Compare Online Share Trading Accounts

Find the right platform to buy and sell shares in Australia.

Online share trading platforms have made it easy and affordable for anyone to begin investing in shares through the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and other markets. Learn how online brokers work, how to make money from stocks, what kinds of fees you'll pay and what all that confusing terminology means in this guide.

Share Trading Account Offer

IG Share Trading Offer

$0

monthly fee

$8

standard trade

Share Trading Account Offer

Special offer: Earn up to 10,000 Qantas Points on a new IG Share Trading account.
Competitive broker fees on Australian and international shares

  • Monthly fee: $0.00
  • Brokerage fee - standard trade: $8.00
  • International: Yes
  • Support - After hours: Yes
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Compare online share trading accounts

Updated December 9th, 2019
Name Product Monthly fee Standard Brokerage Fee Margin trading - Online
$0
$8.00 or 0.1%
Yes
Special offer: Earn up to 10,000 Qantas Points when you start trading on a new IG Share Trading account. T&C applies.
Enjoy some of the lowest brokerage fees on the market when trading Australian shares, international shares, forex and CFDs, plus get access to 24-hour customer support.
$0
$6.99 or 0.1%
Yes
High quality, low-cost brokerage on global share trading.
Access up to 19,000 global stocks on 36 of the world’s major stock exchanges and enjoy some of the most competitive FX rates on the the market when you trade with Saxo Capital Markets.
$0
$9.50
No
Trade ASX-listed shares for a flat fee of $9.50, regardless of the trade size.
New customers receive free access to Community Insights with SelfWealth Premium for the first 90 days. Follow other investors and benchmark your portfolio performance.
$0
$15 for first 10 trades
Yes
Offer: For a limited time, get a custom deal based on your trading preferences when you switch to Bell Direct.
Bell Direct offers a one-second placement guarantee on market-to-limit ASX orders or your trade is free, plus enjoy extensive free research reports from top financial experts.
$0
$11 or 0.1% for first 10 trades (for trade value up to $11,000)
Yes
Access a broad range of investment products from Australia and overseas.
Take advantage of IPOs and trade shares, warrants, options and CFDs listed across the ASX, SSX and Chi-X, and other major global exchanges, including US, Canada and UK markets.

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated December 9th, 2019
Name Product Monthly fee Standard brokerage fee for US shares Margin trading - Online Currency conversion fee International
$0
US$10 or 2 cents per share
Yes
0.5%
Yes
Special offer: Earn up to 10,000 Qantas Points when you start trading on a new IG Share Trading account. T&C applies.
Enjoy some of the lowest brokerage fees on the market when trading Australian shares, international shares, forex and CFDs, plus get access to 24-hour customer support.
$0
US$9.90 or 1 cent per share
Yes
0.3%
Yes
High quality, low-cost brokerage on global share trading.
Access up to 19,000 global stocks on 36 of the world’s major stock exchanges and enjoy some of the most competitive FX rates on the the market when you trade with Saxo Capital Markets.
$0
AU$19.95 for up to $5000 shares
Yes
Up to 0.60%
Yes
Access a broad range of investment products from Australia and overseas.
Take advantage of IPOs and trade shares, warrants, options and CFDs listed across the ASX, SSX and Chi-X, and other major global exchanges, including US, Canada and UK markets.

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated December 9th, 2019
Name Product Annual fee on balances less than $5000 Annual fee on $5001 - $9999 balances Annual fee on $50,001 - $99,999 balances Annual fee on $100,001 - $199,999 balances Minimum Deposit Investments Used Number of Portfolios
N/A
N/A
0.50%
0.50%
$10,000
ETFs
5
Invest in Australian and global shares, property, infrastructure, emerging markets, bonds and cash with Six Park.
$60
$60
0.60%
0.55%
$2,500
ETFs
5
Invest in Australian and global shares, cash, fixed income/bonds, property and emerging markets.
$0
0.05%
0.05%
0.05%
$1
Equities
1
Invest in Australian shares, global shares and cash markets.
$0
0.10%
0.10%
0.10%
$1
Equities
1
Invest in Australian shares, global shares and cash markets.
First 6 months free then $5.50 per month
First 6 months free then $5.50 per month
0.66% per year inc GST + access to Stockspot Themes
0.66% per year inc GST + access to Stockspot Themes
$2,000
ETFs
5

Compare up to 4 providers

Sharesight Portfolio Tracker

Sharesight works alongside your online share trading platform and can be integrated with your Xero account.

