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The Australian stock trading landscape has evolved significantly in the last few years. Dozens of online share trading platforms, aimed at experienced traders and novice investors alike, compete for your attention.
Hoping to become your share trading platform of choice, they lure you with reduced or nonexistent commissions, advanced trading features, multiple account types and huge ranges of tradeable assets.
I started to dabble in share trading last year, defaulting to using nabtrade – because I already use NAB for everyday business and personal banking.
Like many Australian beginner traders, I quickly realised that nabtrade is not the best share trading platform. It was slow, expensive and clunky to use.
In my search for a better alternative, I read all other (surprisingly rubbish) online share trading platform reviews, opened a lot of trading accounts, compared their fees and features, and then used my discoveries to write the last trading platform review you’ll need to read.
Here’s my list of the 15 best share trading platforms in Australia for November 2023, ranked from best to worst. Choose one and start your international share trading journey today.
The best overall share trading platform.
eToro has taken out the #1 spot in my review of best trading platforms in Australia because it charges $0 commissions on stocks and ETFs (unless you apply leverage) and has a fantastic user interface with class-leading social trading features.
You can use these features to follow, interact with, and copy the strategies of more experienced traders. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
(Related: eToro Review: Pros, Cons, Fees & Ugly Details).
eToro excels at catering to two types of users:
- Novices and intermediates who want to invest/trade in stocks and ETFs and enjoy zero commissions (but pay a 1.5% currency conversion fee – more on this shortly).
- Advanced traders who want to earn extra income (on top of their trading activity) by sharing their moves via eToro’s Popular Investor program.
eToro’s proprietary desktop trading platform and mobile app are remarkably friendly and easy to figure out.
In my experience, both do a fantastic job of not scaring off novices while providing sufficient research and reporting features to reasonably experienced users.
eToro’s trading platform isn’t as advanced as MT4 and MT5, but is nowhere near as intimidating.
Copy trading features are some of the best in the game:
- First, you get access to the historical performance of experienced private traders through eToro’s CopyTrader function. Once you’re comfortable with their skills, you can copy their moves.
- Second, you can delegate your investment decisions to eToro’s Smart Portfolios. Curated by professional investors, they give you the ability to invest in diversified classes of stocks or target particular sectors (e.g., mining and financial services).
Because practising with Monopoly money is fun and inconsequential, eToro provides a free demo trading account with $100,000 in virtual funds.
As well as giving you access to hundreds of ASX, US, UK and Euro stocks, eToro offers 47 global currency pairs, 79 crypto coins, indices, commodities and ETFs.
You’ll find a wider range of tradeable assets on Interactive Brokers, but in my personal experience, the increase in options is not always worth it – unless you plan to become a serious trader.
The first downside of the eToro share trading platform is its comparatively high non-trading fees.
These will sting if you have a (bad) habit of making frequent withdrawals and/or going MIA from trading for long periods:
- Withdrawal fee is $5.
- Inactivity fee is $10/month if you go missing for 12 months.
Because eToro’s base currency is USD only, you will need to convert all of your Aussie dollars, copping a 1.5% fee in the process.
In net terms, this translates to about 3% in fees on all stock and ETF purchases forever.
Applying leverage will, of course, trigger spreads and overnight fees. These are reasonably competitive compared to other major players but are not the best.
eToro is my top share trading platform with its unique social trading features, zero trading fees on stocks and ETFs, demo account, intuitive WebTrader platform, and a sea of assets for you to trade.
- It’s not the cheapest CFD trading platform, making it a poor fit for traders who apply a lot of leverage.
- Its reasonable non-trading fees make it a great fit for infrequent share investors. Just buy a stock at least once per year, and you won’t pay a cent.
Despite some shortcomings, eToro is my top pick for investors looking to build a diversified international share and ETF-focused portfolio by leveraging its excellent copy trading capabilities.
Novice and intermediate traders can use it to dabble in leveraged trading before they graduate to “big boy” CFD platforms like Plus500 and Vantage.
Ultra-experienced traders and investors can use eToro to make extra commissions by allowing novices to copy their moves.
Beginner and intermediate investors who want a no-frills, low-cost trading platform should consider Webull (see below).
✔ Copy trading features and Smart Portfolios
✔ Big fat zero commissions on stocks and ETFs
✔ Demo account for consequence-free practice
✘ USD base currency
✘ Fees become less competitive once you start applying leverage
eToro Service ARSN 637 489 466 promoted by eToro AUS Capital Limited ACN 612 791 803 AFSL 491139. Capital at risk. See PDS and TMD. Zero commission does not apply to short or leveraged positions. Zero commission means that no broker fee has been charged when opening or closing the position. Limited stock exchanges only.
|How eToro Stacks Up||Score|
|Trading Platform & App||4.5|
|Ease Of Use||5.0|
|Research & Analysis||4.0|
2. Webull Australia.
Best low-cost share trading platform in Australia.
Webull is a low-fee share trading platform offering access to Australian shares plus US shares and options. Access to shares in emerging Asian markets is also available.
ASIC regulates the platform in Australia, while the SEC, FINRA and SIPC do the same in the United States.
Webull is one of the few low-cost Australian trading platforms offering CHESS-sponsored shares.
Most cheap trading platforms don’t issue an individual HIN number for your Australian shares, and this is why I ranked Webull above Tiger Brokers, the next best low-cost platform in this review.
The usability is excellent, with an easy-to-use, intuitive and modern web-based desktop interface and mobile app.
Australians planning to build a portfolio focused on Australian and international equities, as well as ETFs and options, will be impressed with the range of tradeable assets:
- Australian stocks and ETFs.
- US stocks, ETFs and options.
- Hong Kong Stocks.
- Chinese A-Shares.
Fractional shares on US stocks and ETFs are available, and give you additional flexibility in diversifying your portfolio.
But Webull’s biggest differentiator is its focus on low trading fees. While eToro slaps you with currency conversion fees without charging commissions, Webull does the opposite.
