Online Broker Reviews
Finding information for online stock brokers isn’t easy. Every company is unique and the important things aren’t always obvious. To complicate things even more, companies that review brokers provide contradictory comparisons. It’s difficult to come to any definite conclusion on which broker is the best. I’ve tried to be objective and pick the best brokers based on a broad range of factors. The research also made it clear that different brokers are better for different kinds of trading.
To make this concise there are some companies I deliberately left off. The three reasons most companies didn’t make the list is that they 1) didn’t have a mature offering 2) they weren’t technically online discount brokers 3) They were so close in price and offering to other players that including them would have been redundant. For example, Ameriprise is not on the list because they aren’t a true discount broker. They are more interested in using financial advisors instead of individuals trading. Another one I left off is BuyandHold.com due to their oversimplified offering. Lastly, there are many companies I left off because their pricing all hovered around $19.95/order and their offering was very close to Wells Fargo or Vanguard.
This list is a sample of unique discount stock brokers.
Options Xpress – Link to: http://www.optionsxpress.com/
Specializing in option tools and eductions as well as stocks, futures, mutual funds, bonds, ETFs, and SSFs. They are very competitive on pricing across the board with ultra low cost on option trading. No unexpected fees and no maintenance fee on IRAs or any other account. No extra cost for broker assisted trades, webinars, or tool center.
Zecco Trading – Link to: http://www.zecco.com/
Update:Zecco just added Forex trading. With Zecco there are no minimum balances to open an account. Stock trades are only 4.95 a trade. Their fees are minimal or non-existent with the exception of a $30 annual fee on IRA accounts. Signing up for an account online has been streamlined and is as easy as any other broker. To get 10 free trades a month you must make 25 trades or have a $25,000 minimum balance.
Scottrade – Link to: http://www.scottrade.com/
This is for the best broker that is in the middle between Premium and Standard discount brokers. Scottrade offers competitive rates with a lot of service and tools. They have the most physical branches than anyone else in the country. Scottrade is a broker that you can grow into and still feel comfortable with. They accommodate the small and large accounts nicely.