Best brokerage accounts 2022

3 Best Brokerage Firms in 2022


The 3 best brokerage accounts in 2022 that offer low trading commissions and the highest quality of investment services


Best Brokerage Accounts in 2022

In 2022, we named TD Ameritrade, Webull, and Ally Invest the "3 Best Brokerage Firms" for self-directed (do-it-yourself) investors. Below you will find their commissions and fees, ratings in various categories, promotions as well as brokerage account review links.


Pricing


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Margin
Rate
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
TD Ameritrade $0 $49.99 ($0 to sell) 11% $0 $0
Ally Invest $0 $9.95 9.25% $0 $0
WeBull $0 na 6.99% $0 $0


Services


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
TD Ameritrade
Ally Invest
WeBull


Promotions


TD Ameritrade: $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement.

Ally Invest: Up to $3,000 cash bonus + $0 commission trades.

Webull: 12 FREE stocks valued $34-$30,600 give-away at Webull.





We really like TD Ameritrade for its software and customer service. In the former area, TD Ameritrade has a very good website, two powerful mobile apps, and a professional-level desktop program. Amazingly, none of these have any minimums or trading requirements. Let’s take a look at each one of them.

Before we even get to the desktop platform, we find some pretty powerful trading tools on TD Ameritrade’s website. There is a trade bar in the bottom of the site named SnapTicket. Besides providing real-time market data, the widget can send orders to the exchanges. There is a rapid-fire mode that can send an order with just a string of characters (like s200gm37.25 to sell 200 shares of General Motors at a limit price of $37.25).


best brokerage firms 2022


A trade ticket with more advanced orders will be found on the website itself (hover over the Trade tab and select Stocks & ETFs from the drop-down menu). Unlike SnapTicket, this order ticket has direct-access routing and conditional orders (like one cancels another and bracket orders). Regular order types include trailing stop, in both dollar and percent terms. All-or-none and fill-or-kill instructions are available.

Moving on to mobile trading, we get two mobile apps, both of which are very good. The first has a lot of educational and research tools, including an economic calendar, news articles, market movers, and more. Both articles and videos are available.


Best brokerage firms


The app has additional mobile tools, like check deposit and how-to videos. Examples include:

- Stock Splits Explained
- Transferring Funds
- Short selling

TD Ameritrade’s other mobile app is called thinkorswim. It has very advanced charting and order entry. On the charting side, there are 6 plot styles. These include Heikin Ashi and candle trend. There are tons of customization features, and a chart can be rotated horizontally.

For order entry, the thinkorswim app has a toggle switch that can be used to easily switch between buy and sell. There are 6 order types (market on close and limit on close are two unusual ones), and several time-in-force choices. There are multiple extended-hours choices, which is another great feature at TD Ameritrade.

Amazingly, both apps have Level II quotes, and TD Ameritrade charges nothing for subscribing to this data.

Not to be outdone by its really good mobile apps, TD Ameritrade has a desktop platform with a lot of the same features that its thinkorswim app has, which is probably why the software is called thinkorswim.


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The thinkorswim desktop system has live streaming of video news and hundreds of technical studies (so does the thinkorswim mobile app). The primary difference between these two is that a few additional features will be found on the desktop system, such as small video games. Both platforms have simulated trading for risk-free practice.

And then there’s the company’s customer service department. In an age when many brokerage firms are cutting back in this area, Ameritrade has maintained its level of service. This includes 24/7 phone support. Besides English, there are phone numbers for Chinese, English, and overseas customers.

For clients located in the United States, TD Ameritrade has a large network of brick-and-mortar locations. There are well over 100 offices located in many states. Although not open around the clock, these small offices can do pretty much everything a phone agent can.

Outside of regular office hours, TD Ameritrade customers can find assistance on the broker’s website. TD Ameritrade is one of the few brokerage firms left to have both human and robot chat services. To get a human agent on the line, just type “human” in the robo chat widget. The chat tool will be found on the Contact Us page after logging in. An internal messaging tool is also available on the site.