Thankfully, Webull’s fees are some of the lowest fees I’ve come across in the industry. Australian stocks, for example, will cost 0.0003 x trade value, with a $4.9 minimum.
On trades of about $16330 and below, you’ll pay the mandatory minimum of $4.9 per side. Higher amounts will attract a proportional rate. For example, buying $25,000 worth of BHP shares will cost you $7.5.
Fees on US stocks are also very competitive but harder to calculate precisely:
- Buy orders on stocks and ETFs cost 0.00025 x trade volume (i.e., buying $10,000 of shares will cost US$2.5).
- Sell orders attract (borderline negligible) SEC and FINRA fees.
They add up to a sell commission of 0.00043 x volume (i.e., Webull will charge you US$4.3 to sell $10,000 of US shares).
Purchases of stocks in Emerging Asian (Hong Kong And Chinese) markets will attract the least competitive fees.
Even though the rate matches Australia’s at 0.0003 x trade volume, the transactions trigger a (relatively) hefty $15 minimum flagfall.
Webull won’t charge you ANY commissions for the first 30 days. In practical terms, it means you can make a deposit and build out your first portfolio for free.
You get access to a “global community of traders”, but these are likely to be other retail investors looking for tips and offering advice you can’t sanity check.
Webull will give you access to margin lending as a consolation prize, but their 9.6% interest rate is hardly competitive.
Again, go elsewhere if you want to get fancy and buy assets with borrowed funds.
I’ve seen complaints about Webull’s less-than-stellar educational materials, and I agree. All you get is a blog that explains common trading terms and shows you how to perform technical analysis.
However, I don’t see it as a stumbling block, as you must not rely on brokers for your education anyway.
Besides, most share trading platforms’ training materials are publicly available. Noone will stop you from trading on Webull while helping yourself to eToro’s Academy.
I’m not allowed to provide investing advice, but if you want to learn, leave a comment below. I’ll email you details of educators who I trust.
Webull Australia is an excellent low-cost share trading platform. You get a user-friendly interface with a shallow learning curve, low commissions and a surprisingly powerful suite of research tools.
It’s the best platform for beginner and intermediate investors looking to build investment portfolios that focus on Australian and US shares and ETFs, without paying hefty fees.
US options and Asian shares are on the menu for people with an appetite for more exotic asset classes.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the 30-day no-commission window. You can use it to build your portfolio for free. After that, you’ll pay $4.9 (or so) per side – one of the lowest commissions in Australia.
Unfortunately, you miss out on copy and social trading features. If those are non-negotiable, eToro is still your best option.
Webull will give you up to $100 worth of US shares if you sign up as a new user and deposit any amount They’ll double it if you hold them for 30 days.
That’s $200 worth of free shares to make a deposit – but only if you sign up using the links on this page. A deal worth considering.
✔ Trade ASX, US, HK and Chinese stocks
✔ Ultra-low commissions with first 30 days free
✔ CHESS sponsorship with your individual HIN
✘ No copy trading or social trading features
✘ No leveraged trading
|How Webull Stacks Up||Score|
|Trading Platform & App||4.5|
|Ease Of Use||5.0|
|Research & Analysis||4.0|
Most comprehensive share trading platform in Australia.
Traditionally the weapon of choice for active day traders and sophisticated investors, Interactive Brokers has recently improved its features to make itself more appealing to novice and intermediate share investors and traders.
Among the improvements are its simple Global Trader mobile app, an easy-to-use online Client Portal trading platform (more about them shortly) and the ability to earn up to 3.57% interest on cash balances above AU$15,000.
Founded 48 years ago in 1978, it’s a fully blown multinational brokerage firm that allows Australians to trade shares, futures, options, currencies and bonds.
- Client Portal – a simple-to-use web-based interface.
- Global Trader – a simple trading app.
Advanced users with a thirst for pro-level features will be happy with:
- Trader Workstation – crème de la crème of online trading platforms platform aimed at algorithmic and day traders.
- IBKR Mobile – a fully featured mobile app.
All four platforms have clear, minimalist, modern interfaces with dark and light skins.
Research tools are excellent.
You’ll find all the usual tools like charts and candlestick graphs, but more impressively, Interactive Brokers allows you to formulate a solid trading plan with deep-dives into:
- Company research with Morningstar ratings and P/E ratios.
- Company financials and ownership information (did you know that James Murdoch owns $32m of Tesla stock?).
- Analyst forecasts, market commentaries, and ESG and Economic Moat scores.
Reporting features are equally outstanding.
Professional-grade performance summaries, trade logs, cash balances and fee summaries give you a bird’s eye view of your investing strategy and allow you to course-correct.
Zero monthly inactivity and low brokerage fees make Interactive Brokers especially appealing to cautious buy-and-hold investors.
You get a choice of two fee pricing plans: fixed and tiered.
Both plans have some of the lowest commissions in the industry (expect to pay AU$8.80 to buy $10,000 worth of shares – and the same again to sell them), but professional and serious traders will be better off choosing tiered.
As you’ll see in the table above, your brokerage fee will drop by about 30% (from 0.088% to 0.055%) once your monthly trading volume exceeds $3m.
Unfortunately, the fee system gets complicated once you start trading in multiple share markets (more on this shortly).
You set it when opening your account (AUD, USD, GBP and EUR are available to Australian traders), but you can change that later with a few clicks.
As with eToro, you can buy fractional stocks, trading in select US, Canadian and European shares and ETFs.
Interactive Brokers’ range of tradeable assets and markets is mind-boggling, and beats other brokerages by a long shot.
You know how your smartphone has dozens of features that you rarely use? Interactive Brokers is a bit like that.
Apart from trading shares, currencies, commodities and stocks, you get access to:
- ESG investing options.
- Ability to earn interest of up to 3.57% on cash balances over AU$15,000.
- Scan the globe for undervalued stocks with a feature called GlobalAnalyst.
