11 Best Stock Brokers for 2024 – With Cheapest Fees

Why Trust Techopedia
Why Trust Techopedia

There are dozens of online brokers to choose from, many of which offer low fees and support for thousands of stocks. But which stock broker is the best for beginners in 2024?

In this guide, we compare the 11 best stock brokers in the market today. Read on to discover the best place to buy and sell stocks online.

The Best Stock Brokers for Beginners 2024

Here’s a list of the 11 best stock brokers for 2024:

  1. eToro – In our view, eToro is the best stock broker to consider. The minimum deposit is $50, and all stocks and ETFs can be traded at 0% commission. What’s more, eToro supports thousands of stocks from the US and over a dozen international markets. eToro also offers passive investing tools, such as copy trading and smart portfolios.
  2. Webull – This online broker offers commission-free access to the US stock market. Webull supports fractional stocks from $5 per trade. There is no minimum deposit, and the platform supports ACH and bank wire payments.
  3. Interactive Brokers – Although Interactive Brokers is largely aimed at seasoned pros, it also offers a basic client interface. This enables US clients to buy and sell domestic stocks without paying any commission. Interactive Brokers is also a great option for investing in ETFs and mutual funds.
  4. E*TRADE – This stock broker will appeal to investors looking to build a diversified portfolio. In addition to stocks, E*TRADE also lists ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, futures, and options. No commissions are payable when buying and selling stocks on the NASDAQ or NYSE.
  5. Schwab – Schwab is an established brokerage house offering thousands of financial products. This includes all US-listed stocks across the major and OTC exchanges. The Schwab Stock Slices feature supports fractional investing from $5.
  6. Fidelity – This stock broker is ideal for long-term investing. It supports various retirement accounts, paving the way for tax-efficient trading. What’s more, Fidelity permits 0% commission trading on US-listed stocks and ETFs. Fidelity is also great for investing in domestic and international index funds.
  7. SoFi – SoFi is a user-friendly FinTech platform that supports mortgages, loans, credit cards, and investment products. The latter includes Robo advisor services, allowing investors to build a portfolio passively. The SoFi Robo advisor requires a minimum investment of just $1.
  8. TD Ameritrade – This stock broker will appeal to seasoned traders seeking advanced trading tools. Its native platform, Thinkorswim, offers everything an investor needs to outperform the market. This includes screeners, risk management tools, bespoke order types, and high-level charting.
  9. Robinhood – One of the most popular stock brokers for beginners, Robinhood simplifies the world of investing. It supports thousands of US-listed stocks, ETFs, and options at 0% commission. Robinhood also supports cryptocurrencies from $1, including some of the best altcoins.
  10. Ally Invest – This online broker offers a user-friendly trading app that supports both self-directed and automated investing. There are no commissions to pay when buying US-listed stocks, ETFs, or options. Bonds, mutual funds, and other assets can be traded at a commission.
  11. Admirals – Highly regarded stock broker with low fees, 20 years of experience, a high standard of customer care, and a large array of asset classes to choose from. Further provides copy trading, fixed income, and Islamic trading accounts for users.

Best Stock Brokers Reviewed & Compared

Choosing the best stock broker in 2024 requires investors to look at various factors.

In addition to supported stock markets, fees, and commissions – this also includes payments, security, and minimum account balances. Below, we compare the 11 best stock brokers in 2024 for these metrics and more.

1. eToro – Overall Best Stock Broker in 2024

Founded in 2007, eToro is the overall best stock broker to select today. It supports thousands of stocks and ETFs from the US and international stages, providing a frictionless platform for diversification. For example, investors buy stocks from the UK, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and more. Regardless of the exchange or market, all stocks and ETFs on eToro are commission-free.

This means investors only need to pay the spread – the difference between the bid and ask prices. eToro also supports fee-free deposits when using US dollars. This includes debit cards, bank wires, and e-wallets. eToro also supports other currencies, but this results in a 0.5% deposit fee.

eToro review

Nonetheless, we also like eToro for its fractional stock service. This enables investors to buy and sell any supported stock with a low minimum deposit. For example, investing $50 into a dividend stock that trades for $100 would secure 50% ownership. Those holding fractional stocks on eToro are still entitled to dividends.

