Best Online Stock Trading Site – The 2022 Best Online Brokers Review, our 12th annual, took three months to complete and produced over 40,000 search terms. Here’s how we tested. Our editorial content is independent and unbiased; This is how we make money.
Want to buy shares of a stock like Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), Netflix (NFLX), or Tesla (TSLA)? If so, you need to set up a trading account with an online broker.
Best Online Stock Trading Site
Every stock trading platform is unique. And now—with every broker offering $0 stock and ETF trades—deciding which to use comes down to differences in the overall trading experience. Investment options, trading tools, market research, beginner education, customer service and ease of use are all factors that investors should consider when choosing a broker.
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Our evaluation process is exhaustive: this year we measured over 200 individual variables across multiple brokers for a total of 3,075 data points.
Fidelity is a value-driven online broker that offers $0 trades, industry-leading research, excellent trading tools, an easy-to-use mobile app and comprehensive retirement services. With more than 40 million customers, Fidelity is a winner for everyday investors. Read full review
TD Ameritrade delivers $0 trades, outstanding trading platforms, excellent market research, business-leading education for beginners and reliable customer service. The outstanding all-around experience makes TD Ameritrade one of our top overall brokers in 2022. Read full review
Founded in 1982 as one of the first online brokerages in the United States, E*TRADE highlights include $0 trades, two excellent mobile apps and the Power E*TRADE platform, which is great for beginners, active trading and options trading. Read full review
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With nearly $8 trillion in client assets, Charles Schwab understands how to consistently deliver value to its customers. Highlights include $0 trades, excellent stock research, a diverse selection of trading tools and an industry-leading offering of financial planning services. Read full review
In 2022, Interactive Brokers remains our top choice for professionals due to its institutional-grade desktop trading platform and rock-bottom margin rates. Professionals aside, Interactive Brokers also appeals to active traders and casual investors with $0 trades and an easy-to-use web platform. Read full review
In addition to our five trading platforms for 2022, we reviewed 10 others: Ally Invest, Firstrade, JP Morgan Self-directed Investing, Merrill Edge, SoFi Invest, TradeStation, Tradier, Robinhood, Vanguard and Webull. Here are our top takeaways for each. To dive deeper, read our reviews.
Ally Invest – For current Ally customers looking to invest in stocks, Ally’s universal account experience and easy-to-use website is a convenient solution.
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FirstStrad – Although FirstStrad is easy to use and awesome for Chinese investors, the overall offering is hard to stand out against brokers who also offer $0 stock trades.
JP Morgan Self-Directed Investing – JP Morgan Self-Directed Investing gives Chase Bank customers easy access to investing, and its all-in-one platform makes money and asset management simple and easy.
Merrill Edge – Merrill Edge offers $0 trades with industry-leading research tools – especially for ESG research – and excellent customer service. Better yet, the Preferred Rewards program at Bank of America, parent of Merrill Edge, offers eligible users the best rewards of any bank broker we tested in 2022.
SoFi Invest – SoFi Invest offers a wide range of services, is relatively easy to use and gets high marks for its mobile app. Its lack of research, as well as its educational and business tools, leaves it a step behind industry leaders.
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TradeStation – As a trading technology leader, TradeStation supports casual traders through its web-based platform and active traders through its award-winning desktop platform, all with $0 stock and ETF trades.
Trader – Trader is aimed at the advanced trader, but one who is not interested in cryptocurrency or futures trading. To get the most out of being a trader client, investors must be willing to pay for a premium platform.
Robinhood – Robinhood used to shine thanks to its easy-to-use mobile app and $0 trades. However, today, the biggest online brokers offer free stocks and trades ETF. As a result, it is much more difficult for Robinhood to rise above the competition.
Vanguard – Vanguard is squarely focused on buy-and-hold investors and its platform reflects that focus. Vanguard is known for its low-cost funds, and the investment platform is really built for those who want to invest only in mutual funds and ETFs.
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Webull – Webull offers a unique community experience and easy-to-use trading platforms that will satisfy most new investors. However, for everyday investing, Webull doesn’t have the trading tools and features to compete with industry leaders who also offer $0 stock and ETF trades.
For the 2022 review, all online broker participants were evaluated on 205 variables, with a total of 3,075 data points collected. Here are the 2022 main category, secondary category and business award winners. Here’s how we tested.
Based on more than 30 variables, Fidelity is the best stock trader for beginners. Along with top-notch research, Fidelity offers a wide and diverse selection of educational content. Highlights include over 200 videos, progress tracking, quizzes and over 100 monthly webinars, among others. Add to that its special Youth Account, a legitimate investment account for teenagers aged 13-17, and Fidelity has a winner.
Online trading platforms come in one of three formats: desktop (download), web (browser) and mobile (app). After testing 15 brokers and collecting 3,075 data points, we found that TD Ameritrade has the best desktop trading platform, E*TRADE has the best web trading platform and Fidelity’s best investment app.
Best Online Stock Trading Platforms
The most profitable trading platform for you depends on your needs – whether you are a day trader, an active investor or a passive investor with a long-term buy and hold strategy. Fidelity is our top pick for 2022 for its industry-leading research, excellent trading tools and easy-to-use mobile app.
People often mistake trading platforms — such as Robinhood or TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim — for companies that place trades for you; In fact, these platforms are for self-directed trading (although they may offer tools and educational materials). If you’re looking for practical guidance with your investments, you can find a trusted financial advisor at investor.com.
When it comes to buying stocks online, our research found that Fidelity has the lowest fees overall. Fidelity is the only online brokerage that offers $0 stock trades without benefiting from the industry practice of paying for order flow, or PFOF. In a world where every online broker offers free stock trades, hidden costs are important.
There are two types. Online companies like TD Ameritrade and Fidelity let you buy and sell stocks. Traditional – which are individuals – buy and sell stocks on behalf of clients. Traditional often work for corporations, as opposed to individual investors.
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If you want to buy and sell stocks on your own, you are looking for an online stock trader. When you open an account with a regulated brokerage, you can deposit money and make investments in the stock market.
If you want someone to manage your money for you, you may find it beneficial to search for a registered investment advisor on sites like investor.com.
It depends on your needs. If you want to handle your own investments, there is no need to hire an individual stock broker; Opening a free brokerage account with a broker such as TD Ameritrade gives you the services needed to trade the stock market, usually for free or for a small commission per trade.
Alternatively, if you want someone to manage your money for you, you can consider hiring a financial advisor for a fee. Financial advisors can buy and sell stocks, mutual funds, ETFs and other financial assets for you based on your financial goals and risk tolerance. Our sister site, investor.com, ranks the best financial advisory firms in the United States.
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For the 12th annual review published in January 2022, a total of 3,075 data points were collected over three months and used to obtain 15 top brokers. This makes it the largest independent database on the web covering the online brokerage industry.
As part of our annual review process, all brokers have the opportunity to provide updates and key milestones and complete an in-depth data count, which we manually check for accuracy. Brokers are also given the opportunity to provide leadership time for an annual update meeting.
Our rigorous data validation process produces an error rate of less than .001% annually, providing site visitors with quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.
Along with the annual review, we also published our sixth annual forex broker review on our sister site, ForexBrokers.com, reviewing 39 forex brokers from around the world. And be sure to check out the latest financial advisor ratings and reviews of cash-back credit cards and high-yield savings accounts on investor.com.
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Blain Reinkensmeyer has 20 years of trading experience with over 2,500 trades placed during that time. He conducts research for all US-based brokerages and is respected by executives as the leading expert covering the online brokerage industry. Blaine’s comments have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune, among other media outlets.
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