With savings rates plummeting through the floor in 2020, the stock market has been gaining popularity as a way for Aussies to make their money work for them.
Unfortunately, the stock market can seem like a very daunting place for new investors. Even some of the tools and resources designed to help you understand the stock market can be tough to get your head around.
But that doesn’t mean you should let it stop you. In fact, there are a few platforms out there that are actually designed for rookies, or are extremely user-friendly.
Here are five of them.
The CommSec app is Commonwealth Bank’s investing app, but you don’t need to be a Commonwealth Bank customer to use it.
In fact, anyone with an Apple or Android phone can download the app – and it’s free.
The CommSec app allows you to buy and sell shares, view and trade on live prices and create watchlists to monitor company performance.
You can trade Australian and international shares, and buy and sell exchange-traded funds. The minimum trading order is $500 for ASX listed companies.
Finder.com.au has rated it one of 2021’s best trading apps.
Fees: It’s free to download and there are no monthly subscription fees to use the app.
However, users will be charged brokerage fees which depend on the amount you’re trading and the type of cash settlement you choose.
This is NAB’s version of CommSec. The app also allows you to buy and sell shares from your iPhone or Android, as well as access live prices.
Nabtrade’s mobile app also gives you access to useful trading information before buying or selling shares, which is great for rookies.
You can trade Aussie and international shares, exchange-traded funds, listed investment companies, real estate investment trusts and bonds.
Fees: There is a standard brokerage fee of $14.95 for trades up to $5,000, which increases to $19.95 for trades of up to $20,000.
There are no monthly account fees for the Bronze, Silver and Gold service levels. However, you will be charged an inactivity fee of 0.50 per cent of your portfolio on international shares if you don’t make any trades in a year.
The minimum trading order is $500 for ASX listed companies.
Westpac Online Investing App
Westpac’s online investing app has also been named one of Finder’s best trading apps of 2021.
The app allows you to trade Aussie or international shares, exchange-traded funds and exchange-traded commodities, as well as warrants.
Known for making share trading easy and accessible, the app offers expert advice and analysis, real-time data and even allows you to set custom alerts on price movements and market-sensitive announcements.
Fees: There’s a standard brokerage fee of $19.95 or 0.11 per cent fee applied per share.
There’s a $0 monthly fee. However, if you’re an advanced trader, that goes up to $79 per month.
If handling your own investments seems stressful, then a robo-advisor could be a good option for you.
Stockspot is a robo-advice platform that launched back in 2014, and it’s about as hands-off as it gets.
For investments of $2,000 to $10,000, the platform will manage your portfolio for free for the first six months, and then charge a fee of $5.50 per month following that.
Fees increase again depending on how much money you hold in the account.
The site offers five different investment strategies: Topaz (aggressive growth); Emerald (growth); Turquoise (balanced); Sapphire (moderately conservative); and Amethyst (conservative).
These strategies are invested across Aussie shares, international shares, emerging markets, bonds and gold. The user fills out a questionnaire to determine what kind of investment profile suits them best, and then they transfer money into Stockspot’s investment account, which Stockspot invests for them.
Fees: There are no entry or exit fees, but the minimum investment is $2,000.
Arguably one of the most well-known trading apps is Raiz (formerly known as Acorns), which allows users to micro-invest.
The app has a minimum investment of just $5, and users can choose to either “round up” their daily purchases and invest the remainder into the app, or set recurring investments. You can even invest a lump sum and just let it grow.
Your money will be invested into one of six investment strategies, depending on your risk appetite: Conservative, Moderately Conservative, Moderate, Moderately Aggressive, Aggressive or Emerald (the ethical option). The portfolios invest in ETFs listed on the ASX.
For the more experienced: CMC Markets mobile app
If you’re a little more experienced, or understand the stock market a bit better, the CMC Markets Stockbroking app is probably more up your alley.
You can buy and sell shares from any kind of phone with a $0 brokerage fee on global shares. For Aussie shares however, there is a brokerage fee which differs depending on which membership option you are in.
It’s an award-winning brokerage platform, and Finder has given it a 4.7 out of 5 stars based on fees, customer support, trading tools, research and education and available countries.
However, it is more suited to experienced traders, because it is quite complicated.
Fees: They can be as low as $9.90 or 0.075 per cent. However, brokerage fees for over the phone trades can be as high as $59.95.