Best Low Cost Brokerage Firm Investment Accounts


TD Ameritrade rating

TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade Pricing

InvestmentsCommissions
Stocks and ETFs $6.95
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $44.99
Options $6.95 + $0.75 per contract
No-load mutual funds $49.99
Treasuries at auction $25
All other bonds and CMOs, CDs on a net yield basis
Futures $2.25 per contract plus exchange & regulatory fees
Forex Non-commission currency pairs trade in increments of 10,000 units (and do not contain a "#" symbol suffix). There are no additional fees or charges.

Investments stocks, mutual funds, options, ETFs, bonds, CDs, UITs, futures, and forex
TD Ameritrade minimum deposit to open account $0 for cash account, $2,000 for margin account
FeesTD Ameritrade fees
Promotion and login linksTD Ameritrade login, TD Ameritrade promotions and TD Ameritrade referral


TD Ameritrade Advantages

  • Very few fees and no surcharges on stocks under $1, large orders, or after-hours trading
  • Large and well-known company with 126 local branches
  • Two excellent trading platforms available to all clients: Thinkorswim and Trade Architect
  • Users can practice trading without risking real money using PaperMoney virtual trading
  • Easy access to myTRADE online trader community
  • No account maintenance or inactivity fees
  • Free streaming quotes, including Level II
  • Best selection of independent, third-party research from 13 firms (Standard & Poor's, Morningstar, Jaywalk, TheStreet, etc.)
  • 100+ ETFs with no commissions
  • Large number of mutual funds - around 13,000 available; 4,051 NTF (no-transaction fee) funds
  • Free DRIP (dividend reinvestment plan)
  • No-fee IRA accounts


TD Ameritrade Disadvantages

  • $49.99 commission on transaction-fee mutual funds is high
  • High margin rates


Low Cost Brokerage Review


Tthe company offers flat rate, $6.95 per trade commission on stocks and ETFs. It has over 2,000 no transaction fee (NTF) mutual funds, which allows mutual fund investors to invest commission-free.

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Promotion link

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Ally Invest rating

Ally Invest


Ally Invest Pricing

InvestmentsCommissions
Stocks and ETFs $4.95 ($3.95 per trade if making 30+ trades per quarter or for $100,000 balances)
Options $4.95 + $0.65 per contract ($0.50 per contract if making 30+ trades per quarter or for $100,000 balances)
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
Ally Invest minimum deposit to open account $0 for cash account, $2,000 for margin account
FeesAlly Invest fees
Promotion and login linksAlly Invest login, Ally Invest promotions and Ally Invest referral


Ally Invest Advantages

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


Ally Invest Disadvantages

  • Additional $0.01 per share on the entire order for stocks priced at less than $2
  • Short after-hours trading: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST, instead of 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST
  • No NTF funds


Low Cost Brokerage Review


Ally Invest's new account setup took just 10 minutes to complete. All online forms are very well designed, though some of the questions in our opinion should be optional. To fund the account, we opted for setting up ACH from a checking account at our bank, which is what most users will do. To complete ACH setup process, the user must mail, fax, or email (the email option is not mentioned on the website but appears in the email Ally Invest sends after registration) a copy of his/her photo id and a voided check. We scanned both of these documents and emailed the file to Ally Invest. Two days later ACH was ready to be used.

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Promotion link

Switch to Ally Invest and get up to $150 in transfer fees reimbursed.




Optionshouse rating

Optionshouse


OptionsHouse Pricing

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 on 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, there is a $0.005 per share surcharge 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


Low Cost Brokerage Review


The online application for new accounts is easy and fast: usually takes 8 minutes to complete. We had to fax two paper forms to transfer an existing IRA account, and we would have preferred the option to email scanned forms instead. Customer service called the next day to make sure everything was in order.

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Promotion link

Open and fund an OptionsHouse account to get up to $1,000 in free commissions for 60 days.


Updated on 4/12/2017.





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