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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

Commissions

Account Minimum

Current Offers

Details

NerdWallet rating

on Merrill Edge's secure website

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Commissions

$6.95

per trade

Current Offers

300

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

Pros

  • Robust third-party research.
  • Ongoing promotions.
  • Integrated with Bank of America.
  • Free trades for eligible Bank of America customers.

Cons

  • No commission-free ETFs.
  • Minimum balance requirement for active-trading platform.

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NerdWallet rating

on E-Trade's secure website

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Commissions

$6.95

per trade

Current Offers

Up to $600

cash credit with a qualifying deposit

Pros

  • Easy-to-use tools.
  • Large investment selection.
  • Excellent customer support.
  • Access to extensive research.
  • Advanced mobile app.
  • Reduced commissions for frequent traders.

Cons

  • Higher commissions for low-volume traders.
  • Minimum balance requirement for active trading platform.

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NerdWallet rating

on TD Ameritrade's secure website

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Commissions

$6.95

per trade

Current Offers

60

days of commission-free trades with qualifying deposit

Pros

  • Large investment selection.
  • Free research.
  • High-quality trading platforms.
  • No account minimum.
  • Good customer support.

Cons

  • Higher trade commission.
  • Costly broker-assisted trades.
  • High short-term ETF trading fee.

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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.

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