How to use 5 of the best online stock trading platforms

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Investors should know the best online brokers to trade with. Some online stock brokers are known for their award-winning customer service while others are known for inexpensive stock trades or powerful trading tools.

This guide will highlight some of the best brokers available today with tips and advice for choosing a broker. Its platforms thinkorswim was 1 desktop platformtools, mobile apps including Alexa Skill and Facebook Messenger botresearch, customer service 1 for phone supportand education 1 are all award winning.

Get up to free trades for 2 years. Fidelity is best known for its value driven customer experience. Beyond cost and ease of use, Fidelity also finished 1 for research tools. OptionsHouse has best cheap online stock trading platforms rated the 1 platform for Options Trading the past seven years.

Merrill Edge is the online broker of Bank of America and is available to all investors, regardless if they are a current BofA customer. Like TD Ameritrade and ETRADE, Merrill Edge is well-rounded; however, it has a huge advantage over all other brokers thanks to its Preferred Rewards program where customers can earn free trades, credit cards bonus cash back, priority customer service, and more. I have personally been using the best cheap online stock trading platforms since it launched in With its competitive commission rates for stocks and options trading, investors who have previous market experience will find themselves right at home.

However, unless you are already an Ally customer, you will find that there are better offerings available. Having the best stock broker to serve individual needs is very important for any investor.

For example, cheap trades most often come at the expense of less research tools and a more simplified trade platform. Consider these 12 key factors to help compare all stock brokers and ultimately find the best broker to suite your needs.

Trade Commissions What does it cost to buy shares of stock? Does the fee change based on the type of order or size of order? To keep it simple, look for brokers that offer flat-fee trades, ie charging a flat rate regardless of the type, price of the stock, or size of the order. Customer Service When picking up the phone or emailing a broker, is a well trained customer service representative ready to assist?

How any investor is treated as a client is more important to some than others. Trading Tools Trading successfully is a lot easier when investors have great tools at their disposal. A top stock broker should offer access to a wide variety of trade tools to help make the most of each and every trade.

From real-time streaming quotes to last sale tickers, quality stock scanners, mobile trading apps, and level II quotes to name a few. Strong tools are essential for active investors. Account Minimums Some brokers allow you to open an account with no minimum deposit while others may require several thousand dollars. Also know that some brokers require higher minimums to gain access to premium platforms, functionality, and personalized support.

Market Research A good online broker will provide a variety of market research tools. The rule of thumb here is simple: Investment Options A online stock broker should offer access to not only trading stocks, but also a strong selection of no load mutual funds, commission free ETFs, and complex options.

Other unique investment offerings to look for could include direct market routing, conditional orders, futures trading, and forex trading. Other Fees Fees beyond trade commissions include inactivity fees common with active trading brokers such as Interactive Brokers, Lightspeed, and TradeStation and IRA fees for having a retirement account. Just like a bank account, stock brokers also make a portion of their profits off miscellaneous fees.

There is no reason why you should pay an annual fee to have an retirement account. If managing your own portfolio is not of interest, all full-service brokers offer optional advisory services as well. Furthermore, robo-advisors such as Betterment are growing in popularity. Once again, the experience at larger established brokers is going to be superior to smaller brokers. Banking Larger online brokers offer banking and other financial services. This goes beyond money market accounts and CDs.

Checking accounts, mortgages, debit cards, and credit cards can also be offered. The leader in this space is, hands down, Bank of America Merrill Edge.

Account Security Because of the web best cheap online stock trading platforms, all online brokers invest heavily into best cheap online stock trading platforms security. Just like shopping online and choosing a trustworthy website to purchase from, the best bet is to choose a well-known, established broker for your portfolio. To understand Order Execution, read this guide. International Trading For investors in the United States this is not a problem but for investors living outside the US, when comparing brokers it is important to make sure best cheap online stock trading platforms offer service in your country.

If you need help deciding which broker to choose or have a broker specific question please feel free to email me and I will be happy to help. To view star ratings, summaries, screenshots, and more best cheap online stock trading platforms these brokers, see our stock broker comparison tool.

This took many dozens of hours to put together so Best cheap online stock trading platforms appreciate your support! Enter your email address.

