Best Online Stock Brokers

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Contributor, Benzinga
Updated: September 21, 2022

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Quick Look: Best Online Stock Brokers

Given how easy it is to find an online stock broker, determining which online broker is best for you can take some research. You can choose best stock broker from this 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. 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.

Best Online Stock Brokers and Platforms

Once you know what you’re looking for in an online broker, 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. 

1. 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 share of stock for successfully opening an account determined by random selection using Webull’s lottery system.

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2. 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, 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.

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3. eToro

eToro, renowned for its crypto offerings, also offers stock and ETF 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
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    Benzinga is compensated if you access certain of the products or services offered by eToro USA LLC and/or eToro USA Securities Inc. Any testimonials contained in this communication may not be representative of the experience of other eToro customers and such testimonials are not guarantees of future performance or success.

4. 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.

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5. 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.

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6. Interactive Brokers

Interactive Broker’s award-winning platform and services were designed with professional international traders in mind. You get market access 24 hours a day, 6 days a week, and can trade in 135 different markets in 33 countries with 23 currencies via this truly interactive broker. 

The company’s trading platforms include a basic Client Portal, its flagship platform, the Trader Workstation (TWS) and a mobile application. The IBKR Application Programming Interface (API) is available in Excel and 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.

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7. Robinhood

Robinhood was among the 1st online brokers to offer commission-free trading in penny stocks, trending stocks, ETFs and options. As a pioneer of the free trade model, this broker also allows action on select cryptocurrencies via its platform in some U.S. states. Plus, the company has entered the stock market with its own ticker (NASDAQ: HOOD).

The broker’s website provides a simple and web-based investing platform, in addition to its flagship mobile app that lets you access price charts and some other tools. In addition to that, Robinhood has moved into the options trading market, potentially attracting some seasoned traders.

Although Robinhood requires a $2,000 minimum for its Robinhood Gold account, its standard account has no minimum deposit and will suit beginners with limited funds. Fractional shares are also supported by this online stock broker, giving you spending power even if you have a small budget.

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8. Cobra Trading

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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.

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9. Moomoo

Moomoo is a subsidiary of Futu Holdings, and it serves as a quality alternative to Robinhood. When you register for an account with Moomoo, you can avail yourself of several options, including:

  • Free Level 2 quotes
  • Advanced charting
  • Smart orders
  • Trading from 4 AM to 8 PM EST
  • Multi-market quotes
  • 5 free stocks when you register for an account

Reach out to the Moomoo customer support team by submitting a ticket or you can review the FAQs for more information or to get your questions answered. The site also helps you learn more about trading, research your investments and maximize your profits.

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The best stock trading platform should dovetail with your needs and investment goals. Moreover, a brokerage firm should offer a level of service that helps you feel comfortable when you spend your money. Plus, you want the site to have all the information you need.

For example, the site should explain an options trade so that you understand what that sort of investment entails. You should also expect your online trading account to link back to your dashboard where you can quickly check your account stats, read the news, etc.

After you’ve researched and selected a stockbroker, you can usually open a paper trading or demo account without a deposit. This lets you practice and check out the broker’s services and online platform. This is the perfect time to invest in something like a mutual fund if you’re unfamiliar, or you may want to try unique products that you want to study. Without question, this is one of the biggest advantages of an online stock brokerage.

Many online brokers also offer their investing services free of commissions, although other charges and inactivity fees may apply. Remember, a brokerage firm should not charge a standard trading fee that you feel cuts into your margins.

Stock Research Platforms

Stock research platforms vary in what they offer. Yes, you have a brokerage account, but you need to know what to do as an active trader, new investor or traditional broker. Some 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. 

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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions & Answers

Q
Are online stock brokers safe?
A

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.

Q
Which online broker has the lowest fees?
A

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. 

Q
Does Warren Buffet use a stock broker?
A

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.

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