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Best Online Stock Trading Platforms

Best Online Stock Trading Platforms

The post Best Online Stock Trading Platforms by Sarah Horvath appeared first on Benzinga. Visit Benzinga to get more great content like this.

Benzinga’s top picks for the best online trading platforms are Interactive Brokers or Webull.

Trading stocks means you can end up with a mixed bag of emotions. You might be excited at the prospect of watching your money grow, overwhelmed at the number of stock options available to you or even frustrated if you’re having trouble making your 1st buy. The best online stock trading platforms can help.

You don’t want to pile on the feeling of being overcharged by your brokerage account. Commissions, account maintenance charges and other hidden fees can quickly add up and eat into your profits. As a new trader, you may already feel especially hesitant to start investing. You might not be sure which broker to trust and which is worth the price. 

Luckily, most brokerages have recognized this fear and created free options to help new traders save more money when getting started. Take a look at our top picks to compare services and find your match today.

Best Online Trading Platforms

We’ve compiled a list of the best online trading platforms to get started trading stocks for free.

1. Best for Futures Trading: TradeStation

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Promotion
Get up to $2,500 cash bonus
N/A
1 Minute Review

TradeStation is for advanced traders who need a comprehensive platform. The brokerage offers an impressive range of investable assets as frequent and professional traders appreciate its wide range of analysis tools. TradeStation’s app is also equally effective, offering full platform capabilities.

Best For
  • Advanced traders
  • Options and futures traders
  • Active stock traders
Pros
  • Comprehensive trading platform and professional-grade tools
  • Wide range of tradable securities
  • Fully-operational mobile app
Cons
  • Confusing pricing structure to leave new traders with a weak understanding of what they pay
  • Cluttered layout to make navigating TradeStation’s platform more difficult than it should be

TradeStation is for advanced traders who need a comprehensive platform. The brokerage offers an impressive range of investable assets. Frequent and professional traders appreciate its wide range of analysis tools. TradeStation’s app is also equally effective, offering full platform capabilities.

TradeStation offers 2 distinct account types: its basic TS GO account for new traders and the more in-depth TS Select for advanced traders who need comprehensive tools and research options.

There’s no minimum account balance required to open a TS GO account. TS Select accounts require a $2,000 minimum deposit.

If you’re new to trading, you’ll love TradeStation’s Simulated Trading tool. It allows you to practice entering buy and sell orders using TradeStation’s suite of charting and analysis tools and using your trading strategy without risking any of your own money.  

Pros

  • Full capabilities for traders
  • Paper trading options
  • Advanced charting and analysis tools

Cons

  • High minimums for Select users

2. Best for Intermediate Traders and Investors: Webull

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Best For
Intermediate Traders and Investors
N/A
1 Minute Review

Webull, founded in 2017, is a mobile app-based brokerage that features commission-free stock and exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading. It’s regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Webull offers active traders technical indicators, economic calendars, ratings from research agencies, margin trading and short-selling. Webull’s trading platform is designed for intermediate and experienced traders, although beginning traders can also benefit.

Webull is widely considered one of the best Robinhood alternatives.

Best For
  • Active traders
  • Intermediate traders
  • Advanced traders
Pros
  • No account maintenance fees or software platform fees
  • No charges to open and maintain an account
  • Intuitive trading platform with technical and fundamental analysis tools
Cons
  • Does not support trading in mutual funds, bonds or OTC stocks

Webull is a mobile app-based brokerage that features commission-free stock and exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading. It’s regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Webull offers economic calendars, ratings from research agencies, margin trading and short-selling. Its intuitive trading platform is complete with technical and fundamental analysis tools. Its a solid option for active intermediate and advanced traders.

You’ll enjoy commission-free trading for more than 5,000 different stocks and ETFs. There are no maintenance or software platform fees, and no charge to open or maintain an account.

