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Best Share Trading Platforms in Australia for April 2024

April 02, 2024

Australians looking to trade shares in the stock market have a variety of options. Online brokers come with a diverse range of offerings, from discount to full service, while others are known for their trading tools or research. Australian brokerages are regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).

One thing many Aussie sharebrokers do have in common, based on my testing and research, is unnecessarily complex pricing. Brokers claim to be transparent, but go on to fill their pricing pages with footnotes and fine print. That isn’t what I’d call being transparent. There are some deep discount brokers with straightforward fees, happily, but they come with narrow capabilities. In this guide, I’ll break down the best online brokers for Australians.

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Best Online Brokers Australia

Here are Australia's best online trading platforms for share trading in 2024.

  • CMC Markets - Best overall
  • Interactive Brokers
    - Best for professionals and global investors
  • IG
    - Best share trading platform
  • CommSec - Best bank for share trading
  • Westpac - Strong research presentation
CMC Markets
5/5 Stars 5.0 Overall

Best overall

Through its offices regulated in major global financial centers, CMC Markets offers Australian traders a wide range of offerings with excellent pricing and its Next Generation trading platform, which is packed with innovative trading tools and charting.

Interactive Brokers
4.5/5 Stars 4.5 Overall

Best for professionals and global investors

Interactive Brokers is our top pick for professionals because of its institutional-grade desktop trading platform. Professionals aside, Interactive Brokers also appeals to casual investors thanks to its Client Portal web trading platform. Read full review

IG
5/5 Stars 5.0 Overall

Best share trading platform

Founded in 1974 and respected as one of the most trusted brokers in the world, IG offers Australian traders low-cost share trading with excellent trading tools, research and beginner trading videos on a highly intuitive platform.

CommSec
4/5 Stars 4.0 Overall

Best bank for share trading

CommSec is one of the largest online brokers in Australia, providing trading access to 25 exchanges throughout the world. While its shares trading fees are high (and complex), CommSec offers Goldman Sachs research and solid education.

Westpac
4/5 Stars 4.0 Overall

Strong research presentation

Westpac provides access to 25 international exchanges and stands out for its research offerings, which include robust company information, news and research opinions.

Winners Summary

Best overall - CMC Markets

Company Overall Offers Visit Site
CMC Markets logoCMC Markets 5/5 Stars

CMC was an early innovator in online investing. It wins for offering a wide array of investment products, bargain low-dollar trading and a great browser trading platform. It's a little more awkward as regards navigation than IG’s platform, though (see below). CMC does have a fascinating widget that shows performance of popular chart patterns for any given asset.

  • Tradeable assets: shares, international shares, ETFs, warrants, mFunds, options, managed funds, LICs, bonds, IPOs
  • Minimum deposit: $0

CMC Markets fees: Standard pricing includes the web platform and real-time quotes. One buy order for $1,000 or less per Australian stock per day is free. All other orders (grouped by day and listing) are the greater of AUD $11 or 0.1% of the trade value.

U.S., U.K., Canada and Japan markets are $0 commission but incur foreign currency exchange spreads of 0.6%. There is an inactivity fee if there is no activity in the account over the prior 12 months. A premium tier offers additional platform features, streaming quotes and discounted commissions.

Best for professionals and global investors - Interactive Brokers

Company Overall Offers Visit Site
Interactive Brokers logoInteractive Brokers 4.5/5 Stars Visit Site

If you are focused on investing globally instead of primarily Australia, Interactive Brokers is my top pick. I cover Interactive Brokers’s offerings in several countries. IBKR, as it’s known, does three things very well: it’s not exy, it has a broad array of tools, and it covers 33 countries.

Trade how you like. There’s the professional-level Trader Workstation; a browser portal; and two beginner-friendly mobile apps, Global Trader and ESG-focused Impact. The tradeoffs for IBKR’s rich feature set and low cost are its USD focus and its complexity, which can be mostly avoided using the Global Trader and Impact apps.

  • Tradeable assets: stocks, options, futures, ETFs, CFDs, currencies, bonds, forex, indices, warrants
  • Minimum deposit: $0

Interactive Brokers fees: Shares are 0.08% of trade value with a minimum ticket size of $6 (including GST). Tiered pricing is available, but most of us aren’t trading $3 million in a month. There are no deposit minimums and inactivity fees, but there is a $500 minimum for streaming data and some research.

Best share trading platform - IG

Company Overall Offers Visit Site
IG logoIG 5/5 Stars Visit Site

IG’s browser-based trading platform is one of the most intuitive advanced platforms I’ve used. Within a few minutes of booting up, I created a multiasset workspace that gave us a solid bird’s eye view of the global markets. Widget windows are crisp and charts can be customized with popular indicators and drawing tools. Unlike other trading platforms, a quick right-click on a market can pull up a complete window with charts, news and order entry. I love it. Interactive Brokers’ Trader Workstation might offer more tools. Other platforms are easier because they have fewer features. IG balances depth and ease of use beautifully.

