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)

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

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

Cons

  • No fractional shares.
Read full review
Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

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

Cons

  • No fractional shares.
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
Learn More

on Interactive Brokers' website

Learn More

on Interactive Brokers' website

Fees

$0.005

per share; as low as $0.0005 with volume discounts

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Exclusive!

U.S. residents who open a new IBKR Pro account will receive a 0.25% rate reduction on margin loans. Terms apply.

Pros

  • Per-share pricing.
  • Volume discounts.
  • Large investment selection.
  • Extensive tools for active traders.
  • Powerful trading platform.
  • NerdWallet users who sign up for IBKR Pro get a 0.25% discount on the first $100,000 of a margin loan.

Cons

  • Complex pricing on some investments.
Read full review
Fees

$0.005

per share; as low as $0.0005 with volume discounts

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Exclusive!

U.S. residents who open a new IBKR Pro account will receive a 0.25% rate reduction on margin loans. Terms apply.

Pros

  • Per-share pricing.
  • Volume discounts.
  • Large investment selection.
  • Extensive tools for active traders.
  • Powerful trading platform.
  • NerdWallet users who sign up for IBKR Pro get a 0.25% discount on the first $100,000 of a margin loan.

Cons

  • Complex pricing on some investments.
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 Low-Cost Investing

SoFi Automated Investing
Learn More

on SoFi Invest's website

Learn More

on SoFi Invest's website

Fees

0%

management fee

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

1% match on IRA contributions

Only offers made via ACH are eligible for the match. ACATs, wires, and rollovers are not included.

Pros

  • Broad range of low-cost investments.
  • Free portfolio management.
  • Access to certified financial planners.
  • 1% match on IRA contributions.
  • No account minimum.

Cons

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

0%

management fee

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

1% match on IRA contributions

Only offers made via ACH are eligible for the match. ACATs, wires, and rollovers are not included.

Pros

  • Broad range of low-cost investments.
  • Free portfolio management.
  • Access to certified financial planners.
  • 1% match on IRA contributions.
  • No account minimum.

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
Learn More

on Facet's website

Learn More

on Facet's website

Fees

$2,000 and up

per year (free initial consultation)

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Get $200 reward

into Facet brokerage account for new members who transfer at least $5,000 within the first 90 days of their Facet membership. *Limited time offer available July 1, 2024 - September 30, 2024.

Pros

  • Comprehensive, full-service financial planning.
  • Meetings are held virtually, via phone or video call.
  • Access to a dedicated certified financial planner.
  • Flat fee means you pay only for what you need.

Cons

  • Wide fee range makes it difficult for potential customers to estimate costs.
Read full review
Fees

$2,000 and up

per year (free initial consultation)

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Get $200 reward

into Facet brokerage account for new members who transfer at least $5,000 within the first 90 days of their Facet membership. *Limited time offer available July 1, 2024 - September 30, 2024.

Pros

  • Comprehensive, full-service financial planning.
  • Meetings are held virtually, via phone or video call.
  • Access to a dedicated certified financial planner.
  • Flat fee means you pay only for what you need.

Cons

  • Wide fee range makes it difficult for potential customers to estimate costs.
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
Learn More

on Interactive Brokers' website

Learn More

on Interactive Brokers' website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.
  • Large investment selection.
  • Strong research and tools.
  • Over 19,000 no-transaction-fee mutual funds.
  • High order execution quality.

Cons

  • High minimum to earn interest on uninvested cash.
  • Website can be difficult to navigate.
Read full review
Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.
  • Large investment selection.
  • Strong research and tools.
  • Over 19,000 no-transaction-fee mutual funds.
  • High order execution quality.

Cons

  • High minimum to earn interest on uninvested cash.
  • Website can be difficult to navigate.
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

None

no promotion available at this time

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

None

no promotion available at this time

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

Cons

  • No 24/7 customer support.
  • Low interest rate on uninvested cash.
Read full review
Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $200

in Transfer Fee Rebates

Pros

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

Cons

  • No 24/7 customer support.
  • Low interest rate on uninvested cash.
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)

Charles Schwab
Learn More

on Charles Schwab's website

Learn More

on Charles Schwab's website

Fees

$0

per online equity trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.
  • Above-average mobile app.
  • Large selection of no-transaction-fee mutual funds.
  • Strong retirement planning tools.

Cons

  • Low interest rate on uninvested cash.
  • High fee for transaction-fee funds.
Read full review
Fees

$0

per online equity trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.
  • Above-average mobile app.
  • Large selection of no-transaction-fee mutual funds.
  • Strong retirement planning tools.

Cons

  • Low interest rate on uninvested cash.
  • 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 available at this time

Pros

  • No portfolio management fee.
  • Wide ETF selection.
  • Customizable portfolios.

Cons

  • $5,000 account minimum.
  • Portfolios hold a large cash allocation.
  • 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 available at this time

Pros

  • No portfolio management fee.
  • Wide ETF selection.
  • Customizable portfolios.

Cons

  • $5,000 account minimum.
  • Portfolios hold a large cash allocation.
  • 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 for online U.S. stocks and ETFs

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.
  • Large selection of research providers.
  • Strong customer service.
  • Expense-ratio-free index funds.
  • Highly rated mobile app.
  • High interest rate on uninvested cash.

Cons

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

$0

per trade for online U.S. stocks and ETFs

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.
  • Large selection of research providers.
  • Strong customer service.
  • Expense-ratio-free index funds.
  • Highly rated mobile app.
  • High interest rate on uninvested cash.

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 for online U.S. stocks and ETFs

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.
  • Large selection of research providers.
  • Strong customer service.
  • Expense-ratio-free index funds.
  • Highly rated mobile app.
  • High interest rate on uninvested cash.

Cons

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

$0

per trade for online U.S. stocks and ETFs

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.
  • Large selection of research providers.
  • Strong customer service.
  • Expense-ratio-free index funds.
  • Highly rated mobile app.
  • High interest rate on uninvested cash.

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