Fear levels have fallen…

153577625That was the conclusion from the latest Australia Online Broking Report released by Investment Trends, for the first half of 2014 – the largest known study of online retail investors in Australia. While the numbers of people trading online have been fairly flat over the past six months in terms of growth, steady at 585,000 active online investors/ traders, it still represents growth in numbers of 10% over the past 18 months.

Interestingly, among the countries studied by Investment Trends, the Australian market has the second highest level of adoption of online share trading relative to the adult population, as below:

(Jun 2014)
(May 2014)
(Apr 2014)
(Sep 2013)
(Feb 2014)
(Sep 2013)
Number of online share investors 585,000 6,300,000 850,000 750,000 510,000 235,000
Number of adults (million) 17 240 68 50 51 5
Penetration (% of adult population) 3.4% 2.6% 1.2% 1.5% 1.0% 5.2%

Source: Investment Trends Online Broking Report 2014

Against a backdrop of stagnant trader numbers and relatively modest switching levels, overall market shares remained steady. The six largest online brokers by number of primary client relationships were:

When it comes to fees…

The good news for traders is that at CANSTAR we have really seen the fees coming down. And we have seen that across all different values of trade, as follows:

Trade Value Average brokerage 2010 Average brokerage 2014 % change over 4 years
$1,000 $25.20 $19.19 -23.86%
$5,000 $25.20 $19.19 -23.86%
$10,000 $25.75 $19.77 -23.24%
$25,000 $30.22 $27.65 -8.50%
$50,000 $54.04 $48.62 -10.04%
$100,000 $104.49 $91.66 -12.28%

Source: Canstar Online Share Trading Star ratings report 2014

We′re mobile

Another interesting finding from the investment Trends report is that, growth in mobile has been significant. Just six months ago Investment Trends reported that  45% of those investing online use a mobile device of some kind (mobile phones or tablets, generally, including iPads) – that percentage increased to 53% just six months later, with a further 12% intending to use a mobile platform in the near future.

It goes without saying that it′s absolutely critical for online share trading platforms to be mobile-friendly.

CANSTAR′s most recent Online Share Trading Star Ratings report rates 38 online share trading platforms provided by 15 institutions, across three profiles: Casual Investor, Active Investor and Trader. You can read the report here.

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