Investing is intimidating. There’s no two ways about it. Ghosts of stock market crashes and the fear of making choices can be hard to shake. But a little research, some professional guidance, and a few reliable tools can help lift the uncertainty and ease some of your concerns.
Storing cash in a savings account is a good thing. Keeping cash on-hand in the event of emergencies can be as important to your mental health as it is to your financial health. But in order to build real wealth, you’ll need to start putting your money to work.1
We won’t be handing out any investing advice here. It’s best to leave stuff like that to the professionals. We will however highlight the top online stockbrokers for investing. The following brokers are trusted by millions of Americans, and we think you’ll like them too.
- Great customer service.
- Zero-commission stock, options, and ETF trades.
- Strong portfolio analysis tools.
- Only available to U.S. citizens.
- High broker-assisted trade fees.
- No futures trading.
Fidelity Investments is a regular at the top of most review sites best-of lists.2 It’s a favorite among investment veterans and those just starting out. The platform is rich with helpful tools and insightful resources, and even earns high marks in customer service.
I mean, what’s not to like about $0 trading commissions? Fidelity regularly offers sign-up bonuses for eligible new customers too. Their market platform is incredibly easy to use, and accessible on desktop and mobile devices.
- Paper trading.
- Comprehensive database of educational resources.
- No-commission stock and ETF trading.
- Doesn’t offer fractional shares.
- Account fees.
You can’t go wrong with TD Ameritrade.3 The platform works seamlessly across mobile, desktop, and web, providing investors with convenient and reliable access to the wealth of tools and educational resources on offer here. And yes, there are a lot of educational resources and investor tools to keep you engaged for years.
TD Ameritrade is a fantastic place to start, thanks in large part to the vast selection of educational resources and research assets. Unlike a lot of its competitors, it permits paper trading too. Which lets beginners test out the investment waters without having to put any real cash on the line.
- Fantastic mobile app.
- Commission-free stock, mutual fund, and ETF trades.
- No minimum deposit.
- No international exchange trading.
- No direct crypto investing.
- Higher than average margin rates.
E*TRADE has been leading the innovation charge for a long time. The broker was one of the first to go all in on online trading, and has been offering online investment solutions since the early 90s.4 The popular platform offers a ton of trading tools to help investors make educated buying decisions.
It makes passive investing exceptionally easy with pre-built portfolios and an automated portfolio builder. E*TRADE’s history is tough to beat, but the platform stands tall among a growing list of competitors.
- Lots of investments to choose from.
- Plenty of customizable tools.
- Permits trading in foreign markets.
- Website is tricky to use.
- Not the friendliest platform for retail investors.
Interactive Brokers exceeds in the international trading category. The platform features some of the most diverse options available, with trading available across 135 international marketing and 33 countries. Traders can use the platform to invest in cryptocurrencies, international currencies, and even gold.
The platform can be a bit overwhelming for those new to investing though. For all its customizability, Interactive Brokers does have a steeper learning curve. Still, it remains a favorite among professional traders and institutional investors.
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
- Intuitive platform.
- No commissions on ETFs, stocks, and mutual fund trading.
- No minimum balance.
- No fractional share investing.
- No cryptocurrency.
- Lackluster research tools and fewer educational resources than many competitors.
You don’t need to maintain a minimum balance with your J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing account.5 The broker features commission-free trading of ETFs, stocks, and even mutual funds. The platform even features a helpful research tool that helps you build a portfolio in accordance with your risk tolerance.
Bonus points for those that do their banking with Chase Bank. Chase customers benefit from full and seamless integration with J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing, making account consolidation much easier.
Put Your Money to Work!
Online stockbrokers are powerful tools that give everyday investors like you the power over their investments. They’re safe, reliable, and easy to use too! All of the brokers mentioned above offer a user friendly experience, which means less time learning how to use the app and more time researching investing opportunities.
In truth, you can’t go wrong with any of the online stockbrokers we touched on today. Which one you choose is relative to your specific investment needs. So take the time to learn as much as you can about investing, and make sure that you have a comprehensive understanding of your own goals before choosing an online stockbroker and certainly before investing your hard earned money.