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11 best brokerage accounts of May 2024

Our picks of the best brokerage accounts for beginners, options traders, hands-off investors and more.

Opening a brokerage account is one of the first steps to investing in the stock market and building a personal investment portfolio, but no two brokers are the same — and there are plenty of them out there.

Using a methodology that looks at everything from investment options to trading costs and account fees to customer support to cash sweep programs, we analyze more than two dozen brokers on the regular to find the best brokerage accounts for traders and investors. Find out which online brokerage accounts are best for you and your investing style.

Our top picks for brokerage accounts

Top pick for new account bonus

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Get $100-$5,000
  • Trade options, futures, options on futures, stocks, ETFs
  • $0 commission to close options
  • Get $100-$5,000 when you open an account with $5,000 to $1,000,000+

Best for beginners

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Commission-free stock trading
  • No-cost financial planning and automated investing
  • $0 commission on stocks, ETFs and options
  • Get up to $1,000 in stock when you fund a new account within 30 days

Our pick for cash sweep

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Advanced charts and trading tools
  • Trade stocks, ETFs and equity options without commission and $0 option contract fees
  • Earn a 5.1% APY on your uninvested cash
  • Get a 1.5% match in cash on transferred assets up to $300 or 7 fractional shares of "Magnificent 7" stocks worth $5 each

11 best online brokerage accounts of May 2024

Why trust Finder

  • 15+ online brokers reviewed and rated by our team of experts
  • Evaluated under our unbiased rating system covering eight categories
  • 20+ years of combined experience covering financial topics

We're big on editorial independence. That means our content, reviews and ratings are fair, accurate and trustworthy. We don't let advertisers or partners sway our opinions. Our financial experts put in the hard work, spending hours researching and analyzing hundreds of products based on data-driven methodologies to find the best accounts and providers for you. Explore our editorial guidelines to see how we work.

Best overall

Fidelity Investments

4.6
★★★★★

Finder score

Read review

Why it's the best overall online brokerage account: For its extensive lineup of investment options, top-tier research tools, low fees and competitive cash sweep yield.

Fidelity's undeniably one of the best brokers on the market. Its investment options are diverse and its trading tools robust — exactly what you'd expect from a full service broker. In addition to traditional assets like stocks, options and mutual funds, Fidelity offers direct investing in bitcoin and Ethereum. It's the only of the big three brokers — Fidelity, Charles Schwab and E*TRADE — that offers direct crypto trading. Access precious metals and international markets as well.

Its trading platforms include mobile, web-based and desktop options, with access to top-tier research and analysis tools like advanced charts, valuation metrics and third-party research reports. It also offer beginner-friendly resources, such as trending stock lists, educational resources and 24/7 customer support.

Meanwhile, Fidelity boasts some of the lowest back-end account fees in the industry. Stocks, ETFs and Fidelity mutual funds trade commission-free and Fidelity doesn't charge common account fees, such as outgoing account transfer fees, statement fees or returned check fees. Fidelity also offers industry-leading planning and advice resources, including both human and robo-advisor portfolio management services, a free financial plan and investing accounts for children.

Other winning categories: Best low cost brokerage account

Best for beginners

SoFi Invest®

4.2
★★★★★

Finder score

Go to site Read review

Why it's the best for beginners: For its user-friendly interface, no minimums, commission-free trading, educational resources and no-cost advisory services.

In addition to trading stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds and alternative asset interval funds on a beginner-friendly interface, SoFi® members get access to no-cost financial advice and a range of other financial services that let you invest, bank and borrow from a single, integrated platform.

SoFi Invest offers one of the simplest trading experiences among the brokers we review, providing uncomplicated market access with a no-cost robo-advisor available if you want to automate your investing. It's also one of the only brokers in the industry that offers unlimited, complimentary access to certified financial planners, a service that can cost you several hundred dollars a session elsewhere. SoFi members can consult a CFP professional ahead of any of life's important financial decisions, and we think this is a standout feature worth recognizing.

