Broker service features: A quick check

Here's a quick check of the different features of online broking services you should consider before signing up – click on a heading for more detailed information:

Fees Ensure you're comfortable with the brokerage you'll be paying for the average size of your trades.

Exchange and market access Fees quoted for trading shares on the ASX. If you want to trade options, international shares and access managed funds check each online broker's service features.

Trading tools How timely is market data (end of day, real time, dynamic) and how sophisticated is the software (interactive charting, portfolio management)?

Research Will you also be needing company research and access to IPOs (floats)?

Trading account How does each online broker process orders (manually or automated ‘straight-through')? Are orders confirmed by email?

Cash settlement account What type of attached cash account are you required to open with the broker to settle trades ? Can you check this account balance online?

Published: 5 June 2005