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Best Online Trading Platforms for 2021

Australian traders, interested in shares and ETFs, have many regulated brokers to choose from.

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is only the 16th largest exchange in the world. For this reason, Australian traders are also looking to invest in international shares and ETFs.

Are you looking for the best online brokers in Australia?

From share trading platforms and tools to funding methods, see below the best trading platforms in Australia.

To help you choose the best broker, we compared most AU brokers by looking at the features, fees, support, user-friendliness, range of markets and more.

Best Trading Platforms in Australia for 2021

Here are the best share trading plaforms in Australia (updated for 2021):

1. eToro

eToro is the best online trading platform in Australia, because they offer real shares trading with zero-commission. It is the world’s leading social trading platform with over 17 million users.
eToro has recently reduced the minimum deposit to only $50 (for AU traders only).

  • ASIC Regulated
  • eToro Minimum Deposit: $50
  • CopyTrading & Real Shares

Our Rating:

eToro Disclaimer: AFSL 491139. High risk to capital.

Traders can choose from over 800 shares, from 17 exchanges. One major downside is that they do not offer any shares from the Australian ASX exchange yet. Individuals who are interested in buying Australian shares, should search for another broker to meet their need. You can trade the AUS200 in form of CFDs. Their trading app is fantastic.

eToro is a fantastic choice for individuals who are interested in international shares. The Copy Trading/Social Trading feature is similar to automated trading.

Check out our eToro review.

2. Pepperstone

I love Pepperstone. Pepperstone is an outstanding CDF broker with quality features included within its platform. The support team is quick and friendly and they have a big list of tradable assets..

  • ASIC Regulated
  • Minimum Deposit: $200
  • 180+ Trading Instruments

Our Rating:

The best partof Pepperstone is that they are based in Melbourne, Australia.

Pepperstone is regulated by the FCA and ASIC, which means that they adhere to strict guidelines. Additionally, customers enjoy the low spreads and scalping, and hedging are allowed across all accounts.

pepperstone fees

The available leverage is up to 30:1, or even higher for pro traders. Meta Trader 4 is complatible with the Pepperstone platform. There are many trading tools that you can use and the trading fee is really low.

Check out our Pepperstone review.

3. Plus500

Plus500 is not a new name when it comes to trading companies. It has been around for a while – over a decade. Plus500 was founded in 2008 and has grown to become a trendsetter in the CFD trading business. Trading CFDs is recommended for more experienced traders. Beginner traders should look for other types of trading.

  • ASIC Regulated
  • Minimum Deposit: $100
  • Over 2000 Instruments

Our Rating:
OPEN ACCOUNT Plus500 Disclaimer: 72% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

The company is registered and licensed in different countries. The list includes Australia, where they are being licensed by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

Plus500 has a user-friendly and secure trading platform with two types of accounts (demo and real). The accounts can be accessed by multiple devices that use different operating systems. Consequently, trades can be accomplished regardless of the location and situation.

The trading company lacks educational materials and resources, which is perhaps its biggest downside (along with the lacks of analysis and research tools).

On the other hand, it has many chart indicators available through the web platform. Additionally, it packs a risk management tool with guaranteed stop-loss orders.

Check out our Plus500 review.

4. nabTrade

nabTrade, which is offered by the National Australia Bank, provides over 10,000 exchanges across different instruments. Whether it is shares or bonds, nabtrade has its customers covered because nadTrader is an actualy stock broker. The brokerage fee is at $19.95 for trades between $10,000 and $20,000. For trades at $5,000 nabtrade charges $14.95.

At this competitive price, nabTrade appeals to investors interested in both domestic and international trading. Through the company’s research and charting, spotting a good investment opportunity is simple.

nabTrade also provides educational resources for beginners, to learn about the market and investment strategies.

Like any other broker, nabTrade  provides its customers with trading news and insights that can be easily accessed through the customer portfolio on any mobile device or desktop computer.

The features and services offered by nabTrade make it difficult to look away for customers looking for a good quality trading platform.

5. CommSec

Commonwealth Securities is Australia’s largest platform when it comes to online stockbroking. It is run by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Headquartered in Sydney, the firm offers over 25 exchanges worldwide.

You can invest as little as $50 on Commsec Pocket. The brokerage fee is $10 for trades below $1,000. Commsec offers mobile trading and a research platform for stock recommendations.

With Commsec One, you’ll receive support, exclusive offers and priority access tailored for you.

Using margin loans, you can invest and take advantage of rising opportunities. Commsec afford you regular income through Fixed Income Securities.

CommSec is CMC Market’s closest competitor in the online trading platform.

6. IG Group

IG Group has grown to become one of the largest online FX brokers since its establishment in 1974. As of 2014, IG Group started providing shares to retail traders. Customers can now make both international and domestic shares trading on IG Markets.

This UK-based company is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission in Australia (#220440).

IG Group is one of the leading brokers that offers FX and CFD trading available for indices, forex and shares.

