Investing > Best Stock Trading App in Australia

Best Stock Trading App in Australia

This guide outlines the premier stock trading apps in Australia, taking into account cost, access to different markets, usability, and additional features.

By
Reviewed by
Updated November 25, 2021

All reviews, research, news and assessments of any kind on The Tokenist are compiled using a strict editorial review process by our editorial team. Neither our writers nor our editors receive direct compensation of any kind to publish information on tokenist.com. Our company, Tokenist Media LLC, is community supported and may receive a small commission when you purchase products or services through links on our website. Click here for a full list of our partners and an in-depth explanation on how we get paid.

Looking to enter the world of stock trading?

Granted, it is a bit of a cheeky question – if you didn’t, you wouldn’t have ended up here. Thankfully, with the marvels of modern technology, you, as many others already have, can start investing with that ever-present little device that does everything – your phone. 📱

That’s right – not only can you share a photograph of every single fancy-looking dinner you eat on Instagram, but you can actually use your phone to trade stocks and make legitimate investments – without paying any commissions.

Sound simple? It is, at least in theory. In practice, things become a little more convoluted – there’s a lot of things to consider when picking an investment app. Thankfully, we’re here to help untangle that mess for you.

Top Stock Apps for Traders in Australia

After more than 47 hours of research, we’ve found the following:

  1. eToro
    Best Overall
  2. Interactive Brokers
    Lowest Fees
  3. CMC
    Best for Long-term Investing in International Markets
  4. IG
    Most User-Friendly
  5. Stake
    Best for Investing in the US Market
  6. Saxo Bank
    Best Premium Service

The Best Stock Trading Apps in Australia 🇦🇺

We’re going to go over 6 of the most popular stock trading apps for residents of Australia, factoring in price, usability, unique features, and investment selection. Australia is currently seeing a huge influx of new traders – and if you fall into that category, you’ll want to avoid the most common pitfalls experienced by your peers.

In order to do that, you have to start at the beginning – by picking a good brokerage. It pays off to do your research – if you simply open an account with the first appealing brokerage you come across, chances are that you’re going to regret it later.

Now, granted, we don’t know what your priorities are – but when you plainly list the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular brokerages in the land down under, making the choice that’s best for you becomes a whole lot easier.

Let’s dive in. 🚀


1. eToro – Best Overall

eToro’s large selection of investments, user-friendly platform, and unique features make it our top overall pick.

eToro is famous around the world for its pioneering copy-trading features. However, this broker is far from a one-trick pony. The brokerage’s mobile app is easy to use, the investment selection is wide, and only the fees are sometimes bothersome – but as you’ll see, that isn’t much of an issue.

Pros

  • A wide array of investments
  • Powerful research tools
  • Unique copy-trading features
  • User-friendly

Cons

  • Slightly substandard customer service
  • Above-average fees
Visit eToro on eToro’s website

Disclaimer: eToro AUS Capital Ltd ACN 612 791 803 AFSL 491139. OTC Derivatives are speculative and leveraged. Capital is at risk. See PDS

eToro’s minimum deposit comes in at a rather reasonable $200. However, seeing as how the platform’s default currency is the US dollar, you’re going to have to pay a modest conversion fee of 0.025%. Bear in mind that $200 will be enough to open a functional account – your first trade has to be worth at least $500.

eToro comes with no deposit fees but does charge an annoying $5 withdrawal fee. On top of that, the least amount of money that can be withdrawn is $50, and a monthly $10 inactivity fee is charged after one year without trading. That more or less sums up all of our gripes. eToro is very forthcoming with deposits and accepts debit cards, credit cards, services such as PayPal and Skrill, and bank transfers.

The broker’s unique copy-trading feature allows you to copy the investments that other, more experienced traders make. Although the platform lacks educational content, this hands-on approach is a great way to get a look at the moves that experienced traders are making – and it can make you some money along the way.

eToro’s app is sleek, well-designed, and easy to use. It is available in over 20 languages and features an intuitive search function. The app is available for Android and iOS devices.  Although the mobile app offers fewer charts than the web-based version of the platform, the 5 charts that are available are well-suited for trading on a mobile phone.