Another top-rated feature of eToro is its smart portfolios. These are professionally managed baskets of assets that track specific markets. For instance, renewable energy, driverless cars, artificial intelligence, social media, e-commerce, or the metaverse. eToro rebalances its smart portfolios regularly, promoting a truly passive experience.

eToro review

Past performance is not an indication of future results.

According to our eToro review, this broker also supports copy trading tools, with thousands of verified investors to choose from. This means that traders will buy and sell the same assets as their chosen investor. Everything is automated, and eToro users can add or remove assets from their copy trading portfolio at any time. The minimum copy trading investment is just $200, while smart portfolios require at least $500.

On top of stocks and ETFs, eToro is also considered one of the best crypto exchanges. It supports Bitcoin and over 90 other cryptocurrencies, including some of the best utility tokens. eToro also supports forex trading across over 50 pairs, not to mention commodities and indices. As such, this is the best stock broker for multi-asset diversification (instrument availability may vary according to regions).

eToro review

Its platform boasts more than 30 million clients from over 100 countries. eToro also offers great customer support, operating 24/5 to mirror the financial markets. Support can be contacted via live chat or email. Finally, eToro also offers a free demo account, enabling traders to buy and sell stocks in a risk-free setting.

eToro
No. Stocks 3,000+
Pricing System 0% commission on all stocks and ETFs
Fee to Buy Amazon Stock Spread-only
Min. Deposit $50
Trading Platforms Proprietary web trading platform and mobile app.
Top Features Fractional stocks, commission-free stock trading, Copy trading tools/passive investing

Pros pros

  • Buy and sell 3,000+ stocks, including the best penny stocks
  • Commission-free trading for US and international exchanges
  • Dozens of smart portfolios for passive investing

Cons cons

  • User-friendly charting tools might not appeal to seasoned pros

eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees. eToro securities trading offered by eToro USA Securities, Inc. (‘the BD”), member of FINRA and SIPC. Investing involves risk, and content is provided for educational purposes only, does not imply a recommendation, and is not a guarantee of future performance. Techopedia.com is not an affiliate and may be compensated if you access certain products or services offered by the BD.

2. Webull – Buy and Sell US-Listed Stocks in $5 Fractions 

Webull is a regulated online broker that serves US clients. It supports thousands of US-listed stocks and ETFs, all of which can be bought and sought in $5 fractions. What’s more, there is no minimum deposit at Webull. This makes Webull one of the best stock brokers for those on a budget.

We also found that Webull is one of the cheapest stock brokers for 2024. There are no trading commissions to pay, and ACH deposits and withdrawals are fee-free. However, payments made with a domestic bank wire will be charged $8. Bank wire withdrawals are even more expensive at $25.

Webull review

Nevertheless, Webull is also popular for its options trading department. This enables US clients to buy and sell stocks with leverage. Webull also supports margin trading accounts, with annual interest rates starting at 9.49%. This enables traders to buy stocks with four times the purchasing power. Additionally, Webull also supports cryptocurrency trading. The minimum trade requirement is just $1, and various cryptocurrencies are supported.

This includes some of the best meme coins, including Dogecoin. Webull also offers a free demo trading tool that comes packed with $1 million in paper funds. This mirrors the live stock markets, so is great for learning how to trade. Finally, Webull offers plenty of charting features, including over 50 technical indicators and 12 drawing tools.

