Do you wanna start investing, but you lack knowledge and resources?
You don’t want your savings to stay passive on your bank account, but to work for a new car, education for your kids or your retirement?
Thanks to the online brokers, investing has become more accessible and now everyone can become an investor starting with a couple of dollars.
Whether you want your money to work for your retirement or try your hand in a simulation with virtual cash, looking for a platform with great educational resources or the one helping you save as much on taxes as possible, keep reading.
We took a closer look at the most popular trading platforms so that you could choose the most suitable broker for you.
📈 Here is an overview of the 26 most popular trading platforms, listed in alphabetical order. Happy trading!
Founded in 2012 in the US, Acorns is financial wellness investing app and a web platform, allowing you to invest in ETF’s, set up a custodial investment account and invest for retirement. It bases on micro-savings and micro-investing.
Acorns charges a monthly fee of $1 – $5 depending on the chosen plan. There are no trade fees nor minimum deposit.
Acorns offer a Robo-advisor model that provides advice and automatically invests client assets based on given information about the financial situation and future goals.
The Round-Ups feature saves your spare change rounded to the nearest dollar on every purchase with a linked account and adds the difference to your Acorns investment.
Ally is the online brokerage of the US Ally Bank, having its roots in TradeKing service, purchased and rebranded in 2016.
With Ally Invest you can trade for free on eligible U.S. stocks, ETFs, funds and bonds. The platform charges an options-contract fee of $0.50. There is also a $50 transfer fee, $50 IRA transfer fee, $25 IRA closing fee.
There is no minimum required to begin trading.
Ally offers an all-in-one mobile app, connecting all of your Ally accounts. The customer service is available 7 days a week.
You can take advantage of Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolio, a function similar to a Robo-advisory service, aiming to assist you in building and maintaining your portfolio.
Based in New York, Betterment was established in 2010 aiming to make investing simple. Based on a Robo-advisor model, the service automatically invests your money into low-cost ETFs.
Betterment charges a fee of 0.25% per year (premium accounts are charged 0.40% a year). There is no minimum deposit and no withdrawal fee. Moreover, ATM fees worldwide are being reimbursed.
Betterments offers Tax Loss Harvesting, a program that works to offset taxes on both gains and income.
Capital.com is a London-based company founded in 2016. It is one of the largest CFD (Contract for Differences) brokers.
The minimum deposit is 20€. There is no fee charged on trades, deposits or withdrawals.
This AI-powered platform employed AI trade bias detection system, Emotional Quotient (EQ) providing feedback and allowing you to understand your trading weaknesses.
Capital.com created the Investmate app, which allows you to learn about investing through engaging financial lessons, videos, quizzes and more.
Capital.com is not available in the United States and Canada.
Founded in 1973 in the US, Charles Schwab provides brokerage and banking services.
Charles Schwab offers commission-free ETF, stock and options trades and does not impose an account minimum. There is a $0.65 fee per options contract.
The company offers two trading platforms: entry-level Schwab.com web trader and more advanced StreetSmart Edge, with a customizable interface allowing you to adjust the trading process to your needs.
The customer service is available 24/7.
*eToro doesn’t serve the following countries: USA, Canada, Japan, Brazil, Turkey, North-Korea, Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Syria.
eToro is an Israeli company established in 2007. This web trading platform allows you to invest in currencies, crypto, commodities, indices, stocks and ETFs.
You can trade for free, however, eToro charges a 5$ fee on withdrawals as well as an inactivity fee. Minimum first-time deposit is 200$ (for Israeli residents the amount is $10,000).
If you don’t have time to run your in-depth market analysis, you may wanna try a social trading feature, which allows you to follow and copy other, more experienced traders’ strategies.
E*TRADE brokerage was founded in the United States in 1982. It allows you to trade in bonds, stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, futures, target-date funds.
The broker charges no commissions on ETF, online stock but there is a $0.65 fee per contract on options trades and $4,95 – $6,95 on OTC stocks. Customers are charged an additional $25 for broker-assisted trades. There’s no minimum account balance.
E*TRADE provides educational resources for beginner investors such as webinars and courses. For those who are not interested in making decisions themselves, there is E*TRADE Core Portfolios Robo-advisor service available (this feature charges a fee of 0.30% annually).
The customer service is available 24/7.
Founded in 2014, Ellevest is a company based in the US. Designed to help close the gender money gaps, this tool was built to meet women needs.
Ellevest charges a monthly subscription fee of $1 – $9 (depending on a chosen plan).
Ellevest is a Robo-advisor that personalises and manages your portfolio to meet your financial goals.
Coaching and certified financial planner access are available at a discounted price that depends on the membership level you choose.
