CommSec Review 2021

CommSec is an online broker or a brokerage platform in Australia helping out investors with skills ranging from beginner to expert level. For more than 20 years, CommSec has been Australia’s No. 1 internet broker, assisting investors in achieving their objectives. As always, we aim to provide unbiased online trading broker reviews to give traders a clear understanding of the different brokers available to them. Our in-depth CommSec review covers everything you will need to know, whether you are new to trading in stocks or you are looking to add more trading instruments and charting tools to your repertoire.

CommSec Overview

Headquarters Australia
Founded Year 1995
Regulated Yes
Product offered Trading Platform, Forex Broker, Stocks
Minimum Initial Deposit $50
Maximum Leverage 1:500
Islamic Accounts No
Demo Account No
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) No
Trading fees Depends on Method of Trading
Inactivity fee Yes
Withdrawal fee Depends On Account Type
Supported currencies AUD
Customer Support 24/5 Support, Email, Phone, Online Chats, & Social Media

What Is CommSec?

CommSec is an international broker and shares trading platform, a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. It is the largest online stock broker in Australia. Though its Internet trading platform constitutes the vast majority of its business, it also provides a telephone-based brokerage service. The platform also has a mobile app for convenience called CommSec Mobile that has great reviews.

Launched in 1995, CommSec is the biggest international trading platform and broker from Australia. This retail broker provides a suite of trading tools & products to traders in Australia, one of which is the CDIA.

The CDIA account is a special direct investment account for CommSec users. It is a money management account or a direct account with the bank with which making money from sharemarket sales can be easier, making it a one-stop solution for all share trading. Read the facts you must know in this CommSec review before you open a CommSec broker account for online trading. We’ll review CommSec for its products and services. We’ll also discuss the app, mobile trading, and the platform’s features in this CommSec review.

CommSec Platform InterfaceCommSec Platform Interface

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CommSec Features

As Australia’s largest online broker, it provides a number of products and services. CommSec’s services include online investing, margin lending, cash management, SMSF, and managed funds. The following features as per the CommSec reviews are:-

CommSeciress

CommSecIRESS is the company’s dynamic, real-time data-streaming and platform for ASX-listed securities, including shares in Australia. The CommSeciress trading platform is not included for basic accounts and must be paid for on a monthly basis. The real-time data and market movements streaming feature on CommSec brings you the benefits of getting connected ‘Live’ to the stock market, thereby ensuring that traders do not miss out on any lucrative deals. The IRESS also has the market watch feature to help investors of the stock market and historical data on each individual share player to help investors make a wise decision on their investment. As an online brokerage, CommSec helps to ensure that the user has all the data before following up with their investment through its ‘intuitive interface.’

Market Mapping and Watchlists

When as a user, you open a CommSec account, you get access to the market mapping of the shares available in the market internationally. The watchlists and the whole interface that CommSec provides are comprehensive, and that makes it completely easier to keep track of all the movements in the share markets. It is easier said than done when it comes to moving shares – buying or selling in a very volatile market, and CommSec provides the users the additional comforts of real-time alerts, watchlists, and many more. The volume chart on CommSecis highly recommended by investors. It helps in assessing situations and overall performance of the stocks and also in identifying the trends. The Candle-stick chart method employed by the Japanese in the 18th century comes in handy even today for CommSec, except that the versions are modernized and identify the price history of a share, the share movements, and the volume of shares moved in a particular time period.

Competitive Brokerage and Easy Subscriptions

While one can join for free and create a CommSec international securities trading account, there are fees involved in brokerage and handling. The CommSec pocket app also gives users the advantage of easy monthly subscriptions, which can be stopped or started as you require them. This way, in case you want to start trading, you can pay the subscription (after you join for free and review the situation) and go on as you deem necessary, depending upon the situation. The brokerage fees and other fees charged are very clearly stated on the trading platform to make it easier for users. The fee details are discussed in subsequent sections of this CommSec review. The brokerage rates will vary depending on if trades are placed online or over the phone.

One thing we’d like to mention in our review is that the final brokerage fee may result in a slight variance from the stated or expected charge because of GST rounding, which may exceed two cents for large trades.

Easy and Seamless Transfers to CDIA

Both the CommSec web account and the CommSec mobile app work well in coordinating seamlessly with the CDIA account. Your exchange-traded funds get invested in your CDIA without having to go over the process of transferring, which might cost more money. The CommSec pocket and the website allow the traders to transfer funds easily. When you register into the CommSec share trading account, it asks for the bank options to make it easier for transferring funds to and fro when needed.

