BEST OF

14 Best Online Brokers for ETF Investing of August 2022

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Exchange-traded funds have surged in popularity because they offer investors a simple way to build a diversified portfolio on the cheap. Investors don’t have to search far and wide to invest in these assets: They’re a common offering of both online brokers and robo-advisors.

ETFs trade like individual stocks, so many of the features sought by investors in a stock-trading account are also relevant to ETF investors. Like stocks, many brokers now offer ETFs commission-free. Besides commissions, it’s also important to consider other criteria, including a broker’s fund selection and tools for creating a well-diversified portfolio.

Here are NerdWallet’s picks for best online brokers for every kind of ETF investor, whether you’re looking for a broker with free commissions, the broadest range of ETFs or the best platform to help you build and manage a portfolio. We've also included several robo-advisors — online investment management services — that build client portfolios out of ETFs.

Best Online Brokers for ETF Investing

Our pick for

Hands-On Investors

Fidelity
Learn more

on Fidelity's website

Fidelity

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Fidelity

Fees

$0

per trade for online U.S. stocks and ETFs

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Get $100

when you open a new, eligible Fidelity account with $50 or more. Use code FIDELITY100. Limited time offer. Terms apply.

Learn more

on Fidelity's website


Promotion

Get $100

when you open a new, eligible Fidelity account with $50 or more. Use code FIDELITY100. Limited time offer. Terms apply.

Why we like it

Fidelity offers $0 trading commissions, a selection of more than 3,700 no-transaction-fee mutual funds and top-notch research tools and trading platform. Its zero-fee index funds and strong customer service reputation are just icing on the cake.

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.

  • Large selection of research providers.

  • Strong customer service.

  • Expense-ratio-free index funds.

  • Highly rated mobile app.

Cons

  • Relatively high broker-assisted trade fee.

Read Full Review
Merrill Edge
Learn more

on Merrill Edge's website

Merrill Edge

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Merrill Edge

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $600

when you invest in a new Merrill Edge® Self-Directed account.

Learn more

on Merrill Edge's website


Promotion

Up to $600

when you invest in a new Merrill Edge® Self-Directed account.

Why we like it

Merrill Edge offers high-quality customer service, robust research and low fees. Customers of parent company Bank of America will love the seamless, thoughtful integration, with a single login to access both accounts.

Pros

  • Robust third-party research.

  • Integrated with Bank of America.

Cons

  • Advanced traders may find fewer securities on offer.

Read Full Review
TD Ameritrade
Learn more

on TD Ameritrade's website

TD Ameritrade

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
TD Ameritrade

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on TD Ameritrade's website


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

TD Ameritrade meets the needs of both active traders and beginner investors with quality trading platforms; $0 commissions on online stock and ETF trades; and a large selection of mutual funds.

Pros

  • Commission-free stock and ETF trades.

  • Free research.

  • High-quality trading platforms.

  • No account minimum.

  • Good customer support.

  • Large investment selection.

Cons

  • No fractional shares.

Read Full Review
E*TRADE
Learn more

on E*TRADE's website

E*TRADE

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
E*TRADE

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Get up to $600 or more

when you open and fund an E*TRADE account

Learn more

on E*TRADE's website


Promotion

Get up to $600 or more

when you open and fund an E*TRADE account

Why we like it

E*TRADE has long been one of the most popular online brokers. The company's $0 commissions and strong trading platforms appeal to active traders, while beginner investors benefit from a large library of educational resources.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use tools.

  • Large investment selection.

  • Excellent customer support.

  • Access to extensive research.

  • Advanced mobile app.

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.

Cons

  • Website can be difficult to navigate.

Read Full Review
Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite
Learn more

on Interactive Brokers' website

Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on Interactive Brokers' website


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

Interactive Brokers' IBKR Lite is a strong option for frequent traders: The broker offers international trade capabilities, no stock-trading commission and a quality trading platform.

Pros

  • Large investment selection.

  • Strong research and tools.

  • Over 17,000 no-transaction-fee mutual funds.

  • NerdWallet users who sign up for IBKR Pro get a 0.25 percentage point discount on margin rates.

Cons

  • Website is difficult to navigate.

Read Full Review
Ally Invest
Learn more

on Ally Invest's website

Ally Invest

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Ally Invest

Fees

$0

per trade (on eligible US securities)

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

$100-$3,000

in cash bonus with qualifying deposit.

Learn more

on Ally Invest's website


Promotion

$100-$3,000

in cash bonus with qualifying deposit.

Why we like it

Ally Invest’s robust trading platform and lineup of free research, charting, data and analytical tools make it a good choice for active traders. But it’s also appropriate for beginning investors who will appreciate that there is no account minimum and no annual fees.