Pros

  • Properly regulated
  • A range of commission-free assets
  • Works well for moderate and advanced traders

Cons

  • May seem complex for novices to use

3. Best for Casual Investors: IQcent

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Best For
Casual Investors
N/A
1 Minute Review

IQcent is a comprehensive online trading center that offers you a single place to trade stocks, indexes, digital currencies and more. IQcent offers its own proprietary platform, which supports 24/7 trading on any type of major device — no download necessary.  Customer service is also available around the clock and in multiple languages, which can be a major benefit for international traders.

IQcent’s commission-free trading, wide selection of more than 100 tradable assets and low $500 account minimum can make the broker appealing to frequent traders and new investors alike. However, it’s important to note that IQcent’s services are currently not available in any part of the United States nor is it regulated by any domestic financial body. This means that if you experience a funding problem with your account, your recourse routes are limited — so always be sure to avoid investing more than you can afford to lose. 

Best For
  • Casual investors looking for an all-in-one place to trade
  • Traders looking for quick withdrawals
  • Experienced traders looking for higher leverage limits
Pros
  • Provides copy trading features that help you mimic professional trading strategies
  • Offers up to 1:500 leverage
  • Guaranteed withdrawal processing one hour after you settle a trade
Cons
  • Not registered with any U.S.-based regulatory body; does not provide account services to U.S. citizens

IQcent is an all-in-one trading platform with the capacity to help you trade crypto, other digital assets, indices, stocks, etc. This platform serves as a powerful took for international traders who want to diversify their portfolios and make it easier to gain access to a range of financial markets.

With IQcent, you also get:

  • A massive array of tradable assets
  • High leverage options
  • Small minimum order sizes
  • Multiple (and instant) funding options

IQcent offers a proprietary trading platform that’s compatible with a range of devices, and there’s no software or an app to download. Straightforward and easy to navigate, experienced or novice traders can jump into IQcent and get started today.

Pros

  • Helps you trade crypto and other assets
  • Works well for international traders
  • High leverage capacity

Cons

  • Website-bound

4. Best for Long Term Investors: Magnifi

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Best For
AI Investing
N/A
1 Minute Review

Magnifi is an intelligently designed marketplace that allows investors to access data-backed information about various investment opportunities. The company combines standard brokerage tools with artificial intelligence (AI) to promote financial competence. Magnifi distinguishes itself from the crowd by offering an AI-powered search feature and an AI-powered investment assistant. Magnifi offers a technology-forward platform that aims to promote confident and capable long-term financial investments.

Best For
  • Long-term investors
  • Individuals interested in personalized assistance
  • New investors that are eager to learn how to start investing
Pros
  • Access to an AI-powered investing assistant with a Magnifi Personal account
  • Commission-free investing
  • Over 15,000 possible investments
  • Available mobile application
Cons
  • Limited methods of communication with customer service

Magnifi is a marketplace that allows you, as the investor, to use common brokerage tools and AI to make the best decisions for your portfolio. Because you can pull up all the information you need on a given asset, you can easily invest in the assets that will give you the results you deserve and better match your strategy.

Search for the investment options that meet your needs, invest in specific categories or scan for assets in a price range that’s affordable for you.

Best for long-term investors and those who require a bit of client support, you can also learn more about investing from this platform, utilize the AI-powered investing assistant, enjoy commission-free investing, try the mobile app and take advantage of over 15,000 possible investment options. This makes Magnifi a good place to trade for both seasoned and novice traders.

Pros

  • AI investing assistance
  • Easy to find asset information
  • Over 15,000 asset options

Cons

  • Works better for long-term holders

5. Best for Demo Accounts: eToro

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Disclosure: Benzinga is compensated if you access certain of the products or services offered by eToro USA LLC and/or eToro USA Securities Inc. Any testimonials contained in this communication may not be representative of the experience of other eToro customers and such testimonials are not guarantees of future performance or success.
Best For
Demo Accounts
N/A
1 Minute Review

eToro is a broker that offers access to over 25 of the world’s most popular cryptocurrencies and 1600 stocks. They have a few unique education and useability tools. Traders can begin buying and selling in as little as 10 minutes.

eToro’s unique CopyTrader feature allows new investors to “copy” the buy orders of professional investors, while the company’s eToro Club feature provides investors with a range of additional education tools and resources. 

