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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.
SogoTrade has been serving investors since 1986, aiming to provide the best value for your investment dollars. They tell you upfront that they serve "independent, self-directed" investors - in other words, you'll need to use their educational/research tools to make the most informed decisions about your stock trades. A separate service, Sogo MarketRiders, is available if you prefer more personalized guidance from your online stock broker.
SogoTrade is, at its heart, a discount online stock broker. Although they have tools for the average investor, their best fit is probably for active traders - definitely not those who want to put their money in the market and forget about it.
The SogoTrade platform reflects that "bargain brokerage" mentality: no fancy graphics, no cutting-edge tech, just spreadsheets, tickers, and so on.
You'll also see that in their pricing. While they advertise a low $2.88/trade, you'll need to be making at least 150 trades each quarter to get that price. Otherwise, expect to pay a base rate of $4.88/trade. SogoTrade also offers "prepaid trades" in quantities of 20 or 50, which can bring your rate down to that same $2.88 price without the 150+ trades requirement.
SogoTrade used to be the lowest-priced online stock broker on the market, but as the industry has changed and many brokerages are offering lower-cost (and even no-cost) trades, SogoTrade seems to leave investors with the lower-quality platform without delivering any added value in exchange. We recommend you choose another online stock broker in our review
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 Sogo Trade.
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.
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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