SelfWealth Review: How Secure is Selfwealth?

SelfWealth review from an experienced and long-term investor. Find out if this low-cost broker is right for you, and whether you can trust them.

SelfWealth is an online share trading platform that lets Australian investors buy stocks on the Australian Securities Exchange for a $9.50 flat-fee brokerage. SelfWealth is one of the cheapest and easiest-to-use online brokerage tools for Australians on the path to financial independence (and actually interested in personal finance), and one of only a few brokerage platforms to offer flat-fee brokerage (i.e. the price does not scale with the size of the trade).

This article will review my experience investing with SelfWealth over three years, explore their most useful features, explain how to sign up and use the platform, and provide a reflection on whether they are an appropriate tool for someone on the path to financial independence. It also explains why I no longer use SelfWealth and why I switched to Pearler to automate my investments.

If you want to hear more about SelfWealth rather than read, check out the CaptainFI Podcast SelfWealth Interview where I talk to Jarrod from SelfWealth.

SelfWealth: The Good

  • CHESS sponsored – asset protection through ASIC, ASX and OpenMarkets
  • Cheap brokerage – $9.50 flat-fee online trading
  • Access all Australian and US listed shares and ETFs
  • Easy to use and excellent mobile app
  • No-frills service keeps costs low for clients
  • Easy integration to Sharesight using email trade confirmations
  • ANZ cash account linked to trading accounts

SelfWealth: The Bad

  • No automation options are available
  • Slow customer service at times
  • AUD to USD conversion is expensive
  • SelfWealth premium creates comparison anxiety and encourages trading
  • Wealth check score, safety rating and member ranking are irrelevant and potentially misleading for beginner investors
  • Portfolio tracker does not factor dividends or stock splits and is potentially misleading – must use Sharesight for accuracy

Verdict: SelfWealth is good, but read on to find out why I switched to Pearler

CaptainFI is not a Financial Advisor and the information below is factual review information, not financial advice. This website is reader-supported, which means we may be paid by advertising on the site, or when you visit links to partner or featured sites. For more information please read my Privacy PolicyTerms of Use, and Financial Disclaimer.

selfwealth logo

Captain FI readers can head to the ‘Financial Independence Chat Australia’ group to ask for a bonus sign-up code from other users for 10 free trades valued at $95.00

SelfWealth was established in Australia by Andrew Ward in 2012 as a FINTECH (financial technology) start up that offered a new solution to the age-old investment dilemma – how do I invest smartly without losing a bunch of my cash to transaction costs and brokerage fees?

By using modern technology and adopting modern business practices to suit today’s investors needs, SelfWealth is able to offer an industry-leading flat fee brokerage cost of only $9.50, regardless of the size of the trade. This makes SelfWealth a low cost platform and disruptor in the stock broker industry which traditionally charges a sliding scale or percentage brokerage fee.

SelfWealth has since even listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. SelfWealth works in partnership with the Australian stock broker OpenMarkets, which provide CHESS sponsorship for your SelfWealth trading accounts. Selfwealth is regulated by ASIC, and holds an Australian financial services licence.

Opening your very own trading accounts with SelfWealth is quick (especially if you have an ANZ bank account), and is easy to use for both novice and seasoned investors alike.

SelfWealth features

SelfWealth offers both a conventional website client browser-based login as well as a secure phone/tablet application, which provides real time pricing of share market data. Although, the only feature you should really care about is SelfWealth’s website. Once a month you could log into your trading accounts, buy your ETF, and then log straight back out, close the laptop and walk away!

SelfWealth offers information such as a ‘wealth check’ and a ‘safety rating’. Personally I wouldn’t pay any attention to those. If you’ve got a core foundation of diversified index tracking ETFs, then you’re on the right track and don’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.