WeBull
No. Stocks All US-listed stocks and ETFs
Pricing System 0% commission on all stocks and ETFs
Fee to Buy Amazon Stock Spread-only
Min. Deposit No Minimum
Trading Platforms Proprietary web and desktop trading platforms, plus a mobile app.
Top Features Buy and sell US-listed stocks from $5, Charting Tools, Margin trading accounts support 4x leverage

Pros pros

  • Best online stock broker in the US for budget investors
  • Buy and sell stocks in $5 fractions
  • Also supports margin trading accounts

Cons cons

  • Only supports US exchanges
  • $25 withdrawal fee on domestic bank wires

3. Interactive Brokers – Access Stock Exchanges From 33 Different Countries  

Interactive Brokers is an established trading platform that supports thousands of assets from 33 global markets. As such, this is one of the best stock brokers for international diversification. Supported stock exchanges include everything from the US, Canada, and Mexico to the UK, Australia, and Singapore.

When it comes to pricing, US-listed stocks can be bought and sold at 0% commission. But this option is only available to those on an IBKR Lite account. To access the global markets, an IBKR Pro account is required. Non-US stock commissions typically start from 0.05% of the order value.

Interactive Brokers review

Interactive Brokers also supports margin trading accounts. Interest rates will depend on the account type and the amount traded each month. Those on an IBKR Lite account trading under $100,000 in a month will pay an annualized rate of 10.08%. Interactive Brokers also supports retirement accounts, including IRAs.

We also found that Interactive Brokers is great for passive investing. The platform supports a wide range of themed portfolios, including those focused on green investing, long-term growth, and income generation. Themed portfolios require a minimum investment of just $100. That said, when investing in stocks on a DIY basis, there is no minimum deposit requirement.

Interactive Brokers
No. Stocks Tens of thousands of stocks from 33 countries and 150 markets
Pricing System IBKR Lite accounts can buy and sell US-listed stocks at 0% commission. IBKR Pro accounts can access global markets from 0.05%.
Fee to Buy Amazon Stock Spread-only
Min. Deposit No Minimum
Trading Platforms Various proprietary platforms, including IBKR GlobalTrader, IBKR Mobile, and Trader Workstation
Top Features Access stocks from 33 countries and 150 markets, 0% commission when buying and selling US-listed stocks, Themed portfolios promote passive investing

Pros pros

  • Supports tens of thousands of stocks from 33 countries
  • IBKR Lite accounts can buy and sell US stocks at 0% commission
  • Also supports margin trading and retirement accounts
  • No minimum deposit requirement

Cons cons

  • Confusing pricing structure
  • Does not support debit/credit cards

4. E*TRADE – Top-Rated Stock Broker for Creating a Diversified Portfolio              

E*TRADE, backed by Morgan Stanley, is one of the best stock brokers for diversification. Although the platform largely focuses on US-listed assets, there are plenty of markets to choose from. This covers all US-listed stocks and ETFs, including the OTC markets. Best of all, there are no trading commissions to pay.

E*TRADE also supports US-listed mutual funds and options on a commission-free basis. Other supported asset classes include bonds, futures, and access to IPOs. However, a key drawback of E*TRADE is that it does not support fractional investing. And hence, investors can only buy stocks at the full share price.

E*Trade forex trading

That said, E*TRADE does offer a dividend reinvestment program. This enables investors to automatically reinvest their dividends back into the stock market, even if it doesn’t cover the cost of a full share. E*TRADE is also popular for its managed portfolio service.

This initially requires investors to answer questions about their risk tolerance and financial goals. E*TRADE will then build a custom portfolio based on these metrics. The minimum investment for managed portfolios is $500, and this attracts a 0.3% annual fee.

E*Trade
No. Stocks All US-listed stocks and ETFs
Pricing System 0% commission on all US-listed stocks, ETFs, and options
Fee to Buy Amazon Stock Spread-only
Min. Deposit No minimum
Trading Platforms Proprietary web and trading platforms and a mobile app. Basic and Pro options are available
Top Features No minimum deposit, Managed portfolios are built based on the investor’s financial goals

Pros pros

  • Invest in US-listed stocks, ETFs, and options at 0% commission
  • Supports a huge range of other assets – including options and cryptocurrencies
  • Six retirement plans to choose from

Cons cons

  • Limited access to the international markets
  • Does not support fractional stocks

5. Schwab – Trade S&P 500 Stocks in $5 Increments                

Schwab is a heavily regulated brokerage house that supports every asset class imageable. This includes thousands of stocks and ETFs from the NASDAQ and NYSE, all of which can be purchased at 0% commission. Schwab also supports OTC stocks, but this attracts a commission of $6.95. Those wishing to buy foreign stocks via ADRs will be charged $50 per trade.

