Latest in International Share Trading
International Share Trading - September 28th
Top International Share Trading Platforms
Looking to invest in international shares? Canstar has rated international share trading platforms for the first time, evaluating 18 international share trading platforms from 12 providers and announcing three 5-Star rated products.– Read more
ETFs - August 12th
Why more investors are travelling overseas
Where and how Australian investors are investing globally is very diverse. But the overall global investment trend, reflected by the record inflows across international markets this year, is a strong sign that more Australian investors (and international investors alike) are diversifying away from their home share market biases.– Read more
International Share Trading Platforms September 2021
The table below displays some of our referral partners’ International Share Trading platforms. The display order does not reflect any ranking or rating by Canstar. The table does not include all providers in the market. Canstar will earn a fee from the providers displayed in the table. The fee levels determine placement in the table. Canstar may also earn a fee for referrals from the table, such fee may vary between providers.
This information is not an endorsement by Canstar of investments or any specific provider. Canstar is providing factual information supplied by providers. Investments are speculative, complex and involve risks. Canstar is not providing a recommendation for your individual circumstances or in relation to any particular product or provider.
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.
To be considered within the Canstar International Share Trading Star Ratings, the provider must:
- Offer trades on international exchanges in at least the US.
- Offer online share trades in the US.
The price score is based on 100 hypothetical trades in the US and accounts for any ongoing fees, brokerage costs and foreign exchange costs.
The price score is worth 50% of the final rating.
The feature score accounts for the remaining 50% of the total score and takes into consideration a number of features from seven different categories:
- Deposit and settlement
- Research including charting, company information, market information, dynamic trading platform and alerts
- Trade including capabilities, market access and margin loan
- Account management
- Customer service
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.
Which international share trading platforms does Canstar rate?
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 18 products offered by 12 providers of international share trading platforms in 2020:
- ANZ Share Investing
- CMC Markets – Share Trading
- eToro AUS Capital PTY Ltd.
- IG Markets
- Interactive Brokers Australia PL
- Phillip Capital Ltd
- Saxo Capital Markets (Australia)
- St.George Bank
- Stakeshop Pty Ltd
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
- 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.
Author: Nina Tovey
As Canstar’s Editor-in-Chief, Nina heads up a team of talented journalists committed to helping empower consumers to take greater control of their finances. Previously Nina founded her own agency where she provided content and communications support to clients around Australia for eight years. She also spent four years as the PR Manager for American Express Australia, and has worked at a Brisbane communications agency where she supported dozens of clients, including Sunsuper and Suncorp.
Nina has ghostwritten dozens of opinion pieces for publications including The Australian and has been interviewed on finance topics by the Herald Sun and the Sydney Morning Herald. When she’s not dreaming up ways to put a fresh spin on finance, she’s taking her own advice by trying to pay her house off as quickly as possible and raising two money-savvy kids.
Nina has a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in English Literature from the University of Queensland. She’s also an experienced presenter, and has hosted numerous events and YouTube series.