How To Select Your Online Stock Broker


If trying to find and select an online stock broker platform has got your knickers in a knot, then you’re going to love this article.I get loads of questions from people who have read The Wealth Chef book and are ready to implement the Expand Your Dough recipe, asking how to select an online broker account.

Wading through google searches, clicking on endless web links and all the financial jargon can be pretty overwhelming, damn frustrating and can stop you and your wonderful wealth journey in your tracks. So I’ve put together a guide to help you select and open your own online broker, and get that money working hard for you.

First thing is beware of analysis paralysis – once you’ve narrowed down your online broker choice based on the criteria below – take action.

An okay broker that gives you the investment pots you need, has reasonable costs and enables you to invest in index trackers so you actually invest and learn by doing it, is 1000% better than staying stuck on the outside dithering over your choice.

If for some reason you aren’t happy with your chosen online broker you can always move at a later stage. Getting started is the first step in creating your freedom.

Secondly you want an online broker account that lets you hold the different investment pots available to you in your country on one platform. See the country specific points below.

Thirdly your online broker must also allow you to invest in unit trust (mutual funds) and direct stocks and shares. Your index trackers come in two forms – unit trust type index trackers and Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) Index trackers. You want to be able to buy both.

Use the information and links below to go and compare the online brokers available to you in your country, select one and get going.

UK Online broker comparison – You want an online stock broker account where you can open an Individual Savings Account (ISA), Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) and a dealing account (also called a trading account) on one platform. This keeps things simple and lets you manage your investments effectively.

USA Online broker comparison – You want an online stock broker account where you can open a ROTH, IRA (Individual Retirement Account), traditional IRA, be able to roll over a 401k and have a straight dealing account on one platform and invest in unit trust (mutual funds) and direct stocks and shares. In the USA – my two favorite online brokers are Scottrade and TD Ameritrade.

SOUTH AFRICA Online broker comparison– okay you South Africans – it’s a little bit different for you. Unfortunately South Africa doesn’t yet have the selection and flexibility of the bigger UK and USA markets. In South Africa there is an ETF investment platform called etfSA and their site is which enables you to invest in ETF type index trackers at very low costs. You can also open a RA (Retirement Annuity) and a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) through them and invest in ETF’s in all your investment pots. You can also transfer any existing RA to this platform. The etfSA customer support is great and it is by far the best value for money.

CANADA Online broker comparison– You want an online stock broker account where you can open a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA), and a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) – if you are investing for kids education – and have a straight dealing account on one platform and invest in unit trust (mutual funds) and direct stocks and shares. Scotia iTrade is a solid platform which ticks these boxes. But do your research with the help of this article.

AUSTRALIA Online broker comparison – You want an online broker where you can open a straight dealing account and a Self-Managed Super Fund account (SMSF) and invest in unit trust (mutual funds) and direct stocks and shares. I believe your choice in Oz as investors (not traders) is between Commsec and Etrade.—the-best-online-brokers-in-australia-.html

We have Wealth Chef’s in the making from 53 different countries – so let me know in the comments below where you are, and what online broker you have found in your country that ticks these boxes.

Let me know too if you are struggling to find a suitable broker in your country and I’ll see what I can find for you.






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  • japhet says:

    am from Uganda and want to invest in Us stock exchange. which broker can allow?

  • japhet says:

    can I find a international broker to trade in US while am in uganda

  • Hi Ann
    With regards to South Africa I think you need to update your page. Take a look at Easy Equities for cheap share buying and How To Trade for amazing charts etc…
    Took me ages to find them my self so please make it easier for us South Africans.
    Kindest regards Glen

  • Nathan Hill says:

    Hi Ann,

    Thanks for all the advice. I really enjoyed your book.

    My question is:
    I am based in South Africa but would like to invest in a specific company in the USA.

    I don’t have a vast amount to invest so I guess an online platform would be the answer.

    How would I go about this?


  • Dorothy says:

    I think i need help finding the right trader and trades for me. I find it all quite overwhelming. Please help!

