Don't let the hard-earned money that you invest get eaten up with fees! Check out this list of the best discount investment brokers.
Read more: Clark's investment guide
Top discount investment brokers for 2017
The Investor's Business Daily 2017 Best Online Brokers list has just come out with new insights into the discount brokerages from the most important voices on the matter — those of the customers who use them!
More than 4,752 investors were surveyed and asked to rate their brokerage on 13 key metrics:
- Low commission & fees
- Trade reliability
- Site performance
- Equity trading tools
- Customer service
- Research tools
- Investment research
- Portfolio analysis & reports
- Educational resources
- ETF choices
- Options trading platform
- Investment & retirement planning tools
- Mobile platforms/mobile trading opportunities
After the dust settled, here are the three brokerage houses that the readers of Investor's Business Daily liked best:
Who else is there to consider?
To augment this list, we turn to some of Clark's favorites through the years in no particular order...
Muriel Siebert is somewhat invisible as a discount broker, but people seem to like using it. A typical trade is $14.95.
And let's not forget Vanguard Brokerage Services, where your first 25 trades are $7 each, while subsequent trades are $20.
For another perspective on the best online discount brokers, check out this list from Kiplinger's.
Best free brokers
Maybe the idea of paying anything for a trade it too rich for your blood.
If that sounds like you, did you know it's now possible to pay ZERO commission or fees for stock trading?
Robin Hood is the latest to try zero-commission stock trading by offering free trades from your smartphone (both iPhone and Android).
How does Robin Hood make money? Three ways actually: On the money you have on deposit with them in your online brokerage account; if you borrow (leverage) to trade; and by moving orders through particular platforms.
With Loyal3, it's free to open an account and you can buy fractional shares starting at just $10 a pop. There are no fees to buy a stock or to sell it. Plus, the company offers direct access to IPOs (initial public offerings — aka the opportunity to buy a stock before it becomes publicly traded) starting at $100.
You only have access to a universe of 60 or so stocks, but that includes very popular companies like Alphabet (Google), Facebook, Tesla, Netflix, Starbucks, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, among others.
How does Loyal 3 make money? Companies will pay them for increasing brand engagement through their social network and to oversee their IPOs and follow-on offerings.
In fact, Loyal 3 recently partnered with T-Mobile to offer free shares of stock to millions of wireless customers!
Read more: How much money do I need to retire?