Schwab also provides the best video experience out of all the brokers, thanks to its market updates and Schwab LIVE events. Not to be outdone, TD Ameritrade won our Best New Tool award in for the earnings analysis tool offered on its thinkorswim platform.
TD Ameritrade also offers what it calls Social Signals analysis for individual equities. Using proprietary algorithms, the Sentiment Score shows what percentage of tweets are positive and displays other relevant metrics.
All in all, when it comes to researching stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and fixed income, any top five broker is going to provide an excellent experience for investors.
Based on 40 different variables, here is a summary of the top five brokers for investment products:. Investing covers a global spectrum, from investing in international equities to trading forex to purchasing US treasury bonds.
To understand the true range of offerings, StockBrokers. In the process, we compare 40 different variables. Starting with the US, services such as complex options trading, fixed income, and direct market routing are all very common.
Other services, such as commission-free ETFs, are still growing in the industry. As far as order types go, it is an industry standard to support market orders, limit orders, stop orders, and after-hours trading.
The least common order type is algo, offered by less than half the industry. The leader overall is Interactive Brokers, which offers customers an arsenal of 63 different order types, some of which are exclusively designed for institutional investors.
Looking at international trading, Fidelity and Interactive Brokers are, by a wide margin, the two best choices.
Fidelity offers its customers access to trading equities in 25 countries. Both brokers also make it a seamless trading experience, allowing customers to trade from their primary account.
Charles Schwab 12 countries in which to access equities requires a separate account to be opened to place trades. Plenty of options are available for futures trading, while forex trading is scarcely supported.
Just two brokers, TD Ameritrade and Ally Invest, offer forex trading to US customers, and just over half the industry offers futures trading.
Based on 13 different variables, here is a summary of the top five brokers for online banking services:. For full-service brokers, the client experience goes beyond just trading.
To determine which broker is the best for banking, we dived in head first and explored all the potential services: We then looked at specialty offerings such as mobile check deposit, debit card ATM fee reimbursement, and no-fee banking.
Lastly, the total number of branch offices was factored in, as access to local branch offices is just as important as managing an account online.
It should be no surprise that our 1 choice is Merrill Edge, whose parent company is Bank of America. Bank of America really shines with its rewards program, Preferred Rewards, which offers customers with certain account thresholds a range of benefits.
Benefits include boosts to money-market savings, credit card cash back bonuses, free trades with Merrill Edge, and more.
Next to Bank of America, Capital One is the only other bank to offer every service type: Capital One is best known for its credit cards, and like Bank of America, its customers enjoy the benefits of universal login for easy access to all their accounts.
Together with our ranking, we present highlights from the rest of the full-service brokers. Of the remaining brokers, Charles Schwab is the only one to offer home mortgages.
The list goes on and on. When it comes to banking and brokers, the great news is that investors have multiple options from which to choose.
Full-service brokerages generally do a very good job of catering to the specific needs of their customers, and provide a well-rounded offering.
This is especially true for customers who already do their banking with Bank of America, Capital One, or Ally; the move to add investing as an additional service is just a few clicks away.
Based on phone tests over ten weeks, here is a summary of the top five brokers for customer service view infographic:. When assessing customer service, one phone call is not enough.
To gauge the quality of support properly, multiple tests across every channel must be conducted. Managing your own money can be a stressful endeavor.
There are over 50 online brokerages where you can open an account. This industry is more complex than the average person thinks. The best online broker for one person is often completely different for the next person.
Use this resource as a guide to your decision process. Figure out what features are best for you, and make your selection.
I analyzed a number of elements to come to my decision on which brokers are the best. Later in this post, I provide full details on how I selected the best online brokerages.
For those simply looking to make cheap trades, I would recommend going with Optionshouse. For example, my colleague, who is also an ex-trader, likes to use a combination of stock and options trade in his longer-term trading.
He recently switched over to Fidelity because he really liked the cash management features, but was very disappointed by complex order entry, sub-par options execution and frustrating navigation.
OptionsHouse is good at what they do — providing very affordable trading prices, low margin rates, and unique tools for stock and options traders. The OptionsHouse web-based platform is completely customizable, meaning you can remove or add different components, minimize sections, and adjust the entire home screen to your preferences.
One cool feature is that you can click on any of the components on your home screen and detach it so it shows up in a separate window.
For example, if you have two monitors, or just want their charts opened separately, you can have your trade execution tools in one spot and your charts in another location.
Not only is OptionsHouse the cheapest for trading options, but they also provide you with an account view that enables you to look at an options calendar, options chains, and all kinds of option spreads.
There are several proprietary tools that help you gain insight into your risk or exposure in addition to the quality options trading tools.
For options traders and, more specifically, high-frequency traders, OptionsHouse is a solid choice because you can fire off trades with the quick-order entry ticket.
If you simply type in a quote, you can instantly add a stock or option leg to a trade. Navigation is simple and everything is laid out to ensure you can move around your account efficiently while making options trades with ease.
As the name implies, this online brokerage is best for options traders and people who want to make cheap trades.
Learn More on Optionshouse Website. For years, Scottrade has been known as the best online brokerage for customer service.
They thrive on building relationships with their clients, which is pretty rare these days. Another reason to consider Scottrade: They were recently acquired by TD Ameritrade.
In fact, Scottrade has been on that list for six straight years. So what does that have to do with customer service? When a company treats their employees the right way, those employees treat customers the right way.
Power and Associates self-directed investor study , Scottrade also ranked number one for interaction, account information, trading charges and fees, and overall satisfaction.
This study only included larger, full-service brokers that offer other services beyond trading. Scottrade has over local branches where you can walk in and talk to someone face-to-face.
So beyond the basics, Scottrade is another full-service broker that offers banking services, retirement planning, savings plans, and more.
The web-based platform has a fully customizable home page that enables you to drag, drop, and rearrange the various components of the page to your preferences.
That can certainly add up depending on the volume you plan on trading. Scottrade has the foundation in place to rise above the other top online stock brokers, but they fall short when it comes to innovation.
These symbols will be available during your session for use on applicable pages. You have selected to change your default setting for the Quote Search.
This will now be your default target page; unless you change your configuration again, or you delete your cookies. Are you sure you want to change your settings?
How to Find a Broker Deciding to take the plunge and start investing is a pretty big choice in itself, but picking a broker is just as important.