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Best brokerage firms: top rated online discount stock brokers in 2014



On this page we list brokerage companies that offer the lowest trading commissions and fees, and the highest quality of client services. We reviewed and compared over 30 top rated U.S. investment/trading online discount stock broker accounts and selected three best brokerage firms for 2014.




4.5-star brokerage firm rating



Scottrade Review

Best Brokerage Firm Pricing


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 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
FeesScottrade fees

Scottrade Advantages

  • 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

Scottrade Drawbacks

  • 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

Full Scottrade Review


Scottrade Review


Link To Scottrade Promotion - $100 reimbursement of account transfer fees charged by a current broker when moving an account of $10,000 or more:


Open Scottrade account


4-star brokerage firm rating



Etrade Review

Etrade Pricing

ProductPrice
Stocks and ETFs $9.99 ($7.99 if making 150+ trades per quarter)
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $34.99
Options $9.99 + $0.75 per contract ($7.99 + $0.75 if making 150+ trades per quarter)
Mutual funds $19.99
Futures contracts $2.99 per contract, per side + fees
Fixed Incomemarkup or markdown and any transaction fee will be included in the price quoted
Forex No commissions. Etrade receives compensation through the bid/ask spread.
Bonds$1 per bond (minimum $10, maximum $250) for online secondary market trades. Includes Agency bonds, Corporate bonds, Municipal bonds, Brokered CDs, Pass-thrus, CMOs, Asset Backed Securities.

Investments stocks, bonds, mutual funds, futures, forex, fixed income, options, ETFs
Etrade minimum deposit to open account $500 for non-retirement cash account, $0 for retirement cash account, $2,000 for margin account
FeesEtrade fees

Etrade Advantages

  • No account maintenance or inactivity fees
  • Large and well established company
  • Powerful trading tools
  • No IRA account fees, and no minimums with electronic statements and confirmations
  • Low minimums to open accounts: $500 for cash account, $0 for retirement cash account, $2,000 for margin account
  • Banking products available: checking, savings, money market accounts, CDs, and credit cards
  • No surcharges on large orders or penny stocks
  • Great research amenities from S&P, MorningStar, Thompson Reuters, Credit Suisse, Smart Consensus
  • Access to trading on 40 foreign exchanges
  • Free streaming quotes
  • Very broad selection of products: 8,000 mutual funds, every ETF sold, over 30,000 bonds, securities from 77 international markets, 1,300 no-load, no-transaction fee mutual funds, 90 commission-free ETFs

Etrade Drawbacks

  • High commissions on stocks and ETFs
  • High margin rates
  • $0.005 per share surcharge on extended hours trades (ECN fee) and on trades executed through E*TRADE Pro at an ECN during both regular market and extended hours sessions
  • E*TRADE Pro platform is available at no charge only to customers who execute at least 30 stock or options trades during a calendar quarter

Full Etrade Review


Etrade Review

Link To Etrade Promotion Offer - trade for free for 60 days + up to $600:


Open Etrade account


4.5-star brokerage firm rating




TradeKing Pricing

ProductPrice
Stocks and ETFs $4.95
Options $4.95 + $0.65 per contract
Mutual funds $9.95
Bonds $4.95 per bond ($14.95 minimum)
Treasuries $24.95
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

TradeKing Advantages

  • Great 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

TradeKing Drawbacks

  • 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
  • International investors are not accepted
  • Shorter after-hours trading: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST, instead of 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST

Full TradeKing Review


TradeKing Review

Link To TradeKing Promotional Code:


(Refer a friend and both receive $50)





Above is the list of our three top rated, best brokerage firm accounts in 2014. These discount stock trading companies accept USA-based customers.

You can open new account or transfer your existing brokerage house account by clicking on one of the links on Brokerage Review website. Some of the companies allow opening account with no initial deposit ($0 down). All three firms have promotion offers for new customers.

The best online brokerage for beginner investors and IRA accounts is Scottrade - there are no IRA fees: individual retirement account setup, inactivity, or annual maintenance fees. Unlike most other competitors, the company does not even charge customers who decide to close their IRA account.

If you are only comfortable investing with large, well-known online brokerage firm, then either Scottrade or Etrade will be great choices. These two companies belong to the "Big 5 Brokerages" - five largest brokerage houses in the U.S.

TradeKing has one of the best brokerage accounts for active traders, as well as investors looking for the cheapest trading costs. The firm charges just $4.95 per stock or ETF trade and $9.95 for no-load, no-transaction fee mutual funds! It also offers lots of valuable services for free.

We believe that these three are the top broker-dealers for do-it-yourself (DIY) investors in the United States, each with its unique strengths that will appeal to various groups of customers. All these firms are safe: they are members of FINRA and SIPC, which means that they are regulated by U.S. government and their client accounts are insured for up to $500,000 per customer, including up to $250,000 in cash.

This article was updated on 7/20/2014.




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