The app also supports watchlists, price alerts, and an easy-to-read newsfeed, as well as the copy-trading features that we’ve already mentioned. The brokerage offers clients access to over 2,000 assets, including stocks, ETFs, currency pairs, indices, and commodities. 

eToro’s access to 17 stock exchanges across the globe is laudable – however, unfortunately, the broker doesn’t offer access to stocks listed on Australia’s stock exchange, the ASX. We wouldn’t exactly call that a dealbreaker, however – and when all is said and done, eToro comes out ahead of the competition.

Disclaimer: eToro AUS Capital Limited ACN 612 791 803 AFSL 491139. OTC Derivatives are leveraged financial products and considered speculative. OTC Derivatives may not be suitable for all investors. You don’t own the underlying assets.

You risk losing all of your investment. This information is general only and has been prepared without taking your objectives, financial situation or needs into account. Consider our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). See full disclaimer


2. Interactive Brokers – Lowest Fees

IBKR homepage
Interactive Brokers’ app is geared toward active traders who need powerful research tools.

Founded in 1978, Interactive Brokers is a titan in the investment space – with over $170.1 billion in customer equity. You don’t get to such heights without a product that truly delivers – and IBKR is no exception.

Pros

  • Supports alerts.
  • Wide variety of assets available
  • Low fees

Cons

  • Probably too complex for beginners
  • A few pesky fees
  • Lackluster customer service
Visit Interactive Brokers on Interactive Brokers’ website

Unlike most of its competitors, Interactive Brokers’ account opening process is a bit more taxing – although it shouldn’t take more than two days for your account to be verified, the entire ordeal is a bit clunky when compared to the competition.

However, don’t let the rough start fool you – this brokerage has plenty to offer. There are no deposit fees, the Australian Dollar is supported as a base currency, and there are plenty of assets to trade – including stocks, ETFs, futures, fixed-income securities, international stocks, and CFDs from various exchanges including the ASX, NASDAQ, NYSE, AMEX, and LSE. One rare feature that this brokerage supports is investing in fractional shares.

Although Australian clients still can’t trade crypto through this brokerage, the company has recently debuted crypto trading in the US – which is a good sign.

Interactive Brokers charges a 0.08% or $5 fee for stock trades, as well as a $10 monthly inactivity fee. If you plan on purchasing international stocks, you’ll be subject to a brokerage fee. However, in most cases, this won’t amount to more than $0.005 – which can largely be ignored.

One area where the mobile app stands out is complexity – and we mean that in a good way. Users can see fundamental data, analysis reports, and make use of complex order types all within the app. The app supports 70 indicators, so the charting tools are pretty advanced.

The search function is intuitive and useful – looking for a company allows you to easily choose between stocks, futures, options, warrants, and CFDs, all from a single dropdown menu. The app is easy to use, supports price alerts and watchlists, as well as a two-step login process.


3. CMC – Best for Long-term Investing in International Markets

CMC Markets mobile trading
CMC doesn’t charge any fees when you buy stocks on some of the most popular exchanges in the world.

Founded in 1989, CMC Markets is a UK-based brokerage that offers Australian clients easy access to international markets. However, there is a minimum trade value associated with investing in these foreign markets – so we’ve chosen this brokerage as our top pick for long-term investing abroad.

Pros

  • Wide range of markets available
  • Strong regulatory licences
  • Access to the MT4 trading platform

Cons

  • Lacks two-step login
  • Focused on large trades
  • Some educational content is only accessible to high-volume traders
Visit CMC Markets on CMC Markets’ website

CMC Markets is regulated by a whopping 4 tier-1 regulators, including the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC). The brokerage offers clients access to various stock exchanges around the globe, including the ASX, NASDAQ, NYSE, LSE, AMEX, Euronext…

The brokerage gives customers access to a pretty wide variety of investment vehicles – both in regard to asset classes as well as geography. Investors can opt for domestic and international stocks, ETFs, indices, commodities, and fixed-income securities.