Products & Services Offered by CommSec

Being a subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, CommSec trading account, and its mobile version, CommSec pocket offers several additional products. If you have a Commonwealth Bank Account linked for settlement of your trades, you can call the broker to arrange a deposit on your behalf and place the order at phone brokerage rates. As per the CommSec review, it offers the following services:-

International and Australian Share Trading

CommSec enables trading in both Australian shares and International shares, making it a viable option for those who want to invest and expand their portfolio through careful trading in shares. Investing in international shares can provide increased exposure to deeper markets. The support it offers through its charting tools and other auxiliary applications helps a user to invest smartly. When you purchase or sell shares, a procedure known as T+2 settlement occurs, in which the buyer and seller exchange ownership of the shares for the money. This occurs on the second working day following the transactions. You can also settle trades with the bank account of your choice The buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) provider was the most traded stock among CommSec clients in August 2021 with buyers accounting for 60% of trades. For trades in currencies to which certain restrictions apply, the currency must first be transferred from USD and will incur a small additional spread. Alternatively, trades can be settled in USD. Your initial purchase of any particular shareholding must be at least $500 worth of shares, known as a ‘minimum marketable parcel of shares. CommSec may then allow you to purchase smaller amounts of shares to top up existing shareholdings. 

CommSec Margin Loan Option

As a CommSec share trading account holder, you will have access to ‘Margin loans’, a unique feature to accelerate wealth creation. With the shares invested securely and with additional funds available, traders can, for reasonable interest rates, enjoy the products and services that the broker provides.

ETF Benefits

Exchange-traded funds or ETFs provide security to your portfolio, and CommSec helps you to trade in all ETFs, including the Australian Equity strategy, Global equity sectors, and many more options. These can immensely help traders to expand their portfolio and yet remain within their trade security limits. You can monitor your positions online, and trade Exchange-Traded Funds, with 24-hour customer service (on US trading days).

Fixed Income Securities

CommSec helps traders to pick the right Fixed Income securities to ensure a good return on their investments and an interest that the issuer of these debt investments, such as Australian government bonds, provides. They come with their own risks and benefits and are specified on the issuers’ websites. The key to risk management is taking an active role in the management of your portfolio. The more time you have to invest, the more risk you can afford to take. Traders can buy securities through the platform.

Other products like exchange-traded and margin lending options and warrants allow active traders to do transactions according to their requirements and the stock prices. The brokerage costs for each type of transaction are very clearly defined in the platform.

CHESS Sponsored Accounts

CHESS or Clearing House Electronic Sub register system is a computerized share recording system managed by the Australian Securities Exchange. The CHESS helps in keeping track of the share portfolio and market values at any time. The chess-sponsored shares are easily allocated through HIN or holding identification numbers. CommSec provides chess sponsorship to all new account holders by filling up a chess sponsorship requests form. There are a lot of advantages attached to chess-sponsored accounts,  including making your share dealings safe and centralized. It can be accessed through both the CommSec platform and the CommSec mobile app.

CommSec Products and SevicesCommSec Products and Sevices

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Is CommSec Regulated?

CommSec is a subsidiary of CommonWealth securities limited and is subject to regulation by ASIC, Australian Securities and investment commission. The site and the CommSec mobile application are regulated and trustworthy. The brokerage charges may vary for different account types. CommSec is one of the leading online trading providers within Australia with an excellent reputation and is a well-regulated broker.

CommSec Review: Pros and Cons

CommSec is under regulation by the ASIC and backed by the Commonwealth banks. Here is a look at the pros and cons of CommSec.

Pros Cons
Regulated, established brokerage firm with a good backup. Brokerage is slightly higher than the rest depending upon the type of account.
Multiple trading and investment options. CFD, or crypto exchange not available.
Customer security and support. Demo account not available.
Products like the Margin loan and ETF for convenience. The account registration process is lengthy.
The trading app and CommSec pocket will help you trade on the go. Inactivity fee for international trading accounts, if you don’t trade at least once a year.
Real-time monitoring and charting of share market prices.

