Largest Brokerage Firms by Assets

Largest Brokerage Firms by Assets Under Management (Total AUM)


Total amount of assets under management at the top online brokerage investment companies: TD Ameritrade, Etrade, Vanguard, Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments.




Broker Rating
And Website
Trading
Commissions
Assets Under Management
And Review


Vanguard rating

Vanguard


Stocks, ETFs: $7 - $20

Mutual Funds: $8 - $35

Options: $30 plus
$1.50 per contract

Vanguard has over $4.5 trillion in total assets under management. Learn more...

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Charles Schwab rating

Charles Schwab


Stocks, ETFs: $0

Mutual Funds: $76 to buy
$0 to sell

Options: $0 plus
$0.65 per contract

Charles Schwab has close to $3.36 trillion in total client assets. 1.6 million corporate retirement plan participants. 1.1 million banking accounts. 7,000 RIAs. Learn more...

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Fidelity Investments rating

Fidelity


Stocks, ETFs: $0

Mutual Funds: $49.95

Options: $0 plus
$0.65 per contract

Fidelity Investments has close to $2.45 trillion in total assets under management (AUM). Mutual fund assets under management = $1.9 trillion. Trust/other assets under management = $264 billion. Total customer assets at Fidelity = $5,7 trillion. Learn more...

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TD Ameritrade rating

TD Ameritrade


Stocks, ETFs: $0

Mutual Funds: $49.99

Options: $0 plus
$0.65 per contract

TD Ameritrade has over $1.2 trillion in total assets under management (AUM). Learn more...

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Etrade rating

E*trade


Stocks, ETFs: $0

Mutual Funds: $19.99

Options: $0 plus
$0.75 per contract

Etrade has close to $346 billion in total customer assets. Learn more...

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Vanguard


Vanguard is the biggest online brokerage by AUM. Broker's majority assets under management are from investors who own Vanguard-family mutual funds. Most of these investors are customers of other brokerage companies, including those listed in this article.

Vanguard's brokerage commissions are well above average for clients who are not rich. The broker doesn't offer trading platform and its trading tools are below average.

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Charles Schwab


In second place, Charles Schwab has over $3.36 trillion in total assets under management. It also has a large custodial client base and is growing its proprietary mutual fund business as well.

Majority of non-Schwab family mutual funds with cost a customer a very steep $76 to buy. Unlike many other brokers, they offer promotion to open new account only to rich investors.

On the plus side, Schwab has than 345 branch offices for customers who like face-to-face service. Free financial guidance is available, and their mutual fund selection is one of the best with more than 14,500 different funds offered to investors.

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Fidelity Investments


Fidelity is a strong third largest brokerage firm by total assets under management, a large part of Fidelity's assets are in its proprietary mutual funds. The company is also the clear leader in custodial account management, mainly through client companies that invest their employees' pension and 401k funds with Fidelity.

The company is one of the largest mutual fund companies in the country, offering more than 200 funds with a combined retail Net Asset Value (NAV) of about $2 trillion. Fidelity's brokerage rates about in the middle of the pack mainly due to above-average commission costs on mutual funds and high minimums. Those negatives are offset by excellent customer service and investment research.

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TD Ameritrade


TD Ameritrade is an attractive choice for individual investors. It bought Scottrade and in the result surpassed Charles Schwab in terms of number of customers. However, thanks to its own family of mutual funds Charles Schwab is ahead in terms of total Assets Under Management (AUM). TD Ameritrade is an excellent choice for beginners thanks to easy-to-use website as well as for experienced investors thanks to their outstanding trading platforms — Thinkorswim and Trade Architect.

The brokerage investment research is one of the best. When combined with the company's PaperMoney virtual trading program, this helps first-timers learn the investing ropes before requiring them to invest real money.

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E*Trade


Although substantially smaller than the top four brokerages in this list, E*Trade has been around since the beginning of the online trading era, having first offered online trading to individual investors more than 30 years ago. The company's focus is entirely on individual investors.

E*Trade's active-traders platform, E*Trade Pro, is one of the better trading platforms available, and account minimums are $0 if customers sign up for electronic statements and confirmations. Commissions are on the high side, but research options are excellent and investing advice is available by phone or in person.

Continue to E*Trade Review.





What is Assets Under Management (AUM)?


The exact definition of assets under management (AUM) can vary, depending on which financial institution is defining the term. Generally, it means the market value of assets a company manages on behalf of its clients. Funds that are on deposit with the company but over which the company does not have any discretionary authority are usually excluded from the calculation. However, some financial institutions may include assets such as bank deposits or other non-managed funds in its calculation. Most firms will only include those assets over which clients have specifically given the institution trading authority. Different companies use AUM, such as mutual funds, hedge funds, insurance companies, and brokerage firms.

As one example, Fidelity Investments has $5.4 trillion in total customer assets, although only $2.45 trillion is considered assets under management. These are accounts over which clients have given Fidelity the green light to make trades. Fidelity manages the accounts, so they are considered assets under management. Accounts that are self-managed will not be included in the $2.45 trillion figure, although they are considered customer assets. Fidelity mutual and exchange-traded funds are part of the $2.1 trillion because the company buys and sells securities within the funds.

AUM can fluctuate daily as the market price of the managed assets varies. This is especially true of stocks, whose prices tend to be more volatile than bonds and other assets.


Is it Important?


Some investors will want to see a high AUM. They see that other investors trust the company with their money, so they feel confident handing over their own assets to the firm. A large AUM also usually means the broker has many investment advisors and a large advisory business. A firm with a lower AUM is not necessarily of lower quality or less trustworthy. New companies, for instance, may have fewer assets under management simply because it has had less time to attract investors. Some of the brokers who have large AUM's have been in business for decades. Ally Invest, by contrast, has fewer managed accounts, but has only been in business since 2005. Smaller or newer firms are not necessarily a worse choice.

Once a company has $30 million in assets under management it must register with the SEC. Smaller firms will be under the jurisdiction of state securities regulators. Investors who want SEC regulation should choose a broker with at least $30 million in AUM.


List of Online Brokers Total Assets Under Management (AUM)


Brokerage AUM Notes Incentives For Opening New Account
Ally Invest$3 billionHas been acquired by Ally Bank which has much larger AUM Up to $3,500 cash bonus + $0 commission trades for new accounts.
TD Ameritrade$1.2 trillionThis includes $300 billion assets from acquired ScottradeTrade stocks and ETFs for free + get up to $600 bonus.
Capital One Investing$1.5 trillion$It was acquired by Etrade
Charles Schwab$3.36 trillionNone
Etrade$346 billion At E*TRADE, get $0 trades + 65₵ per options contract.
Fidelity$2.45 trillionMutual fund assets under management = $1,804.7 billion. Trust/other assets under management = $255.1 billion. Total customer assets at Fidelity = $5,428.0 billion. None
Interactive Brokers42 billionNone
Merrill Edge$114 billionNone
Vanguard4.5 trillion3.6 trillion in global assets under management (mostly through the mutual funds)None


Largest Brokerage Firms by Assets Disclaimer


Largest brokerage firms by assets under management numbers could change at any time. Please see company's financial statements before making any decision.


Largest Brokerages by AUM reviewed by Brokerage-Review.com. Rating: 5