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Kiplinger’s Top Discount Brokers

Written by Nickel - 6 Comments

While perusing the latest issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, I ran across an article critiquing the top online brokers (see also my earlier article on the best online discount brokers). They rated twelve different brokers based on commission, research/tools, commissions/fees, investment choices, and ease of use, and customer service.

Here’s what they came up with:

  1. Fidelity
  2. Charles Schwab
  3. Muriel Siebert
  4. TradeKing
  5. E*Trade
  6. OptionsHouse
  7. TD Ameritrade
  8. WellsTrade
  9. Firstrade
  10. OptionsXpress
  11. Zecco
  12. Scottrade

Frankly, I was surprised to see TradeKing and E*Trade back in fourth and fifth place, as they’re both popular among FiveCentNickel readers. Moreover, SmartMoney picked E*Trade as their top online broker, and TradeKing has received rave reviews for their combination of excellent customer service and cheap trades.

Looking further down the list, Zecco came in second to last despite their free trades. When it comes to Zecco, people either seem to love them or hate them. However, if you don’t have a lot to invest and you’re trying to keep your costs as low as possible, it’s hard to argue with free.

Published on October 24th, 2008
Modified on March 27th, 2015 - 6 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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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Wow – I wonder why they ranked Scottrade so poorly. I’ve had an account with them for a number of years now and am constantly amazed by their superior customer service.

    Granted, I don’t trade very often, but ranking them even lower than Zecco (whose customer service is abysmal in my opinion) seems odd.

    Comment by Anonymous — Oct 24th 2008 @ 2:32 pm
  2. I love Fidelity! I’ve been a satisfied customer now for over 10 years and must say that they definitely deserve the top spot. I just wish their commissions were a little less.

    I am also an E*Trade customer and can say that they have improved over the past couple of years, but still fall short of Fidelity.

    Comment by Anonymous — Oct 24th 2008 @ 4:31 pm
  3. I’ve got no complaints with TradeKing. $5 trades, great tools, and when I’ve needed it their customer service is very helpful.

    Comment by Anonymous — Oct 24th 2008 @ 9:17 pm
  4. Been using Zecco, don’t need much customer service, but I am annoyed about their 5 day holding period for ACH transfers. Means you can’t hurry and move money in to buy stock on sale.

    Comment by Anonymous — Oct 25th 2008 @ 12:37 am
  5. I do not see Interactive Brokers (IBKR) on this list. You can trade stocks,bonds,options,futures, and currency. I think they just started offering some mutual fund companies. Their commissions are only $1 for first 100 shares then drop to 1/2 penny a share . Cheapest in the industry unless your high volume trader. Great execututions. Have used them for over 5 years.

    STOCKMANMARC

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 2nd 2008 @ 10:11 pm
  6. Zecco much improved after many problems with heavy trading volumes during the market downturn.

    http://friends.zecco.com/r/b02d9210e051102a8555

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 5th 2008 @ 12:35 pm

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