SelfWealth has $9.50 flat fee CHESS sponsored brokerage

SelfWealth offers a flat-fee brokerage of AUD $9.50 per trade for Australian investors. They don’t charge percentage transaction costs of your trades to claim higher fees, and there are no ongoing monthly fees or other commitments for the basic profile. There are other brokers that advertise $5 trades, however they are not flat fee (only valid for small trades) and others may not be CHESS sponsored.

CHESS sponsorship – SelfWealth is CHESS sponsored through OpenMarkets

You’ve probably heard about many micro-investing or stock brokering companies like Raiz Invest, CommSec Pocket, Spaceship or Stake. They are great for getting started in investing, however most of them aren’t CHESS sponsored. You can read more about micro-investing here.

Being CHESS sponsored through OpenMarkets means the ASX keeps tabs on what’s happening within the company, and provides the company’s customers with a unique holder identification number (a HIN). This means YOU directly own the shares, and NOT the company – rather than being a beneficial owner; ergo if the share trading platform goes bust, you don’t lose your shares as you have legal ownership of the shares (you actually own investments).

SelfWealth doesn’t spam my inbox

SelfWealth doesn’t spam my inbox and they don’t try and scare me into trading more often. They send out one or two emails a week with trading updates and your weekly performance and that’s it.

SelfWealth has won many awards

SelfWealth won Money Magazines ‘Best of the Best Award’ for cheapest online broker for Australian investors for three years running.

They have also won numerous awards such as Optus business awards FINTECH business of the year, the IFA Excellence award Innovator of the year and the Australian business Awards software innovation award.

SelfWealth is now a mature FINTECH start up that has brought the fight to the big banks, and is challenging the status quo of how people individually invest.

SelfWealth has an integrated cash trading account backed by ANZ

SelfWealth users will automatically get a linked ANZ cash trading account which is easy to use. Just like any other account you receive a BSB and bank account details in order to transfer money into it. Transferring money out is just as simple, and is done using the SelfWealth online browser or app. You can transfer money out into any nominated linked external account.

Some people find this a little clunky since it does take a few days for cash to transfer in both directions. This means you’ll need to plan your investments in advance before you start trading.

You can have dividend payments set up to go into your ANZ cash management account to make it easier to invest, or you can send them to your other bank accounts.

self wealth benefits
SelfWealth offers both a web client and a phone/tablet application, they offer flat fee brokerage and CHESS sponsorship too.

Why I switched to SelfWealth

I initially switched from CommSec to SelfWealth after hearing about it from the Aussie Firebug using it to set up his target portfolio, and learning just how much cheaper it is – they were half the price for brokerage. SelfWealth has one of the lowest brokerage prices in Australia, and is a very simple and easy to use platform. SelfWealth has a simple to use and eye-pleasing website and phone app, but what really interested me was the industry leading price for CHESS sponsored holdings.

Overall, I was quite satisfied with their service in general and SelfWealth offered everything I would expect from my broker.

Rather excitingly though, a new competitor to SelfWealth has emerged, enabling fully automated, CHESS-sponsored investing for a cheaper price ($6.50 flat fee brokerage). You can read about why I switched to Pearler to automate my investments.

As a quick summary – I reviewed all of the trades I made with SelfWealth over 3+ years, and found that despite my best efforts I could not stick to my enhanced dollar cost averaging investing strategy. My human brain let me down, and caused me to hesitate whenever the market went down, and to rush in whenever the market went up due to FOMO. Exactly the opposite of what I should have been doing!

I consider myself pretty well educated and fairly disciplined – several postgraduate qualifications, started and run several businesses, years of investing experience and a net worth over 7 figures – yet somehow I was unable to stick to an EXTREMELY BASIC investment strategy. Call it the human condition? So hence, I have stopped manually buying shares through SelfWealth, and have let Pearler Autoinvest take over and simply debit my bank account each fortnight.

Despite my switch, this SelfWealth review still remains useful for anyone considering using this low-fee, online share trading platform.

