Given how easy it is to find online stock brokers, determining which online broker is best for you can take some research. You can choose the best stock brokers from this list and find the best trading platform for you. From penny stocks to an ETF, you want online trading to be as user-friendly as possible.
Remember, however, that the best brokers should match your needs. Low commissions are nice, but the trade platform that you choose must make sense, offer a margin account (if you want one) and generally support you on your investing journey.
The broker your neighbor loves may not work for you, and that is why there are several options available to you. Stock trading is subjective in many ways, and you want a trading tool, investor support and more in an online brokerage account.
15 Best Online Stock Brokers and Platforms
Once you know what you’re looking for online stock brokers, you can make an informed decision on which stock broker to choose. For example, if you plan on making investments in foreign stock markets and already have considerable experience operating in the financial markets, Interactive Brokers might make a good choice. Advanced investors have specific needs, and financial products will vary from one platform to another.
- Best for Intermediate Traders: Webull
- Best for Active Investors: Moomoo
- Best for Global Traders: Interactive Brokers
- Best for Short Selling Over $25K: Cobra Trading
- Best for Non US Forex Trading: AvaTrade
- Best for Mobile Users: Plus500
- Best for Beginners: Robinhood
- Best for IPO Investing: SoFi Active Invest
- Best for Momentum Traders: CenterPoint Securities
- Best for AI Investing: Magnifi
- Best for Fund Investing: Charles Schwab
- Best for Day Traders: Mondeum Capital
- Best for Trading Ideas: Public.com
- Best for Copy Trading: eToro
- Best for Scalping: TradeZero
1. Best for Intermediate Traders: Webull
Webull offers both a mobile-based and desktop app that are highly intuitive and perfect for intermediate and advanced traders. The Webull platforms feature fundamental and technical analysis tools that include advanced charting and technical indicators.
Consumers can trade over 5,000 stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs,) stock trading or options trading on Webull’s platforms free of commissions. You can also open an account without an initial deposit and try out their platforms in a paper trading account that lets you practice without risking your money.
You can even open a margin account where you can short stock — although you’ll be required to deposit a minimum of $2,000. In addition, Webull’s promotional offers include 3 free shares of stock for successfully opening an account determined by random selection using Webull’s lottery system.
- Large catalog of assets
- Shorting is available
- Free commissions on stocks, ETFs and options
- Low trading fees
- Platform may overwhelm beginners
2. Best for Active Investors: Moomoo
moomoo is an award-winning intuitive investment and trading platform with pro-grade, easy-to-use tools, data and insights. Offering a pro-level trading experience for traders and investors of all experience levels.
When you register for an account with moomoo, you can unlock several unique features, including:
- Real-time Level 2 stock and options market data
- Advanced technical indicators and charting too
- Smart orders
- Full extended trading from 4 AM to 8 PM EST
- Multi-market quotes
- Low fees including $0 commission on U.S. stocks and options and $0 options contract fees
- Cash sweep program
Users can reach out to the moomoo customer support team either by phone during the trading day or via email. You can also review FAQs in the Help Center for more information or to get your questions answered.
The site also helps users learn more about trading through an expansive educational resource offering, provides many pro-level research tools and features an active global community with 20M+ users worldwide.
- Free trading and low margin rates
- 5.1% APY in Cash Sweep program
- Free Level 2 data
- Advanced charting tools with 100+ indicators, 37+ drawing tools and 20 candle patterns
- Extended trading hours
- No minimum deposit to open an account
- 24/7 support
- Does not support fractional stocks or crypto
3. Best for Global Traders: Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers’ award-winning platforms and services were designed with professional and international traders in mind. Clients can trade in 90+ different markets across 200 countries and territories with 26 currencies.
The company also offers multiple trading platforms including its flagship Trader Workstation (TWS) desktop platform, a web-based Client Portal, and various mobile applications including IBKR Mobile, GlobalTrader, and IMPACT. Furthermore, the IBKR Application Programming Interface (API) is available in Excel with the powerful FIX API.
