CommSec dominates online trading

Volatile markets do not appear to have significantly impacted the number of people trading shares online, according to new data released by research house, Investment Trends.

The data revealed that while the number of online share traders had fallen late last year, it had stabilised through the first five months of 2011.

Commsec continues to dominate the online trading environment, accounting for half of active trades (up from 48 per cent in December), while E*Trade was in second place, accounting for 18 per cent of primary broking relationships, with Westpac Online Investment accounting for 8 per cent, followed by NAB OnLine Trading (6 per cent) and Bell Direct (5 per cent).

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As well, the research pointed to an increasing number of traders using smart phones to conduct their trades.

The survey found that while Commsec might dominate the market, 'deep discount' providers Bell Direct and CMC Markets led in terms of customer satisfaction.

Investment Trends senior analyst Pawel Rokicki said online traders were very much aware of market events in May, and while two-thirds saw Australia as a healthy economy, the majority were worried the European debt crisis might spell a second wave of the global financial crisis.

"Against this backdrop, the underlying number of traders held up well, although until the recent extreme volatility, trading volumes have been weak," he said.

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