Share trading in Australia has been around for just over 150 years, with Australia′s first stock exchange being opened in Melbourne, in 1861. Other states (back then, share trading was a state-based activity) followed suit and in fact it was not until April 1987 – approximately six months before the Black Monday stock market crash – that the states amalgamated their exchanges to become the Australian Stock Exchange (now known as the ASX Group).

There are many ways in which technology has enriched our lives and while Digital Natives may take the World Wide Web for granted, it was not until 1990 that the ASX closed its trading floors to convert all share trades to electronic.

Since then the rate of growth and change has been phenomenal. Not only has the price of buying and selling shares and other securities plummeted, the quality of charting tools, research and other analysis available to both sophisticated and armchair investors has risen significantly.

Staying at the forefront of this explosion in functionality is an ongoing challenge for online share trading platforms. So each year CANSTAR researches and rates the Australian online share trading platform, market to determine which platforms and providers are offering outstanding value to Australian investors. This year we have assessed 42 platforms offered across 17 providers to determine which platforms offer the ideal mix of price and features for both casual and active investors, as well as traders.

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