10 Best Trading Platforms In New Zealand

Date Sep 24, 2021
Blog category Share Investment Apps
By Sieg C
Ovqmto9isfswrxv6f2p7

Beginner trader or not, getting the best trading platform in NZ is very important in your investment journey. These apps make for easier purchasing and selling shares, ETFs, managed funds, and index funds in major global share markets such as NZX, Australia, and US exchanges.

While there are plenty of online trading platforms available in New Zealand, they’re not created equal. Choosing the best online share trading platform that match your needs is key for exponential returns of investments.

Note:

  • All prices are listed in NZD unless otherwise stated.
  • Information may be updated without further notice
  • For any inaccuracies, don’t hesitate to contact glimp.

Compare the best trading platforms in New Zealand

Investment types

Financial markets

Minimum purchase

Commission and other fees

Interface/ availability

Sharesies

Shares, ETFs, Managed Funds, and Index Funds

US, NZ, and AU with exposure to several global markets

1 cent

0.5% for less than $3,000);

0.1% for 

$3,000 and above;

0.40% forex conversion rate (for AU/ US markets)

Website

Hatch

Shares and ETFs

US

$1

USD3 per trade;

0.50% FX conversion fee

Website

Stake

Shares and ETFs

US

$1

Free trades (users only need to pay regulatory fees);

1% forex conversion rate

Website and mobile app

ASB Securities

Shares, ETFs, and Bonds

NZ and AU with exposure to several global markets

$1

$15 for less than $1,000;

$30 between $1,000 and $10,000;

0.30% for $10,000 and above;

Australian trades: AUD30

Website

Direct Broking

Shares, ETFs, and Bonds

NZ, AU, US, and the UK

​$1

$29.90 per trade for up to $15,000/ AUD30,000

Website and mobile app

InvestNow

ETFs, Managed Funds, and Index Funds

NZ with exposure to global managed funds

$250

No account fees, fund management fees apply

Website

Simplicity

Shares, Bonds, and Index Funds

NZ and AU with exposure to several global markets

$1,000

$20 annual membership fee;

0.10% to 0.31% p.a. management fee

Website

Plus500

Indices, Forex, Shares, Crypto, Commodities, and ETF CFDs

Multiple international markets including UK, US, France, and Germany

$200

No commission on CFDs;

0.09% commission fee on US stocks;

0.7% conversion fee;

USD10 fee for 3 months of inactivity

Website and mobile app

Smartshares

Bonds, Shares, and Cash ETFs

US, NZ, and AU with exposure to several global markets

$500

0.20-0.75% annual fee;

$30 one-off establishment fee

Website

Kernel Wealth

Index Funds

NZ

$1

No membership fees for less than $1,000;

$3 per month membership on $1,000 and above;

0.15-0.55% investment fee per year

Website

Sharesies: Best online trading platforms for beginners

Sharesies has one of the simplest interfaces among its competitors. This is perfect for beginners that may not be as well-versed when it comes to investments. It serves as a gateway to different funds on local and international share markets without spending too much on commissions and other fees.

Pros:

  • Auto-investing - Once you set auto-investing, Sharesies charges from your bank account at a given date and frequency. This works like a direct debit that you use in your utilities. Currently, it’s only possible with NZ funds.
  • Extensive investment opportunities - The opportunities include 136 NZX-listed companies, 36 NZX ETFs, 8 Managed Funds (unlisted), 1852 ASX-listed companies, 228 ASX-ETFs, 2200+US-listed companies, 770+ US ETFs, and more.
  • Open for all ages - Anyone, even young children, can open an account as long as they have a valid NZ bank account, and must be an NZ resident.

Cons:

  • “Unethical” investment - Some funds may make investments in companies that you may consider “unethical,” including weapons, tobacco, and nuclear business. Anyhow, Sharesies mark “sustainable” funds, if you plan to invest ethically.
  • Limited customer support - Customer support channels are only limited to email and social media. They also can’t offer financial advice as to which funds may be more suitable for your needs.
  • Not for short term investing - For Kiwis looking for short-term investments, Sharesies may not be your best bet. Most funds are easy and free to purchase and sell, but you may have to look ahead 5-10 years to make considerable returns.

Hatch: Best trading platform for low-cost investments in the US markets

Hatch Invest is part of Kiwi Wealth, owned by Kiwibank. This means that they have Kiwis’ best interest in their affordable investment options in the US markets. They partner with DriveWeath, a part of Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), to ensure that you have the ultimate decision on what to do with your shares as the owner of the investment.

