You might already be familiar with E*TRADE, a well-established American discount broker known for its diverse financial offerings.
E*TRADE provides an online platform for self-directed investors and traders, allowing them to trade stocks, options, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and more. Additionally, E*TRADE offers automated investment portfolios and retirement accounts to cater to a wide range of financial needs, all while delivering a highly regarded mobile trading app for on-the-go investors.
Want to know if E*TRADE is available in South Africa and the alternatives available? We’ve got you covered!
Is E*TRADE available in South Africa?
E*TRADE is unavailable in South Africa, as it primarily focuses on the U.S. market, offering various investment services to U.S. residents and citizens.
We contacted customer support, and the response regarding the possibility of opening an account in South Africa was negative. Therefore, if you are a South African citizen, you will not be able to open an account with E*TRADE.
Is E*TRADE coming to South Africa?
As our team has confirmed, there are no expansion plans into other markets following Morgan Stanley’s acquisition at the end of 2020.
E*TRADE Alternatives in South Africa
The good news is, in South Africa, there are lots of other options like E*TRADE that give you similar or maybe even better stuff for investing, and they won’t cost you much or anything at all. Given that, here are our suggestions:
Interactive Brokers offers a comprehensive range of trading platforms. Their investment platform, Trader Workstation (TWS), is an advanced desktop platform designed for active investors who engage in multi-product investing. Additionally, IBKR provides an easy-to-use mobile app called IBKR GlobalTrader.
XTB is a reputable online broker known for its xStation 5 trading platform, available on the web, desktop, and mobile. It provides an intuitive interface with access to advanced tools and customisation options, making it suitable for Forex and CFD investors.
IG is a well-known CFD IG, a popular CFD broker offering a wide range of trading instruments, including over 17,000 markets with various trading platforms. Additionally, they are also recognised for their high-quality research and educational resources.
Pepperstone is a popular broker that offers several trading platforms like TradingView, MetaTrader4 (MT4), MetaTrader5 (MT5), and cTrader, which are well-suited for social trading and copy trading features, allowing users to replicate the trades and strategies of successful traders automatically.
|Broker||Minimum Deposit||Products||US Stock Fees||Regulators|
|Interactive Brokers||$0||Stocks, ETFs, Options, Futures, Forex, Commodities, Bonds, and Funds||Between $0.0005 and $0.0035 per US share.||IIROC, FINRA, SIPC, SEC, CFTC, FCA, CBI, AFSL, SFC, SEBI, MAS, MNB|
|IG||$0||CFDs on Forex, Stocks, ETFs, Options, Futures, Indices, Commodities,, and Cryptocurrencies||Starting 2 cents per US CFD share (minimum $15)||FCA, BaFin, FINMA, ASIC, FMA, MAS, FSA, FSCA, DFSA|
|XTB||$0||CFDs on indices, commodities, forex, cryptocurrency||0.08% volume-based (min. $8)||FCA, KNF, CySEC, and FSC|
|Pepperstone||$0||CFDs on Stocks, ETFs, Forex, Indices, Commodities and Cryptocurrencies||$0.02 per side for US CFD stocks||ASIC, SCB, CySEC, FCA, BaFin, and DFSA|
#1 Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers at a glance
Interactive Brokers has proven to be one of the most reliable brokers in the market. The company, available on the South African market, was founded over 40 years ago and survived many financial crises, making it a well-established and trustworthy broker regulated by many top-tier regulators.
Due to its sophisticated and powerful tools, the range of products available for trading, and its low prices, Interactive Brokers normally attracts advanced traders. Additionally, the mobile app IBKR GlobalTrader is user-friendly and more suitable for beginners, simplifying investments without losing the powerful tools for which the broker is famous.
Interactive Brokers offers attractive features such as low commissions on US stocks, a demo account for practising investments, and a wide range of tradable assets.
Interactive Brokers is under the watchful eye of South African financial authorities, such as FSCA (Finance Service Conduct Authority). These regulatory bodies ensure that Interactive Brokers follow strict rules and safeguard your investments, adding an extra layer of security for your money.
If you want to know more about this platform, please check our Interactive Brokers review!
77% of retail CFD account lose money.
XTB at a glance
XTB is a company founded in 2002 in Poland that offers stock trading apps in South Africa through the Belize-based subsidiary, which is regulated by the Financial Services Commission of Belize. The company is licensed in many different jurisdictions and is regulated by top-tier authorities such as the FCA.
XTB is essentially a CFD broker, where you can trade various CFDs (forex, equity, indices, crypto commodity). However, these are riskier and more complex trading instruments that should only be used by experienced traders.
With lots of investment options and a well-built interface, XTB is a reliable alternative to E*TRADE for beginners and advanced traders in South Africa. It’s a very cheap platform with low fees and no minimum deposit. If you want to learn more about the broker, check our XTB review!
75% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
IG at a glance
IG have a longstanding commitment to South Africa. Established in 2010, IG Markets South Africa Limited (IGMSA) has been regulated by the FSCA (formerly the FSB), operating with a FAIS license, FSP No 41393, and is an over-the-counter derivative provider.
When trading with IG, you can choose from various trading platforms. The IG trading platform is available on iOS and Android devices. It also offers a progressive web app, allowing traders to access their accounts from any device with internet access. For more advanced traders, IG offers ProRealTime and MetaTrader4, two platforms known for their advanced charting capabilities and customisation options. For those looking to trade with Direct Market Access (DMA), IG offers L2 Dealer, a platform designed for professional traders that provides direct access to exchange order books and market depth.
IG is a CFD broker, offering over 18,000 CFDs spanning various asset classes and spreads starting at 0.6 pips. It is perfect for both beginners and professional traders.
Opening an account with IG is free of charge. However, you should note that there is a monthly account charge of R150 if you haven’t used your account for two years or more (also called “inactivity fee”). It’s important to keep this in mind to avoid any unexpected charges. The required minimum deposit depends on your funding method. For example, there is no minimum for a bank transfer but a R4,000 minimum if you are funding an international account.
If you want to learn more about the broker, check their website IG!
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Pepperstone at a glance
Pepperstone is an Australian brokerage company founded in 2010 and regulated by many top-tier authorities such as the FCA or the ASIC. The broker allows you to trade on popular trading apps such as MetaTrader 4 and 5, and the trading app Pepperstone cTrader, available for iOS, Android, and Windows, is recommended by the company for all types of investors.
The company also provides a social trading platform called DupliTrade, where you can automate your investments from the MetaTrader account, coping strategies from other traders, and enjoy a demo account to practice investments.
Pepperstone, just like IG, is essentially a CFD broker offering CFDs on Stocks, ETFs, Forex, Indices, Commodities and Cryptocurrencies. This is an instrument that needs to be traded with extreme care because it often leads to losses due to the leverage effect that can magnify any loss.
Which platform should you choose?
Some factors you should know when choosing an online broker are the fees charged if it is regulated by top-tier and mid-tier institutions in South Africa and the range of products it allows you to trade, among others.
The best online broker in your specific case will depend on your profile, preference, and objectives. Explore the websites above and decide for yourself!
A reminder that the above should not be seen as investment advice and should be considered information only. Investors should do their own research and diligence about the best-suited services and opportunities for their risk, returns, and impact strategy.
Hope we helped, and leave your comments below.