If you want to invest, you will need a broker, but with so many options available, it can be challenging to choose one. When picking the best broker for you, it’s important to consider the cost to trade, the type of account you want to open, the investment options it offers, the opening investment required, the customer service it provides, and whether or not it has any promotional or introductory offers that could benefit you.
To help you find the best broker for your needs, GOBankingRates evaluated brokers based on those factors and more to determine the Best Investment Brokers overall. In addition, GOBankingRates determined the best brokerage firms in the following categories:
Among the best stock brokers out there, Ally Invest has no account minimum and low commission fees, plus you can get up to a $3,500 cash bonus and commission-free trading when you open your account. In addition, you’ll have access to the intuitive LIVE online trading platform and research tools, and Ally will credit other firms’ transfer fees up to $150.
IRA Online Savings and IRA CDs are available for both traditional and Roth IRAs with Ally Invest.
Click to see the best features to look for when choosing a broker.
Blooom is a Best Broker in the Best Robo-Advisor category. There is no account minimum when you choose Blooom as your broker, and you’ll pay a flat service fee of $10 a month. When you open an account with Blooom, you’ll get a free analysis of your 401k.
Charles Schwab swept the Best Brokers ranking, as it’s a Best Broker in every single category:
- Best Roth IRAs
- Best IRAs
- Best 401k Companies
- Best Robo-Advisors
- Best Online Brokers for Beginners
- Best Investment Brokers
Highlights of Charles Schwab’s offerings include 401k plans with no opening fee, no maintenance fee and no account minimums, and 500 commission-free online equity and options trades for two years when you open a stock brokerage account. It also provides ease of use thanks to 24/7 customer service, and access to research and education tools.
Employee Fiduciary is a Best Broker in the Best 401k Company category. A major plus of Employee Fiduciary is its advanced research and education resources. Employers who use this 401k provider will pay a $1,500 annual fee.
E-Trade has no minimum for Roth IRAs or traditional IRAs, and with either type of account you can get up to $600 plus 60 days of commission-free trades for deposits or transfers of $10,000 or more. The same rules apply to those opening stock brokerage accounts with the online brokerage.
Fidelity is a Best Broker in the overall Best Investment Brokers category. In addition, it’s a Best Broker in the Best IRAs and Best Online Stock Brokers for Beginners categories, making it a well-rounded broker for all kinds of investors.
For its IRA offerings, Fidelity is tied for lowest cost to trade and lowest minimum opening investment overall, with a $0 cost to trade and a $0 minimum. In addition, there are no brokerage fees to open an account and no annual maintenance fees.
Fidelity can also benefit new investors because it offers up to 500 free trades for two years.
M1 Finance is a Best Broker in the Best Robo-Advisors category. There are no service fees to have an account with this broker, and the account minimum is $100. It also has a premium mobile app.
Merrill Edge is a Best Broker in three categories:
With both types of IRA accounts, Merrill Edge has no service fees, and commission fees might be waived depending on your account tier. For Platinum tier clients, the commission fee is waived for 30 monthly online stock and ETF trades, and for Platinum Honors tier clients, the commission fee is waived for 100 monthly online stock and ETF trades, a benefit for anyone who is planning to do a lot of ETF investing.
Beginners looking to open a brokerage account with Merrill Edge can benefit from its $0 account minimum. And anyone who opens an IRA or other account with the brokerage can get up to $600 when they start investing.
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios is a Best Broker in the Best Robo-Advisors category thanks to its overall customer experience — which includes 24/7 access to advisors — and lack of advisory fees, commissions or account service fees. It is worth noting, however, that there is $5,000 account minimum, which might make it better suited for advanced investors.
Sharebuilder 401k is a Best Broker in the Best 401k Companies category. Employers who opt to use Sharebuilder pay a $495 one-time setup cost, plus $95 a month. Participants pay a 0.75 percent asset management fee. To find out more about your retirement plan, make sure you understand your 401k’s fee structure and investment options.
SoFi Wealth Management
SoFi Wealth Management is a Best Broker in the Best Robo-Advisors category. For the remainder of 2018, SoFi is waiving account management fees. After that, you’ll pay 0.25 percent on balances over $10,000.
TD Ameritrade made the top ranks in several of GOBankingRates’ Best Brokers rankings, including:
With TD Ameritrade, there’s no minimum to open an account. You can also trade commission-free for 60 days, and get up to $600 cash when you open a new account, all of which make it one of the best online brokerages for beginners and experienced investors alike.
T. Rowe Price
T. Rowe Price is a Best Broker in the Best 401k Companies category. Employers pay no annual fees and no set-up costs, and employees pay no participant fees when they subscribe to paperless delivery. Plus, T. Rowe Price offers a wide range of investment options: Plan sponsors can select from over 100 no-load mutual funds and common trusts, and over 5,400 non-proprietary funds in addition to a self-directed brokerage option. It also offers advanced educational resources and tools.
Ubiquity is a Best Broker in the Best 401k Companies category. Employers who use Ubiquity as their 401k provider pay $115 a month and a $495 setup fee, and there is a participant fee of $5 per month.
WiseBanyan is a Best Broker in the Best Robo-Advisors category. There are no service fees or account minimums with this broker, and you can manage investments using its mobile app.
How to Pick the Right Broker for You
Choosing the best brokerage account provider will depend on your investing goals and needs, but as a general rule, you should look for brokers that offer low trading costs and other fees, a variety of investment options, low or no minimums to invest, and readily available access to advisors and other educational resources and tools.
Click to read more about how to find a broker and start investing.
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About the Author
Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert.