4 (More) Apps For Investing in Australia

These days, smartphones seem capable of doing everything short of picking the kids up from school. We take a look at some smartphone apps available for Australian investors. 

If you haven’t already, read our first article in this series: 5 Australian Investment Apps You Should Know About.

Before we delve into it, some housekeeping: please remember, the below details do not constitute an official star rating from Canstar. They are intended to highlight the features of each app, and may assist in your consideration of whether a mobile investing app is worth exploring. You should always do your due diligence before choosing an investment product.

Now, without further adieu… 

Spaceship Voyager

Who is it aimed at: Those newer to investing, or who wish to invest a smaller amount

Spaceship Voyager is a micro-investing app that uses a robo-advisor. It allows investors to deposit smaller amounts or set up a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly deposit which can be edited at any time.

For the app user, Spaceship is very much a passive investment. When you sign up you can choose between the Spaceship Index Portfolio – an indexed fund that tracks the ASX200 – or the Spaceship Universe – a fund which has selected stocks chosen in an attempt to beat the market.

The interface is simple, users can see at any time the composition of their portfolio as well as how it is performing.

Spaceship does not, however, allow users to select individual stocks. For beginner investors, the simplified investment options may be well suited, but for more advanced investors they may find they would like more control over their portfolio. 

Fees: For investments under $5,000 Spaceship Voyager is free (no brokerage or subscription fees). For investments over $5,000 there is an annual fee of 0.05% of your Spaceship Index Portfolio balance or 0.1% of your Spaceship Universe Portfolio balance.

Available on the App Store and Google Play.

 

 

‘Big Bank’ Apps

Who is it aimed at: Those already with, or considering, a share trading account with an Australian major bank, including Westpac, NAB, or Commonwealth Bank.

In addition to their other financial services, many of Australia’s major banks also offer share trading. Notably, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac offer mobile apps for trading which are downloadable for iPhone and Android.

Unlike Spaceship or Raiz, these apps are for buying/selling individual shares, so may be suited for slightly more experienced traders. They also allow users to create watchlists and alerts for stocks, access live data and quickly and easily view their portfolio.

Each of these apps allow the trading of shares directly from a user’s smartphone – there is no need to log onto a desktop.

Fees: A variety of factors will affect brokerage fees. For full fee breakdown you can visit nabtrade here, CommSec here, and the Westpac Online Investing app here.

 

CMC Markets

Who is it aimed at: More experienced investors familiar with stop-loss orders, CFDs and other investment options

CMC Markets are an online Stockbroking and CFD (Contract for Difference) trading platform. Founded in 1989, CMC Markets extended from just an online offering to offering a smartphone app which allows users to access all the same features as they could via desktop. 

CMC Markets in fact offer two apps, one for stockbroking and one specifically for CFDs, though for the purpose of this post we’ll focus on their stockbroking app. 

Users can view their order history and current positions from the smartphone app, as well as create watchlists and portfolios, and view up-to-date market charts.

They launched their app in 2011. Market news from ASX, Dow Jones and Morningstar is integrated into the app.

CMC Markets’ app also offers advanced order tickets, allowing users to amend, purchase, sell or cancel conditional and/or linked orders with take profit or stop loss instructions.  

CMC Markets’ head office is in the UK, but the company has expanded since its inception and now has offices throughout Europe, in Canada, China, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
Fees: CMC Markets fees begin at $9.90 Brokerage Fees for 30 trades or more in a month. Their full list of rates can be found here.

Available on the App Store and Google Play.

If you’re comparing Online Share Trading companies, the comparison table below displays some of the companies available on Canstar’s database with links to the company’s website. The information displayed is based on an average of 6 trades per month. Please note the table is sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest) followed by provider name (alphabetical). Use Canstar’s Online Share Trading comparison selector to view a wider range of Online Share Trading companies.

Stake

Who is it aimed at: Those looking to purchase US stocks

Until recently, purchasing American stocks in Australia could often be a convoluted and costly process. Stake was founded with a goal to address this. 

Big names like Netflix, Google and Amazon are available on Stake, and when registering and beginning your trading Stake handles your W-8BEN form – the form that legally allows foreigners to claim concessional tax treaty benefits. 

Stake allows users to invest smaller amounts than many traditional online trading platforms.

Importantly, Stake also offers fractional investments. Instead of purchasing whole shares, users can invest dollar amounts and purchase fractions of shares. This is useful for users who may want to purchase shares of, say, a FAANG stock – even individual shares of which can cost quadruple digits. 

The app offers easy to read graphs and charts to allow users to make better investment decisions, as well as a quick-view for users to see their holdings.

You can read Canstar’s Q&A with Stake founder, Matt Leibowitz, here.

Fees: Stake offers ‘Brokerage Packs’. There is a $0 brokerage fee for 2 trades or less a month, after which the price tier increases. See here

Available on the App Store and Google Play.

 

Considerations

The wide array of investment apps available now mean most hopeful investors, regardless of expertise level or goal, may be able to find one that suits their needs. 

Remember though, a high-rating on the App Store does not mitigate investment risks. If unsure, you can always contact a professional financial advisor. 

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