Best Discount Brokers

Best discount brokerages in 2017. 3 top rated discount online brokers for low cost stock trading. Best discount stock brokers accounts for self directed investors.

Optionshouse rating


OptionsHouse Commissions

OptionsHouse is charging only $4.95 on stock and ETF trades - making it one of the lowest cost discount brokers. Mutual funds are priced at $20 per transaction. List of all broker commissions and fees is located under this link.

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

Best Discount Broker Review

Despite of what its name suggests - OptionsHouse is not just for options traders. The company is also very popular among stock and ETF traders, and even among mutual funds investors. OptionsHouse lures new customers with hard-to-beat, $4.95 per trade commission on stock and ETF trades, attractive pricing plan for option trading, and low $20 per transaction rate on no-load mutual funds. This top discount broker does not have minimum account balance, volume, or minimum number of trades requirements to get these very low commissions.

Aside from low costs, OptionsHouse's other major strength is trading tools that are rated among the best in the industry. Another advantage over competitors are some of the lowest margin interest rates on borrowed money, starting from 8.00% on balances under $50K and going down to 3.50% on balances of over $1 million making this firm one of the best discount brokerages in 2017.

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Ally Invest rating

Ally Invest

Ally Invest Commissions

Ally Invest's charge on stock and exchange traded funds (ETFs) is just $4.95 per trade. But what makes the firm even more special is $9.95 rate on all no load mutual fund transactions. To see all fees and commissions charged by the Ally Invest follow this link.

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

Best Discount Broker Review

Ally Invest has been one of our top ranked discount brokerage firms for the last six years. In 2017 we rated it one of the Top Brokerage Firms for individual investors. Ally Invest's investment commissions remained consistently low through its ten year history: the company charges just $4.95 for stocks and ETFs, and rock bottom $9.95 for no-load mutual funds. Ally Invest received lots of awards from financial magazines: Barron's magazine named it "Best for Option Traders" and among the "Best for Long-Term Investing." In Smart Money magazine's annual broker survey, it was the best discount brokerage firm in Customer Service.

One major disadvantage Ally Invest has compared to competition is absence of NTF mutual funds. The broker is not the best choice for investors that want to trade stocks priced under $2.00, or trade during after hours.

Read detailed review of Ally Invest

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Scottrade rating


Scottrade Commissions

For anyone who wants to invest exclusively with a brand name brokerage house, Scottrade is the best discount brokerage firm. It charges $7 on stock and ETF trades and $17 on no load mutual fund transactions. These are the lowest rates among large brokerage houses. See all Scottrade fees.

Scottrade Advantages

  • No inactivity, account maintenance or hidden fees
  • No-fee IRAs
  • 500+ local branches for in-person assistance
  • Good banking services: savings, CDs, money market, and free checking account that comes with free ATM withdrawals, VISA check card, and first order of checks
  • Free real-time streaming quotes
  • Flexible dividend reinvestment program (DRIP)
  • Large number of no-commission mutual funds available
  • Instant funds deposits

Scottrade Disadvantages

  • Surcharge of 0.5% of the principal value on stocks priced under $1
  • No electronic withdrawals, but clients can use a debit card, checks, or ACH transfer from their bank
  • $25,000 account balance, or 9+ stock/option trades during the previous three months is required to use advanced trading platform (ScottradeELITE)
  • $2,500 minimum to open a brokerage account

Best Discount Broker Review

Scottrade has been one of the top choices for customers looking to open an investment account at one of the oldest and largest discount brokerage firms in the country. The company offers the lowest commissions among the largest brokerage houses: $7 per stock or ETF trade ($17 for mutual funds). Compare it to other big brokerages: $10 per stock or ETF trade at Etrade and TD Ameritrade ($20 and $50 for mutual funds), $9 at Charles Schwab ($76 to buy a mutual funds), and $8 at Fidelity Investments ($50 for mutual funds).

Scottrade is the most popular out of the three top discount brokers among mutual funds investors. And it is easy to see why: it offers thousands of mutual funds from all major mutual fund families, over 2,600 no transaction fee funds, and charges low $17 commission on no-load funds. There are no account inactivity or maintenance fees at the company for both IRA and taxable accounts.

Read detailed review of Scottrade

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Updated on 1/26/2017.

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