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Finding the best online stock broker is becoming more and more difficult every day. It seems like a new online broker is launched every month and cheap stock trading has become the way of the stock trading world. But with all of the new players in the game, it's the oldest and most respected online stock brokers that continue to offer the best deals.

Just 10 years ago, trading online was nearly impossible. As the years have progressed, trading stocks online has become easier for the consumer AND less expensive, which is a rare combination in business. Nowadays, you can find dozens of online stock brokers, each claiming to be the best at what they do.

But just how many of them can offer cheap trading, expert customer service, lightning fast execution and cutting edge technology? Let's take a look. Ally Invest fits right at the top of our list as it seems to do everything very well. If you follow SmartMoney, Barron's and other graders of online stock brokers, you'll find Ally Invest formerly TradeKing winning awards almost every time they are handed out. Finally, Ally Invest is a leader in educating customers and you'll find hundreds of resources to help both amateur and professional investors.

See our full review of Ally Invest. To open up an Ally Invest account, visit their official website at www. Scottrade currently offers fee-free IRA accounts and has fantastic customer service. In my 5 years of trading with Scottrade, I have never encountered a single delay, problem or inconvenience. While many other brokers offer similar services for cheap stock trading, I've found one that has been nothing short of fantastic. I'm not about to risk having problems for a dollar here or dollar there.

To open up a Scottrade account, visit their official website at www. Fidelity isn't your normal online stock broker. Most mobile devices are compatible with Fidelity. With hundreds of webinars to educate investors, Fidelity is a great place to begin your investing career.

To open up a Fidelity account, visit their official website at www. However, for the casual investor, it may be a better idea to go with one of the other brokers, to save money on fees. In addition, Capital One Investing now also offers managed portfolios.

One of the premier benefits of having an account with Capital One Investing is that it can be connected with your Capital One account , making transactions to and from the bank a snap. There is no minimum required to open an account and they are offering a variety of bonuses based on the amount of your initial deposit. To open up a Capital One Investing account, visit their official website at www. ChoiceTrade isn't your everyday online stock broker and if you visit their website, you'll know that right away.

However, the mail drawback to using ChoiceTrade is their platform. If you're looking for good technology, you will have to pay for it. ChoiceTrade does feature an in-depth investor community where you can ask thousands of fellow users your questions. To open up a ChoiceTrade account, visit their official website at www. In , they were ranked 1 for long-term investing by Barron's and 1 overall broker by StockBrokers.

To open up a thinkorswim account, visit their official website at www. SogoTrade is one of the quieter online stock brokers and unless you've already signed up an account with them, this may be the first time you've heard of them. With their four unique trading platforms and an app available for Apple or Android devices , SogoTrade continues to implement game-changing technology.

All of their platforms provide customers up-to-the-second data to help them make the well-informed trades. To open up a SogoTrade account, visit their official website at www.

Not into active, online trading? Try something a little less hands-on. See our list of the best Robo Advisors. PT is also the founder and CEO of FinCon , the conference and community dedicated to helping other financial influencers and brands. He created this website back in to share his thoughts on money, hold himself accountable, and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence. This free software allows him to review his net worth regularly, analyze his investments, and make decisions about his financial future.

Betterment focuses on what matters most: PT recommends this service to anyone looking to get started investing for themselves. Thanks for the info!

I signed an account with sogotrade, after days of research I finally found a good broker for international clients! Banc De Binary is yet another financial organization providing cheap trading services, would be happy if you also add them in this list. It is a good choice for both the casual and experienced investors. I completely agree with your point that E trade is a good option for experienced investors but not for casual investors who would have to pay a lot of fees on some basic things.

Lopez well, it seems that it was only yesterday. A lot of great reviews sites also popped up as mushrooms after a good rain.

Needless to mention bancdebinaries. The content of ptmoney. PT Money Do more with your money in half the time. Join 38, subscribers improving their financial life. Now check your email to confirm your subscription. There was an error submitting your subscription. October 30, at They site said that. April 26, at February 14, at 6: Hello, Very impressive post! Please try to make your post more interesting and fun to read. March 3, at 4: August 13, at 6: Return to top of page.