Best For
  • Traders looking for an easy-to-use platform
  • Traders who want to practice their trades using a virtual account before entering the market
Pros
  • Simple platform that is easy to master
  • CopyTrader feature that allows new traders to copy the same strategies used by professionals
  • Virtual dummy account that gives you $100,000 to practice trades
Cons
  • High non-trading fees

eToro is already popular among crypto investors, and it brings more diversity to your portfolio by allowing you to invest in stocks and ETFs. With stock trading, you can add your stocks to an existing crypto portfolio, bringing more variety to your investments and allowing you to see all your holdings in one place.

Stock trading at eToro also includes:

  • Investing in full stocks or fractional shares for as little as $10
  • Engaging with real, experienced investors on strategy options
  • Reviewing detailed charts and technical analysis
  • Zero commissions

Pros

  • No commissions
  • Start with a small minimum balance
  • Work with real experts

Cons

  • Certain types of assets may not be available

6. Best for CFDs: RoboForex

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Account Minimum
ProCent, Pro, Prime, and ECN: 10 USD / 10 EUR or equivalent
Pairs Offered
40+
1 Minute Review

Based in Belize City, Belize, RoboForex Ltd is an international broker with over 1 million clients in 169 countries. The broker has also been recognized favorably by some of the most respected financial experts.

For example, the online broker won numerous awards in 2022, including Best Mobile Trading App from Global Forex Awards, Most Trusted Broker by International Business Magazine Awards and Most Transparent Broker by World Economic Magazine Awards.

RoboForex provides support for several popular trading platforms and might even let you trade using a leverage ratio of up to 2,000:1, depending on your jurisdiction. In addition to forex trading, you can also trade stocks, contracts for difference (CFDs), exchange-traded funds (ETFs), indices, commodities, energy commodities and metals via RoboForex.

If you’ve been searching for a reliable, dependable international fx broker, you should consider taking a closer look at RoboForex. You might find that RoboForex could be the best forex broker for your particular trading needs.

Best For
  • Forex traders
  • CFDs
  • Building a diverse portfolio
  • MetaTrader 4 and 5 (MT4/5) users
  • Multi-asset traders
  • Expert Advisor (EA) traders
Pros
  • Invest with as little as $1
  • No deposit fees
  • No inactivity fees
  • Negative balance protection
  • Supports multiple trading platforms
  • Copy trading option
  • Free VPS server
Cons
  • May not scale to your needs
  • Does not accept U.S. clients and clients from some other restricted countries

RoboForex is a global multi-asset trading platform that runs on MT4 and MT5. It operates in various countries and claims more than 10,000 users. Traders can trade forex and contracts for difference (CFDs) — and do so in multiple languages. The platform was started in 2009 and is located in Belize.

Pros

  • Service in multiple languages
  • Not as busy as other platforms
  • CFDs available

Cons

  • Only works on MT4 and 5

7. Best for Day Traders: Mondeum Capital

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Best For
Day Traders
N/A
1 Minute Review

Mondeum Capital is a dynamic broker-dealer offering innovative solutions to active traders. With its cutting-edge technology, competitive pricing, and dedicated customer support, Mondeum empowers active and experienced self-directed traders to navigate the financial markets confidently. Mondeum combines advanced technology and routing logic with a user-friendly onboarding process, offering active traders secure connectivity and infrastructure and the seamless customer experience and accessibility they deserve. 

Mondeum’s modern platform provides seasoned professionals with the tools and resources they need to trade competitively. The company understands the core needs of modern traders and has built an offering that combines low-latency trading platforms with timely support, enabling traders to maximize their potential. Although currently limited to U.S. equities and exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading, Mondeum has plans to broaden its range of asset classes and jurisdictions.

Benzinga explores Mondeum’s core offering, highlighting its ability to enhance the trading experience for active day and self-directed traders.