- Compare the prices and metrics of global stocks in the same currency.
- Earn extra income (not much – likely less than 0.3%) by agreeing to lend your assets to IB as part of their Stock Yield Enhancement Program.
- Access over 1 million bonds via IB’s Bond Marketplace.
- Access over 48,000 funds with IB’s Mutual Fund Marketplace.
Will you ever use these features? Possibly, though not likely.
I look at it this way – to get an edge in the heavily contested share trading industry, Interactive Brokers packed their platform with the equivalent of iPhone’s Siri and Screen Time features.
A form of distraction, even.
But my biggest gripe with Interactive Brokers is its fee structure. It is clunky, making it difficult to forecast your costs.
Stocks, options, forex and futures have different fee structures. But it gets worse when you realise that each of these structures has different sub-structures for each geographical region.
For example, trades of Australian shares are based on monthly trading volume, while trades of US, Canadian and Mexican stocks are based on brokerage fees per stock.
Remember that IB runs proprietary platforms only. You won’t find MT4 and MT5.
Interactive Brokers is the most comprehensive trading platform in Australia.
Apart from trading shares, you get access to hundreds of options, futures, forex, cryptocurrencies, bonds, and funds in 150 markets.
In addition, you get four trading platforms, two pricing tiers, access to margin loans and a bottomless inventory of research tools.
Some may never take full advantage of the platform’s features (and may even find them to be a distraction), while others will feel right at home.
Professional day traders will love Interactive Brokers for its power, flexibility and ultra-low fees (especially once you hit high trading volumes).
Novice traders are probably not IB’s core target audience, but they will appreciate the intuitive design and simplicity of its Client Portal platform and Global Trader app.
✔ Huge range of assets
✔ Very low commissions
✘ Lots of options means lots of distractions
✘ Complex fee structure
|How Interactive Brokers Stacks Up||Score|
|Trading Platform & App||4.5|
|Ease Of Use||4.0|
|Research & Analysis||5.0|
Best CFD trading platform for intermediate/advanced traders.
CFD Service. Your capital is at risk.
Vantage was founded in 2009 as VantageFX. In 2022, the brokerage rebranded simply as Vantage to provide you with a wider pool of trading opportunities.
Regulated by ASIC, it has a strong global user base and offers stock, indices, precious metals, forex and commodities CFDs.
Vantage focuses its user experience on powerful, downloadable MT4 and MT5 trading software.
These platforms have been industry standards for years. If you know, you know.
That said, if you are a less experienced trader who wants an uncomplicated experience, you can also use Vantage’s simpler and more intuitive browser-based WebTrader platform.
MT5 gives you access to more advanced charting capabilities (21 timeframes, one-minute history), economic calendar and hedging while retaining the familiar look and feel of MT4.
SmartTrader tools are also included as part of the MetaTrader suite, as well as forex news headlines directly from FXWire Pro and Fx Street.
Clear and intuitive, it gives you access to about 80% of the desktop’s functionality. You can edit pending orders through the app and sync it with Vantage’s other platforms.
Rather than being an “everything to everyone” brokerage (I’m looking at you, Interactive Brokers), it offers traceable assets and a fee structure ideal for CFD speculators and terrible for defensive share and ETF investors.
You get a generous range of forex CFDs (44+ forex pairs that include major, minor and exotics), as well as:
- Share CFD (500 US share CFDs, 50 AUS ASX share CFDs, 200 UK & EURO share CFDs.
- ETF CFDs (35+).
- Bond CFDs (7).
- Crypto CFDs (30).
- Precious metals (gold, silver and copper).
- Soft commodities (cocoa, coffee cotton, orange juice and sugar).
- Energy commodities (oil, gasoline, natural gas, GasOil, cash oil).
Three accounts are on offer: standard, raw and pro. You won’t pay commissions when trading via the Standard account, but will cop noticeably larger spreads.
For example, the AUD/USD currency pair is quoted as 1.4 pips in Standard account, but averages 0.5 in Raw.
The Pro account sidesteps ASIC’s leverage limitations, theoretically offering you the possibility of higher profits by amplifying your risk. A leverage of 1:500 means you can invest only 0.2% of the trade’s volume, giving you access to much larger trades.
- Standard account is spread-only and aimed at novice traders. You get a low $200 minimum deposit, no commissions and access to MT4 & 5.
- Raw is an ECN-style, commission-based account aimed at intermediate and advanced traders. You get deep liquidity and great variable spreads while copping a minuscule $1 commission per lot per side.
- Pro account is aimed at professional traders and money managers who trade high volumes. Gives you access to 500X leverage, but less regulatory protection.
To qualify for Vantage’s Pro account, you need to pass either an income test (net assets of 2.5m / gross income of 250k/year or two years) or a sophisticated investor test.
Vantage makes it easy for you to get up and running with a pretty good range of educational resources.
The mobile app has quizzes that test your trading knowledge, while Vantage’s YouTube channel offers insights into trading strategies, technical analysis and daily market moves.
Let’s address the main elephant in the room. Like Plus 500, Vantage is solely a CFD trading platform.
While it gives you access to a decent range of share CFDs, it’s not a platform for people who want to buy and hold underlying stocks.
If that’s your plan, you’re better off with eToro or Interactive Brokers.
For example, the so-called Academy is just a public company blog that anyone can access, and the lessons have a distinct templated feel.
To be honest, none of the trading platforms in this review excels in this area, but I was hoping Vantage would do better because of its apparent desire to capture more sophisticated traders.
I’m also surprised that Australian traders don’t get access to Vantage’s social trading features. These are available via Zulutrade and DupliTrade in all markets except Down Under.
The Standard account is good for beginners who want to avoid paying commissions (while they’re still trying to lose small rather than earn big), but serious traders need to switch to the Raw or Pro accounts as soon as they’re comfortable.
