You have many options when it comes to online brokerages. Many discount online brokers offer similar features but differentiated in user experience, research, community, and fees.
What is a discount broker? It’s a stockbroker or brokerage firm that charges a reduced commission on transactions but does not provide investment advice. They may provide access to research and other information but you’re mostly left to your own.
Now, here are the best online brokerages to consider when evaluating which firm is right for you.
Best Lowest Cost Online Brokerage: ALLY INVEST
Ally Invest is a platform for investors looking for an online brokerage account to execute their own investments with minimal fees. They are a low-cost online broker providing a simple but robust platform, great customer service, and tons of educational resources. With Ally Invest, hands-on investors can choose to invest in stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, and options.
Ally Invest runs promotions from time-to-time and currently offering $100 cash back, or 90 days in free trades (up to $500) with a minimum deposit of $25,000. Read the complete review of Ally Invest.Try Ally Invest (Get 90 Days Commission Free Trades)
Best for Moderately Experienced Investors: TD AMERITRADE
TD Ameritrade is a one-stop discount broker providing services for individuals who are investing online. However, they also offer access to over 100 branch locations around the country. Similar to larger online brokers, TD Ameritrade offers many investment options including common stock, preferred stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, and money market accounts. TD Ameritrade is on the higher end of the per trade fee at $6.95 but you get access to an extensive library of research, portfolio guidance, and choices of trading platforms. Read the complete review of TD Ameritrade.Try TD Ameritrade (Get 60 Days Commission Free Trades)
Best No Fee Trading and Ease of Use: ROBINHOOD
Robinhood is a commission-free website and mobile stock trading app. You are able to make stock purchases and trades without fees. There are no account minimum balance requirements, nor will they charge a fee for an account with a zero balance. It does not have all the features you may find with a traditional discount brokerage. The streamlined app can actually be a benefit for the beginner or more seasoned investor seeking simplicity and ease of use. Read the complete review of Robinhood.Try Robinhood (Get a Free Share of Stock)
Best Theme-Based Investing: MOTIF INVESTING
Motif Investing is hybrid online brokerage and robo-advisor that takes an unconventional approach to investing. As investors, we naturally want to choose the best group of stocks, and with Motif Investing you can choose motifs. Motifs are groups of up to 30 stocks that all fall in the same category. For example, if you were interested in investing in emerging technology, chances are, you’d be able to find a motif with that theme. Motif Investing also lets you buy and sell stocks, funds, and motifs, and participate in IPOs. Read the complete review of Motif Investing.Try Motif Investing
My Smile Summary: Which Discount Online Brokerage Should You Use?
That all depends on your level of experience but if you're a beginner it should not deter you from making a choice. These brokerages all have features to make investment possible for the common person. In doing this review for the best lists, I wanted to showcase firms that can appeal to the vast majority of beginner to moderately experienced investors.
Check out these choices and determine which features are more valuable to you.