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Our Picks for the Best Online Brokers For Stock Trading

We spent hundreds of hours reviewing the top online brokers before selecting our favorites. With standout features like low commission rates, superior investing tools, easy-to-access research and more, these brokers offer something for every investor — from beginners to seasoned traders. And to help you find the one that’s best for you, we’ve highlighted their pros, cons and current offers.
We spent hundreds of hours reviewing the top online brokers before selecting our favorites. To help you find the one that’s best for you, we’ve highlighted their pros, cons and current offers below.
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NerdWallet rating
Fees
$6.95
per trade
Account minimum
$0
Promotion
$100-$600in cash bonus with a qualifying deposit

The bottom line

Merrill Edge offers high-quality customer service, robust research and low commissions and fees. Customers of parent company Bank of America will love the seamless, thoughtful integration, with a single login to access both accounts.

Show pros & cons

Pros

  • Low commissions and fees.
  • 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.

NerdWallet rating
Fees
$4.95
per trade
Account minimum
$0
Promotion
$200in cash bonus with a qualifying deposit

The bottom line

Ally Invest may be a deep-discount broker, but its robust trading platform and lineup of free research, charting, data and analytical tools puts it in line with some of its more well-known — and higher-priced — competition.

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Pros

  • Low commissions.
  • No account minimum.
  • Strong web-based platform.
  • Robust research and tools.

Cons

  • No commission-free ETFs.
  • No no-transaction-fee mutual funds.

NerdWallet rating
Fees
$6.95
per trade
Account minimum
$500
Promotion
60days of commission-free trades with a qualifying deposit

The bottom line

E-Trade has long been one of the most popular online brokers, largely because of its easy-to-use tools. They offer a tiered commission structure that favors frequent traders but can add up to high costs for casual investors.

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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.

NerdWallet rating
Fees
$6.95
per trade
Account minimum
$0
Promotion
$100-$600 in cash bonus with a qualifying deposit

The bottom line

TD Ameritrade makes up for higher-than-average trading commissions with better-than-average service, research and trading tools that will make everyone from beginner investors to active traders happy.

Show pros & cons

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.
A little about us
At NerdWallet, we offer straightforward info and unbiased 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 or recommendations. You’re our number one priority, even if we don’t make a cent.