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Investors should know the best online brokers to trade with. Some online stock brokers are known for their award-winning customer service while others are known for inexpensive stock trades or powerful trading tools. This guide will highlight some of the best brokers available today with tips and advice for choosing a broker. Its platforms thinkorswim was 1 desktop platformtools, mobile apps including Alexa Skill and Facebook Messenger botresearch, customer service 1 for phone supportand education 1 are all award winning.

Get up to free trades for 2 years. Fidelity is best known for its value driven customer experience. Beyond cost and ease of use, Fidelity also finished 1 for research cheap online stock and option trading. OptionsHouse has been rated the 1 platform for Options Trading the past seven years. Merrill Edge is the online broker of Bank of America and is available to all investors, regardless if they are a current BofA customer.

Like TD Ameritrade and ETRADE, Merrill Edge is well-rounded; however, it has a huge advantage over all other brokers thanks to its Preferred Cheap online stock and option trading program where customers can earn free cheap online stock and option trading, credit cards bonus cash back, priority customer service, and more. I have personally been using the program since it launched in With its competitive commission rates for stocks and options trading, investors who have previous market experience will find themselves right at home.

However, unless you are already an Ally customer, you will find that there are better offerings available. Having the best stock broker to serve individual needs is very important for any investor. For example, cheap trades most often come at the expense of less research tools and a more simplified trade platform. Consider these 12 key factors to help compare all stock brokers and ultimately find the best broker to suite your needs. Trade Commissions What does it cost to buy shares of stock?

Does the fee change based on the type of order or size of order? To keep it simple, look for brokers that offer flat-fee trades, ie charging a flat rate regardless of the type, price of the stock, or size of the order.

Customer Service When picking up the phone or emailing a broker, is a well trained customer service representative ready to assist? How any investor is treated as a client is more important to cheap online stock and option trading than others. Trading Tools Trading successfully is a lot easier when investors have great tools at their disposal.

A top stock broker should offer access to a wide variety of trade tools to help make the most of each and every trade. From cheap online stock and option trading streaming quotes to last sale tickers, quality stock scanners, mobile trading apps, and level II quotes to name a cheap online stock and option trading. Strong tools are essential for active investors.

Account Minimums Some brokers allow you to open an account with no minimum deposit while others may require several thousand dollars. Also know that some brokers require higher minimums to gain access to premium platforms, functionality, and personalized support.

Market Research A good online broker will cheap online stock and option trading a variety of market research tools. The rule of thumb here is simple: Investment Options A online stock broker should offer access to not only trading stocks, but also a strong selection of no load mutual funds, commission free ETFs, and complex options. Other unique investment offerings to look for could include direct market routing, conditional orders, futures trading, and forex trading.

Other Fees Fees beyond trade commissions include inactivity fees common with active trading brokers such as Interactive Brokers, Lightspeed, and TradeStation and IRA fees for having a retirement account. Just like a bank account, stock brokers also make a portion of their profits off miscellaneous fees. There is no reason why you should pay an annual fee to have an retirement account. If managing your own portfolio is not of interest, all full-service brokers offer optional advisory services as well.

Furthermore, robo-advisors such as Betterment are growing in popularity. Once again, the experience at larger established brokers is going to be superior to smaller brokers. Banking Larger online brokers offer banking and other financial services.

This goes beyond money market accounts and CDs. Checking accounts, mortgages, debit cards, and credit cards can also be offered. The leader in this space is, hands down, Bank of America Merrill Edge. Account Security Because of the web today, all online brokers invest heavily into account security. Just like shopping online and choosing a trustworthy website to purchase from, the best bet is to choose a well-known, established broker for your portfolio.

To understand Order Execution, read this guide. International Trading For investors in the United States this is not a problem but for investors living outside the US, when comparing brokers it is important to make sure they offer service in your country. If you need help deciding which broker to choose or have a broker specific question please feel free to email me and I will be happy to help.

To view star ratings, summaries, screenshots, and more for these brokers, see our stock broker comparison tool. This took many dozens of hours to put together so I appreciate your support! Enter your email address.

