The online stock trading websites have really eased the entire stock trading experience.
It has created a sense of convenience and made the markets a lot more accessible.
Suddenly stock trading is just a click away.
This has no doubt boosted online stock trading.
But this popularity resulted in online stock trading sites mushrooming in every corner.
But for an average investor, it becomes a big task to identify the right type of online stock trading website.
Each website has its own unique appeal and a separate set of charges.
The efficiency of an online site is also important.
That will also rationalize the cost input that you may have to incur.
On the whole, the choice is almost like looking for a conventional broker.
You need to choose someone who is efficient, fast and address your needs the best.
You need to apply the same logic while choosing online stock trading sites as well.
That will help you optimize every penny that you invest in the market.
But for the retail investor, with access to limited data, it can be sometimes an uphill task.
So we decided to make the task a lot easier for you by doing some basic groundwork on the topic.
We have shortlisted a series of online stock trading websites that address your unique requirements comprehensively.
We have analyzed the performance of these online trading sites on the basis of several parameters.
These include the brokerage rates, the speed and the quality of investment performance.
The idea is to provide readers with a comprehensive package comprising of all trading elements.
That is what will ultimately produce a sustainable trading alternative for interested investors.
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What Are the Top Online Stock Trading Websites?
Here is the list of the best and top online stock trading websites that you must know and refer to, if you want to become a good stock trader:
- eTrade (etrade.com)
- Ally Invest (ally.com)
- Fidelity (fidelity.com)
- TD Ameritrade (tdameritrade.com)
- Charles Schwab (schwab.com)
- Interactive Brokers (interactivebrokers.com)
- TradeStation (tradestation.com)
1. eTrade (etrade.com)
Different websites have different levels of proficiency for different types of users.
As a result, a particular online trading site may be good for some but not for others.
So let us first look at beginners in the stock market.
They have a unique position.
The nitty-gritty of the markets can be intimidating.
At the same time, they are not very well versed with market terminology.
Moreover, their response rate may not be as fast as a professional.
So you need an online stock trading website that handles all these concerns in one go.
This is exactly why ETrade comes across as a top choice in this department.
It is quite simple to grasp, and the room for growth is relatively larger.
This online trading site offers investors a great deal of flexibility.
It has a unique learning center that helps beginners with a series of educational videos.
There is also an extensive collection of investment-related news, analysis and reports.
All of these help the investors develop a meaningful perspective.
It helps them to also deepen the overall market understanding in a far-reaching manner.
We can also book free appointments with the ETrade branch to address your concerns.
They have an active customer support system with 24×7 online chat services.
This is a particularly important feature for newcomers in the stock market.
The best part is ETrade is suitable for any type of investors from beginners to aggressive veterans.
As a result, it’s a one-stop shop to address every kind of stock trading requirement.
The relatively cheap brokerage rate is an added attraction on this top rated site.
2. Ally Invest (ally.com)
When you consider low-cost stock trading, ETrade has a very able competitor.
In fact, Ally Invest is a clear winner in this area.
It is amongst the world’s cheapest online stock trading sites.
The low-cost commission appeals to all types of investors.
After all, who wants to spend their precious profit as commission to brokers?
So whether you are a beginner or a high net-worth individual, you will love Ally Invest.
Though there are many online brokers who slashed their rates drastically, Ally Invest still maintains an edge.
They have a flat rate of $4.95 across the gamut of offerings.
But the benefits of trading with Ally Invest does not end there.
The minimum amount in the accounts can be as low as zero.
Moreover, they also offer interesting and attractive offers for active traders.
For those who undertake over 30 trades a quarter, the flat rate is even lower at $3.95.
This rate is even applicable for all those investors who maintain a monthly account balance of $100,000.
If you compare just the brokerage fees, there are perhaps a few more that offer relatively low rates.
But you have to look at the package as a whole.
Ally Invest undeniably provides a superior mobile trading platform and has great online resources.
The access to the online trading network is also exemplary.
As a result, investors can experience a far superior trading opportunity.
It is not just cheap, but you are not compromising quality in any way whatsoever.
This is a very important consideration when you are identifying a convenient online stock trading site.
These are the small considerations that can give you a competitive edge.
Often, in the long run, these small advantages help in big gains.
3. Fidelity (fidelity.com)
In terms of transaction rate, this one is at par with Ally Invest.
But discounted trading is not the only basis of rating this online trading site.
It is considered one of the best for investors because of the in-depth research and order execution facilities.
Investors are generally on the lookout for a relatively better quality trading site than beginners.
They are executing far advanced trades and may need a distinct degree of quality.
Fidelity manages to offer its users, this important edge in terms of service quality.
The depth of research plays a crucial role when you are undertaking large quantities of trade based on fundamental analysis.
For the average user, it will be very inconvenient to keep shuttling between a research site and a separate online trading site.
But Fidelity helps in bridging this gap beautifully.
This is also appropriately complemented by the stellar ability to execute the trade.
That is undeniably another important factor when you are choosing an online broker.
Fidelity does not slow down at any given point of time.
That means your trade will not suffer due to slow network connectivity.
Another significant feature is their mobile app for investment.
That is a very important deciding factor for many seasoned investors.
Fidelity’s mobile app is known for its exemplary service quality and user-friendly interface.
This app enables users to stay connected with the markets at every stage.
So whether you are on a holiday or at work, your investments are just a click away.
The good part is you are getting this range of service at very competitive rates.
You do not have to pay anything extra for this service to anybody.
That is a big advantage for regular online traders.
