In Australia, you typically buy and sell shares (on the ASX) in one of two ways:
- Through an online broker
- With the help of a full-service stockbroker
The typical minimum share trade is $500, but you can sell a parcel of shares for less than that. E.g. if you had $300 worth of shares to sell.
Online ASX Brokers
If online banking and eBay had a child, it would look something like an online stockbroking account.
Click here to learn more about setting up a brokerage account, use the ASX website or visit this page on Rask Education:
Basically, an investor applies to an online stockbroking company to create an account, they link a bank account to fund it, and presto – it’s time to buy and sell shares. It’s a tiny bit more complicated than that, but you get the idea.
Most of Australia’s major banks have a stockbroking arm that allows customers — and other bank customers — to trade shares on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). With the account funded, an investor finds the share they are looking for and submits an order.
The broker sends that order to the market and — hopefully — the buy order is matched with a seller. You’ll get a trade confirmation almost straight away, but the settlement of a trade can take a couple of days to be processed by the ASX.
With the account funded, an investor finds the share they are looking for and submits an order. The broker sends that order to the market and tries to match it with a seller of shares.
You’ll get a trade confirmation send to your email or stockbroking account almost straight away, but the settlement of a trade can take a couple of days to be processed by the ASX.
Typically, if your current bank has a stockbroking service, opening a new account might be easier through them than another company. But don’t forget to look at the fees and shop around.
How to buy US stocks from Australia
If you want to buy shares of US companies like Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Disney (NYSE: DIS) — or even Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) — you will need a US stock brokerage account.
You can read our tutorial How To Buy And Invest In US Stocks (From Australia).
Compared to discount or online brokers for Australian (ASX) shares, full-service stockbrokers cost a little more, generally $80 or more per trade. The difference is that you can meet with a full-service broker in person, who is also licensed to give you investment advice and help you learn the ropes.
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