Best Online Brokerage Firm, Stock Investing Website in 2014
Which online brokerage firm is the best? #1 stock investing website for do-it-yourself (DIY) investors.
Broker Commissions and Fees
|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|| 3,000+ commission-free NTF funds, $17 for others|
|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 per transaction|
|Investments|| stocks, options, mutual funds, CDs, munis, U.S. Treasury, Canadian and foreign stocks, ETFs|
|Scottrade minimum deposit to open account|| $500 for a cash account, $2,000 for a margin account |
Best Online Broker Pros
- No inactivity, account maintenance or hidden fees
- No-fee IRAs
- #1 in customer satisfaction according to JD Power and Associates
- 500+ local branches for in-person assistance
- Great support for beginner investors with a massive number of educational resources
- Online user community
- Good banking services: savings, CDs, money market and free checking accounts (free ATM withdrawals, VISA check card, and first order of checks free)
- Only $500 minimum to open account
- Free real-time streaming quotes and charts
- Free dividend reinvestment for mutual funds (but not for stocks)
- Largest number of mutual funds - over 14,500
Best Online Broker Cons
- Additional 0.5% of the principal value commission for stocks under $1
- No electronic withdrawals, but you can use a debit card or check. Once you receive checks, you will have the routing number and account number, which you can use to withdraw money via ACH initiated from other financial institutions
Best Online Broker Review
Scottrade is one of the best-known and largest online stock brokers in the country, and it has been in business for
over 30 years. Unlike many other brokerage firms, Scottrade does not have surcharges on large orders or
extended-hours trading. There are no maintenance or inactivity charges for all accounts.
Scottrade is #1 in customer satisfaction according to J.D. Power and Associates.
However, we would love to see the company cancel the surcharge on penny stocks and improve its options trading tools and pricing.
Also, the absence of electronic fund withdrawals is puzzling (even though withdrawals can be done using a debit card or check).
Thanks to live webinars and events, tons of learning materials, very helpful customer service, and an online user community, Scottrade is an
excellent choice for beginners.
Customers that invest in mutual funds get over 3,000 commission-free (NTF) mutual funds to choose from. Long-term, "buy and hold" investors will be
happy with no account inactivity charges.
Because Scottrade is a stable, seasoned brokerage firm with a good reputation, it is a very appealing choice for people who
would not trust their money with newer companies, but also don't want to pay $9-$10 for trades (and multiple miscellaneous fees) with other
large brokerage houses. The ability to visit a local branch and talk with someone face-to-face can be very valuable, too.
The firm's IRA accounts don't come with setup or annual fees. This is good news for retirement account holders, and it makes
the firm an excellent option for an IRA.
In summary, we believe that every do-it-yourself (DIY) investor can benefit from the company's great pricing, rich selection of investment products, and easy-to-use
trading and research tools.
This article was updated on 4/25/2014.