Stock brokers, Financial Advisers and Online Share Trading platforms all offer unique advantages and disadvantages.  Investors should ensure they select the appropriate service based upon their individual requirements.


A stockbroker has specialist knowledge in the share market and can assist you with buying and selling shares. A stockbroker’s role is to provide general or retail advice relating to shares and how they might fit within your portfolio. It is however important to note that a stockbroker will not work with you to provide an holistic or overarching financial plan or investment strategy that goes beyond buying and selling shares. Stockbrokers will also charge a fee for each transaction.

Online Broking Services

An online brokering service does not offer advice and can facilitate trades for a small fee. You are in complete control and you decide when you buy and sell. The risks for new and unsophisticated investors include: over-rating your expertise, convincing yourself of good investments despite a lack of evidence or due diligence and reduced diversity of investments.

Financial Adviser

A financial adviser works with you to build a holistic financial strategy in which investments in shares may be one component. It is their job to help you find investments that will help you to achieve your goals. When working to identify an appropriate equity investment strategy, a financial adviser will also take your age, tolerance for risk, budget, cash flows and life stage into account as much as the actual equity investment itself.

Working with a financial planner has many benefits which include

  • Provide an overview of how equities work
  • Identify various methods of equity investing which may be suitable to your situation
  • Work with you to develop an investment strategy
  • Provide advice on how various investments could work together (equities, cash, property, etc)
  • Forecast cash flows, identify risks and opportunities
  • Provide technical assistance with trades
  • Provide ongoing support, education and reviews to keep your goals and investments on track