The Australian-based company can give locals access to both native and global markets.
The company boasts impressive benefits and many accolades. Is the hype really all that? Read this review to find out.
What Is Bell Direct Australia
Bell Direct is the trading arm of the Bell Financial Group. Other companies in the group include Bell Potter Securities and Bell Potter Capital. The broker was founded in 2006 by Arnie Selvarajah, who now acts as CEO.
The broker offers financial products for margin lending as well as cash management. The company prides itself in offering “integrated and competitive account management” services. Bell Direct services are complemented by financial research conducted by Bell Potter, the capital arm of the company.
Bell Direct is licensed in Australia and is regulated by the ASIC. The license number of the company is AFSL 314341. The company is a trading participant of ASX Limited Group and Chi-X under this license. Bell Direct cannot provide customers with investment advice. ASIC warns clients to consider “own financial situation” before trading on platforms like Bell Direct.
Financial Instruments on Offer
You can trade any of the following financial instruments with a Bell Direct account:
- Any equity or security listed under ASX
- Interest rate securities
- Stock options
- Managed Funds
- Exchange Traded Bond units (XTBs)
In addition, customers can create a margin lending account. The broker offers a personal trading fund management option via a tool called mFund. Bell Direct offers a 1-second placement guarantee for all ASX securities.
Trading Options and Fees
Clients have multiple trading options with a Bell Direct account. For example, Aussies with SMSF plans can invest with Bell Direct using these plans. The broker offers separate services for including margin trades in SMSF plans.
Customers can conduct ETO trades too. The company facilitates both online and over-the-phone trading. Their platform accompanies a mobile app for trading on the go.
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Bell Direct fees are highly competitive and are much more reasonable compared to similar services. Their commission fee is just $15 for trades up to $10,000. For $25,000 trades, the commission fee is $25. There are frequent trader discounts on offer. If you place at least 10 trades per month, the commission is only $13. If you place more than 30 trades per month, the commission is just $10.
Bell Direct may charge commission fees as a percentage as well. If the number of trades exceeds 10 in a month, the commission may be the flat amount described above or 0.08%. The company charges whatever is higher. A good alternative to Bell Direct is Admiral Markets.
There are separate charges for ETO and mFund trading. The commission starts at $30 for both. The commission fees vary between online and phone trading types. Commissions for online trades are cheaper. But you may be charged as much as $60 for certain types of phone trading.
Overall, the company is highly transparent regarding fees and charges. You can check out a table of commissions online. Bell Direct fully discloses all charges in detail.
Clients who open accounts on Bell Direct Australia, can benefit from the following:
- Financial research—Clients get access to broker research conducted by the Bell Financial Group. These include detailed market reports, financial indicators, and key measures from Morningstar. Clients can get recommendations from 20 professional brokers. Reports also include business news and announcements from ASX.
- Trading ideas—These are suggested from Bell Direct for either bullish or bearish trading. The information is based on Recognia chart patterns. You could get six per day directly in your inbox. Alerts are mailed at a time most convenient for clients, such as in the mornings.
- Tax reporting—The annual financial report from Bell Direct includes all the information you need for filing taxes. The year-end report will include details like holding valuations, sample reports, and account summaries for dividends and cash.
- Mobile apps—Use the corresponding mobile apps to trade en route. The mobile app includes tools to track your investment portfolio and to for getting stock quotes.
- Trade charting—The latest feature from Bell Direct is an HTML5 charting tool. This interactive program allows clients to chart data for better understanding of finances.
Bell Direct gets rave reviews for its customer service. Unlike most companies, Bell Direct isn’t reliant just on live chat. Clients get an array of options to seek support, including email, live chat, online message, phone, fax, and snail mail.
Response time is reasonable and quite fast. Expect a response within one or two business days, depending on the mode of communication you choose. The quickest way to get help is via online chat. The company uses an actual customer representative instead of a bot for online conversations. As a result, the quality of support is very high.
Bell Direct Australia – The Downsides
Previous customers have complained about certain account-related technical issues using the service. Minor things could cause problems for clients. For example, if you need to change your address, there’s a formal, paper-based process that can take some time. It can’t be done quickly online or over the phone.
The trading platform is not as smooth as what some other brokers offer. Trades may take up to 3 days to settle. The Bell Direct platform is suitable for basic trading. But it may feel clunky and slow if you are a high rolling trader.
Unfortunately, Bell Direct doesn’t offer cryptocurrency trading options. Bitcoins and similar digital currencies are not part of Bell Direct’s financial instruments for profiting from price movement.
Bell Direct offers a number of useful features for new investors. The company offers sophisticated trading tools that are not usually offered by competitors. Bell Direct is transparent about commissions and is licensed in Australia. These are the main strong points.
The company has some weaknesses as well. However, overall, Bell Direct stands out as a marginal trading broker for casual and professional investors. The prices are highly reasonable compared to those of close competitors. Users can benefit from reporting tools as well. Therefore, you should definitely give Bell Direct Australia a try.