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Finder Awards 2022 methodology: Stock trading platforms

Our editors weighed 35 criteria within 6 categories to narrow down the best in class.

Our data and editorial experts analyzed 40 brokers available to US customers across 35 categories in August 2022 to narrow down those worthy of our inaugural Finder Awards. We award in each category one overall winner with our gold award and two highly commended runners-up with silver awards, providing badges for our winners to show off on their own sites, share on their social channels and amplify their achievements.
While we highly value our business partners and advertisers, partnerships do not influence our opinions or our decisions. We uphold the same rigorous editorial process for Finder Awards as we do for any review or insight you’ll find on our site.
Our goal was simple: find the best stock trading platform for investors at different stages of their investing journeys.

Finder Awards 2022: How we chose our winners

Our awards are based on a comprehensive list of 35 individual criteria that broadly fall into one of six categories. We weighted metrics differently within award categories, using the total of all weighted scores as the final score for each marketplace winner and commended runners-up.
In the event of a tie, standardized fee data was used to determine a winner, with the lowest fees dictating who gets the crown.

Features we compared

    Weighted criteria by category

    Best overall broker
    • Markets available: 3%
    • Cost: 34%
    • Availability of tradable instruments: 9%
    • Features: 38%
    • Support: 6%
    • Customer reviews: 10%
    Best for US stocks
    • Cost of trading US stocks: 35.5%
    • Features: 51.5%
    • Support: 3%
    • Customer reviews: 10%
      Best low cost broker
      • Cost: 75%
      • Features: 15%
      • Reviews: 10
      Best for international stocks
      • Selection criteria: platform must allow customers to trade on 3 or more markets
      • Number of available global markets: 32%
      • Cost: 26%
      • Available international shares: 18%
      • Features: 11%
      • Support: 3%
      • Reviews: 10%
      Best for day trading / active traders
      • Available global markets: 7%
      • Cost: 27%
      • Tradable instruments: 15%
      • Features: 33.5%
      • Support: 7.5%
      • Reviews: 10%
      Best for long term investing
      • Cost: 35%
      • Tradable instruments: 9%
      • Features: 40%
      • Support: 6%
      • Reviews: 10%
        Best for beginners
        • Cost: 24%
        • Features: 59%
        • Support: 7%
        • Reviews: 10%
        Best for options trading
        • Costs: 77%
        • Features: 10%
        • Support: 13%
        Best for derivatives trading
        • OTC markets: 1%
        • Cost: 76%
        • Tradable instruments: 1%
        • Features: 9%
        • Support: 3%
        • Third party ratings: 10%

        Award eligibility

        We analyzed data for brokers registered on the SEC and licensed with FINRA for inclusion in our awards, as well as lists on Wikipedia and unofficial broker-related websites.
        Stock brokers needed to meet four eligibility criteria for awards consideration:

        • An online or mobile platform available for US residents
        • The option for customers to directly purchase and sell stocks (for example, futures or ETF-only platforms were not accepted)
        • The option for customers to buy or sell nonleveraged equities
        • Stock trading services for retail investors

        For trading platforms with multiple accounts, we analyzed the fees and features of the most basic or standard account for our best broker categories.
        We sourced information from broker websites or broker representatives. When we were unable to source information, our team contacted brokers directly, excluding brokers who did not respond within three weeks.

        Paid non-client promotion. Finder does not invest money with providers on this page. If a brand is a referral partner, we're paid when you click or tap through to, open an account with or provide your contact information to the provider. Partnerships are not a recommendation for you to invest with any one company. Learn more about how we make money.

        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.

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