For example, while the Vantage app gives you only one chart type and five time frames, Plus 500 offers over 100 indicators and the option to use multiple indicators simultaneously.
Vantage is aimed at intermediate to advanced CFD traders and beginners who aspire to become pros.
But people serious about trading share, ETF, forex and bond CFDs will love taking full advantage of its MT4 and MT5 platforms and low trading fees.
CFD traders with a more laissez-faire approach are better off with Plus500. While Vantage will grow with you without limits, Plus500 is a capable but more user-friendly and uncomplicated alternative.
Vantage’s fees and commissions are very competitive. $1 commissions per side and low variable spreads make it one of the least expensive brokerages in the forex and CFD space.
You get access to some of the largest listed companies in the US, UK, Europe and Australia through its share CFDs.
Pro account offers the best pricing, but it’s not available to everyone – you need to be categorised as a wholesale client and jump through the hurdles I described above.
✔ MT4 and MT5 at your fingertips
✔ Buy US, Euro, Australian and UK share CFDs
✔ Pro account for serious traders
✘ CFDs only
✘ Social and copy trading features not available in Australia
|How Vantage Stacks Up||Score|
|Trading Platform & App||5.0|
|Ease Of Use||4.0|
|Research & Analysis||5.0|
Trading CFDs carries significant risks and is not suitable for everyone. You may lose your capital. Please refer to PDS and TMD on our website. AFSL no. 428901.
5. Tiger Brokers.
Good low-fee share trading platform.
Tiger Brokers is a rapidly growing, ASIC-regulated share trading platform with over a million users worldwide and a strict focus on low fees.
Aimed primarily at investors rather than traders, it offers a very attractive signup bonus (as of November 2023), a reasonably sophisticated trading platform and one of the best mobile trading apps in the business.
Tiger Brokers is my favourite low-cost share trading platform for a couple of reasons.
First, it gives you access to a competitive range of assets, including ASX, HK and US shares and ETFs, plus US options.
This enables a decent amount of diversification without adding complexity.
Second, you can take advantage of Tiger Brokers’ extremely generous signup bonus, with ASX and US stocks attracting $0 brokerage fees within the first 90 days of signing up.
After 90 days, the brokerage fees switch to the standard:
- 0.025% of trade value for ASX shares, with a minimum of $6.49 per trade.
- $0.0099 per US share with a minimum of USD 1.99 per order.
Third, Tiger Brokers is enticing new customers with up to $90 in fractional shares for a limited time.
Finally, you get a clean, attractive desktop interface and mobile app.
- Absolute novices will find the interface slightly more complex than eToro’s, but the design is intuitive and easy to learn.
- Intermediate investors will feel right at home.
Tiger Brokers’ fee structure is one of the most convoluted I’ve ever seen in Australia – especially for novices.
Split into a number of components, and measured using different metrics (% of trade in Australia and $ per share in the US), the fees are difficult to compare between markets and other Australian share trading platforms.
Let me show you what I mean:
Clear as mud?
Let me translate:
- Fees on ASX shares and ETFs are very competitive.
- Fees on US shares and ETFs are less so (and higher overall than those of eToro).
As is the trend with low-cost brokers, Tiger Brokers doesn’t give you a unique HIN for each parcel of shares and instead relies on a custodian model of tracking ownership.
- This is a deal-breaker for some investors, and a non-issue for others.
It’s one of the more divisive topics in investment circles, and I suggest you read about CHESS vs custodian models before you proceed.
I personally don’t see this as a stumbling block, but I must point out that I only keep about 15% of my net worth in shares.
- If Tiger Brokers were to fold, I would be upset – but not wiped out.
Your situation may be different, so do your own research.
Tiger Brokers is a great fit for investors who want to build a portfolio of ASX shares and ETFs, diversify it with some US shares and have the option to trade regularly or hold for long periods.
The company is very motivated to earn your business, offering the best signup bonus I’ve ever seen.
- No fees for 3 months offers an opportunity to place some serious bets at no cost.
Range of assets is a level above what’s available on other low-cost platforms like Superhero, Pearler and SelfWealth, but remember that the fees on those extra products tend to be comparatively high, too.
Stick to the ASX shares and ETFs – and you’ll pay very low fees.
✔ Easy to use platform and app with great UX
✔ Very impressive signup bonus for newly funded accounts
✔ No ongoing fees
✘ Limited education and reporting
✘ Custodian model worries some people
Good CFD trading platform for new/intermediate traders.
Plus500 is an international provider of CFD trading services and a FTSE 250 company listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
During this time, it has innovated the stodgy world of trading by introducing the first Bitcoin CFD and offering a very impressive selection of CFDs on options.
Plus500 is one of the most user-friendly trading platforms I’ve come across.
The proprietary web-based platform is refreshingly clean with an intuitive interface with logical navigation.
The flip side is that technical traders looking for advanced functionality may want to look elsewhere (more on this shortly).
It partially syncs with the desktop platform, allowing you to create watchlists on mobile and access them later on the desktop (unfortunately, charts do not sync).
You can seamlessly switch between portrait and landscape modes and pinch zoom on charts.
Plus500’s app also has a live chat option built in, with the operator showing up quickly if you ask for advice.
You get a generous, but not excessive range of trading assets.
While Interactive Brokers offers a massive range that gives you endless opportunities to switch markets and try different strategies, Plus500 is more tightly focused.
I personally prefer this approach, as it removes distractions and confusion, both of which can lead to mistakes.
Rather than giving you the kitchen sink, Plus500 gives you access to about 2,500 CFDs that includes the most popular financial instruments in the world, including major indices, US stocks and commodities such as gold and natural gas:
- Stocks with 1:5 leverage.
- ETFs with 1:5 leverage.
- Crypto with 1:2 leverage.
- Indices with 1:20 leverage.
- Forex with 1:30 leverage.
- Commodities with 1:20 leverage.
- Options with 1:5 leverage, which is rare. Most CFD providers don’t offer options.
