Selfwealth popularised low-fee stock trading in Australia. But they are no longer the cheapest way to invest in shares and their platform is starting to feel a little old. Thankfully there are some great alternatives for investing in shares. While Selfwealth may be perfectly suited for you, if you’re investing with smaller amounts of money, there are better and cheaper options for you.
Here are of the best Selfwealth alternatives for Australian investors:
ASX Trading Platforms
Use these platforms to invest in shares listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).
Superhero is a new trading platform for Australian shares and ETFs. When you buy or sell shares you’ll be charged just $5 per trade. When you buy ETFs you won’t be charged any commissions.
Superhero acts a custodian. This helps them cut down on costs, which means that trading is cheaper for you. While some of the traditional exchanges scoffed at this idea, this model is popular in the US. I guarantee that this will be the way most Australian exchanges operate in the future.
One big advantage of using Superhero is you can start investing in Shares and ETFs with just $100. Investing in shares shouldn’t just be for rich people. If you’ve thought about building a portfolio of ETFs or Shares but don’t have a huge amount of money, then this could be a cost effective option for you.
Superhero doesn’t currently offer a mobile app. In this day and age that’s really not up to par. The web based app however is easy to use and is well designed.
Why I like Superhero:
- Invest in ETFs for Free – pay no commission when you buy ETFs. There is a $5 brokerage fee when you sell.
- $5 Share Trades – Trade ASX listed shares for just $5 per trade.
- $100 Minimum Investment – get started investing with less capital (I wouldn’t buy shares with just $100 as the $5 fee will significantly dent any profits).
- Bringing Innovation to the ASX – Brokers like Commsec, Selfwealth etc to be stuck in the past. We need more innovation in the financial sector. Good to see some companies trying something different.
OpenTrader charges just $5 per trade. Accounts on OpenTrader are CHESS sponsored (again, I’m not sure this is such a great thing – CHESS is outdated and just a pain to work with!). If you need a CHESS account then OpenTrader is a cheaper alternative to Selfwealth.
OpenTrader also offers a unique practice trading feature. It lets you simulate trades using virtual money. If you’re brand new to stocks, then this could be a great way to learn how things work.
I haven’t used OpenTrader yet, but I like the look of the product and will be testing it out soon.
Why I like OpenTrader
- CHESS Sponsored Account – if this is important to you, you can buy and sell shares for less than Selfwealth on OpenTrader. So really no reason to use Selfwealth.
- $5 Trades – Trades start as $5 and go up depending on the trade size.
US Share Trading Platforms
You can now trade US shares on Selfwealth. Unfortunately it’s pretty expensive compared to it’s competitors. If you are going to buy US shares, you don’t need to pay $9+ per trade. In the US exchanges are more competitive and commission free trading is now common.
While these platforms offer exposure to US markets, they have local support (and local offices), incorporated in Australia and are regulated by Australian authorities. These platforms also let you buy real shares. Some platforms only offer CFD trading. When you trade CFDs you aren’t buying the underlying asset and it’s possible to lose more than you invest.
I use Stake to invest in a portfolio of U.S ETFs. There are just so many more ETFs available in the US compared to Australia. It also allows me to dabble in more risky investments like SPACs and REITs (not recommended for beginner investors).
Stake makes money when you transfer AUD which gets converted into USD. They charge a tiny FX fee (which is much more competitive than what my bank charges).
Why I like Stake
- No Commissions – Pay no commissions when you buy or sell shares.
- Invest in Companies you Use – Many people like to invest in companies they use and love. And many of these companies are listed in the US. You can invest in companies like Apple, Netflix, Tesla, Amazon etc.
- $10 Minimum investment – You can start investing with as little as $10 at a time. Because there are no brokerage fees, you are not penalised for investing with smaller amounts. This is great for dollar cost averaging!
eToro offers a similar product to Stake. You can invest in US shares and you won’t pay any commissions. eToro is also one of the oldest companies on this list. They’ve been around since 2007. However they’ve only recently added real stock trading for Australian investors.
Why I like eToro
- No commissions – buy and sell US shares without any brokerage fees
- $50 minimum investment – Start investing with just $50 per trade.
- Invest in Companies you use – eToro lists all the major US shares.
- CopyTrading – eToro has a unique copy trading feature that lets you automatically copy the trades made by other more experienced traders.
If you’re looking to invest in shares or ETFs the easiest way to do it is through micro-investing. The advantage of using these platforms is you get a portfolio that’s been put together for you. These platforms have also most likely out-performed most retail investors who try and pick ETFs and shares to invest in on their own. It’s been proven that most people who try and pick stocks don’t outperform the index over a longer term.
With Spaceship Voyager you can invest your money in one of 3 different portfolios – Universe (future looking companies aka Tesla, Apple etc), Index (200 of the largest companies in the world) and Earth (companies that have a positive impact on the world).
I’ve been using Spaceship Voyager for the past few years and it has been my top performing investment apart from crypto (remember past performance doesn’t indicate future performance).
What I like about Spaceship
- Solid Portfolios – I love the idea of being able to invest in a portfolio of future looking companies.
- Fee Free up to $5k – The first $5k you invest is fee free. This means that Spaceship is officially the cheapest way to invest in shares in Australia! This is perfect for building up a nest egg.
- Start with just $5 – you can start investing with as little as $5. This is great for dollar cost averaging. I’ve setup a weekly investment that is set and forget.
Tip – Get $5 free when you use this Spaceship Referral Code.
Using Raiz you can invest in one of 7 different portfolios. They range from conservative (great for older people with a nest egg) to Aggressive (great for long term growth and younger people). I’ve been using Raiz alongside of Spaceship for the last few years.
What I like about Raiz
- Prebuilt Portfolios – The portfolios on Raiz were originally designed by a Nobel prize winning economist. You don’t need to know anything about investing or shares.
- Start with just $5 – You can invest just $5 at a time on Raiz. Great for dollar cost averaging.
- Roundups – Raiz can track your spending accounts and invest money every time you spend money! You can turn this on or off and setup regular recurring investments as well.
- Custom Portfolios – Raiz recently added custom portfolios. If you’re a more experienced investor you can create a custom portfolio of ETFs.
- Invest in Bitcoin – you can add a 5% allocation of Bitcoin to your portfolio.
If you are regularly investing small amounts of money ($5-$100) a week, then using a platform like Raiz or Spaceship will be significantly cheaper than Selfwealth. On Selfwealth the minimum investment is $500. And you pay a fee every time you invest.
Tip – Get $5 free when you use this Raiz invite code.
Let me know in the comments if there are any other good Selfwealth alternatives that I’ve missed.