Open An Online Trading Account - Our Broker Comparisons
Everyone’s heard the stories about day traders who, thanks to online brokers, are able to make more trading than they would in a full-time job. While success stories can be inspiring, the current conditions of the stock market make it more important than ever to make good decisions when investing your money.
You may want to get a full service broker who will sit down and talk with you. They charge a lot of money so if you choose to go with an online broker, there are so many choices, it’s hard to know which site to use.
Here are some comparisons of the more popular services:
After the 60-day free trial, E*Trade charges a trading fee of $9.99 per stock. While online brokering traditionally means you’ll be unassisted, E*Trade offers broker assistance for $49.99. The good news with E*Trade is that if, for some reason, you’re unable to trade for a while, the site doesn’t charge fees for inactivity. The $49.99 commission for mutual funds seems a little high, however, which is something to consider before you choose this service.
Like E*Trade, AmeriTrade offers a free 60-day trial, with a $9.99 per stock fee after the 60 days is over. With AmeriTrade, though, the $9.99 rate drops to $7.99 per stock if you make more than 150 trades per quarter. This is a plus for investors who plan to have high activity. The fee on mutual funds for AmeriTrade is only $19.99. Customers find AmeriTrade’s trading tools easier to use but AmeriTrade’s margin rates are high.
Interactive Brokers charges only $.005 per share, which can be attractive to some investors at first. But you’ll pay $10 per month unless you generate more than $30 in commissions each month. Interactive Brokers requires $10,000 minimum to open an account, which is definitely a deterrent for most stock market hobbyists. The trader tools may also be difficult for new traders to learn.
If you’re looking to trade online, research each online broker to determine the right one for you. While all sites charge a fee, your trading volume will determine which site will be the most cost-effective for your needs.