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Vanguard competitors

If you’re looking for a broker comparable to Vanguard, check out these four contenders.

While Vanguard is a household name in the trading industry, it doesn’t offer forex, futures or cryptocurrency. And its lackluster research tools might cause you to consider another trading platform. Here are four of Vanguard’s top competitors.

Vanguard alternatives

Check out a few of Vanguard’s rival brokerages.

Betterment

Betterment

4.2 / 5 ★★★★★

If you're new to investing or prefer to take a backseat approach, Betterment might be a good option that vies with Vanguard's Digital Advisor — but without Vanguard's $3,000 minimum balance. Input details about your finances, risk tolerance and goals, and Betterment will match you to a portfolio that fits your needs. And if you prefer a more hands-on approach, its Flexible Portfolios let you control your asset class weights.
Unlike Vanguard, which only allows fractional shares on mutual funds, Betterment portfolios offer fractional shares on global stock and bond ETFs, so no cash is left uninvested. And as an extra perk, your portfolio automatically rebalances and includes tax benefits, such as tax-loss harvesting, to maximize your profit.
Annual fee0.25% on balances up to $99,999
0.4% on balances of $100,000+
Available asset typesETFs, Cryptocurrency

Fidelity

Fidelity Investments

4.6 / 5 ★★★★★

Fidelity offers access to international markets and robust research tools with real-time market data and advanced charting. Use customizable filters to sift through 6,000 stocks and ETFs or view recommendations from independent, third-party experts. Fidelity also has a patented Trade Armor tool to help manage your entry and exit strategies and minimize risk.
To top it off, in a head-to-head comparison between Vanguard and Fidelity, a working paper from the Economic Research Initiatives at Duke University found that Fidelity had a lower expense ratio than Vanguard as of April 2019. And with its on-demand webinars, coaching sessions and weekly trading classes, beginner investors don't need to shy away from this Vanguard competitor.
Account typesBrokerage, Custodial, Joint brokerage, Trust
Annual fee0%
Available asset typesStocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Gold/Commodities, CDs, Treasury Bills

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab

4.5 / 5 ★★★★★

Both Charles Schwab and Vanguard offer commission-free trades and in-house financial coaching services. Schwab sets itself apart by arming you with powerful research tools, including proprietary Schwab equity ratings, premium independent research from third-parties like Credit Suisse and a customizable desktop platform. And unlike Vanguard, Schwab lets you trade futures and has no minimum investment for mutual funds.
Account typesBrokerage, Education (529), Custodial, Joint brokerage, Trust
Annual fee0%
Available asset typesStocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Futures, Treasury Bills

Robinhood

Robinhood

4.3 / 5 ★★★★★

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Robinhood's minimalist platform makes it straightforward for rookie investors to start their trading journeys with commission-free online trades. But unlike most brokers, Robinhood doesn't charge a fee for options contracts.
Its basic charting and stock screening software help ease new users into the investing world. By upgrading to Robinhood Gold for $5 a month, you'll also access professional research from Morningstar, an independent investment research company. And even though this Vanguard competitor is newer to the game, it keeps up with the times by offering cryptocurrency — something still missing from Vanguard's portfolio.
Account typesBrokerage, IRA, Margin
Annual fee0%
Available asset typesStocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency

Pros and cons of Vanguard

Here are a few distinct reasons to become part of this investor-owned company and some things to consider before opening an account.

Pros

  • Low expense ratio
  • Variety of investment products and account types, including IRAs to build your retirement nest egg or a brokerage account to grow your wealth
  • Large selection of mutual funds

Cons

  • Limited research tools and data
  • Basic trading platform and mobile app
  • Annual fees

How to transfer your brokerage account

If you’re replacing your broker, the steps to transfer your funds may vary depending on the brokerage you’re currently using and the platform you’re going to. Vanguard charges a $10 wire transfer fee for each holding you redeem if your assets are under $1 million. It doesn’t charge a fee to close your account.
Vanguard is enrolled in the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service (ACATS) to transfer your funds. To transfer your account, you’ll need to do the following.

  1. Fill out a transfer form with your new broker.
  2. Your new company contacts your current broker to initiate the transfer of your assets.
  3. Your current broker prepares the request.
  4. Your old broker deposits your funds, generally within six business days.
  5. Note: Your new broker may not allow proprietary mutual funds or ETFs from your old broker.

Compare trading platforms

Here are signup details for a few brokers you might consider:

1 - 5 of 5
Name Product Ratings Available asset types Minimum deposit Stock trade fee Cash sweep APY Signup bonus
SoFi Invest®
Finder Score: 4.1 / 5: ★★★★★
SoFi Invest®
★★★★★
Stocks, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Alternatives
$0
$0
0.01%
Get up to $1,000 in stock
when you fund a new account within 30 days
Tastytrade
Finder Score: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Tastytrade
★★★★★
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Futures, Treasury Bills
$0
$0
N/A
Get $100-$5,000
when you open and fund an account with $5,000 to $1,000,000+
Highly commended for Best Derivatives Trading Platform award.
Public.com
Finder Score: 4.1 / 5: ★★★★★
Public.com
★★★★★
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Art, Treasury Bills, Collectibles
$0
$0
5.1%
N/A
2.5% fee applies to all alternative asset transactions.
Robinhood
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Robinhood
★★★★★
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
$0
1.5%, or 5% with Robinhood Gold
Get a free stock
when you successfully sign up and link your bank account.
Try Robinhood Gold for 30 days risk-free upon signup and earn a 5% APY on your uninvested cash, a 3% match on IRA contributions, up to $50,000 in instant deposits and more. Accounts are auto-downgraded after the trial period.
Moomoo
Finder Score: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Exclusive
Moomoo
★★★★★
Stocks, Options, ETFs
$0
$0
5.10%
Choose a 1.5% match or 7 free fractional shares
when you open a new account and meet funding requirements
No commission stock and ETF trading, with a chance to get a 1.5% cash reward match or 7 free fractional shares.
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