Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, IPOs: What a dizzying array of confusing possibilities, right? The sheer conglomeration of way too many options leads me to completely sympathize with people who are too intimidated to invest. I firmly believe that self-education is key to gaining confidence—just like with anything else.
If you seek knowledge, if you take an active role in your own finances and manage as much as you possibly can on your own instead of passively letting an investment professional do everything for you you should give yourself a pat on the back. If you want to learn, your possibilities are literally limitless. But which online broker? I want you to answer one more question before that, though: What are your goals?
Without goals, how do you know what your plan is and what type of investment to dive into? Different brokers offer different products, and your ultimate goals should end up guiding the products you end up choosing in the end.
What do you want your money to do for you? Do you want to build up a secure retirement? Save some money for a vacation to Japan? Make sure you have enough for an addition for your home? All of the above? I would really recommend writing down your goals because those will be what fuels your drive and inner fire.
Rewarding yourself with something tangible at the end of all that hard work is so incredibly, incredibly amazing. It also makes you want to invest more, and more, and more, because finally, you can see what all the fuss is about. My vote for best overall happens to be TD Ameritrade for its beginner-friendly platforms. Trade Architect, Thinkorswim , and honestly, their website is an amazing platform as well, which allows you to have a range of tools at your disposal.
Now, actually opening an account is kind of fun. Some online brokers allow new clients to open an account without an initial cash deposit. Opening a few accounts with these companies will allow you to choose the one or two you like the most. That way, you can make a more educated decision about where to invest your money. However, many brokers do charge an IRA closing fee, so that can set you back if you do open accounts at more than one location.
Even Warren Buffett had to learn and teach himself along the way. This publicly listed discount broker, which is in existence for over four decades, is service-intensive, offering intuitive and powerful investment tools.
Especially, with equity investing, a flat fee is charged, with the firm claiming that it charges no trade minimum, no data fees, and no platform fees. Though it is pricier than many other discount brokers, what tilts the scales in its favor is its well-rounded service offerings and the quality and value it offers its clients.
If investors are on the hunt for a bargain broker, Ally Invest could be the one. With low commissions across the board, Ally Invest formerly TradeKing stops potential investors in their tracks with its especially low mutual fund commissions. Fidelity has unmatched market research. The company uses the most providers to customize which research data is appropriate for the investor. Fidelity is best used for an experiecned trader who is willing to invest and make a minimum 36 trades per quarter.
Benzinga is a fast-growing, dynamic and innovative financial media outlet that empowers investors with high-quality, unique content. Login Email Password Forgot your password? Best Online Stock Broker for Beginners. Melissa Brock Contributor, Benzinga. Quick look — our favorite brokers for beginners: Why are you investing? Here are some quick tips on choosing an online broker: Full-service brokers not a discount broker are sometimes a good thing for brand new investors.
If you want to go with a discount broker right off the bat, go for it! Beware, you will pay more with a full-service broker. Do your research on the broker. What do other people say about it in forums? Frustrations with customer service? Take that to heart, and maybe even a grain of salt. Oftentimes, these online brokers serve millions of customers. Check on commissions and minimums.
Those will sometimes really eat away at your money—sometimes before you even start investing! Are there some promotions going on with certain brokerage firms? Something along those lines? Obviously, that should not be the be-all, end-all for your decision, but if you qualify, that could be a very good thing.
Different brokers offer diverse products. Along with all of the different online brokers out there, they also all offer different products, which can add to the confusion. Here are just a few products that different brokers may offer: Best For Beginner investors Advanced traders Investors who want portfolio-building advice.
Open an account securely through TD Ameritrade's website. Open an account securely through Ally Investment's website. Get started securely through TD Ameritrade's website.
Pros Superior technology No account minimum balance Excellent customer support Premier data and news partnerships. Cons Slightly higher commissions Can be for more advanced users. Get started securely through Ally Investment's website.
Pros Volume discounts available Among the lowest fees in industry Good for every experience level Excellent customer service. Get started securely through Fidelity Investments's website.
Current Promotion Commission-free trades good for 2 years. Beginner investors Advanced traders Investors who want portfolio-building advice. Active traders Beginners looking to start trading Low fees Penny stocks. Get started securely through Ally Investment's website More Details. Retirement investors Active traders Premium research Low fees No-transaction-fee mutual funds. Get started securely through Fidelity Investments's website More Details.More...