CMC offers clients three account types – Classic, Active Investor, and Premium Trader. The classic account is available to all customers, while the Active Investor and Premium Trader accounts require you to make more than 11 and 30 trades per month, respectively.

Buying shares from Australia, the US, the UK, and Canada is commission-free – however, to offset this, the minimum trade value for these markets is a steep $1000. If you’re comfortable with long-term buy-and-hold investing, this brokerage offers a great way to practice this strategy while minimizing transaction costs.

The brokerage offers various educational materials such as guides, articles, webinars, and tutorials. The only caveat is that only Premium Trader account holders can access the entirety of the educational catalog. Customer support is available via phone, email, and live chat. Waiting times are usually short, and the CS team is helpful and knowledgeable.

CMC’s mobile app is user-friendly, features a powerful search function, and allows users to place the same order types as they can place on the web-based platform. It should be noted that customers can use both CMC’s proprietary mobile app as well as a mobile app version of the venerable MT4 trading platform. The app also supports alerts and notifications, the only downside being that the mobile version of the platform lacks a two-step login feature.


4. IG – Very User-Friendly

IG Apps
IG is a low-cost, accessible brokerage, with each of its mobile apps tailor-made for its operating system.

Founded in 1974 in the UK, the IG group is one of the most recognizable brokers on the market today. IG’s focus lies in providing low-cost trading via a variety of assets. It is currently the world’s largest provider of CFDs.

Pros

  • Huge variety of available assets.
  • Wide variety of assets available
  • Low fees

Cons

  • Probably too complex for beginners
  • A few pesky fees
  • Lackluster customer service
Visit IG on IG’s website

Although IG’s account opening process is quick and simple, keep in mind that you’ll have to open a separate account to buy shares – a regular account can only trade in CFDs. IG Charges no commissions for US, UK, German, and Irish shares – however, if you’re interested in ASX stocks, you’ll have to pay a $5 commission per trade.

IG’s app is well-designed, intuitive, and user-friendly – although it’s aesthetically a bit dated by now. Be that as it may, the app’s search function is quite powerful, and the results are categorized according to asset class, making navigation quite easy. The mobile app also supports all the order types that the web-based platform does, including market orders, limit orders, stop-loss orders, and trailing stop orders.

IG’s app also allows users to set up price alerts watchlists, as well as a two-step authentication login or a biometric authentication feature. Charting is also available, however, unlike the other versions of the platform, the mobile app is a bit lacking when it comes to customization.

The brokerage offers a demo account and has quite a strong focus on education – webinars, educational videos, platform tutorials, and educational courses are available to all clients. IG also offers clients access to an economic calendar, a Reuters news feed, and real-time charts. 


5. Stake – Best for Investing in the US Market

Stake app
Stake’s low fees, intuitive mobile app, and incredibly accessibility make it the best choice if you’re eyeing the US stock market.

A relatively recent newcomer in the brokerage game, Stake was founded in 2017 by a group of forward-thinking entrepreneurs – and it shows. The zero-fee discount brokerage has caused quite a disruption in Australia’s trading scene – by focusing solely on US securities.

Pros

  • User-friendly.
  • Simple account opening process
  • Zero-fee trading

Cons

  • Lack of domestic securities
  • Currency conversion fee
  • Lackluster customer service
Visit Stake on Stake’s website

Stake’s focus is squarely on the US market – you can’t trade Australian stocks via this brokerage. And although we don’t want to knock the Australian market, US stocks have more than enough variety to meet the demands of any investor.

The brokerage has a modest $50 minimum deposit, and the account opening process is fully digital and can be completed in a matter of minutes. Stake offers two account types – a free, standard account, and a Stake Black account that costs $9 per month. Stake Black accounts offer clients access to more fundamental data regarding companies.

On the flip side, the only base currency currently offered by the brokerage is the US dollar – meaning that you’ll be subject to a currency conversion fee quite regularly. This is the main cost associated with Stake – and it isn’t too high. To be more precise, the brokerage charges a 0.7% conversion fee, with a minimum of $2.

