Wondering if it’s possible to buy a stock without paying a commission? Yes it is! There are quite a few ways to get free stock trades. From my research for the best stock brokers, I’ve noticed a recent trend.
Many brokers are offering free trades when signing up. If you have a large amount of cash to invest, this could help minimize your transaction fees when signing up to a new brokerage firm.
Granted this isn’t the same as our list of commission-free ETFs brokers list, or the completely free trades firms like Robinhood. But the brokerage firms listed below are more feature rich services than the no frills free brokerage firms.
If you are deciding on using a broker that offers initial free trades and commission-free ETFs, you’ll want to maximize the use of both. First, invest in stocks/mutual funds/ETFs that charge a fee and use up the initial free trades. Then, once the promotion ends, use their commission-free ETFs to continue paying no fees for your trades.
It’s critical you minimize your transaction fees! Transaction costs eat into your returns, and unlike investment returns, is a known cost. The less you pay in transaction fees, the bigger your possible return of investment. Over a lifetime of investing can be a significant drag on your returns.
With the current round of free trade promotions, discount brokerages either place a limited time on their offer, limit the amount of trades you can make, or both. These are five free stock trading promotions I’ve discovered and are in no particular order. I also have highlighted the firms that offer commission-free ETFs in addition to their initial free trade offer.
- TD Ameritrade – Free Trades for 60 days (Commission Free ETFs Available)
- E*TRADE – Trade Free For 60 Days (Commission Free ETFs Available)
- Robinhood – Trade Free…Forever
TD Ameritrade – Free Trades for 60 days
TD Ameritrade is a popular online stock broker that features low pricing and no minimum deposit. It also offers a generous selection of commission-free ETFs and educational tools that should make it a hit with new investors.
- Commission-Free ETFs
- Easy-to-Use Interface
- Research and Education
- Short-Term Trading Fees With ETFs
TD Ameritrade offers up to $600 in cash, with their 60 days of free trading. Visit their website for more details. You must deposit at least $3,000, to gain access to the 60 days free trading. TD Ameritrade only allows up to 500 trades and the deposit must come from an external non-TD Ameritrade account. Offer is only valid for new customers. TD Ameritrade not only offers free trades but also offers over 100 commission-free ETFs.
E*TRADE – Trade FREE For 60 Days
E*TRADE may have been a pioneer in the online discount broker space, but it's still one of the best bets for active traders. It has easy-to-use platforms, great customer service, and quick trade execution. However, it's not the cheapest platform on the market.
- Comprehensive Trading Platform
- Best User Interface
- Low Minimum Deposit
- Accommodates Different Investor Levels
- Expensive Trading Fees
- Oriented Toward Active Traders
With this offer, you must deposit at least $10,000 This E*TRADE promotion is only available to new customers. Once you’ve made the deposit, you’ll get 500 commission-free trades and must be used within 60 days. The trades can be used for stock or option trades. E*TRADE also offers over 100 commission-free ETFs.
Robinhood – Trade Free…Forever
Robinhood is a stock broker with a slick design and appealing price tag -- it's free. However, the platform is limited when it comes to functionality, and it's currently available only on mobile devices.
- Free Trades
- Easy to Use
- Options Trading
- Market News Notifications
- No-Fee ACH Transfers
- No Minimum Deposit
- No Retirement Accounts
- Poor Customer Service
- Limited Functionality
- Not Intuitive
- No Web Interface
- Potentially Delayed Data
- No Mutual Funds or Bonds
Robinhood doesn’t offer any commission-free ETFs because all trades are free! That’s right any ETF or stock you purchase within Robinhood is comission free. Robinhood is a no-frills app only service. If you are currently looking to trade via a web browser they currently don’t offer this feature but in the works. Not only can you trade stocks and ETFs, but recently added options and cryptocurrencies into the mix.