The firm’s pricing depends on whether you choose IBKR Lite or IBKR Pro, although U.S. stocks and ETFs can be traded commission-free. Because investing can be scaled to your budget, you never feel as though you’re overpaying. Plus, you get some of the lowest margin rates in the industry and a relatively high APY on uninvested cash held in your account.
- Covers most global traders
- A varying range of unique investment tools
- Low fees and unique account types
- Extensive research tools
- Low account minimum
- With such a broad scope, it could overwhelm some traders
4. Best for Short Selling Over $25k: Cobra Trading
Cobra Trading is the go-to broker for short selling with exceptional access to stock borrows and direct access routing. Cobra gives you the ability to take advantage of the best opportunities in the market. This brokerage firm has been in business for nearly 20 years and maintains the perks of a small firm.
With Cobra’s platform, you get:
- Active Trading Accounts over $25K
- Competitive Access to Short Opportunities
- Direct Access Routing
- Immediate and Available Client Service
- The DAS Investing Platform
Cobra exclusively opens and services any active brokerage account above $25K. Cobra allows you to trade in a way that a “free broker” cannot.
- While not free, the platform offers far more than a free broker
- You can take short positions more easily
- The platform is designed to take the trading volume you’re used to
- Because the platform only supports those with over $25k, you need to be prepared to start big
5. Best for Non US Forex Trading: AvaTrade
Founded in 2006, the award-winning platform AvaTrade offers traders a diverse range of assets, including more than 50 currency pairs. Moreover, you can trade stock CFDs that can further enhance your portfolio or allow you to experiment with a new market.
The broker has an in-house platform and supports several others, including MT4 and automated trading software for copy trading. The AvaTrade Web Trader platforms have 90 indicators and three chart formats for customizable platform options.
AvaTrade offers users a wide range of educational support and has a website called SharpTrader dedicated to trader education and training.
- This platform allows you to add stock CFDs to your portfolio
- There are also dozens of currency pairs if you want to match stock trading with forex
- There are plenty of indicators and technical tools you can use to make better decisions
- CFDs can be risky, and it is important that you weigh their risk against your trading strategy and the stock portfolio you wish to build
6. Best for Mobile Users: Plus500
Many people who want to get into CFDs are located in Europe where CFDs are quite popular. But, where can these traders get into CFDs of all types? Plus500 has the platform that advanced traders need to get into these assets, and it makes it very easy to both practice and trade these assets. The platform is not designed for beginners, which can be a big draw for those who are managing large portfolios and want to use CFDs to further than investments.
Yes, there are stock CFDs, but there are also CFDs for crypto, indices and forex, depending on what you prefer to trade.
- Stock CFDs are a unique asset that you can use for easy diversification
- You can also diversify amongst the CFDs you choose and manage them all in one place
- Even if you have experience with CFDs, remember that stock CFDs can be risky and confusing for even the best traders
7. Best for Beginners: Robinhood
Robinhood is a platform well known for providing easy access to the markets for all investors, allowing traders to buy and sell stocks without commission charges. Along with the concept of no-fee trading and a $0 minimum deposit, Robinhood maintains a quality mobile app that's simple, intuitive and easy to learn.
While there may not be the most powerful trading tools for advanced or professional traders, users just like you can buy and sell stocks with a few clicks. Plus, the mobile-native platform upon which the app is based allows you to jump from the browser to the app without any trouble.
To top it off, new users can even get a randomly selected free share of a major stock. You can even get a competitive APY on uninvested cash.
- Also offers access to options
- The mobile app helps you jump from desktop to mobile with ease
- Very low or no fees on most trades
- May not have the trading tools advanced investors desire
8. Best for IPO Investing: SoFi Active Invest
SoFi’s mission is to make investing as simple as possible for those using the site or the app. When you are investing with SoFi, you can gain a bit of financial independence, access a range of asset classes and centralize your finances with other items like bank accounts and loans, mortgages, auto financing and more.
