Investing in the stock market has never been easier, thanks to the numerous online trading apps available today. Among all options available, you will need to make a choice, and finding the best trading app in South Africa can be difficult.
There is an overwhelming amount of options to choose from, and if you do not do research, you can end up in a platform that could be difficult to use, expensive, unsafe, or simply limited considering your investment profile and experience.
Fortunately, we successfully analyzed many trading apps before, and conducted multiple trading app reviews, so that we can clarify some of your doubts and help you make an informed decision! In this article, we listed the best stock trading apps in South Africa, comparing their specificities and highlighting their strengths.
Best stock trading apps in South Africa
Interactive Brokers | Best for intermediate and advanced investors
Online broker with a sophisticated trading platform that offers a wide range of products. The company, founded in the US, provides the app IBKR GlobalTrader, ideal for beginners.
Plus500 | Ideal for CFDs
Plus500 is a multi-asset online broker that offers no commissions when trading CFDs in Indices, Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies, Shares, Options, and ETFs. It recently launched Plus500 Invest for those who want to invest in real shares.
XTB | Best for forex and CFDs
Headquartered in Poland and listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, XTB offers access to a range of CFD on stocks on its trading app where you can also trade Forex at a competitive price.
Pepperstone | Best app for CFDs and Forex trading
Broker founded in 2010 that offers a range of investment products, including stocks, forex, and CFDs. Their trading app is popular due to its user-friendly interface, competitive prices, and access to the global financial markets. Their trading app can be used to trade CFDs of stocks.
Best stock trading apps in South Africa compared
|Broker||Fees on stocks||Minimum deposit||Trading apps||Stocks available for trading|
|Interactive Brokers||Between $0.0005 and $0.0035 per US share. Between 0.01% and 0.08% for other markets.||$0||IBKR GlobalTrader , IBKR Mobile and Trader Workstation||✔|
|Plus500||$0.006 per share on US stocks and 0.045% on European stocks with a minimum of €2 per order.||€100||Plus500
|XTB||$0 on the CFDs on stocks (0.30% markup included on the spread)||$0||xStation 5||✘
(Only CFDs on stocks)
|Pepperstone||When using MT4/MT5: 0.02 USD per share for CFDs on US shares and ETFs and between 0.07% and 0.20% for other markets. When using cTrader: $3 to open the contract and $3 to close it||$0||cTrader
(Only CFDs on stocks)
#1 Interactive Brokers (IBKR GlobalTrader)
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.
They offer trading apps to trade stocks with sophisticated and powerful tools, a wide range of products available for trading, and low prices. The broker offers different mobile apps and web-based platforms that should be used according to your knowledge and experience. The mobile app IBKR GlobalTrader is a user-friendly app suitable for beginners because it simplifies investments without losing the powerful tools for which the broker is famous.
If you want to make the most out of the powerful tools provided by the broker, you can use the IBKR Mobile, a complete and sophisticated trading app where you can do much more than buy and sell stocks. As the features of this app can be overwhelming for beginners, we would recommend the IBKR GlobalTrader if you do not have a lot of experience.
In addition to the mobile apps, you will also find a desktop app and web-based apps where you have sophisticated trading tools to access the global financial markets. Overall we believe that Interactive Brokers offers the best stock trading apps in South Africa, you will be able to find what you are looking for irrespective of your needs!
If you want to know more about this platform, please check our Interactive Brokers review!
Plus500 at a glance
Plus500 is a broker based in Israel that was founded in 2008 and whose shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange. It is regulated by top-tier authorities such as FCA and CySec and is available in many countries, including South Africa.
The broker provides a mobile app named Plus500 and a web-based platform called WebTrader. Both are comprehensive and easy to use, and you can test their features by opening a demo account.
It is very important to differentiate the two different accounts you can access within the trading platforms: Plus500 CFD and Plus500 Invest.
In Plus500 Invest you will be able to trade stocks (real shares of the companies). In Plus500 CFD, on the other hand, you can only trade CFDs on several financial instruments. The distinction is important because CFDs are leveraged and risky products that may lead to losses.
Overall, the broker offers solid stock trading platforms for South African customers. The platforms provide low costs and reliability, interesting features and products for beginners and experienced traders, and good usability. As a downside though, you will not have access to ETFs. If you want to learn more about Plus500, please check our full review.
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.
The award-winning trading app XStation, available for mobiles and desktops, enables you to trade a wide range of instruments, gives you access to several technical analysis tools, allows you to copy the trades of other investors, and provides you with comprehensive educational resources. However, you will only be able to buy CFDs on stocks in South Africa. Therefore, you will not have direct exposure to stocks, only indirect exposure via the derivative. We must note that this is a complex and risky financial instrument in which most investors lose money when trading on the platform.
With no commission on the CFDs on stocks, no minimum deposit, and a free demo account that can be used for a month, XTB is a good and reliable option for beginners and advanced investors, which puts it in fourth place on our list of best stock trading apps in South Africa. If you want to find out more about the broker, please check our XTB review!
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. The combination of these features place Pepperstone as one of the best stock trading apps in South Africa.
It is important to highlight, however, that Pepperstone is a CFD broker. 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.
When making this list, we wanted to help investors in South Africa to make an educated choice when choosing the best stock trading app. Each of the trading apps that we presented has its main features and we tried to provide a diverse list that will suit the needs of different profiles of investors. In any case, we prepared this list considering the following criteria:
- Prices: the price cannot be the only aspect to be considered when choosing the trading app to invest in, but it is definitely important, you do not want to pay more for a service when you can get the same quality for cheaper prices.
- Educational resources: high-quality educational resources may be a great advantage, especially for beginners, who can use them to educate themselves before investing money.
- Range of products and markets available: Does the app offer real stocks and ETFs or only CFDs? Does it have crypto?
- Customer service: irrespective of your choice, problems almost always appear, and it is important to find trading apps developed to help you when it does happen.
- The trading app itself: of course, we took into consideration the functionalities and usability of the platform, as well as its specific features.
- Security: all platforms in the list are regulated by top-tier authorities.
The bottom line
To summarize, here’s the list of “Best stock trading apps in South Africa”:
Best stock trading apps in South Africa
|#1||Interactive Brokers||Best Overall|
|#2||Plus500||Ideal for CFDs|
|#3||XTB||Best for beginners|
|#4||Pepperstone||Best app for CFD and Forex trading|
It is hard to choose the right stock trading app in South Africa. Luckily, we helped many people in the same situation before, and we can help you now. To facilitate your choice, we listed a few of the best stock trading apps in South Africa in our opinion, comparing what they can offer and highlighting their strengths.
We know that trading stocks is a good way to achieve financial freedom, but, like everything in life, there are risks involved. We hope that our analysis was enough to help you make an educated decision that acknowledges those risks, whether you are experienced or a novice in the world of trading.
In any case, keep on studying, do due diligence, know your investment profile, and invest wisely! Please let us know if the article was helpful and if you have any other doubts or feedback!
What is the difference between a stock and stock CFD?
While the stock gives you a property right over a share of the company, the CFD does not. The stock CFD is a derivative contract where the underlying asset is the stock and where the broker promises to pay you back the difference in value between the time you opened the position and the time you close it. CFDs have a leverage effect: if you buy/sell a stock CFD and its price goes down, you will need to borrow money from the broker to keep the position open. This makes the instrument a risky option that is not suitable for beginners.