Other assets include futures and options, both attracting a fee of $2.25 per contract. Schwab is suitable for investors of all budgets, not least because there is no minimum deposit requirement. Moreover, Schwab supports fractional investments from $5, but this is only suitable for S&P 500 stocks. Those wishing to buy small-cap stocks will need to purchase a full share.  Schwab is also one of the best stock brokers for investing in mutual funds.

Schwab review

It supports a screening tool that enables investors to find their preferred fund, based on performance, strategy, and risk. Schwab also offers financial planning tools, retirement accounts, and margin trading services. Finally, Schwab is also one of the best stock brokers for analysis tools. This includes independent research as well as third-party insights.

Schwab
No. Stocks All US-listed stocks and ETFs. Plus, access to foreign stocks via US-listed ADR
Pricing System 0% commission on US-listed stocks, ETFs, and options. Also offers commission-free Schwab mutual funds
Fee to Buy Amazon Stock Spread-only
Min. Deposit No minimum
Trading Platforms Proprietary web, desktop, and mobile trading platforms
Top Features Premium brokerage with support for all US-listed stocks and ETFs, Financial planning and retirement accounts, High-level research tools and insights

Pros pros

  • No minimum deposit is required to get started
  • All US-listed stocks and ETFs can be traded at 0% commission
  • Buy and sell S&P 500 stocks from just $5

Cons cons

  • Fractional investing is not supported for low-cap stocks
  • Slow onboarding process

6. Fidelity – Popular Stock Broker for Long-Term Investors and Retirement Accounts

Fidelity is one of the best stock brokers for long-term investors, especially those with retirement goals in mind. The platform supports tax-efficient accounts across Roth, traditional, and rollover IRAs. It also offers a retirement planning tool, enabling investors to assess their saving targets.

Moreover, Fidelity offers thousands of long-term investments to choose from. This includes stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, index funds, and bonds. This is in addition to cryptocurrencies, futures, options, and IPOs. Fidelity also offers managed accounts. However, a balance of $25,000 or more is required to secure an independent advisor.

Fidelity review

In terms of fees, like most online brokers,  Fidelity offers 0% commission trading for US-listed stocks, ETFs, and options. This popular broker also offers a Stocks by the Slice feature. This supports fractional stock investments from just $1, appealing to budget-conscious investors.

Fidelity
No. Stocks All US-listed stocks and ETFs. Also provides access to the international markets.
Pricing System 0% commission on US-listed stocks, ETFs, and options
Fee to Buy Amazon Stock Spread-only
Min. Deposit No Minimum
Trading Platforms Proprietary web, desktop, and mobile trading platforms
Top Features Stocks by the Slice tool supports $5 fractional investments, Premium research tools and market insights

Pros pros

  • Stocks by the Slice tool supports $5 share purchases
  • Access premium research tools and insights by market experts
  • Managed portfolios and financial advice

Cons cons

  • $25,000 minimum investment to receive a personalized advisor
  • KYC process can be long-winded

7. SoFi – One of the Best Stock Trading Apps for Beginners 

SoFi is a popular FinTech platform that supports everything from mortgages and loans to credit cards and investing products. The latter includes thousands of US-listed stocks and ETFs, and there are no account balance requirements. Moreover, fractional investments from just $5 are supported.

There are no fees or commissions to pay when buying and selling US-listed assets. Although SoFi can also be accessed via web browsers, this broker offers one of the stock trading apps in the market. The SoFi app for iOS and Android is user-friendly, ensuring that beginners can trade on the move.

SoFi review

Moreover, the SoFi app also supports robo advisor investing. This requires the user to select their preferred assets and risk profile, and SoFi will build a portfolio. The portfolio is regularly rebalanced and maintained on behalf of the investor. Robo advisor investments start from just $1.

