However, the rankings and listings of our reviews, tools and all other content are based on objective analysis. If you’re looking for a way to build more wealth in 2018, getting started with one of the best online brokerage accounts is a solid first step. Doing so will allow you to invest outside your traditional retirement accounts and on your own terms. Of course, not all brokerage firms are created equal, and that’s why we took the time to break down each of their details and rank the top options on an array of factors. Where Is The Best Place To Invest Money Right Now you’re looking for a new way to invest this year and are ready to strike out on your own, the following online brokerage accounts should be at the top of your list.
What Matters When You Trade Stocks on Your Own? Managing your own money can be a stressful endeavor. 7, there are a few must-haves to look for in an online broker. When I trade, I want to be able to easily find my order entry ticket. I don’t want it buried under a number of drop downs. L and all be easily navigated.
A chart tells me where the stock has been recently. I don’t trade minute to minute anymore, so I don’t need complex tools like stochastics or retracement lines. All that’s important is that I have a basic chart on a yearly, monthly, weekly, daily and intra day time period. I use a chart to see current price relative to those time periods, mainly to avoid purchasing at a bad price. One of the biggest roadblocks to building wealth is fees incurred to invest your hard-earned dollars. There are over 50 online brokerages where you can open an account. Beyond the my three rules above, best online brokerage accounts aren’t just for trading stocks.
Sure, many of them started as online stock trading accounts, but now they’re full-fledged trading, saving, investing, retirement planning, and banking machines. This industry is more complex than the average person thinks. You shouldn’t just pick any online broker and sign up for an account. The best online broker for one person is often completely different for the next person. Use this resource as a guide to your decision process. Figure out what features are best for you, and make your selection. What Makes a Great Online Broker? I analyzed a number of elements to come to my decision on which brokers are the best.
Later in this post, I provide full details on how I selected the best online brokerages. For those simply looking to make cheap trades, I would recommend going with Optionshouse. If you’re a very advanced trader, high-volume trader, or a professional who manages money, I recommend going with Interactive Brokers. However, I didn’t include Interactive Brokers on my list because they’re best for a very small group of traders and the platform is very complex. There’s more to selecting an online broker than price. You have to consider the resources you’re getting for the cost you pay per trade.
For example, my colleague, who is also an ex-trader, likes to use a combination of stock and options trade in his longer-term trading. He recently switched over to Fidelity because he really liked the cash management features, but was very disappointed by complex order entry, sub-par options execution and frustrating navigation. He’s currently making the switch to one of the brokers I profile here. Along with the low costs and fees, you’ll also have access to proprietary tools and technology. TD Ameritrade, which means you won’t find the same comprehensive financial resources and access to every investment product.
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One cool feature is that you can click on any of the components on your home screen and detach it so it shows up in a separate window. There are several proprietary tools that help you gain insight into your risk or exposure in addition to the quality options trading tools. If you simply type in a quote, you can instantly add a stock or option leg to a trade. Navigation is simple and everything is laid out to ensure you can move around your account efficiently while making options trades with ease. As the name implies, this online brokerage is best for options traders and people who want to make cheap trades. You won’t be able to trade futures, forex, or international markets.
You won’t have access to banking or comprehensive financial services, so expect to have your money split between multiple accounts versus keeping it all in one place. For years, Scottrade has been known as the best online brokerage for customer service. Scottrade doesn’t just let you open an account and ignore you. They thrive on building relationships with their clients, which is pretty rare these days. Scottrade is behind the times with some of their features, but they also don’t charge as much money per trade as the other full-service brokerages. Another reason to consider Scottrade: They were recently acquired by TD Ameritrade. The deal closed around the fall of 2017 and a full conversion to TD Amertrade’s systems is expected to be in place this year.
4 Reasons to Sign Up for Scottrade Industry-Leading Customer Service Year after year, Scottrade is on Fortune magazine’s list of 100 best companies to work for. Scottrade has over 500 local branches where you can walk in and talk to someone face-to-face. There’s a live chat feature on their website and you can even reach out to them via social media, where they are very active. Access to Long-Term Investment Vehicles The only markets you can’t trade with Scottrade are forex and futures markets. So beyond the basics, Scottrade is another full-service broker that offers banking services, retirement planning, savings plans, and more. Intuitive Web-Based Platform The web-based platform has a fully customizable home page that enables you to drag, drop, and rearrange the various components of the page to your preferences. The bar even detaches from its location so you can place a quick trade even if you’re not on your account home page.
That can certainly add up depending on the volume you plan on trading. For investors who want the amenities of a full-service broker, but don’t want to be paying top dollar to execute trades each week, your money can go further with Scottrade. The Reason to Avoid Scottrade Not Overly Innovative Scottrade has the foundation in place to rise above the other top online stock brokers, but they fall short when it comes to innovation. There are a few instances where major improvements can be made. The mobile app looks like it was created five years ago.
It’s difficult to navigate, very slow, and hard to trust for mobile trading. If you compare Scottrade to the other brokers, they’re also behind the times in terms of technology. It’s rare for Scottrade to develop any kind of technology before the other best online brokerages. They lead the industry with support and service, and then they follow in terms of technology. TRADE is right there with TD Ameritrade and Scottrade if you’re looking for the all-around best online brokerage.