  • Abby says:

    I’m loving the info you’re giving us, Ann 🙂 I feel like I really can get my finances in order and am excited about doing so. I’m researching online stockbrokers at the moment but have an analysis paralysis headache, so am stopping for now. I am determined to get investing asap, so think I’m just going to see which one seems the best and go for that. I’m scared!! 🙂

    • Ann Wilson says:

      Abby how congrats to you for taking action – scared and excited are very similar emotions xxx Let us know how it goes.

  • Anette says:

    Hi Ann,

    Can you help med find a broker in Denmark?

    Best regards,

  • wioletta says:

    can you advice me something about online broker in Poland?

  • Adele says:

    I am excited about beginning my journey to find an online broker. Is this person different from the broker I will look for to manage my Mutual Funds, RRSPs and Tax Free Savings Account? We currently do not have any of these but my husband and I already contribute the max to our children’s RESPs yearly which is currently helping my daughter pay for her University education. I don’t know what we would have done if we did not start contributing from day one. This is helping to alleviate so much financial stress at this point in our lives. Now I’m ready to start investing in us. I did not have a chance to join your Financial Freedom University. Can I join now and still have access to the information I missed? Looking forward to hearing from you Ann.

  • riana says:

    Hi Ann

    could you please give us your recommendation on which etf’s to buy?

  • Kendal von Reitzig says:

    YAY I was so on track! 😀 I did the “googleit” search as you suggested and looked at a few broker options and finally settled on Etfsa so you confirming this is such validation!

    The only other question I have which Im struggling to find an answer for is how does taxation work on your ETF portfolio? I was under the impression that you were only taxed on your dividends when you sell your stocks but I read somewhere that tax is accumulated and paid to SARS on your behalf from your portfolio. I dont want to get into trouble with SARs so would really appreciate understanding what I need to do to ensure I submit the correct documentation when tax season rolls around.

    Many thanks for your outstanding guidance and straight talk it has been invaluable!

  • Sorrel says:

    Hi – I’m in New Zealand. Any advice about which online broker to use here?

    • Ann says:

      Hi Sorrel
      You have a few good options. ANZ and ASB securities are good low cost online brokers in New Zealand. You can select Exchange traded funds from around the world. and they only charge a trading fee.

      Through with of these platforms you can purchased NZ index Smartshares (index tracker) FONZ, and also any of the iShares ETF’s which gives you access to the whole world. Also consider Vanguard – the biggest and oldest index tracker provider.

      I checked – Vanguard Australia supports New Zealand as well.

      • Sorrel says:

        Fantastic – thank you so much! I had done a little research but felt unsure, so your guidance really is really helpful. I’m now ready to move past analysis paralysis!

        • Ann Wilson says:

          Yeah Sorrel – remember you can start with relatively small amounts of money with a regular investment and this lets you learn and gain confidence. But the key thing is to start.

  • Montle says:

    If I put in R300 every month, for how long must I leave it to make it grow..

    • Eileen says:

      Hi Ann,

      Can you tell me about brokers in the Republic of Ireland ?



      • Ann Wilson says:

        I know many of our fabulous Irish FFU’ers use Davy’s or TD Direct. The best way to find your broker is to do a google search – “Compare online brokers Ireland” and then read the various comparison and links which will help you get comfortable and learn the ‘lingo” and help you find a broker that suits your needs.

  • Pearl says:

    Hi Ann,

    Thanks for the article and every other material sent to us. They are indeed very useful. I am in South Africa and use international brokers called IronFX. My investing experience is very little as I’ve just started. I am looking to register in your next group for the University and have sent you an e-mail to this effect.

    Please let me know what your experience with IronFX is.
    I am currently trading Forex and want to venture in unit trust and direct stock and am looking to learn – through your university, how. Please advise when the next intake is.
    I have read the Wealth Chef book and have gone through and done all the tutorials and exercises including the YouTube videos. I have a number of questions and would like to start as soon as possible.

    Looking forward to your response.



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