Stake’s mobile app is accessible, user-friendly, and quite intuitive – but it does have a few significant flaws. For all of its user-friendliness, the app lacks any sort of categorization – sorting companies by market cap, price, or sector is impossible.

On top of that, unlike the web-based platform, Stake’s app doesn’t support price alerts – something that most traders will find completely unacceptable. Still, if you favor buy-and-hold investing, this might not impact you as much. Lastly the app is only available in English.


6. Saxo Bank – Best Premium Service

Saxo bank app
Saxo Bank’s powerful research tools, sleek design, and attention to detail make it our top premium service pick.

Founded way back in 1992, Saxo Bank is a Danish brokerage that has made a name for itself as a premium service that focuses on quality. Although it isn’t as accessible or welcoming as some of the other brokers on our list, the services that it offers are no less impressive – and in many cases, they exceed the offerings of the competition.

Pros

  • Powerful research tools.
  • Plenty of tradable assets
  • User-friendly

Cons

  • High fees for certain assets
  • High minimum deposit
  • Customer support unavailable on weekends
Visit Saxo Bank on Saxo Bank’s website

Let’s get this out of the way first – Saxo Bank is a brokerage that focuses on VIP clients. As such, it comes with a pretty steep minimum deposit requirement – $3000, to be precise. And while that’s nothing to cough at, if you can afford it, it is well worth the price.

Saxo Bank offers clients a huge array of investments – over 19,000 stocks from 36 exchanges across the globe, more than 9,000 CFDs, 3000 ETFs, and 5000 bonds. The broker’s trading platform is available in 29 different languages.

The broker does charge some rather antiquated fees – $25 will be charged after a quarter of inactivity – however, $0 commissions make this a non-issue. A welcome addition to Saxo’s toolkit is a copy-trading feature that can stand toe to toe with eToro’s copy-trading.

The mobile app also supports a variety of customizable alerts and notifications, as well as many different order types and a two-step login system. It’s fast, reliable, and quite powerful – with over 40 technical indicators and drawing tools at your disposal. Although the menu is a bit cramped and takes a bit of getting used to, the app is still user-friendly overall.

Although their customer service isn’t available on weekends, the CS team at Saxo is experienced and helpful. Response times generally average less than 1 minute, and most issues are resolved quickly.

An unexpected but welcome bonus with a VIP brokerage such as this is that Saxo Bank offers a free 20-day trial with $100,000 in virtual cash, allowing you to test out the app and its other platforms before committing. And let’s be real – if you’re going to put up $3,000, you better be sure that this is the right choice for you.


Your Guide to Australian Stock Trading Apps 🔎

We’ve gone over the most popular trading apps in Australia. We hope these brief insights into the most important factors are something you’ll find helpful – and if you’re left wanting more, you can always check out our dedicated reviews of specific brokerages.

But it’s also wise to take a step back and focus on the big picture. Sure, you can plainly see how one feature or another is beneficial, but you should also have a solid, holistic picture of what makes a good brokerage before making your choice. Our buyer’s guide will help you focus on what truly matters – and give you a lens through which you can contrast these apps.

Before that let’s deal with something a bit more mundane – actually opening an account, and the unavoidable share of your profits that you’re going to have to fork over to the government.

Opening an Account, Taxes, and Trading Regulations in Australia 🦘

Opening an account isn’t all that time-consuming or complicated. The process can usually be done entirely online, and it usually takes less than an hour. Getting your account approved after that, however, can take a day or two to a couple of weeks – depending on the brokerage.

You’ll need to provide some information when you sign up for an account, and this is universal across all brokers: your name, address, date of birth, ID, bank account details, contact details, and your tax file number (TFN).

When it comes to taxes, keep in mind that Australia’s legal system favours long-term investing. If you sell an investment after holding it for more than a year, you’ll only have to pay tax on half of the profit. If you sell it earlier than that, the entire profit is taxable. Depending on your income, you’re going to pay between 0% and 45% in taxes on your capital gains.

