Top online discount brokerage firms with local offices/branches for personal guidance and investing advice.

Today the majority of the largest, solid brokerage firms offer clients one-on-one meetings with investment experts at no charge at their local branches. Moreover, some of the companies go even further by organizing educational seminars and live trading workshops at offices. Brokers provide customers in-person service, meetings with investment professional as well as other financial services at their local branches. All brokers listed below are rated the best in the category for in-person service by Barron's in 2016.

Best Brokers For In-Person Service: TD Ameritrade

4.5-star brokerage firm rating

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

Open an account: Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.

TD Ameritrade belongs to the largest trusted U.S. brokerage firms with a long history in the industry. The broker offers in-person personal investment assistance at its local offices, which is a great benefit to customers who prefer a personal touch. In 2016, TD Ameritrade ranks in the category Barron's best brokers for in-person service.

TD Ameritrade has more than 100 branches located in 34 states across the United States. Offering education, guidance, and support, TD Ameritrade's experts commit themselves to helping customers confidently take control of client's financial life. TD Ameritrade has a wide offering, including futures, forex, options, cash management, and retirement products. The broker offers courses at the beginner, advanced, and expert levels on a variety of financial topics, provides in-depth research and the best in the industry powerful trading platform at no cost.

Additionally, having great banking products such as checking accounts and credit cards with your brokerage company is always nice.

TD Ameritrade does not require the minimum investment to open a cash account. However, the broker requires a $2,000 initial investment for IRAs.

TD Ameritrade review »


Best Brokers For In-Person Service: Scottrade

Scottrade brokerage firm rating
  • Stocks & ETFs: $6.95
  • Options: $6.95 + $0.70 per contract
  • Mutual Funds: $17

Open an account: Scottrade

In late October 2016, TD Ameritrade announced an agreement to acquire Scottrade. TD's purchase of Scottrade is expected to close in the second half of fiscal 2017. Meanwhile, both brokerage houses continue offering the highest possible brokerage services to their customers.

Once again this year Scottrade is among the best five Barron's brokers for in-person service. Consistently rated as one of the best online brokers year after year, Scottrade combines the convenience of an online broker with the comfort of a local business. The firms has the largest branch network in the United States among online investment companies. In-person help and guidance, live seminars and workshops on investing are available at over 500+ local Scottrade offices.

In addition, Scottrade offers a free, no-obligation Portfolio Review service with investment experts at its branches. Any Scottrade's customers are qualified for the free portfolio review, which is a comprehensive analysis of an entire client portfolio, including financial accounts held at different places.

Scottrade requires an initial deposit of $2,500 to open an account. It does not require a a minimum deposit to open an IRA account.

Scottrade review »


Best Brokers For In-Person Service: Merrill Edge

3.5-star brokerage firm rating

  • Stocks & ETFs: $6.95
  • Options: $6.95 + $0.75 per contract
  • Mutual Funds: $19.99

Open an account: Open an account with Merrill Edge.

Merrill Edge offers a wide selection of investment choices that include self-directed accounts that are available online and Merrill Edge Advisory Center accounts that are available at select Bank of America financial centers across the country.

This year Merrill Edge is on the top of the Barron's category the best brokers for in-person service. As Barron's says, "Merrill Edge, with its parent Bank of America, is positioning itself as a one-stop financial shopping center. You’ll find financial advisors in most bank branches who can help open an account in a few minutes." However, the broker offers mediocre services in terms of trading experience and technology in comparison with the leading companies.

Merrill Edge review ».

There is no minimum funding level to open a Merrill Edge cash account.


Best Brokers For In-Person Service: Charles Schwab

4-star brokerage firm rating

  • Stocks & ETFs: $4.95
  • Options: $4.95 + $0.65 per contract
  • Mutual Funds: $76 to buy, $0 to sell

Open an account: Open an account with Charles Schwab.

For one-on-one help and guidance Charles Schwab's specialist are available at over 300 branches across the country. Clients who are interested in improving their knowledge in finance and investing can attend free investment workshops at Schwab's offices. Live educational events and workshops are offered daily at local Schwab's offices.

At Charles Schwab, a $1,000 initial deposit is required to open an account.

Charles Schwab review »


Best Brokers For In-Person Service: Fidelity Investments

4-star brokerage firm rating

  • Stocks & ETFs: $4.95
  • Options: $4.95 + $0.65 per contract
  • Mutual Funds: $49.95

Open an account: Open an account with Fidelity Investments.

Fidelity's branch network has over 180 local offices. The investment firm provides in-person help and advice to investors to all of its customers, experienced investors or for those who just starting out. Free seminars are offered at local offices to provide clients with the guidance and knowledge they need to help reach investment goals. Although fees are a bit high at Fidelity, the massive brokerage offers investors their money’s worth in options, benefits, education, research, customer service and ease-of-use.

A minimum deposit of $2,500 is required to open a cash account. There is no initial funding level for IRA accounts.

Fidelity review »



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