But you, as opposed to your broker, usually must be the registered owner of the stock in order to participate. Small fees on stock trades might not seem like a big deal; most online brokers charge $10 or less for each transaction. One way to trade stocks for free is to use a fee-free online trading platform, such as Loyal3.
In August, the service passed the $1 billion mark in transactions, just a few months after its initial launch.
Our pick for best online broker, Fidelity, is currently offering 100 commission-free trades to investors who deposit $50,000 or more into a new or existing brokerage or individual retirement account.
First-time users can earn 500 commission-free online trades for the year by depositing $50,000 within 45 days of opening an account. Many companies offer existing investors dividend reinvestment plans, also known as DRIPs, which allow you to purchase more shares (or fractions of shares) by reinvesting your dividend payments in additional stock rather than receiving the payouts in cash. For one thing, you can only buy stocks, which makes portfolio diversification a big challenge. The app offers a broader menu of investments than Loyal3, with more than 5,000 stocks and exchange-traded funds available, though it doesn't offer access to IPOs.
If you have even more to invest, you can nab 200 free trades with a deposit of $100,000 or more.
At TradeKing, you can earn $1,000 worth of free trades with a deposit of just $5,000 within 30 days of opening a new account by the end of 2015. Such programs may also enable you to get stocks at a discount and buy additional shares with cash rather than reinvested dividends.
Some companies charge fees for trades, while others may allow you to make an initial investment directly. You provide your name, address, employer information, birthday and Social Security number, as well as checking account information to fund your trades. Currently there are 66, including Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB), two of the most popular stocks among young investors. An app called Robinhood, just launched this year, offers free stock trades with no minimum deposit.
To start buying stocks, you can invest as little as $10; you have the option to buy fractional shares.
Best stock to day trade 2015|
Day trading options strategies 2013