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Standout Online Brokers For Stock Trading

There are a lot of online brokers out there. So many, in fact, it can be overwhelming to weed through all the options — good and bad — and then confidently choose one. Social scientists call this “information overload”. We call it inconvenient. To make the search easier, we created this shortlist of standout picks from our partners. And with low commission rates, impressive investing tools, easy-to-access research and more, they’re a great choice for most investors.

Broker

Highlights

Commissions

Account Minimum

Current Offers

Start Investing

NerdWallet rating

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SoFi Active Investing: Cryptocurrency trading; fractional shares.

Commissions

$0

per trade

Current Offers

Free

career counseling plus loan discounts with qualifying deposit

on SoFi Active Investing's website

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NerdWallet rating

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SoFi Automated Investing: Low costs across the board, free access to certified financial planners

Commissions

0%

management fee

Current Offers

Free

career counseling plus loan discounts with qualifying deposit

on SoFi Automated Investing's website

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NerdWallet rating

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Professional-level trading platform and tool.

Commissions

$0.005

per share; as low as $0.0005 with volume discounts

Current Offers

Exclusive!

0.25% reduction on margin loans. Tiers apply

on Interactive Brokers IBKR Pro's website

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NerdWallet rating

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$0 stock and ETF trades; large research selection.

Commissions

$0

per trade

Current Offers

None

no promotion available at this time

on Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite's website

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NerdWallet rating

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Offers investors access to real estate portfolios.

Commissions

1%

other fees may apply

Current Offers

Advisory fee waiver

for 12 months

on Fundrise's website

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NerdWallet rating

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Sophisticated platform; exceptional research and analytical tools

Commissions

$0

per trade

Current Offers

Up to $5,000

cash credit with a qualifying deposit

on TradeStation's website

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NerdWallet rating

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Per-share pricing; strong trading platform.

Commissions

$0.01

per share

Current Offers

None

no promotion available at this time

on Zacks Trade's website

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Interested in adding real estate into your investment portfolio?

Real estate crowdfunding platforms pool funds together to let average investors participate in the real estate market through private market real estate investments. These could potentially provide higher returns than the REITs available through traditional brokerages, but they may also carry higher risk. Check out these real estate crowfunding platform offers, from our partners, and see if one is a good fit in your portfolio.

BrokerCommissionsAccount MinimumCurrent OffersDetails
CrowdStreet's logo

on CrowdStreet's website

0.50% to 2.5%

for funds; project fees vary

$25,000

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Access to commercial real estate deals.
  • Potential for high returns.
  • Easy-to-use website.

Cons

  • Highly illiquid investments.
  • Steep minimum investment.
  • Available only to accredited investors.
Fundrise's logo

on Fundrise's website

1%

other fees may apply

$500

Advisory fee waiver

for 12 months

Pros

  • Low minimum investment.
  • Open to all investors.
  • Easy-to-use website.
  • IRA accounts available.

Cons

  • Highly illiquid investment.
  • Fees can be difficult to understand.
  • Complex investments that require investor due diligence.
DiversyFund's logo

on DiversyFund's website

$0

management fee

$500

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Access to commercial real estate deals.
  • No management fees.
  • Accepts nonaccredited investors.
  • $500 minimum to begin investing.

Cons

  • Highly illiquid investments.
  • Unable to choose among commercial projects.
  • Limited investment choices.

Discover smarter ways to invest your money with Morningstar.

Whether you're a hands-on investor or like to sit back and let the market do its thing, our friends at Morningstar can help create the right portfolio for you. And with a free 14-day trial of Morningstar Premium, you'll have access to all their research, ratings and recommendations — which you’ll hang on to with a monthly membership fee once your free trial ends.

Looking for a hands-off way to invest? Try an online financial advisor or robo-advisor.

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services is an option for investors who can meet a $50,000 account minimum and want to have access to a live financial advisor at a low cost. For those looking for a lower account minimum, Vanguard Digital Advisor is an affordable robo-advisory service that uses Vanguard's key exchange-traded funds to create a personalized retirement plan and portfolio for investors.

Broker

Highlights

Commissions

Account Minimum

Current Offers

Start Investing

NerdWallet rating

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Customized portfolios; access to financial advisors

Commissions

0.30%

management fee

Current Offers

None

no promotion available at this time

on Vanguard Personal Advisor Services's website

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NerdWallet rating

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An affordable and personalized way to invest for retirement.

Commissions

0.15%

per year (approximately)

Current Offers

No advisory fee

for the first 90 days if you enroll by April 30, 2021

on Vanguard Digital Advisor's website

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Want to earn a high APY on your savings?

Savings accounts offer you access to your cash whenever you want. If you want instant access to your money, a savings account is a good alternative or compliment to a broker account.

BankAPYMonthly FeeDetails
American Express® High Yield Savings Account's logo

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

0.50%

With $0 minimum balance

$0

Pros

  • Customer service available 24/7
  • $0 minimum balance
  • No monthly fees

Cons

  • No checking account, mobile app or ATM cards
  • No branches
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account's logo

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Member FDIC

0.50%

With $0 minimum balance

$0

Pros

  • Access to customer service 7 days/week
  • No monthly fees

Cons

  • No checking account
  • No branches

See the possibilities

Predicting exactly how much money an investment will return would be magic. Unsurprisingly, no such crystal ball exists. You can, however, crunch the numbers with a compound interest calculator and guesstimate a range of different outcomes. As a starting point, the average annual return from the S&P 500 was just below 7% for the 10-year period 1996-2016.*

COMPOUND FREQUENCY

Estimated Future Balance: $14,290

PrincipalInterest
Check out those gains

With investing, time is your friend. The sooner you start, the longer you'll have to let compound interest do its thing.

Disclaimer: This is hypothetical and in no way predicts future performance. The average annual nominal return of the S&P 500 the last 30 and 10 years was calculated by the geometric mean with no adjustment for inflation. Investments that pay higher rates of return are generally subject to higher risk and volatility. The actual rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for long-term investments. The hypothetical performance above does not take into account fees or sales charges.

A little about us
At NerdWallet, we offer straightforward info and tools to help you make the best possible financial decisions. All for free. So how do we make money? In most cases, when someone applies or gets approved for a financial product we get paid. But that doesn’t sway our opinions.