Best brokerage firms.
Top rated online investment companies in 2016.

The online brokerage industry offers a lot of options for new and experienced investors with different trading styles and preferences. Each brokerage firm provides a number of investment choices, a lot of tools and services, and variety of fees and commissions. Below you will find the list of 10 best online stock brokers in 2016.

Brokerage Firm
Rating
Stocks & ETFs
Options
Cost Per Contract
Mutual Funds Min To
Open
Review
TD Ameritrade 4.5-star brokerage firm rating $9.99 $0.75 $49.99 $0 Review
TradeKing TradeKing brokerage firm rating $4.95 $0.65 $9.95 $0 Review
Scottrade Scottrade brokerage firm rating $7 $0.70 $17 $2,500 Review
Optionshouse Optionshouse brokerage firm rating $4.95 $0.50 $20 $0 Review
Fidelity Investments 4-star brokerage firm rating $7.95 $0.75 $49.99 $2,500 Review
TradeStation 4-star brokerage firm rating $4.99 $0.20 $14.95 $5,000 Review
Charles Schwab 4-star brokerage firm rating $8.95 $0.75 $76 $1,000 Review
Etrade Etrade brokerage firm rating $9.99 $0.75 $19.99 $500 Review
USAA Investments 3-star brokerage firm rating $5.95/$8.95 $0.75 $45 $0 Review

Top 10 Rated Online Stock Brokerages

There are now hundreds of online brokerage firms to pick from, each with their own tools, pricing, and investment selection. Below we will briefly describe the best 10 brokerage firms in 2016.

Open Account TD Ameritrade. Stock trades at $9.99 per trade are certainly higher than other firms but still reasonable for the serious investor. The combination of high-tech and free professional grade research tools with a long history in the brokerage industry makes Ameritrade a solid choice, from beginner investors to experienced and active traders. TD Ameritrade allows for investing in futures and forex, something that almost no other online brokerage provides. A wide selection of commission-free ETFs from 13 providers, including but not limited to Vanguard, iShares, Pimco, PowerShares and SPDR, was ranked by Forbes in 2015 as the best for investors who are looking for the most liquid and lowest-cost ETFs.

  • No inactivity or maintenance fees. No-fee IRA accounts
  • Outstanding research, sophisticated trading platforms, great customer service
  • Over 100 commission-free ETFs
  • TD Ameritrade review »

Join TD Ameritrade. Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.

Open Account TradeKing. TradeKing is the true definition of a discount broker, offering low commission equity trades ($4.95 for stocks and $4.95+$0.65/contract for options) and basic research and data tools. The investment choices can be compared with the bigger names in the industry and even include forex trading. The platform is intuitive and user friendly, which is why Barron's has rated TradeKing very high for Site Usability for the past few years. With its user-friendly trading tools, great educational resources and exceptional trading support, the company is a great fit for beginner investors.

  • Very low trading commissions with no minimum to open an account
  • Excellent customer support via email, phone and chat
  • Customizable trading platform with responsive design
  • TradeKing review »

Open a TradeKing Account and Get $1,000 in Free Trade Commissions.

Open Account Scottrade. Having over 500 branches across the entire US, Scottrade combines the convenience of a discount broker with the comfort of a local business. A wide selection of investment options, from stocks to municipal bonds and CDs along with $7 stock trades, makes Scottrade a top option for investors. The brokerage offers a great selection of no-load mutual funds (2,637 to choose from) that have no transaction fee when trading online. With a variety of investments and no account fees, Scottrade is one of the best low-cost brokerages for IRA accounts. The company has been rated the highest in the J.D. Power Self-Directed investors satisfaction study this year.

  • No account setup, maintenance or inactivity fees, no cost IRAs
  • Well-priced firm with a flat fee commission structure
  • 2,637 commission-free NTF funds
  • Scottrade review »

$2,000 in Cash Bonus and 50 FREE Trades When You Open a Scottrade Account.

Open Account Optionshouse. Its advanced trading tools for options and lowest trading commissions put Optionshouse on the map of the best online brokers for options trading. The firm offers free seminars on options trading to its members. In 2016, Optionshouse is among the three brokerage firms which received the highest 4.5-star rating among all the companies that participated in the Barron's ranking.

  • Very low trading commissions; no minimums to open an account
  • No setup, annual or inactivity fees for IRAs. No maintenance or inactivity fees
  • Rated high by industry's most reputable magazines
  • Optionshouse review »

Open and fund an OptionsHouse account to receive up to $1,000 worth of commissions on online trades for a full 60 days.