2024 Update: I now use Pearler to automate my investing

How to sign up to SelfWealth

Signing up to SelfWealth is pretty straightforward. It’s totally free and you don’t even have to transfer any of your holdings across if you don’t want to – you can start a completely new HIN and list of holdings.

Bear in mind, the process is not instant due to strict government anti money laundering regulations. Their process takes a few days as the required checks and balances need to be done. Personally, my SelfWealth account took 4 days to set up, and I had settled my first share purchase within the week!

Information you will need for an online SelfWealth application

Before you start the application process, you will need to make sure you have the following personal information details ready

  • Your personal details (name, address, DOB, contact details etc)
  • If you want to transfer shares from an alternate broker you will need your previous HIN (usually starts with an X)
  • Your bank account details you wish to link in order to transfer cash INTO and OUT of the SelfWealth Brokerage cash account.

Types of SelfWealth accounts you can create

There are a few different options when completing the online application, depending on your personal circumstances.

self wealth account types
Self Wealth offer a variety of account types

Steps to open a SelfWealth account online

  1. Find a SelfWealth bonus sign up code and enter the site through a link
  2. Register your details; enter your contact details, create an account password and review and accept the terms and conditions
  3. Verify your email by clicking the verification link sent to you by SelfWealth
  4. Complete the online application

How to buy Shares using SelfWealth

Buying shares using SelfWealth is easy.

Step 1 – Log into your SelfWealth account

Open up the SelfWealth homepage on your desktop and click ‘login’ in the top right-hand corner. Once logged in, head on over to your Dashboard on the left-hand side of the page – under ‘Trading’ select ‘Place Orders’

Step 2 – Place a buy order on SelfWealth

Clicking ‘Place Orders’ will open up a screen ‘Place Orders – Buy and Sell’. To place a trade for a specific ETF, enter the ASX ‘short code’ or the ETF name in the ‘Search Stock: Code or name’ bar.

Fill out the quantity tab and then select ‘Limit’ for your Price type. The limit price ensures you don’t buy anything above this price (and similarly, when selling a stock ensures you don’t sell anything below this price).

Limit orders are the sensible price type to use – market orders will mean your cost fluctuates with supply and demand – it could cost you more or less (the ASX is obliged to give ‘everyone’ the best deal they can and settle on a fair price).

Simply play around with the ‘Quantity’ and ‘Price per unit’ tabs until you are satisfied with the deal. When you’re ready, click ‘Review order’ which will take you to a confirmation page. Simply then confirm the order to make it go live.

Your order will now be placed in the queue at the Australian Securities Exchange, and when a seller is matched to your buy order, the trade will be executed and the shares will transfer to your name, and the money will be deducted from your brokerage account.

Hot tip: make sure you have enough money in your brokerage account to settle the trade (don’t worry, this is a self-correcting error as it won’t let you make the trade if you don’t have the cash).

Step 3 – Settlement of your trade on SelfWealth

The trade normally takes T+2 or 2 days to settle, by which time you will get a confirmation from the share registry that the shares are now listed in your name and you will be asked to confirm your details, link a bank account and whether you wish to participate in any Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRP) if it’s available for your ETF.

If an ETF is a cross-listed fund domiciled in the US, you will need to fill out a W-8BEN-E form to send to the US Internal Revenue Service. Australia and the United States have a tax treaty, and this form will stop you getting taxed at the full rate by both countries. Your share registry will facilitate this submission and many have templates that are super easy with informative guides on how to do so.

Step 4 (optional) – Import or confirm your SelfWealth trade with Sharesight for tax record keeping purposes

This is optional, but it is good practice to keep a record of your trades for tax purposes – you need to be able to calculate your share cost base if you ever sell for capital gains tax purposes.

I personally use Sharesight since it’s totally free if you have under ten shares (making it perfect for ETF holders). It fully generates a complete tax statement for all of my share purchases, sales and dividends I receive. Sharesight can also import your SelfWealth data making it super easy.

self wealth integration with sharesight
It’s super easy to integrate your Self wealth account to Sharesight

You can check out the comprehensive review I did on ShareSight Here.

