Which investment platform is the cheapest? A fee comparison

Which investment platform is the cheapest? A fee comparison

How do you choose between the investment platforms in South Africa? With brands such as EasyEquities, Clarity (by Investec), Shyft, FNB Shares Zero, Franc, Nedbank Young Investors and others to choose from – where do you begin? Well, this article is all about checking out their fees. If you’re looking for articles on ETFs or shares, you’ll find loads under the personal finance section of this website.

When buying the same thing (e.g. the Sygnia S&P500 ETF), it all boils down to fees – the cheapest one will give you the best returns. So, in this article, we’re comparing the basic fees. It would be a serious task to compare ALL fees, including withdrawal, deposit, debit order fees, and special bundle fees – and therefore we will focus on their fees, minimum deposit requirements, and trading options.

Understanding Investment Fees.

Before we get into the juicy details, let’s first check out what these fees are, and how they work. Note that this is a simplified list. Because this is such a complicated process, there are many hidden fees that we don’t know about – and get charged silently. For example, some companies add a bigger spread between the buying and selling price – and silently get a big fat commission on top of the buying/selling fee. But for simplicity’s sake, let’s look at the basic fees:

  • Platform Fees: platforms charge a monthly or yearly fee for access and account maintenance.
  • Brokerage/Trading Fees: Often a percentage is charged each time you buy or sell an investment. You may have to pay a minimum trade amount and a percentage on top of that.
  • Transfer fee: is a charge that may be imposed when transferring shares from one brokerage to another.
  • Administration Fees: This may apply to tasks like deposits, withdrawals or account transfers between providers and other operational costs.
  • Asset Under Management (AUM) Fees: This is charged as a percentage of the total value of your investment holdings and management of your portfolio. Quite often, in the investment world, the broker will force you to use a broker to manage your money. You can expect fees for guidance.

Table with fees from brokers in South Africa

Platform Platform feesBrokerage fee Transfer feesMinimum trade Administration fees
EasyEquitiesR25,000,25% per trade 1 cent 
ShyftR0,000,4% per trade R 36,54 
Clarity by InvestecR0,000% R25,00R0
FrancR1,00  R0,00 
FNB shares zeroR0,00R0,00 for Ashburton ETN/ETF,
0,25% for non Ashburton ETNs/ETF
 No minimum balanceR0,00
Nedbank young investorR0,000,25%R90,00No minimum deposit 
BrokstockR0,000,1%-0,3%R100,00R0,00

EasyEquities and their fee structure

EasyEquities is targeted at investors who know a little bit about money. It’s used for long-term investing mostly, whereas their sister company GT247 is for day trading. It prides itself on not charging the usual fees traditional brokers do. There are no registration fees or minimums required. They’ve recently introduced a monthly platform fee called “thrive fees” of R25,00 per month. They charge a small brokerage fee of 0.25% of your transaction. There are no deposit fees, meaning the broker won’t deduct anything from your deposits.

Shyft cost breakdown

Although you can use your Shyft app to pay invoices in foreign currency, there is also the ability to invest in ETFs. The platform offers fast transactions, flat rates, and no commission fees. You will need to buy foreign currency to buy foreign ETFs. There is a 0.2% annual AUM fee.

Clarity by Investec fee structure

Investec’s Clarity platform offers a range of investment options. The platform aims to grant South African investors access to both local and international shares, foreign currencies, and savings products. Additionally, there are minimal fees involved, such as a minimum first deposit of R25,00, no broker commission, no settlement and admin charges, and no platform fees. This competitive pricing structure attracts potential users seeking cost-effective investment options.

Franc pricing outline

If you’re new to investing, then Franc is for you. They charge a 1% annual all-in fee. What makes them really cool is the robo advisor they’re using to help you make a decision on what to invest in.

Understanding the cost using FNB Shares Zero

FNB Shares Zero is an investment platform tailored to young adults. They charge zero monthly fees and a flat brokerage rate of 0.25%, with no minimum charge per deal and no administration fees. This platform allows investing and trading in all listed instruments on the JSE, including ETFs.

Nedbank Young Investors fees

Nedbank Young Investors is a platform tailored to young adults. They charge zero monthly fees and a flat brokerage rate of 0.25%, with no minimum charge per deal and no administration fees. This platform allows investing and trading in all listed instruments on the JSE, including ETFs.

BROKSTOCK is a legit, FSCA-licensed investment platform with low fees. They charge only commission per trade, with fees ranging from 0.1% to 0.3% depending on the asset. There are no minimum trade requirements, and you can start investing with just R100. They offer fractional shares so you can invest in expensive stocks with smaller amounts. Notably, they don’t charge administration, advisor, closing, or AUM fees. They offer a variety of assets, including CFDs on US and JSE stocks, currencies, metals, and ETFs.

Honourable mentions of other brokerages in South Africa offering investment opportunities

There is a huge list of other investment platforms such as Satrix Now, Sygnia, 10X, ABSA Smart Account, Nedbank Shares and ETFs, as well as Standard Bank Auto Share Invest and Online Share Trading. FNB Tax-Free Shares and Share Investor also offer share investing.

Conclusion

In conclusion, investment platforms offer unique features and benefits – targeted at a specific audience with a specific budget. I personally like EasyEquities (and if you want to join, here is my affiliate link. It’ll give me a month of thriving) – their fees are low, and I can manage it with granularity.

Always remember to do your own research and consider seeking advice from a financial advisor before making investment decisions. – you don’t want your world on fire.

Happy investing!

T’s // C’s // Disclaimer

It should be noted that all fee information provided is valid as of 2023 but is subject to change. Platform pricing models may be updated periodically, so investors should check for current rates directly with each provider. Overall, comparing platforms can help identify the best fit, but expert guidance remains recommended for building a sound long-term investment approach. More fees can be found on the file here.

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