In Australia, you typically buy and sell shares one of two ways:

  1. Through an online broker
  2. With the help of a full-service stockbroker

The minimum NEW 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 Brokers

If online banking and eBay had a child, it would look something like an online stockbroking account.

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.

Tip:

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.

Full-Service Brokers

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 advice and help you learn the ropes.

Test Your Knowledge

Generally speaking, which type of broking is cheaper?