Best online stock brokerage firm for long-term investors in 2017



Best Broker For Long Term Investing


TD Ameritrade has been one of the best stock brokers for long term investors for many years. And for good reasons: for one flat rate fee of $9.99 per trade, this online trading broker provides investors with tools that help make small to large investments overtime, without having to worry about excessive overheads i.e. minimum account deposits or purchase amounts, commissions or hidden fees, fees to use their advanced trading platforms and research materials. One complete trading cycle (buy and sell) will cost the average trader $20. Compare that to the $40-$70 range a traditional broker would charge for just one transaction.

Of course there are other online trading platforms that advertise lower fees, but many of them also nickel and dime the trader for any service that does not involve pure buying and selling, as explained in this comparison table.


Fees/ToolsTD AmeritradeE*TRADEScottrade
Flat Fee $9.99 $7.99 - $9.99 $7, stocks > $1
Minimum Deposit $0 $500 $500
Commission Free ETFs 101 108 15
Forex Yes No No
Real-Time Quotes Free Platform Fee Free
Level II Quotes Free Platform Fee Free
Charting Package Free N/A N/A
All Trading Platforms Free Platform Fee or Minimum trades/Qtr Minimum trades/Yr
Learning Tools Free N/A N/A
Virtual Trading Free N/A N/A
Access to former floor traders Free N/A N/A
Trading via mobile apps Free Free Free
Funded Accounts +8 million +5 million +4 million
Avg. Trades per day +500k +300k +200k


TD Ameritrade also goes a step further by offering commission free mutual funds and ETFs (exchange traded funds), which is a great option for investors who do not have the the time nor the patience to pour over market reports every single day, but would still like to maintain a diversified portfolio.




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TD Ameritrade Services for Active Investors


For the active trader, they offer a number of free services, including but not limited to:

- Up-to-date reports from S&P Capital IQ, Ford Equity Research, ResearchTeam, TheStreet, MarketEdge, and Jaywalk Consensus.

- A quick and robust trading platform. There has been negligible downtime ever since they went public in 1997.

- Free wire transfers (deposits and withdrawals) to personal bank accounts.

- Complete online account access anywhere in the world as long as one is connected to the web.

- Automatic deposits to an MMA (money market account) so cash can accumulate some interest till the trader decides to invest it. Though the interest is tiny, it is certainly better than what most banks pay to checking account holders.

- Access to all transactions going back to July 27, 1997.

- Performance tracking tools and suggestions on how to minimize risks.

- And, this might be important for some investors; NO pushy marketing tactics whatsoever. They do offer investment advice, but only if one specifically asks for it. There is a separate fee for that service.

- Free access to paperMoney, a virtual trading program to practice with play money in real-time.

- They also have promotions available for first time account holders based on the deposit amount. For example, a first time deposit of $3,000 allows for commission free trades for the first 60 days. Promotion link - Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.


TD Ameritrade Brokerage Services for Long Term Investors


Some of the services they provide can be very useful for long term investors:

- Portfolio Check-Up helps investors review their portfolios and re-align investments with the help of professional advisors.

- Managed Portfolios gives long term investors the choice of having their portfolios professionally managed.

- Morningstar Instant X-ray gives investors access to Morningstar analysis and data reports for stocks and mutual funds.

- Retirement Calculator. As the name suggests, you can set your retirement goal and monitor your performance.

- Free Access to research from independent third parties.

Their customer attrition rate is one of the lowest among the competition and with a large amount of funded accounts, trades go through quickly during regular trading hours. Real-time quote alerts, triggers, buy and sell stops can be quickly set using the SnapTicket tool. The trading apps they offer for both Android and iOS, are free and have access to all the perks of the online account. Here too, the downtime has been almost none.

Even though a major part of TD Ameritrade is online trading, they also boast over 125 physical locations in the United States. Their phone customer service is very quick, reliant and to the point, unlike traditional banks where one would face long holds, numerous transfers and not to mention the inevitable ‘Would you be interested in applying for our new credit card?’ question.


Conclusion


In summary, TD Ameritrade's straightforward pricing, few fees, and excellent suite of investment and trading services and tools, made it one of the best online brokers for long term investing for millions of customers.


Visit TD Ameritrade Website



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Updated on 1/24/2017.



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