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11 Best Brokerage Accounts for Stock Trading of March 2024

In our analysis, 11 online brokers stood out as the best brokerage accounts to trade stocks, due to their low fees, strong trading platforms and quality customer support.

Chris Davis
Kevin Voigt
By Kevin Voigt and  Chris Davis 
Edited by Pamela de la Fuente

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.

Most investors trade stocks (and other investments) through an online broker. To help you find the best brokerage accounts for you, we've evaluated brokerage firms and investment companies on the services that matter most to different types of stock traders.

For active traders, we've included below online brokers with no commissions and robust mobile trading platforms and desktop trading capabilities. For people venturing into investing for the first time, we've included the best online brokers for educational resources (including webinars, video tutorials and in-person seminars) and on-call chat or phone support.

On these measures, the brokerage firms below earned their place on our list of the best online brokers for stock trading. Read on to see our picks, alongside links to our investing team's in-depth reviews on each broker.

Summary: Best brokerage accounts for online stock trading


Why you can trust NerdWallet's picks: Our writers and editors together have more than 50 years of experience writing about finance, and follow strict guidelines to maintain editorial integrity. We do a deep, independent analysis of dozens of investment firms, sorting through the details to find and evaluate the information investors want when choosing an investing account. To see our full methodology and learn more about our process, read our criteria for evaluating online brokers.
🤓Nerdy Tip

The stock market continues to hit record highs in 2024. As of Feb. 29, 2024, the S&P 500's 1-year total return is over 30%.

Best Brokerage Accounts for Stock Trading

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 

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 

4.1

/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.

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

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 

4.9

/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 

4.3

/5
SoFi Active Investing
Learn more

on SoFi Invest's website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $1,000

in free stock for users who sign up via mobile app

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

Which brokerage account is best?

That depends on your goals. If you're looking for a broker through which to invest your savings for the long-term, you may want to prioritize a broker with good financial planning tools, or one that offers retirement accounts.

If you're looking to do a lot of day trading, you may want to consider order execution quality in choosing the best brokerage account for you — some brokers use the payment for order flow (PFOF) business model, which can result in trades being executed slower or at worse prices than non-PFOF brokerages.

Or, if you're just looking for an all-around good broker, you may just want to compare them according to more basic factors like trading costs and investment selection.

How much money do I need to start?

Not much. Note that many of the brokers above have no account minimums for both taxable brokerage accounts and IRAs. Once you open an account, all it takes to get started is enough money to cover the cost of a single share of a stock and the trading commission, if charged.

Need more guidance? Read our article on how to buy stocks for step-by-step instructions on placing that first trade.

Should I just choose the cheapest broker?

Trading costs definitely matter to active and high-volume traders, but many brokers offer commission-free trades of stocks and ETFs. A few have also eliminated fees for options contracts. Other factors — access to a range of investments or training tools — may be more valuable than saving a few bucks when you purchase shares.

How can I diversify with little money?

One easy way is to invest in exchange-traded funds. ETFs are essentially mutual funds that are bought and sold just like individual stocks on a stock market exchange. Like mutual funds, each ETF contains a basket of stocks (sometimes hundreds) that adhere to particular criteria (e.g., shares of companies that are part of a stock market index like the S&P 500). Unlike mutual funds, which can have high investment minimums, investors can purchase as little as one share of an ETF at a time.

Is my money insured at brokerage firms?

Your money is indeed insured, but only against the unlikely event a brokerage firm or investment company goes under. A broker’s SIPC coverage (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) doesn't cover any loss in value of your investments.

What type of brokerage account should I choose?

Your account choices boil down to a taxable brokerage account versus tax-favored retirement account, such as an IRA. Our guide to brokerage accounts goes into more detail about what’s involved in setting up a taxable account. Opening an IRA involves choosing which type, such as a Roth IRA, traditional IRA or SEP IRA. If you're new to this, we’ve got you covered in our guide to IRAs.

How quickly can I start trading?

After you’ve opened the account, you’ll need to initiate a deposit or funds transfer to the brokerage firm, which can take anywhere from a few days to a week. Once that is complete, it’s off to the investing races! And by that we mean taking a thoughtful and disciplined approach to investing your money for the long-term.

How do I choose the best brokerage account for me?

Some key criteria to consider when evaluating any investment company are how much money you have, what type of assets you intend to buy, your trading style and technical needs, how frequently you plan to transact and how much service you need. Our post about how to choose the best broker for you can help you sort through the features brokerage firms offer and rank your priorities.

Last updated on March 1, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks the largest U.S. brokerage firms 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.