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Best Online Brokers for Stock Trading in 2018

by Iggy Paulsen 3 years ago in advice

Love to trade stocks, but hate the fees? If you want to get the best deals on trades, this list of the best online brokers will help you do it.

If you're a very hands-on stock trader, you already are very well-aware of how much of a pain dealing with a bad broker can be. Clearly, the days of calling up a stockbroker are falling by the wayside, primarily because it doesn't make sense to do so when the entire process can be automated.

Enter the boom of online brokerages, where you can buy and sell to your heart's content—all with the click of a button. Going online tends to be cheaper than in-person trading and also has the perk of being easier to access.

Most online broker firms have apps, which is what we'll be linking out to, today. Apps have made it easy to manage your money, make money investing, and learn new investing strategies.

The issue of quality, though, is still one many online groups struggle to deal with. Choosing a bad online broker can eat a sizeable chunk of your profits up, make the entire investment ordeal a nightmare, and even put you off to the idea of investing in stocks.

Choosing to work with one of the best online brokers, though, will make a world of difference in both how much you spend per trade and how much you enjoy investing. Here are our personal picks below!

(Note: Due to the quality of certain bank-affiliated brokerages, we will be including bank-owned products in here.)

Ally Invest regularly tops the charts as far as the best online brokers go. Why? Well, it's got a lot of features that other platforms don't—and also boasts very high satisfaction rates when it comes to customer service.


  • Low fee of $4.95 per trade
  • Trades stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, and bonds
  • Allows you full control OR can provide a managed fund
  • Nifty mobile app for investing on the go
  • Live news updates
  • Works with an Ally bank account

E*Trade is considered to be the OG of online stock brokerages, with a history that spans back 30 years. Over the decades, this company has been known as one of the most technologically advanced companies in trading.

That may be why its mobile app has gotten good reviews, and why a lot of newbies find it to be one of the least threatening services out there. Its excellent tools make it one of the best online brokers you can try.


  • $6.95 fee per trade
  • Ample promotional bonuses for extra investing cash
  • Loads of tools to help you learn about stocks
  • Crisp, clean design

It's really hard not to talk about the best online brokers without bringing up the online version of Charles Schwab. This brokerage has been known for having low fees, real-time updates, as well as over 240(!) different commission-free ETFs to choose from.


  • $4.95 per trade
  • State-of-the-art tools
  • Wide range of trading choices
  • Excellent customer service
  • Top quality data security

TD Ameritrade is one of the best online brokers when it comes to an easy-to-use format, quick mobile platform use, and low fees. When you combine the very reasonable fees with the praise heaped on it by investment powerhouse, The Motley Fool, it's easy to see why it has such a solid reputation.


  • $6.95 fee per stock trade
  • Extensive news and research
  • Apps available for iPhone, tablets, and smartwatches
  • Excellent customer service
  • Rated as best in research and trading tools

Scottrade was once TD Ameritrade's biggest competitor—and once was known for being one of the worst brokerages out there in terms of fees. TD Ameritrade acquired it, lowered its fees, and made it possible to get instant updates. Its desktop front is better than its mobile app, but even so, it's clear Scottrade has gotten way better in recent years.


  • $6.95 fee per trade
  • Mobile check deposit available
  • Decent customer service with brick-and-mortar locations
  • Order execution tracking

Currently one of the best online brokers for those who really want to start a new portfolio, Fidelity is all about lowering fees and giving users a highly visual way to see stock performances as updates happen. An ideal choice for newbies who aren't afraid of deep research, their mobile app and beginner-friendly attitude is wonderful.


  • $4.95 per stock trade fee
  • International markets updates
  • Easy usage
  • Beautiful mobile app for on-the-go use
  • Visual layouts that help determine winners and losers

If you haven't noticed, a lot of online stock trading brokerages tend to reward customers who trade heavily, or refer others. When it comes to reaping rewards, it's really hard to beat Merill Edge, the online brokerage version of Merill Lynch. In fact, it's one of the best online brokers because of its rewards program.


  • $6.95 fee per trade
  • Top quality banking services
  • Excellent rewards program for all members
  • Mobile and tablet-centric apps for convenience

IBKR is one of the best online brokers for people who are professional traders, are looking to trade thousands of stocks at a time, and those who want to maximize their potential. That being said, you actually do have to apply to be a member—but once you're in, you've got low rates and high-end research.


  • Fees are around 0.001 per share, with a $1 minimum fee
  • Extremely in-depth data
  • High cybersecurity quality
  • Top quality customer service
  • Designed for intense trading

Perhaps one of the more unusual online brokers is Robinhood, a fee-free platform that allows you to trade as many or as few shares as you want. This tends to be one of the best online brokerages for newbie shareholders and works to ease people into trading.

However, it's not for seasoned pros due to its lack of in-depth research. Fans of cryptocurrency will be happy to know that it allows for crypto investments as well.


  • Cryptocurrency trading is possible
  • NO fees
  • Portfolios at a glance
  • Easy and secure mobile app

If you're very new to stock trading, then you might want to try Motif, one of the best online brokers for people who are looking for a personalized, easy-to-understand firm. Motif allows you to trade stocks the way YOU want, or chooses a portfolio that works with your goals in mind. It's the best of both worlds.


  • Low monthly fee covers trades
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Up to 30 stocks in your portfolio
  • Automated advising is possible

Iggy Paulsen
Iggy Paulsen
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Iggy Paulsen

Iggy Paulsen is a fan of anything and everything wholesome. He loves his two dogs, hiking in the woods, traveling to Aruba, building DIY projects that better humanity, and listening to motivational speakers. He hopes to eventually become a motivational speaker himself.

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