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How do Share Broking Accounts Work & Are They Safe?

Think of share broking accounts as the lovechild of an auction site like Ebay and your online or internet banking. You can apply to open the account, fund it, and start buying and selling shares, usually in just a few days. 

READ NEXT: 10+ Australian Share Broking Accounts (with Video)

Online share broking accounts allow you to buy and sell shares and other investments online.

Are share broking accounts safe?

The company that runs the share broking account, called a brokerage, has been given permission to access the stock exchange and must abide by the exchange’s rules at all times.

Most stock exchanges have rules in place to protect investors from bad brokerage providers but that’s not always the case, so take your time and visit the website of the stock exchange that you want to access.

In addition, investing is risky and the value of your investment can rise and fall, sometimes very quickly.

Do I need more than one share broking account?

Most brokerage accounts give you access to one exchange, like Australia’s ASX. However, some brokerage accounts can give you access to many markets from one platform.

How do I open an account?

Usually, you can apply via the share brokerage’s website.

When you apply to open your share broking account, they will often ask you to open a bank account that can be used to fund your share purchases and to receive dividends or the proceeds from the sale of your shares.

Sometimes, the brokerage will allow you to use your current bank account.

It usually takes a couple of days to open an account and begin buying and selling investments.

What about fees?

In addition to brokerage fees (e.g. $20 to buy or sell), which are normally taken out of the money you use to buy or sell shares, you could be paying account keeping fees or fees for extra services that you don’t use.

Don’t be afraid to shop around because some brokerage accounts don’t charge ongoing account fees. Or, at the very least, they are optional.

Also, be sure to check the fees on the bank account which funds your brokerage account. Then, take note of the interest you’ll earn when you have spare cash in the bank account that is waiting to be invested.

Where do I start?

If you’re looking for a list of Australian share broking accounts, head over to our blog post: 10 Australian Share Broking Accounts. Here, we’ll explain what to look out for, what to do before you start trading , and much more.

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