Best For
  • Active day traders looking for advanced technology and personalized support
  • Self-directed traders seeking a seamless and tailored trading experience
  • Experienced traders in need of sophisticated technology and solutions
  • Traders who value competitive pricing and powerful day trading tools
  • Individuals with experience using margin looking for a broker-dealer that offers next-generation active trading solutions
Pros
  • Advanced technology and powerful trading platforms
  • Personalized support
  • Competitive pricing
  • Streamlined and fully digital onboarding process
  • Simple fund transfer and straightforward account management
  • Next-generation solutions for active trading
Cons
  • Limited asset classes and jurisdictions (currently only U.S. equities and ETFs)
  • Limited to experienced traders
  • Relatively new in the market, lacking an established track record
  • Limited availability of trading platform tutorials

Mondeum Capital is a broker-dealer that helps day traders to compete in the marketplace. Mondeum provides modern technology that is paired with:

  • Competitive pricing
  • Quality customer care
  • Functionality built specifically for self-directed active traders
  • Next gen trading solutions
  • Simple account onboarding
  • Easy funds transfers and withdrawals

If you’re an experienced trader, you can easily open a brokerage account with Mondeum and implement your trading strategies. While Mondeum’s offering is currently limited to U.S. stocks and ETFs, it’s a great place to build a strong portfolio that’s designed for high-volume asset management. Plus, Mondeum plans to expand its offerings in the future.

Pros

  • Easy to set up an account
  • Next gen trading solutions
  • Easy to manage your money on the platform

Cons

  • May overwhelm novice investors

8. Best for IPO Investing: SoFi Active Invest

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Best For
IPO Investing
N/A
1 Minute Review

SoFi’s mission is simple: to help reach clients like you reach their financial independence and realize their ambitions. SoFi knows that this independence comes from making decisions that help your money start to work for you in the long run. The brand helps individuals make these decisions through personal financial products such as personal loans, student loans and automated and active investing

The brand additionally provides in-person experiences such as educational and networking events, personalized guidance from experienced financial planners and one-on-one advising with professional career coaches. SoFi’s services have been highlighted in outlets such as Forbes, Medium, and CNBC’s Make It.

Best For
  • IPO Investing
  • Mobile Investing
Pros
  • U.S.-based customer service
  • Highly-rated mobile app for iPhone and Android
Cons
  • Only available in the U.S.

SoFi Active Investing is aimed at young investors. It offers free trades of stocks and exchange-traded funds, the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and fractional shares of companies such as Amazon and Netflix.

Young investors can also gain from its member benefits, including free educational seminars and meetings with financial advisors. SoFi has no account minimum, so it’s easy to get started today.

Pros

  • Partnered with a massive banking platform
  • Allows you access to popular assets
  • Bundle with other financial accounts

Cons

  • May not find all the assets you’re looking for

9. Best for Active Traders: Moomoo

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Best For
Active Traders
N/A
1 Minute Review

Moomoo is a commission-free mobile trading app available on Apple, Google and Windows devices. A subsidiary of Futu Holdings Ltd., it’s backed by venture capital affiliates of Matrix, Sequoia, and Tencent (NASDAQ: FUTU). Securities offered by Futu Inc., regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Moomoo is another great alternative for Robinhood. This is an outstanding trading platform if you want to dive deep into smart trading. It offers impressive trading tools and opportunities for both new and advanced traders, including advanced charting, pre and post-market trading, international trading, research and analysis tools, and most popular of all, free Level 2 quotes.

Get started right away by downloading Moomoo to your phone, tablet or another mobile device.

Best For
  • Cost-conscious traders
  • Active and Advanced traders
Pros
  • Over 8,000 different stocks that can be sold short
  • Access trading and quotes in pre-market (4 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET) and post-market hours (4 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET)
  • No minimum deposit to open an account.
Cons
  • No chat support

Moomoo is a stock trading app with in-depth, customizable tools and a powerful platform. It’s a No. 1 contender for fastest trades. Moomoo’s trading channels and order processing capabilities fit all investor levels with its intuitive and powerful investing platform.

