EasyEquities Review

EasyEquities is a subsidiary of the South African JSE (Johannesburg Stock Exchange) listed Purple Group Ltd (PPL) and is an authorized financial service provider.

Established in 2014, EasyEquities aims to address inequality in South Africa when it comes to investing in the financial markets and to democratize equity investments through its patented Fractional Share Rights model.

The company’s platform gives traders and investors access to buy and sell shares of companies based in SA and offers international stocks through its EasyFX partnership.

EasyEquities is an authorized Financial Services Provider under No: FSP22588, providing investors confidence in its safety.

Pros and cons

EasyEquities‘ simple-to-use mobile App makes it easy for novice investors to get instant exposure to the markets. The firm also has fun educational tools, including video editorials and a community blog.

However, more experienced traders do not have access to an advanced trading platform, and its product offering is also limited.  In addition, the broker has no Live Chat, 24/7 Online Customer support, or contact details listed.  The only way to submit an inquiry is by submitting a ticket through the website, which could be time-consuming.

  • No minimum first deposit
  • Great for beginners to enter the stock markets 
  • Simple and easy set up procedure
  • Limited product offerings
  • No advanced trading platform
  • No Live Chat or 24-hour support

Main features

Country of regulation

South Africa, Australia

Withdrawal fee

$10 per share

Products offered

Stock, ETF, Forex, Baskets, Bundles, Crypto

Minimum deposit

€0

Deposit with bank card

Yes

Depositing with electronic wallet

Not available

Time to open an account

2-3 business days

Number of base currencies supported

3

Demo account provided

Yes

Fees

Although EasyEquities prides itself on not charging the usual fees traditional brokers do and requires no minimums to get started, commissions are considerably higher when compared to our other brokers.  

The Fees listed below are split between securities, ETFs & Crypto Assets, and Unit Trusts.

  • No non-trading fees
  • Low stock and ETF fees
  • High commission structure
  • Fees for deposits on debit/credit cards

                                                                       EasyEquities Costs

Description Securities, ETFs & Crypto Assets Unit Trusts
Minimum first deposit N/A
Broker Commission 25 basis points or 0.25% N/A
Securities Transfer Tax (STT) & Administration* 0.25% of value traded N/A
Investor Protection Levy (IPL) & Administration 0.0002% of value traded N/A
Settlement & Administration 0.075% of value traded N/A
VAT on Costs 15% on brokerage settlement & investor protection levy 15% of annual unit Trust Platform fee
Monthly platform fee No charge

                                                                       EasyEquities Costs

Description Securities, ETFs & Crypto Assets Unit Trusts
Portfolio transfers in No charge
Account transfers in No charge
Portfolio transfers out R150 per counter / share
Account transfers out R150 per counter / share
Cash transfer out R150
Voucher fee 1% (excl. VAT) of Rand value
Recurring investment fee 10 basis points or 0.1% of Rand value
Easly settlement fee 20 basis points or 0.2% of the Rand value N/A

                                                                       EasyEquities Costs

Description Securities, ETFs & Crypto Assets Unit Trusts
Reporting fee No charge
Telephone trades R50 per trade N/A
SMS Notification No charge
Credit Card charges R1.60 + 2.3% of Rand value
Debit order processing fee R0 per transaction
Debit Order failure charge R100 per transaction
Secure Internet Deposit (SID) R1.60 + 1.5% of Rand value

                                                                       EasyEquities Costs

Description Securities, ETFs & Crypto Assets Unit Trusts
Early settment fee 20 basis points or 0.2% of the Rand value N/A
Dematerialisation fee R500 N/A
EasyFX transfer fee 50 basis points or 0.5% of the amount transferred N/A
Annual Unit Trust Platform Fee N/A 25 basis points or 0.25% of net asset value
Advanced Order Fee 35 basis points or 0.35% of value traded N/A

Account Opening

 

EasyEquities is a South African broker that allows foreign nationals living in the country to open a South African account. Foreign nationals living outside of SA can qualify to open an International USD (American) or UAD (Australian) account.

It is, however, unclear whether this applies to all residents in countries outside of South Africa, and verifying an account could take up to one week.

  • No minimum deposit
  • Fully online account opening
  • Slow account verification

Account types

 

Based on ownership, you can choose from three account types:
* If you are a South African citizen, you can also apply for a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)

Retail

Kids

Corporate

How to access your account

Online application

Select account type

Verify suitability

Submit required documents

Account opening at EasyEquities is a fully online process.

When you open an account, you need to follow a few steps such as selecting your country of residence, followed by the account type you wish to open.  You are then required to add personal information and enter your residence address. Complete a few questions about your wealth and employment status, and lastly, verify your identity and provide proof of residency.

The verification process is cumbersome since you can only upload PNG files, and all documents must be in color (black and white copies are not accepted).  Account approval can also take up to a week to complete.

Deposit and withdrawal

Bank transfer deposits are free of charge, but this option is only available for ZAR, AUD, and USD accounts.  You can deposit by credit card if you have a ZAR-denominated account but costs ZAR 1.60 + 2.3% of the deposited value.

You can choose from 3 base currencies, ZAE, AUD, and USD, a selection that lags strongly behind competitors like Interactive Brokers, which has 22 base currencies.  You will be charged a conversion fee for any monetary unit other than the base currencies.

