Choosing the stock trading website to use for your trading journey can be an overwhelming experience. If you are just getting started, or even if you have been trading for a while now, each year new stock trading websites pop up vying for your business, so it is important to keep up to date and choose the best stock trading website for your particular trading needs. There are also well-known brokerages whose years in the business means they can provide reliable and fast service to traders. These are also improving yearly to enhance the trading experience.
Best Stock Trading Websites
We will discuss some of the best stock trading websites available so you can trade with ease. You will know the brokerages with the lowest fees and the best customer service. The best stock trading websites offer reliability, a global presence, and security in knowing your information is in the right hands.
The following are our picks for the best stock trading websites:
- TD Ameritrade
- Charles Schwab
- Fidelity Investments
- Ally Invest
- Interactive Brokers
- Merrill Edge
Well-known as being one of the best overall stock brokerages in the business, TD Ameritrade is a great option for traders. TD Ameritrade offers a zero account minimum and zero fees per trade, with $0.65 per options contract. It has several platforms to choose from including thinkorswim, which is for active traders, and it has eliminated base commissions for ETFs, equities, and options for U.S. customers. It offers extensive research tools and excellent education offerings for beginners and advanced traders alike. Its customer service is also spread out to help within the Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and WeChat platforms.
Charles Schwab is one of the leading brokerages to eliminate account fees and to introduce zero base fees per trade, as well as a zero account minimum. It has a $0.65 per options contract and a Schwab customer satisfaction guarantee will allow customers to get a refund should they not be happy with a fee-based service. Charles Schwab also offers many advanced trading platforms with options tools and trading information, full bank services, and low-cost financial advisors. Its mobile web platform and web application offer the same functionality so traders can trade on the go.
Fidelity Investments also offers a zero account minimum, zero base commissions for ETF and stock trades, and a $0.65 per option contract fee. Fidelity has its Active Trader Pro platform available to all users and it has worked to improve its reliability to reduce system crashes that were common to online brokers recently. Fidelity has excellent trade executions with price improvements for stock and options as well as an ETF research area where traders can see which stocks make up the ETF. The brokerage also has an available customer service that has been integrated into apps like Facebook, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa.
Offering zero dollar account minimum and zero commissions for ETF and stock trades, E*Trade is another competitive stock trading website for traders to choose from. It has a $0.50 to $0.65 fee per options contract depending on the trading volume. E*Trade has a comprehensive software with advanced trading and analysis tools as well as its newest trading platform, Power E*Trade. This platform has options trading and education tools for stock and options traders alike. Unique tools include stress testing your entire portfolio, a potential trade, or a single asset. Futures traders can also use their mobile futures ladder, which will also be available for other asset classes in the coming years.
With a zero minimum account requirement and zero commissions, Ally Invest is another great choice among stock trading websites since it offers similar and competitive prices of $0.50 per options contract. Ally Invest also has an intuitive platform which makes it a great beginner trading website to start your trading journey. The platform has rich data and deep research for free and a managed account option in case you want a managed portfolio for a small fee. Ally Invest also has a small $9.95 mutual fund transaction fee, which is one of the lowest in the industry.
Interactive Brokers has a zero account minimum and a $0.005 per share fee for the standard platform. This brokerage is a great option for seasoned investors who value a professional platform with a wealth of tools available. Investors can trade any stock, options, or futures around the world at any time of day on a PC or mobile phone. Traders have the option of trading in over 125 markets in 31 countries and 23 currencies, so it is truly a worldwide brokerage website. Interactive Brokers is geared for more advanced traders so we recommend that beginners start on another platform.
Robinhood is well-known for being a zero-fee stock trading website. It is ideal as a starting website for beginner investors and traders who want to dabble with stocks, ETFs, or options without paying the fees. It does not offer an advanced platform with educational material and tools, as well as having a limited number of options to invest in, but it is a great place for basic trading and investing with stocks and options. Maybe you are starting with a small account of a couple of hundred dollars and want to see what it is like to enter the trading world. Robinhood allows you to worry about the trading without the hidden fees. Robinhood also has no account minimum and referral incentives.
Merrill Edge has a zero account minimum and zero fees per ETF and stock trades, with a $0.65 fee per options contract. This stock trading brokerage is particularly attractive for Bank of America customers since they receive a fee-free debit card and the option of checking their account balance at any Bank of America ATM. The free bill pay makes it easy to pay bills straight from the account and the Bank of America branches have Merrill Edge advisers available during bank hours for any help investors and traders might need. The Merrill Edge Self-Directed account allows those with more than $50,000 to have 30 free trades a month. The mobile app also has multi-leg options trading, and its online platform is fast with plenty of tools.
Vanguard has a zero minimum account, no fees for online trades, and only $20 as an annual trading fee for balances under $10,000. Vanguard is most known for being the world’s largest mutual fund and handles around $3 trillion in assets. Vanguard has educational material and research tools that are comparable to stock trading websites that cater to very active traders. Vanguard is a great option for those traders who are looking to invest in the long-term since it has automated investment strategies and a low expense ratio. Those who are looking to earn residual income from their assets can look to the options Vanguard has available to investors.
Best Stock Trading Website for You
Choosing the best stock trading website is a personal decision, and the above list is a great base of well-known places to start. At the end of the day, each stock trading website offers particular incentives that can be attractive to some but not to others. Are you looking to combine bank accounts with a trading platform, or are you looking to learn more about stocks and trading while having advanced tools to work with? Depending on what you are looking for, whether it is little to no fees, comprehensive educational material, or the most advanced trading tools available on the market, the list above has options for beginners and advanced traders alike.
You also have to consider whether you want to invest or trade with these stock trading websites. Some websites such as Interactive Brokers and Vanguard are geared toward advanced investors who hold assets for a longer period of time, while TD Ameritrade and E*Trade are great options for advanced traders and daytraders who hold assets for a short period of time. Each offers unique resources, fees, and platforms to work with, so it’s important to consider what each has to offer and what works best for your current situation.