Online Stock Brokers
So you have some of your hard earned money to invest, but now you need to look at the best online stock brokers to find the one that is most suitable for you.
In this section I give you the opportunity to compare online stock brokers. I've written detailed reviews on the most popular ones.
There is no question there are a number of greedy online stock brokerages out there, who only care about extracting as much money from you as they can in the way of fees. My goal here is to help you avoid these sharks!
Picking the right broker can have a massive effect on your trading results. In some cases, picking a broker with higher fees can be the different between having a positive return and a negative return.
Scottrade are very big, solid broker. They have been around for decades and have over 500 local branches. As far as brokers come, they are about as solid and established as you can get.
Trades are priced very competitively at just $7. Signing up for an account is very quick and easy, it only took me about 10 minutes to complete the entire process.
They offer many different platforms, so whether your a new trader or experienced trader, there will be a platform suitable for you.
A few other pluses include no free IRAs, great support and free real-time streaming quotes and charts.
Scottrade have a $500 minimum to open an account.
E-Trade is a well established broker that offers fairly competitive pricing at $9.99 per stock trade. This goes down to $7.99 if you make more than 150 trades in a quarter. They have a $500 account minimum.
They have a special promotion at the moment where you can trade 60 days for free! Great if you are a long term investor wanting to buy a several stocks and hold them!
They are the best broker around for trading penny stocks. The cost is a straight up front $7.99-9.99 per trade regardless of the price of the stock. Most other brokers have additional fees for these types of stocks.
ETrade also offer a bonus of up to $500 depending on the size of your deposit.
TD Ameritrade have been around for decades. They are one of the biggest online brokers out there. This is certainly for good reason in my view. The platform is one of the best I have ever used. They also offer great support. The biggest downside is they are probably not a good broker if you prefer to make trades over the phone. They charge a whopping $44.99 for this.
They are more expensive than some online brokers, however they often have great promotions which helps with this. At present they let you trade free for 60 days.
TD Ameritrade is one of the few online brokerages to offer hundreds of local branches, infact they have over 500. So if you are looking to trade with a rock solid company with a great reputation, the extra trading charges be worth it to you.
Optionsxpress has been around since 2000. They are a very reputable online stock broker and have won many awards to prove it including being named the "Best Deal" in the online discount broker category by Smart Money Magazine. They continued the streak in 2006 when Kiplinger's Magazine called Firstrade the "Clear Winner in the Mutual Funds Category" and "Top Clean-Hands Firm". Stock Trades cost $8.95 which is very competitive for what they offer.
They don't only offer stock trading. You can trade Options, Futures and much more with OptionsXpress
They have grown massively online over the last few years, perhaps due to their low trading fees and good service.
Which online stock brokers are best for me?
For some traders, using more than one brokerage can be beneficial. For example some brokers charge a great deal more for options contracts than others. If you are a big options trader, this is inevitably going to be an important factor for you. Currently Optionshouse offers the best deal on options, just 15 cents per contract.
If you are a long term and buy hold investor, you might want a big well established broker. For many long term investors, the cost per trade isn't as important, as far fewer trades are made than short term traders. Personally I use TD Ameritrade for long term investing.
I am sure you get the idea. Your trading strategy often needs to dictate the online stock brokerage you choose.