is a veteran in the discount broker niche after more than 30 years in business. They’ve gained a consistent reputation for having an insanely high level of customer satisfaction. They offer a wide range of investment vehicles and personal support at 496 branches across the U.S.
What they offer: $7 trades, fast executions, low margin rates, mobile trading tools, and the highest level of customer satisfaction we’ve seen. Especially good for their no fee IRA accounts.
- High investor satisfaction.
- Scottrade Mobile for mobile research & trading access.
- $500 minimum to join.
- Access to wide variety of international investments.
- Low margin rates.
- Separate platforms for trading stocks and options.
- Scottrader & ScottradeELITE software is not mac compatible.
- No LiveChat feature.
- No FOREX trading access.
The Verdict: Scottrade offers a very competitively priced service and it seems everyone who uses them absolutely loves them. $7 trades aren’t the cheapest around, but expect them to make up for it in service. read more
TD Ameritrade has been around for more than 35 years, and has solidified a reputation as one of the best, if not the best option for self-directed investors and traders. They placed just a small fraction of a point behind the #1 rated broker (TradeStation) in Barron’s 2011 review. With the recent platform integration of last years #1 ranked brokerage (thinkorswim), we fully expect them to be sitting in the top spot next year. read more
OptionsHouse, LLC was founded in 2005 and is owned by PEAK6 Investments, a market maker that has been in the options and derivatives business for years. At $4.75 for stock trades, they come in at a slightly lower price point than most brokers, and their options trading tools are second to none (Evidence: for the past 3 years, they have been ranked “Best for Options Traders” by Barron’s Annual Broker Survey). read more
has only been around since December 2005, and they’ve wasted no time carving out a reputation as a serious power player in the discount broker niche. They have recently been setting the pace for innovation in the online broker space, and late last year they merged with another leader in the social trading sphere, Zecco Trading. They have also recently expanded their already formidable free education resources, including video tutorials, live webinars, iPhone and Android apps, and options playbook for all levels of traders.
What they offer: Ultra-low commissions, top rated customer service (Smart Money, The Wall Street Journal magazine ranked them #1 as of June last year). TradeKing is known for it’s slick trading platform, great research tools, mobile trading access, and arguably the best options trading tools around. Also, they now offer 50 currency pairs, and the ability to trade gold and silver in real time. read more
optionsXpress just celebrated their 10 year anniversary last year, and looking back, it’s clear they’ve wasted no time climbing to the very top of several broker ratings (including ours here at the Online Broker Review). Other review boards that have awarded them the top spot in the past include Barrons, Forbes and Kipplingers. Originally they focused solely on option trading, but now offer a much wider variety of investment vehicles including stocks, mutual funds, futures, and fixed income investments. read more
has been around since 1985 and have watched more than a few brokers come and go. They have recently updated their platform to provide a more robust service to their customers, but do they still command a place among the best in the eyes of investors? Read on to find out…
What they offer: $6.95 per trade, no fee IRA accounts, education savings plans, wide selection of mutual funds, service in English and Chinese (Cantonese & Mandarin), new mobile trading apps and social media features. Member of FINRA & SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation). International accounts are available for some countries outside the U.S., but not for Canadians right now. read more
As of August 2011, thinkorswim has been integrated with TD Ameritrade. All new accounts will be opened through TD Ameritrade. All 250,000 thinkorswim account holders will also now sign in through TD Ameritrade’s website. Therefore, our thinkorswim review and TD Ameritrade review have also been integrated into one comprehensive review. Just hit the link below to read the review. read more
has been around since October 2008 and is one of the newest competitors in the discount broker world. The service is owned by financial media company optionMONSTER, a company that publishes financial market analysis and commentary. You might be familiar with the optionMONSTER co-founders Jon Najarian and Pete Najarian, or Dirk Mueller. The Najarian brothers are regular contributors to CNBC, Pete is on Fast Money all the time. Look for big things from tradeMONSTER in the next few years as they grow in popularity among advanced investors.
What they offer: Mid range prices, powerful options trading tools, innovative browser based platform, the ability to open a practice account and use all their advanced features for free, and top notch options trading tools (see below). They have recently added mobile trading to their list of features. read more
Quick Reference: If you’re searching for an up-to-date Questrade referral code, use the code QUESTRADER to get $50 in free trades (Click here to activate)
Questrade has been around since 1999 and is holding a strong position as Canada’s fastest growing online discount broker. They’ve recently been exploding in popularity in Canada, where the competition for online discount brokers is still relatively low. On a side note, the myQuestrade platform underwent a pretty major overhaul in early 2011, adding features like account activity, balances and positions, and a redesign of the platform that makes it more intuitive to navigate and manage your account. read more
ETRADE is a pioneer in the discount brokerage market. They’ve been around since 1982, and are arguably the most popular and well known of all online brokers. Over the years they’ve continued to impress the pundits and regularly receive awards in excellence from the major reviewers like Smart Money and Barron’s. read more