You can use Sharesight’s email trade confirmation importing tool – SelfWealth sends an email directly to an inbox created by Sharesight, and your share purchases automatically get added to your Sharesight account! It literally does not get any easier than this!

Having issues using SelfWealth?

If you’re having trouble buying shares using SelfWealth, you can take advantage of their helpful support team.

SelfWealth US share trading

BLUF: Don’t bother with Selfwealth international trading (US share trading)

As Jarrod From SelfWealth announced during the CaptainFI Podcast SelfWealth Interview, SelfWealth now offers US share trading. When the team from SelfWealth reached out and asked if I would beta test the platform for them of course I jumped at the opportunity. The following was what I found out.

To open a US share trading account with SelfWealth I was required to submit a W8-BEN-E form to the US IRS (tax department) which is standard for any US share trading platforms.

I transferred AUD$1000 across to my USD portfolio. After that, the process is identical to buying an ASX listed stock, but of course you need to toggle over to your US portfolio and have transferred AUD-USD beforehand.

I bought a few Apple shares, and after waiting a few months experimenting, I eventually sold these shares to take a ‘nice’ 10% profit (14% capital gain less 4% currency loss on the USD to AUD front).

But how did that actually work out, and did I really make 10%?

  • AUD$1000 transferred through SelfWealth turned into USD$725 – fee USD$6
  • Bought 6 APPL shares for USD$683.34 – fee USD$9.50
  • Sold 6 AAPL shares for USD$801.36 – fee USD$9.50
  • Exchanged USD$824.21 for AUD$1,056.10 – fee USD$5

So, what was my profit? In the end it was AUD$56.10 (USD$43). It started at USD $118 in terms of the actual trade profit – which should have been AUD$153.

After factoring in USD$19 of brokerage (AUD$25) since SelfWealth didn’t let me use my free trades for US trading, $11 in currency conversion fees of 60 basis points (0.6%), and then a currency fluctuation of USD $45 (strengthened Aussie dollar), I actually walked away with USD$43 profit, or about AUD$56.

Now I am liable to pay full capital gains tax on this event – roughly $20 or so. So my net profit is $36, and an accounting nightmare, for about an hour worth of work. Bottom line – don’t bother stock picking or trading shares – it is a total mug’s game and most of the time you lose money.

If you wanted to use the SelfWealth US share trading to get exposure to index funds at low prices, you could check out the VTI index fund ETF. Some of the Index fund ETFs listed on the US stock market have lower MERs than on the ASX – however there ARE issues with foreign ownership and tax meaning I prefer to own them through the ASX listed funds. Also I am currently purchasing VTI anyway which is actually brokerage free using the Stake microinvesting platform.

In summary: If you REALLY wanted to buy individual US shares like Apple, Tesla etc, then you can certainly do this through SelfWealth US share trading, but personally I wouldn’t bother.

SelfWealth Premium review

BLUF: Don’t bother with SelfWealth Premium

When I first signed up to SelfWealth, I got access to a trial of SelfWealth Premium – but of course I promptly ignored it because I thought it was just ‘noise’. Since I was helping the team out with their US share trading beta test, they also gave me an extended trial for SelfWealth premium so I could give it a proper look over and write up my thoughts here.

SelfWealth Premium portfolio analysis

The first thing I wanted to do was look over my portfolio analysis. A quick look over the past 12 months showed some interesting patterns about when I bought versus portfolio performance. Interestingly enough, you can see I pretty much bought consistently throughout the year. Interestingly, not as frequently as I had originally planned. Ideally, I would have made a shares purchase each fortnight as soon as I got paid my wage – but it looks like I typically made one purchase a month.

Also, after the COVID-19 crash I saw my LICs all trading at premiums to the net asset value, so I sold them and moved into ETF holdings which I reasoned let me cash in on their popularity and switch to an efficient lower cost ETF while avoiding any tax burden.

Interestingly, it looks like I bought my VTS shares right at the bottom of my portfolio dip. I had also bought them two months prior, close to the top before the ‘crash’. I also bought them throughout the recovery. This is one of the benefits of regular investments, the benefit of dollar cost averaging. If anything, this is strengthening my strategy to just ignore the noise of the market and continue to make regular investments into the share market (into ETFs) whenever I have the money.

SelfWealth Premium indexes

The next thing I wanted to check out was some of the SelfWealth indexes. I don’t fully understand these, but there is an option through SelfWealth where they actually prompt you on how to align your portfolio with any of these. You can actually choose any of these as a target portfolio, and then compare your portfolios performance against it.

selfwealth review

To keep things in line with my ETF focus, I thought I would check out their ETF index option. This was the 10 most popular ETFs held by SelfWealth members, in 2021, currently broken down into the following;

selfwealth review

When I used the comparisons tool to have a look at how the SelfWealth index performed against my portfolio (and against the ASX300), it showed my portfolio (green) sat somewhere between the market (purple) and the target ETF portfolio (blue). Nice to know I was outperforming the market, but sad to know someone else was doing better than me (hmm the classic investor greed predicament!).

selfwealth review

The SelfWealth Premium ‘Align with Target Portfolio’ tool told me that in order to reach this target portfolio, I would need to make 11 transactions – at $9.50 per trade.

selfwealth review

SelfWealth premium then breaks this down even further with an exact list of transactions I would need to make to align with this index with the ‘Buy and Sell orders’ page.

selfwealth review

I had a look at pretty much all of these ETFs, and I had a 27% alignment with this portfolio because I held Betashares A200 and Vanguard VEU and Vanguard VTS Exchanged Traded Funds.

I had also previously held the Blackrock iShares IVV and Vanguard VAS ETFs, however I sold them due to overlapping holdings (i.e. VTS and A200 cover this market exposure for me). I don’t need to hold overlapping holdings because I am pretty confident these companies are not going to go bust, and even if they do – I still own the underlying holdings personally, so I can just switch across to the other ETF provider.

I have not held but I have written extensively on the Vanguard VDHG and the Vanguard VGS Exchange Traded Funds, including why they are not for me and why I choose to ‘roll my own’ using A200, VTS and VEU. However, depending on your personal circumstance they could be an awesome choice!

I have not written on IOO, NDQ but I may do so in the future. I have briefly looked into them for my own personal reasons, and based on this brief analysis decided that they were not for me. This is due to high management costs, and very top-heavy exposure – IOO and NDQ are both top 100 ETFs (IOO is global, and NDQ is top 100 US) but have very similar holdings.

Finally, VAP is Vanguard’s property ETF – which basically holds a bunch of Real Estate Investment Trusts. I have more than enough exposure with my investment property and when considering whether or not to invest in stocks vs property, leverage was the key point of difference for me. I can leverage property by getting a mortgage, whereas I cannot easily leverage shares. Similarly, I cannot leverage VAP (unless I margin trade which I don’t really want to do).

The bottom line – the SelfWealth social indexes are interesting, but I don’t think you should really pay that much attention to them. The reason is simple – just because many people invest in something DOESN’T automatically make it a good investment. Further, if you literally just ‘chase’ these portfolios using the target portfolio feature and re-balancing features, this will cost you loads in brokerage and won’t guarantee you any performance. Remember the age old adage: previous performance is no indicator of future performance?

Finally, there is no critical oversight of what these indexed portfolio’s actually hold. As you saw, the top most popular ETFs have a lot of overlapping holdings, which make tracking this index inefficient. I personally want to know what the actual underlying holdings are, and focus on that to determine which ETFs I hold. Looking at these indexes just made me feel anxious and confused, and just reinforced how much I LOVE my simple buy and hold investing strategy of a portfolio of index tracking ETFs and LICs to give me global share market exposure.

