Comparison Of Online Brokerages In The United States.

 

Online Brokerages.

 

So you've decided to become an investor and are trying to make your first move. What's it going to be? Are you going to work with a fiduciary advisor or are you going to take control yourself? If you decide to take control yourself you'll have to open an online brokerage account. What is an online brokerage account? An online brokerage account is a platform that allows you to invest in stocks and gives you the ability to create a portfolio and directly poor money into the stock market, fast and easy. When you open an account like this you will also automatically open a new bank account. This bank account is attached to your online brokerage account and will give you the ability to purchase stocks using money coming out of that specific new account. So if you wish to use money to purchase stocks you'll have to deposit some money into that account first. Now, there are a lot of these online brokerages and I've decided to write them down and compare them. Some brokerages demand that you put down a minimum deposit of $500 dollars when you open your account. Others don't, but may have higher commission fees. Let's compare the major brokerages and see what their differences are.

 

This is a chart I found on Wikipedia.com that contains a lot of the main brokerages. Let's start analyzing and see what everything means. 

 

Brokerage : This obviously lists which brokerage it is they are talking about

Initial Funding Requirement : This shows which brokerages require you to put a certain amount in your account the moment you open your account. 

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Stock Trade Commission : This shows you what the commission is the brokerage will make on each stock purchase order which is executed.

ETF Trade Commission : This shows you what the commission is the brokerage will make on each exchange-traded fund purchase order which is executed.

Options Trade Commission : This shows you what the commission is the brokerage will make on each options purchase order which is executed.

Annual Account Fee : This shows which brokerages require you to pay an annual fee in order to keep on trading.

Real-time Quotes : This shows which brokerages will show you real-time quote during your sessions. I believe this is very important.

Real-time Trades : This shows which brokerages will provide you with real-time trade alerts during your sessions.

 

 

CHART

 

Brokerage Initial
funding
requirement
Stock trade
commission
ETF trade
commission
Options trade
commission
Annual
account
fee
Real-time
quotes
Real-time
trades
Capital One Investing $0 $6.95 $6.95 $6.95 + $0.75 / contract Free For nonprofessionals For nonprofessionals
Charles Schwab $1,000 $8.95 $8.95 $8.95 + $0.75 / contract Free Yes Yes
E-Trade $500 $9.99 $9.99 $9.99 + $0.75 / contract Free Yes Yes
Fidelity $2,500 $7.95 $7.95 $7.95 + $0.75 / contract Free Yes Yes
Firstrade $0 $6.95 $6.95 $6.95 + $0.75 / contract Free Yes Yes
Interactive Brokers
(per share schedule)
$10,000 $0.005 / share
($1.00 minimum)
$0.005 / share
($1.00 minimum)
$0.70 / contract
($1.00 minimum)
Free With subscription Yes
Lightspeed
Web Trader
$25,000 $4.00 (less with higher volume) $4.00 (less with higher volume) $0.60 / contract
($1.00 minimum)
Free Yes Yes
Merrill Edge $0 $6.95 $6.95 $6.95 + $0.75 / contract Free Yes Yes
OptionsXpress $0 $8.95 $8.95 $1.25 - $1.50 / contract (varies) Free Yes Yes
Robinhood Markets $0 $0 $0 Not supported Free Yes Yes
Scottrade $2,500 $7.00 $7.00 $7.00 + $1.25 / contract Free Yes Yes
SogoTrade $0 $5.00 $5.00   Free Yes Yes
TD Ameritrade $0 $9.99 $9.99 $9.99 + $0.75 / contract Free Yes Yes
thinkorswim $0 $9.99 $9.99 $9.99 + $0.75 / contract Free Yes Yes
TradeKing $0 $4.95 $4.95 $4.95 + $0.65 / contract Free Yes Yes
TradeStation $5,000 $9.99 $9.99   $1,199.40 Yes Yes
USAA $0 $8.95 $8.95   Free Yes Yes
Vanguard $3,000 $20.00 $20.00   $20.00 Yes Yes
Wells Fargo $1,000 $8.95 $8.95 $9.95 + $1.00 / contract Free Yes Yes
Zions Direct   $9.95 $9.95   Free Yes Yes
Brokerage Initial
funding
requirement
Stock trade
commission
ETF trade
commission
Options trade
commission
Annual
account
fee
Real-time
quotes
Real-time
trades
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This should give you a nice overview of some of the online brokerages out there. Do some extra research and visit their websites. Look up youtube videos and listen to peoples comments. I have an account with ETrade which I have been extremely happy with. Their customer service is excellent and they have everything a self-directed investor needs.

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