Fidelity Investments is an American asset management company founded in 1946. It is only available for US citizens residing in the country.
Fidelity charges no commission on ETF, stock and options trades and an option fee of $0.65 per contract. There is a fee to broker-assisted trades of $32,95.
Fidelity prides itself to be one of the best platforms for active traders. It offers easy fo navigate web-based platform and a mobile app and a more complex Active Trader Pro, offering extra features and advanced options fulfilling the needs of more experienced investors.
Interactive Brokers was founded in 1977 in the United States to serve investors around the world.
IBKR Lite doesn’t’ charge a fee on ETFs and stocks trades listed on US exchanges. IBKR Pro charges a $0.005 fee per share and between $1 and 1% of trade value with available discounts. Option trades charge a $0,65 fee per contract.
IBKR Pro accounts are charged a fee of $10 (accounts with less than $100k) or $20 (accounts with less than $2K) a month minus any trade commissions.
Interactive Brokers divides into IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro for more advanced traders. You can also take advantage of Interactive Advisors, a Robo-advisor charging a management fee between 0.08% – 1.5%.
IBKR offers a Tax Optimizer tool allowing you to optimize your capital gains and losses and full access to the features of Portfolio Analyst tool, which consolidates, tracks and analyzes your complete financial performance.
Invstr is a fintech mobile app established in the UK in 2013 aiming to be a platform allowing you to learn about investing in a low-risk environment.
You can download the app for free, but to start investing you need to register with the DriveWealth broker which charges a $5 fee.
There is a $2.99 fee per full trade and $0.99 fee per fractional trade.
Fantasy Finance, a virtual trading game will allow you to manage a virtual portfolio to boost your investing skills. Tackle challenges withing the game for the opportunity to win real money.
The app offers you an opportunity to learn more about finance by presenting you the daily podcasts from an expert team as a part of Invstr Academy.
Founded in 2010 in the United States, Merrill Edge is a discount brokerage service provided by Merrill Lynch. It doesn’t support cryptocurrencies, futures and futures options trading.
The platform provides free stock and ETFs trades and a $0.65 option trade fee per contract. It also charges the mutual fund trade fee of $19.95 and a $29.95 commission for broker-assisted trades.
You can also choose one of Merrill Guided Investing advisory programs for a 0.45% or 0.85% annual fee and a minimum investment of $5,000 or $20,000.
Bank of America clients may qualify for a Preferred Rewards program and get additional benefits such as Merril Edge program fee discounts, interest rate boosts and more.
All clients of Merril Edge have an access to MarketPro streaming app, allowing you to arrange widgets and set up trading defaults on the website.
M1 Finance is as a Robo-advisor platform based on a pie investing system using fractional shares. The company was founded in 2015 in the United States. It gives you access to stocks and ETFs, but you cannot invest in futures, mutual fund, options investing and forex.
The basic account offers free ETFs and stock trades. M1 Plus Account charges an annual fee of $125 for additional benefits such as lower interest rates on margin loans.
There is a Tax Minimization feature available to all customers, opting for the most tax-favourable transactions. The brokerage doesn’t offer tax-loss harvesting.
You can take advantage of the articles and videos offered by M1 educational centre to learn more about finance and investing.
Founded in 2009 in the United States, Personal Capital is a digital asset management company targeting high-net-worth clients.
There is a free planning tool available. However, taking advantage of Personal Capital’s wealth management services requires an account minimum of $100,000. It also charges a management fee of 0.49% – 0.89% (depending on your account balance).
Personal Capital has recently introduced the Recession Simulator, providing its users with insights into the effects of past market recessions.
The company offers its clients tax-efficient portfolios focusing on tax-sensitive asset location, employing tax-loss harvesting and tax efficiency.
To assess your portfolio, you can try out the Investment Checkup tool designed to minimize risk and maximize returns.
This Israeli online trading platform was founded in 2008 as a CFD broker. It is not available for traders from the United States.
Plus500 doesn’t charge trading fees. If there is no activity for three months, the broker charges a fee of $10. To open an account, you must deposit at least $100. There is a limit of 5 commission-free withdrawals a month.
This trading platform is very easy to use with a vast choice of tradable assets. It doesn’t offer any educational resources on finance and trading.
There is a Margin Call feature preventing your account from having a negative balance.
Robinhood is a brokerage founded in 2013 in the United States. It offers stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, fractional shares and options trading.
You can trade stocks, ETFs and options commission-free.
To trade margins, access research and market depth data, you must pay Robinhood Gold subscription between 5$-5% monthly.
