Looking for NASDAQ brokers in South Africa? If an investor wants to get their hands on some of the biggest tech brands in the world – like Amazon, Apple and Google – then signing up with a NASDAQ broker is a must.

We cast our eye over nine brokers that offer their services to South African clients. We outline how the NASDAQ exchange works and also how to invest in NASDAQ from South Africa.

NASDAQ brokers in South Africa – or accessible from South Africa – are not hard to find. Most of the popular SA brokers give investors access to NASDAQ shares, as well as assets from other US and international exchanges.

  • Capital.com – Global CFD NASDAQ Broker.
  • AvaTrade – Well-regulated CFD Platform.
  • Interactive Brokers – Full-Service Broker.
  • Plus500 – Well-regulated CFD-only Broker.
  • Pepperstone – Spread Betting and CFD Platform.
  • XM – Global Forex and CFD Platform.
  • OANDA – International Forex and CFD Broker.
  • XTB – Global Forex and CFD Platform.
  • SuperForex – Award-winning CFD Broker with $1 Minimum Deposit.

Investors do not need a special NASDAQ trading account to buy NASDAQ shares.

SA brokers with NASDAQ shares to buy come in three types:

  1. Full-service brokers which offer a range of assets, and some CFDs (Contracts-For-Difference).
  2. CFD Specialists which offer all trades as CFDs.
  3. Forex (Foreign Exchange) and CFD Specialists.

The process for getting signed up and buying shares is generally the same with the most popular stock brokers in South Africa (see section below).

What are CFDs?

CFDs can be used for long-term investing, but are generally used for trading over the short-term. Because CFDs attract overnight fees, they are used for nipping in and out of positions on the NASDAQ. They allow traders to go short on a stock – which means betting that the price will fall – as well as leveraging the trade to amplify its potential gains or losses.

Research How to Invest in NASDAQ from South Africa

Investors are urged to use the free demo accounts offered by all 3 types of broker and do their own research. An investor needs to discover what type of platform suits them – whether it is one of the most popular FX brokers in South Africa, a CFD broker or a full-service platform.

1. Capital.com – Global CFD NASDAQ Broker

Capital.com is a dedicated CFD platform with 90,000 active clients every month internationally. It offers a large selection of 5,600 markets to trade in across stocks, commodities, forex, indices and cryptocurrency.

Capital.com provides a slick interface, zero commission on stock trades and plenty of learning materials. A total of 5,000+ stocks are available with Capital.com. All are available as leveraged CFDs. This means that the investor need only invest a small part of a proposed trade themselves (called the ‘margin’). But beginners should pay close attention to the markets with CFDs open as well as set Stop Losses to avoid losing money they haven’t got.

Capital.com accepts a usefully-wide range of deposit methods including ApplePay, Visa, Mastercard, WorldPay and Trustly. This broker is well-regulated internationally, with regulators including ASIC in Australia, CySEC in Cyprus and the FCA in the UK.

78.91% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and/or CFDs with this provider.

2. AvaTrade – Well-regulated CFD Platform

AvaTrade is a specialist CFD broker. It offers stocks, commodities, crypto, indices, bonds, ETFs and forex as CFDs. Leverage with AvaTrade trades is supplied automatically, so investors should be sure to check what they are borrowing when they open a CFD trade.

AvaTrade offers MT4 and MT5 platform support as well as its own options platform called AvaOptions. Of particular interest to beginner investors will be Ava Social, which is the firm’s dedicated smartphone app offering social trading.

 

AvaTrade is regulated by South Africa’s FSCA, as well as by a raft of international regulators including IIROC in Canada, the FCA in the UK and ASIC in Australia.

3. InteractiveBrokers – Full-Service Broker

This broker offers a broad spread of assets to trade including stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds and funds. IB has 1.8 million clients across 200 countries. Accounts can be funded in over 25 currencies.

Specialist accounts are available for trusts and retirement investing. And of particular interest to investors seeking value stocks is one of several IB tools called the IBKR GlobalAnalyst. This helps investors to track down undervalued stocks. Another useful – and relatively rare – facility is IB’s Excel API, which allows users to synchronise their trading accounts with their Excel records at home.

Watch out for high cash deposit fees with IB, but this broker provides a slick and comprehensive offering overall.

4. Plus500 – Well-regulated CFD-only Broker

As with many of the NASDAQ brokers in South Africa, Plus500 focuses its offering on CFDs only.

Plus500 has 22 million registered users across 50 countries. The broker offers 2,800 trading instruments in all, including 500+ stocks. A rating of 4.2/5 on Trustpilot has been achieved. Investors can buy Plus500 stock via the London Stock Exchange under ticker symbol PLUS.

Plus500 is one of the few NASDAQ brokers in South Africa that is regulated directly by South Africa’s FSCA, as well as by CySEC, the FCA and ASIC.

5. Pepperstone – Spread Betting and CFD Platform

Founded in 2010, Pepperstone offers forex, commodities, shares, commodities and ETFs. It has offices in London, Cyprus, Dusseldorf, Melbourne, Dubai – and Kenya. The platform serves 300,000 traders internationally and processes an average of $12.5bn USD transactions every day. CFD trading are available in US, UK, German and Australian shares.

Platform support is offered for TradingView, MT4, MT5 and cTrader. The broker holds client funds in segregated Tier 1 banks and is regulated by the FCA, BaFin, CySEC, ASIC, DFSA, SCB and CMA.

6. XM – Global Forex and CFD Platform

Launched in 2009, XM has served over 5 million clients worldwide and provides support for over 30 languages. Whilst being an FX specialist, this platform offers 5 other asset classes to trade including a range of 1,260+ stocks available as CFDs which are easy to browse under national headings.

XM is regulated extensively: by CySEC in Europe, ASIC in Australia and the FSC in Belize. The platform has won numerous awards, particularly for its FX services.

7. OANDA – International Forex and CFD Broker

Oanda began as a free provider of FX rates back in 1997. Since then, it has transformed into a key global Foreign Exchange trading platform – with 38,000 forex pairs to trade. In 2017, Oanda was named Singapore’s number one FX broker for the fourth year running.

Alongside forex, Oanda offers popular EU shares as CFDs but no NASDAQ shares. What investors can do, however, is to trade the NASDAQ 100 as an index – alongside other key US indices like the US Wall Street 30 and the US SPX 500.

Investors can check out for themselves what Oanda has to offer by signing up and using the free demo account. Oanda offers MT5 platform support for advanced traders and accepts a range of deposit methods.

8. XTB – Global Forex and CFD Platform

XTB is a global platform with an office in South Africa. Overall XTB has offices in 13 countries, and has 20 years experience in the brokerage business. XTB specializes in Foreign Exchange trading, as well as CFDs in crypto, stocks and ETFs.

 

With almost 500,000 customers served, XTB is no stranger to awards. The broker won ‘Best Customer Service’ from ForexBrokers.com in 2021. And when it comes to safety and regulation, XTB performs strongly, offering free insurance to clients via Lloyds of London and extensive international regulation via the FCA, KNF, FSC and CYSEC.

XTB is fronted by famous football manager Jose Mourinho.

9. SuperForex – Award-winning CFD Broker with $1 Minimum Deposit.

SuperForex Logo SuperForex is a global CFD broker that was named the best ECN broker in Africa for 2021 by International Business Magazine. The broker offers trading on hundreds of stock CFDs for NASDAQ-listed companies.

Traders in South Africa can get started with SuperForex with as little as a $1 deposit. The brokerage also offers several welcome bonuses for new traders that reward them for making larger deposits.

SuperForex

SuperForex offers trading through its own mobile app or through MetaTrader 4. Trades are executed quickly thanks to the platform’s ECN network. SuperForex is regulated by the International Financial Services Commission of Belize.

In the table below, we use the example of key NASDAQ tech stock Amazon (AMZN) to illustrate fees charged by popular ZAR brokers with NASDAQ.

Table: Fee Comparison of NASDAQ Brokers in South Africa

Broker Total Stocks including NASDAQ Pricing Fee to Buy Amazon Account Management Fee
Capital.com 5,000+ stock CFDs Spread Fee plus CFD overnight fees 0.12% spread plus -0.0064% overnight fee charged on borrowed funds None
AvaTrade 630+ stock CFDs Spread Fee plus CFD overnight fees Spread fee of 0.13% plus overnight fee of -0.0189% Inactivity fee of $50 per quarter after 3 months plus $100 admin fee after 12 months
Interactive Brokers 150 markets Spread Fee plus Regulator Fee plus Commission dependent on a) country where share based b) monthly trade volume of investor Maximum commission of 1% of trade value plus Spread Fee No account management fee per se, but other non-trading fees apply
Plus500 500+ Spread Fee plus CFD overnight fees Spread Fee of 0.75% plus overnight fee of -0.06135% Inactivity fee of USD 10 per month levied after 3 months inactivity
Pepperstone 900+ Spread Fee plus CFD overnight fees $0.02 commission per share None
XM 1260+ Spread Fee plus CFD overnight fee Spread Fee of 5.85 + -3.2% (annual) overnight fee None
OANDA Euro shares only Spread Fee plus Commission plus CFD overnight fee 0.1% Commission $10 per month fee after 1 year of inactivity
XTB 2,100+ Spread Fee plus CFD overnight fee 0.4% Spread Fee plus overnight fee 10 EUR per month fee after 1 year of inactivity
SuperForex 400+ Spread Fee only – with Investment Account 0.2% spread fee plus overnight fee None

