Best Online Broker for Beginners, IRA, Options, Active Traders - Overview of Review Sites
Which is the best online broker? Overview of trustworthy sites reviewing brokerages by several criteria and posting rankings for easy comparison.
We are asked many times about which broker do we use, because they would like to use the same. But our answer is always the same: it is not a problem for us to tell you with whom we trade, but the key message is, that we are unique in what we need and desire. What works for us, may not work for you that well. Let us explain a bit the whole situation.
Things To Compare Between Online Brokers
Online brokers differ among over number of things. First of all there is always a question of their fees. How much they charge you per trade, how much per account, trading platform and all other things in their price list. Some of brokers do not charge a monthly account maintenance fee, but charge a higher per trade fess and vice versa. Some brokers offer endless special discounts on some of the markets, while they may be very expensive on others. You have to ask yourself, which instruments you trade, on which markets you intent to trade and how often you plan to make a transaction. If you have the answer on these three questions, you are on a good way to find the best online broker.
Second question that pops up when selecting a broker is which instruments you can trade over them and related to that, what type of account they offer. For example, for trading Forex you need to open a margin account, which is more risky, but provides some additional opportunities as well. Answer yourself, will you trade stocks and ETFs only, or FX, Futures, and Options as well.
Next thing to consider with online brokers is naturally the platform they offer. Is it easy to use or to complicated? How fast does it run? What data quality is included and for what price? Do they offer mobile trading? What is the protection system and does it fit your needs? These are some of the questions you need to answer. Some brokers have complicated security systems, making it almost impossible to trade from anywhere else then your main PC at home or office. You can get the trading platform mostly for free, but some charge for it a few bucks per month or they connect the price to your trading activity for example. You will mostly get delayed data for free, some markets even real-time for free, but all this has to be checked. Some trading platforms are based on old infrastructures, running slowly, we suggest you avoid them. Mobile trading is getting more and more popular, check if you have support for your mobile device.
And the last of the main topics related with selecting the best online broker is the support they offer to clients. Normally everything goes well, but in case it doesn't, you will have to call somebody and solve things up. Try to find out in front or test their support during the trial period.
There are several other questions when it comes to best online broker, but let's not get into too much detail at this point. What I would like to warn you additionally is that best online broker is selected every year by several different companies during several different projects all over the world. As you may find out, almost every broker has an award of best online broker. How is that possible? Very easy! There are so many categories in which they compete, that only few of them manage not to get a trophy. For example, one is the best in the shortest time of orders execution; another is the best in customer support and so on.
Where Can You Find 'Best Online Broker' Lists?
Many companies are selecting best online broker every year. You might won't to check their results and open some test accounts to get started.
For US brokers, one of the most prestige awards is delivered by Barrons.com.
Another popular research is made by SmartMoney.com.
One more trustworthy research is made by Kiplinger.com. Regarding to the Kiplinger's visitors' feedback, the most important concern of investors are commissions and fees (49%), while easy to use website and broad range of investment products are also important.
Another site covering stock broker reviews is Brokerage-Review.com.
And here is one of our favorites regarding stock brokers reviews: StockBrokers.com.
In Europe/Germany, you can find best online brokers by several categories on the Brokerwahl.de website.
By the end of this article we would like to point out again that it is very important that you know what you want. This is the only way to find the best online broker.
Written by: Goran Dolenc
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Charles Schwab Bank
Charles Schwab Bank offers investing and financial guidance you need to make smart decisions, plus a range of investment services - online investing.
Etrade Financial provides online investing and stock trading including: stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, bonds, futures, and mobile trading apps.
Fidelity Investment Services
Fidelity Investment Services is an online trading brokerage offering investment solutions to help you find your way, whatever your destination.
Firstrade online stock broker offers stock trading, options trading, mutual funds, bonds with no minimums to start investing and no inactivity fees.
Interactive Brokers is deep discount electronic access broker offering online trading of Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Bonds and quality executions.
MB Trading is a direct access brokerage firm that develops and markets sophisticated yet simple direct access trading technology to online traders.
Merrill Lynch Online
Merrill Edge is a new Merrill Lynch online discount brokerage providing financial advice and investment banking services, which is now owned by BOA.
OptionsHouse Brokerage is an online broker focusing on stock options trading featuring a professional grade platform and low fees and commissions.
With optionsXpress you can trade stocks, options, and futures in one account. Take advantage of free education, powerful tools and excellent service.
Invest with Scott Trade to access robust trading tools & market research. No maintenance or inactivity fees for easy online trading and investing.
Share Builder takes online stock trading to a new level thanks to a wealth of tools, research and knowledge. Great for long-term investment plans.
TDAmeritrade online broker services include online stock trading, online investing and retirement planning to help you pursue your investment goals.
TradeKing is an online broker providing tools and research for online trading of stocks, options, bonds and more. Best site usability among brokers.
Vanguard brokerage-investment company can help you invest, keep your costs low, and focus on what matters most to your long-term financial success.
Zecco Trading is an online stock broker that offers low cost stock trading, discount options pricing and a powerful and easy-to-use trading platform.