One thing you need to know if you plan on getting into trading stocks is an online broker. An online broker will allow you to trade stocks from home in real time and for very little, if any, commission.
Your broker needs to be someone that has a reasonable minimum, quality trading tools, great customer service, and you will probably want them to not have any hidden fees in their contracts. The problem now is finding an online broker that comes with these qualities and works great for you.
Finding a good online broker can seem like a daunting task, especially with technology making it so much easier to find brokers of any kind.
Unless you are an expert in terminology and know exactly what you are looking for, you may find yourself drowning in options.
Never fear, we are here to help you narrow down your choices. We have created this list of the best online brokers for stock trading.
Top Online Brokers for Stock Trading:
- Fidelity Investments – Best For Experienced Investors
- Vanguard – Best For Passive Investors With Significant Deposit
- SoFi Automated Investing – Best For Customer Service
- Charles Schwab – Best For Analysis and Research
- Interactive Brokers – Best Package For Starters
- Robinhood – Best For Amateur Traders
- E-Trade – Best Education Source For Beginners
Fidelity Investments - Best For Experienced Investors
Fidelity Investments has millions of customers across the USA and overseas. The company has been around for fifty years and is considered one of the largest brokerage houses in the world. The majority of Fidelity operations are in the USA, and it operates various investor centers and regional offices across the country.
Fidelity investment products range from annuities, mutual funds, and options through to sector investing and managed accounts, catering to advisors, institutions, employers, and individual investors. However, Fidelity also offers its investment services to international clients, but this is only in a limited number of countries, and it is via a separate, dedicated site.
Although it is not the cheapest brokerage house, Fidelity does excel in many areas where other companies lack. So, if you are prepared to pay a premium for outstanding trading education and excellent customer service, Fidelity could be the broker for you.
Vanguard - Best For Passive Investors With Significant Deposit
Determined to change the way the world invests, Vanguard offers a different perspective to asset management. For sure, Vanguard is different than any other brokerage house in the United States, for the simple reason that it focuses more on investment management rather than on brokerage.
Vanguard runs a hybrid business – a combination of traditional brokerage (for stocks, ETFs) and investment management. With a client-first culture, Vanguard began operations in 1975, still managing the oldest balanced fund in the United States – Vanguard Wellington.
One of the world’s largest investment companies, Vanguard has over 30 million investors and focuses on funds management. Addressing both individual investors and financial professionals, Vanguard manages over 190 funds in the United States and more than 230 outside the country. It also operates Vanguard Brokerage, allowing individual investors to trade stocks and ETFs via a traditional brokerage account.
SoFi Invest - Best For Customer Service
SoFi invest is NOT just another brokerage house into the niche of fractional shares investing. Instead, it is a non-bank extending its services into the investing world.
SoFi is a good broker for those that do not afford trading with a regular, traditional investing house. High transaction costs and other barriers to entry (e.g., high minimum initial deposit) keep many wannabe investors aside – investors that just cannot afford the services but are willing to take a chance.
For such investors, SoFi is the ideal choice. No commissions or fees for transactions, easy-to-understand products (crypto, stocks, ETFs), one account to trade them all from, a friendly app, and the ability to start investing with as little as $1.
On the other hand, it signals a lack of expertise. It only shows how easy it is to enter the brokerage industry should one has the funds to meet all the compliance required by the SEC. And SoFi does have the funds from the other businesses that generate more cash flow.
Charles Schwab - Best For Analysis and Research
An almost complete broker – fair pricing, international access, wide range of products, no hidden fees. Schwab offers a complete package to all types of investors and traders, with few things to add.
With a strong physical presence in the United States and 24/7 online service, Schwab is one of the brokers that want you to contact and ask anything regarding its services – we cannot say the same for many of its competitors.
The research and analysis features comprise advanced stock charting, momentum indicators, and watch lists but also fundamental research helping with stock market’s valuation (earnings, dividends, ratings, short interest, etc.). On top of that, StreetSmart Edge is fully customizable, includes alerts and order positions tiles, as well as basic to advanced options orders.
Schwab is active in all investment categories one may think of. Either directly or indirectly, Schwab is actively offering financial services in money market funds, ETFs, trust, estate and charitable, and so on. As an investor, it is difficult to expect more from a brokerage house
Interactive Brokers – Best Package For Starters
Interactive Brokers offers services for both retail and institutional investors. It stands out from the pack as a broker that is best for gaining access to the worldwide markets. Interactive
IB offers a complete brokerage service. It not only caters to individual clients, but prop traders, family offices, hedge funds, money managers, and small businesses. This makes Interactive suitable for global traders. The company recently aggressive campaigning to encourage retailer traders, who can benefit from the experience, background, and resources the company gained through big business dealings.
While it may not be the cheapest broker around, the access to global financial markets, competitive pricing, and premium technology make Interactive an interesting proposition. So, if you’re in need of a professional, regulated, global broker, who brings together institutional clients and retail traders for mutual benefit. Interactive is a solid choice.
Robinhood – Best For Amateur Traders
Robinhood has been around for over a decade, and as the name suggests, the overall aim was to democratize finance for all, slashing the cost of trading stocks for U.S. residents.
Today, Robinhood is one of the most popular brokerage platforms. It is also due to expand its services to the U.K. in the near future. With its introduction of fractional shares, Robinhood caters to traders who are cost sensitive. The company also offers access to cryptocurrency markets.
The target client for this company is the younger generation. This brokerage house is challenging the traditional broker, making waves in the industry. Robinhood understands that while traditional brokers have more account types and cover more markets, they lack the ability for quick responses to customer changes. So, they aim to give clients the power to participate without the bulk from the traditional industry.
Although it has caused a great deal of damage to lots of businesses, Robinhood has enjoyed additional business. With little to no sporting events for people to bet on, newbie investors have turned to Robinhood. This is a sure indication that over the coming years, Robinhood will continue to grow.
E-Trade – Best Education Source For Beginners
E-Trade is a complete financial advisor and brokerage service for residents in the USA. Both the desktop and mobile trading platforms offer in house assistance and tutorials. The E-Trade knowledge center covers most investment services and can be an invaluable resource for newbies who need an introduction into the world of financial market investments.
E-Trade’s Brokerage Account, its flagship account, allows members to reach an abundance of markets, providing superb diversification potential. However, regardless of whether you’re an individual trader, self employed, future retiree, or small company, E-Trade has something to offer everyone. This company has made investing transparent and diversified.
This platform suits active and passive investors. Active traders are likely to welcome the commission structure. E-Trade offers commission free trading on most stocks, mutual funds and ETFs, and low commission on options and futures.
Passive investors will appreciate the variety of managed portfolios, as the advisory arm is one of E-Trade’s core strengths. E-Trade also has excellent retirement planning assistance, creating an ideal environment for beginners, particularly those new to the stock market.