Other winning categories: Best all-in-one financial app

Best for alternative investments

Public.com

4.2
★★★★★

Finder score

Easy access to diverse assets
Go to site Read review

Why it's the best for alternative investments: For its access to crypto, music royalties, fine art and collectibles, in addition to traditional assets.

Public offers something most brokers we review have yet to include in their lineup of investments: alternative assets. While crypto's a common offering nowadays and a few brokers let you invest in precious metals, Public's growing list of alternatives makes it a no-brainer for investors who want to diversify their portfolio beyond traditional investments, and do it from a single platform. In addition to stocks, ETFs, options, bonds and US Treasuries, Public lets you invest in crypto, NFTs, fine art, music royalties and collectibles — things like rare comics, game-worn Air Jordans and one of the earliest copies of Super Mario Bros. for Nintendo NES.

Those looking to trade traditional and alternative assets — including a high-yield cash account that currently pays a 5.1% APY as of April 2024 — from a single platform will find Public's trading app to be both simple and intuitive. Public prioritizes accessibility, making it easy to get up and running, research assets and invest.

Best for mobile trading

Interactive Brokers

4.3
★★★★★

Finder score

Go to site Read review

Why it's the best for mobile trading: For its advanced and beginner-friendly mobile trading apps.

In addition to receiving high marks from both Apple and Android users, Interactive Brokers' (IBKR) main mobile trading platform, IBKR Mobile, offers the powerful trading tools that many brokers reserve for their web and desktop trading platforms. These include advanced, interactive charts with over 90 indicators, analyst ratings and price targets, earnings estimates, company financials and more. In other words, there's little you can't do with IBKR Mobile. What's more, Interactive Brokers offers the more beginner-friendly IBKR GlobalTrader and IMPACT mobile trading platforms for those looking for a more simplified investing experience.

IBKR Mobile is the most feature-rich mobile platform according to Finder's analysis, while IBKR GlobalTrader is a solid option for beginners. Tack on its wide range of investment options, low trading costs and access to global markets and you can see why IBKR is not only the best broker for mobile trading but also one of the best brokerage accounts on the market.

Other winning categories: Best brokerage account for day trading, Best for international trading

Best for crypto trading

Robinhood

4.4
★★★★★

Finder score

3% IRA match with Robinhood Gold
Go to site Read review

Why it's the best for crypto trading: For its variety of available cryptocurrencies, dedicated self-custody wallet and ability to transfer out your crypto.

With commission-free crypto trades, fractional share trading, instant deposits and a user-friendly platform, Robinhood has lots to offer investors looking to build a portfolio of cryptocurrencies alongside their equity holdings.

Buy and sell more than two dozen cryptocurrencies for as little as $1 and access up to $1,000 instantly to trade, or $50,000 when you subscribe to Robinhood Gold. Unlike most other brokers that offer digital assets, you also have complete control of the crypto in your account. Transfer crypto into and out of your Robinhood Crypto account with ease. Robinhood also offers a dedicated self-custody wallet where you can store and manage your crypto on the Ethereum, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Arbitrum, Polygon, Optimism and Base networks. With Robinhood Crypto, you hold your private keys to your crypto. And what better complement to nonstop crypto trading than 24/7 customer support?

Best for options trading

Tastytrade

4.6
★★★★★

Finder score

Go to site Read review

Why it's the best for options trading: For its access to and competitive trading fees on options, futures, options on futures, options on micro futures and smalls futures options.

Designed primarily for derivatives trading, tastytrade boasts an impressive collection of trading products and some of the best pricing on options and futures contracts in the industry. Stocks and ETFs are commission-free, options have no closing commissions and its trading platforms are powerful, with advanced trading, research and analysis tools, including profit and loss visualizations and a quick roll feature to roll your option position into the future.

Meanwhile, tastytrade offers a comprehensive learning center with video and live demos to help you level up your trading.

Best for social investing

eToro

4.2
★★★★★

Finder score

Copy crypto picks from top traders
Go to site Read review

Why it's the best for social investing: For its CopyTrader program and social community.

eToro's accessible trading platform doesn't skimp on features. TipRanks-powered analyst ratings and price targets, hedge fund activity, insider transactions and advanced charts, all on an easy-to-use interface. Stocks and ETFs trade commission-free and options are free of both commissions and contract fees — something we don't see often.

