Stake, Hatch and Sharesies are three popular online investing platforms. All three of these platforms allow you to trade US stocks and ETFs on the US stock market, providing access to exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the pricing, available markets and key features of Stake, Hatch and Sharesies to help you choose the best platform for trading US stocks.
Stake doesn’t charge any brokerage fees. However, you will need to consider the following charges:
How much it is
1% (US$2 minimum fee). This fee applies when you deposit to or withdraw from your account. If you already have USD you want to deposit into your Stake account, a flat US$5 fee applies.
US Tax filing fee
US$5. This fee covers the cost of filing your W-8BEN tax form.
Stake also offers the opportunity to upgrade to a premium paid plan for US$9/month. This provides access to features like in-depth financial data and analyst ratings, but was available for free as part of a limited-time offer at time of writing.
There are three fees you’ll need to consider with Hatch:
How much it is
US$3 when buying or selling up to 300 shares (US$0.01 a share after that). This fee applies whenever you buy or sell shares.
0.5%. You’ll need to pay this fee to convert NZD to USD when you deposit money into your account, and when you convert back to NZD to make a withdrawal to your bank account.
US tax filing fee
One-off US$1.50 and annual US$0.50 fee. This charge covers the cost of your W-8BEN tax form and annual US tax filing.
There are no ongoing or monthly membership fees.
You’ll need to pay the following fees when trading via Sharesies:
How much it is
$30/year for portfolio value over $50. There’s also the option of a monthly subscription, priced as follows:
Portfolio value of $50 or less: Free
Portfolio value of $50-$3,000: $1.50/month
Portfolio value of $3,000+: $3/month
0.4%. This fee applies when you convert NZD into USD and vice versa.
0.5% for orders up to $3,000 + 0.1% for amounts above $3,000. This fee is charged in USD whenever you buy or sell US stocks or ETFs.
Hatch vs Sharesies vs Stake: Available markets and products
What products can you buy and sell through these three platforms, and on which stock exchanges? Let’s take a closer look.
Hatch provides access to over 2,900 companies and more than 500 ETFs listed on US share markets. Hatch account holders can buy and sell stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ.
Sharesies lets you buy and sell shares and ETFs on the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ and the Chicago Board Options Exchange. It provides access to a total of more than 2,300 US companies, and allows you to trade on the NZX as well.
Finally, Sharesies also allows you to invest in a small number of managed funds.
Stake allows you to trade over 3,700 US stocks and ETFs. It provides access to exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ, while you can also access over 200 ADRs (American Depository Receipts) of global companies.
Hatch vs Sharesies vs Stake: Features
The other important factor you’ll need to consider when choosing an online investing platform is the range of features on offer.
Age Limit. You must be 18 years or older to open an account.
Order types. Hatch currently offers market, limit, stop-loss and stop-buy orders. You can also set up an ongoing auto investment plan through the platform.
Payment methods. You can deposit funds into your Hatch account via a bank transfer from your NZ bank account.
Minimum amount. There is no minimum investment amount with Hatch.
Watchlist. It’s free to create a watchlist from your account to monitor the performance of shares and ETFs.
Security. Hatch allows you to set up two-step authentication to increase the security of your account.
Regulation. Hatch is the digital platform of Kiwi Wealth, which features on the New Zealand financial service providers register and is a member of the Financial Service Ombudsman dispute resolution scheme. Buying and selling of US shares is provided by US broker DriveWealth.
Customer support. Hatch offers email and live chat support 7am – 5pm weekdays, and until 12pm on Saturdays. There’s also an online help centre with answers to an extensive range of FAQs, and a free “getting started” course for beginners.
Age Limit.You’ll need to be at least 16 years of age to open an account. However, you can also open a Kids Account to help your child grow their wealth.
Order types. Sharesies supports limit orders and market orders.
Auto-invest. Hatch offers an auto-invest feature you can use to set up an ongoing automated investment plan.
Payment methods. You can top up your Sharesies account using a bank transfer or via your credit/debit card, but please be aware that you’ll incur a fee if you pay by card.
Order limits. You can only place US company and ETF limit orders for whole shares. A minimum investment amount of $5 applies to the auto-invest feature.
Regulation. Sharesies Nominee Limited holds your money and investments separately to company funds. Sharesies is regulated by the Financial Markets Authority, while the buying and selling of US shares is provided by US broker DriveWealth.
Age limit. You must be 18 years or older to open an account.
Mobile app. Stake’s mobile app is available for download from Google Play and the Apple Store.
Paid features. If you upgrade to a paid account you can access analyst ratings, price targets and detailed company financial information to help boost your trading knowledge.
Order types. Stake offers market, limit and stop orders.
Data. Stake users can access real-time exchange data, with live data available when the market is open.
Payment methods. You can deposit funds into your Stake account via POLi transfer from your bank account. Express and regular deposit options are available.
Minimum and maximum order size. The minimum trade size is $10 and the maximum order size is 10,000 shares.
Regulation. Stake is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the FCA in the UK. However, it’s not regulated by the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Because Stake facilitates trades that are executed by DriveWealth, Stake says it isn’t required to be on the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR).
Customer support. Stake has a customer service helpline which is available 24 hours a day for 5 days of the week. Its website also has an online support section to answer common (and not so common) questions and there is the option to email the Stake team for assistance if you’re in less of a rush.
About the contenders
The digital investment platform of Kiwi Wealth, Hatch is part of Kiwi Group Holdings Limited. It allows Kiwis to access US share markets through a partnership with US broker-dealer DriveWealth.
Stake aims to provide US stock market access to investors and traders in NZ and around the world. Established in 2017, it accesses US brokerage and execution services through DriveWealth.
Sharesies is an online investment platform that provides investors with access to over 3,000 companies and funds in NZ and the US.
In terms of pricing, it’s hard to pick a clear winner in the Hatch vs Sharesies vs Stake battle. Different pricing structures mean the most affordable choice for you will depend on factors like how often you trade, the size of your trades, and your deposit and withdrawal amounts. Consider your investment goals and then crunch the numbers to work out which platform will be cheapest.
Otherwise, each platform has its own pros and cons. Hatch and Stake both offer access to a wide range of US stocks and ETFs, while Sharesies provides the added bonus of being able to invest in the NZX too. The right platform for your needs will depend on what you want to trade and which service is the most user-friendly.
Ultimately, you’ll need to compare Hatch, Stake and Sharesies side by side before making your final decision. You can sign up for a free account with all three, so this may be the best way to determine which platform you like best.
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, 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. Trading CFDs comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.
Tim Falk is a freelance writer for Finder, writing across a diverse range of topics. Over the course of his 15-year writing career, Tim has reported on everything from travel and personal finance to pets and TV soap operas. When he’s not staring at his computer, you can usually find him exploring the great outdoors.
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