How to invest in ETFs for Free

ETFs are a popular way to build a diversified portfolio with minimal effort and expense. But did you know you don't need to pay $9+ every time you buy or sell an ETF. There are now some great low cost brokers in Australia that have slashed fees.

Here are the best Australian ways to invest in ETFs for free:

Pearler

Pearler is an Australian investing app that lets you invest in ETFs for free if you don't sell them within a year. Pearler charges a standard brokerage fee of $9.95, but they will wave this when you invest in select ETFs.

Currently the ETFs that can be invested in without brokerage fees are from Van Eck and ETF Securities Australia.

If you sell the ETF (either part of the entirety of your position), you'll be charged both the brokerage fee to buy and sell.

Pearler provides support for CHESS, which makes it easy to move your position between brokers.

Find out more about Pearler here

Superhero

Superhero is a low cost Australian stock trading app. They have the lowest brokerage fee in Australia of just $5. Plus you can invest in a huge range of ETFs without paying brokerage fees.

Superhero doesn't restrict this to just a few ETFs. Any ETF listed on the ASX can be bought commission free. For example you could invest in the hugely popular VDHG ETF from Vanguard without having to pay brokerage fees.

When you sell the ETF or part of your position, you're charged a flat $5 brokerage fee. Superhero doesn't have rules for minimum hold times.

Superhero has also added U.S Share and ETF investing. They charge no commissions on any U.S share trades. They also support fractional share investing (so you can invest just $50 at a time) for U.S listed securities. The only fees you'll pay for U.S shares is a small FX conversion fee when your money gets converted from $AUD into $USD.

Superhero acts as a custodian so you don't get CHESS/HIN support. There are upsides to this – much cheaper brokerage fees and the ability to invest just $100 at a time in ASX shares.

How to Invest in International ETFs for free

Stake

Stake is a U.S trading platform built for Australians. You can trade U.S shares and ETFs commission free. I use Stake to invest in U.S ETFs from providers like ARK and Vanguard.

Stake supports fractional shares, so you can invest as little as $10 at a time. And because there are no brokerage fees, you're not penalised for choosing to invest with a smaller amount.

P.S – Get a free stock on Stake when you sign up using a referral code.

eToro

eToro has a similar offering to Stake, although they now support commission free trading of EU and UK listed shares as well. This means you can trade shares from the U.S, EU, UK all commission free.

eToro support fractional shares so you can buy just a fraction at a time (starting at $50). eToro also has some unique Copy Trading features that let you follow, interact and copy more experienced traders.

Find out more about eToro here

Management Fees

Remember when you're investing in an ETF you will end up paying management fees. You don't pay these directly, they are priced into the ETF. I always do a quick check with Google to make sure an ETF doesn't have overpriced management fees. And I always check to see if there is a similar ETF with a lower management fee.

Looking for more Investing Apps? Check out our Top List which charts the most popular investing apps in Australia.

This post is for educational purposes and should not be considered as investment advice. This post is based on individual experience and journalistic research.

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