When you start with SoFi you can choose between automated or self-directed investing in IPOs, crypto, stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and more. There are several educational tools from which you may learn, and you may even choose to add SoFi local events to your calendar.
In short, SoFi gives you all the financial options you need so that you can better yourself. All you need to do is download the app and take a look. You can fund your account when ready and let the app do the work or choose the best assets for your portfolio using SoFi’s unique blend of access and research tools.
- SoFi active investing allows you to build your own portfolios and even include IPOs as you see fit
- Because there are so many asset classes to choose from, it’s much easier to build a truly diverse portfolio and achieve your financial goals
- There is an option to use robo investing if you feel the automated system is a better choice for you
- Many investors may feel that the SoFi platform, while robust, is a little too complex for their investing needs
9. Best for Momentum Traders: CenterPoint Securities
CenterPoint Securities is a brokerage that offers remarkable tools for intermediate to advanced traders, high-volume traders, momentum traders and short sellers. When you short-sell with CenterPoint, you can take advantage of a massive short inventory and advanced order routing so that your orders process as quickly as possible.
The platform allows you to trade in any area you like, helping you engage with the strategies you’ve chosen so that you the results you want. Because the platform is so easy to use and helpful for momentum traders, it can be the perfect place for anyone to start. Plus, you can learn about trading on the platform as you go.
There are discounts available to active traders, and the customer service team is very responsive. Try a Pro, Web or Mobile account, and use the built-in scanners, custom alerts and short locates tools so that you can make wise decisions and stay on top of your portfolio.
- Built and designed for active traders
- Unique scanners and custom alerts
- Other options like a large short inventory and advanced order routing
- May not prove to be as affordable as some other platforms
10. Best for AI Investing: Magnifi
Magnifi is a marketplace that allows you, as an investor, to use common brokerage tools and AI to make the best decisions for your portfolio. Because you can pull up all the information you need on a given asset, you can easily invest in the assets that will give you the results you deserve and better match your strategy.
Search for the investment options that meet your needs, invest in specific categories or scan for assets in a price range that’s affordable for you.
Best for long-term investors and those who require a bit of client support, you can also learn more about investing from this platform, utilize the AI-powered investing assistant, enjoy commission-free investing, try the mobile app and take advantage of over 15,000 possible investment options. This makes Magnifi a good place to trade for both seasoned and novice traders.
- Over 15,000 assets to choose from
- Easy access to asset information
- Relatively affordable fees
- May not serve investors in short-term positions
11. Best for Fund Investing: Charles Schwab
Like most of its peers, Schwab charges $0 commission for online stocks and ETF trading and requires no account or trade minimum. There are also no hidden fees. However, there are charges for trading options contracts. A broad array of multiple asset types are available on the platform. These include stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, options, futures, IRAs, custodial accounts and trusts.
Schwab's low-cost ETF and index investing is one of the largest in the market. Investors big on mutual funds can leverage the platform's diverse list of OneSource no-commission, no-load mutual funds and Schwab's branded low-cost mutual funds. The platform offers fractional shares. So with as little as $5, you can leverage Schwab’s Stock Slices to buy into S&P 500 stocks. In addition, you can trade on over 30 global markets.
Whether you're a newbie or a seasoned pro, Charles Schwab's stock trading app has you covered. With the app, you can get real-time quotes, place trades, create a stock watchlist and view your positions and balances. You can also view market indices, breaking news and in-depth charts. The Schwab Assistant, one of the app's top-shelf features, allows you to place trades, get quotes, set alerts and receive clarifications on investment questions.
Equity research reports are available from major providers like Argus and Credit Suisse. You can access daily market reports from Morningstar Morning Notes and Market Edge Daily Commentary. Schwab offers Screener on its web-based platforms, which is highly adapted for mobile views. The Schwab basic account requires zero minimum and is ideal for beginners. For passive investors, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios offers one of the best robo-advisors.
