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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

4.37 / 5 ★★★★★

Go to site
on TD Ameritrade's secure site
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
Option trade fee$0 + $0.65/contract,
or $25 broker-assisted
Asset typesStocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Currencies

Betterment

Betterment

Go to site
on Betterment's secure site
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+
Option trade feeN/A
Asset typesETFs

Fidelity

Fidelity Brokerage Account

4.18 / 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
Asset typesStocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab

4.38 / 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
Option trade fee$0 + $0.65/contract,
or $25 if it is a broker-assisted trade
Asset typesStocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs

Robinhood

Robinhood

3.5 / 5 ★★★★★

Go to site
on Robinhood's secure site
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
Asset typesStocks, Options, ETFs

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:

Name Product Asset types Option trade fee Annual fee Signup bonus
Sofi Invest
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
N/A
0%
Get one free stock worth up to $1,000
Open an account
A free way to invest in stocks, ETFs and crypto.
Webull
Stocks, Options, ETFs
$0
0%
Get one free stock valued between $3.00 and $300 when you open an account, one more with a deposit
Open an account
Margin financing rates start at 3.99%. No monthly subscription fees for margin.
Public
Stocks, ETFs
N/A
$0 per month
Download and sign up with Public.com; approved accounts receive a free stock slice worth up to $70, selected from 9 popular stocks.
Open an account
Commission-free trading in stocks and ETFs with a social networking twist.
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs
$0 + $0.65/contract
0%
N/A
INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE
Robinhood
Stocks, Options, ETFs
$0
0%
Free stock (chosen randomly with a value anywhere between $2.50 and $200)
Sign up using the "go to site" link
Make unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, funds, and options with Robinhood Financial.
Moomoo
Stocks, Options, ETFs
$0
$0 per year
N/A
Trade stocks on the US, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen markets.
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Compare up to 4 providers

*Signup bonus information updated weekly.

Disclaimer: The value of any investment can go up or down depending on news, trends and market conditions. We are not investment advisers, so do your own due diligence to understand the risks before you invest.

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