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11 Best Online Stock Brokers for Beginners of January 2022

New to investing? Our list of the best brokers for beginners cuts through the noise and offers a curated selection of brokers with low fees, low account minimums and helpful educational resources.

Jan 13, 2022

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The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks or securities.

When you’re a beginner investor, the right brokerage account can be so much more than simply a platform for placing trades. It can help you build a solid investing foundation — functioning as a teacher, advisor and investment analyst — and serve as a lifelong portfolio co-pilot as your skills and strategy mature.

What are stock brokers?

Stock brokers are people or firms licensed to buy and sell stocks and other securities via the stock market exchanges. Back in the day, the only way for individuals to invest directly in stocks was to hire stock brokers to place trades on their behalf. But what was once a clunky, costly transaction conducted via landline telephones now takes place online in seconds, for a fraction of what full-service brokers used to charge for the service. Today, most investors place their trades through an online brokerage account. (A little lost? Check out our explainers on brokerage accounts and buying stocks.)

Best Online Stock Brokers for Beginners

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
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

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on Fidelity's website


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

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
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

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on E*TRADE's website


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

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's 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's 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 7,000 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
Webull
Learn more

on Webull's website

Webull

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Webull

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Get 3 free stocks

valued up to $6300 when you open and fund an account. Promotion ends 2/10/22.

Learn more

on Webull's website


Promotion

Get 3 free stocks

valued up to $6300 when you open and fund an account. Promotion ends 2/10/22.

Why we like it

Webull will appeal to the mobile-first generation of casual investors with its slick interface for desktop and mobile apps, but the brokerage also delivers an impressive array of tools for active traders. However, its relatively weak educational content may leave true beginners in the lurch, and it lacks access to a few common asset classes.

Pros

  • Low costs.

  • Easy-to-use platform.

  • Advanced tools.

  • Access to cryptocurrency.

Cons

  • No mutual funds.

  • Thin educational support.

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, options 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
Robinhood
Learn more

on Robinhood's website

Robinhood

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Robinhood

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

1 Free Stock

after linking your bank account (stock value range $2.50-$225)

Learn more

on Robinhood's website


Promotion

1 Free Stock

after linking your bank account (stock value range $2.50-$225)

Why we like it

Robinhood provides free stock, options, ETF and cryptocurrency trades, and its account minimum is $0, too. Mutual funds and bonds aren't offered, and only taxable investment accounts are available. Still, if you're looking to limit costs or trade crypto, Robinhood is a solid choice.

Pros

  • No account minimum.

  • Streamlined interface.

  • Cryptocurrency trading.

Cons

  • No retirement accounts.

  • No mutual funds or bonds.

  • Limited customer support.

Read Full Review

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

More resources for new investors

Last updated on January 13, 2022

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

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

APY

0.50%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

$100

Requirements to qualify

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Member FDIC

American Express® High Yield Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
American Express® High Yield Savings Account

APY

0.50%

With $1 minimum balance

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

Discover Bank Online Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Discover Bank Online Savings

APY

0.50%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

at Discover Bank, Member FDIC

Methodology

NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks the largest U.S. brokers by assets under management, along with emerging industry players. 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 brokers and our process, read our full methodology.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Online Stock Brokers for Beginners of January 2022

Frequently asked questions