CommSec Account Opening Process

The account opening process is quite simple and comes in three steps, depending upon the kind of investor you are and also the type of account you are planning to open. Follow the steps:-

  • The home page has the option of ‘open an account, which will take you to a page. When you click on ‘No’ to open a new account, it will ask if you have a commonwealth bank account. If yes, you will be asked to verify the account numbers. From here on, the process gets simple, with the money exchange and banking becoming easier and direct.
  • Keep in mind that if you change your bank account details, later on, the account you nominate must be in the exact same name as your trading account. However, if you do not have a commonwealth bank account, you can still trade with CommSec login by checking on the options.
  • Select the options and proceed with the next steps to create an account, depending upon your choices. The options given for account opening works very well for both beginners and seasoned players as well.
  • The next step of the registration process will take you to the ‘Personal details page where you fill in the requisite details such as name and date of birth before proceeding to give all contact details and job category, and then selecting the type of account in which you require the final settlement.
  • The account creation process is lengthy and requires quite a bit of detail. However, once it is done, it might be easier for a person to log in to the CommSec platform the next time around to trade. While CommSec has no inactivity fee on its Australian shares account, inactive international accounts charge $25 per year.
  • The purchase price in your holdings will include your brokerage costs in the calculation of the purchase price that is displayed, however, the contract note for your trade separately lists your costs and the price per unit you have paid for the shares. Once your account is set up, you can place a trade online by logging in and navigating to Trading > Shares: Place Order.

CommSec Account Opening ProcessCommSec Account Opening Process

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Types of CommSec Accounts

One of the many pros of the broker that we’d like to mention in this CommSec review is the feasibility of opening multiple accounts. So, as a customer, if you want to open a CommSec account, all that needs to be done is to check the types available and pick the one most suitable or the one you are eligible for, depending on your purpose. CommSec does not appear to offer a demo account to new traders at this stage. There is a range of account types that you can choose to create when you open a CommSec trading account:-

  • International Securities Trading Account for International trading.
  • CommonWealth Direct investment account.
  • Margin Loan account.
  • CommSec one account.
  • Options account.

If you bank with CBA, your brokerage account will be easily accessible from your internet banking. Also, a customer can have two CommSec CDIA accounts under the same profile name, thereby providing the flexibility of operating from both accounts. To be eligible for a Margin Loan, you must trade online, be CHESS Participant Sponsored with CommSec, and settle your trades through either a CDIA or a CommSec Margin Loan.

The easiest way to transfer funds to your CDIA is to make a deposit from any linked Commonwealth Bank account via NetBank. With a CommSec International Securities Trading Account, you can take advantage of investment opportunities across the globe, with access to many of the leading global share markets, including the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, and the London Stock Exchange.  A CommSec International Securities Trading Account gives you access to many of the leading global markets. To update the bank account on your International Equities Account, you need to complete a Direct Debit/Credit request form. The CommSec share trading account, therefore, helps the traders with not just dealing in shares from Australia, but international too, and also has a possibility of making it easier to do trading in different ways depending upon the account type. A CommSec Share Trading Account gives you a fast, simple, and affordable way to trade shares.

CommSec Trading Platforms

CommSec broker account gives traders the freedom to trade in both Australian and international shares. The multiple trading platforms and the competitive brokerage fees that CommSec offers its customers make it a forerunner in the field. The trading options include:

Options Trading

CommSec offers both ‘Call Options’ and ‘Buy Options’, which can be availed according to the risk preferences of a consumer.

Share Trading

Users can start trading in Australian shares immediately for experience and venture into international markets as well, with the help of CommSec expert platforms.

ETFs and Warrants

The broker also gives the users the accessibility to buy or sell or trade-in ETFs and Warrants.

Margin Loans and Fixed Income Securities

Other trading platforms include availability options such as margin loans and fixed-income security for consumers.

CommSec Leverage and CommSec Margin Lending

CommSec offers leverage in the form of margin lending and margin loans. CommSec has experience of over two decades in giving margin loans for investments. As a client, you can approach CommSec and use its platform to ‘borrow’ for investment purposes. The advantage of such margin lending is that it helps maximize the investment capacity of a lender (customer) and, therefore, enhances their investment portfolio. Margin lending options are available both on the mobile trading app and the site.

Similarly, CommSec options trading also has many benefits for beginners.  You can either go in completely to invest in shares with the help of the broker and take advantage or limit the risk by protecting the portfolio and acting cautiously. CommSec users should check before attempting to use their leverage to expand their portfolio. It is completely up to investors to avail the offered broker leverage or just invest carefully.

CommSec Margin LendingCommSec Margin Lending

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CommSec Fees and Commission

As a CommSec share trading account holder, you need to pay brokerage fees depending upon the trades availed from the site. CommSec has a tiered brokerage fee structure, where the higher your trade, the higher your brokerage. In addition, brokerage or fees may be paid as commission to the Australian Financial Service Licensee. All share trading platforms have specific brokerage fees for each transaction, and CommSec fees or the brokerage fee by CommSec also differ depending upon the trading or investment done. Every time you buy or sell shares you will pay a brokerage fee, for example, $10.00 for trades up to $1,000 on CommSec. 

