Compare International Share Trading Platforms

Compare international share trading platforms with our latest report. Find out who offers outstanding value on their policies.

 

Compare international share trading platforms

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Recent Award Winners

2017 5-Star Rated Platforms
IG Markets
Saxo Capital Markets (Australia)

What is international share trading?

International share trading platforms allow you to access overseas exchanges and buy and sell shares from some of the biggest companies in the world. According to ASIC, Australian securities only make up around 2% of the global market, so by trading international shares, you can have a much wider range of investment options.

How do we compare international share trading platforms?

Canstar rates international share trading platforms using a sophisticated ratings methodology that compares both price and features.

Eligibility

To be considered within the Canstar International Share Trading Star Ratings, the provider must:

  • Offer trades on international exchanges in at least the US and the UK.
  • Offer online share trades in the US.

Price

The price score is based on 100 hypothetical trades in each market considered and accounts for any ongoing fees and brokerage costs.

The price score is worth 50% of the final rating.

Features

The feature score accounts for the remaining 50% of the total score and takes into consideration a number of features from eight different categories:

  • Research Tools, Charting and Information
  • Settlement/ Holding Accounts
  • Platform Information and Options
  • Account Services and Support
  • Education
  • Accessibility and Security
  • Markets Available
  • Fees and Charges

Products are ranked based on the total score received for each profile. Stars are then awarded based on the distribution of the scores with the objective to award the top 5-10% of products with a 5-Star rating.

To directly trade international shares in Australia legally, you must use a broker. Many online share trading platforms and brokerage firms in Australia provide access to international trading.

Buying international shares can be more expensive than buying shares on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), with additional costs such as currency conversion fees and foreign security custody fees.

Who is eligible for an account?

Although the requirements can vary slightly depending on the platform, you generally need to:

  • be 18 years of age or older
  • have an Australian residential address
  • have an Australian mobile number.

What documentation or paperwork do I need before applying?

To apply for a new international share trading platform, you’ll need the following documentation:

  • Photo ID, such as your driver’s license, birth certificate or passport
  • Your Tax File Number (TFN) or exemption code.

If you’re applying in the name of a company or trust, you need:

  • The same photo ID
  • Your company’s Australian Business Number or TFN
  • Your Australian Company Number (ACN).

Once you have an account, making trades for international shares isn’t really any different to buying Australian shares. Again, this may depend on your choice of provider, but generally, all you need to do is:

  • Select the trading menu and choose the international option
  • Navigate the menu until you find the stock you want to buy
  • Choose to either buy or sell
  • Enter the quantity of shares to buy or sell and choose whether it is to be at market or a limit
  • Enter the relevant security check if there is one.

The right international share trading platform can give you access to dozens of different international exchanges, including:

  • The New York Stock Exchange
  • NASDAQ
  • The London Stock Exchange
  • The Hong Kong Stock Exchange
  • The Tokyo Exchange; and more

Having access to these exchanges not only allows direct investment in shares, but can also enable the purchase of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Exchange Traded Options (ETOs), managed funds, contracts for difference (CFDs) and other derivatives.  The brokerage and fees charged can vary between securities.

Depending on your circumstances, you may be subjected to foreign taxes on investment income from international shares. You may also be eligible for a foreign income tax offset from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Seek professional advice for more information.*

*Canstar is not a registered tax agent and does not provide tax advice.

Canstar endeavours to include the majority of product providers in the market and compare the product features most relevant to consumers in our ratings. Complete market coverage is not always possible and some products or features may not be included.

In total, Canstar rated 11 products offered by eight providers of international share trading platforms:

  1. ANZ Share Investing
  2. CommSec
  3. IG Markets
  4. Interactive Brokers Australia PL
  5. Nabtrade
  6. Saxo Capital Markets
  7. George Bank
  8. Westpac

Compare International Share Trading Platforms