Stake: The OFX-powered broker promising easy access to the US stock market


Lucy Ingham
Lucy Ingham
Head of Content
Lucy is Head of Content at FXC Intelligence, overseeing all content and taking deep dives into the trends and data driving changes in payments. Before joining FXC Intelligence, Lucy worked as a… Read more

If you’re looking to invest in the US stock markets from elsewhere in the world, the process can be a challenging one. But a growing number of companies are tackling the issue, and forging a rare path in this space is Stake.

Originally launched in Australia in 2017, Stake emerged to counter a market that CEO Matt Leibowitz described as “so broken”, requiring a slow, paperwork-heavy process that came with high costs. 

Countering high-friction, expensive options with a smooth, digital, commission-free service, Stake enables users to access over 3,800 US stocks and exchange-traded funds, with support for fractional trading and advanced order types. 

After completing the sign-up process, users fund their account in local currency, which is converted into US dollars by Stake’s partner OFX, an international leader in the cross-border space.

Users are then able to execute trades in US dollars, with withdrawals converted back into their local currency by OFX. 

Sophistication meets digital ease: Stake brings US stock trading to the UK

Stake has since launched in New Zealand and Brazil, as well as this year taking on the financial behemoth that is the UK. 

However, it is not the only company providing such a service in the country. 

Established legacy brokers provide sophistication for experienced traders, although typically do so with an old-fashioned user experience and high fees. Meanwhile, the last few years have seen a host of neobrokers emerge, providing simple digital experiences that lower access and cut costs.

But according to Andrew Dengate, UK head of marketing, Stake is forging a unique path between the two.

While other neobrokers focus on simplicity, Stake is targeting would-be traders looking for the level of sophistication a traditional broker offers, but with the affordability and slick experience of a modern fintech. The company, said Dengate, is most focussed on providing an "enhanced investing experience".

In pursuit of this, Stake provides “pro-level data” on its platform, including analysts ratings, price targets and complete financials for companies, rather than the simplified explainers found on the platforms of rivals. 

And this approach appears to be paying off. Stake is attracting a growing UK customer base, around three-quarters of which have invested before. 

With a median age of 33 and a background typically in professional services, entrepreneurship or the creative industries, this is an emerging breed of financial consumers who are highly knowledgeable but want a slick, design-conscious digital experience.

Stake’s UK customer base is growing, but next year it will expand its reach further with a rollout to mainland Europe.

Set to launch in Q1 2021 – Brexit dependent – it will be available across the Eurozone, opening up US market trading to similarly financially savvy consumers on the continent. 

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