Best Online Brokers for Beginners: Top 9 of 44 Brokers Reviewed

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With a cash account, you’ll pay the full amount for whichever securities you purchase. Information that you input is not stored or reviewed for any purpose other than to provide search results. Responses provided by the virtual assistant are to help you navigate and, as with any Internet search engine, you should review the results carefully.

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Below is a quick comparison table with the known IPO investing policy of each broker. The purpose of this page is to sort through various brokerages to determine which ones can give you access to IPOs, and spell out what it takes best online stock brokers to be eligible. By subscribing, you agree to receive blog updates and relevant offers by email. While there are lots of features for retirement-oriented investors, there’s not a whole lot for those who want to do active trading.

Why You Should Trust Us: Our Expert Panel For The Best Online Brokerages for Beginners

Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is offered in your area or at your self-selected credit score range, can also impact how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range of offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service. The great thing for first-time investors is that many of the best brokers for beginners offer all three avenues to buy stocks under one roof. It’s a firm that usually operates out of a physical office where an actual person, also called a stock broker, takes and executes clients’ buy and sell orders.

How many brokerage accounts can I have?

The platform allows you to trade in any area you like, helping you engage with the strategies you’ve chosen so that you the results you want. Because the platform is so easy to use and helpful for momentum traders, it can be the perfect place for anyone to start. In the case of a traditional 401(k), this means that you won’t pay taxes on your account contributions, but you will pay taxes later when you withdraw money in retirement. However, in the case of a best Roth IRA investment account, you will pay taxes on your account contributions, but won’t pay taxes on the withdrawals in retirement. Those investments are protected by a different agency called the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

Best for Fund Investing: Charles Schwab

  1. Robinhood, Webull, Merrill Edge and Fidelity Investments, just to name four online brokers, do not require you to deposit any particular amount of money to open an account.
  2. Virtually every major online brokerage allows you to get started with no account minimum, so you can start off with $5 or $500.
  3. Some brokers will fall straight out of contention, if you need a Roth IRA, for example, and the broker doesn’t offer it.
  4. Luke Jacobi is a distinguished professional known for his role as President at Benzinga, a renowned financial media outlet.

You can also practice investing with no money at all at a broker that offers virtual trading, also called paper trading. To buy shares of stocks like Apple (AAPL), Nvidia (NVDA), or Microsoft (MSFT), you’ll need to set up an account with an online broker. Online brokers not only enable you to trade stocks online; they also provide trading tools, market research, and education to help you make smart investing choices.

Also consider your investment preferences, such as your need for research, tools, and portfolio tracking features, to ensure the broker you end up choosing will be a match. Jacqueline White, Robinhood’s product and consumer communications manager, said nearly half of Robinhood’s customers report that they are first-time investors and that their median customer age is 31. “I think what’s most interesting is that these people are very price sensitive,” said Mayur. Additionally, we paid close attention to platform and technology and commissions and fees. The Schwab client portal is easy to navigate, and it was refreshing to see customer support options displayed prominently on every page.

In addition to free stock and ETF trades, Fidelity Investments customers can access more than 10,000 mutual funds without transaction fees. Among those are four funds from Fidelity that charge no expense ratio (that means no fund fees). It’s also’s Best Overall thanks to its industry-leading research, convenient trading tools, and an easy-to-use mobile app. All essential features are clearly labeled and easily understood by everyday investors.

Importantly, Fidelity offers $0 commissions for online stock and ETF trades, plus a high-quality mobile app, making it one of the best brokerage accounts for beginners and seasoned investors alike. Many of the best online brokerage accounts for beginners require only low minimums (or no minimums at all). Low to no trading fees for beginner-designed investment apps are also common.

Members and non-members can also purchase one-on-one sessions with financial advisors and executive coaches to get more specific advice. Higher membership levels come with higher discounts off the retail price. While new investors might find choosing a broker to be daunting, you aren’t likely to go wrong with any of the names mentioned above. Once you’ve found a broker, you can begin plotting your way to a more secure financial future. Bankrate has reviewed the best brokers for beginners and offers its top picks. The brokers below also scored highly under Bankrate’s methodology and excel in a number of features that may appeal to certain investors.

Take your financial goals into consideration when selecting a broker and make sure it can accommodate your objectives. The Fidelity Investments Learning Center offers four-week virtual courses for beginners to improve their trading skills. Courses cover topics such as technical analysis, options trading, trading basics and how to use the Active Trader Pro platform. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services.

In fact, all an IRA account is a standard brokerage account that’s taxed in a different manner. We mention this since one of the best steps new investors can take is to begin investing in a tax-advantaged account. Just like commissions, taxes can eat away at investment gains, and IRAs help shelter investors from paying these taxes. Full-service brokers are far more expensive than discount brokers, given the costs of human advisors and brick-and-mortar locations. But costs have generally come down over the past few decades as they face competition from stock brokers, aim to make investing more accessible, and gain access to tools to automate work on their end. Charles Schwab has aggressively slashed fees on its mutual funds and ETFs, eliminated common account fees, and lowered its base commissions to $0 per trade, making it one of the least-expensive brokers.

An early adopter of new investing products, Fidelity provides fractional share trading for over 7,000 U.S. stocks and ETFs. This is a firm that operates out of a physical office where an actual person, or stock broker, takes and executes clients’ buy and sell orders. In addition, a full-service broker might provide personalized investment planning services, such as advice on what stocks to buy, tax guidance, and retirement planning help. When you want to buy stock in a company, you can’t simply call up the company and buy shares, nor can you just walk into your local bank and invest. You’ll need a specialized type of account, and that’s where the best online stock broker for beginners come in. TD Ameritrade stands out as one of our top all-around brokerages with outstanding tools and products, in-depth and comprehensive research, and no account minimums.

To open your first online brokerage account, consider the type of account, investment options, and features you’re looking for. Once you know what you want, compare different brokerage accounts that fit the bill and find the one that best fits your needs. You can then begin the application process, fund your new account, and invest. The only big downside of these accounts is that you can only trade stocks and ETFs. SoFi also offers beginner investing educational resources, free financial planning sessions, career coaching, and other perks for SoFi members.

Most discount brokerages are facilitated through online trading platforms. You won’t interact with a live broker, and the software may even handle transactions for you. Discount brokerages execute orders for clients, and that may be a challenge for new investors who are still learning the ins and outs of the trade. Blain Reinkensmeyer, head of research at, has been investing and trading for over 25 years.

Trades of stocks, ETFs and options are commission-free at Robinhood Financial LLC. As The Ascent’s Compliance Lead, he makes sure that all the site’s information is accurate and up to date, which ensures we always steer readers right and keeps various financial partners happy. Before you start investing, be sure to check out our beginner guide on how to buy stocks. A passive index fund can be a great tool for someone who does not know anything about the stock market, as it essentially allows one to invest in the entire market using very small sums of money. New investors should likely either 1) engage a professional financial advisor, or 2) pursue a passive investing strategy. A novice investor likely does not have the skill to beat the market on their own.