Plus500 doesn’t charge deposit, withdrawal or trading fees.
They make money solely through spreads and swaps. These vary from one instrument to another, but overall, are in line with the industry average.
The EUR/USD pair, for example, has a spread of 0.8 pips.
You also pay:
- Overnight fees. Like all CFD brokers, Plus 500 will charge a small fee if you keep your position open overnight.
- Currency conversion fees. If you deposit or trade in a currency that is different to the currency of your trading account, Plus500 will charge you 0.7% on the trade’s realised net profit.
- Guaranteed stop-loss orders attract fees. This is also pretty standard in the CFD trading industry.
A $10/month inactivity applies if you don’t use your account for three months, but the inactivity period can be reset by logging into the platform. You don’t need to trade.
Plus500’s recently launched Trading Academy is great. It offers e-books, webinars, and video tutorials for beginners and experienced traders alike.
Stop-loss orders on Plus500 often attract a wider spread – double-check before you trade.
Trading tools are very good without being outstanding. The emphasis is definitely on ease of use and simplicity rather than advanced functionality.
My experience with their proprietary Web Trader has been positive, though I must point out that it’s a closed system. It doesn’t allow integration with third-party analytics and automation tools.
You get 13 real-time charts, 20 drawing tools, 110 indicators, news feeds, economic calendars and customisable technical indicators. Stop-loss and take-profit order types are also available.
Research and market news are limited to daily articles, an economic calendar powered by Dow Jones, and client sentiment data.
Most of it focuses on fundamental analysis and lacks charts and deep technical analysis.
Although you get 24/7 internet chat and ticket support, phone support isn’t available.
Finally, I don’t love that their marketing attempts to position the platform as a $0 fee broker. Realistically, Plus500 is like any other brokerage, charging you fees for spreads and overnight holds.
Even though “Plus Five Hundred” in the platform’s brand name is a nod to leverage, Australian investors are throttled down to 30:1 by ASIC.
Plus500 is a good option for quick CFD trading on the international stock, forex, commodities and options markets.
You get access to over 2,500 instruments in 7 markets and a low minimum deposit requirement of $100.
Its trading software is easy to use, and the range of trading instruments is large without being overwhelming.
✔ Fantastic range of CFDs
✔ Guaranteed stop-loss orders
✔ Solid risk management tools (you’ll need them when trading CFDs!)
✘ No access to underlying assets
✘ No MT4/5 – you’re locked into WebTrader
|How Plus500 Stacks Up||Score|
|Trading Platform & App||4.5|
|Ease Of Use||4.5|
|Research & Analysis||4.0|
81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Good low-cost share trading platform for ASX stocks and ETFs.
Superhero is one of the newer fintech disruptors, fighting for dominance in the Australian online trading market since 2020.
Commitment to affordability is Superhero’s key differentiator. You pay $0 on ETF purchases (but cop $5 when you sell them) and $5 on ASX share transactions, both ways.
Start trading US shares, however, and fees will start to add up (more on this shortly).
Speaking of America, Superhero supports fractional share trading on US stocks, but not on the ASX.
The desktop user interface and the mobile app are very simple to use, while the signup process is quick and easy.
- As someone who hates admin, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Superhero offers a sophisticated tax reporting function.
- Instead of forcing you to wade through spreadsheets, it allows you to export pre-compiled reports that you simply pass on to your accountant.
I also love the comprehensive customer support available through live chat and email.
Unlike eToro and other online share trading platforms, Superhero doesn’t offer access to CFDs, crypto or commodities.
While this is great if you plan to build a portfolio centered around ASX stocks and ETFs, you’ll be forced to switch to a more comprehensive platform if you decide to play around with leverage or diversify.
Yes, it is true, but you’ll also cop Superhero’s high currency conversion fee of 0.7%.
Superhero charges this fee in USD, so in net Aussie dollar terms, it translates to almost 1%. And you’ll need to pay it again when you transfer your money back.
- This is hefty compared to eToro, which charges 0.5% currency conversion per side. That said, eToro charges this on ALL transactions (because it operates solely in USD), while Superhero does on US shares only.
By the way, Superhero – like Tiger Brokers – is able to keep its fees low because it operates on a shared HIN (custodian) model.
You’ll get the most out of Superhero if you stick to the ASX and reduce the sting of the $5 brokerage fee by resisting the urge to make small, frequent trades.
CFD and US stock investors will be better off with a more holistic platform like eToro, which is just as easy to use and gives you access to free copy trading features.
✔ Low-fee ASX trading
✔ Pay zero brokerage fees for US fractional shares and ETFs
✔ No monthly fees
✘ Limited reporting, analysis and charting
✘ Custodian model is not for everyone
Good all-round share trading platform.
It has existed for over 45 years and has established itself as a trusted and reliable choice for traders worldwide, with offices in Sydney and Melbourne and headquarters in London.
IG offers an extensive selection of financial instruments.
You can trade shares, ETFs, CFDs, futures, options, commodities, and cryptocurrency and diversify your capital evenly across them, thus minimising your risk exposure to a specific market, asset or sector.
- Traders get access to top-notch market research tools.
You have IG’s in-house IGTV, Reuters financial news, an economic calendar, weekly market forecast, and daily blog updates.
Advanced trading tools like customisable screens, auto-charts, auto pattern recognition, and others make IG worthwhile for advanced traders.
Aside from that, the 60,000-strong IG community brings together fellow investors and helps them to learn from one another.
Fees are also quite reasonable.
New traders also get a fully functioning demo brokerage account with $20,000 worth of virtual assets.
IG also offers an extended-hours trading feature that lets you trade certain US shares before and after market hours.
The top-notch mobile trading app makes trading on the go very easy. The app is fully featured, offering desktop-like features (e.g., market analysis and auto-syncing charts), and functions properly with no bugs.
IG charges inactivity fees and a fee for guaranteed stop orders, which kind of sucks when you consider that stop orders are free on many other trading platforms.
