What online share traders really, really want

Based on more than 24,000 visitors comparing platforms with Canstar from January to April 2016, we summarise what online share traders look for. What makes a winning online share trading platform?

How do traders want to access their platform?

The fact that stands out the most from our visitor search data is simply that online share traders want to be able to trade anytime, anywhere. Traders want access via internet or phone, but they want email support to be available. No one wants to sit on hold on the phone.

Many investors wanted to be able to sign up for a platform using an online application (20%). They also wanted to be able to get an auto-consolidated tax report (37%), do their settlement online (26%), view their portfolio balance online (26%), and view past statements online (12%).

What market data do traders want?

Nearly 1 in 3 traders indicated that they were looking for a dynamic trading platform. And that means market data at your fingertips!

The main market data that traders are looking for includes:

  • Live prices – so you don’t get caught trading with stocks that aren’t worth as much as you think: 35%.
  • General market data – so you know where you stand before making a trade: 20%.
  • Market update reports – so you know what different markets are doing: 17%.

What help do traders want in choosing when and what to trade?

Many traders are confident “going it alone”, but even seasoned traders wanted to be able to get advice when they needed it. The main form of advice traders wanted were buy/sell signals – to be able to program in an automatic “buy” or “sell” command based on the market position of stocks you hold (32%). Broker recommendations were also popular with those wanting personalised advice based on their financial position (23%).

While less popular, being able to access a daily market report was also a desired feature for almost one-quarter of traders (23%), and more than 1 in 5 also wanted to be able to access company financial reports via their online share trading platform (22%).



Lessons for online share trading platforms

  1. Make your platform amazing for mobile devices.
  2. Enable live prices and market data.
  3. Make staffing stockbrokers a budgeting priority.
  4. Enable buy/sell signal systems.

Lessons for traders

Look for an online share trading platform that offers an outstanding price and all the features you need. When it comes to our Online Share Trading star ratings, Canstar assesses price and features to decide whether a platform offers value for money.

  1. Price:
    • What is the cost to invest and trade?
    • This includes the cost to place a trade (brokerage) and any ongoing account-keeping costs for trading on that platform.
  1. Features:

The main features that you should look for include:

  • Account Services: You can see all the account information you want. The application process is online and quick and easy.
  • Accessibility: How is the platform accessible (online, phone, etc.)?
  • Client Services and Support: Does the platform have an after-hours helpline? Do they offer online or phone training for new traders?
  • Education: Can you get educational information and technical help when you need it?
  • Trading Platform: How does the trading platform perform functionally? Does it offer a dynamic data stream? Can you place conditional orders?
  • Trading Securities/Markets: Are local and international securities and stock exchanges both available for trading?
  • Company and Market Information: What research tools do they offer to enhance your market analysis? Do they provide you with market research, company information, and international market information?
  • Research Tools: Are there research tools you can use to enhance your technical analysis? Can you set different alerts for market movements? Is other technical trading information available?
  • Charting: Are basic and advance charts available?
  • Security: What level of online security is provided?
  • Settlement Accounts: What are the flexibilities and restrictions on settlement of the account?
  • Reporting: There should be consolidated reporting on dividends and interest, as well as tax reporting tools such as year-to-date profit/loss statements.
  • Margin Loan: Are margin loans available for online trading if you want it?

Whether you know exactly what you’re looking for in an online share trading platform or you’re just starting out, Canstar can help you compare trading platforms and find the one that provides outstanding value for your situation.

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