Pros:

  • Owning your own shares - Hatch Invest only serves as the NZ-based platform that gives you access to a US brokerage. This means that you own your shares; no one owns them on your behalf.
  • Minimal fees - Hatch only charges fees when necessary, such as conversion fees and taxes. Otherwise, they don’t charge you anything, even subscription fees, to give you the most out of your investment.
  • Automate investment decisions - Whenever the market reaches or falls on a certain price level, you can automate your decisions with Hatch. For example, you can automatically sell your shares when the market reaches that ‘target price’ that you’ve set through stop-loss orders.

Cons: 

  • Lack of a specialised mobile app - The closest thing with a mobile app is Hatch’s website icon that you can add to your home screen. This works similarly to the website, but on a mobile interface. If they see demand for it, they may develop it in the future.
  • No other foreign markets offered - Other than the US markets, you can access other overseas markets such as the UK, Germany, or Australia. However, you can access American Depositary Receipts (ADR) for foreign shares listed on the US markets.
  • Hedging options are unavailable - Foreign currency hedging means that your shares adjust depending on how competitive NZD and USD are. Since hedging is unavailable with Hatch, your NZD value will be worth less if the USD goes down, given that all other factors remain equal.

Stake: Best free online share trading platform in the US markets

For even lower and more affordable investment in the US markets, Stake doesn’t charge any trading fees. They even offer their starter pack with a $0 monthly fee, staying true to their “zero-fee, unlimited trade” offer. Investors can diversify their portfolio in very small amounts, while still letting you access a wide range of companies.

Pros: 

  • No trading and monthly fees - One of the biggest selling features of Stake is it offers very minimal fees. The best part is, they offer a big sign up reward or a free share in GoPro, Nike, or Dropbox. This is assigned randomly to you, using a spin-the-wheel promotion after you funded your account for the first time.
  • Fraction share purchase is available - You don’t have to spend a big amount to purchase an expensive share from a major global company. For example, you can purchase as little as 0.10 on Google or 0.20 on Apple shares.
  • Website and mobile app support - Aside from their easy-to-use website interface, they have an intuitive mobile app, available on both iOS and Android. They garner positive reviews as you can essentially make investment decisions all on your phone.

Cons:

  • No other foreign markets and hedging offered - Just like Hatch Invest, the market is only limited in the US with no hedging options. This may be a downside as other ETF investments on Sharesies, InvestNow, or Simplicity offer these options.
  • Paid features - While you can do basic investments in Stake for free, you may have to pay for other features. Trading on unsettled funds requires you to pay up to $9 per month on a premium account.
  • On a technical side - The online trading platform gives you access to all of your data, including charts and granular tick data. This analytics can be very useful for experienced investors but may be difficult to comprehend for beginners.

ASB Securities: Best share trading platform for DIY trade

ASB Securities is one of the largest share trading platforms in New Zealand, allowing Kiwis to invest in NZ and AU markets since 1999. They tweak their platform to make it easier to DIY trade with as little as a $15 fee per transaction. Being locally based, they have a team of experienced brokerage professionals that offer support across multiple languages. 

Pros:

  • Any bank account is welcomed - Although ASB Securities and Bank are under one company, you’re not required to own an account from the same bank. You can trade your shares as long as you have a valid NZ account.
  • Live market data on the NZX - For up to 90 days, ASB Securities can offer live NZX data, allowing you to follow one trade and in-house market reporting. This is an excellent option for frequent investors that want to buy in real-time, without dealing with brokers.
  • Low brokerage fees for beginners - Most beginners can be unwilling to pay brokerage fees as they may not know which is it for. Fortunately, ASB Securities offer low fees for specific share purchases.

Cons:

  • Fees can be expensive - For every investment made, you need to pay fees. If you trade $1,000 or less, you have to pay a $5 fee and twice that when you trade between $1,000 and $10,000.
  • Forex exchange “margin” - Technically, investors only charge brokerage fees but you may also have to pay for foreign exchange “margin.” This can cost between $200-300 per trading, so it’s best to trade on overseas markets in the long term.
  • Unfiltered company selections - You may need to do extra research when you invest with ASB Securities. They don’t employ analysts to filter or do in-depth analyses on the companies listed on the platform.

Direct Broking: Best online trading platform for advanced investors

Direct Broking is an online share trading platform that’s proudly owned and operated by Jarden Securities Limited and FNZ. They’re an accredited financial service company in the NZX market, which has been serving Kiwis for more than 50 years. They also have a strategic partnership with ANZ, opening more investment services for you.

Pros: 

  • Free features for inactive investors - For investors that aren’t trading yet or those that haven’t traded in at least 3 months, Direct Broking offers free features including viewing portfolios with live prices and reading company reports and press releases.
  • Unlisted securities are offered - What sets them apart from their competitors is, you can invest in unlisted securities. This is an excellent option for expert investors, but not so much for beginners, as it can pose additional risks.
  • Any bank account is welcomed - Although they have a partnership with ANZ, you can use any valid NZ bank account to start investing. The sign-up process takes about 10-15 minutes, and up to 48 hours to confirm your application.

