The investment space is cluttered with variable fees and charges from one provider to another, so it can be a complicated business for investors—whether app-based or desktop-based—to work out what they will actually pay.
When it comes to buying and selling shares, some providers impose a flat fee per trade. Others structure their charges to benefit users who trade the markets more frequently.
Users may also find themselves billed according to the size of their investment. Accounts provided by longer-standing platform providers often come with a monthly subscription or admin fee.
If you’re planning on buying overseas shares—for example, you fancy gaining exposure to US tech stocks priced in USD—then you’ll probably be charged an AUD to USD currency fee for doing so.
Meanwhile, if you’re an infrequent trader, your account might be hit with ‘inactivity’ charges.
Several app providers promote their ‘commission-free’ trading status. It’s a welcome and increasingly popular option across the investing space. But bear in mind that just because trades are free from commissions, it doesn’t necessarily follow that your account will be devoid of charges.
Brokers make their money in other ways, such as withdrawal fees and charges for currency conversion.
Before signing up to a particular investing app, work out what sort of investor you plan to be. Having an idea of how much you’re going to invest, how often you plan to trade, and which markets will be your primary focus can help determine the best and most cost-effective app for your needs.