2020's Investing
Winners

From low-cost investing platforms to robo-advisors and more – our list of winners can help newbie investors and seasoned traders alike. And while many of the winners are our partners, this did not influence our decisions or opinions.

Best-Of Awards > Investing

Best Broker for Stock Trading Platform and Research (tie)

TD Ameritrade

on TD Ameritrade's website

on TD Ameritrade's website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $600

cash credit with qualifying deposit

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.
  • Free research.
  • High-quality trading platforms.
  • No account minimum.
  • Good customer support.
  • Large investment selection.

Cons

  • Costly broker-assisted trades.
Read full review
Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $600

cash credit with qualifying deposit

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.
  • Free research.
  • High-quality trading platforms.
  • No account minimum.
  • Good customer support.
  • Large investment selection.

Cons

  • Costly broker-assisted trades.
Read full review
Why this BROKER made the list

TD Ameritrade offers best-in-class tools for researching and executing trades across a range of investments.

Read our methodology

Best Broker for Stock Trading Platform and Research (tie)

Interactive Brokers IBKR Pro

on Interactive Brokers's website

on Interactive Brokers's website

Fees

$0.01

per share

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Exclusive!

0.25% reduction on margin loans. Tiers apply

Pros

  • Per-share pricing.
  • Volume discounts.
  • Large investment selection.
  • Extensive tools for active traders.
  • Powerful trading platform.
  • NerdWallet users who sign up get a 0.25 percentage point discount on margin rates.

Cons

  • Complex pricing on some investments.
  • Inactivity fees.
  • Website is difficult to navigate.
Read full review
Fees

$0.01

per share

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Exclusive!

0.25% reduction on margin loans. Tiers apply

Pros

  • Per-share pricing.
  • Volume discounts.
  • Large investment selection.
  • Extensive tools for active traders.
  • Powerful trading platform.
  • NerdWallet users who sign up get a 0.25 percentage point discount on margin rates.

Cons

  • Complex pricing on some investments.
  • Inactivity fees.
  • Website is difficult to navigate.
Read full review
Why this BROKER made the list

Interactive Brokers' IBKR Pro pairs a state-of-the-art platform with numerous research resources.

Read our methodology

Best Robo-Advisor for Cash Management

Wealthfront Cash Account

at Wealthfront

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

0.26%

With $1 minimum balance

Monthly Fee

$0

APY

0.26%

With $1 minimum balance

Why this ROBO-ADVISOR made the list

Wealthfront, a top-tier robo-advisor, pays a higher rate than the competition on its cash-management service and offers up to $1 million in FDIC coverage.

Read our methodology

Best Robo-Advisor for Low-Cost Investing

SoFi Automated Investing

on SoFi Invest's website

on SoFi Invest's website

Fees

0%

management fee

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Free

career counseling plus loan discounts with qualifying deposit

Pros

  • Broad range of low-cost investments.
  • Free management.
  • Automatic rebalancing.
  • Customer support.
  • Access to certified financial planners.

Cons

  • Limited account types.
  • No tax-loss harvesting.
Read full review
Fees

0%

management fee

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Free

career counseling plus loan discounts with qualifying deposit

Pros

  • Broad range of low-cost investments.
  • Free management.
  • Automatic rebalancing.
  • Customer support.
  • Access to certified financial planners.

Cons

  • Limited account types.
  • No tax-loss harvesting.
Read full review
Why this ROBO-ADVISOR made the list

SoFi charges no management fee and no administrative fees, and you still get a broad selection of investments and free access to financial advice.

Read our methodology

Best Online Financial Planning Service

Facet Wealth

on Facet Wealth's website

on Facet Wealth's website

Fees

$1,200 and up

per year

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

No-cost

No-cost financial evaluation with a CFP®

Pros

  • Comprehensive, full-service financial planning.
  • No additional fee for investment management.
  • Fee-only advice from a fiduciary.
  • Each client gets a designated certified financial planner.
  • No upfront setup fee.
  • Manages investments directly through four brokerage firms.

Cons

  • Wide fee range makes it difficult for potential customers to estimate costs.
  • No in-person meeting option.
Read full review
Fees

$1,200 and up

per year

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

No-cost

No-cost financial evaluation with a CFP®

Pros

  • Comprehensive, full-service financial planning.
  • No additional fee for investment management.
  • Fee-only advice from a fiduciary.
  • Each client gets a designated certified financial planner.
  • No upfront setup fee.
  • Manages investments directly through four brokerage firms.

Cons

  • Wide fee range makes it difficult for potential customers to estimate costs.
  • No in-person meeting option.
Read full review
Why this SERVICE made the list

Facet sets its prices based on the complexity of advice required, offering clients dedicated access to CFPs for less than the cost of a traditional advisor.

Read our methodology

Best Broker for Low-Cost Investing

Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite

on Interactive Brokers's website

on Interactive Brokers's website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

No promotion available at this time

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
Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

No promotion available at this time

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
Why this BROKER made the list

Many brokers offer free trades on stocks and exchange-traded funds. Interactive Brokers' IBKR Lite stands out with free trades, no minimum and no account fees.

Read our methodology

Best Robo-Advisor for Portfolio Options

Fees

0.40% - 0.50%

management fee

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

$10,000

amount of assets managed for free for one year

Pros

  • Access to human advisors.
  • Free portfolio analysis.
  • Socially responsible investment options.
  • No account minimum.

