Thursday, September 10, 2009

Australian Securities Exchange

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is the primary stock exchange in Australia. The ASX began as separate state-based exchanges established as early as 1861. Today trading is all-electronic and the exchange is a public company, listed on the exchange itself.The Australian Securities Exchange as it is now known resulted from the merger of the Australian Stock Exchange and the Sydney Futures Exchange in December 2006.
The biggest stocks traded on the ASX, in terms of their market capitalisation, include BHP Billiton, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Telstra Corporation, Rio Tinto, National Australia Bank and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group. The ASX is a public company, and its own shares are traded on the ASX.


First-time Investors: Starting in the sharemarket seems daunting to many people but in reality once you have learnt some basic information it is straight forward. Below is a step-by-step guide put together by our education experts to help you start investing.

1)Sign up with MyASX: MyASX is a collection of free sharemarket services. With MyASX you can play Sharemarket Games, create Watchlists, subscribe to monthly email newsletters, learn how to start and run an investment club and access free online classes.
To access these services, you must be registered.

2)Online education: Learning how to invest is an important skill. By working through these ASX classes you wil develop a base of knowledge that will help you understand how to invest and determine what might be a suitable investment for you.
Audio visual presentations - covers sharemarket fundamentals. Presentations run for a few minutes.

3) Research: Simple research involves things such as reading financial newspapers, considering world events and watching how markets and the price of individual companies react. Share trading and financial education seminars help new investors keep up to date with a variety of sharemarket topics.

4) Find a stockbroker: Once you have a basic understanding of how the market operates and an awareness of some companies you will need a stockbroker. There are a couple of things to consider before you start looking for a broker, such as how much money you would like to invest in the market or whether or not you will need help to decide which shares to invest in.Our Find a broker search engine allows you to select the products, services and types of investments you are looking to get from a broker.

Types of brokers:
Full service brokers
Offering advice on buying and selling securities, make recommendations, provide research and compile tailored investment plans. They typically charge a higher brokerage fee as a result of the advice and other services offered.
Accredited advisers are also available for options, warrants and futures.
Non-advisory brokers:
Offering no recommendations or advice regarding the appropriateness of your decision, hence their brokerage fees tend to be lower. This is an attractive option for investors confident in their sharemarket knowledge and trading decisions. They are typically either internet based or telephone based.

5)Monitor your investments: Once you have invested you will need to monitor the portfolio performance.Depending on your objectives you may monitor once a year or several times a day. Watchlists will help you keep track of the value of a number of shares and other securities quickly and easily.
Dividends:Your companies may also pay dividends from time to time. You may need details about the payments for tax purposes. Detailed dividend information is available from the Dividends pages.

6) Keep learning: Smart investors never stop learning. ASX classes, newspapers, television programmes, stockbroker research publications, company announcements are all good sources of information for investors.

ASX has a pre-market session from 07:00am to 10:00am AEST and a normal trading session from 10:00am to 04:00pm AEST.

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