Compare Stock Brokers

Over the years I’ve received a lot of emails from readers asking me for my recommendation on a discount stock broker. I’ve always stayed away from recommending any one broker, opting instead of just list the two that I currently use (TradeKing & E*Trade).

However, now that I’ve reviewed quite a few brokers and taken a look at their features, I’m comfortable doing a side by side comparison of my three favorite from a cost perspective. In the end, my choice of TradeKing was validated and I feel better pointing people to a side-by-side comparison of brokers, rather than an off the cuff listing of the brokers I use.

If there are comparable features I can list on this table that I haven’t included, please let me know and I’ll be sure to add it.

Our #1 Pick
Broker
Compare
TradeKing E*Trade TradeMonster
TradeKing E*Trade TradeMonster
Stock Trades $4.95 / trade $12.99 / trade $7.50 / trade
– Broker Assisted $4.95 / trade $57.99 / trade
Options Trades $4.95 + $0.65/ct $12.99 + $0.75/ct $0.50/ct, $7.50 min
– Broker Assisted $4.95 + $0.65/ct $1.50/ct, $14.95 min.
Mutual Funds $14.95 $19.99 $15
Bonds $4.95 / bond $1 / bond, $10 min $15 / bond
Minimum Balance $0 $2,000 $2,000
Margin Rate 6.25%+ 7.99%+ FF* + 3.25% (1)
Inactivity Fees $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Cash Interest 0.25% 0.10% 0.00%
Transfer Refund Up to $150 100 free trades Up to $250
Review TradeKing Review n/a TradeMonster Review

If those three don’t interest you, there are plenty of other discount stock brokers you can look at. Another crowd favorite is Scottrade because they’ve been around for such a long time and consistently delivered great service. Scottrade has a $500 account minimum, $7 per stock equity trade, and no account maintenance fees to boot. They will also reimburse you up to $100 to transfer your account from another broker.

I also have a list of what I consider the best discount brokers (three of which are in the table above) and the best options brokers (which also include these three but a couple others as well). Between this list and the two I’ve just linked to, you should be able to find a broker that fits your needs. Don’t settle for one that doesn’t, there are far too many brokers out there.

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