Find the Best Stock Broker

Our goal is to help you find the best stock broker for your needs. To that end, our team has spent over 300 hours reviewing the top online brokerages. We’ve evaluated each on over 15 criteria before assigning a rating. Our selections include online brokers due to their low cost and convenience and robo-advisors for investors who want managed portfolios.

We strive to put the consumer first and all reviews are solely based on our team’s editorial analysis. NerdWallet does not have relationships with every brokerage listed, and our recommendations are completely independent of any partnerships. For complete transparency you can see How We Make Money.

Select Your Preferences

Tell us about your investing preferences and we’ll show you the best brokerage options that might fit your needs.

What do you want to invest in?

The first step in choosing an investment account is understanding your investing strategy.

Investors who trade individual stocks and advanced securities like options are looking for exposure to specific companies or trading strategies.

Mutual funds and ETFs are typically best suited to investing for long-term goals that are at least 5 years away, like retirement, a far-off home purchase or college.

Beginners and long term investors often look to get exposure to whole markets and don't have a preference on which type of securities to trade.

How much will you deposit to open the account?

Some brokers have minimum deposit requirements, while others may require a minimum balance to access certain advanced features or trading platforms.

If a broker is offering a new account promotion, there may be a minimum initial deposit requirement to qualify.

How often will you trade?

Like most things, when it comes to stock brokers, you often get what you pay for — which means there may be a trade off between price and quality.

Some brokers charge more per trade but offer access to a high-quality platform and premium research for free. Others have lower commissions, but offer fewer tools and services or charge to access certain tools.

If you're trading frequently — more than weekly — you'll want an advanced broker that has powerful platforms, innovative tools, high-quality research and low commissions.

Those who trade monthly or yearly will want a well-rounded broker with a user-friendly interface, helpful customer support and competitive pricing.

Who will manage your investments?

Yes, it's true — you don't have to manage your own investments. In fact, these days it's not only possible, but inexpensive to get the kind of management that was previously only available to investors with very high balances (read: mostly millionaires).

Thank the robo-advisor: These services use algorithms to build and manage investor portfolios. For a very low fee, they'll create a portfolio of ETFs based on your investing goals and risk tolerance, then rebalance it as needed. Many also offer tax-loss harvesting for taxable accounts.

If that sounds too hands-off for you and you want to manage your own investments, choose a self-directed account at an online broker.

What is most important to you?

Low Cost: Mutual fund and ETF investors want access to funds without commissions or transaction fees; stock or options traders want low commissions and no added fees for inactivity, tools or research.

Platform and tools: If you plan to trade frequently, you likely know what kind of tools you'll use most and what you want out of a platform.

User interface: Website and tools should be intuitive and easy to navigate.

Premium research: Investing, particularly frequent trading, requires analysis. The broker should provide extensive information to help you select the investments for your portfolio.

Promotions: This shouldn't be your primary concern, but it might be a tie breaker if you're stuck between two options.

Recommended stock brokers for you

BrokerHighlightsCommissionsAccount MinimumCurrent OffersStart Investing
Merrill Edge
Merrill Edge
Show Details
Breadth of research from other providers and own offering
Commissions
$6.95
per trade
Current Offers
$100-$600
in cash bonus with a qualifying deposit
Open an account
on Merrill Edge's secure website
Show Details
Ally Invest
Ally Invest
Show Details
Impressive platform and research depth; low commissions
Commissions
$4.95
per trade
Current Offers
Discounts available
based on trade volume
Open an account
on Ally Invest's secure website
Show Details
TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade
Show Details
Top research; two powerful trade platforms; educational content
Commissions
$6.95
per trade
Current Offers
$100-$600
in cash bonus with a qualifying deposit
Open an account
on TD Ameritrade's secure website
Show Details
Etrade
Etrade
Show Details
Large selection; reasonable commissions and fees
Commissions
$6.95
per trade
Current Offers
60
days of commission-free trades with a qualifying deposit
Open an account
on Etrade's secure website
Show Details
Wealthfront
Wealthfront
Show Details
Free management of first $15,000; advanced tax optimization strategies.
Commissions
0.25%management fee
Current Offers
$15,000
amount of assets managed with no fee
Open an account
on Wealthfront's secure website
Show Details
Personal Capital
Personal Capital
Show Details
Dedicated financial advisors; customized portfolios.
Commissions
0.89%management fee
Current Offers
None
no promotion available at this time
Open an account
on Personal Capital's secure website
Show Details
Scottrade
Scottrade
Show Details
Multiple trading platforms; extensive customer support
Commissions
$6.95
per trade
Current Offers
50
commission-free trades with a deposit of $10,000 or more
Open an account
on Scottrade's secure website
Show Details
Vanguard Brokerage
Vanguard Brokerage
Show Details
Low-cost funds; strong customer service
Commissions
$6.95
per trade
Current Offers
None
no promotion available at this time
Open an account
on Vanguard Brokerage's secure website
Show Details
Wealthsimple
Wealthsimple
Show Details
Socially responsible investments; free tax-loss harvesting
Commissions
0.4%management fee
Current Offers
$50
cash bonus with deposit of at least $1,000 in first 30 days
Open an account
on Wealthsimple's secure website
Show Details
Capital One Investing
Capital One Investing
Show Details
Low account minimum and fees; portfolio-building tools
Commissions
$6.95
per trade
Current Offers
Up to $600
for new accounts, depending on balance
Open an account
on Capital One Investing's secure website
Show Details
T. Rowe Price
T. Rowe Price
Show Details
Standout (and free) retirement planning tools; no-transaction-fee mutual funds
Commissions
$19.95
per trade
Current Offers
None
no promotion available at this time
Open an account
on T. Rowe Price's secure website
Show Details
TradeStation
TradeStation
Show Details
Sophisticated platform; exceptional research and analytical tools
Commissions
$5
per trade
Current Offers
20%
savings on commissions
Open an account
on TradeStation's secure website
Show Details
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