Best Stock Trading Platform for Beginners: Expert Guideline

Best Stock Trading Platform for Beginners: Expert Guideline

Stock Trading
January 25, 2021 by David
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Being a stock trader, it’s important to keep eyes and ears open about the best online stock trading platforms. And what can be better than a comprehensive all-in-one article about stock trading that tells you what is the best stock trading platform for beginners in 2021 Now, you may be caught up intensely searching for
Trading

Being a stock trader, it’s important to keep eyes and ears open about the best online stock trading platforms. And what can be better than a comprehensive all-in-one article about stock trading that tells you what is the best stock trading platform for beginners in 2021

Now, you may be caught up intensely searching for how to choose a broker – a reliable and renowned one. But there are certain conditions in every online stock trade company that you should be concerned about. Reasonable offers, minimum investment, universal access to customers, robust trading platform, no hidden account fees, etc.

Now, taking these parameters in hand and also 42 other features only for mobile trading, we’ve listed our 10 best stock trading platforms in 2020.

We have deep-dived into the features of each of these trading platforms to identify the pros and cons. So, this list is equally helpful for forex traders, stock traders, cryptocurrency trader, or if you simply want to keep track of all the activities – look no further.

List of the Best Online Stock Brokers for Beginners in 2020

Fidelity Investments Overall Number One and Ideal for Investment Research.
TD Ameritrade Ideal Broker for Beginners and Also the Best Broker for Mobile Trading.
E* Trade Best Choice for Progressing Education and Options Trading.
Interactive Brokers Best Choice for Professional Traders and Ideal for Trading Internationally.
Charles Schwab Best for Customer Service and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).
Robinhood Best Digital User Experience and the Most Mobile-Friendly Platform.
Merrill Edge Ideal Broker for ESG research, Best Analysis Tool, and A Large Advisor Network.

This is a list of the best online brokers for stock trading 2020 in order of user preference, offers, customer service, user experience, etc.

Fidelity Investment – Number One All-rounder

Stock Trades: $0

Minimum Deposit: $0

Ongoing Offers: Maximum of $375 cash credit backed with a qualifying deposit, $0 for stock/ETF trades, $0 plus $0.65/contract for an options trade.

Overview

Fidelity is one of the best stock trading platforms for beginners known for its all rounding performance. Top-notch investing tools, instant order execution record, consumer planning for retirement – all these offers are part of the reason why it holds the preference and trust of such a large customer base.

Meanwhile, it had been silently working on enhancing the features of its mobile responsive website and app for a smoother user experience. As a part of being committed to its huge customer base, it dropped down the trading commissions to zero for all its clients. This makes it easy for the clients to earn more interest by putting in uninvested cash in a money market fund.

Besides, facilities like – revenue sharing from stock loan programs, allowing clients to choose specific stocks from their portfolio to put on loans, etc., made Fidelity the number one choice for online brokers.

Pricing

In October of 2019, Fidelity made a bold competitive move by announcing to drop its trading commission to flat zero. Along with that, the company holds the reputation for being coined as an investor-friendly platform besides taking zero fees on many of its services. Many renowned brokers charge for the services on their platform.

Features

  1. Offers very competitive investing offers for all online users
  2. Operates from more than 100 locations in the United States
  3. Reasonable fees to begin with
  4. Requires no minimum investment for most of its services including IRAs and brokerage accounts
  5. Fractional share support and other assets like – ETFs, mutual funds, forex, CFDs, stocks, bonds, and etc.
  6. Wide range of market research and deep research tools for its asset types
  7. News collection from various reliable sources accumulated and simplified inside one platform
  8. A simplified platform for any new trader to learn quickly. Easy to navigate through the options
  9. Provides one of the best customer service experience among all brokers, arranges seminars, and other educational events for investors (beginner to advanced)
  10. No trading options for cryptocurrencies

Pros

  • Provides an all rounding trade experience and smooth trade execution for all investors
  • Offers a wide range of research tools and customizable presets for asset screeners
  • Uninvested cash of the users is transferred into a money market fund which contributes to the overall portfolio returns
  • Physical appointment is possible if you live near to one of the 100 Fidelity broker houses
  • Option to avail retirement accounts
  • Offers a plethora of research materials and educational guide
  • Clean and simple looking web platform with abundance of features
  • Stocks in the US and international stocks – both are available for trading