SelfWealth review conclusion

In my opinion, SelfWealth is a great way for Australian investors to buy shares, especially those on the path to financial independence and only holding a few stocks. While I’ve recently switched to another broker for my online trading, selfwealth members enjoy $9.50 flat fee pricing structure, CHESS-sponsored structure (you get a unique holder identification number), and general no fuss, no frills, simple and easy to use system. This makes SelfWealth a good choice for people chasing financial independence.

Sure, it might take a while for transfers to go through to deposit cash, and it can take a while to get customer support, but I think this is a very small price to pay for such low cost brokerage, security and overall a pretty good basic account trading system to trade Australian shares. International trading on Selfwealth was a bit of a let down with excessive FX exchange and brokerage fees – a lesson in making sure you read the relevant product disclosure statement before using it! I also thought that the Selfwealth premium account was not worth it.

I enjoyed my time using the Selfwealth trading platform, although thanks to a new Aussie Fintech I have been able to fully automate my investment decisions and so have switched to using a new broker to purchase my ETFs. Its always worth learning about other brokers, so read on below to find out more about Australia’s cheapest online broker…

2024 Update: I now use Pearler to automate my investing

A competitor to challenge SelfWealth

Recently a new share trading platform called Pearler has launched in Australia, and is offering improved functionality, some brokerage-free ETFs and automatic regular investment functionality for totally hands-off investment decisions. Their flat fee brokerage is also a very low $6.50 per trade.


Frequently Asked Questions about SelfWealth

Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the SelfWealth brokerage platform.

How much does SelfWealth cost?

SelfWealth charges a flat-fee $9.50 brokerage and the base level account has no monthly subscriptions. A SelfWealth Premium account is $29 per month. US share trading has a flat fee USD $9.50 brokerage.

What is SelfWealth Premium?

SelfWealth Premium grants access to the SelfWealth Premium portfolio analysis, premium indices tools and live pricing data. You can sign up for a FREE 90 day trial of Self wealth premium.

Selfwealth Premium vs free

A base level free SelfWealth account is all you need for trading. The SelfWealth Premium portfolio analysis and SelfWealth premium indices tools are not worth bothering with, in my opinion.

How much is a selfwealth premium account?

SelfWealth premium costs $29 per month, or $240 per year. There is also a free 90 day trial of premium.

How do you buy shares on SelfWealth?

To buy shares through SelfWealth you must first register and open an account. Once you have an open account, fund the linked cash trading account, and follow the examples in this guide to make your first purchase. To upgrade to SelfWealth premium, simply follow the prompts from your browser when logged in.

How to buy US shares on SelfWealth?

SelfWealth can be used to buy US shares. The process is identical to buying Australian shares, however you must first toggle from AUD to USD on the top left hand corner of your screen, under your portfolio section. You must first transfer AUD to USD to fund your US cash trading account.

How much is the Selfwealth Foreign exchange FX currency fee?

SelfWealth charges USD $6 per $1000 AUD. This is approximately .85% depending on the AUD/USD exchange rate, and is a very expensive FX fee for trading platforms.

Where to find a SelfWealth referral code

The most common place to find SelfWealth referral codes are on social media.

How does SelfWealth make money?

SelfWealth makes money by charging brokerage fees on investors trading shares, as well as from subscriptions to SelfWealth Premium. SelfWealth also has access to valuable trading information and insights which is valuable and can be sold to institutional investors and fund managers.

Is SelfWealth safe?

SelfWealth is fully CHESS sponsored making it one of the safest brokerage platforms on par with CommSec, NAB trade and Pearler.

How secure is SelfWealth?

SelfWealth is considered very secure. SelfWealth uses bank grade security, is fully CHESS sponsored by the ASX, and is also a publicly traded ASX company itself, meaning it has significant oversight and scrutiny from the ASIC and must provide comprehensive financial reporting. Your linked cash trading account funds are safe as they are physically held with ANZ bank and backed by the government guarantee.

