When you sign up with one of these top five online stockbroker companies, you may find that the process is easier so that you can build your wealth in a less overwhelming way.

People who are new to online trading may find it to be very confusing. Even if you know what companies that you would like to choose, you might not know how to go about investing in them. There are several online stockbroker companies that can help you with your online investing so that the process is demystified for you.

TD Ameritrade

Based in Omaha, Nebraska, TD Ameritrade does not require a minimum investment and offers some terrific features such as in-depth, free research, according to Investopedia. The company has several platforms for trading. TD Ameritrade has excellent customer service, and you are able to contact them 24 hours per day and seven days a week and speak to live person. You are able to reach TD Ameritrade by phone, text messaging, email, postal mail, and on Facebook.

TD Ameritrade also offers a robust investor education program, allowing you to choose your materials according to your knowledge base. There are more than 4,000 different no-fee mutual funds available through TD Ameritrade. There are also many different tradable securities. TD Ameritrade charges $6.95 per trade for stock trading.

Pros of TD Ameritrade

  • No minimum deposit required
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Website is user-friendly

Cons of TD Ameritrade

  • High, flat per-trade charge
  • Multiple platforms and apps might be confusing for some people


Fidelity is a good choice if you are interested in mutual funds. The brokerage reports that it offers more than 10,000 mutual funds from which you can choose, and more than 3,500 of them do not have transaction fees.

The company’s main trading platform is Active Trader Pro, but you must make a minimum of 36 trades in a rolling period of 12 months in order to gain access to it. There is a $0 required minimum deposit for brokerage accounts, but most of the mutual funds have minimum required deposits of $2,500. Fidelity charges a per-trade commission fee of $4.95 for its basic trades. If you make a deposit of $50,000 or more, you will receive 300 trades commission-free.

Pros of Fidelity

  • Commission fees are low per trade
  • Extensive research and education resources

Cons of Fidelity

  • Access to platforms may be restricted to high-volume traders
  • High minimum balances for mutual funds

Merrill Edge

Merrill Edge’s parent company is Bank of America, and it works seamlessly with the bank. If you have an account with Bank of America, you are able to access both of your accounts with one login. You are also able to get free investment advice at any of BofA’s 2,100 locations.

According to Merrill Edge, new customers can receive up to 300 commission-free ETF and stock trades during the first 90 days along with a cash bonus that ranges from $100 to $600, depending on the amount of your initial deposit. The per-transaction commission fee is $6.95 per trade. People who have balances of more than $50,000 receive 30 free trades each month. If you have a balance of more than $100,000, you will receive 100 free trades each month.

Pros of Merrill Edge

  • Extensive research
  • Good customer service
  • Good commission-free promotion

Cons of Merrill Edge

  • No ETFs that are commission-free
  • Trading platforms are restricted


E*Trade has a low minimum deposit of $500. Like TD Ameritrade, E*Trade reports that it charges a commission of $6.95 per trade and does not charge you any annual fees or inactivity fees. If you make more than 30 trades in a quarter, your commission will be reduced to $4.95 per trade. The account minimum is waived for IRA accounts.

In order to access E*Trade’s premier platform, E*Trade Pro, you must either maintain a balance of $250,000 or higher or make at least 30 trades each quarter. The brokerage offers 2,500 no-fee mutual funds. The for-fee funds cost $19.99 in commissions. E*Trade does not offer Forex trading. If you make a deposit of $10,000 or more, you will receive commission-free trades for 60 days.

Pros of E*Trade

  • No annual or inactivity fees
  • Good research tools

Cons of E*Trade

  • Access to E*Trade Pro requires a minimum balance of $250,000 or 30 trades per quarter
  • No Forex trading


TradeStation is most appropriate for serious traders who desire a professional experience. It has a minimum stock-trading account balance of $500. The company requires a minimum balance of $25,000 for its pattern day-trading accounts. It charges a commission of $5 per trade. There are no commission-free ETFs available. The company has a robust desktop platform and offers extensive research tools. The company offers more than 4,900 mutual funds, but none of them are no-fee funds.

Pros of TradeStation

  • Great desktop platform
  • Good choice for serious investors
  • Comprehensive research

Cons of TradeStation

  • Doesn’t offer fee-free ETFs or mutual funds
  • Must meet account minimums to access some features

Whether you are new to online investing or are an experienced investor, using the help of an online stock brokerage for your investments can make the process much easier. Online stockbrokers can help you to manage your investments in a way that is less overwhelming so that you can build your wealth. To determine which online stockbroker is the best choice for you, you should do your own research.