You get free access to Level 2 market data which displays real-time bids and asks. You can determine entry or exit points that assure the liquidity needed to complete your trades. (Don’t forget Moomoo’s customized stock screener so you can get what you need — instantly, the way you want it!) 

Moomoo charges no commission for U.S stocks, ADRs, ETF trades and options. Learn more.

Pros

  • No commission on stocks, ETFs and more
  • Find a trading channel that suits your needs
  • Real-time info, bids and asks

Cons

  • May seem overwhelming for new investors

10. Best for Trading Ideas: Public.com

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Best For
Trading Ideas
N/A
1 Minute Review

Public is the only investing platform that lets you trade stocks, ETFs, crypto, and alternative assets—like fine art and collectibles—all in one place. Public also provides access to custom company metrics, live shows about the markets, and insights from a community of millions of investors, creators, and analysts.

Today, Public provides more ways to create a diversified portfolio than nearly any other online broker. Members can engage in sophisticated investing strategies and access a wealth of investing insights—from company-specific analysis to live audio shows and town hall-style Q&As. In addition, Public offers a premium membership tier with unique company KPIs, detailed performance metrics, and institutional-grade research. 

 

Best For
  • Stock and ETF investors
  • Crypto investors
  • Investors looking to diversify with alternative assets
Pros
  • Commission-free stock and ETF trading
  • Fractional share investing
  • Advanced data, tools, and insights with Public Premium
Cons
  • You can’t transfer crypto to another wallet
  • No options, mutual funds, precious metals, or bonds
  • At this time, only offers individual brokerage accounts and not IRAs

Public.com is the only brokerage platform that lets you buy, sell, and hold stocks and ETFs alongside crypto and alternative assets—like art and collectibles. There are no account minimums, and all accounts are cash accounts—no IRA or 401(k)s at this time—which makes for simpler investing and easier decision-making. 

For every stock or ETF you want to buy, you can see all the information for that asset, a chart that tracks its trajectory, and historical data that allows you to learn and understand trends. This can also include access to advanced data, custom company metrics, and expert analyst insights through their Public Premium membership. It’s all about helping you be a better investor. Public.com even has a social feed to help you exchange ideas and opportunities with their active community of over one million investors.

If you’re a new investor, you can choose to build your portfolio around different themes—from Green Power to Meatless Revolution, Reduce and Reuse, Water Works, Cannabiz, and Self-driving cars. They also have a ton of educational resources if you’d like to understand more about the markets and what makes them move. Just remember to only spend money you’re comfortable losing if some of those investments don’t work out.

Pros

  • Offers several account types
  • Unique range of assets available
  • Social feed helps you share ideas

Cons

  • No retirement accounts available

11. Best for Options Trading: TD Ameritrade

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Promotion
$600 cash & free trades for 60 days
N/A
1 Minute Review

This publicly listed discount broker, which is in existence for over four decades, is service-intensive, offering intuitive and powerful investment tools. Especially, with equity investing, a flat fee is charged, with the firm claiming that it charges no trade minimum, no data fees, and no platform fees. Though it is pricier than many other discount brokers, what tilts the scales in its favor is its well-rounded service offerings and the quality and value it offers its clients.

Best For
  • Novice investors
  • Retirement savers
  • Day traders
Pros
  • World-class trading platforms
  • Detailed research reports and Education Center
  • Assets ranging from stocks and ETFs to derivatives like futures and options
Cons
  • Thinkorswim can be overwhelming to inexperienced traders
  • Derivatives trading more costly than some competitors
  • Expensive margin rates

TD Ameritrade is 1 of the largest discount brokers. It’s a 1-stop-shop for traders and investors with varied trading experience. It offers a range of tradable securities, advanced and user-friendly platforms, as well as tools made available to users.

Opening an account is fairly easy and you can pay for it electronically and start trading the very same day. The Web Platform’s My Dock feature adds up to four columns of streaming data, while it also has predefined and custom screeners to filter thousands of investment opportunities.

Additionally, the Snap Ticket trading features to ensure a secure connection and make the trade even while you are doing any other task.

