The first decision every investor makes is choosing their broker. This page covers everything you need to know about your options and features some recommendations based on different types of investors.

On this page we cover the following topics:
  • Definition: What is a broker?
  • Different types of brokers
  • All the details you need to know
  • Recommendations for different investors

First things first - What is a broker?

A person or company that buys and sells shares on your behalf. As retail investors, when we want to buy shares we do not contact someone that owns the shares and make a deal with them. Instead we place an order through an intermediary, who then execute the order on our behalf. This intermediary is called a broker.

There are a variety of different types of brokers that we outline on this page. Whichever type you choose, they all take your order to buy or sell shares and then match that order with someone looking to take the other side of your trade (i.e. sell shares to you, or buy shares off you).

The different types of brokers

Full Service
Are part-broker, part-advisor. They are most hands on, but also most expensive option.

Offered by all major banks, they are the middle ground offering good service and resources but with a little more cost than online only brokers.

Online Only
Focused on making accessing the share market easy and at the lowest possible cost.

Designed for beginner investors, these brokers allow people to invest with just a few dollars.

All the details you need to know

Platform Brokerage & Fees $5000 managed fund, then no minimum

$500 ETFS
Markets Research Key Features/Products Watch out for...
CommBank $10.00 (Up to and including $1,000)
$19.95 (Over $1,000 up to $10,000 (inclusive))
$29.95 (Over $10,000 up to $25,000 (inclusive))

North America
USD $19.95 up to $5000USD

USD $39.95 or 0.4% + stamp duty 50bps
$500 Aus & 25 international Yes - investment banks; Morningstar Options
Margin Loans
Fixed Income

Conditional orders
Trade without settlement
Must settle in CDIA for broker rates
Westpac $19.95 or 0.11%

North America
USD $19.95 for trades up to USD $5,000

USD$57.95 or 0.65%, whichever is greater

USD$115.00 or 0.90%, whichever is greater
$500 Aus & 25 international Yes - investment banks; Morningstar

Advanced Research packages available
Margin Loans
Fixed Income

Advanced charting
Must have westpac cash investment account

Crazy account keeping fees for inactivity on intl
NAB $14.95 up to $5000
$19.95 $5000 - $20,000

$14.95 up to $5000
$500 Aus & 25 international Yes - investment banks; Morningstar mFunds
Margin Loans
Fixed Income

Advanced charting

Subscriptions - premium charting, alerts
IRESS Trader integration
Bank Of Melbourne - Directshares 1st Trade $19.95 up to $5000
2nd trade $19.95 up to $18,000
$500 Aus & international Yes - investment banks; Morningstar Free alerts
Suncorp Share Trade $21.95 up to $10,000

$24.95 up to $5000

$69 or 0.69%

Foreign Exchange 0.6%
$500 Aus & 11 markets With Suncorp Share Trading, you will have access to Dow Jones newswires, Morningstar and ASX Company announcements. mFunds

$41.25/moth - dynmaic data
custody fees
IG 3+ (previous month) $5
0-2 trades $8

Free (instant currency conversion)

Forex 0.7% spread

$50 subscription fee, quarterly
$500 Aus, US, UK, Germany, Ireland Yes - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram; Reiuters, In-house analysts Award winning trading platofmr CFDS!
CMC Less than 11 trades oer month $11 or 0.1%
11-30 trades $9.90 or 0.8%

International (US, Canada)
$19.95 $0-$5000
$29.95 $5000-$10,000

$500 Aus & International Yes Frequent trader program
Bell Direct First 10 trades p/m $15 up to $10,000

$10 live data p/m (free after 5 trades per month)
WebIRESS $79 p/m
$500 ASX only Broker research Daily trading ideas
Advanced charting
Free conditional orders
Exchange traded bonds
Interest rate securities
Saxo Markets Custodian $6.99
CHESS $14.90

US USD $9.90

0.12% custody fee
FX 0.3%
36 exchanges
SelfWealth $9.50 $500 Australia No Social platform - follow other investors; align portolfios; see where you rank

It's listed!
Stake 0% brokerage

$0 month - unlimited free trades (market orders only)
$9 month - free trades; advanced orders;
$19 month - trade on unsettled; analyst level data ($30k portolfio)

First funding: $5 to complete W-*Ben
FX - 0.7%
2% fund with card
$10 US No Fractional shares

News feed
eToro 0% commission - US
Other stocks are offered as derivatives and bear commission
$50 US markets - 0% commission (aussie investors)
International markets
News & analysis Fractional shares
Social platform
Follow traders
Copycatr portfolios
Vanguard Personal Investor Pay $0 brokerage on Vanguard's ASX-listed ETFs and $19.95 or 0.15% (GST inclusive), whichever is greater, on other ASX transactions.

Account Fee:
0.20% p.a. capped at $600 p.a. per account

Interest Rate Charge:
0.50% p.a.1 of the balance of your Cash Account
$5000 managed funds, then no minimum

$500 ETFS
CommSec Pocket $2 up $1000
0.20% above $1000
$50 Mixed expsoure through ETFs No 7 options to choose:
- Aussie200
- Aussie Dividends
- Global 100
- Emerging Markets
- Health Wise
- Sustainability
- Tech Savvy
- ETFs only
- Watch out for brokerage as a percentage
Interactive Brokers
Raiz $2.50 per month less than $10,000 $5
Spaceship $0 on $0-$5000
0.1% above $5000 (spaceship universe portfolio)

Recommendations for different investors

As you can see from the table, there are plenty of options out there. While there is no 'one perfect option' we've laid out some of our recommendations below.

Looking for more information?

We recently recorded a podcast episode on brokers. Listen here, or search 'Equity Mates' on your preferred podcast player.

If you've got any more questions about brokers, head over to the Equity Mates Facebook Discussion Group. There are thousands of likeminded investors that can answer your questions and tell you their experiences with different brokers.

Investing is a lifelong journey and it is much more fun to travel with others. So join our community and share our journey as we all work to become better investors.