Investing was once reserved for the wealthy and well-connected. But the rise of digital platforms has disrupted the financial landscape, making it possible for anyone with a smartphone and pocket change to participate.
This revolution has brought about a new era of retail investors, who are turning to digital platforms to invest in stocks, currencies, commodities and other assets.
In this guide, we'll explore some of the statistics around the trading platforms available in Australia today.
- 53% of Australians invest in the stock market via share trading platforms (Finder, 2021).
- There are at least 40 online stockbrokers in Australia today (Finder, 2023).
- 16% of investors use micro-investment apps (Finder, 2021).
- 7% of Australian children under the age of 12 have a share trading account under their name (Finder, 2021).
- 7% of Australian investors use robo-advisors (InvestmentTrends, June 2020).
A changing landscape
Online trading is still a relatively young industry in Australia.
Just over 2 decades ago, online share trading platforms in Australia facilitated just 18% of all stock trades (RBA), with most investors accessing the stock market through full-service brokers.
At the same time (in 2001) there were just over 1 million Australian customers signed up to share trading platforms and around 10 available platforms to choose from.
Today there are more than 9 million Australians invested in stocks and approximately 70% of Australian investors use online trading platforms to buy shares (ASX).
We've also seen an explosion of new platforms emerge in the last few years.
There are now around 40 online trading platforms available in Australia, with just over a quarter emerging in the last 3 years.
Having launched in 1997 and quickly becoming Australia's most popular broker, CommSec remains Australia's biggest online broker by customer base.
Investment app demographics
Mobile investment apps have simplified the investment process and made it easier for people to enter the stock market with a few clicks.
The following data is derived from Finder surveys between February and July 2021:
- 64% of Australians do not use share trading apps or invest in the stock market via any other means.
- 19% of Australians say they use share trading apps to invest in the stock market.
- 17% of Australians say they invest in the stock market but not through share trading apps.
- Men (29%) are 3 times more likely than women (10%) to use share trading apps.
- Between the generations, millennials (31%) are the biggest fans of mobile-based share trading, while only 12% of gen Z and 6% of baby boomers said the same.
- Smartphone users have an average of 2.5 finance apps downloaded on their phone and nearly three-quarters of users (73%) regularly use an app to manage their finances.
- 16% of Australians invest in the stock market through micro-investment apps, such as Raiz or Spaceship.
- Around 7% of Australian children under the age of 12 have a share trading account under their name while 2% have a cryptocurrency trading account.
Australian trading platforms statistics
The following figures are based on Finder's latest analysis as of August 2023:
- There are around 40 stock trading platforms available in Australia, according to Finder's latest analysis. At least 10 of these made their debut in Australia post-2020.
- The biggest online stock trading platform in Australia by customer numbers is CommSec followed by CMC Invest.
- The world's biggest online stock trading platform by customer numbers is Robinhood followed by Webull.
- Most trading platforms (95%) in Australia offer Australian stocks while 70% feature US stocks and 32% list UK stocks.
- Brokerage fees in Australia are relatively high compared to countries like the United States and Canada. Here, the brokerage fee to buy and sell Australian stocks can range from $0 up to $40 per trade. As of September 2023, the average brokerage fee to buy $1,000 of an ASX-listed stock is $11. By comparison, most platforms in the US offer $0 brokerage trades.
- To trade $1,000 of US-listed stock with an Australian trading platform, the average brokerage fee was pegged at $10.70 in 2023. Notably, a few brokers have now shifted to a $0 brokerage model for US equities.