Dabble review: $0 brokerage US share trading

Dabble is the US share trading app offered by Australian digital bank Xinja.

Important information

On December 16, 2020, Xinja announced it would be exiting from banking and returning its ADI license to focus on other areas, including Dabble. At the time of writing Dabble had not officially launched. This review is based on a pre-launch trial and could be subject to change.

Dabble is a US stock trading platform offered by digital-only bank Xinja Bank. While it's not the first zero-commission share trading app available in Australia, Dabble is the only platform offering an automated investment option starting from just $1 per trade. In the review below we've covered the fees, features, pros and cons.

Good for

  • $0 brokerage for US stocks
  • Invest from $1 per trade
  • Automated investment option
  • Fractional investing

Not so good for

  • $8 monthly subscription fee
  • No Australian shares, US stocks only
  • No live streaming (live prices at refresh)
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$0 Brokerage fee

Standard brokerage fee

NASDAQ, NYSE

Available markets

Phone, Email, Live chat

Support

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Details

Type of broker Online only
ASX products N/A
Available markets NASDAQ
NYSE
Standard brokerage $0 Brokerage fee
Support Phone
Email
Live chat

How Dabble works

Dabble is a US stock trading platform that was set to launch in September 2020 by Australian digital-only bank Xinja bank. Xinja was launched in 2017 and received its banking licence in September last year, becoming Australia’s first independent neobank with products in the market.

Dabble offers over 3,000 US shares and ETFs to Australian customers and charges $0 brokerage per trade. You can only access Dabble via the Xinja app, so to sign up, you'll need to be a Xinja bank account holder.

Key features

Dabble is not the first to introduce zero-commission trading for US stocks in Australia, but it does have a few additional features that set it apart. Notably, you can invest from as little as $1 into US stocks and you can set up automated weekly investments into stocks and ETFs of your choice. Here are some of the highlights with a few more details:

Low costs

You pay zero commissions to trade US stocks which is the main cost in share trading. For example, with Australia's largest broker CommSec, you're charged a minimum $19.95 in commissions per trade for US stocks. On the other hand, with Dabble you do pay an $8 monthly subscription fee and a 1% currency conversion fee.

Low minimal investments

You can invest as little as $1 into US stocks, which is the lowest investment amount available among zero-commission brokers in Australia.

Automatic investments

You can choose to make ongoing automatic investments into the stock or ETF of your choice on a weekly basis. You select the amount you want to invest and on which day you want the investment to go through.

User-friendly platform

The platform is cleanly designed, well-suited to beginners and very easy to navigate. It also clearly lays out the fees and basic features for users, so you know exactly what you're being charged every step of the way.

Fractional share trading

Instead of buying whole shares, Dabble gives you the option to invest in fractions of shares starting from just $1. Essentially, this means you could invest just $1 into Google, instead of buying a whole share for $1,400.

Instant fund settlement

Because Dabble is integrated with the Xinja banking app, buying shares is funded directly from your transaction account and settled back into it instantly (once the US market opens). This is a nice touch, as normally when you join an online broker, an external bank account must be set up in your name, adding an extra day or two to transfer funds over.

Ethical/low-risk investing

Dabble is angled towards long-term investors, rather than active traders. Because of this, trading with borrowed funds (margin trading) and leveraged products such as options and leveraged ETFs are excluded, while weapons-related and tobacco companies are also filtered out. Dabble doesn't permit “pattern-day trading” and any user that trades the same stock every day consecutively within four days will have their account blocked.

What are Dabble's costs?

Dabble does not charge any brokerage fees when you buy or sell US stocks (ASX stocks are not available), but there are other fees to consider.

Key costs

  • Zero brokerage
  • $8 monthly subscription
  • 1% currency conversion fee

While the $8 per month subscription fee might be a little steep, it does include unlimited trades and you don't need to pay extra to access limit orders or live data (available when you refresh).

Platforms with fractional investing in Australia

Platform
Minimum investment
Broker fee for US stocks
FX fee
Dabble$1$01%
Interactive BrokersNone$0.0035 per share0.20%
Stake$10$0US$0.70 per AUD$100
Goodments$1$31%
eToro$US200$050 pips (US$0.50 for every AU$100 exchanged)

What markets can you trade?

You can only access US-listed shares and exchange traded funds (ETFs) through Dabble. There are no Australian-listed shares and you cannot trade options, CFDs or forex.

In addition, Dabble has excluded leveraged products including leveraged ETFs as well as weapons-related and tobacco manufacturing companies.

Note: Non-US companies listed as American Depository Receipt companies (ADRs) are not offered through Dabble.

Trade options

The minimum investment is $1 per US-listed company or ETF and you have three options to choose from when you order your stocks on Dabble:

  • Market: An order to buy a stock at the latest available price. Note: This wont occur until the US market opens.
  • Limit: An order instruction to buy or sell a stock at a specific price.
  • Automated: You can invest a specific amount into a stock or ETF on an ongoing weekly basis.

It should be noted that Dabble doesn't permit “pattern-day trading”. This means that you cannot trade the same stock every day consecutively within four days.

How to sign up with Dabble

To join Dabble, you'll need to download the Xinja app onto your mobile which will open a Xinja transaction account under your name. The process is relatively simple and it took around 10–15 minutes to get everything sorted before I could start trading on the app. You will need to provide ID of sorts, such as a driver's licence or passport.

If you already have a Xinja account, Dabble will appear on your homescreen. Click on it and it will take you through a list of questions, including name, age, income and trading experience.

Once you have the account set up, you can navigate from your bank account to your trading account with the click of a button.

What customer support options are available?

I had a good customer service experience using Dabble. The live chat replies were quick and they went to extra lengths to find me details.

In addition to live chat, Dabble offers phone and email services through the Xinja and Dabble app from 8am to 8pm.

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