List of discount brokerage firms

Discount Brokerage Firms List


Below we list the names of discount brokerage firms for retail investors along with their website link, stock/ETF commissions and minimum balance required to open a brokerage account. To see a discount broker's rating and read review, click on the link on the right of the side of the table.



List of Discount Brokerage Firms


Broker Website Rating Stock/ETF
Commission
Minimum
to Open
Broker Review
Ally Invest Ally Invest rating

$4.95 $0 Review
Ameritrade TD Ameritrade rating

$6.95 $0 Review
Charles Schwab Charles Schwab rating

$4.95 $1,000 Review
ChoiceTrade Choicetrade rating

$5 $0 Review
Etrade Etrade rating

$6.95 $500 Review
Fidelity Fidelity Investments rating

$4.95 $2,500 Review
Firstrade Firstrade rating

$0 $0 Review
IB Interactive Brokers rating

$1+ $0 Review
Kapitall Kapitall rating

$7.95 $0 Review
Just2trade just2trade rating

$2.50 $2,500 Review
LightSpeed Lighspeed Trading rating

$4.50 $10,000 Review
Merrill Edge Merrill Edge rating

$6.95 $0 Review
Muriel Siebert Muriel Siebert rating

$14.95+ $0 Review
Motif Investing Motif Investing rating

$4.95 $200 Review
Sogotrade Sogotrade rating

$5 $0 Review
SpeedTrader Speedtrader rating

$6.95 $0 Review
TastyWorks TastyWorks rating

$2.50 $0 Review
TradeStation Tradestation rating

$5 $500 Review
Trading Block Trading Block rating

$7.50 $500 Review
USAA USAA rating

$8.95 $0 Review
Vanguard Vanguard rating

$7 ($20) $1,000 Review
WellsTrade Wellstrade rating

$5.95 $1,000 Review
ZacksTrade ZacksTrade rating

$3.00+ $2,500 Review


Top Discount Brokers


If you are new to the world of online investing, one of the first thing you are going to do is to pick a discount brokerage firm with which to invest your money. Maybe you have seen Etrade's ad on TV, or maybe you have noticed TD Ameritrade's local office. But what are other brokerage companies like Etrade, TD Ameritrade or Charles Schwab? Surely there should be a whole bunch of them, and some might even be better than these household names?

We follow online investing industry closely and currently there are around 30 more or less popular discount brokers you could consider. How do you pick the right firm for you? Well, it depends on your needs: what exactly are you looking for in your brokerage firm?

We have noticed that there are few big groups of customers looking for investing account and below we will give our recommendations on what we consider are the best discount brokers in list above for each group:

IRA Accounts. If you are looking to open an individual retirement account - Traditional IRA, ROTH, SEP, Simple, 401(k), or Rollover IRA - than we suggest going with TD Ameritrade (read review). This broker's IRAs have no fees: there are no setup, maintenance, inactivity, or annual IRA fees. A retirement account at this discount brokerage firm can be opened with no money down.

Long-Term, Buy and Hold, and Mutual Funds Investors. If you subscribe to philosophy that one could not time the market, that investments should be held for a while, and you don't sweat market downturns, then you are a Long-Term, Buy and Hold investor. For you, as well as for anyone looking to invest mostly in mutual funds, the best discount brokerage firm from the list above is Ally Invest (read review). Ally Invest's price for mutual funds is just $9.95. Compare it to $76 rate to buy (free to sell) at Charles Schwab and $49.95 at Fidelity Investments.

Stock Investors or Traders. If you are excited about an idea of investing in individual stocks or ETFs, or even trading them actively, then getting the cheapest stock commissions would be your main priority. Firstrade (review) has one of the best discount brokers for active traders as well as investors looking for the cheapest trading costs. The firm charges $0 commission of stock, ETF and mutual fund trades.


Average Stock Trading Fee


When calculating an average stock trading fee, we took into consideration only brokers with per-trade commission schedules, excluding per-share charging investing companies. We did not included in the result any surcharges, for example, on stocks priced under one dollar or on extended hours trades. If you trade penny stocks or during extended hours extensively, check if a discount broker you are considering charges additional commission on these trades. We also did not take into account any maintenance, inactivity fees, or charges for using trading platform and market data - make sure to check these fees too before opening an account.

The average stock trading fee came in at around $5.50 per trade (same for ETF trades). Out of "Big Five Brokerages" (TD Ameritrade, Etrade, Vanguard, Fidelity and Charles Schwab) - Fidelity and Charles Schwab charge below average stock commission of $4.95 per trade. The other firms are more expensive, with $6.95 per trade rate. The least expensive discount brokerage company - Firstrade (review) - charges $0 per trade commission.

Capital One Sharebuilder lowered its commissions from $10 per trade to $7 per trade. Considering a cut-throat competition in online stock trading industry, more discount brokerage firms might soon follow in cutting their rates. This will bring an average stock trading commission even lower, and should benefit investors by increasing their rate of return.


List of Discount Brokerage Firms Disclaimer


Broker commissions and minimums are subject to change any time. Discount brokerage firms in list above offer their clients accounts to buy and sell stocks, exchange traded funds, mutual funds, options and other investment products. Before opening an account with any particular firm, we encourage investors to research it - read reviews and visit their website. All discount brokers listed in this article are members of SIPC and FINRA.