Here’s a rundown of common fees for our picks of the best brokerage accounts. Besides lowest trading fees and non-trading fees, a good discount brokerage firm should also offer access to a lot of markets and products, because providing low fees in more than one asset class is not an easy job. All brokers in our list offer real stocks, but we also looked into whether you can trade currencies, options or mutual funds. Here, we’ve sorted through our top online brokers to surface the ones with the best no-fee discount brokerage accounts. They will help you keep transaction costs down without hindering your ability to trade stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and other securities. A discount brokerage is a type of financial intermediary that provides services to investors without providing advice or engaging in traditional broker activities.

And the company’s effective expansion of rewards members and mobile ordering can help boost customer engagement for years to come. For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit /legal. Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.


Once your order is executed, you become a shareholder of the company. Keep an eye on your investments and stay informed about market developments that may affect your stock holdings. In contrast, tax-advantaged retirement accounts like 401s or individual retirement accounts offer valuable tax benefits. Depending on the account type, contributions may receive upfront tax breaks or withdrawals in retirement can be tax-free.

Discount Brokerage

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of discount brokers, but it highlights the most popular. Other brokers are coming onto the scene regularly, offering super-low or even non-existent fees and other features. In many ways, E-Trade is synonymous with online trading and its emergence on the scene in the 1990s was disruptive to the traditional broker-investor relationship. E-Trade charges $6.95 per trade of stocks or options, and $4.95 if you make 30 or more trades in a month.

Overview of the best discount brokers

With 2.09 million client accounts and client equity of $307 billion, IBKR is a stable, well-capitalized broker that is also publicly traded. One should start investing as early as possible, even if it is with a small amount of money. The magic of compounding is real and in the long run even this small amount can grow into a large amount. You should consider how much risk you are willing to take, and risk-taking also depends on the stage of your life cycle. Generally, young investors can afford to take more risk than retired people who are counting on their savings during retirement. However, your money is not insured against losses that result from declines in value of the investments in your account.

  • We also did not take into account any maintenance, inactivity fees, or charges for using trading platform and market data – make sure to check these fees too before opening an account.
  • Online brokers are ideal for self-directed traders and investors who are comfortable researching, placing, and monitoring their own trades.
  • The user experience of the Tastytrade platform is superb on desktop and mobile devices.
  • Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day.
  • Fidelity, Interactive Brokers, and Webull are strong platforms overall.
  • Along with the introduction of new online trading platforms and expanded investment options, the discount broker industry has evolved from a pricing perspective.

Our estimates are based on past market performance, and past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. Every is different in terms of the level of customer service and support they provide. Some may be more helpful than others, which is something to consider when choosing a discount broker. Whether using a discount broker makes sense depends on what you need from a brokerage and what you’re willing or able to pay to build a portfolio. Here’s an overview of the main pros and cons to consider when comparing discount stockbrokers against a full-service option. This may be a tax-advantaged account, such as a traditional or Roth Individual Retirement Account .

How to pick the best online broker for you

Discount brokers have become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to their rock-bottom costs and other initiatives that have made investing more accessible. He is one of the first hires at BrokerChooser and has since tested almost all 100+ brokers covered by BrokerChooser. Adam holds a professional degree from CEU and he helps teach finance and programming courses at his alma mater. Previously he worked in the banking sector, including at Citi Bank. He loves researching the financial industry, managing his long-term investments, and trading with algorithms.

Discount Brokerage

The lack of these services, and because they do not spend money closing deals with high-net-worth individuals, means that discount brokers can offer lower fees. Additionally, most discount brokers operate their businesses online where the overheads are low. So low in fact, that beginning in 2019, many discount brokers even went so far as to forego commissions altogether for certain types of securities.

Our Services

In general, if you know exactly what you need and want, you can probably find a discount broker that will do as you instruct for less money than an advice-oriented broker would charge. Put simply, all brokers operating now have a discount brokerage business, but the more established ones still have their full-service business lines as well. & Co., Interactive Brokers was an early adopter of computerized trading. IBKR’s early adoption evolved into leading the brokerage industry in many areas. Interactive Brokers has continued to upgrade its technology and expand its offerings. IBKR is constantly tweaking and improving its platform, but these are some of the bigger changes that are more noticeable and appreciated the deeper you get into them.

Discount Brokerage

Discount brokers can afford to charge low or no fees for trading because they aren’t providing their customers with research or portfolio management services. Understanding how discount brokers work, particularly compared with full-service brokers, and their advantages and disadvantages can help you determine which option is best for you and your investment approach. Please note that by investing in and/or trading financial instruments, commodities and any other assets, you are taking a high degree of risk and you can lose all your deposited money. You should engage in any such activity only if you are fully aware of the relevant risks.

Why do I need a broker?

As you consider your options, it’s important to look at the benefits and drawbacks of discount brokers to determine the right fit for you. Options trading involves risk and is not suitable for all investors. Options trading privileges are subject to Planner Securities’ review and approval. Please review the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options brochure before you begin trading options. And now, let’s see the best discount brokers in detail one by one, starting with the winner, Interactive Brokers.

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It’s now one of the most popular online brokers, with more than 11 million accounts. However, Fidelity offers iShares ETF products without a commission and recently announced that it now offers four index funds with zero expense ratios and no fees. Many full-service brokers have wealth management teams of highly specialized individuals who can recommend investment strategies that do not apply to most average-income families. Additionally, some full-service brokers have high-minimum balance requirements, depending on the investor profile they are trying to attract. As a result, many full-service brokers are simply not open to everyone. Discount brokers do not provide the investment advice or guidance provided by a full-service broker.

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