Cons:

  • Small investments can have high fees - Small investments can incur high fees. It charges a minimum of $29.90 per trade, so investors can only get a value for their money on larger transactions.
  • You may need to research for yourself - Direct Broking doesn’t do in-depth research on companies in the platform. They don’t have analysts, so you may need to conduct your own research by reading reports and market announcements. 
  • Restricted access to market data - For investors that haven’t traded for at least 3 months, you may not have access to share trading data and depths of bids. For Direct Broking, this can be seen as prevention from freeloading.

InvestNow: Best platform for managed funds

InvestNow offers transparent investment in managed funds. Since launching in 2017, they’ve offered an excellent DIY-style platform investment for over 149 funds operated by 25 local and international fund managers. Its best-selling point is its promise of “no account or transaction fees,” which is the first of its kind in NZ.

Pros: 

  • No account or transaction fees - Aside from its DIY-style trading, one of the best selling points of InvestNow is its lack of account or transaction fees. You can start your investment journey without having to pay any fee.
  • Flexible ongoing investing - For as low as $50, newbies can start looking into investing in the share market. As mentioned, you don’t have to pay brokerage fees for individual trades to get exposure to these funds.
  • Term deposits are offered - On top of managed, index, and exchange-traded funds, investors can invest in term deposits through 6 different banks, including ANZ, Bank of China, BNZ, China Construction Bank of New Zealand, Heartland Bank and SBS Bank. 

Cons:

  • Advanced knowledge about investments - Investors may need to research more about the investor prospectus in the platform. This can range anywhere from 10-50 pages, which may be difficult to understand for beginners.
  • “Unethical” investment options - If you plan on investing in “ethical” companies, you may also need to do extra research. InvestNow doesn’t mark companies that engage in “unethical” activities such as weaponry, tobacco, and nuclear energy.
  • Can be overwhelming for beginners - All these features are helpful for professional investors as they can customise their investments. However, this can cause more confusion to beginners who may not be as familiar with investing.

Simplicity: Best trading platform for low-cost index funds

For investors eyeing to invest in low-cost index funds, Simplicity Investment Funds offer five funds with an annual set fee as low as 0.10%. They offer a “set-and-forget” approach to their passive funds, with a long-term focus for lower risks, and reliable returns. Most of all, they’re also often regarded as one of the cheapest investment platforms in New Zealand.

Pros:

  • Perfect for all kinds of investors - Whether you’re a short, medium, or long-term investor, Simplicity offers stability, ease of investment, and considerable returns. They accept automatic payments without charging fees for withdrawals. 
  • Parents can save for their child - Parents who are looking to invest for the long-term can invest in index funds. This is popular among Simplicity investors, especially those who are setting a university fund for their children.
  • Lowest managed funds - Most fund managers charge anywhere between 1-2% of your investment. With Simplicity, you only pay 0.10 p.a. on  NZ shares and bonds. This equals only $1 per year for every $1,000 invested. 

Cons:

  • Aggressive investors may not benefit - For investors that are looking to beat the market performance year on year, Simplicity may not be the best platform for you. This is best for long-term investors that want steady returns over long periods.
  • Investing in specific companies - For investors looking to invest in specific companies such as oil, agriculture, or mining, Simplicity doesn’t offer this option. There are no active fund managers that actively invest in the market.
  • Not a wise option to invest in $1,000 or less - For those who are looking to invest in small amounts, there may be better options other than Simplicity. InvestNow, Sharesies, Kernel, or Hatch may be a smarter choice.

Plus500: Best platform for trading forex and CFDs

Plus500 has been one of the most popular online share investment platforms in New Zealand. It’s an international brokerage service and leading provider for Contracts for Difference (CFDs). They offer over 2,000 financial instruments including CFDs on shares, forex, indices, and commodities, making them a solid all-around trading platform.

Pros: 

  • Free demo account - For beginners, you can use pretend money to learn CFD investing before your actual investment. Once you do real investment, you can commit fewer mistakes to maximise your returns.
  • Advanced trading tools - To better manage the risks in your trading, they offer advanced tools and features such as stop-loss orders, stop-limit orders,  trailing stop orders, limit setting, price alerts and guaranteed stops.
  • Regulated by NZ laws - Plus500 has a licence from the Financial Markets Authority in New Zealand. You don’t own or have rights to the underlying assets. They also don’t charge commission on trades for set entry and exit fees.

Cons:

  • Not a multi-asset platform - While they specialise in all kinds of CFDs — be it share, forex, or cryptocurrency CFD — they lack other types of assets to invest. If you’re looking for more diversified investment options, Plus500 isn’t the right choice.
  • Physical support is limited - Compared to other brokerage services in New Zealand, they lack physical support that offers expert advice and consultations. If you want to contact them, do so through email and online chat services.
  • Pay inactivity fees - If you’ve been inactive for about 3 months, you have to pay $10 per month. This is incurred for every month after the third month. The great thing is, you only need to sign up; no trades are required.

