Superhero review

Superhero is the latest share trading platform to enter the NZ market, offering $0 brokerage fees and easy access to US and Australian markets. We assess its fees and features.

Superhero logo

The breakdown

  • Superhero is the only share trading platform to have no brokerage fees when buying US shares.
  • The platform offers free live market data and has a mobile app for Apple and Android devices.
  • It’s possible to invest in shares and ETFs, but more complex investment types (such as derivatives) are not available.
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    Key details

    • Investment options: Shares and ETFs 
    • Transaction/brokerage fee: $0 for US shares, flat AUD $5 for Australian shares  
    • Subcription fee: None 
    • Available markets: US and Australia 
    • Minimum investment: US $10 for US trades and AUD $100 for Australian trades
    • Mobile app: Yes

    Current Superhero promotions

    • Refer a friend: Refer someone to Superhero and you’ll both get US $10 of Tesla stock when they fund their account within 30 days.

    Author: Kevin McHugh, Head of Publishing at Banked.

    An introduction to Superhero

    Superhero is a share trading app that recently entered the New Zealand market and is looking to entice Kiwi investors with low fees and a simple trading experience.

    Founded by entrepreneurs John Winters and Wayne Baskin, the Sydney-based company enters a busy NZ market for share trading services, but is looking to stand out with ease of use and $0 brokerage on US shares (now the only platform in NZ to offer it).

    Superhero currently offers access to US and Australian share markets, but it has publicly stated that it plans to introduce access to the NZX in the coming months.

    Investment options

    Investment options

    Superhero is all about keeping things simple, a philosophy that is reflected in the markets it offers access to.

    United States

    Superhero provides access to more than 5,000 US-listed stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), offering plenty of investment opportunities for those interested in American markets.

    This means you can invest in some of the world’s biggest and most talked about companies, such as Tesla, Apple, NVIDIA, Amazon, and so on. But there is also a wealth of smaller companies available that will hope to grow significantly and be among these names in the future.

    US markets also have a fantastic selection of ETFs, offering customers diversification in a single asset and allowing them to invest in specific areas of opportunity, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, green energy, and much more.

    Australia

    The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) does not have the same massive variety of US markets (although no other country does), but it is also not short of its own stocks and ETFs.

    Many look to the ASX to invest in resources (especially mining), technology, and finance companies. There are also a number of New Zealand companies floated on the ASX, including:

    • Auckland International Airport (AIA)
    • Spark New Zealand (SPK)
    • Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation (FPH)
    • a2 Milk Company (A2M)
    • Laybuy Group Holdings (ASX: LBY)

    Fees

    Pricing and fees

    Superhero may have a simpler range of investment markets than some, but it makes up for it with some of the lowest fees around.

    The platform is currently the only one in New Zealand that currently has no brokerage fee for US trades (Stake used to have the same deal until it introduced a flat fee in early 2023). It also has a low flat rate of AUD $5 for trades on the Australian ASX, which compares very favourably with the competition for all but the smallest of trades.

    However, how Superhero charges its currency exchange (or ‘FX’) fee is a little different than other platforms.

    While competitors such as Sharesies and Tiger Brokers charge an FX fee that is a small percentage of the total trade amount, Superhero applies a markup to the exchange rate at the time of the trade. This fee is 50 basis points (BPS), or USD $0.005 AUD$0.005, added to the rate.

    Top features of Superhero

    Features

    New Zealand has no shortage of share trading platforms and apps, so what makes Superhero stand out from the crowd?

    Simple and accessible investment options

    Superhero is all about making things simple. Everything about it is clean, uncluttered, and unconfusing — from its fee structure to its investment options.

    The trading platform has an auto-investing feature and has introduced a stop-loss order option that allows investors to minimise losses by selling automatically when the price for an asset drops below a certain threshold.

    But that’s as complex as it gets with Superhero. It does not offer more complicated (and higher risk) investment types such as options or futures trading or access to more esoteric markets. This means it will appeal to beginner investors or those looking for minimum fuss, but it likely won’t be enough for experienced traders.

    Free live market data

    Live data on the share markets can help you better track the performance of your investments and help you plan what to trade and when.

    For some share trading platforms, this data comes at an additional cost. For example, Stake only offers it for subscribers to its Stake Black subscription service (although the subscription does include other benefits).

    But with Superhero, this information is made available for free and is readily available.

    Mobile app

    A share trading platform with a focus on simplicity wouldn’t be worth its salt without a mobile app — and Superhero ticks that box.

    The Superhero mobile app
    The Superhero mobile app

    Available on the Google Play store and the Apple Store, the Superhero mobile app lets you make trades, monitor your investments and manage your account wherever you are.

    Mobile apps are now thankfully fairly standard for most share trading services and Superhero isn’t left behind in this department.

    Is Superhero safe?

    Security icon

    Yes, Superhero can be considered a safe platform to invest your money through.

    It is registered (under the name ‘Superhero Securities Limited’) as a Financial Service Provider (FSP No. 1002150) and it also complies with the NZ Financial Markets Conduct Act and NZ Financial Markets Conduct Regulations.

    It is not regulated in New Zealand by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), but it is regulated by Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

    What happens if Superhero goes bust?

    Like all share trading platforms that allow investors to purchase fractional shares (such as Sharesies, Hatch, and so on), Superhero holds investors’ shares in a custody structure.

    In a custody structure, a custodian like Superhero Securities holds your shares, on your behalf. They don’t have ownership or rights to your investments and you remain the full beneficial owner of your shares and you will receive dividends (if the company you’ve invested in pays dividends).

    Your shares are held in your name under Superhero Securities and cannot be accessed by anyone else. Superhero Securities can’t do anything with your investment without your instruction and your shares are secure.

    So if Superhero were to go under, you would be able to transfer your shares from the custody of Superhero Securities to another share trading service of your choice.

    Pros and cons of Superhero

    Thumbs up and thumbs down

    Pros

    • Low fees: Superhero is now the only share trading platform that offers $0 brokerage on US market trades plus its flat fee of AUD $5 for trades on the Australian market is also significantly below the average.
    • Simple and easy to use: Superhero is focused on simplicity in every aspect so new investors won’t be intimidated.
    • Free market data: Some services offer share trading market data at an additional cost in some form, but it’s free with Superhero.

    Cons

    • Too limited for some: While casual investors will appreciate the stripped-back approach to investing, Superhero will be missing a lot of trading options and features for more advanced traders.

    Conclusion

    Superhero is an entry-level share trading platform aimed squarely at beginner investors and those who want to avoid complexity.

    This ease of use combined with very competitive fees means that it will be a good choice for many Kiwis that want access to US and/or Australian markets.

    However, more experienced traders who value the complexity and detail that put some investors off likely won’t find the choice they’re looking for with Superhero.

    Kevin McHugh

    Kevin McHugh

    Kevin is the founder and Head of Publishing at Banked. With years of experience working in personal finance, insurance, and related areas, Kevin created Banked to help Kiwis make better financial decisions.