Charles Schwab also offers customer service via 24/7 live chat and phone support. You can also visit one of its over 300 offices for phone support. Phone inquiries are resolved within a minute and chat almost immediately.
- Established, household name
- An excess of unique market news updated every day
- Can support both beginners and advanced traders
- Expanse of the platform may be off-putting for some traders
12. Best for Day Traders: Mondeum Capital
Mondeum Capital is a broker-dealer that helps day traders to compete in the marketplace. Mondeum provides modern technology that is paired with:
- Competitive pricing
- Quality customer care
- Functionality built specifically for self-directed active traders
- Next gen trading solutions
- Simple account onboarding
- Easy funds transfers and withdrawals
If you’re an experienced trader, you can easily open an account with Mondeum and implement your trading strategies. While Mondeum’s offering is currently limited to U.S. stocks and ETFs, it’s a great place to build a strong portfolio that’s designed for high-volume asset management. Plus, Mondeum plans to expand its offerings in the future.
- Long-term traders can easily invest here
- Simpler money management helps you access your funds easily
- Offerings will expand in the future
- The limited product offering could prove to limit the scope of your portfolio
13. Best for Trading Ideas: Public.com
Public.com is the only investing platform that lets you buy, sell, and hold stocks and ETFs alongside crypto and alternative assets—like art and collectibles. There are no account minimums, and all accounts are cash accounts—no IRA or 401(k)s at this time—which makes for simpler investing and easier decision-making.
For every stock or ETF you want to buy, you can see all the information for that asset, a chart that tracks its trajectory, and historical data that allows you to learn and understand trends. This can also include access to advanced data, custom company metrics, and expert analyst insights through their Public Premium membership. It’s all about helping you be a better investor. Public even has a social feed to help you exchange ideas and opportunities with their active community of over one million investors.
If you’re a new investor, you can choose to build your portfolio around different themes—from Green Power to Meatless Revolution, Reduce and Reuse, Water Works, Cannabiz, and Self-driving cars. They also have a ton of educational resources if you’d like to understand more about the markets and what makes them move. Just remember to only spend money you’re comfortable losing if some of those investments don’t work out.
- Themed investing can help investors stick to their principles
- You can easily mix your portfolio
- The social feed helps you form a better investment plan
- The platform may work better for newer investors
14. Best for Copy Trading: eToro
eToro, renowned for its crypto offerings, also offers stocks, ETF trading and forex trading. In addition, you can mix your stocks and ETFs into an existing cryptocurrency portfolio. The stock offering allows you to:
- Invest in full stocks or fractional shares for as little as $10
- Engage with real, experienced investors regarding strategy
- View detailed prices charts and analysis
- Pay zero commissions on stocks
- Excellent crypto offerings
- The newest investors can start small
- Low commissions help you further invest in your portfolio
- The platform is fairly complex and may prove difficult to navigate
15. Best for Scalping: TradeZero
TradeZero is a platform positioned so that it can serve all those who want the chance to trade with zero commissions, scale their portfolios and avail themselves of high-quality services. With TradeZero, you get direct market access at low to no cost, including:
- 24/7 live customer support
- Powerful mobile app
- A free version of what other brokers charge quite a lot of money for
If you step up to Zero Pro, you get more functionality, but the Zero Free dashboard is just as complex and rich with options and nuances. Review how TradeZero offers free trades and confine yourself to those securities or branch out if you like. From professionals to novices, TradeZero helps you get started, save money and increase your net worth.
Read through the FAQs to learn more, check out the Platinum service if you’re trading with over $50,000 in your account and refer a friend from a bonus or two.
- You can access enhanced trading tools for much less money
- The FAQs are quite expansive
- Choose the account type that works for you
- Some perks only available for massive accounts
Stock Research Platforms
Stock research platforms vary in what they offer. Yes, you get brokerage services already, but you need to know what to do as an active trader, new investor or traditional broker. Some online stock brokers focus on picking stocks, while others provide fundamental and technical analysis tools you can use to select your own stocks. You can review items like the expense ratio of a managed fund, weigh your investment options and commence with online trading when you’re ready.
