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Whether you consider yourself an avid investor or a beginner just starting to look into the stock market, it's easy to get overwhelmed by all of the stock trading options. Although some people still use traditional stock brokers, many people have found they can save a lot of money by trading stocks themselves.
Besides significant cost savings, another great advantage to executing your own transactions is that you can avoid the time and energy necessary to deal with "professional" stock brokers. Many of these individuals try to convince you to buy or sell stocks, because they earn a commission every time you make a transaction. With online stock brokers, you never have to talk to any salesmen.
Monday, October 18th
TD Ameritrade is the best online stock broker for the widest range of investors, from novice to serious traders. Three platforms - Web, Mobile, and Thinkorswim - offer a wealth of information and are easy to use. To top it off, FREE online stock and ETF trades, with no minimum account balance or purchase amount, makes it super affordable and simple to invest. TD Ameritrade is the best online stock broker on the market today.
Firstrade has been around for more than 30 years, and they made the news when they announced that all online stock trades would be fee-free, with no minimum deposits or number of transactions. This online stock broker offers a fantastic amount of information to help beginner and expert stock traders alike - just be aware that they don't offer any personalized advice (automatic or with professional advisors) to guide your investment strategy.
Fidelity just about has it all: low-cost stock trades with no minimum deposit, 24/7 customer service, and different levels of advice ranging from DIY to fully-managed. While this online stock broker may not be the ideal fit for active traders, Fidelity is an excellent choice for investors who want a well-established company with a terrific reputation and helpful, easy-to-use tools for selecting and managing stocks and other investments.
Charles Schwab is a trusted name for investments, operating as a full-service stock broker both online and in local branches throughout the US. Many people turn to Schwab because of their unique 100% satisfaction guarantee, despite the brokerage's higher-than-most minimum deposit of $1000.
Another platform best suited for active traders, TradeStation offers stocks, penny stocks, options, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Bonds, and Futures. Their analysis software and trading platform are geared towards institutional traders and active trader individuals, and not as much for individuals who are looking for the occasional stock trade.
E*TRADE was the first online stock broker to execute an e(lectronic) trade more than 3 decades ago. They still offer good customer service and an easy-to-use platform, but other similar brokers allow you the same access to the stock market for lower fees.
Merrill Edge is a good choice for current Bank of America customers, because of the seamless transitions between accounts and easy use of a single login. Their online tools are helpful and simple to understand. Some clients have expressed frustration with Merrill Edge customer representatives, and with the time that it takes to get updates when making trades.
SpeedTrader, as the name suggests, is the only online stock broker in our review that is geared strictly towards active day traders. If that's you, and you're starting out with at least $30,000, this platform may be the one that best meets your needs. Otherwise, if you're more of an occasional investor like most people, you'll probably be more satisfied with the other brokerages in our review.
Robinhood came into the spotlight as a fee-free online stock broker geared towards Millennials: evidenced by their primarily app-based platform and being one of the only companies offering cryptocurrency investment options. Drawbacks include limited investment account types (no IRAs or 401(k)s) and a lack of research tools for determining which stocks to buy/sell.
SogoTrade has been known for offering a bargain stock trading experience, cutting the bells and whistles in exchange for lower-priced trades. But, with most online stock brokers now offering reduced fees and giving investors a wide range of tools as well, SogoTrade comes out looking cheap and less professional.
And, of course, with fluctuations in the economy, and subsequent rises and falls in stock prices, some people panic and pull out significant investments - leaving the door wide open for others to take advantage of big opportunities to buy low and hopefully sell high later.
Of course, the best online stock brokers do have the option to work with a consultant if you choose. Especially if you're just starting to learn about investments, you may feel more comfortable knowing you can access an expert if the need arises. These services may be included, or you may have to pay for them a la carte.
So, when choosing the right online stock broker for your needs, how do you know which one is best? Before you jump in and start buying up your shares in Apple or Coca-Cola, here are some factors to keep in mind:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online stock brokers available today. We hope this information helps you choose the right broker for your stock buying and trading needs!
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