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How do I find the best stockbroker?

We compare online brokers with full service brokers and show you what to look out for.

The best stockbroker for you will depend on the exchanges you want to access, your current trading experience, how often you want to trade and the overall fees you will be paying.

You will also need to decide whether you want an online stockbroker or a full-service broker.

To find the best stockbroker that suits your circumstances you'll need to compare your options. Read on for tips and advice on how you can find the best stockbroker for you.

Full-service brokers vs online brokers

Before you start comparing stockbrokers, it’s first important to understand that there are broadly 2 different types of brokers available: full-service brokers and online brokers.

Full service brokers

  • High-level investments service
  • Handle all buying and selling of stock and other assets
  • After assessing your goals will provide investment advice for you
  • Have higher fees than online brokers
  • Examples: Morgans, UBS

Online brokers

  • Also known as share trading platforms
  • Don't offer personalised advice
  • Allow you to do the trading yourself
  • Access to overseas markets
  • Tech-centric platforms and tools including charts, data and analysis
  • Examples: CommSec, eToro

Online vs full-service stockbrokers: How to compare

You may be starting to realise that choosing between a full-service stockbroker and an online broking service isn't always a clear-cut decision.

  • Your investment. If you only have a small amount to invest, you may decide that it might not be worth your while to pay a full-service broker's fees.
  • How much do you know about investing? Consider whether you may benefit from the tailored expert advice that a full-service broker may offer.
  • Cost. Consider how the brokerage fees charged by full-service and online brokers will affect your investment budget. How much control do you want to have over your investments? Would you prefer to have full control over where your money is invested, or do you want a broker who can take care of all your buy and sell trades for you?
  • Do you need more than 1 broker? Some investors use multiple brokers to access expert advice on different investment sectors.

Finder survey: What investment options do Australians use?

Response
I do not use any investment services47.34%
Share trading platform32.84%
Financial advisor10.74%
Micro-investment app8.91%
Cryptocurrency exchange7.86%
Portfolio management service3.93%
Robo-advisor3.84%
Full-service stock broker2.97%
Other investment app2.88%
CFD trading platform2.45%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1145 Australians, December 2023

How much do stockbrokers cost?

For online brokers, you will be paying between $3-$30 per trade in brokerage fees. In some instances you can get cheaper brokerage, with things like what country you invest in and who you've signed up with changing the fees greatly.

Full-service brokers also vary but will be more expensive, with brokerage fees typically starting from around $70–$200. Brokerage fees are usually charged as a percentage of the total buy or sell transaction amount.

How to choose a full-service broker

If you’ve decided you want a full-service stockbroker to help you make the right share trading decisions, consider these factors when comparing brokers:

What you can buy and sell

Compare the investments that different brokers can advise you on and help you trade, such as shares, warrants, options, futures and more.

Fees

Compare the fees charged by stockbrokers for the services they offer. Is there a flat fee or a fee charged as a percentage of the transaction amount? Does the fee vary depending on the size of the transaction? Fees for full-service brokerages can range enormously, anywhere from $70 – $300 per transaction.

Services

Make sure you’re fully aware of the services your broker provides. Will they offer advice and then execute the trades you instruct them to, or will your broker be authorised to trade on your behalf.

Specialist expertise

Some broking firms may have specialist areas of knowledge, for example, the resources sector, which may be worth considering if you are looking to concentrate your investments in specific industries.

Minimum investment amount

There may be a minimum amount that you must invest before you are eligible to access a broker’s services.

The broker’s questions

Before a full-service broker can offer advice, they must first take the time to understand your financial situation and investment goals. Look for a broker that shows an in-depth interest in your investment needs and asks all the right questions to form a complete picture of your requirements.

Regular contact

Finally, consider how you can contact your broker if you ever have a question about your portfolio. Will you be contacted regularly with updates on the performance of your portfolio? How often will your broker monitor it and will you be informed of any adjustments that need to be made? You can also use the ASX’s find a stockbroker tool to help you get in touch with the right broker for your needs.

What full-service brokers are available in Australia?

There are plenty of full-service brokers available in Australia, some of which also have online share trading platforms if you choose that route. Some of the most popular of these include:

  • Bell Potter Securities Limited
  • Commonwealth Securities Limited
  • Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Australia
  • Morgans Financial Limited
  • Phillip Capital Limited
  • Shaw and Partners Limited
  • Macquarie Equities Limited
  • UBS
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How to choose an online broker

If you’ve decided to sign up for an online broking service, keep the following factors in mind when comparing the benefits and drawbacks of different share trading platforms:

Brokerage fees

Compare the fees you will need to pay each time you buy or sell a parcel of shares. This could be a flat fee or a percentage of the transaction amount and it could also vary depending on the size of the trade.

