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Bell Direct

Bell Direct is an Australian stockbroker that provides an online share trading platform where users can trade shares on the Australian Securities Exchange.

belldirect australia

Bell direct also offers excellent SMSF solution.

The platform was launched in 2006 by Arnie Selvarajah who’s the company’s chief executive officer. It is a regulated brand and has been, on many occasions, recognized as one of the best trading platforms in terms of client satisfaction. Bell Direct is a subsidiary of Australia’s leading stockbroking, investment and financial advisory corporation Bell Potter.

Bell direct’s trading platform boasts of its 1-second guarantee when placing orders. The company uses a tiered brokerage fee approach which means the more you trade on the platform, the less fee you incur.

Bell direct also allows its users to trade the following instruments:

  • Exchange-Traded Funds
  • Interest rate securities
  • Managed funds via mFund
  • Exchange-Traded Bonds
  • IPOs
  • Warrants
  • Options
  • ASX-listed equities

Regulation

The company is part of the Third Party Platform Pty Ltd, which is licensed to operate in Australia by the Australian Securities and Exchange Commission (License number 314341).

Opening an account with Bell Direct

You’ll need an account to allow you to trade using Bell direct. Creating an account is simple, for the most part. Visit the company’s website, and you’ll see an option to ‘Join’ next to the ‘Login’ option at the homepage.

Once you’ve clicked on the Join option, you’ll be presented with a few questions e.g. the type of account you wish to open and your personal information. You must be over 18 years old to join Bell direct. You’re also required to have an Australian residential address and bank account.

The last step after filling in the details will be to verify your identity. You can easily do this by forwarding a clear picture of your passport or driver’s license and either a utility bill or bank to the email address provided. Bell direct will take three business days to evaluate your application and open an account for you. It is worth noting that the company also accepts international traders on its trading platform.

What you get when you join Bell direct

Broker research

Bell direct provides the latest research collected from the Bell Financial Group. This includes a report of recommendations and signals of when to buy or sell, ASX announcements, business news from Dow Jones, and consensus research from 20 brokers.

Filters

You can easily make ETF comparisons using the filter option, which allows you to see the features, fact sheets, and performance of Exchange-traded funds. Filter options include fees, asset class, provider, and sector.

Trading ideas

The platform also sends 3 bullish and 3 bearish trading ideas daily to your message box. These messages are delivered every morning to give you time to execute your trades. The ideas are arrived at after an analysis of historical broker data.

Simplified tax reporting

In addition to daily trading ideas, Bell direct users get a free yearly summary report. The report covers holding valuation and a summary of cash account details, transaction details, and estimated dividends.

Bell direct features

Charting

Bell direct features HTML5 charting technology that allows traders to picture intricate pricing data and technical indicators easily. These charting solutions are interactive, and users can manipulate the data presented to their liking.

Multi order pad

The multi-order pad eliminates the inconvenience of having to enter and place a single trade at a time. Traders can action any number of trades from their account(s) using one order pad.

Stock filter tools

Bell direct provides trading tools to help make your trading experience smooth. Some of these tools include technical insight, strategy builder, broker research, advanced charting, visual depth chart, and market map.

Trading platform

Bell direct has two trading platforms from which traders can participate in markets.

Web trader platform

The award-winning web-based trading application comes with plenty of features to better the trader’s experience. It has a responsive layout complimented with Markit charting solutions.  The multi-order pad feature is also present on the web trading platform. The feature allows traders to traders to buy or sell instruments across multiple accounts with one click. The platform also gives users an option to create pre-determined orders for warrants, equities, and interest rate securities.

Mobile trading platform

Like many other trading platforms, Bell direct allows users to manage their accounts using their smartphones (iPhones and Androids). The mobile trading platform is optimized for smartphone users. You can get stock quotes, make trades, and track your portfolio using web-based mobile trading. As it is web-based, you don’t need to make any downloads or installations.

To start trading on your smartphone, you’ll first need to have an account with Bell direct. Open your browser and visit the company’s official website and log into your trading account. From here, you’ll be directed to the mobile site version, where you can execute your trading plays.

Deposit & Withdrawals

Bell direct has two deposit methods through which traders can fund their accounts. Clients can either choose to deposit via BPay (using Biller Code and your BPay number) or Electronic transfer (using BSB and your account number).

Withdrawals can be made at any time on the website. To access and withdraw your funds, visit the website and log into your account, then navigate to the fund transfer section. Here, submit the withdrawal request and wait for the funds to be processed.

The amount of funds available for withdrawal will depend on the balance available in your account, as well as other factors such as buys open buy orders and pending settlement.

All withdrawal requests made on business days before 2:30 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time are processed on the very day. Those made past 2:30 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time are pushed to the following business day and processed at 2:30 pm.

Customer Support & Help

Bell direct’s customer support team is fair. You can reach the support team in different ways. You can also use the FAQ section that covers the common inquires such as deposits & withdrawals, trading, SMSF, and account management.

The available ways to contact the support teams are:

Telephone

Telephone support is available on weekdays between 8 am to 7 pm. Australian clients can reach the company’s help desk via 1300 786 199. International clients, on the other hand, can make inquiries through +61 3 8663 2700.

Email

If you can’t reach customer support via telephone, you can use the email alternative by sending an email to the customer support email address- support@belldirect.com.au.

Fax and Postal Address

Australian clients can fax the support team through (03) 8663 2799. International clients can also use the fax option through+61 3 8663 2799.  There is also a postal address option: GPO Box 1630 Sbroker NSW 2001.

Fees

Here is a breakdown of the fees charged by Bell direct:

Brokerage fees

First 10 trades per month $15 (up to $10,000)
$25 ($10,000+ to $25,000)
0.1% ($25,000+)
11th  to  30th trades per month $13 or 0.08%, depending on the greater amount
31st  trade onwards per month $10 or 0.08%, depending on the greater amount

mFund trades

Online Trades $30 or 0.1%, depending on the greater amount
Trades over Phone $60 or 0.2%, depending on the greater amount

There are other fees charged for services like SMS alerts ($0.55 per SMS), off-market transfer ($55 per stock), third party margin lenders ($15), and more.

Pros and Cons of Bell Direct

Pros

  • Has a 1-second placement guarantee which allows you to place orders and benefit from the best prices
  • The tiered brokerage fee system means you get charged less when you trade more
  • Bell direct provides plenty of research papers and reports

Cons

  • The platform lacks international equities

Conclusion

All factors considered, Bell direct is a decent online broker. Their long-spanning experience in the industry for over 12 years gives them an edge over their competitors. The company’s trading platforms are feature-rich and come with plenty of trading tools. While it is suitable for newbies, experienced traders may feel that it is not good enough to meet their needs compared to platforms like Commsec.