Cons

  • Higher account management fees.
  • Limited personal finance tools.
Read full review
Fees

0.40% - 0.50%

management fee

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

$10,000

amount of assets managed for free for one year

Pros

  • Access to human advisors.
  • Free portfolio analysis.
  • Socially responsible investment options.
  • No account minimum.

Cons

  • Higher account management fees.
  • Limited personal finance tools.
Read full review
Why this ROBO-ADVISOR made the list

Wealthsimple goes beyond the common menu of options with socially responsible investment choices plus a halal investment portfolio of individual stocks.

Read our methodology

Best Broker for IRA Investing (tie)

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $200

in Transfer Fee Rebates

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.
  • $0 contract fee on options trades.
  • All mutual funds are commission-free.
  • Chinese language options.

Cons

  • No 24/7 customer support.
Read full review
Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $200

in Transfer Fee Rebates

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.
  • $0 contract fee on options trades.
  • All mutual funds are commission-free.
  • Chinese language options.

Cons

  • No 24/7 customer support.
Read full review
Why this BROKER made the list

Firstrade offers commision-free stock and ETF trades and a wide selection of research tools.

Read our methodology

Best Broker for IRA Investing (tie)

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

No promotion at this time

Pros

  • No minimum investment.
  • No inactivity fees.
  • Above-average mobile app.
  • 4,000+ no-transaction-fee mutual funds.
  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.

Cons

  • High fee for transaction-fee funds.
Read full review
Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

No promotion at this time

Pros

  • No minimum investment.
  • No inactivity fees.
  • Above-average mobile app.
  • 4,000+ no-transaction-fee mutual funds.
  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.

Cons

  • High fee for transaction-fee funds.
Read full review
Why this BROKER made the list

Charles Schwab delivers a robust array of low-cost investment options, plus $0 stock and ETF trade commissions.

Read our methodology

Best Robo-Advisor for IRA Investing

Fees

0%

management fee

Account Minimum

$5,000

Promotion

None

no promotion currently offered

Pros

  • No management fee.
  • Wide ETF selection.
  • Automatic rebalancing.
  • Customizable portfolio.

Cons

  • High account minimum.
  • Large cash allocation and low default sweep rate.
  • Tax-loss harvesting only available on balances of $50,000 or more.
Read full review
Fees

0%

management fee

Account Minimum

$5,000

Promotion

None

no promotion currently offered

Pros

  • No management fee.
  • Wide ETF selection.
  • Automatic rebalancing.
  • Customizable portfolio.

Cons

  • High account minimum.
  • Large cash allocation and low default sweep rate.
  • Tax-loss harvesting only available on balances of $50,000 or more.
Read full review
Why this ROBO-ADVISOR made the list

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios charges no management fee, draws from more than 50 low-expense-ratio ETFs and boasts excellent goal-tracking tools.

Read our methodology

Best Broker for Beginning Investors

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

No promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.
  • Large selection of research providers.
  • Strong customer service.
  • Expense-ratio-free index funds.

Cons

  • Relatively high broker-assisted trade fee.
Read full review
Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

No promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.
  • Large selection of research providers.
  • Strong customer service.
  • Expense-ratio-free index funds.

Cons

  • Relatively high broker-assisted trade fee.
Read full review
Why this BROKER made the list

Fidelity charges no account fees, requires no minimum balance and earned high marks for customer service, both on its website and in nearly 200 local branches.

Read our methodology

Best Index Funds Overall

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

No promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.
  • Large selection of research providers.
  • Strong customer service.
  • Expense-ratio-free index funds.

Cons

  • Relatively high broker-assisted trade fee.
Read full review
Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

No promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.
  • Large selection of research providers.
  • Strong customer service.
  • Expense-ratio-free index funds.

Cons

  • Relatively high broker-assisted trade fee.
Read full review
Why this PROVIDER made the list

Fidelity's lineup of index funds offers investors a broad range of options at exceptionally low costs.

Read our methodology

Want to compare brokers?

Use our comparison tool to explore additional options – for ETFs, stocks and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

NerdWallet's award winners are chosen through a rigorous evaluation process involving more than three dozen of our writers and editors. For each financial product, we assess the features that we believe are most important to consumers. NerdWallet's ratings formulas for credit cards, for example, consider the type of card being reviewed (such as cash back, travel or balance transfer) and the card's rates, fees, rewards and other features. For mortgages, our evaluation includes loan types, loan products, online capabilities, online rate information, customer service and complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. For more info, see our methodologies.

Our team of Nerdy experts is composed of writers and editors – based all across the country – who have years of experience reviewing and writing about personal finance products for consumers.

Writers and editors use comprehensive scoring formulas that assess each financial product’s key features, weighting them according to their importance to consumers.

Nope. Editorial team members are solely responsible for creating all product reviews and ratings, and these assessments reflect their opinions alone. Only products that meet the editorial team’s standards appear in our Best-Of Awards lists, meaning no company can “buy” an award.

NerdWallet’s awards are given annually to the best of the best. Our other lists of top financial products throughout the year may be longer than the list of award winners, offer additional consumer choices and get updated as products change, products are discontinued and new products emerge. The dates that this year's winners were selected: Auto Insurance, Nov. 1, 2019; Banking, Oct. 1, 2019; Credit Cards, Oct. 1, 2019; Investing, Oct. 17, 2019; Mortgages, Oct. 18, 2019; Personal Loans, Oct. 1, 2019; Student Loans, Sept. 1, 2019; Travel Rewards, Sept. 1, 2019; Taxes, Jan. 9, 2020.

Our 2019 Best-Of Award winners are still live and we encourage companies to continue to celebrate their wins from this year and past years.