Best Online Stock Broker to Use for Investing and Trading
Before you can begin investing your money, you need to choose a stock broker where you can hold your money to choose your investments. Reviews.com does an excellent job explaining which brokerages are the best for online trading and investing. Reviews.com provides a lot of useful information such as commission fees and account minimums.
In this post, I add to Reviews.com's research with my input for other options available out there for you based on my experience.
Best for Beginners: E*Trade
As Reviews.com covers very well, E*Trade is an excellent choice for beginners. The platform is very easy to learn and use. All the knowledge you need to get started investing your money is provided in their financial education learning center. You can stay current with the latest stock market news, reports, and their market analysts suggestions. You can use E*Trade for day and options trading. However, there are much better options below that I outline.
Open an account here.
Best for Active Trading: TD Ameritrade
My personal preference and what I currently use is TD Ameritrade's platform, ThinkOrSwim. If you're an active trader, specifically trading options then ThinkOrSwim is the way to go. Although their commissions are a bit higher ($6.95 per trade + $0.75 per option contract), their statistical tools really provide you with an edge in today's competitive market. I should also mention that you will have access to real-time data, which is essential if you're an active trader. There's a bit of a learning curve, but the Learning Center provides all the information to get you up to speed. I should also mention the mobile app of ThinkOrSwim is increbily easy to use.
You can open an account here.
Best for Long Term Investors: Fidelity
Currently I use Fidelity for my long term investment accounts including Roth IRA and 401(k) accounts. For long term investors, Fidelity is hands down the best stock broker. They provide the best research, tools, products and advice to help you make the best financial decisions for you and your family. Fidelity also offers Fidelity offers lower commissions than TD Ameritrade too ($4.95 per trade). I highly recommend Fidelity if you are a buy and hold investor, or swing trader.
You can open an account here.
Best for Low Fees and Millennials: Robinhood
Although I do not use Robinhood to buy and sell stock, I have many friends that use the app everyday and have nothing, but great things to say. Robinhood has the lowest fees of all the stock brokers covered by myself and Reviews.com, well, because the commissions are in fact zero! Zero commissions means you save $15-$20 per buy and sell transaction. If you buy and sell 10 stocks per month, the fees can really add up on the end of the year. Besides having zero commissions, you can learn while you invest with Robinhood's personalized newsfeed and more. Many millennials prefer Robinhood because of how simple it is to use the app.
You can sign up here.
How do I pick the broker for me?
To determine which broker is right for you, I suggest evaluating your trading habits and needs, and comparing various features such as:
- Available Investments
- Account types (IRA, taxable accounts, 529 plans, trusts, banking services, and more)
- Commissions (cost per trade)
- Options Trading (availability, and cost per option)
- Online only vs. Brick & Mortar
- Availability of Broker Assisted Trades
- Maintenance Fees, if any (most investment providers on this list do not charge any additional fees)
- Education & Investment Training
- Tax Software for tracking investments, long term & short term capital gains, and tax-loss harvesting
- Customer Service
If you have any questions before pulling the trigger on a broker, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm here to help.