One of the most important decisions you make as a trader or investor is choosing your broker. Who you decide to trade with determines not just how effectively you trade, but how much money you make, or lose. That’s why TheBull puts the question to you each year, and thousands cast a vote. Who is the best online broker in Australia? We want to know so we can pass the message on.

Australia’s popular 2012 Stockies awards have been decided after two months of voting on We are proud to announce the winners and finalists across CFDs, forex, share trading, options, warrants, margin lending as well the top stock forum.

To take the mantle of top broker in Australia is not an easy feat. To beat the market, traders need cheap trades, market-leading software and technology and seamless customer service. Our winners excel on all points. Stockies Awards are set firmly in the tradition that traders and investors are the best judge of the top online firms to deal with in Australia. So it’s you, the very people who use the products and services of online brokers in Australia, who decide the winners.

We asked each winner to tell us what puts them ahead of the crowd. You will find a full list of category winners and finalists at the end of this story.


Best CFD Provider: IG Markets




You awarded best CFD provider in Australia to IG Markets.

IG Markets says technology initiatives, competitive pricing and client money protection all contributed to winning the Stockies CFD award for the fourth year in a row. In 2011, IG Markets released its free Android CFD trading app and an iPhone app offering DMA (direct market access) CFDs. IG Markets considers value and transparency crucial to doing business.

Proud company chief executive Tamas Szabo says: “IG Markets clients can be confident they are going to get the price they see on screen, or better with our unique price improvement technology. This technology automatically passes any favourable price changes on to clients, and has saved our clients over $A6 million globally from July to September 2011.” Szabo says client satisfaction is paramount and meeting existing and changing client needs is the first priority.

“This award acknowledges IG Markets’ product appeal to investors, traders, clients and readers of TheBull,” he says. “We will continue doing everything we can to retain the title of best CFD provider in 2013 and beyond.”


Best Forex Broker: GFT






You awarded the best forex broker in Australia to GFT.

For the third consecutive year, GFT has won this category. GFT Australian retail sales manager Dean Sheeran says GFT is proud of its achievements, particularly as this award is judged by the clients, traders and investors in Australia, who use the products and services of online brokers.

Sheeran says the company is committed to, and has been acknowledged for its high levels of service and support to clients 24 hours a day. “Research has shown our clients want tools and resources available to assist in identifying actionable trading opportunities in the market, and to also give them confidence in their trading strategies and decisions,” Sheeran says. He says GFT enjoys an enviable reputation on order execution and “actually documents its scorecard directly on the homepage”.

“GFT continues to be a leader in providing innovative trading platforms through its own propriety technology,” he says. “The way traders access the market is constantly evolving. We’re able to give our clients access to the markets through traditional online platforms and all forms of mobile technology, such as the iPhone and iPad. In 2012, we see continuing demand for mobile based trading technology and are committed to being a market leader in this space.”


Best Online Broker: CommSec







You awarded the best online broker in Australia across share trading, margin lending, warrants and options to CommSec.

It’s quite an achievement, to say the least. CommSec managing director Stephen Karpin says: “We’re delighted our customers have again recognised us in the 2012 Stockies awards, as it’s self-directed investors who are the best judges of what they need. The CommSec team fundamentally understand the key to remaining number one is listening and delivering on what our customers want from an online broker, margin lender, options and warrants provider. Our simple goal is to exceed our customers’ expectations.”

Karpin says a “new look” website, making navigation simpler and providing more security has been a major initiative. Enhancing smart phone capabilities for iPhone and Android customers will improve market monitoring activities, watch lists and enable customers to respond to market opportunities on the move.  Future mobile stgelopment will include an iPad app.


Best Stock Forum: HotCopper






You awarded the best stock forum in Australia to HotCopper.

It’s the first time HotCopper has won this category and the numbers speak for themselves. HotCopper won easily with 87 per cent of the votes. The runner up received just 7 per cent of the votes. HotCopper managing director Greg D’Arcy was thrilled with the result, pointing out that providing an opportunity to discuss stocks with so many other investors is what makes HotCopper appealing.  He says many “browsers” visit the site, seeking confirmation from others that they have bought the right stock. “Most already own the stock when visiting the site, so it’s more of a confirmation process than a shopping process,” D’Arcy says.

He says stock education plays a significant role, as particular forums are dedicated to teaching novices about how to trade. HotCopper is in the process of redesigning its site, with particular emphasis on being “mobile friendly”, which D’Arcy sees as the future.


Best Warrants Broker: CommSec






On top of winning Online Broker of the Year, CommSec also took out Margin Lender of the Year, Options Broker of the Year and Best Warrants Broker of the Year. 


Best Margin Lender: CommSec






On top of winning Online Broker of the Year, CommSec also took out Margin Lender of the Year, Options Broker of the Year and Best Warrants Broker of the Year. 


Best Options Broker: CommSec






On top of winning Online Broker of the Year, CommSec also took out Margin Lender of the Year, Options Broker of the Year and Best Warrants Broker of the Year. 




Best CFD Broker – IG Markets
Finalists – GFT, CommSec, FP Markets, CMC Markets

Best Forex Broker – GFT
Finalists – IG Markets,, FXCM

Best Online Broker – CommSec
Finalists – E*TRADE, Westpac Online Investing

Best Margin Lender – CommSec
Finalists – ANZ, BT Financial Group

Best Warrants Broker – CommSec
Finalists – Westpac Online Investing, Citi, Macquarie, TraderDealer

Best Options Broker – CommSec
Finalists – OptionsXpress, Westpac Online Investing

Best Stock Forum – HotCopper
Finalist – AussieStockForums


More articles from this week’s newsletter

You’ve Decided – The Best Online Brokers In Australia

2012 – Aussie Dogs Of The ASX

18 Share Tips – 6 February 2012

MACD – A must for forex traders

The Herd Is Almost Always Wrong

Rolling year highs on the ASX

Rolling year lows on the ASX

Top 10 shorted stocks on the ASX

Breaking News – all the latest Australian stockmarket news

Market Data: Check out TheBull’s market data for charts, quotes and company information