Commsec Fees for U.S Shares: Is it worth it?

Commsec FeesOn Commsec you can trade shares like Apple, Netflix, Tesla etc that are listed on U.S stock exchanges.  But while it may sound cool to dive in and start buying these shares, there are fees you need to be aware of.    I’m going to break down the different Commsec fees that are charged and compare them to other brokers so you can get the best deal for buying U.S listed shares.

Commsec Fees on U.S Shares

Here are the standard brokerage fees for buying and selling U.S shares on Commsec:

  • $19.95 for trades up to $5000
  • $29.95 for trades up to $10000
  • 0.31% for trades over $10000

These fees are charged when you buy and when you sell.  So you need to take these into account before you open a trade.  I.E you’ll be charged $19.95 when you buy Apple shares and then you’ll be charged $19.95 again when you want to sell them.

Foreign Exchange Fee

You’ll also be charged a foreign exchange fee when you buy U.S shares using your AUD.  This is because your AUD needs to be converted into usd.  The fee charged is 0.60%.  Which means for every $100 you transfer, you’ll pay $0.60.    You can choose to settle trades in USD.  Meaning, when you sell your shares, the money you receive is USD.

Custody Fee

If you don’t make any trades on your Commsec account you’ll be charged a custody fee of $25.    An inactive account means you haven’t made a trade for 1 calendar year.

Is Commsec worth it for U.S shares

I don’t think Commsec is a good place to buy and sell U.S shares.  If you’re an investor with hundreds of thousands of dollars then it’s probably worth it.  But for most people, the fees charged (brokerage, foreign exchange and custody fee) will seriously weigh down any gains you make.

Commsec alternatives

Thankfully in Australia we now have a couple of alternatives for buying U.S shares without commissions.  That means you can buy and sell real shares without paying brokerage fees.    Here are the two options currently available:

eToro

eToro has added commission free trading for U.S listed stocks.    There are no holding or management fees either.  eToro also doesn’t have a custody fee.  This means you can buy U.S stocks and hold them for longer term gains without being charged any ongoing fees.   eToro also has a fractional share feature.  This means you don’t need to buy a whole share.  You can buy a smaller amount using any dollar amount over $50.   You can find out more about eToro here.

Stake

Stake also offers commission free trading on U.S stocks.    The main advantage Stake has over eToro is a larger number of U.S stocks that are available to invest in.  They charge a slightly higher FX conversion rate compared to eToro, but it is still a very competitive rate.  The FX fee is charged when you deposit or withdraw AUD from your bank account.

Tip: Get a free stock on Stake when you sign up.

Save money on fees!

Using either Stake or eToro you’ll save a lot of money on fees when you buy U.S shares.   Thankfully Australia is now getting some more competitive fintech products which is lowering the cost of investing for regular investors.    I’m currently using Stake to build myself a dividend portfolio and I use eToro to trade U.S stocks (day trading).    I wouldn’t be able to invest like I’m currently investing if I was using Commsec.

So before signing up to Commsec, make sure you take a look at some of the newer options that hitting the Australian market.

This post is for educational purposes and should not be considered as investment advice. This post is based on individual experience and journalistic research.

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