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Compare share trading platforms and apps
Trade US, NZ and international shares and funds with no monthly fees
Compare share trading platforms
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
How to compare share trading platforms
There are plenty of things you’ll need to consider when looking at different platforms, however it all comes down to how you’re intending to use it. Ask yourself, do you want to buy New Zealand shares or are global shares important too? And do you consider yourself to be a beginner or an advanced investor?
Your answers will help you to decide which share trading platform will benefit you the most. Here are some of the key features to look at when comparing online share trading platforms:
- The fees. Most online trading platform will charge you a brokerage fee when you buy or sell shares. However, fees may be calculated as a percentage of the transaction amount for larger trades and may also be lower depending on how frequently you trade. Some providers also charge ongoing subscription or inactivity fees on top of this, especially with the more feature-dense platforms.
- What can you trade? Some trading platforms will not only give you access to New Zealand shares but also US and other international shares. Others will also allow you to trade a range of other instruments so look for this functionality if it’s important to you.
- Ease of use. Share market trading can be complicated and often requires you to respond quickly to market changes. With this in mind, look for a platform that allows you to make fast and precise trades with minimum fuss.
- Access to market data and research. Does the platform offer dynamic, real-time or delayed market updates? Some platforms offer research and broker analysis on individual stocks that can come in handy.
- Trade options. Consider the options available when you are buying or selling shares. Can you place orders at market and/or at limit, and are stop/loss orders an option to add more flexibility to your trading?
- Reporting. Check what reporting tools each platform offers to help you track how your trades are performing, record dividends and pass on any relevant information to the IRD at tax time.
- Margin loans. If you’re looking to borrow money to build your portfolio, check to see whether the platform provider offers margin loans.
- Customer support. Look for phone, email and live online chat support. Do they offer customer service 24/7 if you’re having trouble placing a trade?
- Education. Some platforms also feature a range of educational tools and resources, such as how-to guides and webinars, to help you get more out of your trading account.
- Security. How secure is the platform and what measures are in place to ensure the safety of your funds?
Benefits and risks of share trading platforms
- Control your investments. Online brokers give you the ability to take charge of your finances and invest your money in a range of local and global financial instruments.
- Convenient. You can trade shares and boost your investment balance all from the comfort of your own home. Trading shares online can require much less legwork than for example, investing in property.
- Affordable. The online share trading sector is becoming increasingly competitive, which is great news for consumers because it means better features and lower fees. The cost of buying and selling shares online has dropped markedly over the past couple of decades.
- Information at your fingertips. Many share trading platforms give you access to a wealth of market news and company information to help you make informed trading decisions.
- Lack of knowledge. The fact that you get to take full control of your investments can be a double-edged sword. While it allows you to take charge of your finances, it also means that you must rely on your own know-how to buy and sell shares. If you don’t know what you’re doing you can lose a significant amount of money.
- Temptation to take risks. When you’re able to buy and sell shares in just a few quick clicks, it can be easy to forget that you’re dealing with real money and not just playing a game. Remember, these are serious financial decisions you are making and all trading carries a degree of risk.
- Error. A simple typo and a failure to proof-read any buy or sell orders before you place them could cost you a lot of money. Review your orders closely before you submit them.
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