Making choice of an “online stock broker” is the first decision to make as an investor. Individual trader has a unique pattern of trading stocks, forex, cryptocurrency and more. First thing to check when choosing a broker is whether the services a broker offer suites your trading pattern.
The purpose of this blog post is to introduce new and concurrent traders to Top 9 best online brokerage and offer our priceless advice regarding aspect of these online brokerage and platforms.
To give you the best of it, I have registered and funded an account with over 30 respective brokers, I have also placed trades thousands of time over this period to rate the execution interval. From my research I have found these best online brokers to be fantastic, not just for their user experience (UX) but their order execution quality.
Ultimate Online Broker For Trading Securities
Below is the list of the top 10 best online brokers for stock, forex, mutual funds, ETF , CFD , cryptocurrency and more
Lumentrades – Best for Beginner to Professional Traders and Investors
Lumentrades offer over 120,000 equities for over 50 exchanges in different part of the world. They charges $2.50 per trade execution ranging from Stocks, Forex, ETF , Crypto, CFD and Mutual Fund. They are beginner friendly for infant investors. They received 5 stars in our 2018 Review, including being awarded Best in Class for different categories. It is our #1 recommendation for discount trading. The company also took home the #1 awards for Research, Order Execution, Diversified Equities and Ease of Use. At Lumentrades also offer capital insurance at a very cheap rate, this insurance covers 75% of your capital to ensure that you never lose that insured 75% even if the market goes upside down. Finally, Lumentrades mobile app was rated Best Mobile App for Traders and investors in 2017.
Fidelity – Best for Investor
Fidelity Investments charges $4.95 per trade and received 5 stars in our 2018 Review, including being awarded Best in Class for 12 different categories. It is our top recommendation for discount trading. The company also took home the #1 awards for Research, Order Execution, and Ease of Use. Finally, Fidelity’s mobile app was rated Best Mobile App for Investors.
TD Ameritrade – Best for Traders
Rated our #1 online broker for traders in 2017, TD Ameritrade charges $6.95 per trade and offers the largest variety of trading tools through its desktop-based thinkorswim and Mobile Trader platforms. It also ranks #1, alongside its Best in Class rating, for numerous other categories including New Investors, Active Trading, Options Trading, and Customer Service, among others.
Charles Schwab – Best for Retirement
Charles Schwab charges $4.95 per trade and was rated 4.5 Stars Overall, alongside its #1 for Retirement Services and 5 stars for Research. Extensive research access along with consistent customer service, ample tools, the largest selection of commission-free funds, and industry-leading market reports combine to present a great full-service brokerage.
ETRADE – Best for Options, Mobile
ETRADE, with its $6.95 stock trades, finished fourth overall with 4.5 stars in 2018. ETRADE was awarded 5 stars and #1 for Options Trading, thanks to its OptionsHouse by ETRADE trading platform. The broker also won first place for Mobile Trading, and offers well-rounded access to quality research, trading tools, education, and more.
Interactive Brokers – Best for Professionals
Exclusive Offer: New clients that open an account today receive a special margin rate.
Designed for professional traders serious about their craft, Interactive Brokers offers only per-share pricing ($.005 per share with a $1 minimum per trade), and charges up to $20 per month between two minimum activity fees. Traders who can meet its $100,000 minimum deposit for margin trading are rewarded with an industry-leading commissions schedule, margin rates, and full support for international trading.
Merrill Edge – Best Rewards Program
Merrill Edge ($6.95 per trade) was awarded #1 for Banking Services, thanks to its parent company, Bank of America. Not limited to just BofA customers, Merrill Edge’s Preferred Rewards program is excellent, offering $0 stock trades among other perks such as bonus rewards on credit cards and discounted mortgage rates.
TradeStation – Best for Platform Technology
current Offer: Low Fees and Free Market Data. Trade with TradeStation.
TradeStation’s advanced trading platform has been awarded Best Platform Technology for the past five years. For active traders, TradeStation was rated 5 stars and comes packed full of tools and functionality. Trades are just $5 and users can even code their own apps using the broker’s proprietary EasyLanguage programming language.
Ally Invest – Best for Ally Banking
Ally Invest (previously TradeKing) provides $4.95 trades, and is a simple choice for current customers of Ally who are looking to invest in the stock market. Like Merrill Edge and Capital One Investing, customers can easily manage their banking and brokerage accounts under one login.
Tip for Chosing the Best Online Brokerage
When looking for a new online broker, make sure you meet your most important needs as an investor. Are low-cost trade commissions most important? What about customer service, the trade platform, mobile trading, active trading, or a community to trade alongside? With many brokers specializing in different areas, it is vital to evaluate and compare all the possibilities.
Here is a list of the most important factors to remember when selecting an online brokerage:
- Trading Costs – When trading stocks online, it is important to understand what the costs are to place buy or sell orders. Most online brokers charge a flat rate to buy and sell. That said, other miscellaneous day trading costs can be incurred for direct routing fees or accessing market data. If you are investing in a retirement account, it is important to avoid choosing a broker that charges annual IRA fees.
- Trading Tools – One of the most common misconceptions newer investors have is that low trading costs are the most important consideration. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Having access to a fully featured desktop-based or web-based trading platform can make a big difference, especially when conducting technical analysis.
- Investment Products – Are you only trading stocks online, or are you interested in ETFs, mutual funds, options, futures, and forex too? In the United States, different regulations are required for brokers who support more complex asset classes. Beyond trading different assets classes, having access to online banking and advanced order types, such as conditional orders, are also considerations.
- Mobile Trading – Managing a stock brokerage account on the go is certainly important for traders who travel and frequently use their smartphones. While nearly all online brokerages offer mobile trading apps, not all are created equal. Features can vary dramatically.
- Customer Service – 24/7 support is important to some investors, while others may just want to use online chat during regular market hours or receive an email back within one business day. Having access to quality customer support can really be the cherry on the top of a great client experience, especially during market crises like a flash crash.
- Stock Analysis – Conducting fundamental research is critical to successful long-term investing. SEC filings, short interest, corporate debt levels, earnings growth, and more are all examples of important criteria to be investigated during fundamental investment research.
- Regulation – Stock brokers based in the United States and governed by US law will be regulated by the SEC and must be members of FINRA and SIPC. The easiest way to verify whether your online brokerage is regulated is to scroll to the footer of their homepage and read their disclosures. Using the FINRA broker check tool is another easy way to verify proper compliance.
- Banking Services – Online brokerage accounts are not limited to just stock trading. Instead, customers can take advantage of banking services offered by full-service brokerages (see the list above for three great examples). Some online brokers offer checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and more with deposits of up to $250,000 backed by the FDIC.
- Account Security – Fortunately, today’s investors don’t have much to worry about when it comes to account security as long they choose a brokerage that is large, well known, and properly regulated. Reference our list above or below for a sampling. Every website should be secured with SSL encryption, and client data should be stored in secure servers. Dual-factor authentication and Touch ID are other security protocols quickly growing in popularity.
- Order Execution – It is important to understand how your order is routed and executed. Make no mistake, there is a wide variation between quality execution and poor execution. Unfortunately, most online stock traders can’t tell the difference.
- International Trading – The US stock market is the most respected in the world. If you are living in the US and want to trade internationally, or are living abroad and want to trade stocks online with a US-regulated brokerage, you must do your research beforehand and find a broker that supports your requirements.