11 Best Online Brokerage Accounts: For Beginners To Experienced


Investing your money can be one of the most important decisions you make in your life. Choosing the right stockbroker for the job is an essential part of that decision. To help you pick the right broker, we provide this guide to the 11 best online stockbrokers of 2022. Since each works a little bit differently, you should be able to find the right broker for your investment style and preferences.

The table below summarizes all 11 brokers, including what each is best for and its primary features. Scan the table, then scroll down to the detailed description of each broker below.

Our Picks for 11 Best Online Stock Brokers

Below is our list of the 11 best stockbrokers of 2022:

Best Online Stock Brokers – Reviews

1. Best All-Around: Charles Schwab


  • Offers virtually all types of investments
  • Charges no trading fees on the most commonly traded securities
  • 24/7 customer service that ranks among the best in the industry
  • Offers its own robo-advisor service, to give you a managed portfolio option
  • Offers a lineup of their own funds, including some of the most popular in the industry

Minimum Investment: $0

Investments Offered: Stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options, futures, and CDs

Available Accounts: Joint and individual accounts; traditional, Roth, rollover, SEP, and SIMPLE IRAs; Solo 401(k)’s; trusts and custodial accounts

Fees: $0 for stocks, options, and ETFs; over 4,000 commission-free mutual funds

Though it started out as one of the original discount brokerage firms, Charles Schwab has grown to be the largest retail investment broker in the world. And it’s not hard to see why. Not only do they charge no fees for investing in stocks, options, and ETFs, but they also offer plenty of other benefits for investors.

That includes 24/7 customer service, their own robo-advisor, and one of the best trading platforms in the industry. The company is consistently voted one of the top investment brokerages for customer service. Schwab is perfect for investors at all levels, from beginners to advanced traders.

2. Best All-Around Runner-up: Fidelity


  • Provides all major investment types
  • Fee-free trading on most major securities
  • Top-rated customer service
  • Has its own lineup of mutual funds
  • Offers its own robo-advisor for a managed portfolio option

Minimum Investment: $0

Investments Offered: Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, and other securities

Available Accounts: Joint and individual accounts; traditional, Roth, rollover, SEP, and SIMPLE IRAs; Solo 401(k)s; trusts and custodial accounts

Fees: $0 for stocks, options, and ETFs; more than 3,000 commission-free mutual funds

It’s really a toss-up whether Schwab or Fidelity is truly the best all-around investment brokerage. The two match each other in almost every category, including investments offered, available accounts, and fee structure. Like Schwab, Fidelity also offers its own robo-advisor, and is one of the largest mutual fund families in the world. And again, like Schwab, Fidelity offers outstanding customer service.

Though it won’t affect you unless you have your 401(k) held through Fidelity, the company is now offering Bitcoin for plan participants. It may be that crypto in 401(k) plans is just the beginning, and the company will eventually roll them out to individual retirement and brokerage accounts.

3. Best for Automated Account Management: M1 Finance


  • Choose your own investments from ETFs and individual stocks
  • M1 Finance provides automated management of your portfolios
  • No fees are charged to manage your account or to trade securities within it


  • Can’t be used as a short-term trading platform
  • No availability of mutual funds, options, or other investments

Minimum Investment: $0 to open, $100 to invest

Investments Offered: Individual stocks and ETFs

Available Accounts: Individual and joint taxable investment accounts; traditional, Roth, rollover, and SEP IRAs

Fees: $0 for management, $0 for trades

There’s a lot to like about M1 Finance, even though it’s anything but a traditional investment broker. Instead, it’s a robo-advisor that lets you choose your own investments and provides automated management for your portfolio. That includes dividend reinvesting and periodic rebalancing.

M1 Finance works on a system they refer to as “pies.” Each pie can hold up to 100 securities, and there’s no limit to the number of pies you can hold in your account. You can choose from hundreds of ETFs and thousands of individual stocks to hold in your pies. And perhaps best of all, M1 Finance charges no fees to manage your pies, and no fees to purchase the securities in them.

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4. Best for Tools for Beginners: E*TRADE


  • No or low fees on most trading
  • One of the best options trading platforms offered in the industry
  • Customer service is available 24 hours a day, seven days per week
  • Offers one of the most generous bonus plans in the industry


  • Charges high margin rates

Minimum Investment: $0

Investments Offered: Stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options, currencies, and futures

Available Accounts: Individual and joint investment accounts; traditional, Roth, and rollover IRAs

Fees: $0 stocks, ETFs, and options (+ $0.65 per contract fee); more than 4,000 no-transaction-fee mutual funds

E*TRADE isn’t one of the bigger investment brokers, but they make up for their lack of size with the quality of their service. They match the industry with commission-free trading, provide all types of brokerage and retirement accounts, and offer one of the better trading platforms in the industry. That includes their Power E*TRADE platform, which is particularly helpful for options traders.

