standard Australian shares account. This means you won't be charged an inactivity fee or any other monthly fee.
Plus, one of the platform's biggest draw cards are the free high-quality data feeds and research on all listed securities.
Current clients of Commonwealth Bank can use a single login to easily switch between both CommSec and NetBank, which helps to keep all finances in the one place. If you choose to go down this path, it pays to set up a Commonwealth Direct Investment Account (CDIA). A CDIA is the same as a regular transaction account however it can also be used as a trade settlement account which is viewable right next to your current bank balances within NetBank. Plus it gives you the option of having a debit Mastercard attached to the account.
All CommSec Share Trading Accounts provide clients with up-to-date market prices and data. With a CommSec Share Trading Account, you're able to stay up to date with the latest news and releases as they happen. You can access reports, videos and analysis from CommSec analysts directly within the platform.
CommSec allows you to invest in overseas markets by opening a CommSec International Securities Trading Account. Within the one account, clients have the ability to buy shares in US companies such as Apple or Google along with global stocks and ETFs listed in 25 overseas markets.
CommSec Share Trading Account holders can log in and place trades through a number of portals. Trades can be placed online via a web browser, through the CommSec mobile app for iPhone and Android or simply by calling up and placing an order over the phone. Even without Internet access, you have the peace of mind that comes with having phone access to the CommSec office.
Depending on which CommSec trading account you choose, you'll be able to trade in a number of different markets:
Through CommSec you can open an Australian share trading account and an international share trading account.
In terms of trade settlement, you can use either a CommSec CDIA account, your own account or you can trade through margin loans. This is what you can expect:
If you choose to conduct trades using the CDIA account, you'll benefit from lower brokerage fees and no account keeping fees. Plus, you can earn tiered interest on funds in your account and you have access to all free live trading tools and market research.
If you choose to trade with CommSec using your own cash account you’ll still have access to all the same tools, however you’ll be charged a higher brokerage fee (starting at $29.95).
If you choose to trade using a margin loan, you get access to the same benefits such as free trading tools and live market data however you'll also get access to risk management tools and portfolio monitoring.
A broker the size of CommSec is naturally expected to have a high level of customer support access. If you're faced with queries or problems, you have a number of choices:
Overall, CommSec customers can expect a reasonably high level of customer support for an online broker. The only disappointing feature when it comes to CommSec's customer service is the fact that it doesn't have a live chat option. The live form on its website isn't actually live and it can take one to two days for a response to come through via email. That's frustrating for clients who have short questions that could easily be answered on the spot by a live chat representative.
There's a few basic fees and brokerage charges you need to be aware of when using CommSec:
You have a few options when it comes to paying for your share trades through CommSec. When you buy shares, settlement must occur within two business days – this is called "T+2". This means your funds will need to be available by this date or you'll incur a fee. Options are:
When you're ready to open a CommSec Share Trading Account, click the open account button on the CommSec website. You'll be faced with the following screen asking whether you'd like to trade with a CommSec cash account or your own cash account:
Selecting the first option to trade using CommSec's cash account will give you a new CDIA account which essentially means you get cheaper brokerage fees. You can choose to trade from an account outside of the CBA, however you'll be hit with higher fees. You can read more about what these options mean in our CDIA guide. Once you've selected which account you'd prefer to use, follow the four-step process:
In order to complete the account opening process, have the following documentation handy:
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