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Throughout history, financial assets such as stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies have gone through alternating cycles of rising and falling prices. These fluctuations represent market opportunities for traders and investors looking to grow their hard-earned cash. One of the most important steps to getting the most out of the financial markets is finding an online broker that best suits your personality and financial goals.
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Today, every major online broker offers $0 trading in stocks and ETFs, and many offer $0 commissions for other asset classes as well. The best trading platforms offer low and transparent fees with limited gamification tactics that encourage overtrading. They also provide extensive fundamental and technical research, a wide range of investment options, advanced trading tools, excellent customer service, strong mobile capabilities, and a variety of educational content easily accessible on powerful desktop and mobile platforms.
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Get $100 when you open a new qualifying Fidelity account with $50 or more. Use code FIDELITY100. Limited time offer. Terms and conditions apply. Disclosure of information about the proposal.
Fidelity continues its multi-year reign as our top pick for Best Overall Broker and Best Low Cost Broker. For the first time, the company also took the top spot in our Best ETF Broker category, ahead of Charles Schwab. Fidelity offers a full range of services to both its institutional and retail clients with sophisticated tools delivered through a simple workflow, all at low cost.
Fidelity is our top pick overall, as well as our top pick for best low-cost broker and best ETF broker because of its continuous product improvement, strong customer support, unmatched value, and resources world of research and education. Fidelity’s illustrious history dates back to its founding in 1946. With $4.3 trillion in discretionary assets as of March 2022, the Boston-based firm ranks among the top brokerage firms in terms of assets under management.
Always looking to improve its products and services, Fidelity recently made news by launching a Digital Asset Account (DAA) that will allow plan sponsors to offer their members access to Bitcoin through an investment option in their plan’s main line. In addition, the company introduced the Fidelity Crypto Industry and Digital Payments ETF (FDIG) along with the Fidelity Metaverse ETF (FMET). There have also been improvements on the institutional side of the business, with the company expanding access to some of its proprietary instruments, such as Fidelity Bond Beacon.
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For investors looking for one-on-one help, Fidelity has added a direct indexed digital account called Fidelity Managed FidFolios to its line. FidFolios uses fractional shares to simulate indexes with actual stock ownership, rather than ETFs, allowing for deeper customization. But the improvements don’t stop there, as Fidelity has also improved its mobile experience with a redesigned app dashboard that includes streaming quotes on the home screen and more tweaks to the news feed.
After years of fierce competition, Fidelity beat out Charles Schwab as our top ETF broker this year. Like Schwab, Fidelity offers a wealth of ETF-focused educational content, powerful ETF screening tools, and a wide variety of ETFs to choose from. But it was the fractional trading of Fidelity shares in the ETF that helped propel it to the top.
Fidelity is an industry leader in low fees, and has an excellent reputation as a broker with a vast customer service network that supports its low-cost, high-value offerings. Investors looking for an online broker that keeps costs low and delivers better broker returns will be hard pressed to find a better broker than Fidelity.
TD Ameritrade maintains its position as the best broker for beginners and the best broker for mobile devices thanks to its intuitive platform, extensive educational offerings and excellent mobile options analytics, research facilities and trading tools.
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We chose TD Ameritrade to repeat as a winner in the Best Broker for Beginners and Best Mobile Broker categories because of its continued commitment to providing investors with easy access to the industry’s best educational content, mobile trading tools and research facilities.
Founded in 1975 and acquired by Charles Schwab in 2019, TD Ameritrade is a leading full-service online brokerage. The company continues to release new product enhancements, such as updates to the already significant chart feature and portfolio summary feature announced in 2022.
TD Ameritrade’s Thinkorswim® trading platform is powerful yet intuitive. The development of personal trading strategies is made easier with access to reliable backtesting tools, and the execution of these strategies can be practiced with the very powerful feature of the paper trading platform. When it comes to functionality, accessibility and flow across mobile, desktop and web platforms, TD Ameritrade offers the most consistent experience possible.
Recent improvements to E*TRADE’s mobile platform have brought it closer to being in the running for Best Mobile Broker this year, and Interactive Brokers prides itself on having the most sophisticated mobile platform available. That being said, TD Ameritrade simply offers the best overall mobile package. This overall advantage is driven by the broadest asset class offerings available, access to valued customer service, world-class research, powerful validation features, verifiable calculators and tools to assess your overall financial situation – these all with no balance sheet requirements and low, transparent pricing.
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With the most competition in these two categories, Interactive Brokers (IBKR) remains our number one broker for both high-level day traders and international traders due to its breadth of global assets and advanced analytical tools and calculators.
Interactive Brokers is our top choice for both experienced and international traders as there is no other broker that combines such a wide selection of global investment assets, sophisticated trading technology and rich research capabilities. With 1.92 million client accounts and $2.17 million in daily trading volume, IBKR is a well-capitalized stable broker that is also publicly traded.
Its current chairman, Thomas Peterphy, founded the company in 1978 under the name T.P. & Co. The company was a pioneer in the use of computers in trading, but it was not until 1993 that Interactive Brokers Inc. was registered as a broker-dealer in the United States. It has become one of the most comprehensive brokers in the industry. With access to 150 markets, trading stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds, funds, cryptocurrencies and more, supported in 200 countries, and funding methods available in 24 currencies, IBKR is undoubtedly the best international broker.
To maintain a large gap over competitors, the company is constantly innovating. Among the most notable recent improvements are the market interest rate paid on uninvested money, the IBKR GlobalTrader mobile app, and fractional share trading for European stocks and ETFs.
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International traders can access financial markets and all assets in desktop, web and mobile versions, including IBKR Mobile and IBKR GlobalTrader. TWS is a beautifully designed platform that combines technical analysis, social sentiment, fundamental research and financial calculators in a way that allows users to exploit price inefficiencies better than any other platform we’ve reviewed.
We chose tastyworks as the best options trading platform because of how it optimizes tools and content to meet the needs of our options-oriented client base. In addition, tastyworks prices its options with caps that make it the lowest cost brokerage for high-volume, high-frequency options traders.
Tastyworks maintains its position as the best options broker thanks to its intuitive delivery of the industry’s best combination of options-focused tools and content. Launched by tastytrade in 2017, Tastyworks was created by the same people who created and developed TD Ameritrade’s much-loved thinkorswim® app.
Tastyworks provides very competitive options trading fees with great features like capped commissions for large amounts and zero closing commissions. Fortunately for tastyworks users, these low commissions do not come with a platform that provides poor analytics, inefficient platform workflow, or slow trading execution. In fact, the tastyworks platform combines all these elements in a way that makes it one of the best companies we’ve reviewed.
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Tastyworks responded to customer demand for social trading capabilities by allowing users to follow individual traders in real time and allow them to see and replicate strategies used by other traders. While tastyworks still provides excellent customer service, a limited options trading commission structure, and excellent options-related educational and trading content, our updated methodology penalizes them for missing key research features and limited mobile charting capabilities. A company representative told us that they are working on these issues, but that any improvements are coming too late
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