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      January 20, 2020

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Firstrade vs Fidelity

Best Online Stock Brokers

To help you find the Best Online Stock Brokers, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Firstrade and Fidelity.

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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

4.5 stars
Firstrade

FIRSTRADE

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Cost:

$0 for all online trades

$19.95 (+ $.50/contract) for all broker-assisted trades

Minimum Deposit:

None

Since 1985, Firstrade has been a leading brokerage firm offering a complete line of investment tools and products for every level of investor. This stock broker was one of the very first to get online, and they've received plenty of industry awards - Forbes, Smart Money, and Barron's have frequently named Firstrade among their top choices for online brokers, especially when it comes to commissions and fees.

You'll soon see why: Firstrade doesn't require any minimum deposits, and in August 2018 the firm eliminated all commissions for stocks, ETFs, options, and mutual funds. That's right: you won't pay anything in fees for most transactions completed through the broker's online platform. Ever.

That means that you can trade using your dashboard, online or via mobile app, at no cost other than the price of the stocks themselves. Some of the newest features added to the Firstrade app at the time of our review were advanced charts, equity ratings, and an improved trading/research interface.

You'll also have access to a wealth of information once you open an account. Click on the Research & Tools heading to see what you can expect from Firstrade, including video commentary from trusted independent analysts, Market Heatmap, Morningstar ratings and research reports, and much more.

The only drawback to using Firstrade that we could find is the lack of advisor help, either automatic or with an investment professional. Most online stock brokers offer at last one, if not both. In other words, if you need some hand-holding while buying and selling stocks and strategizing your approach, Firstrade might not be your top pick. Otherwise, if you're comfortable doing the research using the educational resources this stock broker does offer online, you'll probably be very pleased with your experience.

Firstrade jumped almost to the top of the industry when it announced their fee-free trading structure, making them an excellent choice for most investors looking for an affordable online stock broker.

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4.5 stars
Fidelity

FIDELITY

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Cost:

$4.95/trade

Free for mutual funds

Minimum Deposit:

None

Named as the Best Online Broker by Investor's Business Daily in 2016-2018, Fidelity has the kind of longevity that many competitors can only hope to achieve. Created in Boston in 1946, this full-service brokerage traditionally comes in as the fourth-largest asset manager in the US, with assets under management of approximately $2.4 trillion.

You've got 3 general options when using Fidelity as your online stock broker: self-directed investing at $4.95 per trade (free for mutual funds), digital management with Fidelity Go at a fee of 0.35%/year, or full-service wealth management that requires a minimum investment of $250,000.

Fidelity has an intuitive, attractive suite of tools to help you plan, manage, and understand your investments. Their Stock Screener lets you use your desktop or mobile device to quickly find investments that are a good fit for the criteria you select; you can also get pre-determined stocks that have been screened by third-party experts. The Stock Research Dashboard gives you the ability to discover and validate possible opportunities with helpful research results and data visualization tools, including social trends, charts, and much more.

Their customer service team is also available 24/7 - very helpful for investors who have a question before making a late-night stock trade or who can only devote time to their investment strategy on the weekends.

Another useful perk offered by Fidelity is the Full View feature. You can enter all of your financial information, whether it's a Fidelity account or held at another institution and see all of your online accounts in one place. The Full View capability allows you to track spending, create budgets, and see your transactions in a monthly display.

In fact, the only complaint we could find about Fidelity as an online stock broker was about their Active Trader Pro platform. Clients who participate in the stock market as active traders have said that the Fidelity platform doesn't have the breadth of functions that many competitor brokers offer. But, that won't apply to the large majority of investors, who are looking for an affordable, trustworthy way to manage their stock purchases and other investments.

When it comes to that - affordability, reputation, and helpful customer service - Fidelity is absolutely an online stock broker that measures up.

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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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