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Table Of Contents
Stock trading online has never been more accessible. There are now a wide range of online stock brokers offering trusted trading environments and commission-free trading on thousands of top stocks, ETFs, and more.
Whether you are a new or experienced stock trader, there will be a broker perfect for you. We have taken a closer look at 5 of the best and outlined their key features to meet your trading needs.
Important Areas to Consider
With so many great choices available, we have taken into consideration a few of the following important areas as key factors when you are making your online stock broker choice:
Trading Costs: These will directly impact your bottom line. Luckily in the market today, most of the top stock brokers offer great value when it comes to allowing commission-free trading and are largely fee-free overall.
Platform and Features: You will want a trading platform that is user-friendly and also available on your chosen device with mobile trading capability being increasingly more important for the majority of traders. Additional broker features and tools can also set many competitors apart.
Trading Style: How you want to trade, and particularly your level of involvement will play a key role. For the hands-off approach robo-advisors and automated trading is perfect, while for a diverse portfolio with a budget, the rise of fractional share trading is more than ideal.
If you are looking for an experienced broker in the industry backed by one of the most respected reputations around, and filled with great trading features and options, you need look no further than Firstrade. They are a pioneer in offering commission-free, low-cost trading and have been around since 1985.
Over the course of their more than 35 years in the sector, they have not stood still. Continuing to evolve they now offer a highly-intuitive and proprietary trading platform where you can take advantage of trading thousands of stocks, ETFs, and bonds from some of the world’s foremost exchanges.
They also provide a top-rate educational section packed with articles, videos, and tutorials to help you grow your knowledge around trading at every level.
Trading Costs: You will find no commissions or trading fees anywhere within Firstrade. Uniquely among top brokers this also applies to trading in mutual funds, often a huge plus for more experienced traders.
M1 Finance has quickly established as one of the most unique stock broker choices in the sector. They combine some of the best elements of a low-cost online broker while offering a popular robo-advisor trading experience. This has seen them become a top choice for many stock traders since launching in 2015.
If you want to start trading fractional shares and build a diverse portfolio at the same time, M1 offers the ideal solution. Here you can choose from thousands of stocks, ETFs, and other assets to build your portfolio through fractional shares, or from dozens of curated portfolios called “pies” the broker has put together. Once invested, these pies can then automatically trade and rebalance just like a robo-advisor to optimize your investment.
Beyond just trading, this FDIC insured and regulated service provides a whole ecosystem where you can save at high-interest rates and even borrow against your portfolio at low cost through M1 Spend with no hassle or credit check and a low-interest rate from 2%.
Trading Costs: Extremely good value is provided for trading with M1 Finance. There are no trading fees, commissions, or mark-ups added at all. There is also no account minimum to worry about. A perfect environment for first time traders looking to save big on fees.
Public.com is one of the fastest-growing app-based stock brokers in the industry. They have been around in some form for many years and have well-respected regulation in place from FINRA while providing a very innovative trading and investment environment for the modern stock trader.
You will find thousands of major US stocks and ETFs available to browse and buy with theme-based classifications making it very easy to find the perfect investments for you. A big advantage in the market of today is that you can invest in fractional shares with Public, and all through the convenience of their easy to use mobile app. This can be quickly downloaded on your iOS or Android device and puts all the trading power you need right in your hand.
Additionally, you will have access to many great social trading features that enable you to communicate and share information with other groups and traders, even though a direct messaging system so you never miss a move.
Trading Costs: As with many others, there are no commissions or fees on any trades with Public.com. Add this to the many non-trading features like deposits and withdrawals that can be fee-free and it is possible to trade with great value here.
Interactive Brokers has been around the industry for a very long time. As far as stockbrokers go, they are well-respected and regulated in equal measure within the sector. Recently they have also been working on evolving their offering to attract more new stock traders with their IBKR Lite offering.
This service brings IB close to other competitors in that they can offer free stock and ETF trading to you on US assets through IBKR Lite in ways that the full IBKR Pro service does not. You will also find that where previously scaled back, the broker is now offering more enhanced research and support features that are becoming more user-friendly all the time.
If you are looking for a longstanding brand name stockbroker within the industry that caters not only for new traders but also has any levels to unlock as you become more experienced, then Interactive Brokers may be the right choice for you.
Trading Costs: IBKR Lite is fee-free for stock and ETF trading on US assets. If you trade assets from some of the other 100+ exchanges offered in more than 30 countries though, you will pay fees starting at $0.005 per share with a $1 minimum while options are $0.65 per contract.
Another major name in the industry when it comes to stockbrokers and wider financial services, TD Ameritrade is a cornerstone of the sector. They combine their longstanding good reputation with an evolution into commission-free trading on a huge range of assets.
Trading these assets with the broker is a very smooth process using their own Thinkorswim trading platform that has gained a great reputation for being both easy to use, very powerful, and detailed when it comes to charting tools and capabilities.
Not only backed by reputation and a tremendous offering of assets including many in crypto, TD Ameritrade goes to the next level in providing access to a wide range of helpful educational resources. This is why many of their traders tend to sign up and stay with the broker as a long-term choice.
Trading Costs: You can trade all stocks and ETFs here commission and fee-free. There are also thousands of mutual funds and more than you can access on a fee-free basis keeping pace with the industry. Options can be traded at $0.65 per contract with no minimum.
Anthony is a financial journalist and business advisor with several years’ experience writing for some of the most well-known sites in the Forex world. A keen trader turned industry writer, he is currently based in Shanghai with a finger on the pulse of Asia’s biggest markets.