Given the plethora of research reports and the advanced trading tools TD Ameritrade boasts of, it is quite apparent that it fits into the scheme of advanced traders nicely.

Pros

  • Secure trading at all times
  • Easy to use for anyone
  • Real-time, streaming data

Cons

  • Transition to Schwab may be confusing for some

12. Best for Active and Global Traders: Interactive Brokers

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Best For
Active and Global Traders
N/A
1 Minute Review

Interactive Brokers is a comprehensive trading platform that gives you access to a massive range of securities at affordable prices. You can buy assets from all around the world from the comfort of your home or office with access to over 135 global markets. Options, futures, forex and fund trading are also available, and most traders won’t pay a commission on any purchase or sale.  

IBKR is geared primarily toward experienced traders and investors but now with the availability of free trades with IBKR Lite, casual traders can also acclimate to IBKR’s offerings.

Best For
  • Access to international markets
  • Active traders
  • Sophisticated investors
  • Detailed mobile app that makes trading simple
  • Wide range of available account types and tradeable assets
Pros
  • IB SmartRouting provides significant price improvement vs. industry
  • Fractional trading allows investing regardless of share price
  • Industry’s lowest margin rates
  • Earn more by lending your fuly-paid shares
Cons
  • Beginner investors might prefer a broker that offers a bit more hand-holding and educational resources

Created for experienced, professional day traders, Interactive Brokers offers users 4,156 no transaction fee funds.

However, Interactive Brokers has earned a special place on our list for its incredibly low-cost stock trading and investing. And Interactive Brokers got rid of account minimums for individual investors. 

Though not free, users pay just $1 maximum per stock trade and $0.70 per options contract. These commissions are an average of about $4 lower than most competitors, making it 1 of the lowest-cost trading platforms on the market. and account maintenance fees (a monthly $10 inactivity fee for traders with account balances under $100,000).

If you’re an active trader and you’re looking for individual trades, Interactive Brokers is the closest you’ll get to free trading at a professional level.

Pros

  • Great for international traders
  • Low fees
  • Works well for professional traders

Cons

  • Fees on certain services can accumulate quickly

13. Best for Beginners: Robinhood

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Promotion
Refer friends and get FREE stock
N/A
1 Minute Review

Robinhood is a broker designed for traders who want a simple and easy-to-use platform. It takes out all the bells and whistles that can be confusing to the modern day trader, serving as the perfect place for beginners to learn the markets. The interface is intuitive and easy to master, streamlined to ensure you don’t get distracted as you build a portfolio. Though advanced traders might like more thorough analysis tools, Robinhood gives you everything you need to start trading and learn the ropes.

Best For
  • Beginner traders
  • Mobile traders
Pros
  • Streamlined, easy-to-understand interface
  • Mobile app with full capabilities
  • Can buy and sell cryptocurrency
Cons
  • Fewer analysis tools than most

The gold standard of free stock trading, Robinhood is a unique app that allows users to buy a wide range of exchange-traded funds and stocks.

The mobile trading app has also introduced cryptocurrencies with its 2019 update—though this option is not available in a number of U.S. states, including New York, Washington, Nevada and others.

The platform charges $0 in commissions and there are no account maintenance or inactivity fees you’ll have to worry about. If you’re looking for research and tools, Robinhood offers company information, charts, and other tools. The broker nonetheless offers exactly what it promises—truly free trades and over 5,000 equities to choose from.

The platform appeals to this demographic by offering the bare essentials of investment products and services. That means that those seeking to purchase and sell bonds, options contracts or mutual fund shares will have to look elsewhere. At the moment, the only vehicles available to Robinhood Investors are domestic exchange stocks and ETFs.

Pros

  • Zero commission
  • No maintenance fees
  • Retirement and precious metal investing options available

Cons

  • Has a history of halting trades on popular assets

14. Best for Funding Investing: Charles Schwab

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Best For
Fund Investing
N/A
1 Minute Review

Charles Schwab is a solid choice for traders of all skill levels. It offers full access to the U.S. equity and options markets as well as 30 international markets. Traders can create a diverse portfolio with $0 commissions and no account minimums. Schwab’s margin trading is expensive but Schwab makes up for it with affordable futures and options trades, along with a comprehensive mobile offering.

