By Arjun Chandrasekar.
Brokers are the “middle man” or the intermediary between an investor and their trading. They can be a company with an online trading platform in which investors may have to pay commission for their service. Some brokers have a commission free guarantee, which is ideal for investors. Some brokers don’t give investment advice, but execute the trades their client desires. So it’s up to the client to research themselves before asking to trade. However, the best value brokers provide both investment advice and executing the trades for their clients.
There are many different types of online brokers across the world available to investors, so it’s hard to pick the top ones, but for US brokers only, here are the top 3.
Fidelity ranks number one in the list for multiple reasons. It executes trades at a price better than the regular bidding price. It offers copious amounts of resources, research, and asset screeners for investors to look at before executing their trades. And any cash put into the account is automatically inputted into the money market fund to help investors gain a bigger return in their portfolios. But while there’s many pros, there are also cons to this broker. First, only US citizens and residents can use Fidelity, so it’s not accessible to anyone outside of the US. And Fidelity does not offer commodities or options on futures, which is a minus for investors looking into those.
TD Ameritrade is again one of the top online brokers because of its easy access for investors. It offers advice and educational tips that are suited for beginner investors, which is what most of their clients are. They also offer in-person education training on investing in their offices and firms, and give access to multiple training resources on their website and app. Some of the cons include the website not having as many tools as some investors prefer, and that investors that leave their cash in their account have to pay a small interest rate.
TastyWorks has one of the best trading platforms for all types of investors, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. It has all the tools necessary to analyze and research trading options. Investors can access and alter the charting capabilities to their preferred needs. And they post videos from their library of resources for their users to research and learn about different companies and stocks they hold. The negative side to TastyWorks is that the platform may seem complicated for beginners investors based on all the tools and information displayed. There also isn’t fixed income trading, which might be a down loss for investors.