Pros

  • Commission-free trades on eligible U.S. stocks, options and ETFs.

  • No account minimum.

  • Strong web-based platform.

  • Robust research and tools.

Cons

  • No no-transaction-fee mutual funds.

  • No branches.

Read Full Review
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
Learn more

on J.P. Morgan's website

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Get up to $625

when you open and fund a J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing account with qualifying new money

Learn more

on J.P. Morgan's website


Promotion

Get up to $625

when you open and fund a J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing account with qualifying new money

Why we like it

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is a clear-cut investment platform that is great for beginners looking to learn how to buy and sell investments. More advanced investors, however, may find it lacking in terms of available assets, tools and research. INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE

Pros

  • Easy-to-use platform.

  • $0 commissions.

  • App connects all Chase accounts.

  • No account minimum.

Cons

  • Limited tools and research.

  • Portfolio Builder tool requires $2,500 balance.

Read Full Review

Our pick for

Hands-Off Investors

Betterment
Learn more

on Betterment's website

Betterment

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Betterment

Fees

0.25%

management fee

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to 1 year

of free management with a qualifying deposit

Learn more

on Betterment's website


Promotion

Up to 1 year

of free management with a qualifying deposit

Why we like it

Betterment has maintained its status as the largest independent robo-advisor for a reason: The company offers a powerful combination of goal-based tools, affordable management fees and no account minimum.

Pros

  • Multiple portfolio options and customization.

  • Low account minimum and fees

  • Fractional shares mean all your cash is invested.

  • Robust goal-based tools.

Cons

  • No direct indexing.

Read Full Review
Wealthfront
Learn more

on Wealthfront's website

Wealthfront

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Wealthfront

Fees

0.25%

management fee

Account minimum

$500

Promotion

Get $50 customer bonus

when you fund your first taxable Investment Account

Learn more

on Wealthfront's website


Promotion

Get $50 customer bonus

when you fund your first taxable Investment Account

Why we like it

Wealthfront has built client trust by offering free management on the first $5,000 — with NerdWallet’s promotion — and the company’s stock-level tax-loss harvesting service really shines.

Pros

  • Get $50 customer bonus when you fund your first taxable Investment Account (NerdWallet promotion).

  • Low ETF expense ratios.

  • Daily tax-loss harvesting.

  • Automatic rebalancing.

Cons

  • No fractional shares.

  • No large-balance discounts.

Read Full Review
Ally Invest Robo Portfolios
Learn more

on Ally Invest's website

Ally Invest Robo Portfolios

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Ally Invest Robo Portfolios

Fees

0.0%

with Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolio; 0.3% otherwise

Account minimum

$100

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on Ally Invest's website


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

Ally Invest Robo Portfolios is best suited to retirement accounts or loyal Ally customers who want to house a managed account, a trading account and their bank accounts under one roof. The lack of tax-loss harvesting will be an issue for investors with taxable brokerage accounts.

Pros

  • Solid investment selection.

  • Integration for Ally bank and brokerage clients.

Cons

  • No tax-loss harvesting.

Read Full Review
Axos Managed Portfolios
Learn more

on Axos Invest's website

Axos Managed Portfolios

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Axos Managed Portfolios

Fees

0.24%

management fee

Account minimum

$500

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on Axos Invest's website


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

Axos Invest stands out for the level of customization allowed by the service: The company allows investors to add or remove 32 investment types, including socially responsible investments.

Pros

  • Low account management costs.

  • Customizable portfolios.

  • Goal-based planning tools.

Cons

  • Limited account selection.

Read Full Review

Want to compare more options? Here are our other top picks:

Disclosure: The author held no positions in the aforementioned securities at the time of publication.

Last updated on August 1, 2022

You may also like these

People often identify opening a savings account as their next money move.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

APY

1.70%

With $0 min. balance for APY

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Member FDIC

Discover Bank Online Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Discover Bank Online Savings

APY

1.60%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

at Discover Bank, Member FDIC

American Express® High Yield Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
American Express® High Yield Savings Account

APY

1.50%

With $1 min. balance for APY

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

Methodology

NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks the largest U.S. brokers and robo-advisors. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgements on which ones will best meet your needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

We collect data directly from providers through detailed questionnaires, and conduct first-hand testing and observation through provider demonstrations. The questionnaire answers, combined with demonstrations, interviews of personnel at the providers and our specialists’ hands-on research, fuel our proprietary assessment process that scores each provider’s performance across more than 20 factors. The final output produces star ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

For more details about the categories considered when rating providers and our processes, read our full broker ratings methodology and our full robo-advisor ratings methodology.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Online Brokers for ETF Investing of August 2022

Frequently asked questions