Depending on the type of investor or trader you are, there are a number of online stock brokers and discount trading sites that might appeal to you.
Making a wise decision when choosing a broker can return substantial amounts of cash to your pocket that could otherwise disappear in fees and commissions, so it is worth knowing what you want before selecting a trading platform. Below is our high-level selection methodology, followed by a high ranking comparison table of these selected trading sites. The broker selection table is followed by a more detailed online stock trading review of each of these selected stock brokerages. AdvisoryHQ News started out with a comprehensive list of online and full-service trading websites. If you are only trading stocks and just starting out, the $0 minimum balance to open an account will be very appealing. In addition to providing powerful trading tools to experienced traders, it is clear that TD Ameritrade has positioned itself to be the broker for new and beginning investors, and they are prone to spending large amounts of money on advertising at large sporting events.
If customer service and research are important to you, then E*Trade should be near the top of your list.
They have a suite of other investment options that are accessible to you should you decide to explore them, including international stock markets.
They are the only broker on this list that does not offer retirement resources on the side. Basically, they are the Spirit Airlines of online stock brokers; however, for most active traders, TradeKing is perfect for their stock trading needs.
Most of the savings you get from TradeKing comes from the fact that they devote fewer dollars to their advertising budget than other firms.
However, note that you will pay an additional 1 cent per each stock under $2, and if your account is under $2500 and you don't make a trade for 12 months, you will be slammed with a $50 inactivity fee. For the price, their available research is good – even if it perhaps lacks some of the bells and whistles of other brokers.
Our third top ranked online stock broker is a low-cost choice, and if you do your research on the extra fees to avoid any nasty surprises, you will save a stack of money with TradeKing.
Fidelity is a full-service brokerage that is competing effectively in the online discount trading field. As a regular winner of the Smart Money best online broker award, Fidelity is a great choice for your online stock broker – if you have a US social security number and at least $2500 for an initial investment. If you are an experienced trader who employs an accountant for your taxes, then this will not bother you in the slightest.
With good educational resources, retirement planning tools, and access to a full suite of research and analysis tools, any small shortcomings are easily overshadowed by the benefits of this broker.
As one of the best-priced brokers with access to stock markets outside of the US, Scottrade takes the fifth-ranking spot in our analysis of the top 5 online stock brokers.
Ultimately, you, as the investor, have to determine the best stock trading site that is the right fit for your specific needs and requirements. The list, reviews, and online broker rankings above have been provided as a first step in your research for the best online stock brokers.
In addition to being the founder and co-editor of AdvisoryHQ News, Ogbe is also a senior management consultant and has worked with top Wall Street and global financial firms, including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, HSBC, BNY Mellon, Capital One, State Street, and Principal Financial Group. If you trade a lot on margins, then you’ll want to consider those brokers that offer the lowest margin rates. This is a great company to use if you only want to invest in American markets, and the fees are competitive and attractive to beginners. They are a well-established company with competitive fees that favor people who trade often.
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