- The inactivity fee is steep, at $50 per quarter for those making less than 3 monthly trades.
- And there’s a relatively high 0.7% currency conversion fee.
Last but not least, I found IG customer support on the slow and unresponsive side, with the live chat function offline frequently during business hours.
IG is a noteworthy online share trading platform, especially for advanced traders.
The top-notch trading interface, competitive fees and wide availability of financial instruments are IG’s key differentiators. But the complexity of the platform could be a turnoff for newbies.
✔ Top-notch mobile trading platform
✔ Solid market research news
✔ Great demo account
✘ High fees on small trades
✘ Can get overwhelming for beginners
Good share trading platform for passive investors.
Pearler is an innovative Australian online trading platform that has gained much traction since its launch in 2018.
The platform focuses on providing a user-friendly experience, and it is one of the best stock trading platforms for young investors just beginning their investment journey.
Pearler is quite easy to use. The share trading platform was designed to get out of your way and accomplishes just that.
No superficial features, needless clutter, obtrusive icons or buttons. Just a simple platform that new investors will find quite appealing.
- nabtrade – are you paying attention?
You can set up a regular investment plan to automatically purchase shares of selected ETFs each month, so your portfolio effortlessly grows over time.
Pearler also does not charge inactivity fees, making it suitable for users who may not trade frequently.
Additionally, like eToro, Pearler offers social insights through its platform, allowing users to follow and interact with like-minded investors.
Pearler currently only offers access to ASX-listed shares and ETFs. This could constrain and/or turn off Australian investors who want to trade other financial instruments or access international markets.
Another potential downside of Pearler is the absence of advanced trading tools and research resources that some experienced Australian brokers might expect.
Pearler is a user-friendly and accessible trading platform primarily geared toward novice investors and those interested in long-term, passive investing.
With automated investment features, it’s an ideal next-generation trading platform for casual traders.
✔ User-friendly and intuitive UI
✔ No inactivity fees
✔ Auto-invest feature that actually works
✘ Limited research tools
Share trading platform for anxious people who only trust big banks.
nabtrade is a trading platform founded in 2011 and backed by NAB, one of Australia’s Big Four banks.
The platform offers access to over 10,000 stocks and ETFs at stock exchanges in Australia, the USA, Germany, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.
nabtrade gives you good expert analysis, market news, and company reports.
Aside from the comprehensive data, nabtrade offers integrated banking services for NAB customers, simplifying the process of transferring funds and managing investments.
You can send money back and forth without any delays.
The brand value of NAB is also hard to ignore. If you’re anxious about leaving your money with global platforms like eToro, nabtrade is a good option.
The first disadvantage of nabtrade is its user interface, which I find more clunky than Windows 95. Compared with newer trading platforms like eToro and Superhero, it looks like it belongs in the stone age.
Small screen elements, confusing menus and a lack of a good mobile app add unnecessary friction to the process.
The second issue I have with nabtrade is its fee structure.
The 0.5% inactivity fee, triggered when you don’t make trades for 12 months, is outrageous.
If you have a $50,000 portfolio that stays dormant, you’ll cough up $250 per year in inactivity fees alone.
The same fees on eToro, charged at $10/month, add up to $120, while low-cost brokers like Superhero and Tiger Brokers charge zero inactivity fees.
- nabtrade brokerage fees are tiered and range between $9.95 and $19.95 up to $20,000 and switch to 0.11% of trade value above $20,000. This is comparatively high, again.
- International share purchases attract an additional currency conversion fee between 0.5% and 0.8%, which is far from ideal.
nabtrade is a reputable trading platform suited to NAB customers who want to keep their finances under the roof of a trusted Australian institution.
Because nabtrade is backed by the National Australia Bank, you’ll sleep well knowing your money is as safe as it can be.
But you will pay for this with high fees and time lost navigating its unintuitive interface.
✔ Solid brand reputation
✔ Comprehensive research tools
✘ Clunky platform
✘ No mobile app
Aussie share trading platform with fixed trading fees.
SelfWealth is an Australian online trading platform founded in 2012.
It has been gaining recognition in the trading community for its access to a good range of Australian and international markets and rock-bottom pricing.
On SelfWealth, you can trade stocks from the ASX, NYSE, NASDAQ, and Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Even more impressively, the platform has a nice flat-fee pricing structure that offers a low, flat brokerage fee of AUD $9.50 per ASX trade, regardless of the trade size.
US stocks are also $9.50 – but are charged in US Dollars. But they will sting you with a 0.6% currency conversion fee, which I’ll talk about shortly.
The platform is easily the cheapest CHESS-sponsored brokerage available to Australians, and offers the simplest pricing model.
Compared with Tiger Brokers, for example, SelfWealth has:
- No tiers.
- No pass-through fees.
- No need to calculate percentages of trades.
As someone allergic to complexity, I find this pricing model a welcome breath of fresh air.
While Refiniv doesn’t offer a full suite of copy trading features as eToro does, it gives you the option to follow analysts on the platform, learn from their experiences and follow their recommendations to enhance your own investing approach.
- SelfWealth will charge you $9/month for this service, but it’s worth every penny.
SelfWealth has some limitations that potential users should consider.
- First, it doesn’t offer leveraged trading, which will turn off a lot of day traders.
- Second, SelfWealth requires a minimum investment of $500 for ASX shares and $100 for US shares, which would likely discourage many novice traders.
But the biggest drawback – before you begin to think that SelfWealth is too good to be true – is that 0.6% currency conversion fee, which you’ll cough up when buying (and selling) US stocks.
If your investing strategy is centered mainly around international stocks, you are better off with Superhero.
SelfWealth is a good choice for traders seeking a low-cost, CHESS-sponsored brokerage for buying Australian and international shares.
✔ Flat-fee trading
✔ The simplest pricing model
✔ Optional advanced recommendations and analysis
✘ AUD to USD conversion fee is expensive
Low-cost trading platform with CHESS sponsorship.
