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11 Best Online Brokers for Stock Trading of June 2020

Arielle O'SheaMay 21, 2020

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Want to trade stocks? You’re going to need an online broker, and that broker should offer a reasonable investment minimum, high-quality trading tools, robust access to customer service and no hidden account fees. On these measures, the brokerage firms below earned their place on our list of the best online brokers for stock trading.

We evaluated brokerage firms and investment companies on the services that matter most to different types of investors. For example, for active traders, we've noted online brokers with low or no commissions and robust mobile trading platforms. 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.

Read on to see our picks for the best brokers, alongside links to our investing experts' in-depth reviews on each.

Summary of Best Online Brokers for Stock Trading of June 2020

BrokerNerdWallet Rating CommissionsPromotionAccount MinimumLearn More
Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite

Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite

on Interactive Brokers's website

$0

per trade

None

No promotion available at this time

$0

on Interactive Brokers's website

Zacks Trade

Zacks Trade

on Zacks Trade's website

$0.01

per share

None

no promotion at this time

$2,500

on Zacks Trade's website

TradeStation

TradeStation

on TradeStation's website

$0

per trade

Up to $2,500

cash credit with a qualifying deposit

$0

on TradeStation's website

E*TRADE

E*TRADE

on E*TRADE's website

$0

per trade

None

no promotion available at this time

$0

on E*TRADE's website

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade

$0

per trade

None

no promotion at this time

$0

Read review
Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite

on Interactive Brokers's website

Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite

Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

No promotion available at this time

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 4,300 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.

  • Inactivity fees on IBKR Pro.

Read Full Review
Zacks Trade

on Zacks Trade's website

Zacks Trade

Zacks Trade

Fees

$0.01

per share

Account Minimum

$2,500

Promotion

None

no promotion at this time

on Zacks Trade's website


Promotion

None

no promotion at this time

Why we like it

Zacks is a great choice for experienced and active investors who would appreciate a little extra support from a representative, but trades cost more than at competitors.

Pros

  • Ample research offerings.

  • Robust trading platform.

  • Access to international exchanges.

Cons

  • Trails competitors on commissions.

  • High account minimum.

Read Full Review
TradeStation

on TradeStation's website

TradeStation

TradeStation

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $2,500

cash credit with a qualifying deposit

on TradeStation's website


Promotion

Up to $2,500

cash credit with a qualifying deposit

Why we like it

TradeStation is a strong choice for active stock, options and futures investors who rely on the broker’s high-octane trading platform, reams of research and sophisticated analytical tools. Trades of up to 10,000 shares are commission-free.

Pros

  • High-quality trading platforms.

  • Comprehensive research.

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.

  • Advanced tools.

  • Active trader community.

Cons

  • Free trading on advanced platform requires TS Select.

  • No transaction-fee-free mutual funds.

  • Plans and pricing can be confusing.

Read Full Review
E*TRADE

on E*TRADE's website

E*TRADE

E*TRADE

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

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

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

Last updated on May 21, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's ratings for brokers and robo-advisors are weighted averages of several categories, including investment selection, customer support, account fees, account minimum, trading costs and more. Our survey of brokers and robo-advisors includes the largest U.S. providers by assets under management, plus notable and/or emerging players in the industry. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include advisory fees, branch access, user-facing technology, customer service and mobile features. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

Frequently asked questions

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. (See “How to Buy Stocks” for step-by-step instructions on placing that first trade.)

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

One easy way is to invest in exchange-traded funds. ETFs are essentially bite-sized 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.