Innovation pays off for Australian online brokers

Australian online investor numbers are on the rise, while the proportion switching broker is at a four-year low, research reveals.

Data from Investment Trends' 2015 Second Half Online Broking Report, found just four per cent of Australian investors switched provider in the six months to the end of November 2015.

Investment Trends senior analyst, Irene Guiamatsia, noted that 129,000 investors placed their first ever trade in the year to November 2015, with 635,000 unique investors placing trades in that time — up from 595,000 in the prior corresponding period.

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"The market had robust growth throughout 2015, underpinned by an influx of first-time online investors," she said.

"Over the course of the year, there was a distinct change in what attracted new traders to investing online. While the Q1 bull run fuelled optimism among those who began trading earlier in the year, the second half of the year was more about investors on the lookout for value and buying opportunities."

Of the seven markets covered by the report, Australian online brokers secured the top rank for consumer loyalty, with only 27,000 investors moving to a new broker.

"As the pool of switchers contracts, competition is likely to focus on those new investors that are entering the market in large numbers," said Guiamatsia.

The report found that 57 per cent of online investors were able to mention at least one broker innovation they found useful, second only to the French market, where almost two-thirds of respondents were able to identify positive innovations.

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