Is SelfWealth a broker?

Yes, SelfWealth is a full service stock broker.

Which is the cheapest stock broker?

The cheapest CHESS sponsored Australian stock broker is OpenTrader, followed by Pearler and SelfWealth.

How do I buy SelfWealth shares?

Buying and selling SelfWealth shares can be done on any Australian stock broker using ticker code ASX:SWF. To buy and sell shares using SelfWealth, use the detailed instructions in this review.

Where do I find my SelfWealth referral code?

You can find your SelfWealth referral code link in your account page once you have created a SelfWealth account.

Can you short in SelfWealth?

Yes. You can short sell the stock market in SelfWealth by purchasing Betashares BEAR Australian equities Bear hedge fund or BBOZ Australian equities strong bear fund (geared). You cannot however short individual stocks in SelfWealth.

Can you trade options on SelfWealth?

No, you currently cannot trade options on SelfWealth. However, this feature will soon be offered to investors wanting to trade options on the US stock markets.

Can you buy ETFs on SelfWealth?

Yes, you can buy any Australian and US listed ETFs on SelfWealth.

Can you transfer stocks between apps?

Yes, SelfWealth is CHESS sponsored so you can transfer stocks between apps from any other CHESS sponsored brokerage platform to SelfWealth.

Who owns SelfWealth?

SelfWealth was created by Andrew Ward in 2012, and it has since been listed as a public company, meaning anyone can buy shares in SelfWealth. The ASX and ASIC list who owns the respective number of shares and this information can be freely found online.

How does SelfWealth work?

SelfWealth works like any other CHESS-sponsored Australian brokerage platform. After creating an account, you can find your trading account and when you make share trades you are billed to your linked cash trading account. Shares are then held in your name against your HIN on the CHESS registry.

Share trading platforms and brokers to choose from

Be sure to check out the following reviews on brokers that offer online trading to buy Australian and international shares. As always, make sure you are fully educated before making a choice on any particular one.

Big 4 banks

Fintechs and smaller banks

Microinvesting platforms

  • Raiz Invest – An awesome tool that lets you ’round-up’ your purchases to the nearest whole amount and invest the difference
  • CommSec Pocket – CommBank’s response to micro-investing tools
  • Stake – A cool investing tool that lets you shop for more than 3,500 American shares and ETFs with zero brokerage fees
  • Pearler Micro – Pearler’s Micro investing tool that lets you invest into 8 ETF based funds using Auto invest and roundups.


  • Stockspot – A Roboadvisor which automatically invests your money into a mix of ETFs (Shares, Bonds, Cash and Gold) according to your personal situation and risk tolerance

Want more resources and information? Check out my monthly net worth updates as well as my Personal Resources page where I share all of the tools I use to reach financial independence.

Financial Disclaimer

Financial Disclaimer: CaptainFI is NOT a financial advisor and does not hold an AFSL. This is not financial Advice!

I am not a financial adviser and I do not hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL). In this article, I am giving you factual, balanced information without judgment or bias, to the best of my ability. I do not know your personal circumstance or financial situation. I am not giving you any general or personal financial advice about what you should do with your investments. Just because I do something with my money (or use a particular service or platform) doesn’t mean it is automatically appropriate for your personal circumstances. I do not recommend nor endorse any financial or investment product, and my usage or opinion of any product should not be interpreted as an endorsement, advertisement, or intent to influence.

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I can only provide factual information based on my journey to Financial Independence, and that is provided for general informational and entertainment purposes only. I make no guarantee about the performance of any product, and although I strive to keep the information accurate and updated as it changes, I make no guarantee about the correctness of reviews or information posted. When it comes to investments, past performance is no indicator of future performance as returns can be volatile, reflecting rises and falls of the underlying investments.