Open Account Fidelity Investments. Fidelity is one of the larger brokerage companies in the US, and as such, provides an astounding array of services and benefits to its investors. The investment firm offers advice in wealth management as well as services of a discount broker. Fidelity provides extensive educational materials for novice and professional investors alike. Fidelity's branch network has over 180 local offices. Although fees are a bit higher at Fidelity, the massive brokerage house offers investors their money's worth in options, benefits, education, research and customer service.

  • No inactivity, no account fees.
  • Great research, great customer service
  • 84 commission-free ETFs
  • Large well-established brokerage house
  • Fidelity review »

Open Fidelity Investments account today.

Open Account TradeStation. TradeStation is included in the Barron's top brokers in the 'Best for Options Traders' category. The broker offers a low trading cost in two different pricing plans such as the per-contract and per-trade plans. With its main focus on active traders, TradeStation offers one of the best trading platforms and cheapest per-share commissions to active traders. Its one of the best in the industry trading platforms is fast and highly customizable. Barron's said: "When it comes to trading tools, the sky is the limit at TradeStation."

  • Great commissions for frequent traders
  • Trading community
  • A wide array of investing options, powerful trading platform and research tools
  • TradeStation review »

Trade with TradeStation. Get up to $1,500 in Commission Rebates

Open Account Charles Schwab. A wide selection of investment products, great research, customer support and in-person guidance are the strongest advantages of Charles Schwab. Schwab received 4 stars in the Barron's 'Best for Long-Term Investing' category this year. The broker requires a $1,000 initial deposit to open a brokerage or an IRA account. Great selections of mutual funds and commission-free ETFs are available. The cost of mutual funds that are not on the broker's list of commission-free funds is the highest among major competitions. Advanced trading platforms are available to all customers. However, people new to trading might find those quite intimidating.

  • Great customer service via email, phone or chat.
  • Excellent research, sophisticated trading platforms, great customer service
  • No fee banking (checking, savings, debit cards)
  • Charles Schwab review »

Open Charles Schwab account today.

Open Account Etrade is a well-established brokerage with a wide selection of investments. It charges a flat $9.99 fee for each stock or ETF trade. Unlike TD Ameritrade, Etrade charges a steep fee for its advanced trading platform. The broker offers futures and forex; however, you need to open separate accounts for trading any of the two. Etrade has 30 branches in 17 states across the country for personalized help and one-on-one guidance. A lot of tools and educational content are available at the website at no cost.

  • No inactivity or maintenance fees, no-fee IRAs
  • Over 100 commission-free ETFs
  • Wide variety of investing options, good customer service
  • Etrade review »

Open Etrade account today.

Open Account USAA Investments is a well-established brokerage that is committed to providing good investment services, loyalty, integrity and honesty to the military members and the general public. The brokerage would be a good choice for investors who have low capital to trade with. Low-volume, fairly active traders and high net worth investors ($50,000+) can benefit from the USAA's Platinum member fee schedule. In J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study, the company ranked higher than Scottrade, the No. 1 in the survey. However, it was not included in the final rankings because it is "open only to U.S. military personnel and their family members," stated the JDPower.com. Nevertheless, a full range of USAA self-directed investments and wealth management services are available to the general public as well.

  • No account set up, maintenance or inactivity fees, no-fee IRAs
  • Low-cost trading for active investors or accounts with $50,000+ in total assets
  • A wide selection of investments, competitive rates on banking services
  • USAA Investments review »

Open a new USAA brokerage account.

Open Account Motif Investing provides a low investment commission on a basket consisting of up to 30 stocks or ETFs in a particular sector. The trading platform has lots of visual information, step-by-step instructions and descriptions, and is very simple to use for investors of any level, including those people who are just starting with investing. The broker does not charge inactivity or any other account fees and offers no-fee IRA accounts. The brokerage was ranked the №.1 Most Innovative Company of 2015 in Personal Finance by Fast Company.

  • Low cost flat-rate trading commissions
  • No minimum initial deposit, no annual or set up fees
  • Innovative way to invest and diversify a portfolio
  • Community of investors
  • Motif Investing review »

Motif Investing. Start Trading and Get Up to $150

The Internet has provided a wide array of options for investors and traders. Equity and fixed income investing have become cheaper, more efficient, and in real-time.

Learning about and understanding the most important criteria for you as an investor can help you select the right broker for your investment needs.

Which are the best investment firms? The answer can be very subjective. If you don't see your brokerage company on this page, please check out our extended list of top stock brokers in the United States.

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