Best For
  • 3 trading platforms perfectly in sync makes matching your platform to your skill level a snap
  • Excellent futures trading education for new traders
  • $0 account minimum means anyone can start trading
Pros
  • Wide range of available assets to trade, including futures and 30 global markets
  • SmartStreet Edge platform is powerful enough for advanced traders, yet easy enough for new traders to utilize
  • Unique educational resources (like infographics and podcasts) make learning fun
Cons
  • Margin rates are more expensive than competitors
  • More limitations on available margin than competitors
  • Expensive mutual funds

If you’re looking to invest in ETFs for free, Charles Schwab has 1 of the most comprehensive selections available.

Schwab offers 200 commission-free ETFs. Users can build a comprehensive and diverse collection of funds without paying the fees that come along with buying individual stocks. Charles Schwab also offers over 4,000 commission-free mutual funds, a selection on par with competitors.

While accounts with Charles Schwab typically come along with a $1,000 account minimum, the brokerage firm frequently runs promotions that offer to waive this minimum if you sign up for an automatic $100 monthly investment.

Though buying ETFs and mutual funds is free, it’s important to note that traders are subject to a $5 commission when buying or selling individual stocks and options.

Pros

  • Free ETF trading
  • Commission-free mutual fund options
  • Low monthly minimums

Cons

  • The scope of the platform may confuse some novices

15. Best for Overall Global Broker and Short Selling: TradeZero

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Best For
Overall Global Broker for Short Selling
N/A
1 Minute Review

TradeZero is an online broker and free stock trading platform that provides everything you need to successfully share and trade, including round-the-clock customer support. TradeZero provides four different trading state-of-the-art software programs with its services, a locator for sourcing shares for shorting, commission-free trades, and real-time streaming, to name a few of the features promoted on their website. The software is a unique and (potentially) affordable option for anyone interested in stock trading.

Best For
  • Traders seeking high transparency and mobility in a stock trading program
  • Those attracted to commission-free trades
  • Those seeking a free version of a high-quality trading program
Pros
  • 24/7 live customer support
  • Uses ZeroWeb technology, a powerful level 2 online platform with direct market access
  • Mobile app allows users to access stocks and trade in real-time while on the go
Cons
  • Enforces Pattern Day Trading restrictions (accounts need to maintain a daily equity balance of at least $25k)
  • Mobile app could offer more features

When you use TradeZero, you gain access to a mobile app and desktop application that gives you all the information you need to invest wisely. There are no-fee and low-fee trading options, and you can register for a ZeroPro account for just $59 per month which gives you access to even more trading functionality.

With 24/7 customer service, you can get answers to all your questions at any time. Additionally, you gain access to advanced charts, indicators, news items, alerts and much more.

Pros

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Low account fees
  • No-fee trading on some assets

Cons

  • Certain assets may not be available to you

16. Best for Global Consumers: Revolut

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Best For
Global Consumers
N/A
1 Minute Review

Looking for a powerful financial tool that can help you manage and improve your finances? Revolut is a digital money app launched in 2015 that allows you to make instant international money transfers and spend in 140+ countries at excellent exchange rates. Revolut is the smart way to spend, send, manage and invest money – all in one app.

Designed with the needs of international students, travelers, and families in mind, Revolut is a comprehensive money management app that offers a wide range of features and benefits to meet your needs.

