Top 5 online brokers and trading platforms to know

Discover the top 5 online brokers and trading platforms for savvy investors. Maximize your profits with trusted and user-friendly tools.
online brokers trading platforms

Are you interested in making stock market investments but need help determining where to begin? Because there are so many options available, choosing the best online broker or trading platform can be challenging. We have developed a list of the top five online brokers and trading platforms to assist you in maximizing your money so that you can make an easy selection.

These brokers have something to offer everyone, regardless of expertise level. In the following paragraphs, learn more about the top brokers and online trading platforms.

5 Best online brokers and trading platforms 

Let’s explore the top 5 best online trading platforms and brokers. 

1. Fidelity Investments

Best For: Investors who prefer lower fees and investment options

About the platform: 

Fidelity is a reputable online trading platform renowned for its revolutionary services and offerings. Founded in 1946, it has grown over the years to manage $3.6 trillion in discretionary assets as of December 2022. As one of the topmost brokerage firms, Fidelity thrives on offering sophisticated tools with an easy workflow at an affordable cost. 

The platform’s impressive features include excellent order execution, a powerful Active Trader Pro platform, and direct indexing. It also allows traders to invest in fractional shares of over 7000 U.S. stocks and ETFs, allowing them to increase their portfolio diversity without risking too much capital. 

Fidelity constantly strives to stay ahead of the competition by introducing innovative products and services. For instance, they recently launched a Digital Assets Account (DAA) that enables investors to access Bitcoin through an investment option in their plan’s core lineup. 

Minimum Deposit: $0 

Fees: Fidelity offers stock and ETF trades for $0, while options trades incur a fee of $0 plus an additional charge of $0.65 per contract.  

Pros:  

  1. It has a powerful Active Trader Pro platform.
  1. It offers direct indexing via fractional shares.
  1. It also offers Digital Assets Account (DAA) for access to Bitcoin. 
  1. Other characteristics include Fidelity Metaverse ETF and Fidelity Crypto Industry and Digital Payments ETF (FDIG) (FMET).
  1. It has a redesigned app dashboard with streaming quotes and news feed customizations.

Cons: 

  1. It has limited international trading options and is not available for non-U.S. citizens.
  1. It’s not ideal for day traders due to minimal leverage and margin rates.

2. TD Ameritrade

Best For: Beginners 

About the platform: 

Top full-service online broker TD Ameritrade was established in 1975 and was purchased by Charles Schwab in 2019. It offers investors easy access to some of the industry’s best educational content, trading tools, and research amenities. 

Their highly acclaimed thinkorswim® platform provides an intuitive yet powerful trading experience, with access to backtesting tools for creating personalized strategies.

The platform’s paper trading function allows users to practice their strategies before investing real money, and the platform is available across desktop, mobile, and web.  

TD Ameritrade has earned its place as the best broker for beginners and mobile thanks to its ongoing commitment to providing outstanding resources and services that make investing easier and more accessible for all.  

Minimum Deposit: $0

Fees: At TD Ameritrade, you can trade stocks, ETFs, and options for free. For every contract of options trading, you will be charged $0.65, and futures would cost $2.25 per contract.  

Pros: 

  1. It has a wide range of product offerings.
  1. Moreover, it also has superb educational content for beginners.
  1. It offers top-notch trading technology and options analytics across platforms.
  1. It’s a very powerful paper trading platform.
  1. The customer service is strong and efficient.

Cons: 

  1. Some account fees are relatively high.
  1. It does not offer fractional shares. 
  1. Users must opt-in for automatic cash sweep.
  1. Cryptocurrency trading through OTC trusts, ETFs, mutual funds, and Bitcoin futures only.

3. E*TRADE

Best For: Beginner investors, intermediate investors, and experienced traders 

About the platform: 

E*TRADE is an American-based investment company that provides brokerage services to more than 5 million customers across the globe through its platforms and services. It offers its customers a comprehensive suite of investment products and financial services, from stocks, options, mutual funds, and ETFs to bonds, banking products, and retirement planning.

