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      January 20, 2020

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  7. Speedtrader
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Charles Schwab vs E Trade

Best Online Stock Brokers

To help you find the Best Online Stock Brokers, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Charles Schwab and E Trade.

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Who is the Best Online Stock Broker? 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.

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Best Reviews

2020

Online Stock Broker Reviews

4 stars
Charles Schwab

CHARLES SCHWAB

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Cost:

$4.95/trade

Minimum Deposit:

$1,000

Charles Schwab is a full-service online stock broker, founded in 1971 and currently managing more than $2.6 trillion in investments for over nine million investors. Because Schwab also has 300+ brick-and-mortar locations, investors have more access to face-to-face advisors if they so choose.

You'll have a hard time finding another brokerage that is more accessible: Schwab offers round-the-clock customer service, every day of the year. Better yet, if you're looking for some basic investment help, you can get in touch with one of their representatives at no cost. On the other hand, if you want more personalized assistance, you can choose Schwab's Intelligent Portfolios or Managed Portfolios.

Schwab's online tools and platforms include the usual panorama of web/mobile trading and trading software, depending on your preference. If you use the software, StreetSmart Edge, you'll be able to customize your platform according to the criteria you need, including streaming real-time data and potential trade ideas. Customer feedback indicates that Schwab is a fantastic choice for almost every type of investor, but active traders will probably find more robust options with one of the other online stock brokers in our review that specialize in that approach to buying and selling stocks.

Schwab's trading fees are average, at $4.95 per trade. Their required minimum investment of $1000 is more than many of their competitors.

On a positive note, Schwab is one of the only online stock brokers we found to offer a Satisfaction Guarantee. If, for some reason you're not 100% satisfied with their services, they will refund your fees/commissions and work with you to fix it.

Charles Schwab is an extremely reputable online stock broker and is an ideal fit for investors who want a one-stop shop for practically every investment type and service - though you might find lower investment minimums and per-trade fees with the competition.

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3.5 stars
E Trade

E TRADE

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Cost:

$6.95 per stock trade for fewer than 30 trades/quarter

$4.95 per stock trade for 30+ per quarter

Minimum Deposit:

$500

If you like the idea of having an online stock broker who was responsible for executing the very first individual investor electronic trade over 30 years ago, E*TRADE is that company.

At the time of our review, E*TRADE offered up to 500 commission-free trades and up to $2500 in cash credit to investor accounts. In order to qualify, you had to deposit or transfer at least $10,000, with the highest rewards offered for accounts of $1 million or more. Or, if you prefer to start small, you can make the minimum investment of $500 and get stock trades at $6.95 (fewer than 30/quarter) or $4.95 (30+ per quarter).

E*TRADE has all three types of stock trading available: self-directed, assistance from financial consultants, or professional portfolio management. Customers report receiving excellent customer service with all 3.

Clients also have positive things to say about E*TRADE s trading platform. You should have an easy time using the OptionsHouse platform, either on your browser or tablet, to research and trade stocks/options/ETFs/futures. This platform is geared towards active traders, however, so you may find yourself more comfortable with their basic web platform if you're looking for information and tools focused on less-frequent stock trading.

Although E*TRADE has name-brand recognition from its long-standing history as an online stock broker, in some ways they've been passed by the competition within the basic investor/consumer marketplace. When compared with online brokers that charge low or no fees per stock trade, and/or who require no minimum investment, E*TRADE comes up a little short. But, for overall trustworthiness and solid tools for investors, especially active traders, they're still a strong contender.

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Continued from above

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:

  • Information. From beginners to experts, having up-to-date information on the stock market is critical. What resources does the online stock broker have available to guide you in your decision-making?
  • Fees. When purchasing your stocks, will you be charged a percentage of your total buy or a flat fee? When the time comes to sell, what will you pay?
  • Reputation. What do other investors say about their experience buying and selling with the online stock broker? Have they had positive interactions with the broker when they've needed help? How many investors have chosen this particular broker's services?

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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