Technological advances in financial and investment tools give investors a myriad of options, including online trading. GOBankingRates surveyed the best stock brokers for online trading based on an assessment of service features, fees, current offers and other criteria that are pertinent to potential investors of various experience levels. Website intuitiveness is also important.
All of the firms make a point to advertise how much you pay to buy or sell stocks, mutual funds, options, or other equities. Because these fees vary among discount brokers, the starting point is to understand how you will use your stock trading account.
E*Trade was ranked first among discount stock brokers by Smart Money’s 2009 Broker Survey.
TradeKing is one of the lowest cost discount brokers, with both market or limit stock trades costing $4.95. Bill, there are several alternatives for discount brokers that enable you to buy stocks on foreign exchanges.
Scottrade: Scottrade has foreign exchange trades and offer separate commission schedules for Canadian Orders versus other foreign stocks.
E*Trade: Etrade offers a global trading platform that covers exchanges in Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and the UK.

I’m looking for a brokerage firm which allow me to trade stocks listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with my IRA account. While long term investing methods are the best way to go in order to grow your assets over time, you may still feel inclined to try your luck with stock trading.
In closing, I would suggest that you check out the Virtual Stock Exchange or any of the other sites and virtual trading communities listed in this article.
Online trading accounts can benefit many types of investors, from the beginner who needs assistance getting an investment plan started to the knowledgeable investor who can use the online trading tools to pursue an investment strategy. An investor needs to feel comfortable on the trading platform, so being able to switch easily between browsers and find information easily is integral. “Good reporting features are essential, displaying account information in a way that the investor understands,” said Ryder Taff, portfolio manager, New Perspectives, Inc. Note that I have accounts at each of these firms and have personally tested their trading platforms, research, and other tools.
But with OptionsXpress, you can trade just about anything including stocks and futures contracts.
We were speaking with a friendly representative within 20 seconds when we called on a busy Monday morning for the stock market. Through the Trader Network, you can connect with other traders, share strategies and trading tips, and see the hottest trades of the day.

When I did my research, I also chose Scottrade as my top choice for both an IRA and trading account. For those who trade at most occasionally, however, the trading costs are not the most important factor.
These additional fees may include fees for large buy or sell orders, fees to buy or sell stocks trading at less than $1, account maintenance fees, account inactivity fees, and of course interest if you buy on margin.
The cost to trade stocks is a flat $4.95, making it one of the lowest cost stock trading alternatives. E*Trade’s research resources including portfolio management and analysis, stock and fund screeners, independent research, and risk analyzer.
According to OptionsHouse, it offers a professional-grade trading platform backed by PEAK6 Investments, one of the largest options trading firms in the world.
Likewise, if you are looking for a specific account time (like an IRA), you can quickly eliminate those discount stock brokers that do not offer that account type.

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