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Is CommSec’s new, cheaper global trading platform worth it?


Australia's biggest online broker has slashed fees on US stocks from $19.95 to $5 per trade.

For a long time CommSec has been surpassed by newer entrants offering cheaper trades on both Australian and global stocks.

Despite growing competition in the brokerage space, CommSec's fees have remained unchanged (and higher than average) for over 3 years.

Now it looks like Australia's top broker is taking the competition seriously with the launch of a new platform that significantly reduces fees on international equities to as low as US$5 per trade.

Previously, CommSec charged customers brokerage of between US$19.95 to US$39.95 on US and other global stocks, making it one of the more expensive brokers on the market.

The news follows CommSec's update last week that saw brokerage fees on Australian equities slashed from $10 to $5 for trades of $1,000 or less.

It has also reduced it's currency conversion fee from 0.60% to 0.55%. This is the fee you get charged to convert Australian Dollars into foreign currencies in order to trade foreign listed stocks.

Global market trades

CommSec's new platform offers 13 global markets including US, UK, Japan and Singapore.

CommSec Executive General Manager Richard Burns said it was good news for CommSec's 2.7 million customer base.

“The recently published ASX 2023 Australian Investor Study shows more Australians are investing directly in international shares than ever before. International share trading is particularly popular with younger investors who comprise over half our new account openings, so we expect our new platform will be really well received.”

While brokerage fees for US stocks start at US$5, the fees to trade stocks on other global markets ranges from around $15 (once converted into AUD) through to $40 depending on the market.

For instance, UK stocks start at £12 per trade (or 0.40%, whichever is higher) and Canadian stocks are CAD$40.00 per trade.

Global markets offered: US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, UK.

While the platform is currently only being offered through the CommSec website, CommSec says there are plans to integrate it into the Commbank app.

How does it compare?

CommSec's latest updates makes it a far more competitive choice for casual investors looking to trade smaller amounts into both Australian and global equities.

Here's how it stacks up against some of Australia's lowest cost brokers on fees alone:

While CommSec's fees aren't quite the lowest on the market, it does offer one of the better deals out there when paired with CommSec's high quality trading tools and extensive access to market data.

While CommSec's brokerage of US$5 for US stocks doesn't quite stack up the $0 brokerage deals out there, it is now one of the cheapest brokers when it comes to ASX CHESS sponsored shares.

Of the brokers above, only Stake, CMC, SelfWealth and CommSec offer CHESS sponsorship.

Looking for a low-cost online broker to invest in the stock market? Compare share trading platforms to start investing in stocks and ETFs.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, 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 involve substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances and obtain your own advice before making any trades.

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