E*TRADE also provides educational resources like articles and videos for beginner investors to help them make informed decisions. 

Minimum Deposit: $0 

Fees: E*TRADE charges absolutely zero commission for ETF & Stock trades. E*TRADE fees range from $9.99 for trades of less than 150 stocks and options per quarter, to $7.99 for between 150 and 1499 trades, and finally, to $6.99 for more than 1500 trades a quarter. 

Pros: 

  1. The trading fees of E*TRADE are quite low. 
  1. The investment selection is huge. 
  1. It has comprehensive educational resources for beginner investors.
  1. E*TRADE also has a user-friendly mobile platform.

Cons: 

  1. E*TRADE doesn’t have any international exchange trading options.
  1. E*TRADE offers no live chat or email support team.

4. Interactive Brokers

Best For: Experienced investors and day traders.

About the platform: 

Interactive Brokers is an American-based global electronic trading platform that provides access to markets in more than 120 countries. It offers its customers a wide range of products, from stocks and bonds to mutual funds, ETFs, options, futures, and foreign exchange. 

The platform has no monthly fees, helping keep costs to a minimum for users. It provides IBKR Lite for retail investors and IBKR Pro for more experienced traders. In addition, Interactive Brokers offers a variety of tools, including a sophisticated trading platform and real-time market data, to assist traders in making wise selections.

Minimum Deposit: $0 

Fees: Equity/ETF trades are free on their TWS Light, while options start at $0.65 per contract, with the base rate for TWS Pro users scaled based on volume. Futures trades start at $0.85 per contract.  

Pros: 

  1. The stock trading fees are low.
  1. It offers an advanced trading platform with a wide array of products, research tools, and real-time market data.
  1. You can trade in foreign markets and hold various currencies.
  1. It also has a mobile app which makes it perfect for individual investors.

Cons: 

  1. The process of opening an account is quite complicated. 
  1. The desktop trading platform is complex.

Read also: World stock market indices: what they are and what they measure

5. tastytrade

Best For: Options and futures traders, Active traders 

About the platform: 

tastytrade is a broker-dealer offering commission-free trading options for stocks and ETFs, variable rates based on volume for forex trades, and $1 per contract with no base fee or minimums for options traders. It also provides low account setup and maintenance costs as well as low-cost mutual funds for retirement accounts. 

All trades are executed with direct access to exchanges. 

The platform offers tools and features specifically aimed at derivatives trading to help evaluate volatility, risk, and profit. Also, you can use tastytrade programming and Follow Feed to follow the trades of particular traders and generate your own brilliant ideas directly inside the site.

It has 25 different types of cryptocurrency, including some of the most popular ones. tastytrade also offers traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs for retirement and corporate accounts. It provides a free demo of its award-winning platform with live support team help. 

Minimum Deposit: $0 

Fees: Tastytrade has one of the lowest rates in the industry, with commission-free trading for stocks and ETFs. Forex trades are charged a variable rate based on volume, which ranges from 0.15% to 0.4%, whereas options traders pay $1 per contract with no base fee or minimums. There is also a minimum per-trade commission of $5. 

Pros: 

  1. tastytrade offers a customizable trading experience. 
  1. It has a plethora of educational resources. 
  1. It also has some advanced tools perfect for options traders. 
  1. With excellent trading technology, it also offers an options-oriented mobile app.

Cons:  

  1. The investment options are limited.
  1. tastytrade also doesn’t have many investment resources. 

What is the best online broker platform for beginners?

When it comes to online broker platforms, there are a variety of options available for beginners. For those just starting out with investments, the best option is an online broker platform that offers low fees and commission rates, user-friendly navigation, educational resources, and reliable customer service. 

Popular, affordable brokers include E*TRADE and TD Ameritrade. Each platform offers a range of features and services tailored to beginners, from helpful learning resources and tutorials to competitive commission rates. Beginners should research each broker before opening an account to ensure they are choosing the best online broker for their needs.

Read also: The major financial capitals in the world in 2023

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