Cost is always a factor when you are shopping, and it plays an even bigger role when you are trading stocks. This is because many a time it is the cost that decides whether you make a profit or loss on a trade. So, it is important for you to keep your trading costs down. One of the best ways to do so is to register with discount brokerage firms. A discount broker would charge zero to minimum rates, but you shouldn’t expect the same level of services you would get from premium brokers, such as advisory, in-depth research and more. However, discount brokers are the best option you have if your objective is solely to minimize your trading costs. If you are also looking for discount brokers, detailed below are the ten best discount brokerage firms.
Ten best discount brokerage firms
- TD Ameritrade
This discount broker charges $0 per trade. Despite the zero cost, TD Ameritrade offers almost all services that you could expect from any broker. Its desktop-based trading platform, thinkorswim has pretty good trading tools. Additionally, it is known to be the best platform for those just starting to trade. TD Ameritrade also has excellent customer support.
It also has no charges for stock trades. TradeStation has two free stock trading account options – TS Select and TS Go. These options have no monthly platform fees as well. Its desktop trading platform, as well as the mobile app, are excellent and are equipped with helpful trading tools.
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It is a known name even to those who don’t trade. This discount broker charges no commission on stock, ETF, or options trades, as well as some no-expense-ratio index funds. Additionally, its excellent research tools and trading platform, as well as robust customer service, makes it a desirable option for budget-conscious traders.
- Interactive Brokers
They are an attractive option for the active, as well as casual traders because of their advanced trading platform, low per-share pricing and a large selection of tradable securities. Interactive Brokers also recently came up with IBKR Lite, which offers commission-free trades of stocks and ETFs.
- Charles Schwab
It also offers $0 stock and ETF trades, as well as excellent research tools. Along with sophisticated tools for professionals, it offers educational resources for beginners as well. Charles Schwab’s mobile app is pretty good. The broker doesn’t charge any annual or inactivity fee, while for full and partial transfer of assets, it charges $50 and $25, respectively. Moreover, it is also a good option for IRA accounts and broader retirement investing.
It offers trading platforms and tools that complement any investment style in addition to low trading fees, including for infrequent traders. Moreover, for active traders, this broker has E*TRADE Pro. It also has a user-friendly mobile trading platform, as well as helpful research tools. E*TRADE has $0 account minimum and stock trading costs, while for options it has no base commission ($0.65 per contract).
- Ally Invest
Ally Invest attracts investors with its $0 account minimum and $0 trading commissions on eligible U.S. securities. For options, it has no base commission ($0.50 per contract). This broker also offers a Cash Enhanced Managed Portfolio, including dividend reinvestment and rebalancing. There is no charge for this service, and the minimum investment is just $100. Additionally, it offers forex trading, as well as a suite of free tools for technical investors.
- Merrill Edge
It also has $0 account minimum, as well as unlimited free trades on stocks and ETFs. For options, it has no base commission, but charges $0.65 per contract. Along with low charges, it delivers fantastic research and customer service, thanks to its parent company – Bank of America. This discount broker also offers managed portfolio services in addition to DIY investing. Also, it has an easy to use trading platform.
- SoFi Active Investing
This discount broker is more appealing to young investors with $0 trading commission and $0 account minimum. SoFi was among the first brokerages to offer fractional shares. It also gives you an option for cryptocurrency trading, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. SoFi Invest, its new offering, is aimed at attracting young investors. This new platform offers stock trading, as well as the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
The main selling point of this discount broker is its streamlined trading platform, as well as free cryptocurrency trading. Like others in this list of ten best discount brokerage firms, Robinhood also offers free stock, options, ETF and cryptocurrency trades. Its account minimum is also $0. However, it doesn’t offer mutual funds and bonds.