It is common knowledge that the global market of online stock trading is booming nowadaysю Numerous players enter the stage every day and offer their services at appealing rates and with interesting terms.
However, first of all trading is about money, and any trading decision is inherently risky; so, which platform should you choose to minimise risks and guarantee yourself a reliable service? Here is a review of the most popular online trading platforms for you to choose from, based on the reviews of experienced brokers and professional financial analysts.
#1 TD Ameritrade
This resource is reasonably top-ranked worldwide because of the long-standing successful operation and thousands of satisfied users. This leader among the fx trading platforms emerged in the trading market long back in the 1980s and represented one of the first discount brokerages, while maintaining this low-commission promise even now. Hence, one can confidently characterize it as a reliable trading resource functioning for almost 40 years so far, giving professional guidance to beginners and experienced professionals, and regularly improving its interface and technical capacity to offer the best.
The site is user-friendly and multi-functional, with extensive research tools, an opportunity for workspace customisation, a large spectrum of investment options (equities, bonds, CDs, Forex trading) and many additional advantages keeping it at the top. All users can use their accounts from any corner of the world and have full access to live-streaming CNBC, real-time quotes and a wide variety of consultants. A highly recommended, reliable choice for a beginner; moreover, the easy-to-understand flat-rate commission of $6.95 without any hidden fees is highly competitive in the market of similar business offers.
This is our #2 choice because Betterment is made for people indeed; it is easy to use and convenient in all stages of cooperation. The resource was built with best cutting-edge technology in mind, so even despite higher commissions than some other resource offer, Betterment is an indisputable leader in terms of investment technology. All operations on this platform, which is an execution-only service, are held online. Many users appreciate its automated interface and an opportunity to conduct goal-based investing operations with commissions well below the industry’s average.
You may want to select Betterment for automatic portfolio options (e.g., outside investment, goal-based investing framework, automated portfolio rebalancing, etc.), accessible pricing fees affordable even for beginners (0.25-0.5% annual fees depending on your membership plan), and provision of extensive educational resources. The platform also offers very attractive investment returns by tailoring the clients’ portfolios to the desired level of risk, thus fostering the achievement of optimal earnings in every situation. Moreover, its brand-new Tax Loss Harvesting+ system allows the detection of embedded capital losses, which contributes to consistent investment tax reduction and after-tax return maximisation.
This trading platform is highly beneficial for users in terms of low commission and convenient trading interface. This resource was sold to E*Trade, another leading market player, in 2016, and it is now highly ranked because of the excellent trading opportunities and low charges, even occupying the #1 position among options traders. However, one should note that the resource is not well-tailored in terms of research and educational resources.
There is much you might like about this trader; competitive commission rates are its prevailing advantage as all brokers seek maximisation of their profits from trading activities. Moreover, it boasts a new attractive and highly functional mobile app launched in December 2016, with an appealing GUI and a huge variety of trading benefits. The variety of tools in both mobile and desktop versions of OptionsHouse will impress both a beginner and a well-seasoned professional.
This platform has been successfully functioning since 2005, and competes effectively with such global trading giants as OptionsHouse and TD Ameritrade, while its commissions are lower than in the mentioned sources. This makes TradeKing highly attractive for users, but when you select a platform to start your trading activities with, this one may not be a good choice as TradeKing mostly favours experienced traders with large-volume operations.
TradeKing is also highly recommended for those who appreciate educational resources or only begin their trading careers and need firm, comprehensive guidance. Here, you will find enormous high-quality resources to give you a boost in trading, coupled with powerful research publications. The regular commission for stock trades here is $4.95, which makes it a stable leader of discounted trades, and the most profitable offer is for the mutual fund trade fee – $9.95, well below the industry’s average.
#5 Charles Schwab
This trading platform is highly recommended for beginners since it is a very reliable source with competent customer support and a plenty of commission-free exchange-traded funds. It also offers the opportunity for trading at no-transaction-fee mutual funds. Hence, even those with minimum available funds can start their trading careers at Charles Schwab with little risks of fraud, and have a strong, optimistic launch of trading efforts with premium research available for active members. Though the company does not charge any annual or inactivity fee, closing an account is worth $50. Nevertheless, the price is worth the benefits you get working at Charles Schwab: two strong platforms, a reliable mobile app, hundreds of commission-free ETFs and a realm of mutual funds to choose from.
Investfly got to its rating due to the fact that it offers a wide range of trading opportunities, live trading, multiple stock portfolios’ management and what is more, it is completely free for users. It is a modern trading platform with many features such as trading strategy automation, screeners, real-time stock alerts and back-testing, so trying this one is a good choice for those who do not want to spend extra funds for commissions.
All these platforms have their own advantages and weaknesses; while some of them make a strong emphasis on education and research/analytics, others win users over with great deal rates. Hence, it is totally up to you to select the platform appealing to you the most, but we recommend making extensive research first to register only with a trusted provider.