  • Tradeable assets: shares, CFDs, forex, indices, commodities
  • Minimum deposit: $0

IG fees: Aussie share traders with 0-2 trades the prior month pay a commission of the greater of 0.1% of the trade value or $8, whichever is higher. The commission drops to $5 or 0.05% of the trade value if the prior month had three or more trades. The ProRealTime charting and trade automation package, which offers advanced charting features and backtesting strategies, is $40 per month, but will be rebated with four or more trades in a month. An inactivity fee of $18 per month kicks in after 24 months without activity.

U.S., German, U.K.. and Irish shares are $0 commission, provided instant currency conversion is enabled at a 0.7% currency conversion spread.

Best bank for share trading - CommSec

Company Overall Offers Visit Site
CommSec logoCommSec 4/5 Stars

CommSec is the share trading arm of Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The web platform is simple to use and offers Goldman Sachs research, a very nice feature. The charts are sufficient for most, but not for an experienced trader.

Investor education is very well organized and confidence inspiring, specifically CommSec Stock’d tab. That area inspires with other investors’ stories, answers common investing questions and gives step-by-step instruction in small chunks.

The Pocket mobile app keeps it simple for novices by limiting choices to seven stock ETFs. With global interest rates on the high side, Pocket would be even better if it included a fixed-income ETF or two to help its customers build more diversified portfolios.

CommSec’s default setting is CHESS sponsored ownership, which allows you to directly own shares instead of the broker acting on your behalf as a custodian of your shares.

  • Tradeable assets: shares, options, ETFs, warrants, international shares
  • Minimum deposit: $500

CommSec Pocket fees: Trading on the Pocket app costs $2 per trade for amounts $1,000 and below. Anything above is 0.2% of the trade value. The ETFs charge annual management fees ranging from a negligible 0.05% to a hefty (for an ETF) 0.68%. The account minimum is $50 and there are no fees for the account.

CommSec fees: Mathematicians and astrophysicists will find CommSec’s pricing fascinating. Anyone else – me included – will find the structure fair dinkum annoying.

Online Aussie trades of $1,000 or less that settle in your CommSec account or a margin loan are charged a flat $10 commission, while trades above $1,000 and up to $10,000 are charged $19.95. Trades above $10,000 and less than $25,000 pay $29.95, and above that is a flat 0.12%. This quirky pricing can lead to paying close to 4% round trip on a $1,001 position, which could be very challenging to overcome if you trade frequently.

CommSec offers trading in 13 countries and the fee structures vary. One positive is that the foreign exchange spread of 0.6% is charged on deposits and withdrawals, not for every trade. That savings can add up quickly. Another positive: Like Pocket, there aren’t account fees, but there is a $500 minimum.

If you have big bikkies and want to trade at CommBank, check for eligibility for CommSec One, which provides a dedicated service team and access to a feature-rich trading program, IRESS ViewPoint.

Strong research presentation - Westpac Share Trading

Company Overall Offers Visit Site
Westpac logoWestpac 4/5 Stars

Westpac is a CHESS participant and allows investing in 25 exchanges. Morningstar premium subscriptions are a low $20/month and there’s ESG information through Sustainalytics. Westpac puts heaps of company information, news, and Morningstar research opinions at your fingertips. Chart watchers will appreciate explanations of indicators and value watchers will likey the company peer comparisons.

  • Tradeable assets: shares, international shares, ETFs, bonds, warrants, options
  • Minimum deposit: $19.95

Westpac fees: Westpac has an account minimum of $500 and a minimum trade fee of $19.95 or 0.11%, whichever is greater. Small investors should be wary of that trade fee. If you invest $500 in a stock and sell it at the same price, you’ll be down by close to $39.90, a loss of 8%.

Best Share Trading Platforms in Australia (Summary)


Online Broker Best For Mobile App International Stocks Cost ($10,000 trade) Overall Rating
CMC Markets Best Overall Yes Yes $11 5 Stars
Interactive Brokers Best for Professionals Yes Yes $8 4.5 Stars
IG Group Best Trading Platform Yes Yes $8 5 Stars
CommSec Best Bank for Share Trading Yes Yes $19.95 4 Stars
Westpac Strong Research Presentation Yes Yes $19.95 4 Stars

FAQs

How to choose an online broker

Australian brokers work hard to stand out against one another beyond branding and marketing. What really matters, though, is the trading experience you receive once you are a client with a funded account.