What is the NASDAQ Exchange?

The NASDAQ Exchange is a stock exchange based in New York, US. Behind the New York Stock Exchange, it is the second-largest US exchange in terms of the total market capitalization of listed companies.

  • The NASDAQ features over 2,500 stocks with a heavy bias towards tech stocks.
  • The exchange handles 6.7bn trading messages on a trading day.

It comprises three tiered markets. Each tier has different entry qualifications in terms of liquidity and financials:

  • NASDAQ Global Select Market
    The top tier, this market contains the most reputable NASDAQ stocks. These 1,200 firms – like Amazon, Google and Apple – have attained the highest qualification standards.
  • NASDAQ Global Market
    The middle tier, this market lists 1,450 companies with ‘overall global leadership and international reach.’
  • NASDAQ Capital Market
    The lowest tier, this market hosts smaller firms in need of capital.

What does ‘NASDAQ’ Mean?

NASDAQ is an acronym for the ‘National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations’. It was coined in 1971 by the US National Association of Securities Dealers, which is now known as FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

The NASDAQ Indices

NASDAQ stocks make up two indices:

  • The NASDAQ Composite
    This lists almost all NASDAQ stocks and is one of three key US indices, alongside the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500.
  • The NASDAQ 100
    This index lists the biggest 101 (yes, 101!) NASDAQ companies.

NASDAQ Trading Times South Africa

The NASDAQ Exchange is based in New York in the US. This means that its schedule runs according to Eastern Standard Time (EST).

South Africa is 6 hours ahead of EST.

Table: NASDAQ Core Trading Hours, US vs. SA

Country NASDAQ Core Trading Open NASDAQ Core Trading Close
US 09:30 16:00
SA 15:30 22:00

The NASDAQ is open Monday to Friday. Watch out for it being closed owing to Public Holidays in the US.

How To Trade NASDAQ Stocks

First the would-be investor simply needs to sign up with one of the NASDAQ brokers in South Africa.

Then they need to get verified with some ID and deposit some funds.

The investor can then practise trading using the broker’s free demo account (if available) and browse through the trading options available before committing to a trade.

  • Many of the NASDAQ brokers available in South Africa are based elsewhere internationally and are not regulated directly by South Africa’s FSCA; but investors based in-country may legally use their services.

If an investor wants to day-trade, they should remember that NASDAQ trading hours South Africa are 15:30 to 22:00. Most brokers allow investors to place trades outside of trading hours.

There are five common trading strategies used with shares available from NASDAQ brokers in South Africa:

1: Buy and Hold

This is the most popular way to earn capital gains from the NASDAQ. ‘Buy and hold’ means buying some shares from one of the NASDAQ brokers in South Africa, holding onto them, and then selling them when their value has risen. This strategy is generally applied to two types of stocks:

Value Stocks

These are stocks which are considered to be cheap at the price. One way of assessing whether a company’s stock is cheap is to compare its Price/Earnings (P/E) ratio against its competitors. The higher the P/E ratio, the more expensive the stock. Value stocks tend to be well-established companies with steady, if unspectacular, growth prospects.

Growth Stocks

Growth stocks are riskier than value stocks. These are firms – often newly-established with high P/E ratios – that the markets think will deliver high earnings in the future. Often these companies are not earning much at the moment. Most of the NASDAQ stocks in the Electronic Vehicle (EV) sector are growth stocks: like Tesla, Rivian and Lucid Group.

Many companies straddle the two categories. Tesla, for example, is such a popular stock because it combines high growth potential with high existing earnings.

2: Use a CFD to Short the Market

Despite showing signs of recovery from mid-June this year, the NASDAQ has tumbled 32% in 2022. On January 3rd, the composite index stood at 15,622. By June 16th, it was down to 10,646.

