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Which Online Broker is Your Favorite?

Written by Nickel - 31 Comments

Update: Click through for a summary of the best online brokers.

Time for another quick, informal poll.

In the past I’ve asked about your favorite credit cards and your favorite online banks. This time I’d like to find out about your favorite online brokers. So…

What’s your favorite online brokerage, and why?

Please leave a comment, below…

Published on April 16th, 2008
Modified on May 2nd, 2008 - 31 Comments
Filed under: Saving & Investing

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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31 Responses to “Which Online Broker is Your Favorite?”

  1. 1
    Zachary Spencer Says:

    I’m a big fan of eTrade. They’ve got some great research tools built in, have no-fee no-load mutual funds for my IRA, and have excellent customer service. I generally get email responses within an hour or two of sending them in.

    Admittedly the cost per stock trade is high unless you have $50K in assets with them, but I generally just do mutual funds in my IRA anyway.

  2. 2
    James Says:

    I use Bank of America, because they bought out Quick & Reilly, who I used to use. I guess I’m satisfied with them. The devil you know…

  3. 3
    ryan Says:

    i like scottrade. $7 for equity and $17 for mutual fund trades, no matter the dollar amount. i have never had a problem in three years. much better than $50 TO START to trade a mutual fund at Schwab.

  4. 4
    Debbie M Says:

    Scottrade. It’s almost the cheapest and yet still is really good. I like that there’s no monthly payment–if you don’t trade, you don’t pay. And I like that when you do trade, it’s a pretty low fee, no matter how big the trade is.

    They are a discount broker and thus don’t give advice. But since I don’t trust broker advice, that’s a good thing for me. There is no spam, begging, or any other kind of weirdness. However, when I have gone in to their office to ask questions about forms or procedures, they were there and helpful.

    If you’re a day trader or want some hand-holding, this probably isn’t the broker for you. I don’t have anything to compare it to except e-trade; my boyfriend has used both and far, far prefers Scottrade.

  5. 5
    FlatGreg Says:


    I’m wondering if anyone has experience with zecco.com.

  6. 6
    Troy Says:

    While not specifically broker (I don’t think), I’m a big fan of Sharebuilder. I like their gift program, where you can purchase stock as a gift for a child, and then Sharebuilder sends them this package that really helps them understand what investing is all about. It’s a great way to teach children about money and investing.

  7. 7
    Rick Says:

    I do have experience with Zecco, and I like it. I know it has a lot of bad rapport out there, but I have had good experiences with it. You get what you pay for, certainly; there’s no advice, the tools are limited, and (from what I’ve heard) customer services is lacking. But I think of it like Walmart. When I go in to Walmart, I don’t need a lot of attention from the salespeople. I don’t need advice and assistance. I just get my purchases, go through the self-checkout, and get out. It’s the same with Zecco. All I need to do is buy and sell stocks, and for that, Zecco is really good. And it’s free.

  8. 8
    Fiscal Musings Says:

    I’ve been happy with Scottrade. It’s simple and inexpensive.

  9. 9
    unimax Says:

    tradeking and scottrade (IRA).

  10. 10
    Kyle Says:

    I like Scottrade. They aren’t the cheapest anymore but they do tax-basis accounting for you. Firstrade is also good if you are going to reinvest dividends. I haven’t tried Zecco yet, but will likely switch. Can’t beat free trades.

  11. 11
    Greg Says:

    Scottrade. I switched from Smith Barney, which had a minimum commission of $25 per equity trade. I just wish Scottrade did dividend reinvestment.

  12. 12
    Scott Says:


  13. 13
    Kira Says:

    For mutual funds – Vanguard hands down. For everything else – USAA. Their rates are great and I can trade from my crackberry. All in one w/ my bank, insurance, credit card, etc. They can’t be beat!

