Risk Warning: CFDs and margin FX are leveraged products that carry a high level of risk to your capital. Trading is not suitable for everyone and may result in you losing substantially more than your initial investment. Please consider our PDS

How to Invest in Shares: A Step-by-Step for Beginners

Are you interested in online share trading in New Zealand?

Trading shares in New Zealand is easier than ever, thanks to several top-quality trading platforms that are available right now. These platforms allow users to engage in trading of numerous assets and easily enter positions. If you are a beginner and are looking for an easy way to get into online share trading NZ, you have come to the right place.

Online share trading in New Zealand

Buying and selling shares is a rather common practice for many people around the world today. Anyone interested in the global economy and financial world can easily start doing it from the comfort of their own home these days, thanks to a single invention — the internet.

Of course, this was not always the case, and before the worldwide web entered the mainstream, only a handful of professional investors with deep pockets had this privilege. These days, however, it is possible to easily invest in, buy, or sell shares of any company.

In New Zealand, for example, interested individuals or companies have the ability to choose between several platforms that provide online share trading capabilities. Share trading has traditionally been less popular in New Zealand, as Kiwi’s have only been able to access the New Zealand Stock Exchange, also known as the NZX.

NZX only offers a small number of New Zealand companies which can be a bit dull as investments. In recent years younger investors are more plugged into global events and want to trade the headline-grabbing companies such as Apple, Google, and Amazon or the new startups in other parts of the world.

With online share trading continuing its development over the course of the last few decades, as well as the rise in popularity of online share trading, some new solutions have become available. Meanwhile, the online share trading space has become more competitive than ever, often resulting in these new solutions offering better prices for the shares, especially when compared to what the major banks offer.

The perfect example of this is a platform known as Trader Workstation, by Interactive Brokers.

What is Trader Workstation?

Trader Workstation (TWS) is a platform created by a company called Interactive Brokers. The platform has become increasingly popular thanks to a number of highly useful tools for sophisticated investors who may be interested in keeping track of the most popular investing trends around the world.

The company is extremely well-connected, meaning that it has a connection to most electronic exchanges around the world. That way, traders can engage in trading futures, equities, options, and a number of other products around the world, and at any given time.

They also offer a desktop and mobile trading app, meaning that traders can access the platform around the clock, and even on the go. This is very useful for those who tend to travel a lot and are not stationary, as they will not miss out on any trading opportunity that might emerge at any given time.

Now, a point to be made here is that Interactive Brokers (IB) offer a wealthy choice of features and assets, which might be overwhelming for new investors. However, if you are not intimidated by extra options, you should definitely try it out. The platform also has its own robo-advisory, meaning that you can get assistance from their AI whenever you need help.

Advantages and disadvantages

Of course, as a new trader, you might be wondering what are the major pros and cons of this platform, as this might make all the difference when it comes to your personal trading experience. The benefits of using this platform are many, but it is fair to say that there are a few things that should be kept in mind.

However, let's start with the pros, as there are definitely more benefits to IB and its TWS.

Trader Workstation pros

The first and likely most important benefit of the platform is its pricing, which is at the low end of the range. This is especially noticeable when it comes to the platform's margin rates. Not only that, but traders can borrow against their assets for pretty much any reason, and not just trading.

Next, it is also worth mentioning that the company's clients are allowed to trade on over 120 different markets, in 31 countries, and use 23 different currencies, in total. This provides a great diversity of assets, different possibilities, and many other advantages for aspiring traders.

Getting an account from a US company can be a bit daunting as you need to provide US tax information and deal with overseas compliance process and sending funds to the US.  The great things is that there are NZ based companies that can provide you access to TWS and make the application process and sending funds very simple. Companies such as Rockfort Markets, Tiger brokers and Snowball securities.

Finally, we have Traders Workstation itself, which was specially created for extremely active traders. As we briefly mentioned before, it features a great number of trading tools that can be utilized for comparing prices, finding the best trading deals, and much more.

Of course, where there are advantages, there are also a few disadvantages. Luckily, IB and its trading platform do not have a lot of them, but they are still worth mentioning and keeping in mind.

Trader Workstation cons

The first one is that Traders Workstation can be a bit overwhelming to new traders, as mentioned before. It is not badly designed, but there is a learning curve due to an abundance of various tools and options that the platform provides. However, with a bit of time and patience, anyone can learn how to use it in a relatively short period.

Another thing that might be considered a flaw lies in the fact that inactive accounts, as well as those deemed small, might be subject to a certain maintenance fee, or some data charges. Finally, Interactive Brokers does not provide support for education accounts (529s) or 401(k)s.

That is pretty much it in terms of cons, which shows right away that the platform definitely does not have too many of them.

Tradeable Products on Trader Workstation

[table id=10 /]

What else is there to know about the platform?

Apart from everything mentioned so far, it is worth noting that the platform has rather good ratings. Many have appreciated its user-friendliness, which provides top trading experience. Its technology is also among the best ones in the online share trading world, very fast and very efficient.

The company is also constantly coming up with improvements of old features, but also with innovative, new ones. This might make it a bit difficult to keep up with, but it also offers a great educational section on its website that offers a lot of explanations and guides that can help new traders get started and get more familiarized with the platform.

Shares as well newer and easier to use ETFs are available from many global markets including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and most European countries, these have traditionally been hard to trade in New Zealand. This opens up a whole new area to invest in growth companies from around the world without all the hassle of dealing with brokers based in other countries.

The local New Zealand companies providing TWS also provide excellent customer service, which is always an important factor. Users need to have someone to go to in case of any difficulties, so helping the clients figure out what feature they need or how to solve a certain issue is crucial for any business.


Overall, the platform is not that complicated, as long as newcomers are willing to dedicate a small amount of time to studying its features and capabilities before heading directly into action. This might be a dealbreaker to some, but it will definitely pay off for those who take the time to learn of their new surroundings.

Other than that, it is a great platform and an excellent way to start your online share trading career in New Zealand, as well as in many other parts of the world, for that matter.

Author: Ali Raza - A journalist, with experience in web journalism and marketing. Ali holds a master's degree in finance and writes extensively about the financial markets and fin-tech industries.

Open a FREE CFD demo trading account


The information provided is of a general nature and is not intended to be personalised financial advice. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. You may seek appropriate personalised financial advice from a qualified professional to suit your individual circumstances.

Trading in Rockfort Markets derivative products may not be suitable for everyone as derivative products may be considered as high risk. Please ensure that you understand the risks involved. A Product Disclosure Statement can be obtained here and should be considered before trading with us.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Related blog posts

Get weekly insights from award-winning team

Sign up for all the latest updates from our Rockfort Academy including news, industry analysis and updates from trading central team.

  * By entering your email, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Open a FREE Demo Trading Account

Rockfort Markets’ products are risky; please read our PDS.