Best of

Best Online Brokers for Stock Trading of April 2019

cheatgame.infoApril 23, 2019

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Ally Invest

on Ally Invest's website

on Ally Invest's website

Fees

$4.95

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $3,500

in cash bonus with a qualifying deposit

Ally Invest’s robust trading platform and lineup of free research, charting, data and analytical tools make it a good choice for active traders. But it’s also appropriate for beginning investors who will appreciate that there is no account minimum and no annual fees.
Merrill Edge

on Merrill Edge's website

on Merrill Edge's website

Fees

$6.95

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

300

free stock and ETF trades

Merrill Edge offers high-quality customer service, robust research and low fees. Customers of parent company Bank of America will love the seamless, thoughtful integration, with a single login to access both accounts.
Etrade

on Etrade's website

on Etrade's website

Fees

$6.95

per trade

Account Minimum

$500

Promotion

Up to $600

cash credit with a qualifying deposit

E-Trade has long been one of the most popular online brokers, largely because of its easy-to-use tools. They offer a tiered commission structure that favors frequent traders but can add up to high costs for casual investors.

Want to compare more options? Here are our other top picks:

Summary of Best Online Brokers for Stock Trading of April 2019

BrokerCommissionsPromotionAccount MinimumLearn More
Ally Invest Logo

Ally Invest

on Ally Invest's website

$4.95

per trade

Up to $3,500

in cash bonus with a qualifying deposit

$0

on Ally Invest's website

Merrill Edge Logo

Merrill Edge

on Merrill Edge's website

$6.95

per trade

300

free stock and ETF trades

$0

on Merrill Edge's website

Etrade Logo

Etrade

on Etrade's website

$6.95

per trade

Up to $600

cash credit with a qualifying deposit

$500

on Etrade's website

TD Ameritrade Logo

TD Ameritrade

on TD Ameritrade's website

$6.95

per trade

60

days of commission-free trades with qualifying deposit

$0

on TD Ameritrade's website

TradeStation Logo

TradeStation

on TradeStation's website

$5.00

per trade

None

No promotion available at this time

$500

on TradeStation's website

Schwab Brokerage Logo

Schwab Brokerage

on Charles Schwab's website

$4.95

per trade

$100

cash bonus with a qualifying deposit

$0

on Charles Schwab's website

Fidelity Brokerage Logo

Fidelity Brokerage

on Fidelity's website

$4.95

per trade

300

commission-free trades with a qualifying deposit

$0

on Fidelity's website

Interactive Brokers Logo

Interactive Brokers

on Interactive Brokers's website

$0.01

per share

None

No promotion available at this time

$0

on Interactive Brokers's website

Robinhood Logo

Robinhood

on Robinhood's website

$0

per trade

None

no promotion available at this time

$0

on Robinhood's website

BrokerCommissionsPromotionAccount MinimumLearn More
Ally Invest Logo

Ally Invest

on Ally Invest's website

$4.95

per trade

Up to $3,500

in cash bonus with a qualifying deposit

$0

on Ally Invest's website

Merrill Edge Logo

Merrill Edge

on Merrill Edge's website

$6.95

per trade

300

free stock and ETF trades

$0

on Merrill Edge's website

Etrade Logo

Etrade

on Etrade's website

$6.95

per trade

Up to $600

cash credit with a qualifying deposit

$500

on Etrade's website

TD Ameritrade Logo

TD Ameritrade

on TD Ameritrade's website

$6.95

per trade

60

days of commission-free trades with qualifying deposit

$0

on TD Ameritrade's website

TradeStation Logo

TradeStation

on TradeStation's website

$5.00

per trade

None

No promotion available at this time

$500

on TradeStation's website

Schwab Brokerage Logo

Schwab Brokerage

on Charles Schwab's website

$4.95

per trade

$100

cash bonus with a qualifying deposit

$0

on Charles Schwab's website

Fidelity Brokerage Logo

Fidelity Brokerage

on Fidelity's website

$4.95

per trade

300

commission-free trades with a qualifying deposit

$0

on Fidelity's website

Interactive Brokers Logo

Interactive Brokers

on Interactive Brokers's website

$0.01

per share

None

No promotion available at this time

$0

on Interactive Brokers's website

Robinhood Logo

Robinhood

on Robinhood's website

$0

per trade

None

no promotion available at this time

$0

on Robinhood's website

More guidance to help you pick the right broker

Here are more cheatgame.info resources to answer your questions about online brokerage accounts.

How much money do I need to get started investing? Not much. Note that many of the brokers above have no account minimums for both taxable brokerage accounts and IRAs. Once you open an account, all it takes to get started is enough money to cover the cost of a single share of a stock and the trading commission. (See “How to Buy Stocks” for step-by-step instructions on placing that first trade.)

Shouldn’t I just choose the cheapest broker? Trading costs definitely matter to active and high-volume traders. If you’re a high-volume trader — buying bundles of 100 to 500 shares at a time, for example — Interactive Brokers and TradeStation are cost-effective options. Ally Invest offers $3.95 trades ($1 off full price) for investors who place more than 30 trades a quarter.  Commissions are less of a factor for buy-and-hold investors, a strategy we recommend for the majority of people. Most brokers charge from $5 to $7 per trade. But other factors — access to a range of investments or training tools — may be more valuable than saving a few bucks when you purchase shares.

How can I build a diversified portfolio for little money? One easy way is to invest in exchange-traded funds. ETFs are essentially bite-sized mutual funds that are bought and sold just like individual stocks on a stock market exchange. Like mutual funds, each ETF contains a basket of stocks (sometimes hundreds) that adhere to particular criteria (e.g., shares of companies that are part of a stock market index like the S&P 500). Unlike mutual funds, which can have high investment minimums, investors can purchase as little as one share of an ETF at a time.

We like the low-cost, diversified nature of ETFs. And because they are such an essential portfolio-building tool, we rated brokers on their ETF offerings, specifically the number of commission-free ETFs they offer. Standouts include TD Ameritrade, which offers over 300, Charles Schwab (265) and E-Trade (250).

Is my money insured? What kind of account? How quickly can I start trading? The short answers are:

  • Your money is indeed insured, but only against the unlikely event a brokerage firm goes under. A broker’s SIPC coverage (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) doesn't cover any loss in value of your investments.
  • Your account choices boil down to taxable versus tax-favored (e.g., an IRA). Our guide to brokerage accounts goes into more detail about what’s involved in setting up a taxable account. Opening an IRA involves choosing which type, such as a Roth IRA, traditional IRA or SEP IRA. If you're new to this, we’ve got you covered in our guide to IRAs.
  • After you’ve opened the account, you’ll need to initiate a deposit or funds transfer, which can take anywhere from a few days to a week. Once that is complete, it’s off to the investing races! And by that we mean taking a thoughtful and disciplined approach to investing your money for the long-term.

How do I determine if a broker is right for me before I open an account? Some key criteria to consider are how much money you have, what type of assets you intend to buy, your trading style and technical needs, how frequently you plan to transact and how much service you need. Our post about how to choose the best broker for you can help to arrange and rank your priorities.

Last updated on April 23, 2019

Methodology

cheatgame.info's ratings for brokers and robo-advisors are weighted averages of several categories, including investment selection, customer support, account fees, account minimum, trading costs and more. Our survey of brokers and robo-advisors includes the largest U.S. providers by assets under management, notable and/or emerging players in the industry. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include advisory fees, branch access, user-facing technology, customer service and mobile features. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

To recap our selections...

cheatgame.info's Best Online Brokers for Stock Trading of April 2019

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