Now that you’ve read into how you can trade options and equities, here are some recommended brokerages that our traders typically use to interact with the market. Some brokerages are used more often than other brokerages, and some brokers can be very complicated (or simplified).
Full disclosure for legal purposes: I, my company, or partners may get commissions when you sign up through some of the links in this article. This, however, does not and will not affect the recommendations I give below.
In this article, I will explain three kinds of brokerages. All brokerages in this article have been used either by me, my partners, or my members on our Discord server. Displayed in order, are Popular Brokerages, International Brokerages, and Mature Brokerages (not that kind of mature 🥲).
- The most user-friendly mobile app recommended for newbies and casual traders.
- Pros: Simple UI, easy to trade and invest, instant deposit, and fractional shares available.
- Cons: Relatively slower execution speed and lacks charting abilities.
- Great for newbies to intermediate traders.
- Pros: Charting tools from mobile app, great community, great desktop app, and paper-trading available.
- Cons: Depositing and transferring funds can take a long time.
- thinkorswim® by TD Ameritrade
- This is probably the #1 loved brokerage for intermediate to advanced traders.
- Pros: Scanners, fast execution speed, charting tools, awesome customer service, and paper-trading available.
- Cons: Can be daunting to first-time users.
- Best brokerage for scalpers and advanced traders only.
- Pros: Great execution rates and futures trading.
- Cons: High commissions, high minimum investment requirement, and excessive account fees.
- A young, up-and-coming US broker focusing on options trading. Built by the same experts who built thinkorswim®.
- Pros: Options trading and trade ticket have key analytics built in.
- Cons: Portfolio analysis requires a separate website.
- The cheapest registered brokerage in Canada for trading.
- Pros: Good mobile app and charting tools, Questrade IQ Edge available.
- Cons: Lack of available market data.
- Interactive Brokers
- An internationally reputable platform offered in 33+ countries and 135 markets.
- Pros: Has the cheapest commission fees (except in the United States) and gives you access to full extended trading hours. You can also open up your country’s registered accounts in cash or margin to leverage the taxable benefits.
- Cons: Inactivity fees on IBKR Pro.
- Appeals to active traders, beneficial to beginner investors with a large library of educational resources.
- Pros: Large investment selection, extensive research, and advanced mobile app.
- Cons: E*TRADE Web can be difficult to navigate.
- Charles Schwab
- Best broker for IRA investing. Appeals to both active traders and beginner investors.
- Pros: Above-average mobile app, extensive research, and large fund selection.
- Cons: Low default cash sweep rate.
- Strong reputation for its mutual funds, lots of research offerings, and easy-to-use platform.
- Pros: Large selection of research providers, expense-ratio-free index funds, and highly rated mobile app.
- Cons: Relatively high broker-assisted trade fee.
- Stands out for its robust research tools, best for Bank of America customers, and high-balance customers.
- Pros: Great third-party research tools, competes for order flow to save customers money, high credit card cash-back for Bank of America customers.
- Cons: Fewer securities to offer, difficult to navigate website and app.