How much money can I make with stock trading? Is stock trading for me? What is the best stock trading platform for beginners? These are just some of the questions that I get a lot, and rightfully so.
Knowing how to trade stocks is tough task. It’s not only newbie investors who have these questions, but also seasoned investors/traders too.
Premier Platform for Cryptocurrency Trading
Founded in 2006, eToro is an Israeli broker that has made a name for itself around the globe. Although the company offers access to a wide range of assets, it has become the go-to source for cryptocurrency trading, quickly shifting focus as these digital currencies became popular. Here are the key stats:
- Minimums: The platform doesn’t require that you maintain a minimum balance, but your deposits must be at least $50 for online banking and debit card transfers. For wires, the minimum required deposit is $500.
- Tools: Known for top-of-the-line technology, the platform offers a wide range of indicators and other tools expert traders will want to have access to as they trade. Beyond indicators, the platform has unique features including Copy Trading, which allows you to copy the portfolios of other traders on the platform. Moreover, if your portfolio is copied by another user, you get paid.
- Assets Available to Trade: As cryptocurrencies became more popular, the company worked to become the premier platform for these offerings. Aside from crypto, you’ll have access to trading stocks, contracts for difference (CFDs), and forex.
- Cost: There are no commissions charged on any trades using eToro, but there are fees baked into the spreads associated with your trades. The wider the spread, the bigger the fee; eToro breaks down these expenses on its website. It is worth mentioning that if you set it and forget it, you’ll be charged an inactivity fee of $10 per year after one year with no activity in your account.
- Customer Support: The platform comes with some of the best customer service you’ll find in the business. All representatives are knowledgeable and seem eager to help. You can contact support either by phone or by opening a ticket within the platform.
- Simulated Trading: The practice account offered through the platform is funded with $100,000 of virtual cash and features all the tools a live trading account has, making it easy to test your strategies and seamlessly use what you’ve learned in a real-world setting.
- Margin Trading: eToro discusses margin trading on its website, but doesn’t offer any insight as to what fees are charged or minimum balances required to access margins, making using the platform for this purpose a bit iffy.
- Available Order Types: The platform offers eight order types including market, limit, time-in-force, fill-or-kill, immediate-or-cancel, good-till-cancelled, good-till-date, and iceberg orders.
eToro has quickly risen to be one of the most popular platforms among traders, especially those involved in trading forex and cryptocurrencies. Because the company doesn’t support the trading of futures or options, it’s not the best fit for everyone, but is a great choice for beginner traders or even experts looking to get involved in trading currency and digital currency.
Robust Trading Tools and Charting Capabilities; Best-in-Class Customer Support
Founded in 2017, Webull is by far the youngest trading platform on this list, but it’s also one of the most popular. Like Robinhood, the platform was designed for millennial traders, and it similarly offers newcomers access to free shares. The platform is also known for robust trading tools, charting capabilities, and an industry-leading support staff. Here are the key stats:
- Minimums: There is no minimum amount of money you have to deposit or keep in your account to use the platform, but if you want access to margins, you’ll need to maintain a minimum balance of $2,000. The platform offers one share of free stock to everyone who opens an account, plus a second share of free stock if you make an initial deposit of at least $100.
- Tools: One of the factors that catapulted the platform to the top so quickly is its extensive list of tools. With more than 50 indicators and 12 charting tools, the company offers everything even the most experienced trader would want. Moreover, the platform includes access to a quality stock screener, making it easy to find the types of opportunities you’re looking for very quickly.
- Assets Available to Trade: The platform supports trading stocks, options, and cryptocurrencies, but if you’re looking for futures or forex, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
- Cost: This is where things get very interesting. Most platforms on this list offer free trading of stocks, but options and other assets come with fees. That’s not the case with Webull. When trading on the platform, you’ll never pay an options contract fee or any other trading-related fee unless you use margins. Margin interest rates range from 3.99% to 6.99%, making them some of the lowest in the industry.
- Customer Support: The platform comes with an extensive help center, and if that’s not enough to answer your questions, an industry-leading support team is available by either phone or email.
- Simulated Trading: The platform comes with a free trading simulator that makes testing new strategies before risking your hard-earned money a breeze.
- Margin Trading: Webull offers margins on all the assets available on the platform, with interest rates among the lowest in the industry.
- Available Order Types: Through the platform, you’ll have the ability to place five different types of orders: market, limit, stop, stop limit, and stop loss.
There are several reasons that such a young platform has risen through the ranks to become one of the most highly trusted platforms among traders. Not only does the company offer commission-free trades, zero contract fees, and market-leading margin rates, it does so while providing some of the best tools available online today.
Access to Automated Trading; Intuitive Technical Analysis Tools
Founded in 2005, Ally Invest has more than a decade and a half of experience serving the investing community. With intuitive tools and even automated trading, the company offers one of the most popular trading platforms available today.
- Minimums: There are no minimums in terms of deposits or account balances. Simply open an account and deposit what you feel comfortable with to start trading. If you intend to trade with leverage, you’ll need to maintain a minimum balance of $2,000.
- Tools: The platform comes with some of the best indicators and technical analysis tools for traders. Users also enjoy automated trading capabilities and educational materials.
- Assets Available to Trade: Ally Invest gives you access to trading stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, forex, and mutual funds.
- Cost: Like most on this list, there are no commissions on stock and many ETF trades. Moreover, you won’t pay options contract fees if you’re into trading options. Margin rates range from 3.25% to 7.75%, making them highly competitive.
- Customer Support: The customer service team at Ally Invest is one of the best in the business. The team can be reached by phone or email, including a phone line for the hearing impared.
- Simulated Trading: The platform does not offer a virtual trading simulator.
- Margin Trading: Margin trading is available on all assets offered through the platform at reasonable rates compared to others in the industry.
- Available Order Types: There are six different types of orders offered through the platform, including market, limit, stop, stop limit, and good-till-canceled orders.
Not only does the platform come with all the tools you would expect from a top-notch broker, it does so while charging industry-low fees and offering best-in-class customer service, making it one of the best platforms available for traders.
Firstrade: Best for International Investors
- Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
- Best For: Mutual fund and target date fund investors
- Sign up here
Firstrade is a leading online brokerage firm offering a full line of investment products and tools designed to help investors improve their financial position through sound investing practices.
Like every other investing app provided on this list, it too does not assess commissions for making stock trades.
Firstrade combines proprietary trading technology with an intuitive user interface, offers customer service availability and utilizes a mobile application like all others in this article.
In short, the platform offers access to over 11,000 different investments, including index funds, stocks, bonds, target date funds, mutual funds, and more.
- Firstrade offers a full suite of investment options in stocks, ETFs, bonds, mutual funds, options and more.
- The service charges $0 commissions and has been awarded the #1 Best Online Broker Platform for ETFs and Commissions by Kiplinger.
Moving your trading to an online platform can help with this, but there are very few that are suitable for beginners. We set out to find the best trading platforms for beginners by looking at the whole picture. We’ve made a list of all the available platforms in this in-depth guide so you can compare each one in detail.