Tax Brackets in Australia 👇

Taxable IncomeMarginal Capital Gains Tax Rate
$0 - $18,2000%
$18,201 - $37,00019%
$37,001 - $90,00032.5%
$90,001 - $180,00037%
$180,001+45%

As far as regulations go, your first purchase of stocks has to be worth at least $500. Other than that, we should mention that a lot of the best brokers in Australia are headquartered in the United States – meaning that FINRA regulations regarding pattern day trading still apply.

Non-residents and Taxes in Australia 📜

However, when it comes to non-residents, we have good news – non-residents don’t have to pay capital gains taxes in Australia. Non-residents do have to pay taxes on taxable Australian property – but this only encompasses certain types of real estate and mining investments.

Non-residents will also be subject to a non-resident withholding tax, but apart from that, Australia’s legal and regulatory framework is very welcoming toward non-residents. 

How to Find the Stock Broker That’s Right for You 💡

Now that we’ve covered some of the more dry topics such as taxes and account opening, let’s move on to the meat of the buyer’s guide – how do you actually find a good brokerage? Well, here is what you should look for:

Regulation 👩‍⚖️

First things first – you’ll always want to go with a regulated broker. Being properly regulated ensures that a brokerage is doing business legally, ethically, and in a way that strives to maximize your returns and the safety of your investments.

So, how do you figure out if a brokerage is properly regulated? The ones we’ve listed in this review are, but you can (and should) always check with Australia’s top regulatory body – the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

On top of that, it pays to keep an ear to the ground. Read reviews pertaining to any brokerage you’re seriously considering, check if they were involved in scandals or regulatory incidents, and try to attain a general sense of how trustworthy, transparent, and forthcoming they are.

We know that this all seems like common sense – but scams cost Australian investors a lot of money per year. To be precise, about $193 million has already been lost to fraudulent schemes in 2021 – with investment scams being the biggest category by far at $96 million. A good place to start is ASIC’s very own list of scam brokerages – consult it before you open an account.

Tradable Assets 🏛️

Next off, you’re going to want to take a deep dive into the tradable assets that a brokerage offers. If you haven’t noticed, a lot of Australian brokers only offer trading via CFDs – that’s why there are a lot of international brokers on the list. Simply put, limiting yourself solely to CFDs just won’t cut it for most serious investors.

When it comes to the investment offering of a brokerage, consider two things – asset classes and access to different markets. Although you might primarily be interested in investing in stocks, what’s to say that investing in ETFs or bonds won’t be a sensible move down the line?

As far as access to different markets goes, diversification also has to do with geography – and having access to both US, European, Australian (and preferably more) markets will allow you to more easily weather any localized recessions.

Australia’s stock market is no slouch – with over 2,200 listed companies and a market cap of just over $2,153 trillion, there are a lot of opportunities to be found in your own backyard and the ASX. In fact, the ASX 200 has seen an average return of 9.3% in the last 10 years.

However, in contrast with the NYSE – which has 2,800 companies listed, but a market cap of $26 trillion, it becomes clear that you have to broaden your horizons to make full use of all available opportunities.

Changing a brokerage is a messy, boring process – it’s well worth it to get things right on the first try. But don’t just look at things without going in-depth – if a brokerage covers all asset classes, but offers only a small number of funds or stocks, that’s still a poor investment.

Price and Platform Usability 📈

There’s no going around it – price plays an important role in choosing a brokerage. Brokers have different fee structures, so it’s important to read the fine print.

Picking a broker that is within your means is important, but you should also give the fee structure a closer look – for example, if you intend on trading stocks, then you’re going to want to find a brokerage that has low commissions – otherwise, fees will eat up most of your profits. However, don’t be fooled – low cost doesn’t equal a less powerful trading platform, as we can see in the case of eToro.

There’s a lot to consider here – different pricing options, commissions, fees, but start off with the basics: What is the minimum investment requirement? If a brokerage is just out of reach because of account minimums, it might be worth it to save up for a few more months.

Not all platforms and apps are made equal – some are vastly more user-friendly than others. Finding the right balance between powerful charting tools and usability is difficult, but keep one thing in mind – most brokerages nowadays offer demo accounts, so you can take their platforms and apps out for a spin before committing. That’s why we strongly recommend doing so to get a feel as to what works best for you.

