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11 Best Online Stock Brokers for Beginners of October 2022

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

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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, 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. 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 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 brokerage accounts, including the ones below, offer commission-free stock trades. (A little lost? Check out our explainers on what a broker is, brokerage accounts and buying stocks.)

Best Online Stock Brokers for Beginners

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

Get $100

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

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 

4.5

/5
Webull
Learn more

on Webull's website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Get up to 12 free stocks (valued up to $30,600)

when you open and fund an account with Webull. Promotion ends 10/31/2022.

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Merrill Edge
Learn more

on Merrill Edge's website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $600

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

NerdWallet rating 

4.0

/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 

4.5

/5
E*TRADE
Learn more

on E*TRADE's website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Get up to $600 or more

when you open and fund an E*TRADE account

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
TD Ameritrade
Learn more

on TD Ameritrade's website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Ally Invest
Learn more

on Ally Invest's website

Fees

$0

per trade (on eligible US securities)

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

$100-$3,000

in cash bonus with qualifying deposit.

NerdWallet rating 

4.0

/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)

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

More about the best stock brokers for beginners

The star ratings above represent the provider's overall score across various categories. In this section, we've included more detail about how we rated these stock brokers specifically for their customer support options, which are key for many new investors. Our overall customer support rating below takes into account website transparency (a measure of how easily we can find key details), educational resources, customer service availability and the cost of broker-assisted trading. Here's how each provider stacks up.

Merrill Edge

Merrill Edge scores high points for its customer support. Clients have plenty of options to get in touch, including 24/7 phone support, chat, email and the ability to request an in-person appointment at a nearby Bank of America. As for Merrill’s educational resources, the broker offers top-tier content in many formats — from podcasts to webinars and even a robust content library of over 150 articles. Additional tools include calculators for retirement planning, investing, and personal finance mapping.

Merrill Edge’s customer support options: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Vanguard

Vanguard’s primary support options are via phone (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time) and email, making the broker a good fit for those who can do without in-person or on-demand support. Beginner investors have access to educational resources by way of news articles, research papers, videos and webcasts. And like many other brokers on this list, Vanguard offers high-quality calculators and tools that can help clients with their retirement goals or aid in decisions about Roth conversions.

Vanguard’s customer support options: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Fidelity

Hands-on learners will enjoy plenty of human support options from Fidelity. The broker’s customer support network includes 24/7 phone, chat and email assistance — and over 200 branches for in-person support. Fidelity’s educational resources are also standouts among competitor offerings. The Online Learning Center provides clients with custom educational materials keyed to their investment interests and behavior. And the broker also offers plenty of seminars, workshops and videos for traders to take advantage of.

Fidelity’s customer support options: 4.5 out of 5 stars

E*TRADE

E*TRADE’s customer service options receive high marks across the board. Clients can take advantage of 24/7 phone, email and chat support. And for those who prefer a personal approach, the broker has 30 local branches for in-person help. Like other big-name competitors, E*TRADE offers plenty of educational resources to guide new investors along, including live and on-demand webinars, online courses from Morningstar, and articles on E*TRADE's Knowledge blog.

E*TRADE’s customer support options: 4 out of 5 stars

Interactive Brokers

Customers can get in touch with Interactive Brokers’ customer support team by phone, email or chat 24 hours a day, six days a week. Like a few others on this list, the broker does not have any physical locations. When it comes to educational resources, beginner traders have a lot to be excited about — especially if they have a penchant for guided learning. Interactive Brokers offers its own IBKR campus, with online classes available to anyone, a Trader’s Academy, which features 55 in-depth online courses, and plenty of learning labs and webinars on a variety of investing topics.

Interactive Brokers' customer support options: 4 out of 5 stars

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade makes it virtually impossible not to get in touch. Clients can reach out 24/7 via phone, text, fax, live chat and email. TD also offers social media direct messaging and mobile screen-sharing. Those who need in-person help can schedule a meeting at a local branch. New investors also have plenty of resources to tap into, from educational webcasts to workshops to 150 live events at branches each year.

TD Ameritrade’s customer support options: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Ally Invest

When it comes to customer support, Ally Invest falls in line with competitor offerings. Clients can take advantage of 24/7 email, phone and chat help. The broker does not offer in-person assistance at this time. When it comes to education, Ally extends some interesting perks. For example, if you’re a visual learner, the broker serves up biweekly digital content on its YouTube channel. And for those who prefer more traditional resources, there’s access to live webinars, quarterly digital conferences, and plenty of educational content in the form of articles and blog posts.

Ally Invest’s customer support options: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Webull

Much like other online-only brokers, Webull provides clients with customer support 24/7 by phone and email. New investors can access learning resources on the broker’s website or in the Webull app, where they'll also find a variety of videos and lessons on topics such as investment basics and an intro to cryptocurrency.

Webull’s customer support options: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Robinhood

Robinhood rolled out a 24/7 call-back feature in 2021, through which clients can request to speak with a representative. The in-app experience guarantees a return call within 30 minutes of the request. You can also reach out to the company by email. Robinhood Learn, the broker’s online learning page, features over 800 articles on a wide range of investing topics. Additional resources come in the form of email newsletters, a podcast and an in-app learning module.

Robinhood’s customer support options: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Firstrade

When it comes to customer service, Firstrade clients can access help by phone and email Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time. The broker does not offer 24/7 assistance, nor does it offer in-person assistance at this time. New traders can access educational resources in several ways: Firstrade offers instructional videos, primers on basic investing strategies and terms, courses on options, and a weekly newsletter.

Firstrade’s customer support options: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab offers a wealth of customer support options, including 24/7 assistance by phone, email or online chat. Clients can get more help in person by visiting a Charles Schwab branch. There are more than 400 locations, and some are even open on Saturdays. Schwab also offers a wide selection of educational tools for the novice investor — both online and in person. Clients can take advantage of educational workshops and webcasts, trading events, and a robust knowledge center on the provider’s website.

Charles Schwab’s customer support options: 4.5 out of 5 stars

More resources for new investors

Last updated on October 3, 2022

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

SoFi Checking and Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi Checking and Savings

APY

2.50%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$300

Earn up to $300 with direct deposit. Terms apply.

at SoFi, Member FDIC

LendingClub High-Yield Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
LendingClub High-Yield Savings

APY

2.65%

With $0 min. balance for APY

at LendingClub Bank, Member FDIC

Discover Bank Online Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Discover Bank Online Savings

APY

2.15%

With $0 min. balance for APY

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 October 2022

Frequently asked questions