E*TRADE offers one of the best new account bonus programs in the industry, paying as much as $3,500 to open a new account.

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5. Best for Options Trading: Firstrade


  • No commissions or contract fees on options trades
  • No fees on more than 11,000 mutual funds, as well as stocks and ETFs
  • One of the most advanced options trading platforms in the industry


  • Customer service is limited to regular business hours

Minimum Investment: $0

Investments Offered: Stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds & options

Available Accounts: Individual and joint accounts; traditional, Roth and rollover IRAs

Fees: $0 for stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds; no commissions or contract fees on options

Firstrade takes first place in the industry for options trading. For starters, they charge no commission or contract fees on options trades. That will enable you to keep more of the profits on your trading activity.

But they also offer one of the best training platforms in the industry. It includes investor tools and research resources, as well as one of the most comprehensive sources of investment news in the industry.

Firstrade may also be the best trading platform for mutual funds. They offer more than 11,000, which may be the largest selection available in the industry. What’s more, they charge no commissions for trades on those funds.

6. Best Trading Platform: TD Ameritrade


  • What may be the best trading platform in the industry, thinkorswim
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Full range of investments and services provided


  • High trading fee on no-load mutual funds

Minimum Investment: $0

Investments Offered: Stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options, FOREX, and futures

Available Accounts: Individual and joint taxable accounts; traditional, Roth, and rollover IRAs

Fees: $0 for stocks, ETFs, and options (+ $0.65 per contract fee); $49.99 per trade on no-load mutual funds

Much like E*TRADE, TD Ameritrade is a smaller version of the bigger trading platforms. There’s no required minimum investment, and they offer all common investment securities and a full range of brokerage and retirement accounts. The company also offers a zero commission on trading most common securities.

But the real strength of TD Ameritrade may be its trading platform. Their award-winning trading platform, thinkorswim, provides professional-level trading for serious traders. That includes advanced tools to perform analysis and test strategies, as well as idea generation with market trends and the ability to analyze the risk and reward of trades. The platform is fully customizable.

Investors should be aware that TD Ameritrade is scheduled to be merged with Charles Schwab sometime in 2023. That shouldn’t be a problem, since Schwab is our choice for the best all-around investment broker in the industry.

7. Best for Fast Trades & Crypto: Robinhood


  • No commission or contract fees on options, and no fees on stocks, ETFs, or crypto
  • Fast, efficient trading platform
  • Offers trading in cryptocurrencies as well


  • Very limited trading tools and resources
  • No availability of IRA accounts
  • Very limited customer support

Minimum Investment: $0

Investments Offered: Stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies

Available Accounts: Individual taxable investment accounts only

Fees: $0 for stocks or ETFs; no commissions or contract fees on options

Robinhood may be THE simplest investment broker in the industry. That’s because it was designed specifically to be a trading app for new investors. It’s easily one of the best investment apps available. They were the first broker to introduce commission-free trades, forcing the rest of the industry to follow suit. The simplicity of the platform makes for very fast trades.

But they have spread their product wings, and now offer all kinds of investing, including options. One of the most unique is cryptocurrencies. You can now buy and sell numerous cryptos on the platform, alongside your more conventional holdings in stocks, ETFs, and options. And like trades in other securities, crypto can be traded commission-free.

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8. Best for Active Investors: Zacks Trade


  • Zacks is one of the top industry sources for investment research
  • Available to investors in more than 200 countries, with the ability to trade on multiple international markets
  • No additional fee for broker-assisted trade, including international trades
  • Provides a paper trading account to help you become a better trader


  • The trading fee structure is more complicated and slightly higher than the industry standard
  • Minimum initial investment of $2,500 stands out in an industry that typically requires zero
  • Customer service is limited to regular business hours

Minimum Investment: $2,500

Investments Offered: Individual and joint accounts; traditional, Roth, rollover, and SEP IRAs; trusts, and limited partnerships

Available Accounts: Stocks, penny stocks, bonds, ETFs, options, mutual funds, and Forex

Fees: $0.01 per share ($1 min. per trade) on stocks & ETFs greater than $1 per share; 1% of value on stocks & ETFs less than $1 per share, with $1 minimum per trade; options, $1 for the first contract, then $0.75 per additional contract; $27.50 for mutual funds

In the investment universe, Zacks is synonymous with advanced investment information. The company started out as an investment research firm, Zacks Investment Research, that’s widely used and quoted throughout the industry. But they have since added a brokerage capacity, and it’s a good one.

Zacks offers three different trading platforms, the most advanced of which is Zacks Trade Pro. It offers a fully customizable interface, as well as abundant tools and resources to keep you at the top of your trading game. For example, it offers more than 120 technical indicators to help you evaluate stocks.