SoFi
No. Stocks All US-listed stocks and ETFs
Pricing System 0% commission on US-listed stocks, ETFs, and options
Fee to Buy Amazon Stock Spread-only
Min. Deposit No Minimum
Trading Platforms Proprietary web and mobile trading platforms
Top Features Robo advisor service from just $1, User-friendly stock trading app for iOS and Android, Also offers other financial products, including loans and credit cards

Pros pros

  • All-in-one FinTech platform offers investments, loans, and more
  • Best platform for stock trading on smartphones
  • Also supports 26 of the best cryptocurrencies to trade

Cons cons

  • Very basic trading and analysis tools
  • No access to foreign-listed stocks

8. TD Ameritrade – One of the Best Brokers for Stock Trading Pros  

TD Ameritrade is one of the best stock brokers for active investors that seek advanced analysis tools. Everything a trader needs for long-term success can be found on the broker’s native platform, Thinkorswim. This is an advanced trading suite that comes as downloadable desktop software.

It includes stock screeners, data insights, risk management tools, customizable charts, economic indicators, and much more. Thinkorswim can also be accessed via web browsers and the iOS/Android app. However, these device types come with reduced functionality. Nonetheless, active traders will have access to tens of thousands of markets.

TD Ameritrade review

This includes domestic and international stocks on primary and OTC exchanges. All stock purchases come with ‘intelligent order routing’, ensuring that they are exercised at the best price possible. Moreover, all US-listed stocks, ETFs, and options can be traded at 0% commission. Additionally, TD Ameritrade also supports forex, mutual funds, cryptocurrencies, futures, bonds, and access to IPOs.

TD Ameritrade
No. Stocks All US-listed stocks and ETFs, including the OTC markets. Also offers access to international stocks
Pricing System 0% commission on US-listed stocks, ETFs, and options
Fee to Buy Amazon Stock Spread-only
Min. Deposit No Minimum
Trading Platforms Proprietary trading suite, thinkorswim. Available as desktop software, a mobile app, and via web browsers
Top Features Thinkorswim offers premium analysis tools for seasoned pros, Supports all US-listed stocks on primary and OTC exchanges

Pros pros

  • One of the best online brokers for stock trading
  • Thinkorswim software provides unparalleled data and market insights
  • Buy and sell stocks from the OTC markets

Cons cons

  • Commission-free stocks are only available for the US markets
  • Managed accounts come with high minimums

9. Robinhood – Simple Investment Platform for Budget-Conscious Investors    

With approximately 12 million monthly active users, Robinhood is one of the most popular stock brokers in the US. Its platform is largely aimed at budget-conscious beginners that wish to invest a few dollars here and there. After all, Robinhood enables investors to buy and sell stocks for just $1. This is the case across all US-listed stocks across the NYSE and NASDAQ.

Robinhood also enables investors to risk just $1 on ETFs and a range of cryptocurrencies via the best investment app on the market. All supported investment products, including options, can be traded at 0% commission. There is no minimum deposit requirement, and supported payment methods include domestic bank wires and ACH.

Robinhood review

Robinhood is also suitable for those investing in their retirement years. It supports IRAs with a 1% deposit match and SIPC protection of up to $500,000. Although Robinhood comes without account fees, it also offers a gold account at $5 per month. This comes with various perks, including access to margin and interest on USD balances.

Robinhood
No. Stocks All US-listed stocks and ETFs on the NYSE and NASDAQ
Pricing System 0% commission on all supported markets
Fee to Buy Amazon Stock Spread-only
Min. Deposit No Minimum
Trading Platforms Proprietary web trading platform and mobile app
Top Features All supported markets are commission-free, Invest from just $1 per trade

Pros pros

  • Invest in stocks, ETFs, crypto, and other assets from just $1
  • No account minimums
  • Best stock trading platform for beginners with limited investment capital

Cons cons

  • A gold account is required to access margin facilities
  • Does not support foreign-listed stocks

10. Ally Invest – Self-Directed Investment Accounts With 24/7 Customer Support    

Ally Invest is a consumer-friendly investment platform that also supports loans, mortgages, credit cards, and other financial products. It enables US clients to buy and sell domestic stocks without paying commission. Ally Invest also offers commission-free trading on ETFs, options, and no-load mutual funds.

