Our comparison table of US stock trading brokers covers the key account features.
These include, tight pricing, financial security, regulation, range of markets, added value and reviews. Trading and investing carries a high level or risk and losses can exceed your deposits. Featured brokers appear first.
Here are a few of the best stock brokers in the US
- Interactive Brokers – Read IBKR reviews
- TradeStation – Read TradeStation reviews
- TD Ameritrade – Read TD Ameritrade reviews
- E*TRADE – Read E*Trade reviews
- Charles Schwab
Which are the best online stock brokers in America?
All US stock-brokers are different and the best way to figure out what broker is best for your investing goals is to compare the key account features and products on offer. We’ve put together a list of the major American stock brokers that offer online and phone trading and investing as well as other peripheral products such as ETFs (exchange traded funds), cryptocurrencies, options and futures.
How do I open an online stock brokerage account?
If you looking to open your first brokerage account or need an additional broker for diversification there are a few key questions you need to ask yourself. You can read our full guide on how to open a brokerage account or use our US stock broker comparison tables to find your perfect broker.
- There are three different types of account
- Self directed – you make your own investment decisions
- Managed portfolio – a professional manages your investments
- Robo-advisor – an automated investment account
How to buy US Stocks?
If you want to buy US stocks you need a US stock broker to buy them on your behalf. This is by far the most efficient way of getting exposure to a companies share price.
How to compare US Stock brokers?
- This is how much the broker charges your for each trade. Despite online stock trading being highly competitive there is actually quite a significant difference between broker commissions.
- Account fees
- One top of commission some brokers will also charge a fees for market access, live pricing, research, inactivity and administration.
- Trade frequency
- The more you trade the lower your costs. If you are a regular trade look out for brokers with frequent trade promotions.
- When something goes wrong you need to know that you can get through to the right person on the phone. In investing mistakes can be costly if not dealt with promptly.
- Some brokers will ask you to make a deposit when you open an account, whilst other will let you get an account in place before you are ready to make your first trade and deposit.
- Investment products
- Read our guide to brokerage accounts to see the difference between trading through stocks, futures, options and ETFs etc.
- Some brokers are better for beginners and other brokers offer investment products that are only suitable to experienced traders with a high risk appetite. Make sure you choose a broker that is best for your level of investment experience.
How much money do I need to start buying stocks?
The answer to this depends on how much money you have to begin with and how risky the stocks you will be buying are.
As a rule you should think in percentages of your net worth. The higher the risk the lower the percentage of you net worth you should allocate to it. All investments (even the safest) come with risk so be prepared to lose money as well as profit from the stock market.
Always stay within your comfort zone and never invest money you cannot afford to lose.
Should I have a diverse portfolio or only a few stocks?
Again, this depends on your risk appetite and experience. Investing in two stocks for example is more risky that investing in twenty. This is because you are diluting your exposure to things going wrong. For example if you hold a stock which has a profit warning and loses 50% of it’s value. It will have a greater impact on your net worth if you have a portfolio of two stocks rather than twenty because you will hold a greater value of it.