If you’re managing your investments online, or would like to, you need to find a good online brokerage firm. An online brokerage firm will let you buy and sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and other investments, often with just a few clicks of your mouse. Online trading has provided anyone who has a computer, enough money to open an account, and a decent financial history with the opportunity to invest in the market.
As an investor, choosing a broker will be one of the most important decisions you make. You should therefore take the time to explore all the options that are available to you. In your search, you’ll want to compare commissions and fees, account minimums, available services, and any investment tools provided by the firm. Look for a firm with lower fees and minimum amounts you can meet. Then narrow your choices further by comparing the services offered by the brokerage (for example, some may only let you trade shares of stocks, but nothing else), and any investment tools they’ve produced that you think might help you be a more effective investor.
The table below also contains a “Smart Rating” for each brokerage, which is an objective metric computed by weighing the broker’s fees, account minimums, and commissions, as well as reviews from experts like Kiplingers, Barron’s, SmartMoney, JD Power and others. Generally, brokerages with higher smart ratings offer more desirable investing solutions.