Still, even though we live in a fast-paced world nowadays, don’t discount online and desktop platforms – even if you don’t have the time and know-how to use them right now, who’s to say that things will stay the same down the line?

Education 📚

The great thing about the internet is that it allows you to educate yourself on stock trading in your own free time and at your own pace. Some of those sources that you run into online are legit – they feature well-written and properly-researched content (cough, cough) – but there’s also a lot of sloppy amateurism and scams out there.

Obviously, we’re not knocking sources that you can find online – but brokerages that focus on education often feature professionally made courses, webinars, tests, as well as platform and trading tutorials, and both written and video content. A brokerage with a good offering with regard to education allows you focus on the topics that are most germane to your interests. 

best stock trading app australia icon
Stock trading refers to the buying and selling of shares in a particular company; if you own the stock, you essentially own a slice of the company.

If the platform that the brokerage offers is complex, platform tutorials are a godsend – and the ability to expand your horizons and learn about other asset classes and investment styles is invaluable. Even if you’re already relatively seasoned when it comes to investing, pay heed to the educational material that a brokerage offers.

Research and Charting Tools 🔬

Depending on what type of investor you are, you’ll be interested in different research and charting capabilities – however, the common theme still remains – without good research and charting, you can’t invest the right way.

When we say research, we usually mean two things – commentary and market analyses provided either by the brokerage’s in-house team or a third party. Although we always encourage readers to do their own research and get used to analyzing securities thoroughly, hearing an expert opinion here and there is always useful.

Charting tools are essential for investors who are looking to trade – which is to say, to make use of short-term price movements to secure profits. Day trading, swing trading, and a lot of other short-term strategies are non-starters without powerful charting tools. 

Even if you’re more interested in traditional, long-term, buy-and-hold investing, access to charting tools makes it much easier to research a security before you decide to invest. 

On top of that, research also includes fundamental data and access to financial reports – both of which are absolutely essential for long-term investing. No matter how you put it, research and charting is always a priority.

Let’s just take one month to use as an example – September of 2021. It recorded both the biggest surge on record, as well as the biggest drop in a three-month period. To say that things are volatile and can turn on a dime would be an understatement – you need solid, actionable data to make the right moves.

Customer Support 📞

Although it might not be the most glamorous ingredient in the soup that makes up a good brokerage, a proper customer support service is indispensable.

The fact of the matter is, sooner or later, you’re going to run into an issue or a problem. These things are normal – and happen even with the most high-end brokerages. Some of these issues are small and might not pose any real issue, while others can potentially set you back thousands of dollars. In any case, you want a brokerage that you know you can rely on.

Customer support is essential to providing a good, consistent user experience. Don’t overlook this area when looking for a brokerage – and take a good hard look at their CS offering.

When is the customer support team available? How can you reach them – does the brokerage offer email, video chat, live chat, or phone support? What is the average waiting time? And perhaps most importantly – what do the clients of the brokerage have to say about their customer service in their reviews?

It’s easy to imagine that everything will always come up roses – but when your system of choice ruins into a problem, you’ll be very grateful that you chose a broker that didn’t neglect customer support as a priority.

Conclusion 🏁

If you’ve made it this far – congrats! It might be a bit too much to digest all at once, but the time and effort it takes to find a good brokerage with a good app is time and effort well spent.

We’re confident that you’ll find the app that you’ve been looking for in this list – it might take a few attempts until you narrow it down to two or three contenders, but choosing the right app the first time around is of the utmost importance.

All reviews, research, news and assessments of any kind on The Tokenist are compiled using a strict editorial review process by our editorial team. Neither our writers nor our editors receive direct compensation of any kind to publish information on tokenist.com. Our company, Tokenist Media LLC, is community supported and may receive a small commission when you purchase products or services through links on our website. Click here for a full list of our partners and an in-depth explanation on how we get paid.

Cookies & Privacy

The Tokenist uses cookies to provide you with a great experience and enables you to enjoy all the functionality of the site.