ThinkMarkets is another good online share trading platform, targeting Australian investors with competitive pricing, advanced trading tools, and a diverse range of financial instruments.
It can appeal to new and experienced traders but is limited to ASX assets only.
ThinkMarkets is one of Australia’s most under-rated low-cost brokers, with a flat fee of only $8/trade.
Yes, it beats SelfWealth while also operating under the classic (and more trusted) CHESS sponsorship model.
It also offers advanced charting and screening tools, intelligent indicators, and fairly advanced charts to help traders develop and evolve their trading strategies.
Additionally, ThinkMarkets offers comprehensive educational resources that cater to traders of all experience levels.
A major disadvantage of ThinkMarkets is that Australian customers can only trade on two Australian exchanges: ASX and CHi-X. Yes, you can’t trade American shares with this online broker.
The other caveat is that transactions above $200,000 trigger a fairly uncompetitive 0.05% trading fee.
Traders who work with sums above $200,000 can get much lower rates. But to be fair, people at that level are probably not reading reviews of the best share trading platforms in Australia.
If you’re a trader that’s okay with trading just Australian financial instruments, and you intend to keep cost to the bearest minimum, ThinkMarkets will be a very solid choice to consider.
✔ Very competitive brokerage fees
✔ Advanced trading tools
✔ Wide range of Australian financial instruments
✘ No international stocks
13. CMC Markets.
Good all-round share trading platform.
Since its inception in 1989, CMC Markets has been a respected player in the finance industry.
With over 100,000 active customers and offices in over 15 global cities, including one in Sydney, it is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
The company has a market cap of about $500 million as of November 2023.
First, CMC Markets boasts a huge range of assets.
You can access over 12,000 financial instruments, including Australian shares, international stocks, forex, commodities, CFDs, ETFs, cryptocurrency, indices and even exotics like IPOs and Warrants.
- Oh, and you can also trade treasury notes, bonds, and other government debt instruments.
Aside from the wide variety, you get zero brokerage fees on US and UK stocks. The same applies to ASX stocks for 1 buy order per day of up to $1000.
Traders can get comprehensive market data, research reports, and technical analysis on any of its available four trading platforms.
You can access CMC Markets on MetaTrader 4, Stockbroking Pro, Stockbroking Standard, and their newest proprietary platform, Next Generation.
Next Generation will probably scare some absolute novices, but CMC has pre-empted this by providing a thorough user guide.
Live webinars, events, podcasts, and quickstart lessons make it easy to get started.
Last but not least, CMC Markets has exceptional customer service with fast replies, varied access means, and 24/5 phone support.
Compared to its competitors, CMC Markets has relatively high fees for inactivity, and some Forex pairs have been noted to incur extra holding costs.
- Another potential downside of CMC Markets is the relative complexity of its trading platform.
Yes, they’ve made a huge effort to make newbies feel welcome, but – as famous 21st-century philosopher Tyler Durden once said – sticking feathers up your butt does not make you into a chicken.
At the end of the day, CMC is a fully-featured stock trading platform, complete with professional-grade analysis tools and a wide range of tradable investment products.
CMC Markets is more likely to suit the experienced trader with a plan to trade CFDs, forex and shares.
It does a good job of remaining approachable to novice and intermediate traders who want to learn.
“Balanced, but serious” is the best way to describe CMC Markets, and it’s the best share trading platform in Australia for investors who know what this means.
✔ One-stop trading and investing shop
✔ Zero commissions on sub $1,000 deposits
✔ CFDs, stocks, indices, bonds are all available
✘ Can be intimidating to newbies
✘ Withdrawal to ANZ bank is painful
Did You Know?
Share trading platforms of many Australian banks (e.g., Suncorp and Bank of Queensland) are actually a rebranded version of CMC Markets, which they operate under license.
Good trading platform for buying US equities.
Stake is a relatively new Australian fintech specialising in providing commission-free US stock market access.
The platform is designed for new and experienced traders looking to invest in Australian and US equities.
Stake offers a $3 flat trading fee on trades up to $30,000 making it a popular choice for several traders looking to save costs on trading fees.
Also, Australian shares bought on Stake are CHESS-sponsored, meaning they are registered with the ASX.
This extensive selection enables users to diversify their portfolios by investing in US markets. So if you’re looking to capitalise on opportunities in the US market, you can leverage Stake’s platform.
While Stake does trade some Australian equities, the platform focuses more on US equities, which can be limiting for traders looking to invest in other markets or asset classes.
There is no live chat option. So you can only contact the customer support service via email, which can take over 24 hours.
Stake is a solid choice for traders seeking a simple and affordable way to own a few Australian stocks, but intends on majoring in US stocks.
✔ Low fees!
✔ Good range of US financial instruments
✘ Controversial custodial model
✘ Limited customer support
One of the best micro-investing platforms in Australia.
Sharesies is a simple, easy-to-use micro-investing platform that allows traders to easily invest in Australian, New Zealand, and US financial instruments.
Its ease of use, low investment barrier of entry, and other features have made it a fast-rising favorite of Australian investors.
Sharesies allows investors to invest as low as $0.01 in shares! Making it easy for new traders to get a feel of the markets. You can invest tiny amounts of money across several instruments before going all in with more money.
You won’t find many Australian share trading platforms that allow you to do this.
Aside from that, there’s also an auto-invest option that distributes whatever amount of money you put in across various preselected ETFs.
These transaction fees are 1.9% until you hit the capped limit. This is quite low compared to some other platforms that stick with the percentage fees for much larger amounts.
Sharesies lack the sophisticated chart analysis, and trading tools that advanced traders require.
While the simplistic interface might benefit newbies, experienced investors will need something with more bells and whistles to manage and grow their investment portfolio.
And if you want to trade other international stocks apart from US shares, Sharesies won’t work for you.