For example, Benzinga Pro offers a wealth of news and research on its research platform. You can select from 3 subscription levels: Basic, Essential and Enterprise. Apply all the information you find to your stock trading pursuits, tracking your results so that you can create a trading plan that will take you from beginner investor to experienced investor.
With this level of information, you can trade on your retirement account, start trading stock with reserve cash or bolster your account with additional retirement funds. You don’t need to stop investing just because you stopped working.
In addition to a news feed, you can use Benzinga Pro to access watchlist alerts, a financial calendar, stock market movers, a stock screener, sentiment indicators, market signals, a squawk box and an options screener. You can also view either Nasdaq-delayed or real-time quotes depending on your subscription level. Pairing an online brokerage with this level of information can prove to be quite powerful.
This highly customizable research service keeps you connected to the financial world and even lets you interact with their newsdesk when you have any questions about current financial news. It also offers exclusive content and tips that could prove invaluable to traders.
If you haven’t tried this great Benzinga service yet, you can register for a free 2-week trial today.
Which Broker Suits You Best?
All the stockbrokers mentioned above have different features that might work better for certain people over others. A discount broker might be a good place to start with online trading. However, frequent traders may prefer a more robust brokerage that costs a little bit more. The best stock trading platform is the one that optimally fulfills your particular needs, going above and beyond a brokerage account. In short, it should always make investing easy.
Many of the best stock brokers also offer demo or paper trading accounts that let you gauge their services and platforms, so you can try them out before committing any funds. In the end, ensure that your online broker makes you feel comfortable and offers quality results.
How Quickly Can You Start Trading?
Setting foot on the path of investment can appear daunting, especially when you're pondering over the initial sum required. Wealth is not a prerequisite for investing, and you will be surprised to learn that many platforms keep their minimums low, and it is rare that you will run into investments that are set aside for accredited investors.
Embracing the right strategies helps you stay grounded with limited resources. So long as you can complete the KYC or verification process, you can get started. Some brokers are faster than others.
How Much Money Do You Need to Start?
Because you can set up an account in as little as an hour, you should decide on your budget. Yes, you must compare your budget to minimums given by your preferred online broker, but once you breeze through the verification process and spend a small amount of money, you can build your portfolio. Some platforms have no minimums at all, others have minimums as low as $10 or $100. In short, this is far less money than the thousands many people assume they will spend.
How Can You Diversify With Little Money?
Embarking on my financial journey, you will found that exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are a revelation. These funds allow investors to tap into a basket of stocks or bonds with a single transaction, thus slashing the cost of entry and enabling a slice of market diversity with far less capital than most would presume is necessary.
Peer-to-peer lending platforms also work well, presenting an alternative avenue that can add to a traditional brokerage account. In short, you want to mitigate risk, choose affordable stocks, take a look at penny stocks and try alternative investments as needed.
Choose the Best Trading Platform for You
From proper order flow to reviewing the past performance of financial assets, accessing unique financial markets, setting financial goals and obtaining advisory services, you need a trading platform that’s right for you. If you need educational content, find a broker that helps teach you about the markets. You can make better financial decisions, buy into asset classes that intrigue you or even open an individual retirement account with these brokers. To learn more about a great trading experience and more, visit Benzinga any time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are online stock brokers safe?
Duly regulated online brokers like those listed above are insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC) that protects assets held with the broker up to $500,000, including $250,000 held in cash.
Which online broker has the lowest fees?
All of the brokers mentioned above charge no commissions for U.S. stock and ETF transactions. If you plan on trading other exchange traded assets like futures and options, you might have to pay exchange-related fees.
Does Warren Buffet use a stock broker?
Warren Buffet is not a registered broker, so he and his companies must buy exchange listed stocks through a broker just like the rest of us.