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Vanguard competitors

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

Our pick to buy stocks: SoFi Invest

SoFi Invest logo
  • $0 commissions on stocks
  • Robo advisor with no management fees
  • Beginner-friendly platform
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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 five of Vanguard’s top competitors.

Vanguard alternatives

Check out a few of Vanguard’s rival brokerages.

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade

4.4 / 5 ★★★★★

TD Ameritrade offers a user-friendly trading platform for beginner and active traders. Like most brokers, you pay no commissions on online stocks, ETFs or options trades and only a small fee per options contract. Choose from over 2,300 ETFs and 12,000 mutual funds. But where TD Ameritrade leaves Vanguard in the dust is the ability to trade forex and futures.
TD Ameritrade also offers 24/7 phone support and social media chatbots. And you can live chat with someone on its app, which is not currently available with Vanguard.
Account typesBrokerage, Retirement, Education, Custodial, Specialty
Annual fee0%
Option trade fee$0 + $0.65/contract,
or $25 broker-assisted
Available asset typesStocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Currencies, CDs, Futures, Forex

Betterment

Betterment

4.4 / 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.
Account typesRetirement, Robo-Advisor
Annual fee0.25% on balances up to $99,999
0.4% on balances of $100,000+
Available asset typesStocks, Bonds

Fidelity

Fidelity Brokerage Account

4.2 / 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, Retirement
Option trade fee$0 + $0.65/contract
Available asset typesStocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab

4.4 / 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, Retirement
Annual fee0%
Option trade fee$0 + $0.65/contract,
or $25 if it is a broker-assisted trade
Available asset typesStocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs

Robinhood

Robinhood

4 / 5 ★★★★★

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
Annual fee0%
Option trade fee$0
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 Available asset types Stock trade fee Minimum deposit Signup bonus
SoFi Invest
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
$0
Get up to $1,000
when you fund a new account within 30 days.
Winner of Finder’s Best Low-Cost Broker award.
Robinhood
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
$0
Get a free stock
when you successfully sign up and link your bank account.
Make unlimited commission-free trades, plus earn 4% interest on uninvested cash in your account with Robinhood Gold.
tastyworks
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
$0
Get $200 in US stocks
when you open and fund an account with min. $2,000 for 3+ mos.
Highly commended for Best Derivatives Trading Platform award.
Public.com
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Alternatives
$0
$0
Get up to $300 in either stocks or crypto
when you use code FINDERUS to sign up and fund a new account.
Trade stocks and ETFs commission-free, plus gain access to alternative investments like art, NFTs and more.
Interactive Brokers
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Futures, Forex
$0
$0
N/A
Winner of Finder’s Best Overall Stock Broker award.
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Information on this page is for educational purposes only. Finder is not an advisor or brokerage service, and we don't recommend investors to trade specific stocks or other investments.

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