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Best Online Stock Brokers for Beginners of April 2024

Stock brokers primarily operate online these days, and there are strong, low-cost options for every type of investor. Below, our Nerds' picks for the best brokers for beginners.

Chris Davis
Kevin Voigt
By Kevin Voigt and  Chris Davis 
Edited by Arielle O'Shea

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.


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

When you’re a beginner investor, the right broker can be so much more than simply a platform for placing trades. Stock brokers 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 investing strategy mature.

What does a stock broker do?

Stock brokers are people or firms licensed to buy and sell stocks and other securities via the stock market exchanges. Decades ago, 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 on landline telephones now takes place in seconds through online stock brokers. Better still, those brokers cost a fraction of what full-service brokers used to charge for the service; many online brokers, including the ones below, offer commission-free stock trades. They also have very low or no account fees, which is part of what made them eligible for our list. (A little lost? Check out our explainers on what a broker is, brokerage accounts and buying stocks.)

We've selected the best brokers for beginner investors, based on key factors like customer support, account minimums and educational resources.

Our deep, independent analysis of investment firms cuts through the details to find and evaluate the information investors want when choosing an investing account.

  • Over 60 investment account providers reviewed and rated by our expert Nerds.

  • More than 50 years of combined experience writing about finance and investing.

  • Hands-on testing of the account funding process, provider websites and investment platforms.

  • Dozens of objective ratings rubrics and strict guidelines to maintain editorial integrity.

To see our full methodology and learn more about our process, read our criteria for evaluating brokers and for evaluating robo-advisors.

🤓Nerdy Tip

If you're a beginner investor, you likely want a stock broker that will simplify investing for you. To create this list, we've prioritized factors like educational content, an easy-to-navigate website, low fees and supportive, accessible customer service.

Best Online Stock Brokers for Beginners

NerdWallet rating 

4.1

/5
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
Learn more

on J.P. Morgan's website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Get up to $700

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

Best Online Broker for Advanced Traders 2024

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite
Learn more

on Interactive Brokers' website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

NerdWallet rating 

4.9

/5
Charles Schwab
Learn more

on Charles Schwab's website

Fees

$0

per online equity trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Best Broker for Beginning Investors 2024

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Fidelity
Learn more

on Fidelity's website

Fees

$0

per trade for online U.S. stocks and ETFs

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

NerdWallet rating 

4.3

/5
Robinhood
Learn more

on Robinhood's website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

1 Free Stock

after linking your bank account (stock value range $5.00-$200)

NerdWallet rating 

4.2

/5
Vanguard
Learn more

on Vanguard's website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Webull
Learn more

on Webull's website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Get up to 75 free fractional shares (valued up to $3,000)

when you open and fund an account with Webull.

NerdWallet rating 

4.6

/5
Public
Fees

$0

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

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

More resources for beginners

Last updated on April 9, 2024

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).

For more details about the categories considered when rating brokers and our process, read our full methodology.

Frequently asked questions