You can trade fractional shares with as low as 1$ and there is no minimum required to trade cryptocurrencies, which makes Robinhood a good option for investors willing to trade small quantities and build a diversified portfolio.
Round is a fintech company founded in the United States in 2016. It prides itself to be a Robo-advisor with an active approach.
Round charges a 0.5% fee only if the monthly return is positive. In case of a negative return, the fee is waived. The minimum investment is $500.
Round builds up and adjust your portfolio to your needs. World-class fund managers combine sophisticated investments and look after your money.
SoFi is a finance company founded in 2011 in the United States. It targets young professionals offering them wealth management services adjusted to their needs. The brokerage is only available to residents of the United States.
SoFi doesn’t charge trading fees and doesn’t require a minimum to start investing.
SoFi allows to trade stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies and fractional shares.
With SoFi, you can invest actively or take advantage of the Robo-advisor option and access the Certified Financial Planners.
Stash is a New York-based personal finance app founded in 2015. You can trade ETFs, stocks, fractional shares.
You can open three types of account charging fees between $1-$9. There is no minimum required to start trading.
Stash offers help in building a portfolio as well as several educational resources allowing beginner investors to learn about trading.
Stock-Back program awards you fractional shares matching your purchases as well as bonus rewards for various actions.
The Stockpile was founded in 2010 in the United States aiming to be a platform for young people who want to learn about investing and get started trading stocks, fractional shares and ETFs.
To open a brokerage account, you must be a resident of the US.
This online digital brokerage charges a fee of $0.99 on all trades.
Stockpile allows you to purchase gift cards redeemable for stock.
The brokerage also offers educational material explained in simple terms, so that the young and inexperience investors can easily understand.
This US-based brokerage was founded in 2015 as a platform for options, futures, stocks and ETFs trading.
You can trade stocks and ETFs for free. The brokerage charges a fee of $1 for stock options and $1,25 for futures options contracts opening among many others.
There is a minimum deposit of $2,000 on margin accounts and $0 on the cash account.
This advanced platform was designed for active, experienced brokers.
You can also take advantage of social trading service to copy other member’s trades.
Founded in 1975 in the US, TD Ameritrade is a company providing brokerage and financial services. The broker was acquired by Charles Schwab in October 2020.
The brokerage doesn’t charge fees on ETFs, stocks. There is $0,65 per contract fee on options trades. Broker-assisted trades cost $25.
TD Ameritrade offers its clients advanced routing technology and evaluates execution quality. The price improvement feature will allow you to save around $0.0262 per share.
You can trade using a web-based platform, mobile app and a fully customizable thinkorswim Desktop platform. If you wanna try your hand, you can set up a practice account – paperMoney, and trade $100,000 virtual money risk-free.
Owned by Starburst Labs, Wealthbase is only available to residents of the US. It is not a brokerage, but a virtual simulation allowing you to learn and win prizes.
You can register and play for free.
Once registered, you will be given a virtual $100,000 to create your virtual portfolio and trade stocks, ETFs, and cryptos. There are prizes to win (depending on a game).
Wealthbase Learning Center will provide you with educational resources about financial planning and investing.
Wealthfront is an automated investing platform launched in 2011 in the United States.
You have to deposit a minimum of $500. The platform charges a 0,25% fee a year.
Wealthfront is a Robo-advisor using the Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) to create your portfolio, basing on your financial needs and taking into consideration risk tolerance. It also applies a Path algorithm to provide you with financial advise and help you save money depending on your goals.
Wealthfront focuses on minimising your taxes by offering Tax-Loss Harvesting, Intelligent Dividend Reinvesting, Tax Location, Index Funds and Risk Parity features.
Webull is a financial company born in 2017 and based in China and the US.
You can only trade with this broker if you are the citizens of the countries above.
The broker doesn’t charge commissions for trading stocks, ETFs, ADRs and options.
Webull operates on a customizable, user-friendly platform and mobile app where you can invest in stocks, ETFs and options.
With Webull, you can trade full pre-market (4 – 9:30 AM ET) and after hours (4 – 8 PM ET) sessions.
Founded in 1975 in the United States, Vanguard is a client-owned investment company.
There is a $20 annual account service fee, waived for the clients who’ve elected e-delivery of documents or having a required minimum of ETFs or assets.
You can trade stocks and ETFs commission-free. An option fee of $1 per contract is charged.
Users with $50,000 or more can take advantage of Vanguard Personal Advisor Services providing you with a financial plan based on your financial situation.
Vanguard Portfolio Watch will analyze your portfolio and compare to the goals you have established to minimize risks. This tool will not only examine assets purchased with Vanguard but all of your holdings.
Do you find this review helpful? Which platform is your favourite? Let us know in the comment section below!