Best Brokerage Firms For Beginners

Top online brokers with extensive research and great educational tools for beginner investors and new traders.

Investing can be intimidating to those of us who have no experience. Picking stocks and mutual funds, reading charts, diversifying a portfolio, and managing accounts can be overwhelming for somebody who is just getting started. The cost of choosing a brokerage company that is easy-to-use and helpful to new investors can be significant - especially for those novice investors who can put broker's advice, lessons and support to work over a very long periods of time.

Open Account TradeKing brokerage firm rating

  • Stocks & ETFs: $4.95 or $3.95 for high net worth or active traders
  • Options: $4.95 + $0.65 per contract or $3.95 + $0.50 per contract for high net worth or active traders
  • Mutual Funds: $9.95

Minimum to open: $0 for a cash account, $0 for an IRA.
Investments: Stocks, ETFs, Options, Mutual Funds, Bonds, CDs, Treasuries, Forex.

  • Very low trading commissions
  • Excellent customer support via email, phone and chat
  • Beginners-friendly trading platform
  • Extensive educational resources
  • No minimum deposit to open
  • $100 in free trading commissions with deposits $1+

Pricing on Ally Invest is some of the best in the business. There is no minimum to open an account. There are no hidden fees. Stocks and ETFs can be traded for just $4.95. What may be most important for the new investors is the education center Ally Invest provides, which allows users to gain more knowledge, and research strategies for investing. There is even a section dedicated to “Rookies” where beginners can get the basics on everything from bonds to options trading strategies.

Open an Ally Invest account.

Ally Invest Review »

Open Account 4.5-star brokerage firm rating

  • Stocks & ETFs: $6.95
  • Options: $6.95 + $0.75 per contract
  • Mutual Funds: $49.99

Minimum to open: $0 for a cash account, $2,000 for an IRA.
Investments: Stocks, Options, ETFs, Bonds, CDs, Mutual Funds, Futures, Forex.

  • An average trading commissions
  • Great customer support
  • In-person guidance at branches
  • A vast selection of mutual funds, including over 2,600 commission-free NTF funds
  • No cost IRAs

Out of all the names on this list, TD Ameritrade is the most well-known for those with little to no investing experience. Being a bank and financial institution with branches all across the eastern part of the US and Canada, TD Ameritrade will be a more reassuring place to do business for those who are intimidated by online-only options. There is a wide array of investment options which even includes preferred stock and money market accounts. Additionally, the broker provides over 100 commission-free ETFs which is a great added bonus for investors.

The Thinkorswim Trading Platform at TD Ameritrade has received multiple awards on its usability and was rated the № 1 trading platform by Barron’s. Users are also able to stream CNBC Plus via live video while looking up trade research and analysis simultaneously. The combination of high tech and professional grade research tools with a long history in the brokerage industry make TD Ameritrade a solid choice for any beginner investor.

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

TD Ameritrade Review »

Open Account Scottrade brokerage firm rating

  • Stocks & ETFs: $6.95
  • Options: $6.95 + $0.70 per contract
  • Mutual Funds: $17

Minimum to open: $2,500 for a cash account, $0 for an IRA.
Investments: Stocks, ETFs, Options, Mutual Funds, Bonds, CDs, Treasuries, OTS Stocks.

  • An average trading commissions
  • Great customer support
  • In-person guidance at branches
  • A vast selection of mutual funds, including over 2,600 commission-free NTF funds
  • No cost IRAs

Consistently rated as one of the online stock brokers year after year, Scottrade combines the convenience of an online broker with the comfort of a local business, providing over 500 branches across the entire US. Firm's selection on mutual funds cannot be beat, with over 14,500 to choose from. Almost all other forms of investments are available to be bought and sold on the platform as well. The website and mobile platform are not flashy, but easy to navigate and pick up quickly for those who are just starting out.

Open Scottrade account today.

Scottrade Review »