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The brokers we have listed below are all excellent choices for any trader looking for an online broker to trade stock options at. We can strongly recommend these brokers based on a combination of our extensive research and our own personal experiences. Stock options were the very first type of options traded on the exchanges and they remain the most commonly traded type of option. Despite there now being a wide range of financial instruments that options can be based on, there are still many traders that stick only to trading stock options.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with this strategy and sticking to what you know best is often the best course of action. If you plan on exclusively trading stock options, then you will need to use a suitable broker.

The ones we have listed above are, in our opinion, the ones you should consider. There are many places on the internet that recommend options brokers, and some of these places will label a single broker as the best there is.

Any recommendation is ultimately down to a matter of opinion, to some extent at least, and we understand why some experts prefer to promote a single broker: However, it's our opinion that it's not possible to determine what the single best online options broker is as some attributes of a broker will be important to some traders, while others may be looking for other qualities. For example, a particularly active trader would probably have different requirements from a broker than someone looking to use auto trading services.

This is why we have created a number of different categories of brokers and made suitable recommendations for each of those categories. On this page we focus on the best options brokers for traders that mostly trade stock options: Our advice covers the following points. One of the first things a lot of traders look for when deciding which online broker to sign up with is the costs involved, primarily the commission charge per trade.

The cheapest broker is unlikely to be the best broker as ultimately you do tend to get what you pay for. If you are comparing two brokers and one offers everything you want from a broker but is a bit more expensive than the other one, which lacks some of what you want, then the extra cost is almost certainly going to be worth it.

You should also be sure to look a little deeper than simply the headline commission rate that a broker advertises. There may be terms and conditions you have to comply with to get the advertised rate, such as a minimum number of trades or having a certain level of funds in your account at all times.

You may also find that only certain types of orders qualify for the advertised commission rate, and other orders may be more expensive. You really need to check these sorts of things out when you are selecting your online options broker.

It should also be noted that commission charges aren't the only costs that you might incur while using a broker. Some brokers add fees for a whole range of different things: Some might even charge you a fee if your account is dormant for any length of time.

If you aren't careful, these fees can potentially add up to quite a significant sum. So you should make sure you know exactly what the deal is before going ahead and signing up with a broker.

This might seem pretty obvious, as any trader or investor should recognize the importance of putting their money to good use at all times. However, in this context we are making a specific point. It isn't necessarily one of huge significance, but it is nonetheless something that is worthy of consideration.

A lot of traders do tend to have some unused capital in their account most of the time and a little bit of extra return is always welcome, so it's worth checking to see if a broker does offer these interest payments. While the level of customer service you receive is unlikely to have a direct impact on your success as a trader, good customer service can certainly make your life easier. The best online services, such as those that we recommend, will provide quality customer service and be on hand to assist in you such instances.

When you are looking at different options, you might want to take a look at whether there are alternative ways to contact customer service that suit your requirements. Admittedly it's rarely an ideal solution, because there are obvious advantages to doing all of your trading with just the one broker, but it's not something that should be ruled out.

Remember, though, a lot of brokers require minimum deposits so this is something you might need to take into account if you are splitting your capital across two accounts.

The key to finding a good online options broker is basically just to do your research. You should have a clear idea about what is important to you and what it is you are looking for, so it really is as simple as checking out some different brokers and determining which one is the best fit for you.

This is one of the reasons why we have provided our readers with recommendations of services that we believe are of a particularly high quality. We are confident that you will find a broker that is suitable for you among those that we recommend. Best Brokers for Stock Options The brokers we have listed below are all excellent choices for any trader looking for an online broker to trade stock options at.

Ideal for traders trying to keep costs low Platform is easy to use but gets things right "Trader Network" helps build a community. Some of the lowest rates for stock trading Very easy to use trading platform Allows for a fully customizable experience.

Some of the best tools and features available No download necessary for trading platform No minimum deposit required to open account. Best Option Brokers By Category. Advice on Choosing a Stock Options Broker There are many places on the internet that recommend options brokers, and some of these places will label a single broker as the best there is. Put Your Money to Use This might seem pretty obvious, as any trader or investor should recognize the importance of putting their money to good use at all times.

Summary The key to finding a good online options broker is basically just to do your research.