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5 Best Trading Platforms and Stockbrokers

Want to buy stocks like Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), Netflix (NFLX), or Tesla (TSLA)? If so, you will need to create a trading account with an online broker.

Each stock trading platform is unique. And now, with every broker offering stock trading and $0 ETFs, deciding which one to use depends on differences in the overall trading experience. Investment options, trading tools, market research, beginner education, customer support and ease of use are all factors that investors should consider when choosing a broker.

Our review process at StockBrokers.com is exhaustive: this year we measured over 200 unique variables across multiple brokerages for a total of 3,075 data points.

Fidelity – Best overall, best for beginners

Fidelity won Best Overall in our Annual Stockbroker Review for easily meeting the needs of almost any individual investor while still making it accessible to beginners. Fidelity provides a wealth of market news and commentary, as well as extensive research on various investment options. If you're new to investing, you'll also appreciate our large library of helpful articles.

TD Ameritrade - Best trading platform and tools, best customer service

TD Ameritrade is one of our top brokers. It offers a variety of features, like rival Fidelity, and is very powerful in its tools for active traders, especially the thinkorswim platform. Note that TD Ameritrade was purchased by Charles Schwab in 2020 and the TD Ameritrade account will eventually be transferred to Schwab. The company's new combined service menu hasn't been announced yet, but we expect many of TD Ameritrade's services, including the excellent think-tank trading platform, to continue at Schwab.

E*TRADE- Best mobile trading and ease of use

E*TRADE won Best Web Trading Platform and Best Trader App. Active traders on the go will find E*TRADE provides usability and depth. Its research provider packages are top notch, so the broker is also a good choice for long-term investors. Beginners will find less content than TD Ameritrade and Fidelity, but the ease of use will still satisfy beginners.

E*TRADE Mobile is one of two great apps offered by the broker. Press Play to demonstrate its features.

Charles Schwab - Best IRA Accounts, Best Broker Podcasts

Schwab offers a solid set of tools for traders, investors and beginners, but its main strength lies in financial planning. Clients will find the calculator useful to help them make informed long-term investment decisions. As noted above, Schwab acquired TD Ameritrade in 2020 and is in the process of merging the two brokers.

Interactive Brokers - For the best professionals, the best investment deals

Interactive Brokers is the best trading platform for professionals, but novice traders can get stuck because of its complexity. Its deposit rates are extremely low, making it the best brokerage account for many high net worth clients, leveraged traders, and institutional investors. IBKR is also very strong in ESG investment (environmental, social and governance) and foreign stock market trading.