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9. Best for Military Personnel: USAA


  • Specializes in providing financial services for current and former members of the U.S. military and their families
  • Provides the full range of financial services, including banking and insurance
  • Since investing is done through Charles Schwab, you get the benefit of investing through the best all-around investment platform in the business


  • You must be a veteran or active member of the U.S. military, or a family member of either, to qualify for an account

Minimum Investment: $0

Investments Offered: Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, and CDs

Available Accounts: Joint and individual accounts; traditional, Roth, rollover, SEP, and SIMPLE IRAs; Solo 401(k)’s; trusts and custodial accounts

Fees: $0 for stocks, options, and ETFs; over 4,000 commission-free mutual funds

USAA started back in the 1920s, primarily offering insurance products. But they have since expanded their product menu to include banking, investing, retirement, financial advice, and other services. But USAA is unique on this list because you must be either a veteran or an active member of the U.S. military or a family member, to be eligible to open an account.

USAA offers its investment services through Charles Schwab, so available accounts, investments, and fees are identical to those of Schwab. But USAA is nonetheless an excellent choice for qualified military families who want to invest while taking advantage of the many other financial services offered by the company.

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10. Best for Account Funding for Beginners: Acorns


  • Round Up feature enables you to save the money to invest automatically through your regular purchase activity
  • Provides a fully managed portfolio of ETFs, but also adds a REIT index fund and Bitcoin to the mix


  • The flat monthly fee is high on small accounts, percentage-wise

Minimum Investment: $0 to open, $5 to invest

Investments Offered: ETFs invested in U.S. and foreign stocks and bonds, real estate investment trust index fund, and Bitcoin

Available Accounts: Individual & joint investment accounts; traditional, Roth, rollover, and SEP IRAs

Fees: $3/mo. Personal plan; $5/mo. Family plan

Acorns is one of the most innovative investment platforms in the industry. They function primarily as a robo-advisor, providing automated investment management for a portfolio of ETFs, a REIT fund index, and now Bitcoin. But it’s how they go about providing that service that sets them apart from the competition.

Acorns recognizes that one of the biggest obstacles for new investors is obtaining the money to begin investing. They get around that problem through their “Round Ups” program. That’s where investors connect the Acorns app to their primary spending account, then have their purchases rounded up to the nearest dollar. The change is held until it reaches $5 and is then transferred over to the investment account. That gives investors an opportunity to both invest and accumulate the money to invest, using the same service.

11. Best for Account Funding for Beginners, Runner-up: Stash


  • Fund your account with small, affordable amounts in regular intervals
  • Earn stock purchases with the Stock-Back Card
  • Provides portfolio recommendations for you to use in your investment account


  • Provides investment recommendations, but does not actively manage your portfolio, like a robo-advisor

Minimum Investment: $0 to open, $5 to invest

Investments Offered: Stocks and ETFs

Available Accounts: Individual brokerage accounts, traditional and Roth IRAs, and custodial accounts

Fees: $1/mo. Beginner plan; $3/mo. Growth plan (incl. Retirement); $9/mo. for Family plan

Stash works much the way Acorns does in that it provides you with a way to accumulate the funds to invest, in addition to investing itself. You can contribute a flat amount to your account at regular intervals, like $5 per week. That enables you to build up your portfolio over the long term, and without a lot of financial sacrifice. They also offer their Stock-Back Card, which is a debit card that allows you to earn stock every time you spend using the card.

Stash offers three different pricing plans. Beginner provides a personal portfolio, investing advice, bank access, and $1000 in life insurance for a monthly fee of $1. Growth offers everything in the Beginner plan, but also provides personal financial advice, and access to their Smart Portfolio and a retirement account. Growth is available for $3 per month. Finally, Stash+ offers all the features of the other two plans, but also provides family advice, market insights, custodial accounts for two children, banking access, and $10,000 in life insurance.

Online Stock Broker Guide

What is An Online Stock Broker?

In the simplest terms, an online stock broker is one that facilitates online investing. That means you can perform all investment activities online, from your home computer, work computer, or even your mobile device. There’ll be no need to visit your broker’s office, and only the occasional need to make a phone call.

The industry has advanced to the point where a typical online stock broker can provide all the information and services brick-and-mortar offices used to offer. In fact, you can typically obtain more information through an online account than you can at a broker’s office.

How to Choose the Right Online Stock Broker

Perhaps a more basic question is what is a brokerage account? A top-of-the-line online stockbroker should be able to provide all the services you would normally obtain at a broker’s office.

There are many factors that go into that arrangement. First and foremost is the ease of use of the platform. It should be simple enough that you’re able to execute trades with relative ease after making the first two or three transactions.

