Simple. Honest. Personal finance.

Best Online Stock Brokers for New 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.

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade features no minimum opening deposit and a user-friendly interface. They were voted ‘Best Broker for New Investors’ by Barron’s in 2012.

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.

Click here to learn more about TDAmeritrade now


Scottrade is one of our recommended brokers for young investors.If you can afford the $500 minimum opening investment, consider Scottrade.

Their trades are just $7 a piece and they have over 500 brick-and-mortar locations for face-to-face customer service should you ever need it. These days you can do 99 percent of your investing online, but there are times when it might be nice to talk to a real live person. For new investors, Scottrade also boasts an impressive number of mutual funds (over 13,000) that you can invest in.

Click here to go to Scottrade now


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.

Click here to go to Betterment now

Other Online Brokers

Trade Commission
Minimum Opening Deposit
Editor’s Comments
No minimum to open; $4.95 trades. 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.
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Cheap trades! TradeKing (merged with Zecco in 2012) is a best online stock broker with super-low $4.95 commissions. TradeKing offers stock, option, ETF, and mutual fund trading with no minimum balance requirements or hidden fees. They offer research tools and mobile trading and, despite their low prices, have been noted for their strong customer service.
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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 traders each quarter. Additional savings are available at 1,500 traders per quarter.
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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.