Ongoing fees

It’s free to maintain a basic account with many online share broking services, but some charge ongoing membership fees. Many providers will also allow you to access regular company news, research and analyses if you pay an ongoing monthly fee.

What you can trade

Can you trade shares on the ASX and a selection of other global stock exchanges? Can you trade anything else other than shares through your online account?

Trading limits

Check to see whether the trading platform imposes minimum and maximum limits on your trading transaction amounts.

Ease of use

How easy is each provider’s trading platform to use? Is it simple and intuitive or is it too confusing to place a trade? Many brokers offer free demo accounts that can help you answer these questions.

Research and analysis

Compare the market analysis and stock recommendations you can access through each online broker. Will you need to pay an additional fee to access these services?

Flexible trading options

Can you take advantage of options such as stop-loss orders to create a more advanced trading experience?

Additional access

Does the provider offer a smartphone and/or tablet app to allow you to trade on the go? Is phone trading also available and, if so, does it attract any extra fees?

Customer support

Finally, make sure you can access the help you need if you ever have a problem with your account or a particular transaction.

Compare online stockbrokers

1 - 7 of 7
Name Product Price per trade Inactivity fee Asset class International
eToro
Finder AwardExclusive
eToro
$0
US$10 per month if there’s been no log-in for 12 months
ASX shares, Global shares, US shares, ETFs
Yes
Finder exclusive: Get 12 months of investment tracking app Delta PRO for free when you fund your eToro account (T&Cs apply).
CFD service. Capital at risk.
Join the world's biggest social trading network when you trade stocks, commodities and currencies from the one account.
CMC Invest
Finder Award
CMC Invest
$0
$0
ASX shares, Global shares, Options trading, US shares, ETFs
Yes
$0 brokerage on US, UK, Canadian and Japanese markets (FX spreads apply).
Trade over 45,000 shares and ETFs from Australia and 15 major global markets. Plus, buy Aussie shares or ETFs for $0 brokerage up to $1,000 (First buy order of each security, each day - excludes margin loan settled trades).
Moomoo Share Trading
US$0.99
$0
ASX shares, Global shares, US shares, ETFs
Yes
Finder exclusive: Get an additional 30 days on top of the regular brokerage-free period for new accounts. T&Cs apply.
Trade shares on the ASX, the US markets and buy ETFs with Moomoo. Plus join a community over 20 million investors.
Spaceship US Investing
US$0
$0
US shares, ETFs
Yes
Dive into US markets with $0 brokerage, starting with just a $10 investment.
Unlock US stocks and ETFs with minimal entry barriers, offering straightforward, low-cost options for new and seasoned investors.
Tiger Brokers
US$2
$0
ASX shares, Global shares, US shares, ETFs
Yes
Trade Australian, US and Asian stocks with no minimum deposit on Tiger Broker’s feature-packed platform.
Webull
US$0.25
$0
ASX shares, Global shares, Options trading, US shares, ETFs
Yes
Sign up & deposit $200 to get $100 of rewards value, or deposit $1,000 to get $200 worth. Up to $5,450 value available. T&Cs apply.
Trade ASX and US stocks and US options, plus gain access to inbuilt news platforms and educational resources. You can also start trading for less with fractional shares.
Saxo Invested
US$1
$0
ASX shares, Global shares, Options trading, US shares, ETFs
Yes
Access 22,000+ stocks on 50+ exchanges worldwide
Low fees for Australian and global share trading, no inactivity fees, low currency conversion fee and optimised for mobile.
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Important: The standard brokerage fee displayed is the trade cost for new customers to purchase $1,000 of either Australian or US shares. Where a platform charges different fees for both US and Australian shares we show the lower of the two. Where both CHESS sponsored and custodian shares are offered, we display the cheapest option.

Best online share trading platforms.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    KevinMarch 27, 2023

    I need to sell my Commonwealth Bank shares. Can you give me a stockbroker’s name and number therefore i can go ahead with my transaction.

      AvatarFinder
      KylieApril 17, 2023Finder

      Hi Kevin, the broker you choose to sell your shares with depends on what type of shares you hold and your personal circumstances. For more information on this, check out our guide: https://www.finder.com.au/how-to-sell-shares

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