Best Discount Broker by Costs, Investments, Research, Trading Apps and Customer Service
Enjoy the update of the best discount broker list in several different categories investors find most important when selecting online stock broker.
Notes to Ratings
Read about which factors were priced when building lists of best discount brokers.
Commissions and Fees
Trading costs are still the most important factor considered by investors when selecting a stock broker. Besides basic fee per trade of stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds and any other securities people find other costs important as well, like for example minimum account opening fees, inactivity fees, trading platform fees, data fees, special order-types fees, corporate actions fees, etc. All these factors are included in reviews and ratings of online stock brokers analyzed.
While most traders trade mostly one security class, like for example stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, options, futures, Forex, there are more and more who structure their portfolio in passive core and active satellites way. Therefore they combine passive long-term instruments like bonds, Exchange Traded Funds and Mutual Funds with more risky asset classes like options and Forex. It is nice to have the possibility to trade all these via one single broker.
Research & Analysis
Access to trusty in-house or external research services is very welcomed among investors, especially beginners, who are not yet confident in self-taking investment decisions and are looking for opinion confirmation or investing idea generation by such services. General investing education and investing communities where clients can exchange their thoughts is also becoming more and more important. One interesting trend in recent year giving some broker the advantage is also automatic trading, where clients have the ability to follow best traders upon selected criteria (Covestor).
With fast internet evolution and all the technology behind it traders can enjoy trading nowadays anytime and anywhere. If standalone trading applications still remain most wanted next to simple web trading, focus is slowly moving to on-the-move apps (iPhone, iPad, and similar). Factors that differentiate platforms provided by brokers are securities tradable from a single screen, speed, customizability, ease-of-use, analysis tools implemented and real-time data provided.
Most online traders and investors actually never need customer support because electronic systems are so sophisticated nowadays. However, when you get in trouble, customer support becomes a very important feature of stock broker rating. What is considered as good customer service? It should be available through as many channels as possible (phone, live chat, email, tutorials, FAQ, virtual assistant and personal) and it should be there for you whenever you need it, preferable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Response time is also important and quality of feedback as well.
Like one would expect, the overall rating is nothing else than brokers rated by all factors provided about. The list reveals which brokers do best in all analyzed categories of brokerage services.
Written by: Goran Dolenc
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