Are you looking to start building a portfolio of stocks but have been put off by the high commissions or fees charged by some platforms? Well thanks to some new platforms in Australia, it’s now possible to buy stocks and not pay any commissions. Here are the platforms that I’ve tried and found to work well:
Stake is currently my favourite way to buy U.S listed stocks. They charge no commissions on trades. Instead they make money on the foreign exchange when you deposit AUD and it gets converted into USD so you can buy stocks. This fee is barely noticeable and so much cheaper than buying U.S stocks through a platform such as Commsec which charges both an FX fee as well as a brokerage fee.
Once you’ve deposited funds on Stake you can use that money to open and close as many trades as you want and you’ll never pay any commissions! I’m currently using Stake to build a portfolio of high dividend and REIT ETFs. Because Stake gives you access to U.S exchanges, you have access to a huge range of stocks. I wouldn’t be able to build a similar portfolio using ASX listed stocks.
What I like about Stake:
- Start investing with $5: You don’t need to be rich to start investing.
- Invest in Companies that you care about: You can invest in U.S listed stocks such as Apple, Tesla, Netflix, Alphabet, Amazon and many more. Plus get access to a huge selection of ETFs. There are thousands of stocks you can trade on Stake.
- Buy Fractional Shares: You don’t need to buy 1 whole share on stake. You can invest any amount of money.
- Not a CFD platform: You own the shares you buy on stake! You’re not trading a contract that will expire.
- No Commissions on Trades: Buy and Sell as much as you want.
- Advanced Trading Features: You can upgrade your account to get access to advanced day trading features such as trading using unsettled funds.
Get a Free stock on Stake – Sign up to Stake using this link and you’ll get a free stock.
eToro recently added commission free trading for U.S stocks. In the past they only offered CFD trading, but in Australia you can now buy and own real U.S stocks and you won’t pay any commissions. I tried out and reviewed eToro here. If you’ve always wanted to invest in companies like Apple or Tesla, then this might be the platform for you.
What I like about eToro
- Start with just $50: no high minimum deposits. You can start investing with as little as $50.
- Buy Stocks using PayPal or Credit Card: There are no extra fees for depositing funds using a credit/debit card or PayPal. You’ll save money in comparison to Stake in this regard.
- Trade a Huge Range of Assets: eToro also has a number of other assets available to trade including forex and cryptocurrency.
- Set Take Profit and Stop Loss: Get access to advanced trading features that let you automatically close trades when they reach a certain profit or loss threshold.
IG have recently added commission free trading for U.S and UK shares. You can also trade Australian shares for just $5. This makes it currently the cheapest broker for Australian shares. Just like with Stake, you’ll pay a FX fee to convert Australian dollars into U.S dollars.
Unfortunately IG does charge a subscription or custody fee of $50 per quarter. They will wave this fee if you make a certain number of trades each month. For casual investors, this might not be a very good deal, but if you’re actively making a lot of trades, then it could be a good option.
How to Buy Australian Stocks without Fees
Unfortunately it’s not possible to buy Australian stocks listed on the ASX without paying any fees. That’s because unlike the U.S where there are a number of competing exchanges, in Australia we have just one major player. The ASX has a monopoly and doesn’t need to compete on price.
Currently the cheapest option is to use Commsec Pocket. This lets you invest in a number of ETFs and charges just $2. This is much cheaper than Commsec or other Australian brokers, but the you have limited options on what you can invest in.
Use Micro Investing to save on Fees
Another option to save on fees is Micro-investing. Micro investing is where you invest into a portfolio of stocks using small amounts of capital (like $5 at a time). In Australia we have a couple of MicroInvesting apps. My current favourite is Spaceship Voyager. They charge no fees on balances under $5k. And over $5k the % fee is very competitive. Your money will get invested into 1 of 2 portfolios (you choose when you sign up). You can get $5 free on Spaceship using this code.