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Stake review: A trading platform for AU and US stocks

Get access to Australia’s cheapest CHESS-sponsored broker as well as $0 trading on more than 6,000 US shares and ETFs with Stake.

Finder's rating: 3.9/5

★★★★★

Stake is a desktop and mobile trading app that enables Australians to easily trade Australian and US stocks.

The platform has Australia’s cheapest CHESS-sponsored brokerage from just $3 per trade.

It also allows users access to more than 6,000 US stocks and ETFs, including some of the biggest global companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon. The US market is valued at over US$48 trillion and growing rapidly.

Read on to learn more about Stake.

$3

Standard brokerage fee

ASX, NASDAQ, NYSE, BATS, Chicago Stock Exchange, and more

Available markets

Email

Support

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Details

Type of brokerOnline, Mobile
ASX productsShares, Exchange traded funds
Available marketsASX, NASDAQ, NYSE, BATS, Chicago Stock Exchange, and more
Standard brokerage fee$3
SupportEmail
More Info

Our verdict

Stake is the definition of getting what you paid for.

It allows investors to gain access to $0 brokerage in the US and has the cheapest CHESS-sponsored product in Australia. In fact, if you refer 3 friends to Stake, you'll get $0 ASX trades for 12 months.

As such, it should appeal to the majority of retail investors.

Stake excels in cheap brokerage, easy-to-use design and basic trading functions. However, it doesn't have as many financial offerings as other brokers.

Stake's basic service doesn't have access to research or broker recommendations and its customer service is lacking in some areas. In return, investors save when trading but you do have the option to pay for its premium service "Stake Black".

The choice investors have to make is whether they want cheap brokerage or all the bells and whistles.

Good for

  • $0 brokerage when you buy and sell stocks
  • Free CHESS-sponsored brokerage if you refer 3 other people
  • $3 CHESS-sponsored brokerage
  • User-friendly platform and app that takes just minutes to set up
  • Start trading in the US for as little as $10
  • Advanced filtering options to discover stocks and ETFs

Not so great for

  • Investors looking for an all-in-one trading platform

What can I trade with Stake?

You can access more than 6,000 US stocks and ETFs plus all 2,000+ ASX listed securities via Stake. Stake does not allow users to trade derivatives, like CFDs or options.

Features of Stake’s basic (free) account

Fees

★★★★★ 4.6/5

Stake offers $0 US brokerage, $3 Australian CHESS-sponsored trades and no monthly fee for its basic account.
Trading tools

★★★★★ 1.4/5

Stake has fairly minimal tools. It offers 3 order types (market, stop loss and limit) and the ability to trade stock fractions. It does not offer technical analysis tools.
Research and education

★★★★★ 2.8/5

Stake features a news feed for individual stocks, but it has limited research tools.
Available securities

★★★★★ 1/5

You can directly trade US stocks and ETFs; there is no margin trading, options or short selling.
Customer support

★★★★★ 2/5

You get email support. There is no live chat or phone support.
To learn how our star ratings are calculated, read the methodology here.

Access some of the world’s biggest brands

Stake offers Australians easy access to major international brands including Apple, Tesla, Facebook and Google as well as all 2,000+ ASX listed securities.

$0 brokerage

Stake doesn't charge any brokerage fees when you buy and sell US stocks.

Stake is the cheapest CHESS-sponsored broker on the market.

CHESS is the registration system used by the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) to register stock ownership. Alternatively, some brokers may use the "custody" model to record ownership of stocks. Think of it as an insurance policy as the shares are in your name.

Stake will also waive its ASX brokerage fees by $1 per referral you make to the Stake AUS platform.

This discount period is for 12 months. This means if a customer refers 3 people to Stake they get $0 brokerage fees on ASX CHESS-sponsored shares for 12 months. Plus you can keep referring more friends to bank rewards.

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Fractional investing

On Stake Wall St, instead of buying individual shares, you can invest smaller dollar amounts (minimum US$10). For example, if 1 Google share costs US$1,200, you have the option of investing just US$100 if you choose. If you invest US$1,800, you'd own 1.5 shares.

