5 Top Online Stock Brokers

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Investors should know the best online brokers to trade with. Some online stock brokers are known for their award-winning customer service while others are known for inexpensive stock trades or powerful trading tools.

This guide will highlight some of the best brokers available today with tips and advice for choosing a broker.

Its platforms thinkorswim was 1 desktop platformtools, mobile apps including Alexa Skill and Facebook Trading stocks online botresearch, customer service 1 for phone supportand education 1 are all award winning. Get up to free trades for 2 years. Trading stocks online is best known for its value driven customer experience. Beyond cost and ease of use, Fidelity also finished 1 for research tools. OptionsHouse has been rated the 1 platform for Options Trading the past seven years.

Merrill Edge is the online broker of Bank of America and is available to all investors, regardless if they are a current BofA customer. Like TD Ameritrade and ETRADE, Merrill Edge is well-rounded; however, it has a huge advantage over all other brokers thanks to its Preferred Rewards program where customers can earn free trades, credit cards bonus cash back, priority customer service, and more.

I have personally been using the program since it launched in With its competitive commission rates for stocks and options trading, investors who have previous market experience will find themselves right at trading stocks online. However, unless you are already an Ally customer, you will find that there are better offerings available.

Having the best stock broker to serve individual needs is very important for any investor. For trading stocks online, cheap trades most often come at the expense of less research tools and a more simplified trade platform. Consider these 12 key factors to help compare all stock brokers and ultimately find the best broker to suite your needs. Trade Commissions What does it cost to buy shares of stock?

Does the fee change based on the type of order trading stocks online size of order? To keep it simple, look for brokers that offer flat-fee trades, ie charging a flat rate regardless of the type, price of the stock, or size of the order. Customer Service When picking up the phone or emailing a broker, is a well trained customer service representative ready to assist? How any investor is treated as a client is more important to some than others.

Trading Tools Trading successfully is a lot easier when investors have great tools at their disposal. A top stock broker should offer access to a wide variety of trade tools to help make the most of each and every trade. From real-time streaming quotes to last sale tickers, quality stock scanners, mobile trading apps, and level II quotes to name a few.

Strong tools are essential for active investors. Account Minimums Some brokers allow you to open an account with no minimum deposit while others may require several thousand dollars. Also know that some brokers require higher minimums to gain access to premium platforms, functionality, and personalized support. Market Research A good online broker will provide a variety of trading stocks online research tools. The rule of thumb here is simple: Investment Options A online stock broker should offer access to not only trading stocks, but also a strong selection of no load mutual funds, commission free ETFs, and complex options.

Other unique investment offerings to look for could include direct market routing, conditional orders, futures trading, and forex trading. Other Fees Fees beyond trade commissions include inactivity fees common with active trading brokers such as Interactive Brokers, Lightspeed, and TradeStation and IRA fees for having a retirement account. Trading stocks online like a bank account, stock brokers also make a portion of their trading stocks online off miscellaneous fees.

There is no reason why you should pay an annual fee to have an retirement account. If managing your own portfolio is not of interest, all full-service brokers offer optional advisory services trading stocks online well.

Furthermore, robo-advisors such as Betterment are growing in popularity. Once again, the experience at larger established brokers is going to be superior to smaller brokers.

Banking Larger online brokers offer banking and other financial services. Trading stocks online goes beyond money market accounts and CDs. Checking accounts, mortgages, debit cards, and credit cards can also be offered. The leader in this space is, hands down, Bank of America Merrill Edge. Account Security Because of the web today, all online brokers invest heavily into account security. Just like shopping online and trading stocks online a trustworthy website to purchase from, the best bet is to choose a trading stocks online, established broker for your portfolio.

To understand Order Execution, read this guide. International Trading For investors in the United States this is not a problem but for investors living outside the US, when comparing brokers it is important to make sure they offer service in your country. If trading stocks online need help deciding which broker to choose or have a broker specific question please feel free trading stocks online email me and I will be happy to help.

To view star ratings, summaries, screenshots, and more for these brokers, see our stock broker comparison tool. This took many dozens of hours to put together so I appreciate your support! Enter your email address.