Smartshares: Best online share trading platform for ETFs

Smartshares specialises in ETF investment, offering over 35 funds from NZX-listed companies. They give you the option to invest in sustainable local and global companies in Australia, Europe, Asia Pacific, the USA, as well as emerging and developing markets. Do note that they’re only a retailer, and not an investment service provider.

Pros: 

  • Large ETF offerings - Smartshares offers one of the largest range of ETFs, with management fees ranging from 0.20-0.75%. They also charge very minimal fees such as a $30 establishment fee with no additional expenses on subsequent investments. 
  • A diverse number of funds - Smartshares lists a wide range of funds in different industry sectors across different countries. The best part is, there’s no joining fee to access these funds.
  • Expert in ETF - Started in 1996, they created NZ’s first ETF, making them one of the experts in the fund. They’re supervised by the New Zealand Public Trust government organisation while the assets are in the custody of BNP Paribas Australasia.

Cons: 

  • Investment allocation is slow - It can take up to 43 days for the shares to be allocated in your account after you’ve purchased the shares in the platform. This can be a hassle for Kiwis wanting to secure their purchase to move quickly on market movement.
  • Some funds may be invested unsustainably  - Currently, Smartshares offers no “socially responsible” funds. Some funds may be traded in companies that engage in weapons, tobacco, nuclear, and other “unethical” businesses.
  • No smartphone support - For now, you can only access the platform through their website. They don’t have a mobile app. However, you can do almost all investment features using their website with a mobile-friendly interface.

Kernel Wealth: Best trading platform for specialised index funds

Kernel Wealth is an expert in index funds with a focus on low-cost funds in New Zealand and global markets. They offer 11 different index funds, including NZ 20 Fund, NZ Small & Mid Cap Opportunities Fund, NZ Commercial Property Fund, Kernel S&P Global Dividend Aristocrats Fund, Kernel S&P Global 100 Fund, and Kernel Global Infrastructure Fund.

Pros:

  • Lowest management fees - At only 0.29% for at least $25,000 invested, they have some of the lowest management fees among the competition. However, Smartshares may offer lower fees for ETFs.
  • NZX 20 Index offering - It has consistently outperformed NZX10 and NZX50 indices over the last 10 years, making it one of the best performing funds in NZX. They only exclusively offer this, to guarantee your returns.
  • Low minimum investment starter - For as low as $1, you can start your investment in the competitive funds in NZX. They’re only a brokerage retailer, not an investment service provider.

Cons:

  • Minimal membership fee - While the membership fee of $3 isn’t as big as others, some of its best competitors don’t charge any membership fees. This is charged on top of the fund management fees.
  • Not for short term investors - Like most index funds, Kernel may not be your best bet when it comes to short-term investing. While you are free to trade as much as you like without paying any fees, you get the most returns by investing in a 5-10 years period.
  • Not for aggressive investors - Active and aggressive investors that look for fund managers to trade shares continuously, Kernel isn’t for you. They don’t offer this type of investment option at all.

What’s the best share investment platform?

Ultimately, there’s no single best share investment platform. It’s all up to you. It's relative to your budget, market, and assets that you’re looking to invest in, the company that you want to grow your money in, and the timeframe that you’re aiming to invest in, among other factors.

Let us help you find the best investment platform by comparing these apps, all on one page!

Find the best trading platforms using glimp's FREE comparison tool!

Previous Article

Was There A Supermarket Price Increase During NZ Lockdown?

Next Article

Why Are NZ Power Prices Going Up?

Google rating +
Leah Te Rangi , 2021-09-28

Sign up didn't go quite the way it was meant to. But Kate called and she walked through everything so we could work out what went wrong. she was patient, friendly, supportive and kept me calm to finally get plan registration sorted ( still can't log in though - she must be magic )

Tara Davis , 2021-09-28

Found it really easy to find what i needed and also got a call regarding what deals might be best suited etc. Saves a lot of time. Highly reccommend glimp

John de Jong , 2021-09-26

Easy site to navigate. Gave me great options that suit my household including reputable providers I wasn't familiar with.

Christine Henare , 2021-06-25

I’ve just had a great experience with Kurt from glimp compare. He helped me through the process from the time I clicked onto the website, via the chat function. Long story short I have signed up to a new power and broadband provider with significant cost savings. There was no pressure at any stage, just respectful guidance and facilitation to initiate the new supply.

Chris Lerew , 2021-09-18

Good options, but ideally an option to combine & compare cost for best mobile + broadband option would be nice.