How To Select Your Online Stock Broker in 2018

8 comments

If trying to find and select an online stock broker platform as 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 weblinks 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 let’s 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.

Finally, you want your online broker to have the facility for regular monthly investing so you can set your investing on autopilot and not have to go in each month to do your trades.

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. Many of my Financial Freedom University and PIMMS students use Hargreaves Lansdown, AJ Bell and Interactive Investor.

www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/diyinvesting/article-1718291/Pick-best-cheapest-investment-Isa-platform.html

EUROPE (EU) Online Broker Comparison

There are different regulations in each country in the EU with regards to pension / retirement fund contributions and tax benefits – so use good old google to research this in your country. So for a straight forward online broker in the EU I believe Degiro. I say this because they offer online broker accounts for almost every EU country, their fees are wonderfully low and they have a selection of ETF’s which you can invest in with NO trade costs.

But as always – do your own research and check out this article to give you a start.

https://brokerchooser.com/blog/best-trading-platform-for-europeans

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 – the favorite online brokers used by PIMMS and FFU students are Scottrade, e-Trade, Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade.

http://www.thesimpledollar.com/best-online-stock-trading-brokers/

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 www.etfsa.co.za 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.

Another low cost and effective online broker platform is Easy Equities https://www.easyequities.co.za/. You can also open a RA (Retirement Annuity) and a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) on the same platform which is what you want and invest in ETF’s in all your investment pots.

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. Questrade, Qtrade and Scotia iTrade are solid platforms which tick these boxes and which many FFU’ers and PIMMS peeps use.

But do your research with the help of this article:

http://www.moneysense.ca/save/investing/canadas-best-online-brokers-2018/

AUSTRALIA Online Broker Comparison

You want an online broker where you can open a straight dealing account and a Self Managed Superannuation Fund account (SMSF) and invest in unit trust (mutual funds) and direct stocks and shares.

Like South Africa and New Zealand, the online broker selection is rather slim. I believe your best choice in Oz as investors (not traders) is between Westpac, Commsec and ANZ (who bought the e-trade.au platform). If you only want ETF’s – then going directly with the Vanguard platform is also a great option.

http://www.thebull.com.au/premium/a/67242-the-best-online-brokers-in-australia-for-2017—thebull-stockies–.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.

NEW ZEALAND Online Broker Comparison

Like South Africa and Australia the online broker selection is really poor and fees are high – uuuurrg! You pretty much have a choice between ANZ, Sharesies, InvestNow and SmartShares.

Have a look at this article from MoneyHub which explains pretty well why you would select each of these and also includes Interactive Brokers if you are wanting international trades.

https://www.moneyhub.co.nz/anz-securities-direct-broking.html

We have Wealth Chef’s in the making from 57 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.

And if you haven’t yet gotten your copy of my FREE e-book – “Expand Your Dough” which teaches you how to invest in the stock market then go here to get your copy.

 

 

 

 

 

JOIN THE WEALTH CONVERSATION

Your email address will not be published.

8 Comments

  • Ves says:

    Simmilar question to one from Glynis from Zim, just more general – if you do have an European (e.g. Isle of Man or Holland account) – can you register and trade with Degiro or any other European broker? Even more general: can you trade with any broker of your, choice regardless of your residence country, or not and what are advantages/disandvantages of choosing that route?
    Best regards, V

  • Olive says:

    Hi Ann, I am a new FFU student and listening to you and Nerina right now. I am from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. I do not know of any online brokers here. Should I go with one from the USA?

  • Rory says:

    ETFSA has been fantastic. Mike Brown is the principal agent

  • Glynis Chadwick says:

    Hi Ann I am in Zimbabwe but want to keep my investment in us dollars or pounds. How do I do that? Am I able to join an online broker in the UK? This has been my biggest stumbling block.

  • Hi I’m in South Africa and checked out both etfSA and Easy Equities. I only managed to get registered with Easy equities though – the registration requests I did on etfSA never went through or I never got a response. i will go dig a little more, i may have selected some option incorrectly due to my own impatience.

  • Richard says:

    Dear Ann,
    I have invested on the Standard bank TFSA platform. I think I’ll compare the costs with ETFSA and easy Equities.

  • Liné Cowley says:

    Hi Ann, I’m very new to PIMMS and still feel very nervous about making decisions. I have decided to go with HL as my online broker, but have really struggled to find etf’s that are accumulation rather than income on their website. I found a few (etf’s) that I am very keen on but they are all INCOME rather than ACCUMULATION, so it stopped me in my tracks a bit. On the Tracker fund side though I have found several that one can select between Income and Accumulation. So…I am better off with a tracker fund that has an Accumulation option or an ETF with an Income option….

    • Ann Wilson says:

      Well done for taking this big step Liné. Absolutely go with the Index tracker accumulation funds. For smaller regular investments these are generally the most cost effective and you have a wide selection with very low fees via the HL platform in the UK. Remember index trackers come in two types – passively managed funds and exchange traded funds – they are the same thing / you just buy them slightly differently and have slightly different cost structures. Remember to connect in the PIMMS membership facebook group too as many PIMMs peeps are from the UK and have their index trackers with Hargreave landsown.

JOIN THE WEALTH CONVERSATION

Your email address will not be published.

I THINK YOU'LL LOVE THESE...