You can only make deposits from accounts in your name, and bank transfers may take several days to complete.

Like deposits, EasyEquities offers free withdrawal.  You can use bank transfers for all currencies, but credit/debit cards are only available for ZAR accounts, and electronic wallets are not accepted.

(Also note that hefty credit card fees apply for each deposit)

Bank withdrawals can take up to two working days to complete, and you can only withdraw money to accounts that are in your name.

Trading platforms

Web Trading platform

EasyEquities uses an in-house, user-friendly web trading platform with clear fee reports and great search functions rather than using a third party.

However, a two-step login is unavailable, customizability is limited as the size and positions of tabs cannot be changed, and the platform is only available in English.

Search functions on the platform are good, with easy access to assets.  The filtering tool allows you to narrow your searches by investment type and categories, but you can also search manually.

The platform allows you to display and sort results of up to 48 on a page alphabetically.

You can use only two order types (market, limit, stop) and there is also just one order time limit available – Good ’til canceled (GTC).

Price alerts and notifications are unavailable.  More positively, however, you can easily check the costs you paid and the value of your portfolio.

Mobile trading platform

The mobile trading platform is user-friendly with good search functions and price alerts that make it easy to trade.  The in-house platform is only available in English and order types and login options are limited.

Similar to the Web trading platform, EasyEquities only requires one-step login which lacks the extra layer of security and biometric authentication is also unavailable.

Search functions and order types are the same as those on the web platform.

Though you can set alerts on the EasyEquities mobile platform, the feature is only available for South African and Australian assets.

Desktop trading platform

EasyEquities do not offer a Desktop trading platform.

Markets and Products

Markets & currencies

Order Types

ETFs

Stocks & ETFs

You can invest in stocks, ETFs, and some pre-defined portfolios, but many other instruments like bonds and forex are missing.

Though EasyEquities gives access to South African, Australian, and US markets, only a limited amount of stocks are available from US markets.

Fractional shares

You can invest a fraction of a share with EasyEquities.  This means that many retail investors who cannot afford an expensive stock, like Amazon, can buy a portion of the share. 

If you continually purchase the same fractional shares, the stock and its value will eventually add up to make one stock.

Fractional shares as CFDs (contract for difference) without leverage/margin is also available but counterparty risk applies.

Baskets & Bundles

You can invest in a variety of pre-selected shares called bundles and baskets through a dedicated individual that buys and sells shares in your portfolio. 

However, additional management fees apply.

With baskets and bundles, you cannot add any shares after it has been selected, but baskets allow you to remove any shares you don’t want.

Research

Charting

Charting tools are poor since there are no indicators or trendlines to use and can only choose from 5 different time frames.

Fundamental data

EasyEquities does not provide fundamental data such as annual reports.

Newsfeed

You can access a link to Yahoo! Finance when you click on a stock, but there is no dedicated news flow section on the platform itself. 

EasyEquities offers a research portal with updates on economic conditions, market trends, and general investing commentary.

Customer Support

EasyEquities could improve on its customer support. The broker offers no live chat or customer support, and contact details (email addresses and phone numbers) are not easily accessible on their web page.

You can create an online support ticket, but response time is slow, often inadequate and only offered in English. Phone support is rather useless, however, its FAQ page offers some insightful information for novice investors.

Education

EasyEquities’ educational material is quite useful, with a selection of demo accounts, trading platform tutorials, and webinars.

The broker has an interactive community through social media networks and offers a selection of blog articles that covers market trends, opinions, and further investment education.

 

  • Demo Account
  • Trading platform tutorials
  • Educational videos
  • Strong social media community

The video tutorials offer general investor insights while also giving exposure to successful EasyEquities investors.  

The research and analysis forum provides industry-leading experts’ analysis of JSE-listed stocks, U.S. stocks, and ETFs.

In addition, the EasyEquities Academy allows investors to test their investing knowledge through an in-house training center.

  • No up-to-date market News Feed
  • Blog content is limited

Safety

EasyEquities is regulated by the top-tier ASIC, while its parent company, Purple Group Limited, is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Please note that although EasyEquities operates through two legal entities, it does not provide any investor protection against bankruptcy, and any amounts invested are not guaranteed.

More specifically, if EasyEquities cannot return segregated assets, any losses will not be compensated.

EasyEquities falls under First World Trader proprietary Limited in South Africa and is authorized by the country’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) as a Financial Services Provider (FSP).

Regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), EasyEquities is also a Corporate Authorised Representative of Sanlam Private Wealth (Pty) Ltd.

  • Regulated by top-tier ASIC
  • Parent company listed on JSE
  • No investor protection
  • Does not hold a banking license

Bottom line

EasyEquities is one of the most preferred stockbrokers in South Africa but lags behind competitors in its global product offering since it is limited to JSE stocks, a few US stocks, and limited ETFs.

More advanced traders and investors will thus not reap the full benefits that our other brokers offer.  We have evaluated EasyEquities’ commission structure as high, while its customer support leaves room for drastic improvement.

The account opening process is simple and easy to follow, and with no inactivity fee or minimum deposit for standard accounts, EasyEquities is a great option for newbie investors.

Lastly, services are only offered in English.
We thus recommend that investors have a strong command of the language.