Many Ally Invest customers use the iOS/Android app for its simplicity. This makes it seamless to invest in assets on the move. That said, Ally Invest also offers an advanced desktop trading suite. This covers 8 chart types, 36 drawing tools, and 117 indicators.

Ally Invest review

The desktop platform also supports watchlists, market research, and real-time data. There is no account minimum required to get started with Ally Invest. That said, do note that Ally Invest does not support fractional stocks.

Ally Invest
No. Stocks Most US-listed stocks and ETFs
Pricing System 0% commission on stocks, ETFs, options, and no-load mutual funds
Fee to Buy Amazon Stock Spread-only
Min. Deposit No Minimum
Trading Platforms Proprietary web trading platform and mobile app
Top Features Combines banking services with a fully-fledged investment platform, User-friendly investment app for iOS and Android

Pros pros

  • Popular challenger bank offering low-cost investment products
  • No commissions on stocks, ETFs, options, or no-load mutual funds
  • Buy and buy US-listed bonds from just $1 per instrument

Cons cons

  • Does not support fractional stocks
  • $100 minimum investment for OTCBB and Pink Sheet stocks

11. Admirals – Low Fee Stock Broker With M4 and M5 Integration, Large Asset Class, and 5-Star Customer Support

Admirals is a highly regarded provider with over 20 years of experience. The broker rates very highly in terms of customer support, with a great profile on TrustPilot. And while Admirals is particularly useful in terms of day trading and FX, it also caters perfectly well to stock and ETF investors.

To purchase either stocks or ETFs through Admirals, users will need to have a MetaTrader account, such as the Invest.MT5 account. Technically, the process of buying either a stock or ETF through Admirals, facilitated via MetaTrader5, is the same. The difference is primarily in terms of exposure, with ETFs being more well-diversified in comparison to individual stocks.

Admirals has recently incorporated fractional shares into its offerings. This means that you can invest in stocks for as little as $1. Stocks can be sorted either by exchange/country or by industry group. Over 3,000 stocks are available for purchase through Admirals, with a minimum deposit of just $25. Dividend reinvestment is also possible through Admirals. 

The trading commission is quite low, and depends on the region and currency denomination. Generally, however, it will be between 0.1% – 0.15 % of trade value, with one free trade per day.

The platform has a comprehensive suite of data analytic tools as well as a large knowledge base of educational blogs and videos for new users. While the number of offerings can seem overwhelming at first, once you narrow down the specific products you are interested in, alongside your jurisdiction of operation, you can focus on the relevant material to look at.

This is a high-quality stock broker with low fees, great online reviews, and a high standard of customer care. It even offers fixed income as well as Islamic accounts. However, there are a few drawbacks.

First, this provider is not available to residents of the USA, Canada, or Japan. Second, it is not possible to transfer a portfolio of stocks from another broker to Invest.MT5, at the present time. 

Admirals
No. Stocks 3400+
Pricing System 0.1% – 0.15 % of trade value, or $0.02
Fee to Buy Amazon Stock Low commission, $0.02
Min. Deposit $25
Trading Platforms MT4, MT5, Mobile App, MetaTrader WebTrader
Top Features 8,000 instruments, $1 fractional investment, 1 commission-free trade per day, excellent customer service

Pros pros

  • Invest in stocks, ETFs, crypto, and other assets for just $1
  • Low account minimums and minimum deposits
  • Great for both stock investors and advanced traders
  • Huge range of features
  • Low-fee stock provider

Cons cons

  • No crypto asset support
  • Does not accept US, Canadian, or Japanese customers

How We Ranked the Top Stock Trading Platforms

Still not sure which stock broker stands out in this crowded marketplace?

Read on to learn how we rank the best stock brokers in 2024.

