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Best Online Stock Brokers for New Investors

Compare the best online brokers for beginning investors.

Ready to start investing? Congrats. It’s a huge step on the road to financial independence.

Don’t get hung up on where you invest as long as you’re getting in the habit of investing. The following brokers are my recommendations for new investment accounts, whether it’s an IRA or a taxable non-retirement account.

The Best Online Brokers

Top Pick!

OptionsHouse


Trade Free For 90 Days when you Open a New OptionsHouse Account!
OptionHouse is a great pick for new investors as there’s no minimum to open; and stock trades are just $4.95.

As its name implies, OptionsHouse has some unique features that will appeal to options traders, but it’s also a great affordable all-around stock broker for new investors.

There’s no minimum deposit to open an account and you it’s hard to beat the $4.95 trade commissions. Among our recommended brokers, we think OptionsHouse’s online trading tools are also the easiest to use.

Special promotion! Trade free for 90 days when you open and fund a new OptionsHouse account

Min. to Open Stock Trades Mutual Fund Trades
$0 $4.95 $9.95

Top Pick!

TradeKing

TradeKing is a popular broker among MoneyUnder30 readers because of their low-priced trades ($4.95) and award-winning customer service.

Trading doesn’t get more straight-forward and affordable than with TradeKing whether you are just getting started with a few shares for your IRA or diving into options.

Special $200 Cash Bonus for Money Under 30 readers! Get a bonus of $200 when you open a new TradeKing account! To qualify, you must fund the account with at least $3,000 within 30 days of opening and execute at least 3 trades within 90 days of account opening. Offer applies only to taxable accounts (not IRAs). Hurry, offer expires April 30, 2015. Open an account now.

Min. to Open Stock Trades Mutual Fund Trades
$0 $4.95 $9.95

LOYAL3

makes it possible for you to invest as little as $10 in brands you love. Plus, unlike other brokerages, you pay $0 fees to buy and sell stocks, and there are no account minimums. You can even set up monthly automatic plans, where we’ll automatically purchase stock monthly for you in the amount you select.

If stocks aren’t your thing or you’re looking for more investment options, then we have something for you. We provide access to IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) at the same time and price as Wall Street. Start investing in IPOs with $100, fee-free.

Get started today, it’s as simple as buying a product online and will only take a few minutes.

Min. to Open Stock Trades IPO Trades
$0 $0 $0

E*Trade

E*Trade is a good pick for data junkies and frequent traders, as they get high marks for research; E*Trade’s stock screeners, charts, and planning tools are among the best available to individual investors.

Regular traders will enjoy significantly reduced trade commissions the more they trade. For example, standard trades drop from $9.99 to $7.99 for investors making more than 150 trades each quarter. Additional savings are available at 1,500 trades per quarter.

Min. to Open Stock Trades Mutual Fund Trades
$500 $9.99 $19.99

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade features no minimum opening deposit and a user-friendly interface.

Their trading commissions are a flat $9.99; not the cheapest but still quite affordable. And if you really get into trading and stock-picking, TD’s powerful research tools don’t disappoint. Best of all, TD Ameritrade also has commission-free ETFs perfect for new investors.

TD Ameritrade offers hundreds of no transaction fee mutual funds which you can purchase at no cost. Most investors will be satisfied with such a selection, but purchasing a no-load mutual fund outside of these selections will incur a $49.99 commission.

Min. to Open Stock Trades Mutual Fund Trades
$0 $9.99 $0-$49.99

Betterment

Betterment: Smarter Investing for Busy PeopleIf you find the idea of choosing from say, over 13,000 mutual funds a bit overwhelming and you want to keep investing as simple as possible — at least until you’ve grown your cash a bit — take a look at Betterment.

Betterment isn’t really a broker so much as an alternative — very easy — way to invest in a a broad index of the stock market. Many experts — including Warren Buffet — say that this is how most individual investors should invest. The idea is you simply invest in everything — an index of the entire stock and bond markets. You eliminate the risk of a few bad investments weighting down your returns.

Over time, studies show that index investors do at least as well, and often better, than people who spend years (and fortunes) trying to pick stocks that will beat the market. Best of all, index investing is cheap.

Min. to Open Stock Trades Mutual Fund Trades
$0 N/A N/A

Motif

Get up to $150 when you start trading with MotifMotif provides a creative alternative to traditional brokers by letting you invest in buckets of up to 30 stocks for a single $9.95 per trade.

Choose from ready-made themes like Clean Technology, Emerging Consumer Markets and hundreds more. You can also customize the motifs or create your own.

Motif is an excellent option for new investors who want to be more involved with their investment choices while keeping costs low because you won’t have to pay a $5-$10 commission to buy individual stocks.

Min. to Open Stock Trades Mutual Fund Trades
$0 $9.95 N/A

Need a Financial Advisor?

The above brokers are all great for do-it-yourself investors. However, if you find yourself wondering if it’s time to get professional help making a financial plan, it may be time to work one-on-one with a financial advisor. You can learn more about how to find a qualified financial advisor to help with your investment goals here.

Get Matched with 5-Star Rated Financial Advisors in Your Area

The Paladin Registry pre-screens financial planners and investment advisors. It’s free to use and there’s no obligation. Start now:

Note: One way I’m able to support my blogging while helping you is to link to products I like and earn a referral commission if you sign up. I only link to products I trust. That said, you should know that, for some of these brokers, I earn a small amount if you follow my links and eventually open an account.