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:
- Charles Schwab
- Muriel Siebert
- TD Ameritrade
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.