Cons

  • Advanced traders and investors may need to use the web platform in order to access all the tools and features for the research they need
  • People outside U.S. cannot register for an account
  • Data must be refreshed by the user manually from the website
  • Wide range of offers for security investment but no offers or options for future
  • No support for crypto trading
  • High expense for mutual fund
  • Financial rates are comparatively high

TD Ameritrade

Minimum Deposit: $0

Trade Costs: $0.65

Fees: Free stock, ETF, per-leg options trading commission (since October 2019)

Recurring Fees: None

Overview

TD Ameritrade is our second choice on the list. This online broker has branded itself across all social media platforms as a beginner-friendly trading platform. The company had been working for quite some time on user experience on mobile and web platforms. Moreover, it added a little twist by enabling users to interact with Alexa-compatible devices to buy and sell stocks.

Besides, its top-notch platform and low pricing together make it a perfect combo for options trading. The users have access to the huge library of trading resources for beginner investors with enough advanced materials for independent investors, such as – articles, FAQs, webinars, etc. Customer support is highly recommended.

The mobile app is highly rated on Google Playstore, Apple Appstore, and its customers for a smooth user experience. The app incorporated all the web platform options along with enough features to encourage a budding investor.

As of late 2019, Charles Schwab acquired TD Ameritrade, and the two companies merged as one.

Pricing

TD Ameritrade imposes no commission fees on regular stocks and ETFs. It is also recognized as another one of the most beneficial & best stock trading platforms for beginners. But it considers $0.65 per contract for options trading. So, it’s actually very close to being free even though it’s not. Users do not have any minimum balance but need at least $2000 to access the marginal trading and advanced options privileges.

Features

  1. Best choice for beginner investors
  2. Top-notch educational materials curated for beginner to advanced investors
  3. Regular stocks and ETFs are free
  4. Trades with no base commission but option trades are as low as $0.65 per contract
  5. Unrivaled customer support across the country with phone support and physical appointments across 300+ branches across the country
  6. Interactive features for advanced traders like – streaming live data, trading from charts, complex options contracts, and etc.
  7. Highly rated and user-friendly mobile app

Pros

  • Instant access to more than 300 commission-free ETFs
  • Mobile and web interfaces are simplified and easily navigable.
  • Contains a huge library of trading resources (beginner to advanced). Educational materials are curated as beginner-friendly.
  • Mobile and web-optimized website for a smoother user experience
  • Options to stream data in real-time on the mobile app
  • Regular stocks, ETFs, and options trades are commission-free
  • Excellent customer support

Cons

  • Trades assisted by the brokers are expensive
  • The platform is beginner-friendly so, advanced or professional users may have to use multiple platforms to utilize their preferred tools
  • Consists of a wide selection of account types, which is confusing for a budding investor
  • Investors consider a very small percentage (0.01 -0.05%) of the user’s uninvested cash unless it is moved into market money funds
eTrade

E*TRADE

Account Minimum: None

Commission Fee: None

Account Fees: Transfer fees are applicable

Investment Products: Stocks, ETFs, Options, Mutual Funds, Futures, Bonds, IRAs, CFDs, Managed Portfolios, Retirement Portfolios, and etc.

Overview

E*TRADE is one of the oldest established brokers in the stock trading business on our list. Having been in the business for more than 40 years, the company certainly knows how to uphold its values and services to keep its trust intact. We have seen that many experts have mentioned it as one of the best stock trading platforms for beginners.

Free commissions, frequent trading, research, retirement planning, beginner investor – if you’re interested in any of these offers, then E*TRADE is for you. With E*TRADE, you have various investment options to choose from because options are one of the company’s strong suit.

Besides, there are 9000 mutual funds to choose from and of which 4400 are commission-free. All this is possible because of E*TRADE’s heavyweight force with funds. Last but not least, the company has a dedicated robo-advertising platform called E-Trad Core Portfolios that readily takes care of your account automatically at the expense of 0.30% annually.

Pricing

E*TRADE has a lot on its offer list for its clients. And that is the reason why the company is best for careful investors. People who are persistent in updating their trading knowledge over time will easily understand how they manage the trades.

To stay in competition with other top major brokers, E*TRADE reduced its trading commissions to zero for regular stocks and ETF trades, $0.65 per contract for an options trade. But you can avail a discount on options trade at $0.50 per contract if you can make over 30 trades per quarter.

Features

  1. The minimum account balance for new users is $0
  2. The cost of regular stock trading and ETFs is $0
  3. Options trading requires no base commission; however, $0.65 per contract is required for options trading
  4. Over 4400 no-transaction-fee mutual funds
  5. 3 Excellent trading platforms offering services like – free data streaming, research tool, stock screeners, real-time quotes, and lots more
  6. Mutual funds that are not on the free list are priced at $19.99 per transaction
  7. 24/7 standby customer support (email, phone call, live chat) along with in-person appointments

Pros

  • Tools are simplified for better usage
  • Option for large investment
  • Top-notch customer service 24/7
  • Access to thousands of exclusive research materials
  • Easy-to-use mobile app and beginner-friendly mobile app
  • Regular stocks, options trading, and ETFs are commission-free
  • Online platforms (mobile and web) are designed for all expertise level
  • Free data on-trade market and analyst research results
  • Excellent customer support traders can avail of a discounted offer of $0.50 per contract in options trading if they manage to make more than 30 trades per quarter

Cons

  • Website can get a little difficult to use as a beginner
  • It takes $500 to open an investment account.
  • Mutual trust funds over 4400 come with a higher price rate

Interactive Brokers

Account Minimum: None

Commission Fee: Depends on the account and location of the user

Account Fees: Monthly activity charge imposed if you drop below the minimum threshold value

Investment Products: Stocks, ETFs, Options, Forex, Mutual Funds, Metals, Futures, Bonds, IRAs, CDs, Managed Portfolios, Retirement Portfolios, Hedge Funds, EFPs, and etc.

Overview

The interactive broker is a renowned international broker for professional traders. But, their platforms – IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro both encourage budding and advanced investors. If you want to get a trader-friendly stockbroker then Interactive Broker is one of those best stock trading platforms for beginners in the industry.

The company offers one of the most sophisticated stock trading and stock analysis tools in the market and stands as one of the few companies that offer a fractional share of stocks.

Along with that, you will also get – Robo-portfolios (if you are happy feel secure to have your trading rely on algorithms) and Probability Lab (for those who are not so good with mathematics). Besides, 50 top-notch educational courses cover all kinds of trading knowledge from beginner to advanced.

Pricing

The company has 2 tiers of service. IBKR and IBKR Pro. The Pro version is more directed for the advanced traders. Per-share price on options trading is very reasonably priced at $0.005 per share (the minimum is $1). The account minimum across both services is $0.

Besides, it also offers stock on fractional share. The basic IBKR has no price on account of maintenance and inactivity whereas, IBKR Pro will charge you for inactivity.

Features

  1. Holds more than $8.2 billion in equity capital, which makes it pretty reliable for all.
  2. Offers two main platforms -IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro. The Pro version offers more features as it is directed at advanced traders
  3. Free trial option on both platforms – IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro for a limited time.
  4. Sophisticated tools and services for thorough analysis, refining your investments.
  5. PortfolioAnalyst helps to provide data to help in maintaining your account.
  6. ProbabilityLab as a tool helps to provide mathematical insights without having to worry about complicated mathematical analysis.
  7. Option to buy fractional share stocks.

Pros

  • Good variety of investment products
  • 50 great educational resources for new investors
  • Advanced tools for research and account support
  • More than 90 indicators to keep track of currency pair performance
  • Ability to purchase fractional shares
  • Mobile and Web platforms are flexible and simple to use for beginners
  • Commission-free trade on regular stocks and ETFs.

Cons

  • IBKR Pro charges the user for inactivity
  • Prices are very high if you are a high-volume trader.
  • Requires a $10,000 deposit if you are a high-volume trader.

Charles Schwab

Account Minimum: $0

Commission Fee: No base commission, Options trading at $0.65 per contract.

Account Fees: No yearly fees included, $50 charge for full asset transfer, and $25 on partial transfer.

Overview

Charles Schwab is one of the largest international online broker company in the world after taking over TD Ameritrade in 2019. The company attracts all kinds of users – beginner to advanced in its intuitively designed trading platform.

It provides one of the most accurate research offerings in the stock market using the reports collected from – Morningstar, Market Edge, Credit Suisse, Ned Davis, and others. The company labels itself as a full-service investment company as it infuses service with technology for those who seek the help of a financial advisor.

