Do you want to trade shares? You will need an agent online, and that agent must offer you a minimum of reasonable investment, high-quality commercial tools, solid access to customer service and no hidden account charges. In these measures, the brokers then took their place in our 2019 list of the best online brokers for stock trading.
Beyond that, we evaluate each company in the services that matter most to the different types of investors. For example, for active traders, we note suppliers that offer volume discounts on trading commissions and robust mobile trading platforms. For people who venture to invest for the first time, we call brokers who provide educational support (such as stock selection tutorials) and online chat or telephone support.
To find a suitable online broker, whether you are a new investor or an experienced active trader, read on for highlights (and links to our detailed reviews of each).
Ally Invest’s robust trading platform and its line of free research, graphics, data and analysis tools make it a good option for active traders. But it is also appropriate for beginner investors who will appreciate that there is no minimum account or annual fees.
Merrill Edge offers high-quality customer service, robust research and low rates. Customers of the parent company Bank of America will love the perfect and careful integration, with a single login to access both accounts.
E-Trade has long been one of the most popular online brokers, in large part because of its easy-to-use tools. They offer a tiered commission structure that favors frequent traders but can add up to high costs for occasional investors.
TD Ameritrade compensates higher than average trading fees with services, research and negotiation tools above the average that will make everyone happy, from beginning investors to active traders.
TradeStation is the gold standard among investors active in stocks, options and futures that rely on the broker’s high octane trading platform, reams of research and sophisticated analytical tools. The company offers three commission plans: flat rate, per share / per contract and unbundled price plan (the last two will be attractive for active traders). The lack of ETF and mutual funds free of commissions can be a detour for some investors.