Best Online Stock Brokers 2015: Top 5 Lists

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A discount brokerage is a business, registered as an investment dealer, [1] that allow best online brokerage account 2015 to buy and sell securities online. Discount brokerages, also called online brokerstypically offer both registered accounts and non-registered accounts.

The types of products that can be purchased in these accounts best online brokerage account 2015 exchange-traded fundsstocksbondsGICsmutual fundsand others.

Therefore, discount brokerage accounts are suitable locations to build investment portfolios for retirement or educational purposes. Discount brokerages usually allow their clients to trade for their own account with little or no action with a live broker.

In addition some brokers offer no-commission trades to their clients that hold a balance greater than a specific amount with them. Typically, discount brokers provide advanced electronic trading platforms which may be appealing to frequent and active traders but may deter some novice investors.

Discount best online brokerage account 2015 charge comparatively low fees but typically do not provide financial advice or guidance and provide instead a service aimed at self-directed investors.

This article first compares discount brokerages to traditional full service brokers. Then the types of products offered by discount brokers are listed. Criteria useful to best online brokerage account 2015 a discount broker that suits your needs are given.

Finally the article discusses the issues of dual currency support Canadian versus US dollars and what happens to your account if a broker goes bankrupt. Discount brokers charge clients significantly lower fees than a traditional full service brokerage firm but without providing investment advice. Before the advent of discount brokers it used to be that only the wealthy could afford a broker and access to the stock market. However the development of internet and electronic trading helped to develop discount brokers, which allow investors to trade for much smaller fees.

Traditional brokers in contrast will often provide financial advice and investment planning as well as related wealth management services. When comparing discount brokers, commissions used to be the number one differentiator between online brokerage firms. When choosing a discount broker, you should also check their fee schedule to determine if there are annual fees associated with various accounts typically registered accounts and transfer and withdrawal fees.

The discount brokers website will typically have a fee schedule available. The total value of assets generally is based on all accounts that have the same mailing address. Because the commissions and annual fees best online brokerage account 2015 come down, recent broker reviews emphasize other selection criteria such as the ease of opening an account, ease of navigation, customer service, account reporting, market data and research, innovation, etc.

Depending on which criteria an investor emphasizes, different brokers will be favored. Canadian investors can purchase securities on Canadian exchanges and US exchanges. When purchasing and holding securities trading best online brokerage account 2015 US exchanges, an important consideration is whether the discount brokerage supports both Canadian dollar accounts and US dollar accounts.

The level of support varies between the different discount brokerages. Over the years on Financial Wisdom Forum there have been a significant number of discussions about various aspects of discount brokerages.

You might find it helpful to review some of these topics please note that there has been some minor editing of the topic titles. A series of YouTube videos from Justin Bender for those who have never used a discount brokerage account:. Chequing account Savings account High-interest savings account. Credit card Line of credit Mortgage. Cash account Margin account. Low cost investing Mutual fund account Discount brokerage Full service brokerage Bank based Wealth manager Robo-advisor.

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This section requires expansion. Non-registered accounts Cash account Margin account.

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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 platform , tools, mobile apps including Alexa Skill and Facebook Messenger bot , research, customer service 1 for phone support , and 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 been 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 program 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 today, all online brokers invest heavily into account 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 they 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 for these brokers, see our stock broker comparison tool. This took many dozens of hours to put together so I appreciate your support!

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