11 Best Online Brokers for Stock Trading: 2024

If you’re an experienced investor and you want to actively trade the markets, you might consider opening a margin account instead of a cash account. Margin accounts let you invest more than you actually deposit into your account by using leverage, or borrowed money. If you trade using this money, a process called margin trading, you can magnify any losses you incur. You can lose more money than you actually deposit—and be obligated to pay it.

What’s the best trading platform for a beginner?

Investors may also be turned off by the fact that Public requires users to manually opt out of tipping on each transaction, which the company calls “a more transparent, more aligned way to make money” than PFOF. Lastly, Public currently only offers access to individual brokerage accounts. EToro offers access to the largest crypto coin selection of any company we cover in the online broker space, and it does this with one of the most user-friendly experiences in the industry. One login to eToro’s online brokerage platform gives users access to stock, ETF, and futures trading, as well as 21 physical crypto coins, all on the company’s intuitive and socially focused web-based and mobile platforms.

  1. With Interactive Brokers, investors can trade stocks, ETFs, options, futures, forex, cryptocurrencies, and mutual funds in over 150 markets.
  2. It wasn’t included in the earlier data sets because the asset and client information it provides aren’t as detailed as what other brokers offer.
  3. Fidelity is just one of 26 online brokers that we evaluated based on 89 criteria, including available assets, account services, user experience, and additional features.
  4. Headquartered in Boston, Fidelity’s storied history began with its founding in 1946.

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Despite its success, Robinhood faced some controversy in the past including a lawsuit over its handling of GameStop stock during the Reddit-driven market chaos that took place in late January of 2021. Remember that investing in stocks involves risk, and it’s essential to diversify your portfolio and consider your risk tolerance before making any investment decisions. If you are new to investing, it can be helpful to consult with a financial advisor before buying stocks online. While you can open a brokerage account for as little as $0, features, services, fee and commission structure, and technology will vary based on the platform you choose. It is important to compare the variables most important to your priorities as you consider the many options available to you.

Who are the top 10 brokerage firms?

Carolyn Kimball is managing editor for Reink Media and the lead editor for the StockBrokers.com Annual Review. Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money.

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In truth, the stock exchanges as we think of them from their depictions in movies and on TV don’t really exist today. Most trading in the best online stock brokers actually takes place between computers in dimly lit server rooms in New Jersey, a few miles from New York City’s financial district. Fidelity also offers more independent largest online brokers research than pretty much any other discount broker. Plus, it has a good amount of educational resources and offers fractional share trading, making it a great choice for beginner investors. Here’s our brokerage comparison, with all the nitty-gritty of what we found when looking for the best trading platform around.

Best Online Brokers for Stock Trading: 2024

Comparing the best investment brokers on our list can help you determine which platform has the features you’re looking for. With the best online stock brokers, placing a trade is similar to other types of online banking. It’s much more convenient than it used to be — and more accessible, too. And if you’re an investor who loves data, you’ll love the analysis you can do on the platform.

As of December 2023, Interactive Brokers reported $426.0 billion in AUM and over 2.56 million clients. IBKR conducts its broker/dealer business on over 150 market destinations worldwide and is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut with offices in multiple countries. Well, as of April 2023, Vanguard reported a massive client base of over 50 million clients and its assets under management surpassed $8 trillion.

Fidelity is our best broker for ETFs because of its rich ETF-focused educational content and research tools, expansive ETF offering, and fractional ETF trading. Fidelity is a repeat winner in this category, after earning the top from Charles Schwab spot in 2023. Our editors independently research and recommend the best products and services. You can learn more about our independent review process and partners in our advertiser disclosure.

Robinhood brings an attractive and smooth mobile app to the trading game, allowing you to buy stocks, ETFs, options and cryptocurrency with no out-of-pocket commission. You’ll also get to buy fractional shares and can earn an attractive interest rate on your cash balances here. Plus, Robinhood now lets you open an IRA and provides you a match on your contributions. https://www.trading-market.org/ Webull offers attractive charting, if that’s important to you, but it’s only part of the mobile experience. Each stock has a comprehensive page with links to news and other third-party content, and you can see what other traders are saying about it, too. You’ll get instant funding of your account as well as the ability to purchase fractional shares.

Some companies still offer direct stock purchase plans that allow you to buy shares directly from the company. Companies administer these plans according to internal rules, and some are only open to company employees. You need to contact companies to find out whether they offer a direct stock purchase plan and what the terms and conditions are. These plans initially helped investors avoid brokerage fees, but the rise of online discount brokers with zero fees has removed this barrier, making the direct stock purchase plan somewhat of a relic.

Charles Schwab was a close contender for first place in several of our categories. Ultimately, its reliable and competent representatives earned it the top spot for customer service. The funds that earned the match must be kept in the account for at least five years to avoid a potential Early IRA Match Removal Fee. SogoTrade is one of the cheaper options on the Best Online Brokerages list.

One of the best brokerage accounts for active traders and has some of the lowest commissions and margin rates around. With no commission fees, access to trade fractional shares, and cryptocurrency through Robinhood Crypto, Robinhood is a no-frills but efficient brokerage account. Top brokerage firms offer different platforms for different investment needs. Some are best for beginners, and others are ideal for more advanced investors.

For example, if your goal is to save for retirement, you should consider a tax-advantaged account like an individual retirement account (IRA). However, if you’re investing money that you plan to use before retirement age, then you might opt for a taxable brokerage account. These accounts can still be used to invest for retirement as well as goals you’d like to reach before then. With a full-service brokerage, you typically get a wide range of services and a one-on-one relationship with a stockbroker—maybe also a financial advisor.

Once you’ve found a broker, you can begin plotting your way to a more secure financial future. Bankrate has reviewed the best brokers for beginners and offers its top picks. And if you’re just looking to trade with a mobile app and don’t want some of the frills, then you might also consider turning to Robinhood or Webull. Nothing will have everything you need, but go with the brokerage account with the best of what you need. Parents or other family members can get gift cards redeemable for stock in Stockpile accounts. Plus, you’ll pay no fees to buy an e-gift, redeem a gift card, or switch to another stock.

These factors are key to new investors learning the basics of long-term investing and how to navigate the market and the brokerage. The Boston-based broker is great about getting rid of unnecessary account fees even as it provides a top-quality experience. Fidelity’s deep research and educational resources make it a great choice for beginner investors, and you’ll find every retirement account you could want, making it an ideal place to invest for your golden years.

The firm also offers investments in Fidelity ETFs, mutual funds, and other products. The operating expense ratio (OER) fees for actively managed mutual funds at Schwab range from 0.21% to 1.09%. Annual portfolio management fees at Schwab start at 0.80% for the Schwab Wealth Advisory account. Retail investors have become more active participants in the financial markets, particularly during COVID.

Beginners will enjoy the simple online platform at TD Ameritrade’s website. Experienced investors will want to take advantage of the advanced trading platform, called thinkorswim, and other expert resources TD Ameritrade makes available. Blain Reinkensmeyer has 20 years of trading experience with over 2,500 trades placed during that time. He heads research for all U.S.-based brokerages on StockBrokers.com and is respected by executives as the leading expert covering the online broker industry. Blain’s insights have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune, among other media outlets.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation does not insure brokerage accounts. Brokerage accounts are protected for up to $250,000 in cash/$500,000 per customer against a broker’s insolvency by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Unlike the FDIC, the SIPC is not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Fidelity provides a ton of news and market commentary, along with extensive education on a wide array of investment options. If you’re new to investing, you’ll appreciate a huge library of helpful articles, too.