We are excited to announce the winners of our 2019 Best Online Brokers Awards!
At Investopedia, our mission is to simplify complex finance, investing, and trading topics and give our readers the confidence they need to make financial decisions. Helping investors find the right tools and platforms to invest and trade is key to that mission. With so many options available, our team evaluated more than 70 online brokers, considering thousands of variables across trading technology, mobile capabilities, user interfaces, research tools, costs and fees. The result is the most comprehensive and up-to-date online broker reviews in the industry.
Our analysis of the online brokerage industry, discussing the major changes we saw during 2018 and what we expect going forward, is “The Year of the Reality Check.”
We know that each investor has different needs in an online broker. We have ranked online brokers across 12 different categories so that you can find the broker that is best for you.
No matter where you are in your investing journey, these reviews will give you a clear view of your choices as you invest and trade in 2019. Here are our winners.
Best Overall Online Brokers
Our list of the top overall brokers represent the best-in-industry platforms that offer solutions for investors at all levels. They are ranked in order by their overall score.
Best for Beginners
Winners for this category have excellent resources for those new to trading and investing. Their services include top-notch education and step-by-step guides.
Best for Low Costs
With the growth of free trades, we expect 2019 will see a continued expansion of low-cost offerings. These are the best brokers for low costs.
Best Stock Trading Apps
Each year, mobile stock trading apps come closer to parity with desktop offerings. In this category, we rank brokers that are best for traders who are mobile first.
Best for ETFs
ETFs have surged in popularity over the past decade. Winners in this category have broad ETF offerings, research, and portfolio tracking abilities.
Best for Options Trading
Those looking to trade options generally need to make use of a variety of tools and charts to measure volatility and potential profitability. These brokers have the best tools for options traders.
Best for Penny Stocks
The highly speculative world of penny stocks requires platforms with fast order execution, excellent charting tools and ultra-competitive pricing. These brokers offer all three.
Best for Roth IRAs
Roth IRAs are widely used investment vehicles for retirement savings. These brokers have the best resources for building, managing and maintaining your Roth IRA assets.
Best for IRAs
Like Roth IRAs, IRAs are a common way to save for retirement. The following brokers offer the best resources for IRA investors, including research, portfolio analysis and educational content.
Best for Day Trading
If you are day trading, you need low costs, quality trade executions and real-time streaming data. These brokers have all those attributes and more to make them the best for day traders.
Best for International Trading
This group of brokers provides customers the best access to international equities, derivatives and fixed income products.
Best for Forex Trading
These forex brokers offer low fees (including spreads and commissions), clean trading platforms, forex education and currencies research.
Best Web Trading Platforms
These brokers have built the best web-based trading experiences that rival the functionality of professional trading platforms.
Why We Do It
Finding the right online broker that integrates your financial goals is more challenging than ever given the abundance of products available today. The explosion of new fintech companies and growth in the variety of simplified investments like ETFs and index funds can create a dizzying array of choices for the individual investor.
To make it easy we user-tested over 70 online brokers to identify which brokers offer the best solutions for investors in 2019. What we’ve created is a comprehensive set of reviews and rankings that will allow any investor to find the right broker for them.
Investopedia’s mission is to provide investors with unbiased, comprehensive reviews and ratings of online brokers. Our reviews are the result of six months of evaluating all aspects of an online broker’s platform, including the user experience, the quality of trade executions, the products available on their platforms, costs and fees, security, the mobile experience and customer service. We established a rating scale based on our criteria, collecting over 3,000 data points that we weighed into our star scoring system.
In addition, every broker we surveyed was required to fill out a 320-point survey about all aspects of their platform that we used in our testing. Many of the online brokers we evaluated provided us with in-person demonstrations of their platforms at our offices.
Our team of industry experts, led by Theresa W. Carey, conducted our reviews and developed this best-in-industry methodology for ranking online investing platforms for users at all levels. Click here to read our full methodology.