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Finding the right broker can help encourage you to meet your short and long term goals. Somewhere there is the perfect combination of strategy, management, fees, and ease of use for you. But, choosing a broker can be difficult due to the large range of available options. At the same time, competition has led several brokers to offer free trading for stocks, ETFs, crypto, and options, making it even harder to tell them apart. Investors evaluating the various platforms will find significant differences in their usability and trading technology, features for customers, and other features. The process of navigating through this information can be an overwhelming task, which is why we’ve completed all the heavy lifting for you. We took those U.S.-based brokers through a thorough review that involved intensive research in finding the most effective and user friendly trading platforms available within the market. Here is our list of Top 6 individual brokerage accounts of 2022.
Robinhood was the first mainstream platform to offer no commission trading on ETF and options, and no-cost cryptocurrency trading while maintaining a user-friendly trading platform. The downsides that have come with this include several complaints about customer support and, in recent years, the broker has come under scrutiny from federal regulators due to its payment-for-order-flow revenue generating system (Here is an article from Barrons on payment for order flow). Robinhood is a genuine discount broker, even though its offerings might not be as extensive as other brokerages, Robinhood is among the lowest cost within the market and extremely easy to pick up, make an account, and start investing. It’s so easy, some have claimed that it has made complicated trading strategies, including options trading, easy for novice investors. If your sole purpose is to experiment with stocks, the simplified interface is extremely convenient. Sign up for Robinhood through our referral link and get a free share of stock when you sign up.
Fidelity was established in 1946 and began its internet presence almost fifty years later, in 1995. The company has grown to become a major player in the online brokerage industry. Fidelity has given investors a high return on investment through superior research, helpful tools, and a wealth of educational sources. In addition, the firm continues to enhance its platform and is dedicated to reducing the cost for investors. It’s user interface is a little clunkier than Robinhood, similar to Vanguard, but still simple to use. Fidelity is perfect for buy-and-hold investors looking for a traditional investing experience. Check out Fidelity.
3- M1 Finance
M1 Finance (commonly abbreviated as M1) is an American financial services firm. Established in 2015, M1 Finance provides an investment platform that combines Robo-advisory with self-directed brokerage accounts and digital checking accounts and credit lines. M1 offers an online trading platform for trading financial assets such as common stock, preferred stocks, fractional-share ownership, and exchange-traded funds. M1 provides margin, automated rebalancing, automatic dividend reinvestment service, and cash management solutions, such as debit cards. The company is paid for the flow of orders. At time of writing, M1 boasts more than 500,000 members. M1 is perfect for investors who want the hands-off style of a robo-advisor, but still want to pick their own stocks. Sign up for M1 Finance through our referral link and get $50 free when you open and fund your account.
Acorn is an app that’s especially helpful for new investors and could use assistance understanding the benefits of saving money and investing, even with small sums of cash. With the minimum investment of only $5, investors can start building a portfolio of ETFs that will meet their financial needs. Acorns is famous for encouraging investors to “round up” purchases to the nearest dollar before investing the money in the portfolio. Small amounts of money can increase over long durations of time. While Acorns could be a good option for those new to investing because of its low minimums and easy design, its costs and fees can be more expensive for those with smaller sums to invest. It also doesn’t offer certain characteristics that other Robo-advisors don’t offer, including advanced tools and tax-loss harvesting. Wealthfront and Betterment both offer the most comprehensive service overall as well. SoFi Automated Investing is also worth looking for those who want to meet with financial advisers for an affordable cost. Read more about Acorns.
Betterment’s goal-oriented tools, as well as its helpful tax strategies, will appeal to investors of all kinds. Betterment offers several different packages, but none of them are required. You can start investing with Betterment today with only $10 and Betterment handles the rest. The plans start with simple investment management (based on an algorithm) for a low fee based on a percentage of assets under management and go all the way to the premium plan, which includes regular sessions with a financial advisor. Betterment has a wide range of options for portfolio, accounts, and strategies all based on your goals and time horizon. After setting up your account, Betterment has no minimum balance and has a remarkably low management fee. Betterment is perfect for hand-off investors who are conscious of fees. Sign up for Betterment through our referral link and get free management (up to $5k) for your first year.
Much like others on this list, Webull Financial LLC offers commission-free trading on stocks, ETFs, margin, options, and cryptocurrencies. Weibull has the lowest costs among brokerages and does not skimp on the latest trading tools. However, although it has low fees, it’s not the ideal brokerage for beginners. While the interface is user friendly, the education resources are lacking compared to other, more established brokerages. Check out Webull.
Finding the right brokerage account for you is very important. We hope that out list here has made the choice a easier for you. What is your favorite brokerage firm (even we did not list it here)? Let us know in the comments below!