Sharesies is a top-notch beginner-friendly trading platform that works adequately for anyone just trying their hands at investment.
The intuitive interface and beginner-friendly tools work to make it ideal. But advanced traders won’t enjoy the mediocre trading tools and resources the platform has to offer.
✔ Useful auto-trading feature
✘ Lacks sophisticated analysis tools for advanced traders
✘ Narrow range of financial instruments
3 Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Share Trading Platform In Australia.
Don’t get distracted by shiny objects. Here are the top factors that make or break a platform.
1. Range Of Assets.
Your appetite for risk is the biggest predictor of your asset needs:
- Riskier portfolios typically include CFDs on stocks, forex, crypto and ETFs.
- Commodities such as gold, coal and titanium are often used as a hedge against this risk.
- Market volatility of specific regions (e.g., APAC, North America) can be absorbed by investing in stocks on respective exchanges.
This is why sophisticated investors who set out to build balanced portfolios choose trading platforms that offer access to a large range of markets.
2. Fee Structure.
Trading platforms use fees strategically to attract and repel certain types of investors. Choose a platform that best matches your trading style.
- Interactive Brokers is home to professional (or otherwise serious) investors who move high volumes frequently. Its fees are tiered, with only 0.025% on trading sums above $100 million.
- eToro, meanwhile, uses its “zero fees on stocks and ETFs” policy as a loss leader. It loses money on those products but makes up for it with market-rate fees on CFDs and crypto. Smart investors can take advantage of this by using eToro to create stock and ETF-heavy portfolios.
3. Ease Of Use.
Surprised to see this as a key pre-requisite? Don’t be. You’re less likely to interact with a clunky, unintuitive platform.
Some platforms (e.g. CMC Markets) offer the well-regarded but complex Meta Trader package, while others (e.g. eToro) opt for proprietary software.
Do a test drive using a demo account to ensure you gel with the software – before depositing funds.
Frequently Asked Questions About Choosing The Best Share Trading Platform Australia.
People have consistently asked me the following questions about trading on the Australian stock market.
How many Australians invest in the share market?
According to Deloitte, investing on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) puts you in good company – over 30% of Australians own assets listed on an exchange.
These include shares, bonds, ETFs, managed funds, warrants, options and futures.
Which trading platforms in Australia have the lowest fees?
The table below compares the fees of 9 share trading platforms in Australia. Remember to place these into context.
For example, look for low, percentage-based commissions if you’re a high-volume trader. Look for zero inactivity fees if you’re a passive investor.
|Platform||Brokerage Fee||Tradeable Assets||Signup Bonus||Tradeable Indices|
|eToro||0% commission on stocks and ETFs, 1% fee on crypto assets, 1.5% currency conversion fee||Stocks, ETFs, CFDs, crypto assets||$10 for $100 when trading crypto||NYSE, NASDAQ, ASX, LSE, HKEX|
|Superhero||$5 flat fee on ASX stocks and ETFs, $0 on US stocks, 0.5% FX conversion fee||Stocks and ETFs||$10 of Tesla stocks for $100||ASX, NYSE and NASDAQ|
|Tiger Brokers||0.08% or $2.88 minimum for ASX trades, 0.01 USD/share or $1.99 minimum for US trades||Stocks, ETFs, options and futures||None||ASX, NYSE, NASDAQ, HKEX and more|
|CMC Markets||From $9.90 or 0.075% for ASX trades, from US$10 or 2c per share for US trades, 0.6% FX conversion fee||Stocks, ETFs, CFDs and forex||None||ASX, NYSE, NASDAQ and more|
|IG||From $8 or 0.1% for ASX trades, from US$10 or 2c per share for US trades, 0.7% FX fee||Stocks, ETFs, CFDs and forex||None||ASX, NYSE, NASDAQ and more|
|Pearler||From $9.50 per trade for ASX stocks and ETFs||Stocks and ETFs||None||ASX|
|NABtrade||From $14.95 or 0.11% for ASX trades, from US$14.95 or 0.11% for US trades, up to 0.6% FX fee||Stocks and ETFs||None||ASX, NYSE and NASDAQ|
|Selfwealth||$9.50 flat fee per trade for ASX stocks and ETFs, $9.50 flat fee per trade plus FX fee of 0.6% for US stocks and ETFs||Stocks and ETFs||None||ASX, NYSE and NASDAQ|
|ThinkMarkets||From $8 or 0.08% for ASX trades, from US$9.95 or 2c per share for US trades, up to 1% FX fee||Stocks, ETFs, CFDs and forex||5 free ASX trades (T&Cs apply)||ASX, NYSE and NASDAQ|
Which share trading platform in Australia is best for beginners?
Beginners should look for a trading platform that offers the following features, as a minimum:
- Demo account with virtual money.
- Easy to use web interface and mobile app.
- Strong customer support (preferably with live chat).
- Low costs per trade (beginner traders are more likely to make small deposits).
Yes, I recommend eToro as the best platform for novice traders and investors – because it scores very highly across all of the criteria above.
HIN vs custody: does it matter?
A custodial model allows the comingling of assets under the same HIN.
Each system has its pros and cons, but I believe that separate HINs are better for serious investors – because it gives you direct ownership of your shares.
- Getting your shares back if a custodial broker goes bust could be difficult and time-consuming.
If you’re simply dabbling in share trading, or have a small portion of your net worth tied up in stocks, a custodial model is less of an issue.
CHESS (Clearing House Electronic Subregister System), is a system used by the Australian Stock Exchange to enable transfer of shares between buyers and sellers. A HIN is a tracking number used by CHESS to track your trades and holdings.
Bottom Line For Choosing The Best Share Trading Platform In Australia.
In conclusion, the Australian share market offers plenty of opportunities for investors and traders.
Before you begin, learn the basics of investing – and choose a share trading platform that suits your trading style.
The perfect trading platform doesn’t exist. You must choose the best trading platform for your needs by understanding the respective strengths and weaknesses of each.