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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.