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Top Brokerage Firms

Investors in the U.S. now have many options to choose from when it comes to brokerage firms. From small brokers to large, from new entrants to old dogs, traders have a rich selection of companies that fit their particular needs. In this highly competitive market environment, brokerage firms must maximize profits in some areas while cutting fees in others to attract and keep customers. So who are the top brokerage firms in 2020? Let's take a look to find out.

Brokerage Firm Rating Stock & ETF Option Per Contract Mutual Fund Min To
Open an Account
Broker Review
Ally Invest Ally Invest rating $0 $0.50 $9.95 $0 Review
Ameritrade 4.5-star brokerage firm rating $0 $0.65 $49.99 $0 Review
Fidelity Fidelity Investments rating $0 $0.65 $49.95 $2,500 Review
Schwab Charles Schwab rating $0 $0.65 $49.95 $1,000 Review
Etrade Etrade brokerage firm rating $0 $0.65 $19.99 $500 Review
IB Interactive Brokers rating $0 $0.70, min $1 $14.95 $0 Review
WeBull Webull Rating $0 $0 n/a $0 Review
M1 Finance $0 n/a n/a $0 Review
TastyWorks TastyWorks rating $0 $1, $10 max, $0 to close n/a $0 Review
TradeStation TradeStation rating $0 $0.50 $14.95 $0 Review
ZacksTrade ZacksTrade rating $1.00+ $0.75 $27.50 $2,500 Review
Vanguard Vanguard brokerage company rating $0 $1 $20 $1,000 Review
Chase 3-star brokerage firm rating $0 $0 $0 $0 Review
Merrill Edge 3.5-star brokerage firm rating $0 $0.65 $19.95 $0 Review
Wellstrade WellsTrade brokerage firm rating $0 $0.75 $35 $1,000 Review
Robinhood 3-star brokerage firm rating $0 $0 $0 $0 Review
USAA USAA Investments rating $0 $0.75 $45 $0 Review
Sofi Sofi Invest Rating $0 n/a n/a $0 Review
ChoiceTrade ChoiceTrade Review $0 $0.40 $25 $0 Review
Investrade $0 $0.10 $5 $500 Review
Lightspeed 3-star brokerage firm rating $4.50 $0.60 n/a $5,000 Review
Sogotrade 3-star brokerage firm rating $4.88 $0.50 $15 $0 Review
StockPile $0.99 n/a n/a $0 Review
Speedtrader 2-star brokerage firm rating $4.49 $0.40 n/a $0 Review
Trading Block 3-star brokerage firm rating $5+ $0.50 $30 $2,000 Review

The Best Brokerage Firms On The List

Coming in at 4½ out of 5 stars the best brokerage firms in 2020 are TD Ameritrade and Ally Invest. TD Ameritrade is a well-known, established and heavily-advertised online broker. With 12 million customers, the company is among the biggest brokerages in the U.S.

TD Ameritrade has no minimum opening deposit, which gives investors a great opportunity to explore the broker's trading platform and other features before committing any money. The broker offers the best in the industry trading platform called Thinkorswim at no charge to all customers. New investors can start investing with the broker's website-based trading platform and move up to either of TD Ameritrade's two advanced trading platforms as soon as their trading skills improve.

Free advanced trading tools, great customer support, personalized service at branches, a broad set of instruments, including great selections of mutual funds as well as the safety and security of a large company make TD Ameritrade stand out among other investment companies on the list. TD Ameritrade is a top brokerage firm for long-term investors and novices. Also, it ranks among the best stock brokers for in-person service and for options traders. Learn more about TD Ameritrade »

Ally Invest is another high-rated brokerage firm that does not require a minimum investment to open an account and provides an opportunity to explore their tools at no charge. This company offers some of the lowest commissions on stocks, ETF's and options. Mutual fund commissions are the lowest among the largest discount brokers. Ally Invest gets top marks for a history of excellent customer service, and for its trading platform Ally Invest LIVE that is fully customizable and user friendly. Learn more about Ally Invest»


Best Brokerage Firm


At the second and the third place on the list, are two big-name companies which are offering services of both a traditional full-service brokerage house and a discount broker. Rated four and half stars, these companies are Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab. Customers receive more personalized services and some features that are not available at other broker dealers. Buy-and-hold investors and those who prefer a more personalized approach will be satisfied. The two companies offer advanced trading platforms for active investors.

Other Brokerage Firms

Further down the list, there are TradeStation and Interactive Brokers — highly rated brokers catering to experienced and active traders. These companies offer low commissions, advanced trading platforms and access to international markets. With main focus on high-volume frequent traders, TradeStation now requires no minimum deposit to open an account. TradeStation's direct-access trading platform is highly customizable and one of the best in the industry. Interactive Brokers was the cheapest online broker for occasional and frequent traders before Firstrade lowered its cost to $0.

Further down, Merrill Edge offers flat-rate commissions, has no minimum funding or balance requirements and no maintenance or inactivity fees for its taxable brokerage or IRA accounts. The broker offers mediocre services in comparison with the leading brokerage firms. However, current Bank of America customers might find Merrill Edge services very convenient.

Wells Fargo's self directed brokerage firm — WellsTrade — has average commissions, poor trading tools and some fees that are not charged by many other competitors. On the bright side, the brokerage offers good banking services.

USAA Investments moved down a few spots on the list. The brokerage offers good investment services but is falling behind competitors in some important areas. The firm's fees are clear and straightforward but trading tools are behind the industry's standards.

Even lower is SpeedTrader which is focusing on active traders. Advanced trading platforms are offered for high fees. No investment research is provided. The broker is one of the few to still charge commissions on stocks and ETF's.

Final Thoughts

Which brokerage company is the best for a particular investor ultimately depends on many factors. Firms with no minimum deposit requirement, such as Ally Invest and Firstrade, would be a good choice for investors who have low capital to invest. Investors who trade frequently should consider TD Ameritrade or Etrade for their advanced tools. Traders who need good customer service and have at least $2,500 to deposit can look to Fidelity or Charles Schwab for some extra guidance.


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