Best For
  • Globally active consumers and businesses who need to transfer, send, and receive money across borders
  • Travelers who want travel benefits and easy access to cash internationally
  • Investors who want to stay updated with the market and invest without hidden fees
Pros
  • Fast and seamless online international money transfers
  • Spend and save money in 25 plus currencies
  • Travel features such no charge lounge access and access to excellent exchange rates
  • Money transfer between accounts
  • International prepaid debit card
  • Convenient hotel booking and no charge lounge access
  • Excellent cashback offers from popular brands
Cons
  • No physical branches
  • Customer service chat support is limited at times

Revolut is a unique money app that brings several financial services into one package. When you download the Revolut app, you gain access to a service that:

  • Lets you pay and get paid anytime around the world
  • Transfer money between apps
  • Invest in stocks and other assets
  • Exchange currency
  • Get a prepaid debit card in multiple countries
  • Travel with less stress
  • Budget and manage your finances

Because Revolut allows you to invest in stocks, you can take even greater control over your finances, making it possible for you to create new income streams and build your portfolio. Using Revolut makes it much easier to manage your money instead of using several different apps and trying to bring them together.

Pros

  • Helps you organize your funds
  • Makes travel easier
  • Simple money transfers

Cons

  • Not a true investing apps

Characteristics of a Successful Online Stock Trader

Though each trader has his own individual set of financial and personal goals, the most successful stock traders enter the market with the following 3 characteristics:

  • Commitment to education: The most successful traders never buy stocks based on a “gut feeling.” They do their research, look at the history of the company and its leadership and make selections based on hard data and perspectives of industry experts. They also stay up-to-date on political happenings both at home and abroad and they factor in how new laws and regulations affect the market. Looking to increase your knowledge of the stock market? Check out our list of the best low-cost day trading courses you can sign up for right now.
  • Use of the right tools: The best stock traders use the right tools at their disposal.
  • A realistic perspective: There are plenty of stock trading courses that teach traders the secrets that industry professionals “hide” from the general public and website pop-ups that say they are the next Amazon or Bitcoin buy. The best traders know that these are over-exaggerated claims at best and downright scams at worst. Before you start trading, check your goals and make sure they are realistic—the stories of overnight millionaires are few and far between.

Things to Look for in an Investing Account

Though most stock brokers charge account maintenance fees and commissions, you’ll find a number of brokers that will allow you to trade for free. Some characteristics that all reliable free trading platforms share include the following.

Intuitive Trading Site

A brokerage firm isn’t very useful if you can’t understand how to get started. Watch a few YouTube tutorials or website overviews to get a feel for the platform before you commit desktop space and time to the broker. If the platform isn’t intuitive, check the brokerage’s customer service options. A responsive team of customer service professionals may be able to help you understand how to operate a more complicated platform.

Clear and Easy-to-Understand Trading

Though some investment platforms will allow you to trade for free indefinitely, some may only allow commission-free trades within a limited window after opening an account. When you sign up for an account on a free trading platform, make sure you read the terms of service to understand how many free trades you are entitled to with your account. Brokerages that try to hide this information may make their money “tricking” users into thinking that trades are free indefinitely, only to stick them with high fees later on by hiding a clause in the fine print.

Realistic Claims

Trading platforms that make unrealistic claims (like promising a dollar amount of returns or claiming that they have “secrets” that other brokers hide) are more than likely just trying to take your money with a hidden fee or commission. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Choosing the Best Brokerage Account for Investment Management

Start with our top online broker platforms to find a service that works for you. A solid brokerage can also help you stay up-to-date on the market and make smart buying and selling decisions.

It’s hard to find a completely free trading platform. However, any online broker platform worth using will offer you a free trial period to try the product and use its educational offering. Get your feet wet and try a few options to settle on your best fit today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Can I use multiple online stock trading platforms?

1
Can I use multiple online stock trading platforms?
asked
A
1

There are no restrictions on the number of online brokerage accounts or platforms.

answered
Q

What are the best online stock trading platforms for professional traders?

1
What are the best online stock trading platforms for professional traders?
asked
A
1

Benzinga recommends Charles Schwab, Webull and Interactive Brokers.

answered
Q

What should I look for in an online trading platform?

1
What should I look for in an online trading platform?
asked
A
1

Look for a platform that offers intuitive trading, transparency regarding fees, and claims that are not unrealistic.

answered

The post Best Online Stock Trading Platforms by Sarah Horvath appeared first on Benzinga. Visit Benzinga to get more great content like this.

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