Canstar reveals the winner of its Online Share Trading Award


Canstar has named the winner of its annual Online Share Trading Award for 2021.

Sharemarkets in Australia and across the world have experienced their fair share of volatility over the past 12 months as the world has faced unexpected lockdowns, business shutdowns and disrupted international supply chains due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has resulted in some shares soaring and others plummeting over the course of even one day.

Despite this, Canstar’s Investor Sentiment Index in April found 30% of Australians surveyed were currently investing in the stock market or another investment vehicle like property, ETFs or cryptocurrency, and a further 14% were considering it. On top of this, 46% said they were optimistic the sharemarket will go up in value in the next six months.

Whether you are new to trading or you have been trading shares online for a while, you may want to know if your platform of choice offers value.

To help investors in search of that value, Canstar has rated 44 online share trading platforms from 22 providers on its database. Read on to find out which platforms were deemed to offer 5-Star value in 2021, and which provider won Canstar’s Online Share Trading Broker of the Year Award.

How are online share trading platforms rated?

Canstar Research assessed platforms based on both price (brokerage and ongoing fees over a year) and features (including account support, research and charting tools, security measures and markets available, among other features).

Each online share trading platform was rated against at least one of the following consumer profiles:

Casual Investor – Trades once a month on average, typically using a long-term strategy. Generally values ease of use, competitive costs and access to educational resources.

Active Investor – Trades four times a month on average, and may have an interest in investing in managed funds. Values comprehensive research tools and competitive costs.

Trader – Trades 30 times a month, on average. Availability of a dynamic trading platform and access to real-time data are usually important factors, as are cost and the availability of derivatives. As such, only dynamic platforms (e.g. platforms that offer live data) were eligible to be rated against this profile.

Each of the profiles is assigned a weighting of price and features based on consumer behaviour. The Casual Investor and Active Investor profiles use a 50%/50% split, whereas the Trader profile uses a 60%/40% split for price and features respectively.

Products’ final scores were then used to determine their Star Ratings in each consumer profile, and the Broker of the Year Award was given to the provider with the strongest overall performance across all three profiles.

For more information on how platforms were rated, read the Online Share Trading Star Ratings and Award methodology document.

5-Star Rated online share trading platforms in 2021

The online share trading platforms that received a 5-Star Rating are listed below for each profile, sorted alphabetically by provider name. You can also view the full results.

Active Investor

Company Product
CMC Markets – Share Trading Classic
IG Markets Share Trading
Interactive Brokers Australia Share Trading
nabtrade nabtrade
Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) SaxoTrader PRO/GO

Casual Investor

Company Product
CMC Markets – Share Trading Classic
IG Markets Share Trading
Interactive Brokers Australia Share Trading
nabtrade nabtrade
Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) SaxoTrader PRO/GO


Company Product
CMC Markets – Share Trading Active Investor
CMC Markets – Share Trading Premium Trader
IG Markets Share Trading
Interactive Brokers Australia Share Trading

Broker of the Year 2021 – CMC Markets

2021 OST broker of the year

CMC Markets received a 5-Star Rating across all three consumer profiles this year, and took out Canstar’s Broker of the Year Award for the 11th consecutive year. Canstar Research said CMC Markets had market-leading product features in trade, company information and security.

CMC Markets’ online share trading platform offers a number of features to investors, including:

  • The ability to invest in domestic and international shares, options, ETFs, managed funds and bonds, among other options
  • Access to live data
  • Unlimited free conditional orders
  • Tax and portfolio reporting tools
  • Risk management tools.

Cover image source: Pavel Ignatov/

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This content was reviewed by Sub Editor Tom Letts as part of our fact-checking process.

Shay has worked in content for over a decade. Her experience includes PR and copywriting in Australia and the UK where she consulted to Lloyds Banking Group. She also gained work experience at Czech Republic English-language newspaper The Prague Post and Quest newspaper The Wynnum Herald.

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