  • Free for investors with less than 10 holdings
  • Comprehensive dividend and tax reporting
  • 25+ stock exchanges supported
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How does online share trading work?

Companies sell shares (partial ownership of the company) in order to raise funds for expansion. Shareholders buy and sell shares through stock markets, such as the Australian Securities Exchange (the ASX). A company's share price changes several times throughout the day, so most shareholders aim to buy shares when they are low in cost and sell when the price of the share increases to make a profit. Share trading is also commonly referred to as buying stocks - this is the same as buying shares.

How do you trade shares in Australia?

When you trade shares you typically do so through a stock exchange, which is a marketplace for stocks, exchange traded funds (ETFs), bonds and other assets. For Australian-listed companies, most trading is done through the ASX, however there is also the National Stock Exchange of Australia (NSX) and the Chi-X. Overseas shares are traded on a variety of exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the NASDAQ and the London Stock Exchange (LSE). If you want to buy shares in companies based outside of Australia, you can read our guide to international share trading.

How do I buy shares in a company?

In the pre-Internet era, the only way to buy or sell shares was through an individual full service broker, which was often expensive and time consuming. Online trading means investors can buy and sell shares directly with the click of a button. 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 $10 to $30 for ASX trades.

The standard ASX trading hours are 10am to 4pm AEST Monday to Friday, while other global exchanges keep similar hours. Along with individual shares, you can also invest in funds that hold many stocks, such as ETFs, which track the performance of stocks and other products.

Keep in mind there's usually a minimum first order of $500 when buying shares in a company on the ASX, however some trading apps get around this by offering fractional investing, just as others choose to impose a higher minimum limit. To buy shares online, simply open an account with an online share trading platform such as those listed in the table above.

For a more detailed guide on the process of buying shares, take a look at our 7 step guide to buying shares online.

Buy shares in:

Top 20 ASX stocks by market cap

Compare brokerage fees on Australian share trading accounts

Brokerage fees are an important factor when comparing trading platforms, however there are things to consider. While share trading accounts tend to highlight their lowest available brokerage fee, this is usually impacted by how often you trade and how much you trade. Some accounts also have monthly subscription or inactivity fees if you don't place any trades for a specific period of time. Here are the basic starting fees offered by some of Australia's leading platforms:

Saxo Markets

Saxo's logo Image: Supplied
$6.99 brokerage fee on Australian shares

IG

IG's logo Image: Supplied
$8.00 brokerage fee on Australian shares

SelfWealth

Selfwealth's logo Image: Supplied
$9.50 brokerage fee on Australian shares

CMC Markets

WorldRemit's logo Image: Supplied
$11.00 brokerage fee on Australian shares

Macquarie

Macquarie's logo Image: Supplied
$19.95 brokerage fee on Australian shares

So how can you make money from shares?

  • Capital growth. If you can sell your shares for a higher price than what you paid for them, then you'll make a profit. This is known as capital growth, given that your initial capital has increased in value. 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.
  • Dividends. Some 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. Dividend payments are a great form of passive income.

What are blue chip shares?

Blue chip shares are large companies that are financially strong and have a solid track record of producing good earnings to shareholders. Typically, they are industry leaders and household brands. Investing in blue chip shares could be a good strategy for beginners, as they are usually considered to be very stable and have been in the market for a long time. For example the Big Four banks, CBA, NAB, ANZ and Westpac, are considered blue chip shares.

