Buying and selling shares online is a great way to take control of your investments and build your wealth. Directshares is an online share trading platform offered by St.George to help St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne customers buy and sell shares and a wide range of other assets.
One of Australia’s leading banks, St.George was founded in the southern s0uburbs of Sydney in 1937. It became a part of Westpac Group in 2008 and offers an extensive variety of financial products and services to its customers, including everything from home loans and credit cards to savings and transaction accounts.
What can I trade with St.George?
You can trade the following investment options with a St.George Directshares account:
A Directshares account allows you to buy and sell shares in more than 2,200 companies listed on the ASX.
You can also trade shares listed on 11 major international exchanges.
You can trade options over the S&P/ ASX 200 index based on your expectations of the performance of the market as a whole, or trade equity options over Australia’s largest companies.
Exchange traded funds are similar to managed funds, except that they are listed on the Australian share market. Directshares customers can trade ETFs provided by all three ETF providers.
Initial public offerings allow you to gain exposure to a company when it is first introduced to the share market.
Let your money be managed by an investment professional when you trade managed funds. Directshares offers access to funds over a wide range of asset classes, including property, fixed interest, and Australian and international shares.
Self-managed super funds
Manage your superannuation account and choose your own investment options through Directshares.
Warrants are derivatives that are issued over an underlying financial instrument, for example shares or currency. They offer leveraged returns and allow you to speculate on the price movements of the underlying asset.Back to top
What are the best features?
- Market data. Directshares offers live market data to account holders, but customers who open a Directshares Power account (details below) are able to access dynamic data to stay up to date with market moves and developments.
- Research. Directshares customers have access to independent research from a number of respected investment firms, includingAspect Huntley, Morningstar, AAP The Ferret, FatProphets, The Intelligent Investor and Wise-Owl. You can also access Australian and international market charts, news and trading ideas.
- Education. If you’re starting out trading shares or need some help understanding the finer points of share trading, Directshares offers a wide range of tools and educational resources to help you increase your knowledge. This includes tutorials, FAQs and stock advice.
- Access. You can make trades online or over the phone with Directshares. There’s a handy online help centre if you ever need assistance, or you can contact customer support via phone and email from 8am to 8pm (AEST) Monday to Friday.
- Order types. Directshares orders can be placed at market or at limit, while stop loss orders can also be placed if you want to minimise your investment losses. Advanced orders (straddle sell, buy then sell) are also available, but these come with additional brokerage fees.
- Available markets. Directshares supports phone and online trading on multiple major international stock exchanges, including the NASDAQ, NYSE, the London Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
- Pay when you trade. There are no ongoing account fees with Directshares – you only need to pay a fee when you make a trade.
- Easy tax management. Directshares offers a free report that details your account’s income and realised CGT in a single downloadable PDF. Plus and Premium subscription services come with advanced tax tools to help you manage your tax throughout the year.
St.George share trading service levels
The bulk of this article deals with the services and features offered to standard Directshares customers. However, frequent traders may wish to upgrade to a Directshares Power account, which is St.George’s professional-standard trading platform. Available for a monthly fee of $79.90, Directshares Power is also offered free if you make more than 10 trades per month (and pay the relevant brokerage fees).
It provides a single platform with access to all your linked accounts, as well as dynamic customisable watchlists to allow you to stay on top of market developments. Dynamic data means you won’t have to keep refreshing your page to keep pace with what the market is doing. Streaming tickers, real-time charting and market depth are all available as well.Back to top
What support and information is available with St.George?
If you need help to understand how share trading works, St.George offers a wide range of free educational tools and resources. There are online guides and tutorials, guides to investing and much more, and they can all be easily accessed through your directshares account.
If you have a question you want answered, the online help centre contains answers to a huge list of frequently asked questions. If you’d like to speak to a customer service representative directly, phone and email support are available from 8am to 8pm (AEST) Monday to Friday.
What are the fees associated when using St.George?
With a standard Directshares account there are no ongoing fees to pay. A Directshares Power account does come with a $79.90 monthly fee, but this fee is waived if you make more than 10 trades per month.
The following brokerage fees apply for internet trading:
|Trades per calendar month||Up to $5,000||$5,001 - $10,000||$10,0001 - $28,000||Over $28,000|
|1st||$19.95||$24.95||$29.95||0.11% of trade value|
|2nd and subsequent||The greater of $19.95 or 0.11% of the trade value|
The brokerage fees apply to phone trades:
|Amount of Trade||Brokerage|
|$0 - $15,000||$69.95|
|$15,000 - $55,000||0.40% of trade value|
|$55,000 - $1 million||0.35% of trade value|
|Over $1 million||0.13% of trade value|
It’s also worth pointing out that conditional orders attract additional fees. For example, basic orders that allow you to set the price, upper/lower limit and cumulative volume attract a $7.95 fee. Straddle sell and buy then sell orders attract an additional $19.95 fee.
What are the pros and cons?
- Investment options. From Australian and global shares to warrants, ETFs and more, Directshares provides access to a diverse range of investment markets.
- Research. directshares customers can access a wide range of free research and stock recommendations from respected investment advisers.
- Educational tools. From guides and tutorials to FAQs, St.George offers plenty of free tools to help you boost your share trading knowledge.
- Brokerage fees. Make sure you’re aware of all brokerage fees that apply, including the additional fees for conditional orders, before you place a trade.
What you need to know about the application process for St.George
If you’ve compared the features of St.George Directshares with other online trading platforms and you’d like to open an account, click the ‘apply now’ link. You’ll be taken to the St.George website where you can lodge an application.
You’ll need to be a St.George, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne customer with an eligible deposit account. You will also need to supply your personal and account details, and specify whether you want to trade with your own money or with a loan before opening an account.