Compare Online Stock Trading

Learn how our experts identify and compare the essential factors of online stock trading to find the best option for you. From investment products and fees and costs to mobile tools and customer support, we research everything you need to know to make a decision.
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How we Compare Online Stock Trading

Investment Products - 25%
Fees and Costs - 15%
Trading Tools - 20%
Account Information - 10%
Financial Services - 10%
Mobile Tools - 10%
Customer Support - 10%

Investment Products Compared

This refers to the number and variety of investment options available. More investment options simply translates to more opportunities to grow your portfolio. Standard options include stocks or mutual funds. Also look for access to other investment options, such as Future Markets, Bonds or Foreign Exchange, which could be a good way for those interested in diversifying their investment portfolio or those exploring other investment options.

  • Bonds
  • Easy to Borrow Stocks
  • Future Markets
  • Foreign Exchange
  • Stocks
  • Options
  • Mutual Funds
  • Exchange Traded funds
  • International Stock Exchange
Online Stock Trading with the Best Investment Products:  E* Trade Investment ProductsTrade Station Investment ProductsTD Ameritrade Investment Products
TD AmeritradeTrade StationE* TradeOptionsHouseFidelityScottradeCharles SchwabFirstradeOptionsXpressTradeKing
Bonds
Easy to Borrow Stocks
Future Markets
Foreign Exchange
Stocks
Options
Mutual Funds
Exchange Traded Funds
International Stock Exchange

Fees and Costs Compared

What costs are associated with making trades or program enrollment? In this section we look at fees for buying and trading stocks. Also determining fees that are charged according to the type and amount of assets traded. We believe flat-fee trades offers you the option to lock in a single rate, regardless of stock price or order size.  

  • Option trades
  • Market trades
  • Broker assisted trades
  • Futures contract fees
  • Maintenance fees
  • Minimum account balance fee
  • ACH withdrawals
  • Check withdrawals
  • Full account transfers
  • Partial account transfers
  • Telephone orders
Online Stock Trading with the Best Fees and Costs:  TD Ameritrade Fees and CostsScottrade Fees and CostsFidelity Fees and Costs

Trading Tools Compared

Trading stocks online should be an easy and seamless experience. Your trading platform should be simple enough for novice traders, while also offering advance features for seasoned traders.  Your trading tools should be robust enough to include all the features required to make informed decisions and perform a variety of transactions. Automated trading, alerts, analytics and reporting are just some of the features that make online stock trading easy. Choosing an online stock trading service with strong trading tools is essential for an active trader.

  • Alerts
  • Automated trading
  • Analysis research reports
  • Virtual trading
  • Level II quotes
  • Options tools
  • Quick order entry
  • Real-time charts
  • Real-time quotes
  • Watch lists
Online Stock Trading with the Best Trading Tools :  OptionsHouse Trading Tools Trade Station Trading Tools OptionsXpress Trading Tools
TD AmeritradeTrade StationE* TradeOptionsHouseFidelityScottradeCharles SchwabFirstradeOptionsXpressTradeKing
Alerts
Automated Trading
Analysis Research Reports
Virtual Trading
Level II Quotes
Options Tools
Quick Order Entry
Real-Time Charts
Real-Time Quotes
Watch Lists

Account Information Compared

Get real-time updates on the status of your account balances and reports. Stay informed on how your investments are doing by getting real-time data. This gives you the ability to create reports to study how your investments are performing.

  • Account balances
  • Account history
  • Order status
  • Portfolio planner
Online Stock Trading with the Best Account Information:  Scottrade Account InformationTradeKing Account InformationE* Trade Account Information
TD AmeritradeTrade StationE* TradeOptionsHouseFidelityScottradeCharles SchwabFirstradeOptionsXpressTradeKing
Account Balances
Account History
Order Status
Portfolio planner

Financial Services Compared

Many online stock trading companies give you the option to link your trading account to your bank accounts, credit cards and debit cards, so you won't miss out on that opportunity that is too good to resist while your funds are being transfered. Additionally, some companies offer helpful financial planning tools to help you manage your accounts and plan for you future, for example retirement planning and wealth management tools.

  • Banking services
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Retirement planning
  • Wealth assessment tools
  • Account security service
  • Asset protection
Online Stock Trading with the Best Financial Services:  Fidelity Financial ServicesFirstrade Financial Services
TD AmeritradeTrade StationE* TradeOptionsHouseFidelityScottradeCharles SchwabFirstradeOptionsXpressTradeKing
Banking Services
Credit Card
Debit Card
Retirement Planning
Wealth assessment tools
Account security service
Asset protection

Mobile Tools Compared

Online stock trading platforms with mobile device compatibility allows clients to quickly and easily make transactions on their smartphone or tablets. With mobile devices growing capabilities, it is now possible to view your account and make trades anywhere and anytime.   

  • Mobile alerts
  • Mobile deposits
  • Mobile trading

 

Online Stock Trading with the Best Mobile Tools:  E* Trade Mobile ToolsFidelity Mobile ToolsTrade Station Mobile Tools
TD AmeritradeTrade StationE* TradeOptionsHouseFidelityScottradeCharles SchwabFirstradeOptionsXpressTradeKing
Mobile alerts
Mobile deposits
Mobile trading

Customer Support Compared

  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Live chat
  • 24/7 support
Online Stock Trading with the Best Customer Support:  OptionsXpress Customer SupportOptionsHouse Customer Support

Full Online Stock Trading Comparison

Investment ProductsFees and CostsTrading Tools Account InformationFinancial ServicesMobile ToolsCustomer Support
TD Ameritrade Online Stock Trading9.010.09.010.09.08.07.5
Trade Station Online Stock Trading9.07.010.010.05.010.07.5
E* Trade Online Stock Trading10.03.09.010.09.010.07.5
OptionsHouse Online Stock Trading7.05.012.010.09.08.08.0
Fidelity Online Stock Trading8.08.07.010.010.010.07.5
Scottrade Online Stock Trading7.09.09.010.08.08.07.5
Charles Schwab Online Stock Trading7.07.09.010.09.010.07.5
Firstrade Online Stock Trading7.06.08.010.010.010.07.5
OptionsXpress Online Stock Trading8.05.010.010.01.010.010.0
TradeKing Online Stock Trading6.03.07.010.09.09.07.0
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FAQ

How does Online Stock Trading work?

In order to make a trade on the stock exchange, your trade must be made by a licensed broker. Before the internet, the only way to invest in the stock market was to work directly with a broker, who would manage your account, make trades for you and make suggestions on investments that may interest you. While some investors still choose to work with experienced brokers, other investors prefer to managing their portfolios and accounts themselves. This is where Online Stock Trading comes in.

Online stock trades still go through a licensed broker, but the fee is significantly discounted. The broker, instead of providing guidance and managing clients, is now able to make more trades, and therefore collect more fees, and the investor is able to pay less to make a trade. It’s a win-win for all parties.

Is Online Stock Trading risky?

With almost all investments there is some risk involved, and the same is true for investing in the stock market. However, just because there’s risk, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. When it comes to investing in stocks and bonds, there are different types of investments and trading styles, which have varying levels of risk involved.

If you are looking to slowly build your portfolio over time, there are a number of low-risk options that can help you accomplish this goal. This type of trading is generally considered a great way to invest for the long-term and is a popular and extremely common way to invest. On the other hand, if you are looking to make money fast, the bigger the risk, the better chance for a big payout, or a big loss. This type of trading is not for everyone and has made a lot of people very rich, or very poor. No matter what kind of investment you make, make sure you understand the risk involved and are comfortable with the consequences before you put money down.