Share trading platforms

Compare the best trading platforms to buy shares, ETFs, and other investments in New Zealand.

By   |   Updated 2nd November 2022

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Comparing share trading platforms

Stake

On website

Featured

Stake

Brokerage Fee

$0.00

Tradable Assets

ETFs, Shares

Tradable Indices

NASDAQ, NYSE

Signup Bonus

Get $10 when you fund Stake AUS or a FREE US stock when you fund Stake Wall Street. Do both, get both rewards

Highlights

  • Get $10 when you fund Stake AUS or a FREE US stock when you fund Stake Wall Street. Do both, get both rewards.
  • Make trades in seconds on over 8,000 ASX and US stocks and ETFs.
  • Clear, simple and better pricing with no hidden fees.
Tiger Brokers

On website

Tiger Brokers

Brokerage Fee

$0.01

Tradable Assets

ETFs, Futures, Options, OTC, REITs, Shares

Tradable Indices

ASX, HKEX, NASDAQ, NYSE, SGX, SSE, SZSE

Signup Bonus

Get up to NZ$40 stock voucher. Receive NZ$10 when you signup. Plus NZ$30 stock voucher when you deposit any amount within 3 days. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Access to ASX, US & HK stocks trading, ETFs, and US options trading.
  • Get easy access to global markets and low commissions.
  • Know the latest updates and stay on top of your investments with Tiger Brokers' free market data.
Pepperstone CFD

On website

74-89 % of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs

Pepperstone CFD

Brokerage Fee

0%

Tradable Assets

CFDs in forex, Commodities, Crypto, ETFs, Indices, Shares

Tradable Indices

AUS200, HK50, NAS100, SCI25, UK100, US30, US500 + more

Signup Bonus

None

Highlights

  • Razor sharp pricing from multiple Tier 1 banks with consistently competitive spreads.
  • Low forex, no deposit & withdrawal fee, and no inactivity fee.
  • Regulated by ASIC, BaFin, CMA, CySEC, DFSA, FCA, and SCB.
Uphold

On website

Uphold

Brokerage Fee

0%

Tradable Assets

Cryptocurrencies, Precious metals, US Equities

Tradable Indices

NASDAQ, NYSE

Signup Bonus

None

Highlights

  • Trade between cryptocurrencies, precious metals, U.S. equities and national currencies in one easy step
  • Access some of the cheapest Forex rates on major currencies, including USD, EUR and GBP (from 0.2%).
  • 0% trading commissions.
Sharesies

Brokerage Fee

N/A

Tradable Assets

ETFs, Shares

Tradable Indices

ASX, CBOE, NASDAQ, NYSE, NZX

Signup Bonus

None

Highlights

  • Choose from over 3,000 companies and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) across New Zealand, Australia, and the US.
  • No minimum investment is required (except for the auto-invest feature).
  • Auto-invest in NZX, ASX, and US-listed companies.
  • Easy to use platform. Get the tools you need to feel confident, whether you’re an experienced investor or just getting started.
Hatch

Brokerage Fee

$3.00

Tradable Assets

ETFs, Shares

Tradable Indices

NASDAQ, NYSE

Signup Bonus

None

Highlights

  • Join in just 30 seconds.
  • Low flat fees and no monthly subscription costs.
  • Get your own US brokerage account when you sign up.
InvestNow

Brokerage Fee

$0.00

Tradable Assets

ETFs, Shares

Tradable Indices

150 + Managed Funds

Signup Bonus

None

Highlights

  • Investors can choose from these three platforms - KiwiSaver, managed funds, or term deposits.
  • Get started from as little as $50 for a regular investment plan or $250 for a lump sum investment.
  • No account or transaction fees. No hidden fees.
Simplicity

Brokerage Fee

$0.00

Tradable Assets

New Zealand Bond, Shares

Tradable Indices

AU and NZ markets

Signup Bonus

None

Highlights

  • A nonprofit group that is 100% online and offers low fees.
  • Get access to KiwiSaver, investment funds or home loans.
  • Expect 100% transparency.
Jarden Direct

Brokerage Fee

$29.90

Tradable Assets

Bonds, ETFs, Shares

Tradable Indices

ASX, LSE, NASDAQ, NYSE and NZX

Signup Bonus

None

Highlights

  • Offers a simple and intuitive digital platform that has all the tools you need to choose your investments, invest online and manage your own portfolio.
  • Jarden Direct prices are fair and transparent, with no hidden fees or charges
  • Get free access to quality company and market insights from Shareclarity, intuitive DIY portfolio management and valuation tools, and a multi-currency cash account for easy investing.
ASB Securities

ASB Securities

Brokerage Fee

$15.00

Tradable Assets

ETFs, Fixed interests, Margin lending, Shares

Tradable Indices

ASX, NZX and more

Signup Bonus

None

Highlights

  • Execute trades quickly and efficiently, with our simple to use online service that provides access to New Zealand and Australian Markets.
  • Access to a wide range of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) listed on the NZX or ASX.
  • Competitive fees - brokerage from just $15 per trade.
Direct Broking

Direct Broking

Brokerage Fee

$29.90

Tradable Assets

Bonds, CMTA, ETFs, Shares,

Tradable Indices

ASX, NZX

Signup Bonus

None

Highlights

  • Simple and secure online investing.
  • Get access to the latest market information and innovative research tools at competitive trading fees.
  • Direct Broking is the only New Zealand platform to offer clients free access to real-time research on listed companies in New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong.

Small and medium-sized companies are usually privately owned and have a limited number of shareholders or owners. But once a company grows to a certain size – in either profitability or assets – its owners may decide to list it on a stock exchange in order to access the capital they need for further growth. New shareholders buy shares in the company in an Initial Public Offering (IPO), giving the company the cash it needs to continue or expand its operations.

