CommSec customers can now trade in 13 equity markets around the world, including the US, Canada, Japan and the UK.

The international platform will initially only be available through the CommSec website, but CommBank says the service will be added to the CommSec app soon.

Brokerage fees will start at USD$5 for international trades.

Last week, Commsec slashed brokerage fees on smaller trades in Aussie markets, now just $5 on trades below $1,000 and $10 for those between $1,000 and $3,000.

CommSec Executive General Manager Richard Burns said CommSec's purpose is to empower more Aussies to grow their wealth, and the new trading platform was good news for its 2.7 million customers.

“The recently published ASX 2023 Australian Investor Study shows more Australians are investing directly in international shares than ever before. International share trading is particularly popular with younger investors who comprise over half our new account openings, so we expect our new platform will be really well received," Mr Burns said.

"With financial pressures increasing for many, we're pleased to be supporting the next generation of investors with both value and the recognised functionality of Australia's leading online broker."

Last week also saw competitor Sharesies roll out new payment options, giving customers the choice to pay a monthly subscription in exchange for no brokerage fees up to a certain amount.

The previous pay as you go option (which is still available) was a flat 1.9% transaction fee on the amount invested, capped at $6 for Aussie shares, $25 for New Zealand shares and $AUD5 for US shares.

Now for just $5 a month, Sharesies customers can have transaction fees covered up to $500 on buy and sell orders, and $1000 for auto invest orders.

Plans with larger coverage are also available for $10 or $20 a month.

CommSec adds three additional ETFs

CommSec is also among Australia's leading providers of Exchange Trading Funds (ETFs), with 420,000 customers and $1.6 billion invested on the ETF dedicated CommSec Pocket app.

ETFs are one of the most popular investment options in Australia, with up to 20% of Aussie investors having a stake in some sort of ETF, according to investment group Vanguard.

ETFs allow investors to spread exposure across a range of different companies, a simple way to diversify portfolios.

CommSec Pocket will be adding three new ETFs to the seven themed funds currently available:

Fund name
Sustainability Leaders BetaShares Global Sustainability Leaders ETF
Emerging Markets iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF
Global 100 iShares Global 100 ETF
Aussie Top 200 iShares Core S&P/ASX 200 ETF
Health Wise iShares Global Healthcare ETF
Tech Savvy BetaShares NASDAQ 100 ETF
Aussie Dividends SPDR MSCI Australia High Dividend Yield Fund
NEW* Global Diversified BetaShares Diversified All Growth
NEW *Aussie Sustainability VanEck MSCI Australian Sustainable Equity
NEW *Aussie Corporate Bonds BetaShares Australian Investment Grade Bond

AI 'no substitute' for human investors

A Capgemini Research Institute survey in April of 10,000 Aussies found more than half of all respondents would trust artificial intelligence to help with their financial planning.

There's plenty of AI powered tools for investors already out there, like Alpha from investing platform Public or FinChat, a chatbot that can provide verified data on public companies designed to help investors make decisions.

However, Dale Gillham, Chief Analyst of financial services company Wealth Within, maintains traders should still not be outsourcing all their decisions to algorithims.

"Relying on AI can provide traders with a false sense of security leading them to make poor money management decisions and taking on higher risks," Mr Gillham said.

"Don’t get me wrong, AI is likely to be able to assist humans, but it’s not a substitute, particularly when the stock market is an emotional barometer of human activity. The success of anyone trading the stock market comes down to taking a balanced approach that combines aspects of AI with human knowledge, skill and experience."


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