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Best Online Brokers

Most investors engage in stock and investment trading through online brokerage platforms. To assist you in identifying the most suitable brokerage accounts, we have assessed various brokerage firms and investment companies based on the specific needs of different types of stock traders.

Exploring the best online brokers

For active traders, we have curated a list of online brokers offering commission-free trading, robust mobile trading apps, and powerful desktop trading capabilities. For those new to investing, we have identified the best online brokers that excel in educational resources, such as webinars, video tutorials, and in-person seminars, along with responsive chat and phone support.

The following brokerage firms have excelled in these criteria, earning their spot on our list of the top online brokers for stock trading. Keep reading to discover our recommendations, along with links to our in-depth reviews of each broker.

Summary: Top Brokerage Accounts for Online Stock Trading

Our Top Choice 2024
interactive brokers
Interactive Brokers
  • Best for: Traders who require low fees, global market access, and advanced tools.
  • Commissions starting at $0
  • IBKR charges margin loan rates from 5.83% to 6.83%
  • Global Access
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jp morgan
JP Morgan
  • Best for: Traders who value a well-established, reputable financial institution.
  • Regulated by the top-tier SEC and FINRA in the US
  • Investor protection is $500k
  • Founded in 1985
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robin hood
Robin Hood
  • Best for: Traders who prioritize cost-effective stock and ETF trading.
  • Lowest costs in the industry
  • Free cryptocurrency trading
  • 24/5 stock trading
  • IPO access
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axos bank
Axos Bank
  • Best for: Traders who seek an all-in-one platform with banking integration.
  • No-Commission Trading
  • Real-time market data
  • Expert insights and premium TipRanks™ market research
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  • Best for: Active traders, who desire advanced tools and mobile accessibility.
  • Zero commissions
  • Advanced charting tools
  • In-depth quotes
  • Earn 5,0% APY 
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  • Best for: Traders seeking to maximize interest earnings and comfortable with utilizing online or phone-based customer service.
  • Trade stocks and ETFs, invest in IPOs at IPO prices
  • Automated investing- all in the SoFi app
  • Get up to $1,000 in stock when you fund a new account
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  • Best for: Traders who prefer automated investing and spare-change investment strategies.
  • Earn more with two of the highest APYs available — 3.00% APY on Checking, 5.00% APY on Emergency Fund
  • Save, invest and learn from one easy app
  • Automatically save and invest with Round-Ups® feature
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Find the Best Online Brokers to Maximize Returns and Minimize Costs

Expert Reviews for Online Brokers

Choose with Confidence: Our Top 8 Online Brokers

We’re dedicated to offering detailed online broker comparisons for informed decisions. Our expert team assessed the top online brokers for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Which brokerage account suits your needs best?

It primarily hinges on your specific objectives. If your intention is to invest your savings for the long term, you might want to prioritize a brokerage that offers robust financial planning tools or provides retirement account options.

However, if you intend to engage in frequent day trading activities, it’s advisable to consider order execution quality when selecting the most suitable brokerage account. Some brokers employ the payment for order flow (PFOF) model, which can potentially result in slower trade executions or less favorable prices compared to non-PFOF brokerage options.

Alternatively, if you simply seek an all-encompassing brokerage, you can assess them based on fundamental criteria such as trading costs and the variety of investment choices they offer.

What is the minimum amount required to begin?

You don’t need a substantial sum. It’s important to mention that a majority of the brokers mentioned earlier do not impose minimum account requirements for both taxable brokerage accounts and IRAs. After setting up your account, all you need to embark on your investment journey is sufficient funds to purchase a single share of a stock, along with any applicable trading commission, if applicable.

If you require additional assistance, we recommend consulting our article on how to buy stocks, which offers detailed, step-by-step instructions for executing your initial trade.

Is it wise to solely opt for the least expensive broker?

Certainly, trading costs hold significance for active and high-volume traders. However, it’s worth noting that numerous brokers now provide commission-free trading for stocks and ETFs, and some have even waived fees for options contracts. In some cases, factors such as access to a diverse range of investments or comprehensive training tools could prove to be more valuable than trying to save a few dollars when making stock purchases.

What are some strategies for achieving diversification with limited funds?

A straightforward method is to consider investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). ETFs are essentially akin to mutual funds but are traded like individual stocks on stock market exchanges. Similar to mutual funds, each ETF comprises a portfolio of stocks, often spanning a wide range (sometimes hundreds) that adhere to specific criteria (e.g., companies included in a stock market index like the S&P 500). In contrast to mutual funds, which may impose substantial minimum investment requirements, investors have the flexibility to buy as little as a single share of an ETF at a time.

Is my money protected when held at brokerage firms?

Your funds are indeed safeguarded, but this protection applies solely in the improbable event of a brokerage firm or investment company’s insolvency. The coverage provided by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) does not extend to any losses in the value of your investments.

Which type of brokerage account should I opt for?

Your decision hinges on whether you should go with a taxable brokerage account or a tax-advantaged retirement account like an IRA. For a more comprehensive understanding of what’s entailed in establishing a taxable account, you can refer to our brokerage account guide. If you’re considering opening an IRA, you’ll need to decide among options like a Roth IRA, traditional IRA, or SEP IRA, and our IRA guide can provide valuable assistance, especially if you’re new to this.

How soon can I begin trading?

Once you’ve successfully opened your account, the next step involves initiating a deposit or transferring funds to the brokerage firm, a process that typically ranges from a few days to a week. After this step is completed, you can start your journey into investing, but it’s crucial to approach it thoughtfully and with a disciplined long-term strategy.

How can I determine the most suitable brokerage account for my needs?

To pinpoint the best brokerage account for your requirements, it’s essential to assess various factors. Consider factors like your available capital, the types of assets you plan to invest in, your trading approach and technical prerequisites, the frequency of your transactions, and the level of service you expect. Our guide on selecting the right broker for your specific needs provides detailed insights into evaluating the features offered by brokerage firms and prioritizing your preferences.

Top 5 FAQs About Online Brokers (for Experienced Traders)

What is the execution quality of the broker?

Experienced traders often prioritize order execution speed and reliability. They may inquire about the broker’s order routing practices, whether they use payment for order flow (PFOF), and how they ensure fast and efficient trade executions.

What advanced trading tools and platforms are available?

Seasoned traders seek advanced trading platforms with features like customizable charts, technical indicators, algorithmic trading capabilities, and access to Level II quotes. They often inquire about the broker’s trading software and its suitability for their strategies.

What are the margin and leverage options?

Experienced traders may want to know about margin requirements, available leverage ratios, and the broker’s policy on short selling. Understanding these aspects is crucial for managing risk and capital efficiently.

Are there any advanced trading order types?

Traders with experience often use advanced order types like stop-limit orders, trailing stops, and conditional orders. They may inquire about the availability and functionality of these order types on the broker’s platform.

What are the fees and commissions for high-volume trading?

High-volume traders may be concerned about the impact of fees on their overall profitability. They typically ask about commission structures, spreads, and any volume-based discounts or rebates offered by the broker.

3 Best Online Brokers

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