4. TD Ameritrade (tdameritrade.com)
But the actual litmus test is if you are a trader.
You are not an occasional investor, you do not make small allocations in the market.
On the contrary, you invest in the market to earn a living.
Your investments are your livelihood.
So you need an online trading website that is fast, accurate, precise and user-friendly.
It should help you in undertaking trades fast and without too much of a hassle.
The most important aspect is that you must be able to optimize the value of every penny that you spend.
Well, that’s the reason that this online trading site has been ranked number one by a host of reviewers.
Their $6.95 billing rate per stock with 0 balance account opportunity provides 24 hours support for 5 days.
In fact, they are among the very few who provide this type of continuous support.
Not just that, their trading platform and mobile app also help traders experience a superior service quality.
There is effective linking to a wide network of related social and investment platforms.
This enhances the overall accessibility of this online stock trading website.
It also helps in improving the efficiency of the trading site.
Ameritrade is a useful platform.
Their educational content helps beginners and seasoned investors in enhancing market knowledge.
However, when you compare it with Fidelity and Charles Schwab, it is surely a more expensive online stock trading site.
The relative rate is almost $2 higher, and you have to also add the marginal cost to this.
But when it comes to their platform and trading tools, they remain on top.
That, in many ways, compensates for the higher trading rate.
Traders invariably undertake relatively large trades.
The higher profit helps offset the impact to an extent.
5. Charles Schwab (schwab.com)
If you are a retiree or close to retirement, this can be one of the best online stock trading websites for you.
In fact, they have ranked number for retirement services repeatedly.
Their interface is specially designed to highlight the interest of the retirees.
It is extremely user-friendly and is packed with tools that specialize in retirement services.
That surely provides a unique niche to this online stock trading site.
It makes it undeniably the best option for a collection of commission-free funds.
Even in terms of billing rates, Charles Schwab has very competitive pricing for its products.
It offers a flat rate of $4.95 that is at par with Fidelity, ETrade and many other low-cost opportunities in the market.
The best part is their quality trading experience, and competitive research facilities cater to a wide network of users.
Whether you are a beginner or a market veteran, this facility is all about ensuring quality.
The continuous and efficient customer service is an additional advantage.
That, no doubt, improves the accessibility and reach of the trading products they are offering.
It also helps in enhancing user experience and risk appetite.
However, the only sticky issue is their limit for minimum investment.
While there are some which have an even higher threshold, Charles Schwab is still relatively high.
Especially, if you compare its limits with its closest competitors, the number is quite alarmingly high.
The minimum account balance needs to be maintained at $1000.
However, the research and trading tools compensate for this factor.
But that is why I said this might be better suited for those with deep pockets.
Along with the surplus money at their disposal, they can take advantage of these facilities lot better.
6. Interactive Brokers (interactivebrokers.com)
Very simply put, this is an online stock trading site for the experts.
Increasingly, online stock trading sites have improved the efficiency of stock market dealings.
Gone are the days of bids on the phone.
With the advent of the internet, the overall progress in stock trading has moved in leaps and bounds.
The seasoned investors or market veterans have also taken advantage of this huge upmove.
The trading platform, the wide range of investment opportunities and variety of trading options make it a favorite among the experts.
The margin rates and low commission fees are the other right ticks for this product.
In fact, the low commissions are its biggest strength.
It is hard to beat their average rate at a minimum of $1.
Depending on the number of shares traded, they provide even cheaper options to their customers.
However, that said it might not be the best for beginners or small investors.
The broker has a very high minimum investment threshold.
Moreover, they also levy monthly inactivity fees.
That means for small-scale investors with a low frequency of trade, this is a big no.
The educational elements are also lacking on this trading platform.
The basic premise on which this platform is based is expertise.
It is programmed to service knowledgeable and in-depth understanding of the market.
As a result, it is never an attractive option for small investors.
But at the same time, the Interactive Broker meets the requirement of seasoned market hands quite admirably.
They even have special promotional offers for clients who are below 25 years.
Whether you are looking for an online stock trading site for
- Options trading
- Penny stocks
- Margin trading
- Day trading
This is one of the best possible options for you.
7. TradeStation (tradestation.com)
Now you will agree that the quality of technology plays a crucial role in the online stock trading websites that we are reviewing.
Whether you consider the speed, efficiency or quality of opportunities, the technology plays a fundamental part.
It is this technology alone that gives a specific website an edge over others.
It is based on the technology that customers prefer one website over another.
That is exactly why so many users are convinced about trading with Trade Station.
It is primarily created to service the needs of the many technologically oriented users.
It satisfies their hunger for better quality opportunities and access to more information.
Needless to mention, information is power in the stock markets.
It has consistently ranked number one in the race for best platform technology.
That is a critical consideration.
The trading platform is packed with features and tools that enhance the user experience.
In fact, for the most technologically empowered users, they can even code their own app.
Of course, this is offered at a certain price, but it is quite competitive.
Moreover, Trade Station is known for low market fees and access to free market data.
The easy interface and the language program further improve the overall trade quality.
All in all, it provides users a unique mix of quality and functionality.
That is what gives its customers an edge over many other providers.
Therefore, it goes without saying that deciding on the top online stock trading websites is not easy.
There are many factors that you have to take into consideration.
Cost, quality, functionality and efficiency all merge together to provide a lasting experience.
So when you are choosing an online stock trading website, you have to consider all these facts one by one.
Moreover, you have to look for options that provide the best fit for you.
To make the task a lot easier, we have shortlisted this handy list of the top online stock trading websites across genres.