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Are you looking for the a good online broker in South Africa? With activity in the stock market surging last year, there are now dozens of share trading apps to choose from in South Africa in 2021 offering record low prices.
But picking a share trading platform is about more than just the fees. The best platform for you will depend on how often you trade, which markets you’re investing in and how experienced you are.
To make it easier, we’ve compared some of South Africa’s most popular share trading platforms by looking at fees, features and available products. Here’s a list of well-known brokers available in South Africa, picked by Finder’s team, in no particular order.
Here is a list of 10 popular trading platforms available in South Africa in 2021 according to the latest information (last updated June 2021).
IG has highly competitive fees with tight spread on both local and global stocks. This means IG offers some of the lowest commission fees among brokers offering global stocks. Users can also trade forex, cryptocurrencies and commodities using IG’s platform.
CMC Markets offers an extensive range of features and options to suit traders who are interested in global shares and currencies. You also get a range of trading tools including advanced charts, stock watchlists and conditional orders.
eToro is well known for its social features that allow users to learn from each other and to imitate the trades made by successful traders. It’s a top choice for US stocks thanks to having zero brokerage fees, a low currency conversion rate and a range of trading features such as news updates and charting tools.
Disclaimer: eToro offers both stock and CFD trading. CFDs are considered high-risk products where you could lose more than your initial capital.
With no monthly subscription or inactivity fees for the standard account, EasyEquities customers can buy and sell South African shares for 0.25% per transaction, and Australian and US shares for 0.56% per buy/sell option without worrying about ongoing costs. EasyEquities also offers excellent research features, such as a portfolio tracking tools, stock recommendations and plenty of investment guides.
Saxo Capital Markets isn’t the cheapest option for traders, but it is an excellent choice for anyone who wants access to a large variety of options. The platform charges a small percentage fee when you invest in South African-listed ETFs and for South African stocks. Although it has some ongoing fees, the platform still charges less than many competitors. This makes it a top pick for long-term and ETF investing.
Ally Invest’s mobile trading app is simple enough for beginners to get started, while also offering a range of useful features that more advanced traders might find useful, such as technical indicators, real-time alerts and customized watch lists, comprehensive research, and reporting tools. The trading platform doesn’t charge any commission for stocks or ETFs above $2, but charges a $4.95 base commission plus one cent per share on the entire order for securities below $2.
Sharenet Securities has been around for over 30 years, providing investors with the tools and services they need to make the financial decisions that fit their goals. While the company offers a more traditional brokerage service backed by an experienced team, it also provides an excellent online trading platform. Along with a whole list of trading tools, Sharenet offers a demo account as well as training courses for beginners.
Interactive Brokers has an extensive range of trading tools for active traders, such as advanced charting, fractional shares and a long list of conditional order options. Its brokerage fees are among the lowest on the market global share trading, especially for high-frequency traders, and users can also trade OTC stocks.
CM Trading is highly ranked for international share trading thanks to its wide range of investment options and feature rich platform. The platform is regulated by FSCA and uses strong encryption to protect online transactions.
Exness is a global broker with a big variety of options, including stocks, forex, metals, crypto, indices, and energies. All of which can be traded on zero trade commission accounts or accounts with free spreads depending on the type of account you choose. Exness also features advanced trading tools and expert coaching and tutorials via the Exness Academy.
The best app for beginners is going to be very different to a platform that suits active or professional traders. Meanwhile, somebody that wants to invest in South African shares and ETFs may have no interest in currencies trading or international markets.
The fees can also change depending on how often you trade in a month, a quarter or a year.
It may even save money to have more than one platform. For example, you could have one app to trade SA stocks, one for US shares and another for currency markets.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
There are many different kinds of share traders. Once you know which category you fall into, you’ll be able to more easily pick the best share trading app for you. For example, there are casual traders, active traders and long-term investors.
This will influence the features you’re looking for in an online broker. From the ease of use of the system through to the market research information available, it’s important that the platform complements your trading needs.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine your trading style:
How often will I trade? If you buy or sell shares once or twice a month (or even less), you’re a casual investor. You may want to avoid brokers that have an inactivity fee or charge higher broker fees for less frequent trades.
If you intend to buy and sell shares multiple times in a day, you’re an active trader. You’d want to look for platforms that offer low brokerage for high-frequency trading and an extensive range of trading features, such as charting tools and order options.
Am I a trader or an investor? Traders try to make money from share price movements by buying and selling stocks frequently – often several times in a day or week.
Investors use the “buy and hold” strategy by targeting quality companies they think will rise over a long time-frame and possibly offer dividends. They may only buy and sell a few times in a year. Investors may find the inactivity fee more important than a stock analysis feature.
For traders, a low brokerage fee and advanced features are key. They might find the stock analysis feature more important than an inactivity fee.
How will I place trades? Will you be placing all your trades online, via a mobile app or over the phone? Make sure the app offers your preferred choice and check the fees.
What will I be trading? Do you want to trade Sourh African shares, US shares or other international markets? Some online brokers also offer other markets such as global currencies and cryptocurrencies. Depending on what your priorities are, you may wish to get a broker that offers all of the above or several different brokers– one for each market.
How much money am I trading? Do you intend to invest one lump sum of R30,000 into the stock market or would you prefer to make several small trades of a few thousand rands? Brokerage fees sometimes differ depending on the amount you’re buying and selling per month, per year or by trade.
There are plenty of things you’ll need to consider when looking at different platforms. Of course, it all comes down to how you’re intending to use it.
Here are some of the key features to look at when comparing online share trading platforms:
There are three main fees that commonly apply when you use online share trading platforms – brokerage fees, monthly fees and foreign exchange fees if you trade global shares.
Brokerage fees vary greatly between providers but typically start at around the R100 to R200 range. For large transactions, fees of around 0.1% and up usually apply. If you’re planning on making lots of trades, you’ll want to keep an eye out for a platform that offers low per-trade fees.
Some providers will not charge any monthly fees at all. However, more advanced trading platforms and those that offer premium services will often charge a monthly fee that could be as high as around R800 per month. A number of brokers will waive this fee if you perform more than a certain number of trades each month.
Finally, remember that many brokers offer different membership levels – for example gold, silver and platinum – which offer different features and therefore attract varying fees.
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Benefit from zero trade commission on selected accounts, low spreads and a host of advanced trading tools with Exness online brokerage.
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