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Buy and sell securities using a wealth of research and advanced tools on our intuitive trading website. Open a Brokerage Account. Learn more about our advanced trading tools and features. Take advantage of stock screen strategies from independent third-party experts to research stocks, ETFs, and options, or create your own screens using over custom filters. Sign up for free Guest Access to try our research.

Set alerts to receive balance updates, trade notifications, market news, or stock research messages via email and our mobile apps. Set trailing stops and conditional orders ahead of time to help manage risk and maximize profits.

Qualified customers can take advantage of our active trading software to get streaming quotes, directed trading, and more. Invest in multiple bonds with staggered maturities to help provide a consistent income stream and hedge against interest rate risk. Using up to 10 years of daily historical data, test strategies before you invest. Save strategies and manage trade alerts. Explore the details of this full-featured brokerage account, consistently rated among the best in the industry.

View all of your brokerage account choices including trusts, the Fidelity Account for Businesses, custodial accounts, and more. Other conditions may apply. Employee equity compensation transactions and accounts managed by advisors or intermediaries through Fidelity Clearing and Custody Solutions are subject to different commission schedules.

Best Online Brokers Special Report. Fidelity ranked in the top five in 10 out of 12 categories. Fidelity ranked in the top two in all 13 categories. Fidelity ranked in the top five in 13 out of 14 categories. Results in and were based on having the highest Customer Experience Index within the categories composing the survey, as scored by 4, and 5, respondents, respectively, in the survey conducted by Investor's Business Daily's polling partner, TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence.

Fidelity was ranked No. Fidelity was also rated No. Fidelity was evaluated against 15 others and earned the top overall score of Fidelity was also named Best for Long-Term Investing tied with two others , Best for Novices tied with one other , and Best for Investor Education tied with two others , and was ranked first in the following categories: Fidelity was also named Best for Long-Term Investing tied with one other , Best for Novices tied with one other , and Best for In-Person Service tied with four others , and was ranked first in the following categories: Overall ranking for both years based on unweighted ratings in the following categories: Keep in mind that investing involves risk.

The value of your investment will fluctuate over time, and you may gain or lose money. Options trading entails significant risk and is not appropriate for all investors. Certain complex options strategies carry additional risk. Before trading options, please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options.

Supporting documentation for any claims, if applicable, will be furnished upon request. Skip to Main Content. Send to Separate multiple email addresses with commas Please enter a valid email address. Your email address Please enter a valid email address. Online Trading Buy and sell securities using a wealth of research and advanced tools on our intuitive trading website.

Sign up for free Guest Access to try our research Monitoring Create real-time watch lists to track stocks that interest you. Track real-time profit and loss information on every trade. Advanced Tools and Services. Order types Set trailing stops and conditional orders ahead of time to help manage risk and maximize profits. Monitor, trade, and manage up to 50 stocks as a single entity using basket trading. Advanced trading tools and features Explore advanced account features including margin, short selling, and options trading.

Bond ladders Invest in multiple bonds with staggered maturities to help provide a consistent income stream and hedge against interest rate risk.

Compare bonds by coupon rates, yields, call dates, and ratings. Strategy testing Using up to 10 years of daily historical data, test strategies before you invest. Accounts With Online Trading. View all accounts View all of your brokerage account choices including trusts, the Fidelity Account for Businesses, custodial accounts, and more. Next step Open an account. Results based on ratings in the following categories: The fee is subject to change.

Research is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute advice or guidance, nor is it an endorsement or recommendation for any particular security or trading strategy. Research is provided by independent companies not affiliated with Fidelity. Please determine which security, product, or service is right for you based on your investment objectives, risk tolerance, and financial situation.

Be sure to review your decisions periodically to make sure they are still consistent with your goals. System availability and response times may be subject to market conditions. Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Please enter a valid ZIP code. View all trading commissions and margin rates. Create real-time watch lists to track stocks that interest you.

Explore advanced account features including margin, short selling, and options trading. Pay no taxes on your gains within an IRA until you take withdrawals.