The brokerage fee is $8.00 or 0.1% per trade on Australian shares (the higher amount is used). The fees are lower if you make more trades. IG Group additionally offers a demo account to traders who want to practice and become familiar with how the platform operates.

7. Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers LLC is a brokerage firm based out of Greenwich, Connecticut which brokers funds, EFPs, stocks, options, bonds, and forex. The firm has offices in Sydney to cater to the Australian online trading market.

The platform of Interactive Brokers LLC is more suitable for professional traders and investors rather than first-time traders and investors due to its complexity. Customers enjoy low commission and spreads as well as diverse investment options (65 different order type).

The firm also provides resourceful tools and advanced technology through the Traders Workstation Platform. Despite being less than ideal, it provides better comprehension of the online trading market to new investors.

8. CMC Market

The Currency Management Corporation (CMC) Market has one of the best trading platforms available.  CMC Market provides forex and contract for difference (CFDs) trading services at affordable prices.

The classic brokerage fee stands at $11 or 0.1% for the first 10 trades, not exceeding a value of $ 11,000. The active investor and premium trader brokerage fees are both $9.90.

CMC Market affords customers with margin trading and the ability to trade over the web. The corporation offers over 300 currency pairs with tight spreads which makes trading in Asia-Pacific currencies cheaper.

For beginners, CMC Market provides various client and research services as well as charting options. CMC Market has earned Canstar’s Broker of the Year Award for the past 8 years.

9. Bell Direct

Bell Direct is an online share trading platform for customers interested in domestic trade investments. The brokerage fee is only $15 for the first 10 trades up to $10,000 with no monthly fee. Unlike other platforms backed by bankers, Bell Direct is backed by brokers.

Bell Direct allows customers to trade on all ASX listed securities with a one-second placement guarantee. They include ASX equities, warrants, managed funds (via mfund), ETFs, and Initial Public Offerings (IPOs).

Bell Potter offers credible research resources and tools as well as daily trading ideas. Additionally, customers receive free advanced conditional orders and interactive charting technology.

Bell Direct offers premium services such as platinum live streaming for $27.50 per month and Integrated iress viewpoint for$79 per month. Forex traders should look elsewhere.

How To Find the Best Trading Platform

The best share trading platform choice depends on specific customer demands because there are many good platforms available that each operate differently.

best online trading platforms Australia

Customers must understand what they are searching for in an online broker so they can choose one that best matches their needs.  Some of the key aspects to keep in mind are:

  • Charges and Costs : Some platforms have free brokerage but the most popular stockbrokers charge a brokerage fee. Customers may want to choose the cheapest share trading platform which meets their needs.
  • Market range: Some platforms do not support international share trading. If customers would like to trade in more than domestic stock, they need to find a platform that has international stock trading.
  • User interface: While platforms are designed for general usability, some are complex. They have features designed for expert traders. For beginners, it is best to go for one that can be easily used.
  • Security: It is advisable to choose a platform that has the best security policy to provide security and privacy to your funds or data. After all, no one wants their trading data leaked or maliciously used.
  • Customer service accessibility: Keep in mind the reliability and efficiency of the platform’s customer support. It comes in handy when you encounter a problem or need to inquire about something.

Ultimately, the choice of which broker to choose remains solely dependent on the needs of each customer .

What is Online Share Trading?

Over the last few years, online share trading has witnessed exponential growth in Australia.

Before beginning to engage in online trading, it is necessary to gain a proper understanding of what online share trading is. Here is a breakdown of the concept:

The premise behind share trading is quite simple. A share of a stock is a small portion of a corporation. Thus, when people buy shares or stocks, they are investing in the future of a particular company. The price of a share can vary according to the performance of a company, investors’ attitudes, and economic conditions.

When engaging in online share trading, customers are simply purchasing shares or stocks across a digital medium and an online broker takes the place of a human one. Also, for the most part, customers make independent decisions about buying or selling stocks and will often carry out these sales by themselves.

Here is how to get started with online share trading:

Find a Broker

The first step to being a part of online share trading is to select a broker. Naturally, selecting one of the top brokers will make it far easier to place trades. It is also important to select a broker who can cater to the customers budget and preferred trading requirements.

Choosing Your Stocks

Once a broker is selected, the next step involves choosing stocks to invest in. The process of buying shares outright can be rather expensive, especially if customers are planning to invest in well-known, profitable companies.

Thus, most newcomers find it easier to buy into ETFs which gives investors the opportunity to invest in stock from numerous companies without having to incur as much of a cost. Additionally, many of these funds tend to be diversified as well, resulting in less risk.

Selecting Your Order Type

After choosing the preferred stock or ETF, the next step is to pick an order type. The most common options include market orders and limit orders. Market orders are executed instantly for the best available price at that moment while limit orders will not always execute right away, but they allow customers to get a better price.

Calculating the Cost

Each type of trade has cost attached to it. For instance, when buying shares outright via a broker,  customers will often need to pay a commission for every trade. When working with an ETF, there is an expense ratio to be considered. All these costs will impact the overall investment percentage and profits.

