CommSec's $10 brokerage to buy and sell shares: the pros and cons

Buy and sell shares for only $10 brokerage? What's the catch?

a woman

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You want cheap share brokerage when buying shares. I want cheap share brokerage when buying shares.

Maybe, like me, you've looked at $5 trades in the US, and wondered why we can't have something similar.

If you really hunt around, you can find brokerage for maybe $15 per trade. Most hover around $20, and you'll have to pay $30 with others.

Now, it's a pretty nice problem to have. Whether trades are $15 or $20 is of (relatively) little consequence when you're making trades that might usually be in the thousands. The difference between them is only just more than the cup of coffee you probably bought this morning.

But no-one likes to pay more than we have to. The brokers don't need your charity, and that coffee won't pay for itself.

Which makes CommSec's (relatively) new offer of $10 trades seem pretty attractive.

And it is. But with a catch. Well two catches, actually.

The first is that the rate applies for trades only up to $1,000. Buy $1,001 worth of shares (or more) and you're kicked up to a higher rate.

Second, your trade has to be settled using a Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA)-nominated bank account (the CommSec CDIA account) or margin loan.

The good news is that none of those is insurmountable or unduly punitive. And it's better than the old pricing where you paid double — or more — for the same trade.

So, if you're getting started investing, CommSec's offering might be a good one for you to try out — it brings the cost of a $1,000 trade down to only 1%, which is decent, meaning you can buy more frequently with lower amounts as you build a diversified portfolio.

And — I'll say it quietly, to avoid any of us needing to blush — if you're nursing some losing stocks that maybe were once worth more, but now languish in the three-figure range, you can now get rid of them, once and for all, without adding the insult of higher brokerage to the injury.

(For the record, neither I nor The Motley Fool has a commercial relationship with CBA. I do use CommSec for my trades and settlement, but pay full freight, like everyone else.)

Author's note: A previous version of this article suggested that you needed to be CHESS sponsored by CommSec to take advantage of the $10 brokerage rate. The company contacted me to confirm you do not need to be CHESS sponsored, so that has been removed from the article.

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