Remember – you always need to do your own independent research and due diligence before making any transaction. This includes reading and analysing Product Disclosure Statements, Terms and Conditions, Service Arrangement and Fee Structures. It is always smart to compare products and discuss them, but ultimately you need to take responsibility for your use of any particular product and make sure it suits your personal circumstances. If you need help and would like to obtain personal financial advice about which investment options or platforms may be right for you, please talk to a licensed financial adviser or AFSL holder – you can take the first steps to find a financial advisor by reading this interview, or by visiting the ASIC financial adviser register and searching in your area.

For more information please read my Privacy PolicyTerms of Use, and Financial Disclaimer.

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11 thoughts on “SelfWealth Review: How Secure is Selfwealth?

  1. Just signed up for SelfWealth… now having to wait a few days for it to all get approved. Hope it works

  2. I’ve been using Selfwealth for the last 9 months. I found this article very interesting.
    Just one insight, and dont be misled.
    If you sign up for the free service with Selfwealth, dont get misled by seeing investors having 50% gains etc in a day. You can see how many stocks they have, usually 1 or 2. I suggest they have caught 1 hot share, dont trust what you think your seeing.
    Once you have a spread, you will find you dont get those big bumps in the road. Just remember, shares can go down just as fast as they may go up.

    1. Very True Peter, I find this feature very annoying myself and ignore it. I try to only log in whenever I am going to make a trade and I don’t need to see any comparisons, ranking or ‘FOMO’ inducing flashy graphics to tell me how much I am missing out on haha.

  3. Great article, but just a point (rather important one), Selfwealth isn’t a stockbroker. Only companies listed on ASX’s find a broker page are Participants of the ASX and are allowed to be called stockbrokers. SelfWealth’s stockbroker is OpenMarkets same as Pearler (& superhero and many others). Stockbrokers have very strict rules around their operations that make it prohibitive and expensive.

    1. That’s a really interesting point Jackson, thanks for the pick up! I had been using the word out of context I think, perhaps I need to switch it to Securities brokerage company? Interesting to note that OpenMarkets are the back-end behind many of these commercial brokerage companies and start ups

  4. Hi,

    I am just wondering if you have an opinion on think markets and there $8 trades? As I can’t seem to find much information anywhere on the internet thanks.

    1. G’day Ethan – I haven’t actually come across think markets yet, $8 trades sounds attractive but I will try and look into it and see what they are all about. Ultimately, since I am only making a trade once or twice per month, the brokerage isn’t actually a huge deal for me anymore. I more just want a tool that is easy to use and automated so I can prevent myself from sabotaging myself (even unintentionally). Thanks for the suggestion

  5. Hi, I’m new to investing and am trying to understand what platform would be the best value to start buying ETFs with small amounts e.g. $100 – 500 per month. If I was to invest monthly with small amounts with SelfWeath, my understanding is that the $9.50 brokerage fee would be quite expensive compared with something like Vanguard Personal Investor.
    I’m definitely a small fry in this picture, but I feel that this is often overlooked in these reviews, for people starting out with small amounts and building their ability to buy at scale where a $9.50 brokerage fee is actually cheaper.
    Or am I just a bit confused?

    1. G’day Lauren. Yes there is always going to be this discussion when it comes to small amounts, and the managed fund versions could work out cheaper. My personal strategy would be to use the ETF versions, and my personal choice is to only ever invest in $1000 or more chunks, such that brokerage is less than 1% of the purchase value. Microinvesting is a great way to get started – but it does produce micro gains. The benefit is in the behavioural change, which is like 80% of the power behind investing. If there is a way you can bump up your savings, side hustles etc so you can be investing $1000+ per month, then I’d be looking at something like SelfWealth or Pearler.

  6. Great article, I thought to sign in, however went to read the reviews and not many people are happy about this app, also many things told in this article some people say is not like that according to their experience. I am confuse now, it is good to know and listen other people experiences before making a decision.

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