There are many different types of traders, as there are discount stock brokers. Whether you are looking to trade in high volume or only conduct a few trades each year, you must have an online broker who suits your needs.
Each firm has its strengths and weaknesses, and choosing the top discount stock broker for you depends on your particular trading style and goals. The order is in site popularity. Compare from the list of broker reviews below. Click on the stock broker name for our review and for available promotional offers.
TD Ameritrade Rated 4.5 stars
Get access to many investment options, stocks and trades with relatively low pricing with easy-to-use tools to match. We rate TD Ameritrade the best.
Promotion: Trade FREE 60 days and up to $600
Min Deposit: $0
Ally Invest Rated 4.5 stars
Ally Invest has great pricing, customer service, and online education. For a discount stock broker, Ally Invest is hard to beat.
Promotion: Pay $3.95/trade w/30 trades quarter
Min Deposit: $0
E*TRADE Rated 4 stars
E*TRADE, the grandaddy of online discount brokers, is still a good choice for active investors. Its trading platform is easy to use.
Promotion: Up to $2,500 and Trade FREE 60 Days
Min Deposit: $500
TradeStation Rated 4 stars
Get access to an excellent platform for serious and active traders, that was previously only available to professionals.
Promotion: FREE Trading App w/ Signup
Min Deposit: $5,000
Motif Investing Rated 4 stars
Trade up to 30 stocks and ETFs for one low price of $9.95. Single stock trading is only $4.95.
Promotion: Motif IMPACT – First Month Free
Min Deposit: $0
How to Pick the Best Online Stock Broker
There are many factors to consider when choosing an online discount stock broker. Before picking a broker make sure you consider these questions:
- What are their fees?
- Is the website easy to use?
- What methods can you execute a trade? (i.e. web, phone, mobile device)
- Do they have a local branch office?
- Do you have access to investment research?
- What investment options are available? (ie. stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, forex)
It is shown that many investors trade with multiple stock brokers. Each broker run special promotions or offer better deals with such services as commission-free ETFs. So it is recommended to have investments in at least two discount stock brokers.
What are their fees?
Before signing up, make sure you are clear what fees you’ll pay per trade. In addition, it makes sense to look at your previous trading activity and calculate costs. Will it make sense to move based upon your typical transactions?
Is the website easy to use?
It might be great that an online discount broker has low commissions, but is the website easy to use? If it’s confusing and it takes ten steps execute a buy or sell a security, why would you use it?
What methods can you execute a trade?
In today’s connected world, it’s important to have flexibility when trading stocks. All firms listed allow you to trade online via their website, but not all have the ability to execute trades from a mobile device. Make sure you can not only access your account from your smartphone but also can make trades.
Do they have a local branch office?
Some investors like speaking face-to-face with their broker. If this is important to you, make sure a local branch office is near your home or place of work. Some brokers offer educational seminars at their office and access to financial advisors.
Do you have access to investment research?
Have access to investment research via your broker is not only convenient but also can save you money. Purchasing stock and mutual fund research can be very expensive. A discount broker offering the research papers for free is something to consider in reducing your trading expenses.
What investment options are available? (ie. stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, forex)
Depending upon your skills and expertise, make sure your discount broker has all the features you want. If not, then separate your investment accounts per brokerage for the types of trades you need to do. In some cases, it might be cheaper to keep your bond portfolio with one broker and your stocks at another.