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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 from other providers and own offering

Commissions

$6.95

per trade

Current Offers

300

$0 online stock and ETF trades, no minimum deposit required

on Merrill Edge's secure website

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NerdWallet rating

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Large selection; low fees

Commissions

$0

per trade

Current Offers

Up to $600

cash credit with a qualifying deposit

on E-Trade's secure 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

Up to $600

cash credit with qualifying deposit

on TD Ameritrade's secure website

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Want to automate your portolio?

Robo-advisors offer portfolio management - informed by computer algorithms and your personal investing preferences - all at an affordable rate.

Broker

Highlights

Commissions

Account Minimum

Current Offers

Start Investing

NerdWallet rating

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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 secure website

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NerdWallet rating

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Free management of first $5,000 (for NerdWallet readers); advanced tax optimization strategies.

Commissions

0.25%

management fee

Current Offers

$5,000

amount of assets managed for free

on Wealthfront's secure website

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NerdWallet rating

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Offers access to human advisors for additional fee.

Commissions

0.25%

management fee

Current Offers

Up to 1 year

of free management with a qualifying deposit

on Betterment's secure website

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Not ready to invest yet but want to earn a high APY?

A cash management account, or CMA, is a cash account that combines services and features that are similar to checking, savings and/or investment accounts under one product. CMAs are typically offered by non-bank financial service providers. Benefits include:

  • Simplified account ownership
  • Higher interest rates than brick-and-mortar banks
  • Benefits similar to checking and savings accounts
  • FDIC insurance on your account, often provided through third-party bank partners
  • Reasonable or no fees
BankAPYMonthly FeeDetails
SoFi's logo

at SoFi

1.80%

With $0 minimum balance

$0

Pros

  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements
  • No monthly fees
  • No overdraft fees

Cons

  • No branches or CDs
  • No cash deposits accepted
Wealthfront's logo

at Wealthfront

2.07%

With $1 minimum balance

$0

Pros

  • Offers up to $1 million in FDIC coverage through affiliated partner banks
  • Can pair with Wealthfront investment account to keep money under one roof
  • Stellar interest rate, competitive with online banks
  • No fees

Cons

  • No branches
  • No mobile check deposit currently
Betterment's logo

at Betterment

2.04%

With $0 minimum balance

$0

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.