Shares confer ownership

Each shareholder becomes a part-owner of the company for as long as they hold at least one share, although shares are usually traded in much larger parcels than a single share. Shareholders may receive regular distributions of a company’s profit, based on the number of shares they hold, and these are called dividends.

How shares are traded

Shares can be bought and sold electronically on the stock exchange during every day that the stock exchange is open. The trading of shares is carried out by an intermediary called a stockbroker or share broker (or simply a broker), on behalf of both buyers and sellers. Sellers can nominate a price at which they are prepared to sell a specified number of a particular company’s shares, and buyers can nominate a price at which they are prepared to buy them. When the two prices correspond, a sales transaction can be completed, and a current market price for the shares is established. A broker’s client may also agree to buy or sell at the prevailing market price rather than nominating a specific price.

Why shares are traded

There are plenty of reasons why shares are bought and sold every day:

Long-term share investors

Shares are a popular form of investment, in the hope of long-term asset growth and possibly dividend income. Long-term shareholders are likely to buy or sell shares infrequently, and their activity is better classified as share investment rather than share trading.

Gradual share price movements

As a company’s profitability and assets increase, the value of an individual share in the company will usually increase proportionately, and the market price of the shares on the stock exchange will increase as a result. The converse is also true – companies with declining profitability usually see their share price falling. Individual share prices are also affected by supply and demand, and other factors.

Sudden share price movements

External factors can affect individual, industry-wide, nationwide or even global share prices. Such factors could include the release of profit results or profit forecasts by the company, a natural disaster, a major regulatory breach resulting in a large cash penalty, a sudden shift in consumer sentiment, a change in central bank interest rates, a large-scale war affecting national economies, or a global financial crisis or pandemic.

Short-term share traders

Short-term share traders try to predict or anticipate these more abrupt changes in the price of individual shares, and aim make a profit by regularly buying fairly large parcels of shares when they think the price is lower than it should be – or will soon be – and selling them when they are satisfied with the profit they have made or when they think the price has reached a temporary peak. “Day traders” may try to realise a profit by buying and selling a particular parcel of shares within a day, or slightly longer.

Risks and rewards of share investment and trading

Investing and trading in shares is inherently risky. It’s not like depositing money in a bank account, where you can be reasonably confident that your investment will not grow particularly quickly (given current low interest rates) but nor will it shrink (except in the unlikely event of negative interest rates). Share prices are volatile and can be affected by many factors, just a few of which have already been mentioned. This makes it possible for both investors and traders to lose significant sums.

Spreading the risk

The risk of loss from share trading can be mitigated to some extent by having a diversified portfolio. That’s an elaborate way of saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. By spreading your investment or trades across a range of shares in different companies and market sectors (e.g.financial, industrial, technology, retail, agricultural) you become less exposed to individual share price fluctuations.

Another way to achieve this is to invest or trade in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), a type of tradable security which aggregates a range of shares and other financial investments, creating an automatic spread of risk.

You can also choose to invest in units in a managed fund, a diversified portfolio chosen and administered by an investment advisor. Some managed funds may be listed on a stock exchange, but many are not.

Other types of tradable securities

“Share trading” may be used as an umbrella term for trading in all types or securities or financial instruments listed on a stock exchange, which, as well as individual company shares could include:

  • ETFs
  • Managed funds
  • Options, futures, warrants and other derivatives
  • Fixed income debt securities

Online share trading platforms

You can buy and sell British shares and other securities without using a traditional broker if you use an online share trading platform. Signing up to one of these is quick and easy, and they generally have low transaction fees, no account fees for a basic account, and low minimum trading amounts. Some of them offer access to overseas markets, such as the NYSE and NASDAQ in the US.

Online brokers typically offer two types of accounts:

  • A free basic account with no monthly or annual fee, possibly market price trades only, limited analysis or guidance and delayed rather than real-time market information
  • A premium, subscription-fee account, with additional reporting and guidance, live market data and options for setting a share price at which you are prepared to buy or sell

Traditional full-service share brokers

A full-service stockbroker may be more suited if you feel you need expert advice about buying and selling shares and other securities. Traditional offline brokers will provide market and individual company research, make buy/sell recommendations and possibly create a tailored investment plan for you. As a result, they will usually charge higher fees for transactions and ongoing services.

Some full-service brokers also have an alternative online trading platform.

Cost of share trading

Over and above the purchase price of the shares you buy, there are other fees you may have to pay, including:

  • A transaction fee each time you buy or sell a parcel of shares (also called a ‘brokerage fee’ or ‘commission fee’). Transaction fee structures can vary (e.g. flat fee, or percentage of trade amount, or fees that vary according to the number of trades you make per month). Online platforms tend to be cheaper (e.g. between $5 and $30 per trade), compared with a traditional broker’s typical flat fee of $50+ or percentage fee of 2%+.
  • Monthly or annual account fee charged by some brokers or online platforms for the provision of premium services.
  • Cash withdrawal fees may be charged if you want to withdraw money from the special bank account you usually need to fund your trades.
  • Foreign exchange fees or a foreign exchange margin will be payable if you need a foreign currency account to trade in overseas shares.
  • Inactivity fee, possibly charged if you make too few trades in a given period.

Disclaimer: We put our customer’s needs first. The views expressed in this article are those of the writer’s alone and do not constitute financial advice. Advertisers cannot influence editorial content. However, Finty and/or the writer may have a financial interest in the companies mentioned. Finty is committed to providing factual, honest, and accurate information that is compliant with governing laws and regulations. Do your own due diligence and seek professional advice before deciding to invest in one of the products mentioned. For more information, see Finty’s editorial guidelines and terms and conditions.

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