It’s hard to figure out how the market is going to move when your data is delayed and your trading platform lacks the charting capabilities needed. But unless you’re a high-frequency trader, you could end up paying hundreds of dollars a month on research and software.
There’s no need to despair. NerdWallet compared the eighty most popular brokerage accounts to find the best deals on data. As it turns out, there are a variety of discount brokers that provide streaming data and advanced analysis software for free.
Here are a few brokers that stood out from the crowd:
OptionsHouse also has a free virtual trading account available, but with the full functionality of their normal trading platform. But to access the virtual platform, you must first open a brokerage account, with a minimum initial deposit of $1000. After opening the account, there are no data fees, platform fees, or account fees, whatsoever. In fact, their trade commission is one of the lowest available at just $4.95 per stock trade, and no fee for broker-assistance.
There is no minimum deposit to open a TradeKing account. You don’t have to spend any money in order to access their streaming data and powerful trading platform. The only fee you do have to keep in mind is the annual inactivity fee. If you don’t make at least one trade per year, or maintain $2500 in the account, you will be charged $50 annually. Of course, with their $4.95 commission fee, it’s fairly inexpensive to make any trades you decide.