Regulation

The best stock brokers are regulated by tier-one bodies. Brokers offering financial services to US clients must be regulated by FINRA.

This ensures that client funds are segregated from the broker’s working capital. Ultimately, investors should avoid opening an account with an unregulated broker.

Range of Stocks

All of the stock brokers discussed today support US-listed exchanges. This includes the NYSE, NASDAQ, and oftentimes, the OTC markets.

eToro review

However, those looking to build a diversified portfolio might also consider international stocks. eToro is the overall best stock broker for accessing global exchanges.

Unlike other brokers, eToro offers commission-free access to US and international markets, including those in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Fees

All of the 11 brokers discussed today offer 0% commission access to US-listed stocks and ETFs.

However, as noted above, foreign-listed stocks will be charged a premium. That is unless eToro is being used, as international stocks are also offered at 0% commission.

Other fees to look for include:

  • Deposit and withdrawal fees
  • Fees on managed portfolios
  • Margin trading fees
  • Early-exit fees on mutual funds

Tools and Analysis 

The best stock brokers offer charting tools and fundamental research. The latter often includes trading ideas, market insights, and real-time data.

We also like stock brokers that publish quarterly earnings calls. This enables traders to make informed decisions on which stocks to buy.

Moreover, we like the eToro copy trading tool. This allows users to copy the positions of an expert stock trader.

Minimum Deposit 

Most stock brokers do not have a minimum deposit requirement. This enables traders to get started with any amount they feel comfortable with.

That said, just remember that not all stock brokers offer fractional investments. On the contrary, the likes of Ally Invest and E*TRADE require investors to buy full stocks.

Demo Account 

Beginners might wish to get started with a risk-free demo account. eToro, for example, offers a free demo account with $100,000 in virtual funds.

The demo account mirrors live stock market conditions, enabling newbies to practice before risking any capital.

Mobile App 

The best online stock brokers also offer a mobile app. This will connect to the same brokerage account and supports trading on the move.

eToro app

This will appeal to active traders that like to enter or exit a position at a moment’s notice.

Payment Methods 

We also rank the best forex brokers by their supported payment methods. Most brokers discussed today accept debit cards, e-wallets, and bank wires.

But this should be checked before opening an account, as payment methods can vary depending on the trader’s location. We found that the best stock broker apps for beginners are eToro, Webull, and Robinhood.

Customer Service  

We also give preference to stock brokers that offer superior customer support. For example, Interactive Brokers offer telephone support to registered users. While eToro offers live chat support on a 24/5 basis.

How do Stock Brokers Work?

Stock brokers are intermediaries that enable investors to access the financial markets. The broker will buy or sell stocks on behalf of clients, providing a seamless way to invest online.

At their core, brokers are intermediaries that enable clients to buy and sell stocks. Traditionally, stock brokers would charge a commission for the service they provide. However, in line with increased competition and reduced fees, most stock brokers now support commission-free trading.

Moreover, stock brokers are increasingly focusing on the ever-growing retail client market. As such, most brokers enable clients to buy ‘fractions’ of a stock with just a few dollars.

Stock brokers operate in a heavily regulated environment. This ensures that investors are protected from fraud and that client funds are segregated from the broker’s own capital. This is overseen by the SEC and FINRA.

In addition to traditional brokerage services, the best stock trading platforms also offer retirement accounts, margin trading, and managed portfolios. Moreover, many stock brokers offer research and charting tools, as well as educational guides and financial planning.

Things to Bear in Mind Before Trading Stocks

The stock market offers a great way to build long-term wealth and target greater returns than traditional savings accounts. However, not all stocks increase in value, so investors should ensure they conduct adequate research before investing.

Before trading stocks, investors should assess their long-term financial goals and risk tolerance. For example, those investing for their retirement years might consider a 401(k) or IRA. While these accounts support tax-efficient investments, pre-retirement withdrawals will be penalized.