  14. 14
    Jeff Says:

    I have had no problems with Scottrade for 4 years but have never had to actually withdraw any money. Anyone have experience with this? It looks easy and straightforward (request a check) but am just curious…

  15. 15
    Brandon Says:

    i use thinkorswim. i pay .0125 a share (min $5) and $1.50 for options contracts. cant beat that. no inactivity fees and i can call or instant message them with any questions or trading strategies. free webinars everyday. desktop platform is great! wouldnt change if i got paid! (unless it was an amount where i wouldnt have to trade anymore =) )

  16. 16
    kitty Says:

    I’ve been pretty satisfied with TD Ameritrade – $9.99 for stocks/ETFs regardless of how much you have on the account, no inactivity fees and I can do dividend reinvestment. I don’t trade that often anyway, and I don’t touch options. Good research information on the website (after you logon).

    Their fee for no-load mutual funds is a bit high, but I prefer to buy mutual funds directly from the mutual fund companies. Besides, most of my mutual funds are in 401K.

  17. 17
    My Dollar Plan Says:

    It used to be Scottrade. Until they started charging for Vanguard and eliminated the ACH transfers. Since then it’s been downhill.

  18. 18
    Ben Says:

    I use Zecco as well. I’ve been keeping to under 10 trades a month. The zero cost to trading has been real nice.

    Though their site is very simple it doesn’t bother me since they’re saving me thousands $$$.


  19. 19
    Robert Says:

    Why hasn’t anyone mentioned izone? (www.izone.com) It’s Ameritrade’s little known cousin. Five bucks a trade for market and limit orders. Quick, easy, no phone support but lightning trades and incredibly cheap. I’ve been using them for years.


  20. 20
    Scott Trade Says:

    Scottrade and Zecco. Scottrade for my Rollover IRA, and Zecco for my Roth IRA and regular brokerage account.

    Scottrade: $7 per trade, no trading frequency requirements, no annual fee, no inactivity fee.

    Zecco: ten free trades per month!

    If Zecco had Rollover IRAs, then I’d get rid of my Scottrade account.

    I don’t have mutual/index funds–value investing with stocks all the way! Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, and Phil Town.

  21. 21
    moiah Says:

    Wells Fargo PMA package is the best for price. 100 free trades in three seperate accounts (2 Roth, 1 taxable).

  22. 22
    Joshua Says:

    I use sharebuilder and I am pretty comfortable with them. I was going to set up an etrade but didn’t complete it. I’m just not as trusting as they expected me to be. But ShareBuilder(which is also linked to ING now), is a great financial combo for me.

  23. 23
    Zecco Rollovers Says:

    Zecco now has Rollover IRAs!

  24. 24
    mike Says:

    Zecco. i have a really good experience with zecco because i got so many free trades with out a hiss problem

  25. 25
    Tony Leach Says:

    Hey, it’s great to see so many positive comments about Zecco! Thanks for helping spread the word, everyone.

    Zecco Product Manager

  26. 26
    investorguy Says:

    I’m a fan of both Zecco (it’s free!) and Sharebuilder (cheap and flexible).

  27. 27
    steve Says:


  28. 28
    Tyler Says:

    I love both Sharebuilder (ING direct) and Vanguard… I just cashed out some shares yesterday for a home purchase and was surprised with how good Vanguards customer support was through the process (I had to rush funds). Couple that with the lowest expenses of any major brokerage house and you’ve got a winner.

  29. 29
    Lo. Price Says:

    Zecco. Though I only have a taxable account with them, a retirement account based on passively managed index funds makes a lot of sense. I think their IRA annual fee is $30/year which is not bad if you have a decent balance. Every month, you can use your free equity trades to buy major sector/style ETFs, with among the lowest expense ratios (say .08-.15) in the business. Think Vanguard and iShares ETFs. For instance, you could make a well-diversified portfolio by investing in 5 different ETFs a month: small-cap blend, mid-cap blend, large-cap blend, a REIT and foreign emerging markets or whatever your preferred mix.

  30. 30
    stockmanmarc Says:

    I use Interactive Brokers, very cheap and excellent execution.

    100 Shares @ USD 50 Share Price= USD 1.00
    1,000 Shares @ USD 50 Share Price = USD 5.00

  31. 31
    Brian Says:

    I’ve had Scottrade for almost 2 years now, and I love it. It’s ideal for new investors. Very user-friendly, great customer service.

    If you decide to go with Scottrade, here’s my referral code for 3 free trades to get started.

    Code: EEUJ2851

    Once you sign up, you’ll be given a personal referral code as well so you can earn free trades going forward.

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