Top 4 Best Wall Street Brokers & their Pros & Cons


The Trading Desk May Be Virtual but the Deals Are Real


If you want to manage your investments, the best way to do so today is with an online stockbroker. There are a handful of excellent stock brokers to choose from, so knowing which is the best for your needs may be a challenge.

When choosing a brokerage, it’s important to consider fees, research availability, trading platforms, account types, available investments, and customer service. To help you quickly hone in on the best option for your unique needs, we reviewed some of the best online stock brokers on the market today. Here are our picks for the best online stock brokers.

 

Fidelity

is our top choice for online stock brokers. This brokerage combines just about everything the typical investor would want in a brokerage. That includes accounts with no fees for regular activity, a wide range of account types and available investments, and excellent research and education resources.

Fidelity offers no-fee stock and ETF trading, and four of its own mutual funds with no expense ratio. Self-directed accounts don’t have any recurring fees. Just make sure you can handle your own trades online, as there are significant fees for phone and broker-assisted trades.

Fidelity features extensive resources to research specific investments and learn about how to invest. A highlight is the selection of tools and calculators to help you plan out your financial future, most notably retirement.


Key Features

  • Account minimum: None

  • Recurring fees: None

  • Other accounts: Supports college and health savings accounts

Advantages

  • No-fee, no-minimum accounts

  • Many low-fee mutual funds with no commission

  • Four no-fee mutual funds

  • In-depth education and research

Disadvantages

  • High-cost phone and broker-assisted trades

  • $25,000 minimum for digital managed account


 

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab is our runner-up thanks to low fees, high-tech trading tools, extensive investment options, a wide range of investment options, and great customer service. Schwab is a good choice for beginner and veteran investors alike.

Beginners will appreciate Schwab’s easy-to-use online investing platform and mobile apps, which give you the ability to buy and sell securities, enter transfers, manage your accounts or access research, ratings, and reports on a wide range of investments. It’s also a favorite for its low-fee Schwab Bank accounts.

Schwab was a leader in dropping trade commissions to $0 for stocks and ETFs in late 2019 and maintains its no-fee/low-fee advantage today.


Features

  • Account minimum: None

  • Recurring fees: None

  • Robo advisor fees: No recurring fees

Advantages

  • Low-fee accounts with no commission for stocks or ETFs

  • Easy-to-manage online investments

  • Checking account with no ATM fees, including international

Disadvantages


  • High fees for mutual funds off of the no-transaction-fee list

  • $5,000 minimum for managed portfolios

  • A low-interest rate on cash balances


 

Webull

Webull is a newer investment platform ideal for active stock, ETF, and options traders. Webull is comparable to Robinhood, but after reliability issues and several major public snafus with Robinhood, Webull makes our list as the best choice for free trades.

Webull charges almost no fees at all, including monthly recurring fees and commissions. This high-tech brokerage offers the best experience through its web trading platform, though the mobile app is fairly powerful as well.

The account types and investment options are somewhat limited, but new features are added regularly and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down. It’s reasonable to expect more new products and accounts will be supported in the future.


Key Features

  • Account minimum: None

  • Recurring fees: None

  • Commissions: None on all trades

Advantages

  • Almost no fees for regular activity

  • Active trading tools and advanced charting

  • Paper trading simulates trading with no-risk, virtual currency

  • View global markets online or in the mobile app

Disadvantages

  • Limited customer support

  • Limited educational resources

  • Limited account types and tradable assets


 

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade is a large brokerage that’s ideal for both beginner and expert traders. While beginners will find their needs met by the web and mobile trading platforms, advanced active traders will want to tap into the power of TD Ameritrade’s flagship platform thinkorswim.

thinkorswim comes in both desktop and mobile versions and gives you many of the tools used by professional Wall Street traders. It includes advanced charting, integrated news (including streaming CNBC TV), economic data, alerts, and more. This platform stands up to nearly any competing active trader platform, but you won’t pay any extra to use it.

Like others on this list, TD Ameritrade features no-fee stock, ETF, and options trades.


Key Features

  • Account minimum: None

  • Recurring fees: None

  • Trading apps: thinkorswim and TD Ameritrade

Advantages

  • Multiple platforms give you powerful trading tools on any device

  • Paper trading (virtual currency) allows you to test thinkorswim risk-free

  • Support for many account types and most tradable assets

  • Extensive research and education resources

Disadvantages

  • Pending buyout by Charles Schwab could affect user experience

  • Advanced platforms may be overwhelming for newer investors