Direct Broking Review: Buy shares on the NZX, ASX, and more

Buy shares, bonds, currencies and a bunch more through Direct Broking

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Direct Broking is an online share trading platform, based here in New Zealand, that lets people invest in a range of different assets.

It’s focused on presenting a wide range of investments, including some that may be hard to find on other online platforms. Some of the investments on the platform are more suited to advanced investors rather than beginners.

This review looks at what you can invest in, how it works and the pros and cons of using Direct Broking to buy shares.

What can I invest in with Direct Broking?

With a Direct Broking account, you can buy and sell a number of different types of investment. These include:

  • NZX and ASX listed shares. Buy shares in more than 1,000 companies listed on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges.
  • Exchange traded funds (ETFs). These investments track the prices of underlying assets, and trade on exchanges. For example, one ETF might track a selection of top renewable energy companies, while another might track the price of gold.
  • Bonds and other debt securities. Buying bonds essentially means investing in debt and earning a fixed rate of return from the debt being paid off with interest. Direct Broking lists New Zealand government bonds, corporate bonds and other similar instruments.
  • Currencies. You can settle NZ, AU, UK and US equity trades in their local currency, as well as transfer funds between up to 12 different currencies.
  • Unlisted securities. These are securities that are not listed on exchanges. Trading these carries additional risks, and you will need to complete a disclaimer before you can access these on your Direct Broking account.
  • New issues. Direct Broking will sometimes show new issues, such as IPOs or new bonds, on the platform. You can receive and submit new issue offers through Direct Broking.

How much does it cost to use Direct Broking?

There are two ways of using Direct Broking. You can either deposit funds into your Direct Broking account ahead of time, or you can initiate payments from your bank account at the time of purchase.

Funds in your Direct Broking account can earn interest, and the fees are lower when you invest with money that’s already in your Direct Broking account.

You can either make orders online, or over the phone. The fees are typically higher for phone orders.

The table below shows the fees when you invest with money that’s already in your Direct Broking account, through the online platform.

Brokerage fees

Trade typeBrokerage fee
NZ-listed securities (exc. debt securities)$29.90 for trades up to $15,000

0.2% for any portion of the trade value over $15,000

Australian-listed securities (exc. Debt securities)AU$29 for trades up to AU$30,000

0.3% for any portion of the trade value over AU$30,000

Debt securities (bonds, capital notes, redeemable and perpetual preference shares)The greater of either $30 or 0.5% for trades up to $50,000

0.35% for any portion of the trade value over $50,000

Overseas trading fees

Trade typeFee
Approved NYSE and NASDAQ securitiesThe greater of either US$69.50 or 0.6%, plus 0.5% stamp duty
Approved LSE securities trading in GBPThe greater of either GBP£69.50 or 0.6%, plus 0.5% stamp duty
Approved LSE securities trading in EUREUR€95 plus 0.5% stamp duty
Approved LSE securities trading in USDThe greater of either US$140 or 0.6%

Other fees

Fee typeAmount
Foreign exchange chargesUp to 1.5% above mid-market rates
Custodial fees$5 per month plus 0.25% per annum
Electronic withdrawal of securities from Direct Broking custody$100
Shareholder reference number requestAU$25
One-off sale rates (AU and NZ listed securities)The greater of either 1.25% or $100, in either AUD or NZD as applicable

Is Direct Broking safe?

Direct Broking is owned and operated by Jarden, an accredited NZX market participant which has been operating under various names for more than 50 years.

The assets held in your Direct Broking account are custodied in your name (or your nominee or agent’s name if applicable).

What this essentially means is that your funds are separated from all the company funds when in custody and you, or the persons you approve, remain the legal owner of the assets.

Even in the unlikely event of Direct Broking or any other company involved in the process going insolvent, you will be able to get your assets.

How do I sign up for Direct Broking?

To sign up for Direct Broking, you will need:

  • Identification. A New Zealand or Australian passport, or a New Zealand drivers licence.
  • Your tax details. You will need to provide your New Zealand IRD number as well as any offshore tax details you have had in the last 12 months.
  • A recent bank statement. This is used to confirm your bank details.

Once you have those near at hand, download the Join Direct Broking app for iOS or Android. This app guides you through the signup process. Note that it’s only for opening accounts, not for trading.
The app will walk you through the process of:

  • Filling out the required forms
  • Verifying your identity by taking a selfie and photographing your ID
  • Providing any additional information needed to complete your signup

The whole process should take about 10 or 15 minutes. Once that’s done, Direct Broking will typically process your application within 48 hours.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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