Australian flag

Here’s a list of tips to keep in mind to help you select the right online broker the first time:

  • Read the trading costs' fine print. And budget enough time, too. Share trading fees can vary by trade amount, security type, quantity and exchange, among other factors. Before selecting a broker, view the full commissions structure and see how it fits into your portfolio size and trading frequency.
  • Make sure your broker offers the asset class you want to trade. If you only trade Australian stocks, then no problem; any broker will service you. However, if you want to trade international stocks, options, forex, or futures, you will need to do some research and select a broker that supports those offerings.
  • For active traders, read the fine print to compare potential service benefits. Discounted trades are just one perk of being an active trader. Some brokers will increase the quality of the market data being streamed into the account. Others will grant access to better research tools or offer dedicated customer support.
  • Customer service. When contacting a brokerage for account-related inquiries, all investors look for fast connection times and helpful representatives to assist them. Like all businesses, support quality and timeliness can vary. For a quick gauge, once you narrow down to two brokers, call both on the phone and ask them several questions. This speedy exercise may reveal a lot about what to expect as a client.

What is the best share trading platform in Australia?

Here are our picks for the best share trading platforms in Australia:

  • CMC Markets - Best overall
  • Interactive Brokers - Best for professionals and global investors
  • IG - Best share trading platform
  • CommSec - Best bank for share trading
  • Westpac - Strong research presentation

What is the best trading platform for beginners in Australia?

The best share trading platform for beginners in Australia is IG. Its web platform is intuitive to use, logically laid out, and easy to customize for personal needs. Traders may pay as little as $5 a trade and, with only four trades a month, get an advanced real time charting package.

What online stock broker has the cheapest share trading fees in Australia?

It's hard to beat free. Social trading leader eToro currently offers $0/share trading and no recurring account fees. Interactive Brokers is also a low-cost broker with comprehensive trading tools and a wide choice of trading platforms.

What Australian stock brokers offer forex trading?

All the brokers reviewed here offer forex trading of varying depth to Australians. For a full list of regulated forex brokers, read our guide to the Best Australian Forex Brokers on on our sister site, ForexBrokers.com. Here are our forex broker reviews.

Our Research

Why you should trust us

Sam Levine, CFA, CMT, the lead writer for StockBrokers.com, has over 30 years of investing experience and actively trades stocks, ETFs, options, futures, and options on futures. He's held roles as a portfolio manager, financial consultant, investment strategist and journalist. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and the Chartered Market Technician (CMT) designations and served on the board of directors of the CMT Association.

For this guide:

  • Whenever possible, we used our own brokerage accounts for testing. For several brokers, we used a test account that was provided to us.
  • We interviewed or requested interviews with stock brokers.
  • We tested features, tools, data, and widgets.
  • We evaluated educational content and research.
  • We compared fees and recurring charges.
  • We evaluated share trading platforms for ease of use.

How we tested

For this guide to the best share trading platforms, we thoroughly tested and/or evaluated key features including the availability and quality of watch lists, charting, real-time and streaming quotes, stock alerts, and educational resources, among other variables. We also look for a fluid user experience moving between mobile and desktop platforms, where offered. In certain circumstances, a demo account was provided by the broker.

StockBrokers.com uses a variety of computing devices to evaluate share trading platforms. Our reviews were conducted using the following devices: iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, MacBook Pro M1 with 8 GB RAM running the current MacOS, and a Dell Vostro 5402 laptop i5 with 8 GB RAM running Windows 11 Pro. In testing platforms and apps, our reviewers place actual trades for a variety of instruments.

Trading platforms tested

In addition to our top picks above, we explored two additional stock brokers for Australians.

Pearler: Pearler’s noteworthy strength is its ability to help you systematically invest for the long term, even with very little money. Trades are a flat $6.50 and currency conversion is 0.5%. There is a list of commission-free ETFs (provided you hold for at least a year). Pearler is a CHESS participant. The minimum initial investment is $500.

Superhero: Superhero charges $0 to buy ETFs on the ASX and a flat $5 for all other ASX trades. The minimum trade size is $100. US shares are $0. The minimum trade size is $10 and currency conversion is 0.7%. There’s no account minimum.

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About the Editorial Team

Sam Levine, CFA, CMT
Sam Levine, CFA, CMT

Sam Levine has over 30 years of experience in the investing field as a portfolio manager, financial consultant, investment strategist and writer. He also taught investing as an adjunct professor of finance at Wayne State University. Sam holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and the Chartered Market Technician designations and is pursuing a master's in personal financial planning at the College for Financial Planning. Previously, he was a contributing editor at BetterInvesting Magazine and a contributor to The Penny Hoarder and other media outlets.

Blain Reinkensmeyer
Blain Reinkensmeyer

Blain Reinkensmeyer has 20 years of trading experience with over 2,500 trades placed during that time. He heads research for all U.S.-based brokerages on StockBrokers.com and is respected by executives as the leading expert covering the online broker industry. Blain’s insights have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune, among other media outlets.

Carolyn Kimball
Carolyn Kimball

Carolyn Kimball is managing editor for Reink Media and the lead editor for the StockBrokers.com Annual Review. Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money.

Steven Hatzakis
Steven Hatzakis

Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.

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