Barrons online broker ratings, reviews, rankings, and comparison for 2018

Barrons magazine annual stock broker survey and review of the top rated investment accounts, best discount online trading companies.

Barron's Broker Survey Overview

The financial publication Barron’s has already reviewed brokers for 2018, and the results shed important light on the industry. Interactive Brokers was awarded first place, Fidelity came in second while Planner Securities rounds out the bottom of the list. Surprisingly, Vanguard performed poorly. Let’s take a detailed look at the Barron's broker rankings and see which firms deliver the best value.

Here is the link to Barron's Broker Survey. You need to be a paid subscriber to see full article.

Brokerage Environment

The U.S. stock market has seen record highs in the last few years, further increasing interest in trading securities. Despite the surge in equity prices, commissions at many brokerage firms have actually fallen. There are estimates the cost of trading has gone down by about a fourth for the average investor. Less expensive trading combined with a surging stock market means more profits for traders. It’s a good time to have a brokerage account.

Interactive Brokers Takes First Place in the Overall Category

Interactive Brokers (read review) was awarded first place in Barron's online brokers rankings.

Barron’s likes Trader Workstation, IB’s flagship trading platform. A new addition last year is iBot, an artificial intelligence that can answer questions in English. The newspaper also liked IB’s range of robo-advisory portfolios. They include not just ETF’s, but stocks also. The most expensive option is just 0.08%.

Fidelity is a Close Second

Fidelity (read review) came in second in Barron's stock broker survey. The broker lowered its stock and ETF commission to $4.95, though mutual fund commissions are fees stayed at the same, high level.

TD Ameritrade is Barrons Third Best Broker

TD Ameritrade's total score in Barron’s broker rankings is just slightly behind Fidelity's. TD Ameritrade now offers 296 ETFs that could be traded for free (beating both Fidelity and IB). There are also over 2,000 commission-free mutual funds at the broker. Read TD Ameritrade Review.


Firstrade has a new $0 commission on stocks and ETFs and $0 charge on mutual fund trades, the broker will attract cost-conscious traders. Also, the broker now offers all ETFs commission-free. Read Firstrade Review.

Worst Online Broker According to Barron's

At the bottom of the results an Barron's online broker rankings are Planner Securities, Vanguard, and TradingBlock. These brokers performed very poorly in most categories.

Updated on 4/17/2018.