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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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Breadth of research; strong educational offerings

Commissions

$0

per trade

Current Offers

Up to $600

cash credit with qualifying deposit

on Merrill Edge's website

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NerdWallet rating

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Large selection; low fees

Commissions

$0

per trade

Current Offers

None

no promotion available at this time

on E*TRADE's website

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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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Top research; two powerful trade platforms; educational content

Commissions

$0

per trade

Current Offers

None

no promotion available at this time

on TD Ameritrade's website

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

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services is an excellent choice for investors who can meet the $50,000 account minimum and want to use the computer algorithms of a robo-advisor with access to a live financial advisor at a low cost.

Broker

Highlights

Commissions

Account Minimum

Current Offers

Start Investing

NerdWallet rating

Show Details

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

Show Details

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

0.60%

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

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.