But its eToro's unique blend of cutting-edge technology and social networking that helped it popularize social investing and foster a dynamic community of traders and investors. Specifically, CopyTrader. CopyTrader lets you leverage the expertise of other eToro users by automatically replicating their crypto trades in your portfolio, and get paid when others copy you. While CopyTrader is currently only available for crypto, it's a defining feature of the platform and one that helps it stand out as the best broker for social investing.

Best for fund investing

JPMorgan Self-Directed Investing

3.7
★★★★★

Finder score

Read review

Why it's the best for fund investing: For its vast number of mutual funds and ETFs.

One of the most trusted names in finance, an account with J.P. Morgan gives you access to a range of traditional investment options, including stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds and fixed income, with zero commissions on stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options trades. It provides access to an extensive selection of mutual funds from top fund families, robust research tools and educational resources and a straightforward user interface that makes research and trading a breeze. As of April 2024, J.P Morgan offers access to 2,857 mutual funds and 3,202 ETFs.

Combine all that with a seamless integration with J.P. Morgan's broader financial services ecosystem and you've got a standout broker for fund investors.

Best for micro-investing

Acorns

4
★★★★★

Finder score

Go to site Read review

Why it's the best for fund investing: For its spare-change investing feature.

Automated portfolio management with a level of customization unlike many other robo-advisors, Acorns has redefined how people save and invest their spare change. With its innovative 'round-up' feature, Acorns automatically invests spare change from your everyday purchases, effortlessly growing your portfolio. Its user-friendly app simplifies investing for beginners, while also offering a degree of freedom to investors who want to retain control over their portfolio — Acorns Premium members can customize their portfolios with the ability to add individual stocks. And Acorns' flat-fee subscription structure means the cost for portfolio management never changes, with minimal back-end fees and no account minimums.

Whether you're new to investing or simply want to automate portfolio management, Acorns is the go-to platform for turning small change into substantial savings.

Best for managed brokerage accounts

Wealthfront

4.5
★★★★★

Finder score

Go to site Read review

Why it's the best for managed brokerage accounts: For its diverse portfolio mix, portfolio customization, low account fees, tax-loss harvesting, automatic dividend reinvestment and access to individual securities trading.

This well-equipped robo-advisor is outfitted with everything you need to set it and forget it with peace of mind: automated index investing across 17 global asset classes, including crypto, automatic portfolio rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting, all across a range of account types. In fact, Wealthfront is one of the only robo-advisors we review that offers automated college savings accounts. Wealthfront offers more than 240 ETFs for its investing accounts and a separate account with access to trade individual stocks commission-free and for as little as $1 should you want more control.

Best for custodial brokerage accounts

E*TRADE from Morgan Stanley

4.2
★★★★★

Finder score

Read review

Why it's the best for custodial brokerage accounts: For its access to low-cost custodial brokerage accounts and IRAs and Coverdell ESAs.

Minors and parents with children needn't look further than E*TRADE to get started investing. Pioneer of online trading, E*TRADE offers one of the most diverse lineups of account types among brokers we review, and it includes custodial brokerage accounts, custodial IRAs and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts.

Investments options include $0 commission stock, ETF, mutual fund and options trades, with no account minimums. Tack on its robo-advisor, Core Portfolios, for a straightforward, automated portfolio option.

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Finder is not an advisor or brokerage service. Information on this page is for educational purposes only and not a recommendation to invest with any one company, trade specific stocks or fund specific investments. All editorial opinions are our own.

Methodology: How we choose the best brokerage accounts

Finder’s investments experts review 18 brokers available on the market to narrow down the best brokerage accounts for trading and investing.

We analyze each platform based on 147 key metrics we collect directly from brokers and assess each provider’s performance based on eight different categories, weighing each metric based on the expertise and insights of Finder’s investment experts. We then score and rank each provider depending on how it performs in each category.