At TD Ameritrade stock and ETF trades are free, and the broker offers over 13,000 mutual funds, including over 4,400 free to trade funds.

Read TD Ameritrade Review

Promotion: $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement.

Open TD Ameritrade Account





Although TD Ameritrade does have a lot of great features, two services that are missing are cryptocurrency trading and fractional-share purchases of stocks and ETFs. Both of these great amenities are available at our second best brokerage firm called Webull.


Best brokerage accounts 2022


Webull’s cryptocurrency trading service includes access to many digital currencies. Examples include all the big names like Bitcoin and Ethereum plus lesser-known coins like:

  • Theta
  • Flow
  • Polygon
  • SafeMoon
  • Chainlink

Every coin is eligible for fractional-coin trading, which means it’s possible to buy and sell them in whole dollars. Webull does have a $1 minimum on the buy side.

Cryptocurrency trading is available almost 24 hours a day at Webull. The brokerage firm takes a 1-hour break from 5:30 pm, EST, until 6:30 pm for software maintenance.

Currently, only individual accounts can be enabled for cryptocurrency trading at Webull. And these accounts can use cash only to buy digital currencies. Margin trading is not possible for coins.

Residents of most states can trade crypto, although some states may have a reduced list of eligible coins. New York State, for example, can trade coins, although it only has 8 coins.

One really great benefit of cryptocurrency trading at Webull is that the broker-dealer doesn’t charge any commissions on crypto trades. There is, however, a bid-ask spread of 100 basis points baked in to crypto prices on the trading platform. Webull is compensated through this spread.

Stock and ETF trades at Webull also have no commissions. The brokerage firm is compensated via payment for order flow, which is possible in part because of the bid-ask spread on these assets.

On top of the $0 commissions on equity trades, Webull customers also get to trade these securities in whole dollars rather than in whole shares, which is the older system. This time, there is a $5 minimum on the buy side. On both sides, there is also a 0.00001 share minimum.

Fractional shares at Webull can be day traded, which means that small investors can day trade here (PDT requirements still apply). With a very small share minimum, day trading carries a smaller amount of risk.


best brokerages 2022


In the event of dividends, fractional shares at Webull receive cash payments in proportion to the dividend. For example, a position of 0.25 shares will receive 25% of the per-share dividend. Stock splits are handled in a similar fashion.

Placing whole-coin, whole-share, fractional-coin, or fractional-share trades at Webull is a fairly straightforward process, thanks to the company’s very good software platforms. There are three of them: browser platform, desktop system, and mobile app. Any of these three can place fractional trades for coins and equities.

The broker’s software is another reason to be bullish. Let’s have a look at all three platforms, starting with the mobile app.


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At the bottom of the app is a menu. One of the choices is a watchlist. Here, both equities and coins can be added. Multiple lists can be created, and it’s easy to edit them. Tapping on an entry generates the asset’s profile. Here, there is a blue Trade button. Fractional-share trades must be placed as market orders on the mobile app. The trade amount must be less than the market price of one share.


Top brokerage companies


The mobile watchlists sync with the company’s browser and desktop platforms. This time, double-clicking on an entry generates the profile, and here the order ticket is already populated on the desktop platform. On the browser platform, you need to click on the Trade icon in the vertical menu (on the left-hand side) or right-click on a chart and select a trade link.

Although all three platforms are very good, only the mobile app has digital bulletin boards where customers can discuss the day’s market activities and specific assets, including both stocks and coins. This is another feature that is very unique to Webull and causes us once again to really like this brokerage firm.

Read Webull Review

Promotion: 12 FREE stocks valued $34-$30,600 give-away at Webull.

Open WeBull Account




Last, but certainly not least on our list of the best brokerage firms in 2022, is Ally Invest. This brokerage house has something that neither TD Ameritrade nor Webull offers: investment advice. This great service comes in two varieties: wealth management and robo service.

