Best Discount Brokers

Best Discount Brokers 2016


Best discount brokerages in 2016. 3 top rated discount online brokers for low cost stock trading. Best discount stock brokers accounts ranked.



Optionshouse rating

Optionshouse Review

Best Discount Broker Commissions


InvestmentsCommissions
Stocks and ETFs $4.95
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $29.95
Options$4.95 + $0.50 per contract
Mutual funds $20
Futures $1.50 per contract

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, futures, ETFs
Optionshouse minimum deposit to open account $0 for cash account, $2,000 for margin account
FeesOptionshouse fees
Promotion and login linksOptionshouse login, Optionshouse promotions and Optionshouse referral

Optionshouse Advantages

  • Very low commissions
  • Free streaming quotes
  • No fee IRA accounts
  • No volume requirements, or maintenance or inactivity fees
  • Free check-writing privileges
  • Free DRIPs/Dividend Reinvestment (complete, non-fractional shares only)
  • No surcharges for large orders or extended hours trading
  • Low margin rates
  • Free virtual trading

Optionshouse Disadvantages

  • For stocks priced $2 or less that are not options eligible, add $0.005 per share for the entire order (including OTCBB, Pink Sheets)
  • Short after-hours trading: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST, instead of 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST

Best Discount Broker Review


Despite of what its name suggests - Optionshouse is not just for options traders. The company is also very popular among stock and ETF traders, and even among mutual funds investors. Optionshouse lures new customers with hard-to-beat, $4.95 per trade commission on stock and ETF trades, attractive pricing plan for option trading, and low $20 per transaction rate on no-load mutual funds. This top discount broker does not have minimum account balance, volume, or minimum number of trades requirements to get these very low commissions.

Aside from low costs, Optionshouse's other major strength is trading tools that are rated among the best in the industry. Another advantage over competitors are some of the lowest margin interest rates on borrowed money, starting from 6.75% on balances under $50K and going down to 2.25% on balances of over $1 million.

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4.5-star brokerage firm rating

TradeKing Review

Best Discount Broker Commissions


ProductPrice
Stocks and ETFs $4.95
Options $4.95 + $0.65 per contract
Mutual funds $9.95
Bonds $1 per bond with $10 minimum, $250 maximum
Treasuries commission-free
Certificates of Deposit (CDs) $24.95

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, CDs, forex, treasuries, ETFs
TradeKing minimum deposit to open account $0 for cash account, $2,000 for margin account
FeesTradeKing fees
Promotion and login linksTradeKing login, TradeKing promotions and TradeKing referral

TradeKing Advantages

  • Very low commissions
  • No minimums, or maintenance or hidden fees
  • Free real-time quotes
  • Top-rated customer service
  • Low margin rates
  • Best online investor community
  • Fee-free IRAs
  • Free DRIPs (dividend reinvestment plans)
  • Extensive educational resources
  • Low cost professional portfolio management

TradeKing Disadvantages

  • Additional $0.01 per share on the entire order for stocks priced at less than $2
  • $50 annual inactivity fee if BOTH apply to an account(s):
    • Combined account value of the household account(s) is less than $2,500
    • No commission-charged trades have been executed in the account(s) during the last 12 months
  • Short after-hours trading: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST, instead of 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST

Best Discount Broker Review


TradeKing has been one of our top ranked discount brokerage firms for the last six years. In 2016 we rated it one of the Top Brokerage Firms for individual investors. TradeKing's investment commissions remained consistently low through its ten year history: the company charges just $4.95 for stocks and ETFs, and rock bottom $9.95 for no-load mutual funds. TradeKing received lots of awards from financial magazines: Barron's magazine named it "Best for Option Traders" and among the "Best for Long-Term Investing." In Smart Money magazine's annual broker survey, it was the top rated discount brokerage firm in Customer Service.

One major disadvantage TradeKing has compared to competition is a $50 annual account inactivity fee. The fee could be easily avoided by maintaining at least $2,500 brokerage account balance or making at least one trade during a year. The broker is not the best choice for investors that want to trade stocks priced under $2.00, or trade during after hours.

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Scottrade rating

Scottrade Review

Best Discount Broker Commissions


InvestmentsCommissions
Stocks and ETFs $7
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $32
Stocks and ETFs interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system $32
Options $7 + $1.25 per contract
Mutual funds $17
CDs, OTC Secondary Corporates, OTC Secondary Municipals,
U.S. Treasury Bills, Notes, Bonds and STRIPS, New Corporate Offerings
subject to a markup or markdown
Listed Corporate Bonds $35 + $3 per bond (minimum investment $1,000)
Unit Investment Trusts (UIT) $50 liquidation fee
Foreign Stocks Transferring In or Out $60

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, CDs, munis, U.S. Treasury, Canadian and foreign stocks, ETFs
Scottrade minimum deposit to open account $2,500 ($0 for IRA accounts)
FeesScottrade fees
Promotion and login linksScottrade login, Scottrade promotions

Scottrade Advantages

  • No inactivity, account maintenance or hidden fees
  • No-fee IRAs
  • 500+ local branches for in-person assistance
  • Great support for beginner investors with a massive number of educational resources
  • Good banking services: savings, CDs, money market and free checking accounts (free ATM withdrawals, VISA check card, and free first order of checks)
  • Free real-time streaming quotes
  • Flexible dividend reinvestment program (DRIP)
  • Large number of mutual funds available - over 14,500
  • Instant funds deposits

Scottrade Disadvantages

  • Outdated, cluttered website design
  • Additional 0.5% of the principal value commission for stocks under $1
  • No electronic withdrawals, but clients can use a debit card, checks, or ACH transfer from their bank
  • $25,000 account balance, or 9+ stock/option trades during the previous three months is required to use advanced trading platform (ScottradeELITE)
  • $2,500 minimum to open a regular brokerage account (but $0 for IRA)

Best Discount Broker Review


Scottrade has been one of the top choices for customers looking to open an investment account at one of the oldest and largest discount brokerage firms in the country. The company offers the lowest commissions among the largest brokerage houses: $7 per stock or ETF trade ($17 for mutual funds). Compare it to other big brokerages: $10 per stock or ETF trade at Etrade and TD Ameritrade ($20 and $50 for mutual funds), $9 at Charles Schwab ($76 to buy a mutual funds), and $8 at Fidelity Investments ($50 for mutual funds).

Scottrade is one of the most popular discount brokers among mutual funds investors. And it is easy to see why: it offers thousands of mutual funds from all major mutual fund families, over 2,600 no transaction fee funds, and charges low $17 commission on no-load funds. There are no account inactivity or maintenance fees at the company for both IRA and taxable accounts.

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Get up to $2000 when you open new account or add funds to existing account.
Updated on 2/26/2016.


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