Next, look at the availability of investor tools and research resources. This varies greatly from one platform to the next. Some provide advanced charting and technical indicators, while others are mostly about executing trades. You’ll need to determine which platform will work best for you.

You should also consider customer service, even if you don’t use it very often. It can often be comforting to have 24/7 access to live customer service, even if you don’t use it very often. In fact, some investors prefer brokers that also have local branches. This is an area where both Charles Schwab and Fidelity stand out, each having hundreds of branches across the country.

Finally, are you able to move funds into and out of the account quickly and easily? This is true of most online brokers today but check their latest funds transfer guidelines. Also, be aware that there are sometimes fees associated with funds transfers, especially outgoing transactions.

If you are a beginner stock trader or investor, choosing the right stockbroker is super important

Online Stockbrokers like Robinhood will guide you with their vast knowledge, so you can wisely invest your hard-earned dollars. Don’t give it a second thought and click below.

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Things to Keep in Mind

The investment process isn’t necessarily as simple as opening a brokerage account, and then starting investing. You need to understand what it is you’re doing and create a strategy to reach your investment goals.

Invest Now

One of the foundational realities of investing is knowing why you must start investing now. Some people approach investing casually—I’ll get to it later, but I have more pressing concerns now. While it can make sense at the time, there’s a strong connection between investment success and when you begin. The sooner you begin investing, the more time your investments will have to grow. That’s why it’s important to begin as soon as possible.

Understand What You’re Investing In

Generally speaking, the safest investment choice for new investors is investing in funds. That includes mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). But you may also want to build your knowledge base on how to start investing in stocks. At some point, you may want to try your hand at individual stocks, and you’ll need to fully understand what it is you’re getting into. The same is true with any other investment type you want to dive into.

Choose the Right Investment Broker

That’s what this guide is all about. Make sure the online broker is one that fits your personal style and preferences. But it should also accommodate various account types, like taxable brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, and even custodial accounts if you have children. That’ll avoid the need to maintain accounts with multiple brokers.

Fees Matter!

We’ve included low- and no-fee brokers for exactly that reason. Fees reduce your investment returns and increase investment losses. In the grand scheme of investing, fees should represent either a tiny percentage of your investment gains, or—better yet—be completely invisible. It is possible.


This step is often overlooked by new investors looking to “make a killing.” Despite what you may hear on social media, investing is not about making a killing. It’s about earning consistent returns, while not taking on undue risks.

One of the best ways to make that happen is by diversifying your portfolio across multiple asset classes. The standard recommendation is to have a mix of stocks and bonds, based on your own risk tolerance (you can use the Vanguard Investor Questionnaire tool to help you determine your own risk tolerance).

But it may help to move beyond the basic mix of stocks and bonds. For example, real estate is an excellent diversification for stocks. Check out Jeff’s My Fundrise Returns article to see how he is using this crowdfunding platform to include real estate in his portfolio.

Still another diversification, the one that should occupy the smallest slice of your portfolio, is cryptocurrency. Spend some time researching how to invest in Bitcoin. It’s the largest and most popular crypto and may be worth holding a small position as speculation.

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Offer valid for U.S. residents 18+ and subject to account approval. There may be other fees associated with trading. See Public.com/disclosures.

How We Found the Best Online Stock Brokers

To determine what we consider to be the best online stockbrokers, we relied heavily on the following criteria:

  • Minimum Investment: In most cases, we’ve favored brokers with no minimum initial investment required. That allows the greatest number of investors to participate, including new investors.
  • Investments Offered: This is an important category because even if you only intend to invest in funds, the day may come when you want to spread your wings into individual stocks and other investments.
  • Available Accounts: Though it isn’t the case with all the brokers on our list, we prefer those that offer individual and joint brokerage accounts, as well as the widest range of retirement accounts. That can enable you to hold multiple accounts with the same broker.
  • Fees: In choosing any service to work with, fees are always a factor, and especially including brokers. Fees represent a reduction in your investment returns. That’s why we’ve emphasized brokers that offer commission-free trading on the most common investment types.

Finally, we considered what each broker specializes in. For the most part, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to investment brokers. If you’re an active trader, you may prefer Zacks Trade. If you like trading options, you’ll like Firstrade. If you prefer a managed portfolio option, M1 Finance will be an excellent choice.

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Summary of the 11 Best Online Stock Brokers of 2022

But one last look at our lineup of the 11 best online stockbrokers of 2022:

It can be somewhat complicated to decide which among the 11 brokers will work best for you. But decide what your investment preferences are and see which platform best matches those. That should make your choice easier.But the single most important investment ingredient is just getting started! That being the case, choosing an investment broker—and beginning your investment journey as soon as possible—is at least as important as deciding on the right broker.


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