User-friendly platform

Stake's platform is easy to pick up, regardless of your trading experience. It's user-friendly enough that you can familiarise yourself with the features in just a few minutes and start trading right away.

Advanced filtering options

Users can apply a range of advanced filters when looking for stocks to trade. For example, you can filter by stocks that are trending such as: most up, most down, most traded or most watched. You can also filter by a range of categories including food, travel and technology or even the size of the company.

Discover related stocks

When you select a stock to look at, the platform also suggests a range of related stocks based on what others are trading. This is a helpful tool to discover some lesser-known stocks.

News and analysis

Access the latest news and analysis for each individual stock from various sources across the Internet. Plus, access Stake’s own blog and stock commentary too.

Charts

You have the option of switching between regular stock price charts and candlestick charts to see how a stock has performed over the past day, week, month, year or 3 years.

Advanced order types

You can choose to buy or sell at market price as well as place a limit or stop order. Trade settlement takes the standard T+2 for US stocks – 2 days on top of the day you made the trade – and you can easily cancel any orders before they've been placed, with no additional charge.

US tax compliant

When you trade US shares as a non-US citizen you must fill out the W8-Ben US tax form to avoid paying 30% tax instead of 15% on your profits to the US government. While this can take several weeks and involves lots of paperwork with some other brokers, Stake streamlines the process by automatically submitting the form for you when you sign up.

What fees does Stake charge?

Stake does not charge any brokerage fees when you buy and sell US stocks. Instead, Stake makes money on the currency exchange when you fund your account or withdraw money from your account.

Before you can trade with Stake, you'll need to add funds to your account. Stake charges approximately US$0.70 for every AUD$100 you transfer from Australian dollars into US dollars and vice versa. However, as Stake points out on its website, these foreign currency transfer fees are applied by other brokers, including many major banks, to international trades. With other brokers, this fee may be applied each time you trade, whereas with Stake you're only charged the fee when you transfer funds.

There are some other charges to be aware of; below is the full list:

List of fees

  • 70 BPS on deposits and withdrawals only (~US$0.70 for every AUD$100 exchanged), minimum US$2. Add 0.5% for express (same-day) deposits.
  • One-time W8-Ben completion fee. This is automatically completed by Stake on your feed trade. It is a once-off fee of US$5 and reduces your withholding tax on any income (such as dividends) from 30% to 15%.
  • $3 brokerage on ASX listed securities.

Is Stake safe for beginners?

Stake's limited options actually make the app safer for beginners.

Given the broker does not offer riskier asset choices such as CFDs, investors avoid the temptation of trading in more speculative assets.
Also, Stake is considered to be among the safer options due to it being regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) and the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Not only is it heavily regulated, but client assets are also protected up to $500,000 under the Securities Investment Protection Corporation's insurance.

Who should use Stake?

Despite its limitations, Stake should appeal to the majority of investors, especially those at the beginning of their investing journey. This is due to the ease of access into the Australian and US markets.

Stake is among the cheapest apps out there with a $0 brokerage model for US stocks, $3 fee for ASX stocks and no ongoing monthly fees for standard accounts.

As a comparison, Australia's largest broker CommSec charges from $10 per trade for ASX shares and US$19.95 for US stocks.

Where Stake becomes less appropriate for investors is when they are after highly sophisticated options or want research included with their broker. However, it's worth noting investors do have the option of paying for "Stake Black" at US$9 per month in order to gain access to Instant Buying Power, Analyst Ratings, Price Targets, Full Company Financials and 100+ OTC listed stocks.

How to get started with Stake

You can create an account with Stake online in minutes and have your account funded and ready to go that same day.

Click "Get started" on Stake’s site and follow the prompts to enter your personal details including name, residential address and contact details. Create an account by selecting a username and creating a unique password. You’ll need to verify your ID throughout the process, so make sure you have your driver's licence handy.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, 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 involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. 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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