The automated account package is actually free with a 30% cash position. Clients who would rather have a small cash position can pay 0.30% per annum. With either setup, there are four portfolios available: tax optimized, socially responsible, core, and income.


Best online brokers


All four of these programs use low-cost ETFs that invest in bonds and stocks. Some of the fund families providing the ETFs include iShares and Vanguard.

A robo account at Ally Invest can be set up as a taxable account, a custodial account, or an IRA. Any robo account at Ally Invest will be SIPC insured. A $100 minimum deposit is required to get started.

Investors who aren’t comfortable turning their hard-earned money over to a software program can opt for a traditional wealth management program instead. Ally Invest recently started offering this service, and we’re really excited about it. It does have some steep requirements (a $100,000 starting balance and a tiered annual fee of 0.85% to 0.75%), but it comes with a lot more services (at no additional cost). These include:

  • A dedicated senior wealth advisor (in human form)
  • Help with managing assets, including those outside of Ally Financial
  • Annual meetings and checkups
  • Quarterly webcasts about market events
  • Ability to invest in SMAs (separately managed accounts)

A wealth management account can be opened as a Coverdell Education Savings Account or a trust, which is not possible with the robo service.

Ally Invest customers who have adequate confidence in their own investing abilities can opt for the company’s self-directed accounts. These accounts get to trade several asset classes, including stocks, mutual funds, and bonds.

Most equity trades inside self-directed accounts will qualify for $0 commissions, and Ally Invest has a really good browser platform. Called LIVE, this piece of software has some very powerful features, including these highlights:


Best online brokers


  • Advanced charting with full-screen mode, comparisons, 8 plot styles, lots of technical studies, and 50+ drawing tools
  • Economic calendar
  • Multiple watchlists
  • Advanced trade ticket with buttons for sell short and buy to cover
  • Discrete ticket for mutual fund trading
  • Analyst recommendations on individual stocks, including price targets

LIVE has no minimums or trading requirements to use. Ally Invest customers who place at least 10 trades a month can use Quotestream, a desktop platform. The software has a lot of useful tools, including a waterfall ticker and Level II quotes, which aren’t available on LIVE.

LIVE and Quotestream are used for securities only. Ally Invest also has a forex business, and forex customers have their own tools. These include three platforms: two desktops and one mobile app. Combined, they provide lots of trading tools, including dealing boxes and charts with accessories.


Top Brokerage Companies


Ally Invest has 50 currency pairs and a dedicated forex trade desk. It is open 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. Up to 50:1 leverage can be used for currency trades at Ally. The brokerage firm offers a free practice account for forex traders, and there are several learning materials for beginners.

Securities accounts and currency accounts can both be linked to deposit accounts with Ally Bank. Financial accounts with the same tax ID number will be automatically linked. This convenient service means that it’s easy to transfer funds among these accounts. Ally’s online ACH tool can even establish recurring or future transfers.

Read Ally Invest Review

Promotion: Up to $3,000 cash bonus + $0 commission trades.

Open Ally Invest Account





Best Brokerage Accounts Recap

TD Ameritrade, Webull, and Ally Invest are three best brokerage firms in 2022 we absolutely love. They all have major strengths, although these advantages tend to be in different areas. Obviously, choosing the right brokerage firm is of paramount importance in achieving the investment experience you seek. With this article, finding the right one should now be a much easier task.


Best Brokerages Promotions


TD Ameritrade: $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement.

Ally Invest: Up to $3,000 cash bonus + $0 commission trades.

Webull: 12 FREE stocks valued $34-$30,600 give-away at Webull.

Updated on 6/1/2022.


About the Author
Chad Morris is a financial writer with more than 20 years experience as both an English teacher and an avid trader. When he isn’t writing expert content for Brokerage-Review.com, Chad can usually be found managing his portfolio or building a new home computer.