It is clearly important to choose top online stockbrokers that suit your needs. This vital decision should not be made haphazardly. Many considerations should be taken into account.
Each trader has an individual trading style that will help determine which online broker to use. There are several factors to consider in choosing an online stock broker.
Factors to Consider in Choosing the Best Broker
Here are some of the factors that you should consider in selecting the best online stock brokers:
- Low commissions on investments you will use most: Most brokers require a commission fee, and the amount varies depending on the preferred investment. Carefully read the commission amounts associated with each investment option. For instance, you will typically pay a per-trade commission for individual stocks.
- Support for account holders: Many platforms offer training, research and hand-holding especially for novice traders. These educational resources can usually be accessed for free, so watch out for trading platforms that charge for videos and tutorials that are offered free-of-charge by others.
- Account Fees: While they may not be completely unavoidable, you can choose trading platforms that have lesser fees. The most common fees that brokers charge for are for closing your account or for transferring out funds: Watch out for brokers who charge for extra fees for account inactivity, research and data fees, trading platform fees, or for broker-assisted trades.
- Account Minimums: Many online brokers ask for an initial deposit in order to fund the account. The minimum deposit requirement averages $1,000. There are some brokers that ask for an initial deposit of $5,000. However, there are excellent brokers that have no account minimum.
- Trading Platform: The trading platform is an essential factor in choosing the best online broker. It should have the best tools and resources required for trading and making a profit. There are some brokers that allow you to give their platform a trial run. These test accounts will help you determine what tools and resources the broker offer, how smoothly they operate and what kind of data the platform provides to support your trade.
5 Top Online Stockbrokers
Here is a list of the top online stockbrokers and their best features:
|Top Online Stockbroker||Quick Facts||Best Features|
|– Stock trading costs: $6.95
– No annual fees
– No inactivity fees
– $75 transfer fee
– Has two web-based
platforms and mobile apps
(Ameritrade.com and Trade
– Has one desktop platform
|– It has $0 minimum balance requirement.
– Free extensive research
– Guidance in creating an account portfolio
– Offers the full range of investments
– Has nearly 300 commission-free ETFs and more than 4,000 no-transaction-fee mutual funds
– Training content is served in multiple formats
|Fidelity||– Minimum deposit of $2,500
– Offers fund comparison
– Provides stock and ETF
screeners that are rich with
– Its mobile app has advanced
features that mimic a
desktop trading platform
|– Uses a simple, flat-fee trading
commission structure, which are
less expensive than leading online
– Only broker to provide clients with a raw tally of savings from quality order execution
– More than 3,700 no-transaction-fee mutual funds
|OptionsHouse||– Account minimum: $0
– $0 maintenance and inactivity fee
– Offers the following tradable securities: Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, ETFs, Options, and Futures
|– Offers $4.95 flat fee for stock trades and $4.95 + $0.50 per contract for options trades
– Highly competitive commissions schedule
– Easy-to-use trading platform
– Provides the strategySEEK tool, which is the best hands-on options scanner in the industry
– Browser-based platform and mobile app have robust analytical tools, real-time data and charting tools
|Charles Schwab||– Offers $4.95 flat-rate stock trades
– Has three different platforms: StreetSmart.com, StreetSmart Edge, and Trade Source
– Provides fingerprint login, heatmapping, and support for three-legged and four-legged options trades are all present
|– Offers 229 commission-free ETFs
– Has excellent 24/7 customer service support
– Only broker to stream its own live events
– More than 200 commission-free ETFs
– More than 4,000 no-transaction-fee mutual funds
– Provides its own equity ratings along with reports from S&P Capital IQ, Market Edge, Morning Star, and others
|TradeStation||– Account minimum is $500
for stock-trading account,
$2,000 for options trading,
and $5,000 for futures
– Flat-fee pricing is $5 per
– Has extensive desktop and
web-trading platforms as
well as a mobile app
|– Offers free real-time market data
– Free real-time connection with RadarScreen market monitoring tool
– Ideal for the seasoned online trader with its professional-level trading
– Offers a free lineup of comprehensive research and tools
– Seasoned customers can design their own trade-strategy customizations
This article is a definitive guide on which online stockbroker to use which would be the best fit for your investment style. Whatever your preferences are, there is a perfectly-matched online stockbroker for you.