Share Trading Finder™ – Compare Share Trading Accounts Online

Want to get into share trading? Here's what you need to know and how to choose the right online share trading platform.

Online share trading makes it easy and affordable for anyone to begin investing in shares and build a portfolio through the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and other markets. Learn how online share trading platforms work, how to make money from them, what sort of fees you'll pay and what all that confusing terminology really means. While share trading carries risks, it's worth investigating as a means of increasing your net worth.

Compare share and CFD trading accounts

Rates last updated December 3rd, 2016
Rates last updated December 3rd, 2016
Details Features
Halifax Online
Halifax Online
Trade US and Australian shares, options, futures and CFDs with no registration fees. Trade 24/7 on your desktop, tablet or smartphone. Commission - AUS shares: $10 or 0.12% Go to site More info
IG CFD Trading
IG CFD Trading
Trade from over 10,000 markets with Australia's leading service for CFD trading and forex. Introductory offer: receive a reduced commission for the first two weeks. Commission - AUS shares: From 0.10% Go to site More info
IronFX CFD
IronFX CFD
Trade Forex, CFDs, spot indices, spot commodities and more online. Commission - AUS shares: 0.10% Go to site More info
CMC Markets Stockbroking Account
CMC Markets Stockbroking Account
Trade shares, warrants, options, EFTs, managed funds, bonds and IPOs with CMC Markets today. Commission - AUS shares: 0.10% Go to site More info
FP Markets CFD Account
FP Markets CFD Account
Trade CFDs with FP Markets using the IRESSTrader platform. Trade CFDs on international equities, futures and forex. Commission - AUS shares: $10 or 0.10% Go to site More info
Plus500 CFD Service
Plus500 CFD Service
Trade Australian and international CFDs on shares, forex, indices, commodities and more. $30 welcome bonus available. T&C's apply. Commission - AUS shares: Spread only Go to site More info
TradeDirect365 CFD Trading
TradeDirect365 CFD Trading
Trade CFDs on over 500 ASX shares, as well as international shares, indices, foreign exchange and commodities with TradeDirect365. Stop loss orders and a 24 hour trade desk available. Commission - AUS shares: $5 or 0.07% Go to site More info
Rates last updated December 3rd, 2016
Details Features
IG Forex Trading Account
IG Forex Trading Account
Trade from over 10,000 markets with Australia's leading service for CFD trading and forex. Spreads: From 0.6 pips Go to site More info
CMC Markets Forex Trading Account
CMC Markets Forex Trading Account
Trade shares, warrants, options, EFTs, managed funds, bonds and IPOs with CMC Markets today. Spreads: From 0.7 pips Go to site More info
FP Markets FX Trading Account
FP Markets FX Trading Account
Trade forex using an Electronic Communications Network (ECN) model, meaning FP Markets doesn't profit from client losses. Two account types to choose from. Spreads: From 0.8 pips Go to site More info
IronFX Forex
IronFX Forex
Trade Forex, CFDs, spot indices, spot commodities and more online. Spreads: From 0.0 pips Go to site More info
Plus500 CFD Forex Trading Service
Plus500 CFD Forex Trading Service
Trade Australian and international CFDs on shares, forex, indices, commodities and more. $30 welcome bonus available. T&C's apply. Spreads: Spread only Go to site More info
Vantage FX
Vantage FX
Low commission fee on trades with $0 account keeping fee. Spreads: From 0.0 pips Get Quote More info
Halifax Online Forex Trading
Halifax Online Forex Trading
Trade US and Australian shares, options, futures and CFDs with no registration fees. Trade 24/7 on your desktop, tablet or smartphone. Spreads: From 0.0 pips Get Quote More info

Rates last updated December 3rd, 2016
Details Features
Commonwealth Financial Planning
Commonwealth Financial Planning
Free initial consultation offer with a financial planner Commonwealth Financial Planners could help you:
  • Grow your super
  • Insure your family and assets
  • Plan your investments
  • Prepare for retirement
Enquire More info

Everything you need to know to get started in share trading

How does online share trading work?

Companies sell shares in order to raise funds for expansion. Shareholders buy and sell shares through stock markets, which provide continuous updates on the prices of those shares. For Australian-listed companies, all trading is done through the Australian Securities Exchange (invariably referred to as the ASX), which lists more than 2,000 companies. Overseas shares are traded on a variety of exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the NASDAQ and the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

In the pre-Internet era, the only way to buy or sell shares was through an individual broker, which was often expensive and time consuming. Online trading means investors can buy and sell shares directly in real time. While there are still fees involved, going online is far cheaper for individual investors.

When you buy shares online, you'll pay a brokerage fee for each transaction, which typically ranges from $5 to $25 for ASX trades. The standard ASX trading hours are 10am to 4pm AEST Monday to Friday. As well as shares, you can trade in index funds (which track the performance of a range of stocks) and other products. There's a minimum order of $500 when buying shares on the ASX, and your online trading platform may impose a higher limit.

So how can you make money from shares?

There are two main techniques:

  • If you can sell your shares for a higher price than you paid for them, then you'll make a profit. This is possible both with short-term investments (where you sell the shares after a brief period of time) and over longer periods. When you're starting out, aiming for longer-term investments makes sense as you're less experienced.
  • Some (but not all) companies pay regular dividends to their shareholders, based on the amount of profit they make, which can provide an ongoing income stream and may also have some tax advantages for individual investors.

You can learn more about comparing share trading platforms in our detailed guide on how to make the best choice.

What are the best beginner trading sites?

If you're new to online share trading, a good place to start is with the platforms offered by the "big four" Australian banks: Commsec, Westpac Online Investing, nabtrade and ANZ Share Trading. These sites all offer affordable brokerage fees and a range of education and research resources to help you learn the ins and outs of trading.

How can I choose the best share trading platform for me?

  • Compare commission fees. Some brokers may charge extra for different types of orders or specialised investment products. High-value trades are often charged as a percentage of the total trade value, rather than having a fixed fee. Share Trading Finder™ can help you compare these accounts and commission fees.
  • Availability of advice and research options. Online brokers will usually offer market news and updates, as well as other research tools that will let you investigate the trading history of individual stocks.
  • Integration with bank accounts. Some services let you transfer money easily from your trading account to a high interest savings account. Others offer linked debit cards to use with your accounts.
  • Access to other markets. If you want to invest in offshore exchanges, check what options are available with each service.

The latest in share trading

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

2 Responses to Share Trading Finder™ – Compare Share Trading Accounts Online

  1. Default Gravatar
    Richard | May 30, 2016

    Hi there I have my drivers license with me what do I now!

    • Staff
      Shirley | May 31, 2016

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please choose a share trading provider you would like to sign up with. Click on “Go to site” and follow the prompts to sign up.

Ask a question
feedback