The site has a complete and detailed fees structure for all types of transactions, including the management fees, broker fees, trading fees, account fees, and brokerage fees charged for a particular service. Trading fees at CommSec are based on a commission basis and depend on the instrument you trade and decrease as your trading size increases. However, inactivity fees are charged, called the ‘custody fee,’’ late settlement fees, and others depending upon the account type or transaction.

When trading financial instruments such as forex, traders can often expect that overnight, or swap fees will be charged when positions are held for longer than a trading day. Traders can check these options before investing in securities, ETFs, or trading through CommSec. Click here for more details of its fee schedule.

Deposit and Withdrawal Options

All deposits and withdrawals from the CommSec account are made through the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.  When you open a CommSec share trading account, it asks for your Commonwealth account number for processing. If you do not have an account in the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, then a CDIA is opened as and when you register into CommSec. The deposits and withdrawals now become automatic and easy with a CDIA. You can place orders up to $5,000 for leading stocks without any deposit. Deposits and Withdrawals take place through bank transfers. There is no need for credit cards. Proceeds of cheques and other payment instruments, or funds transferred by direct debit, whilst credited to your account, are subject to clearance.

Resources Offered by CommSec

As per the CommSec review, it offers its users several resources to keep track of their investments and stay ahead to trade wisely in international markets. From ETFs to Warrants and Australian and international shares, CommSec makes sure that the users are aware of the latest developments in the world of finance so that they are able to instantaneously trade shares. CommSec provides market updates throughout the day, bringing you the latest in finance and local and overseas markets.

Commsec Pocket/Mobile App

The CommSec app called CommSec pocket helps active traders keep track of trends in the market.  CommSec Pocket is simple and fairly enjoyable to use. It offers new investors an easy way to start saving and getting involved in the share market and mobile trading. However, it pays to work out how often you plan to invest per year, what your fees will be and how much that will impact your investments. The app, CommSec pocket, offers a client all the features that are in the web platform, but with the feasibility of accessing it anywhere, anytime. The mobile app is an extremely viable option for a trader to not miss out on any real-time share monitoring while on the go. The app, CommSec pocket, is available to download for all users in Australia.

CommSec Pocket Mobile AppCommSec Pocket Mobile App

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CommSec Security Measures

As per the Commsec reviews, Each of its accounts is activated by a password and other security features such as security questions, I-PIN on the registered mobile number, and many more such security features. These additional security measures help in securing not just the trading accounts but also the bank accounts linked to them. So, the risk assessments are effective.

CommSec Customer Support

According to the CommSec reviews, it offers excellent customer support in the form of email support, online chats, and phone support. The customer support team is available Monday to Friday, 8 am to 7 pm, Sydney time. The details and phone numbers are specified on the website.

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CommSec Review: Conclusion

To conclude this CommSec review, we can say that its shares trading fees are expensive, it provides traders a variety of trading tools and market research. CommSec has 20 years of industry-leading service and experience, offering Australia’s best online and mobile trading solutions. CommSec, as an FX online broker, works well to help active traders increase their wealth through efficient management of their portfolios. CommSec offers great customer support and the ability to trade anywhere by mobile and it is safe to trade on the platform.

FAQs

Is CommSec Good for Beginners?

Yes, it is very good for those investors who are starting out in dealing with shares.CommSec is an online broker that helps out with managing investment portfolios.

Is It Worth Investing in CommSec?

CommSec is secure, regulated, and comes with Commonwealth securities. For novice investors who want to expand their portfolios, it is worth it. However, check the payments and fees before you start investing.

Does CommSec Have Monthly Fees?

No, CommSec does not charge a monthly fee. However, there are other charges applicable.

How Much Can I Invest in CommSec?

One can start with an amount as small as $10 on the website, all the way up to $50 on the mobile app, and as high as required. The transactions are done through the CDIA account.

How Does Trading with CommSec Work?

All Shares purchased through CommSec are CHESS Sponsored and owned in the name of your SMSF under its unique HIN. Your SMSF is the direct owner of all Shares purchased.

What Account Types Are Available with a CommSec Share Trading Account? 

Through CommSec you can open an Australian share trading account and an international share trading account.

How Many Instruments Can I Trade with CommSec?

You can trade the following financial instruments:-

  • Australian Shares
  • Margin Loan
  • Cash
  • Options
  • International Shares
  • Exchange-Traded Funds
  • Warrants
  • Fixed Income Securities

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