This fall was down to a combination of investor worries:

  • Investor worries over the highest levels of price inflation in the US for forty years.
  • Disruption to global supply lines caused by the ongoing Ukraine crisis.
  • The impact of rising interest rates on company valuations. With debt more expensive, tech companies with high Price/Earnings ratios based on optimistic earnings forecasts suddenly looked less attractive.

Instead of going long on NASDAQ stocks, investors can use a CFD to short the market – and gain when the price of stocks fall.

3: Scalping

Scalping is based on the execution of short-term trades, rather than making long-term investments. Traders ‘scalp’ off small changes in price and leverage their trade for amplified gains (or losses).

But how do traders predict which way prices will go? Some use technical charting techniques. These include analyzing key statistics regarding the behavior of a stock price (like Relative Strength Index, for example) as well as spotting patterns formed by the ‘candlesticks’ on a stock’s price chart.

Contracts-For-Difference (CFDs) are used for scalping because they allow traders to leverage their trades as well as go short (i.e.. bet that the price of an asset will fall rather than rise).

4: Trade off a NASDAQ Index

Rather than predict the movement of a particular stock, clients of NASDAQ 100 brokers in South Africa can place long and short positions relating to the entire NASDAQ 100 index. Index trading like this usually involves CFDs.

5: Minimize Risk a NASDAQ Exchange Traded Fund

For long-term investors, an Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) is a low-risk vehicle of benefiting from changes in the NASDAQ 100 Index. Going long or short on a NASDAQ 100 ETF means buying into a single fund that holds all NASDAQ shares proportionately.

Two NASDAQ 100 ETFs available are the Invesco Nasdaq 100 ETF (QQQM) and the Invesco QQQ (QQQ). The QQQ is available with NASDAQ brokers in South Africa.

How to Get Started with a Regulated Broker

To buy NASDAQ shares South Africa, investors will need to head online and get signed up with a stockbroker.

Most brokers follow broadly the same onboarding process. The applicant will have to:

  1. Go to a broker’s website online and sign up.
  2. Verify their ID to satisfy Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations.
  3. Deposit funds. NASDAQ brokers based in SA accept ZAR. Other brokers generally accept USD, GBP and EUR.
  4. Browse stocks by category or search for a particular stock
  5. Fill in a trade order and open a position.

1: Sign up

  • Visit the website of one of the NASDAQ brokers in South Africa.
  • Supply name and address.
  • Set a username and password.
  • Read all the legal information provided, and tick the acknowledgement boxes.
  • Proceed.

2: Verify ID

To combat fraud, regulated brokers need to be sure who they are doing business with. KYC protocols keep everybody safe.

So an investor will usually need to have handy:

  • Personal ID: passport or ID card.
  • Address ID: rent letter, utility bills or other official paperwork.

NASDAQ brokers in South Africa go about getting this data in one of two ways. Either they ask for scans. Or they ask the applicant to take photos of their ID as part of an automated online process.

3: Deposit Funds

Brokers usually email applicants to confirm that their ID has been verified. This can take hours or days (usually hours).

The applicant is now an official client of the broker. They can then:

  • Log in to their account.
  • Locate the deposit button/area.
  • Deposit funds using credit/debit card, bank transfer or any of a range of e-wallets.

Investors should check that a NASDAQ broker in South Africa accepts deposit methods that they can manage. Also important to check is whether any deposit or currency conversion fees apply.

4: Search for Stock

All brokers have a search bar, usually at the top of the screen interface. Investors can enter here the stock name or ticker symbol of the stock they are looking for. Press ‘Enter’ to be taken to the stock’s homepage onsite or directly to a trading screen.

5: Buy Stock

Most popular stock brokers in South Africa offer a simple dialogue box for trading.

Here investors usually need only enter how much they want to spend and press a button to execute their trade.

With CFD trading, the investor will also need to specify here whether they are going long or short on their trade and whether they want to apply leverage.

Brokers generally also offer ‘fractional trading’. This allows the investor to buy a fraction of a share if they do not want to buy a whole one, or many. Most brokers also set a minimum trade level.

Conclusion

Above we have reviewed nine NASDAQ brokers in South Africa. We have also looked into how the NASDAQ works, and outlined five common trading strategies. We urge investors to do their own research on brokers and NASDAQ stocks, and only invest with money they can afford to lose.

FAQs on How to Buy NASDAQ Shares from South Africa

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