Those with shorter-term goals in mind might consider a traditional brokerage account or the best day trading platforms. These enable investors to buy and sell assets on a self-directed basis, and withdrawals are permitted at any time. Those looking to buy individual stocks on a budget should consider a broker that supports fractional investments.

eToro review

For example, all supported stocks on Webull have a minimum stock trade requirement of $5. This also ensures that budget-conscious investors can easily diversify. Another consideration to make is the type of stocks being traded.

Those with a low tolerance for risk might focus on blue-chip stocks that dominate their respective markets. Examples here include Visa, McDonald’s, Nike, Johnson & Johnson, and Coca-Cola. On the other hand, those seeking higher returns might consider growth stocks. These are often companies that are still in their early growth stages, so the risks are higher.

Ultimately, investors should be prepared to do their own homework before buying any stocks. This means researching the fundamentals of the company, analyzing quarterly earnings reports, and reading market insights. Those without the time to actively research might be more suited for index or mutual funds.

How to Get Started with a Regulated Stock Broker

In the final segment of this guide, we will illustrate how to get started with a regulated stock broker in just minutes.

This walkthrough highlights the steps with eToro, which supports thousands of US and global stocks at 0% commission.

Step 1: Open an eToro Account

Like all stock brokers, eToro initially requires users to open an account.

Visit the eToro website and click on ‘Sign Up.
eToro open an account

Choose a username and password and enter an email address. Next, provide some personal information and contact details as prompted.

Step 2: KYC Documents

FINRA rules dictate that new brokerage accounts must be verified. This simply means that eToro is required to ask for a government-issued ID.

This can be a passport, driver’s license, or state ID card.

etoro KYC document

Additionally, eToro also requires proof of residency. The document must have been issued within the prior three months and can include a bank statement, tax bill, or utility bill.

Step 3: Deposit Investment Funds  

Click on the ‘Deposit’ button and type in the amount of investment funds to add. This can be any amount from just $50.

eToro deposit funds

Next, choose the preferred payment method.

Step 4: Search for Stock to Buy

Use the search bar at the top of the screen to find a suitable stock to buy.  In our example below, we are searching for ‘Amazon’.

buy Amazon stock at eToro

Another option is to click on ‘Discover’ followed by ‘Stocks’. eToro lists all of its support stocks, and filters can be used to find a suitable investment. This includes the industry and exchange, as well as a list of trending stocks and market movers.

Step 5: Buy Stocks 

Click on the ‘Invest’ button to access the stock order form.

Type in the investment amount in US dollars. There is no requirement to buy a full stock at eToro. Instead, this can be any amount from $50 upwards.

Amazon stock on eToro

Finally, click on the ‘Open Trade’ button to buy the chosen stock.

Conclusion

Investors now have dozens of stock brokers to choose from, making it challenging to know which platform is best. Overall, we found that eToro is one of the best online stock brokers for beginners.

This broker supports over 3,000 stocks from the US and global markets. All stocks can be bought and sold at 0% commission, and fractional investments are supported.

Smart portfolios and copy trading tools are also supported, enabling investors to buy and sell stocks passively. The minimum deposit at eToro is $50, and it takes under five minutes to open a verified trading account.

eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees. eToro securities trading offered by eToro USA Securities, Inc. (‘the BD”), member of FINRA and SIPC. Investing involves risk, and content is provided for educational purposes only, does not imply a recommendation, and is not a guarantee of future performance. Techopedia.com is not an affiliate and may be compensated if you access certain products or services offered by the BD.

References

FAQs

What is the best broker for trading stocks?

Is it better to go through a stock broker?

What is the most used stock broker?

Kane Pepi
Editor
Kane Pepi
Editor

Kane Pepi is an accomplished financial and cryptocurrency writer who has an extensive portfolio of over 2,000 articles, guides, and market insights. With his expertise in specialized subjects such as asset valuation and analysis, portfolio management, and financial crime prevention, Kane has built a reputation for providing clear explanations of complex financial topics. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Finance and a Master's Degree in Financial Crime, and is currently pursuing his Doctorate degree, which focuses on investigating the complexities of money laundering in the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology sectors. Kane's wealth of knowledge and experience in the field make…