Top Three Brokers

"We have narrowed down the list to the top 3 online brokers. Etrade, TD Ameritrade, and Options House are the three best online brokers. Etrade and TD Ameritrade are both fierce competitors, but we feel that TD Ameritrade comes out with a slight edge on features, as opposed to E-trades still very powerful ease of use. Options House is a must mention in the top three as well, because the price performance ratio is simply unbeatable. They have truly made a name for themselves among the best.

E*TRADE

The best brokers for overall value

E*TRADE
  • Pricing: Stocks, Options, & ETFs $9.99
  • Options Contracts $0.75
  • Margin Rate 7.44%
  • Broker Assisted Trades Add $25

E*TRADE and it's E*TRADE Pro trading platform is one of the most widely used platforms today. Fills are very fast, and the platform is very straight forward, and easy to use, yet every bit as powerful as TD Ameritrade's ThinkOrSwim platform. E*TRADE also includes a debit card with standard trading accounts, that makes it very easy to spend stock market earnings, just as you would a standard bank account.

They also offer a traditional bank account all at no extra charge. They have claimed to charge $50 per month for the powerful E*TRADE Pro platform, but they have never charged me for it. I believe they are not charging so as to better compete with ThinkOrSwim. TD Ameritrade gives theirs away for free. So far TD Ameritrade is the only major broker that has a free paper account for training purposes, but I would jump at the opportunity if E*TRADE had a paper account for E*TRADE Pro.

TD Ameritrade

The best brokers for overall value

TD Ameritrade
  • Pricing: Stocks, Options, & ETFs $9.99
  • Options Contracts $0.75
  • Margin Rate 1.25%
  • Broker Assisted Trades Add $25

TD Ameritrade , and particularly the ThinkOrSwim trading platform is in our opinion the most powerful trading platform available today, but, with all of the features, it can be a bit cumbersome to use, but if you take the time to learn about it's features, it is really a pretty incredible piece of software. I personally use it to trade my own money, but especially for the ThinkorSwim paper account. It's essentially a play account with play money that you can use to trade stocks or bonds with. The only drawback is that it is 20 minutes behind the market, so learning day trading on it is not really feasible, and sometimes even when you think you have made a profit, or bought at a good price (if you really are looking at what is going on real-time in the market), the 20 minute delay will lead to some disappointing paper trades. However, have no fear,if you actually fund your real TD Ameritrade account with a minimum of $3500, they will let you keep your paper acount, make your paper account real-time. that's a great opportunity!

This is in my opinion one of the most powerful training tools available in the stock world today. To be able to learn how to trade risk free with a $100,000 paper account is an extremely valuable resource that no other stock broker today provides. This is why TD Ameritrade is my pick for the top online broker. They are a solid company with an amazing platform, and a free paper account.

Options House

The best brokers for overall value

Options House
  • Pricing: Stocks, Options, & ETFs $3.95
  • Options Contracts 5 for $5 or $8.50 + .15 contract
  • Margin Rate 7.44%
  • Broker Assisted Trades Add $3.95

It's hard to beat Options House pricing for trades, and especially their pricing on options. If you are a regular options trader, this is the one for you. None of the larger online trading brokerages come close to the price. Their platform is newly improved, and it extremely fast in performance and fast in fills. The OptionsHosue trading platform is all about speed, customization, and a low price.

Steve White

Online Stock Broker Researcher

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