How we weigh the overall rating

CategoryWeighting
Investment options20%
Trading platforms and technology12%
Trading costs14%
Account fees9%
Account types and minimums5%
Customer support7%
Mobile app ratings and security8%
Features and amenities25%

We update our best picks as products change, disappear or emerge in the market. We also regularly review and revise our selections to ensure our best provider lists reflect the most competitive available.

A photo of Bob Haegele

What Bob thinks about brokerage fees:

Online brokers have gone a long way in reducing fees, such as expense ratios for exchange-traded funds. However, there can still be significant fees, especially if you are trading actively. Even the best brokers can have high fees when making certain trades, such as when making stock/bond trades over the phone or when making rep-assisted trades. Be sure to pay attention to these fees when choosing a broker.

Bob Haegele, Personal finance writer and expert

How do I open a brokerage account?

Complete the account opening process online in minutes.

Choose a broker or robo-advisor, and complete a brief application by providing personal information such as your name, address, date of birth and Social Security number. Completed applications are typically approved instantly, though the broker may take a couple days to verify your information. Then, connect a bank account to fund your account.

What to look for when choosing the best brokerage account

Finder’s picks for the best brokerage accounts are meant to provide you with a starting point for finding the right broker for your investing style and goals.

Consider the following factors when comparing your options:

  • Fees. From trading fees to miscellaneous fees, it’s important to understand the cost to trade and invest. Consider which investment products you plan to trade and the fees that apply, but also be mindful of any back-end fees, such as inactivity or transfer fees, that can also eat into your profit.
  • Tradable assets. Not every broker offers the same investment options. Stocks, options and ETFs are standard, but some brokers will offer mutual funds, bonds, futures, forex, crypto and more.
  • Account types. What other account types, in addition to a brokerage account, does the broker offer? If you’re interested in saving for retirement, then compare brokers that offer IRAs. Consider your other investment needs and how important it is to maintain all your accounts under one roof.
  • Research and data tools. In-house research and tools simplify investing, as you don’t have to venture elsewhere to make an informed decision about an investment. If you’re a passive index investor, extensive research and analysis tools may not matter all that much. Active stock pickers may feel otherwise.
  • Mobile app reviews. Mobile trading is more popular than ever, allowing you to trade and invest from anywhere. Check out what current or previous customers say about the platform’s functionality.
  • Signup bonus. While it may not make sense to choose a broker solely based on whether or not it offers a signup bonus, a new customer incentive such as a free stock may be enough to help you choose one over another if all else is equal.
  • Compare and find the broker that's right for you

    Match your experience level with your trading and investing goals to find the right broker for you.
    If you're a And want to Consider this
    Beginner investor Do most or all of your trading on your mobile device Best stock trading apps
    Beginner investor Trade and invest with as few fees as possible Best discount stock brokers
    Beginner investor Outsource portfolio management automatically and at a low cost Best robo-advisors
    Beginner investor Gain exposure to multiple assets like stocks, bonds or gold through a single fund Best ETF brokers
    Experienced investor Get an overall idea of providers on the market and what they're best for Best brokerage accounts
    Experienced investor Invest internationally in stocks, ETFs and other assets Best international stock brokers
    Retirement saver of any experience level Save for retirement with upfront tax benefits Best (traditional) IRA
    Retirement saver of any experience level Save for retirement and enjoy tax-free withdrawals Best Roth IRA

    Frequently asked questions

    What is the best brokerage account?

    The best overall stock broker is Fidelity Investments, according to Finder’s analysis, for it offers the best combination of low costs, features, platform functionality and investments options. But, ultimately, you need to decide which broker is best for you.

    Which brokerage account offers fractional shares?

    Many brokerage accounts allow you to buy a portion of a share, known as fractional share investing. Happily, it’s now a common feature on many of the best brokerage accounts. All the online trading platforms featured above support fractional share trading in some way, but be aware that some terms and conditions may apply. For example, E*TRADE doesn’t support fractional share purchases but does allow you to reinvest dividends in fractional shares.

    How much does it cost to open a brokerage account?

    Most platforms don’t charge fees to open an account. But you’ll need to fund your account before you can begin trading, while brokerage and account admin fees may also apply.

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