Best Investment Companies: List of 10 Top Rated Online Investment Firms


2018 best investment companies. 10 top online investing stock brokerages list. U.S. financial firms ratings and rankings.




Investment
Firm
Broker
Promotion
Products         
Offered         
Company
Review

TD Ameritrade rating

TD Ameritrade


Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.
  • Stocks
  • Options
  • Mutual Funds
  • Bonds
  • ETFs
  • Futures
  • Forex
TD Ameritrade
Review

Ally Invest rating

Ally Invest


Up to $3,500 cash bonus + commission free trades for new accounts.
  • Stocks
  • Options
  • Mutual Funds
  • Bonds
  • Forex
  • CDs
  • ETFs
Ally Invest
Review


Scottrade rating

Scottrade


Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.
  • Stocks
  • Options
  • Mutual Funds
  • Bonds
  • CDs
  • Munis
  • ETFs
Scottrade
Review

Fidelity Investments rating

Fidelity


Get 500 free trades with $100,000+ deposit.
  • Stocks
  • Options
  • Mutual Funds
  • Bonds
  • CDs
  • Annuities
  • ETFs
Fidelity
Review

Charles Schwab rating

Charles Schwab


Make $100,000 deposit and get 500 commission-free online equity and options trades.
  • Stocks
  • Options
  • Mutual Funds
  • Bonds
  • CDs
  • Annuities
  • ETFs
Charles Schwab
Review

Firstrade rating

Firstrade


$0 commissions + up to $200 in transfer fee rebates.
  • Stocks
  • Options
  • Mutual Funds
  • Bonds
  • CDs
  • ETFs
Firstrade
Review

M1  rating

M1 Finance


Invest and get your money managed absolutely FREE!
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
M1 Finance
Review

ZacksTrade rating

Zackstrade logo


Trade stocks for as low as $1 until April 15, 2019.
  • Stocks
  • Options
  • Mutual Funds
  • Bonds
  • ETFs
ZacksTrade
Review

Etrade rating

E*trade


At E*TRADE, get $6.95 trades + 65₵ per options contract.
  • Stocks
  • Options
  • Mutual Funds
  • Bonds
  • Futures
  • ETFs
Etrade
Review




Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
TD Ameritrade $6.95 $49.95 $6.95 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0
Ally Invest $4.95 $9.95 $4.95 + $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Scottrade $6.95 $17 $6.95 + $0.70 per contract $0 $0
Fidelity $4.95 $49.95 $4.95 + $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Charles Schwab $4.95 $76 ($0 to sell) $4.95 + $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Firstrade $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
M1 Finance $0 na na $0 $0
ZacksTrade $3+ $27.95 $0.75 per contract $0 $0
Etrade $6.95 $19.95 $6.95 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0



Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
TD Ameritrade
Ally Invest
Scottrade
Fidelity
Charles Schwab
Firstrade
M1 Finance
ZacksTrade
Etrade



List above is our top 10 highest rated investment firms in 2018 for individual investors. There you could see the online investing companies ratings (highest possible is 5-star); links to the brokerage websites (logo image); commissions on stocks, ETFs, no-load mutual funds, and options trades; investment products offered by the firms as well as the links to detailed account reviews that contain new client sign up offers.

Some of these top 10 investment companies allow opening an account with no initial deposit requirement ($0 down) and no obligation (customers can close non-retirement account with no fee with all of these firms; and some brokers, such as Scottrade and Charles Schwab, also don't charge retirement account closing fees). This is a great opportunity to open a few brokerage accounts, and see first-hand which one you like better.

All of the top financial investment firms in the list above do not charge account maintenance fees for non-retirement accounts (except IB). Some of the companies have retirement account fees: we suggest to check our Fees pages for a complete information (links to these pages are available in our brokerage reviews). IB is the only broker in the list above that might charge account inactivity fee in some instances.

As you can see, commissions on stock and ETF trades range anywhere from $0 charged by Firstrade all the way up to $6.95 at TD Ameritrade and Etrade. Some of the investment firms have lower pricing for active traders. TD Ameritrade will also give traders better pricing but they don't advertise this ability - customers that can show that they are active traders can call the firm and negotiate lower rates.

Mutual funds commissions have even wider range of prices: the rate is anywhere from $0 at Firstrade and all the way up to $76 for purchase transaction at Charles Schwab. Many of these investment firms also offer no transaction fee mutual funds and that allows their clients to buy and sell mutual funds without paying commissions.

On the surface it may seem that some of the brokerage firms mentioned are expensive (TD Ameritrade or Etrade) while others are very cheap (Ally Invest and Firstrade). Generally speaking it's true. But for many clients there is a way to invest with some higher priced brokers basically for free. TD Ameritrade is the best case: the firm offers 296 commission free ETFs, thousands of no transaction fee mutual funds, and a promotion that offers 60 days of trading for free. With all these perks most customers could essentially create a diversified portfolio at the firm without paying any commissions.

Each of the 10 top financial investment companies has its strengths and weaknesses, and not every firm is right for a particular investor. We encourage readers to take a time to read the reviews, to see if a specific firm is a good fit for them.

The top investment companies are not shy to offer new customers promotional deals and incentives for opening a new non-IRA or even a retirement account: anything from reimbursing account transfer fees charged by an old broker; free trades for a period of time (usually one or two months); and up to significant cash bonuses (where amount of bonus often depends on the amount of initial deposit). Investors should definitely take advantage of these offers!



While investment company advice can certainly be beneficial, there are nevertheless potential disadvantages. For example, some brokers might try to sell its own products to clients who pay for investment advice. In this situation, there is a conflict of interest because the brokerage house is supposed to be providing objective information, but may just be selling its own funds. These can include both mutual and exchange-traded funds. Some of the top 10 investment companies today manage and sell both types of funds.

Besides selling funds, there could be other conflicts of interest. For example, a stock investment company could benefit from placing trades in a managed account. The firm could also receive compensation by recommending a certain custodian for client assets.

Investors who elect to turn over their assets to an investment advisor also lose the incentive to educate themselves about financial topics. There's a certain level of blind trust when clients simply turn their money over to an advisor.

Despite the disadvantages of investment broker advice, there are certainly benefits. A financial advisor is an excellent choice for beginners who aren't confident enough to make decisions with their own money. Financial planning could also benefit older people who are in retirement or approaching retirement. People who simply don't have enough time to manage their finances could also benefit from the services of a professional money manager. Many of the above top 10 investment companies offer such investment advice.