Placing the Trade

Once the research has been done and the budget has been determined, it is time to place the first trade. Before this can be done, the customers brokerage account must be funded. After the funds have been accepted, they can pick their stock, order type, and then place the order.

Benefits of Trading Shares in Australia

Prior to becoming involved with share trading, an appreciation of the advantages that await such a venture are in order. Here are some of the benefits involved with this form of trading:

Simple to Buy and Sell

It has always been easy to sell shares. Thanks to online share trading, selling shares has become easier than ever before. The process  simply involves financing your trading account and then placing a trade, as necessary. This means that much of the process is under the control of the customer.

At the same time, selling shares is just as easy ,which is a good thing, because it allows customers to quickly take advantage of a turning tide. If customers start to feel like shares are going to lose value in the near future, this allows them to sell them off in an efficient manner.

Dual Earning Opportunities

One great thing about investing in stocks is that there are two different ways that money can be made.

The first method is a rather well-known and favored by day traders and buy-and-hold investors. Stocks can be bought when they are not worth as much, which is usually done with up-and-coming companies.

Once the corporation has appreciated in value significantly, the shares can be sold to make an immediate profit.

The other option is for longer-term investors, particularly ones who enjoy a steady income with their investments. With this method, the investors purchase stocks in companies that pay dividends.

These companies grow at a more moderate pace, but investors will receive payments at various points throughout the year.

Great for Long-Term Investment

Share trading can offer a wonderful advantage for customers that do not want to check on their investments too often. The only thing that needs to be done is to invest in a company that performs moderately well. This way, customers should be able to garner tidy profits in the future even though there will be minor dips in the share value every now and then.

Get Ahead of Inflation

Most investors are looking to invest in vehicles that allow them to stay ahead of inflation and this is something that share trading can do. Traditionally, stocks have averaged an annualization rate of around 10 percent.

When compared to the average annualized inflation rate, you will receive that shares perform better. Due to this, share trading allows customers to stay ahead of inflation as long as they engage in more of a long-term investment strategy.

Continuity of Profit

It can be difficult to predict how an industry is going to perform at any given time. Factors such as economic situations, geopolitical troubles, and even the weather can wreak havoc on industries. As a result, selecting a continually profitable one can be tricky.

With share trading, portfolios can be diversified which allows opportunities to invest in very different, even competing industries. When one industry performs poorly, the other has a higher chance of succeeding which allows investors to make a profit regardless of the market conditions.

Gain Advantage Over a Growing Economy

If the economy is growing in the region, share trading can be the perfect way to invest. Share trading benefits from an increase in consumer spending, particularly with newer sectors and companies. By investing in such companies, the customer’s own profits will increase.

What is an ASIC License

What does it actually mean for trading platforms to be licensed by ASIC and what relevance does ASIC licensing have for investors?

The ASIC stands for Australian Securities and Investments Commission and it acts as a regulator for Australia’s financial services and markets, ensuring a fair and transparent environment. While ASIC  monitors trading platforms, it does not license them.

Why Pick an ASIC Regulated Trading Platform?

ASIC will provide a license to the broker that is hosting the trading platform.

The regulatory agency will analyze and monitor the trading platform to ensure that it meets the necessary standards, which will consequently legitimize the associated broker.

Here is an idea of what ASIC requires from brokers – and by extension, trading platforms:

A Minimum Operating Capital

ASIC requires its associated brokers to maintain a high minimum capital which tends to be on par with other major regulatory agencies. The benefit here is that the brokers are then capable of sustaining high volatility and market events without going bankrupt. In turn, this ensures that the money that has been invested with the broker is safe.

Requires Local Representation

In many instances, ASIC will require the brokers to maintain an office within Australia.  While this may not appear necessary for an online service, it does serve a distinct advantage. It ensures that the broke is a legitimate entity and increases accountability for its services, including its trading platform.

Requires Transparency

All regulated members must be fully transparent about any financial dealings that they are involved with. Furthermore, the brokers that are associated with ASIC must provide regular audit reports to prove that everything is above board.

Due to this, the agency has an accurate and up-to-date idea of how a broker is operating. If they make any mistakes or attempt  fraud, ASIC will award them with sanctions or penalize their services, as necessary.

When customers sign up with an ASIC regulated broker (and trading platform), they can rest easy knowing that their trades are going through on a legitimate platform. This can reduce the risk involved with such a financial process and almost entirely remove the chance of fraud.

In addition, ASIC tends to only award well-functioning brokers and platforms with a license which requires these brokers to maintain a higher level of service.  Signing up with such a service provides the advantage of a much smoother and more efficient experience.

Top Online ASX Trading Brokers in Australia

With an average daily turnover of A$4.685 billion, ASX currently sits 12th in Major Stock Exchange groups. ASX has a market capitalization of A$ 1.9 trillion according to Wikipedia. With such figures, it is clear how large the stock trading arena is.

As a trader looking to dive into the stock market, it is best to consider  the options regarding trading platforms.

  • eToro – Best Trading Platform Australia
  • Plus500 – Low FX Spreads
  • Pepperstone – Best Overall Trading Platform