At the other end of the spectrum are growth stocks, sometimes called penny stocks. Growth stocks are usually part of lesser known companies that may not have been been established for very long. Investors can usually buy stocks in these companies for a low price with the idea that their value could increase significantly over time and deliver good capital growth. Successful growth stocks include Afterpay, Zip Co, Appen and Wisetech.

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

When choosing an online share trading platform, consider the following factors:

  • Broker 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.
  • Customer support. Check what level of customer support is available, what hours it's available and if the support team is based locally in Australia. This is particularly important for new traders.

Ready to compare accounts and start trading? Go to the comparison table now.

Investing Apps

As smartphones become increasingly intertwined with our everyday lives, our investing is not immune. Investing apps are growing in popularity, and as a result, making trades and monitoring live market data has never been easier or more convenient than it is today. Read about some of the apps making waves in world of investing:
CommSec Pocket
Set automatic investments into Australian and global ETFs for as little as $2 brokerage.
Coins VS Tokens
Trade thousands of US stocks like Facebook, Google and Tesla with $0 brokerage fees.
Invest your spare change with Raiz
Round up and invest your spare change when you make everyday purchases and get bonus credits by shopping through the app.
Spaceship Voyager allows you to invest with no minimum
Investing made cheap and easy with a managed fund of Australian and global shares.
Six Park
A robo-adviser that invests your money into a portfolio of Australian, US and emerging markets ETFs.
Micro-investing with a smartphone
Learn about other apps that let you invest money in the stock market for as little as a few dollars a pop.

Tips for online share trading

  • Read the news. It's important to stay up-to-date with the broader economy, and learn how major events such as national elections impact the share price of various companies.
  • Research companies before buying. If you want to buy shares in a company, research as much as you can about the company before making your final decision. It's a good idea to read the company's annual reports and meeting minutes to learn what is in the pipe-line, and what changes will be made that could affect their share price.
  • Consider blue chip companies. This is good strategy for people new to the share market, as these companies often have more stable returns and are less volatile.
  • Diversify. Say you had $5,000 to invest int he share market. Rather than invest the whole amount in one company, consider spreading it out across a few companies from different industries. Diversification will help lower your risk, and ensure you don't have all your eggs in the one basket.

Share trading glossary - learn the key share trading terms and what they mean

  • ASX: The abbreviation for the Australian Securities Exchange, Australia's primary stock exchange
  • All Ordinaries: This is an index of the performance of the share prices of around 500 of Australia's biggest companies. Also referred to as the All Ords
  • Bear market: This term refers to when prices on the market are falling and further falls are expected to occur
  • Blue chip stock: A blue chip stock is a large company with a steady history of turning a profit
  • Brokerage fee: This is the fee you must pay to a share trading platform when you use the platform to buy or sell shares
  • Bull market: Opposite to a bear market. This term applies when share market prices are rising and expected to continue to rise
  • CHESS (Clearing house electronic sub register system): This ASX system settles share trades and acts as the central registry for the electronic transfer of share ownership
  • Contract note: This confirms a buy or sell transaction and includes details such as the type of share, the price paid and the quantity traded
  • Dividend: Companies can distribute their profits or earnings to shareholders in the form of dividends. A dividend is calculated as a number of cents for each share you own
  • Float: The initial raising of capital through public subscription to a security
  • Fundamental analysis: This involves analysing the financial statements of a business to determine its overall financial standing
  • Futures: Futures are contracts to buy or sell an asset at a specified future date
  • Limit order: A limit order specifies the maximum (when buying) or minimum (when selling) price you are willing to accept for a share transaction
  • Listed company: Listed companies have shares that are purchased and sold through the ASX
  • Live price: This is the price of a share at a precise moment in time
  • Market order: A market order is an order to buy or sell a share at its current market price
  • Short selling: This is when you borrow a security and subsequently sell it, with the obligation to buy it back in future at a much lower price
  • Volatility: This reflects the amount of fluctuation in share prices
  • Warrant: This gives its holder the right to purchase a security at within a certain timeframe and at a specific price
  • Yield: This is your return on an investment and is expressed as a percentage

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