It has different kinds of platforms to choose for each kind of trade, as well as full-banking capability. ETF trades are one of the most popular trades in the company, and that is why Schwab’s ETF screener gets featured on the StreetSmart Edge platform promptly.

Their mobile and web platform is easy to use and navigate through the options, making it easy for all kinds of users. Also, the 24/7 customer service virtually and for in-person appointments is unrivaled.

Pricing

Prices are friendly to attract beginner investors. So, the company puts some lucrative available offers such as – $0 minimum account requirement, $0 trading cost on regular stocks, and ETFs.

Plus, there is no transaction-free on 3500 mutual funds, options trade available on as low as $0.65 per contract, $50 for a full asset transfer, and $25 for a partial transfer.

Features

  1. Requires no minimum account fee
  2. Competitive contract fee of $0.65 per contract on options trading
  3. Over 600 funds on the platform have an expense of 0.50% or lower
  4. Personalized portfolio tool to help create a calculated diversified portfolio based on your financial target, timeline, and risk factor
  5. Easy to navigate through the thousands of funds available on the website and on the app. It is possible to select categories and sort the list by features
  6. Fractional shares available for purchase
  7. Research offerings are one of the best in the market
  8. Offers many research reports, insights, market commentary by their own experts along with a quarterly magazine provided free of charge
  9. The platform is integrated with voice commands i.e., Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and others.

Pros

  • Top-notch research and education tools are given in the platform
  • Both the app and the mobile platform have a high user experience
  • StreetSmartEdge trading platform provides cutting-edge information filtering
  • Both platforms require no minimum fees to begin with
  • Wide variety for fund selection
  • Commission-free trading on regular stocks, ETFs, and options
  • Robo-advisor is the best investment management in the platform
  • StreetSmartEdge ETF screener has more than 150 criteria that envelopes – fundamental, technical, and a combination of third-party data

Cons

  • The selection of products is only concentrated within the US market
  • The cash sweep rate is low by default
  • Uninvested cash is not automatically swept into a money market fund
  • Platform is divided based on a specific kind of trading. Such as – if you choose to trade derivatives, then use StreetSmartEdge, and if you trade equities then use the standard website

Robinhood

Overview

Robinhood is the perfect broker for people who expects a minimalistic platform free from all the technical clutter! Even with a limited trading option and account types, anyone can master Robinhood’s web and mobile platform at ease.

Expert users usually do not prefer this broker because of the lack of technical analysis tools supported by almost all other platforms.

Pricing

Like any of its competitors, Robinhood also offers a $0 commission trade on regular stocks, ETFs, and options trading. Likewise, for any of Robinhood’s tradable assets, you need to pay absolutely $0 in commissions.

Users need a Robinhood Gold membership to access margin trading. Even though the users enjoy a $0 account minimum, but you need at least $2000 to make a sweep a decent profit. Besides, a 5% annual percentage rate (APR) is imposed for any amount you use over $1000.

Features

  1. Most user-friendly trading app in the market
  2. Commission-free trade on any of Robinhood’s tradable assets
  3. No minimum account fees required on signup
  4. Becoming a Robinhood Gold member does not require you to stack up to $2000 or more in your bank account.
  5. All accounts are taxable, and the interests are calculated on a daily basis.
  6. Instant deposit offer transfers your first $1000 in a matter of seconds, and the rest is completed when the account is cleared, and the transfer is complete.
  7. Customer service is very unconvincing as it is not possible to reach the service team by phone or through live chat. However, you can contact them via social media i.e., Twitter.

Pros

  • The most user-friendly app in the market having the smoothest user experience
  • No minimum investment required on opening an account
  • Zero fees required for trading on US stocks and ETFs
  • Cryptocurrency trading is available, although it’s not that popular on the platform
  • The platform is very easy going for all levels of users, from a new user to experience

Cons

  • Absence of proper educational resources on the website
  • Customer support is sometimes unfavorable.

Conclusion

If knowledge is power then, foreknowledge is empowering.  If you work with stock trading long enough, you’re going to understand the patterns in which the market works. Of course, there is some level of oddity in the nature of how it works, but you’ll get adjusted to it.

We have tried to present you with the most actionable guideline through our best stock trading platforms review in the above article. Our experts have gone through every broker platform to present the best solutions for you.

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