Do you want to bet on the Euro (EUR) currency increasing in value versus the US Dollar (USD)? You would do so by trading (or placing a spread bet on) the EUR/USD currency pair, which is a forex investment. The forex market is the world’s largest and most liquid market, representing every worldwide currency and trading 24 hours a day, five days a week.
To trade forex, you must first find a reliable online broker. Trading with a reputable forex broker is critical to success in the international currency markets. As a contract for difference (CFD) trader or forex investor, you may have special needs in terms of platform, trading tools, or research. Understanding more about your investment style needs can help determine which forex broker will be best for you.
Most investors use an online broker to trade stocks (and other investments). To assist you in finding the best broker for you, we reviewed brokerage firms and investment firms based on the services that are most important to different types of stock traders.
For active traders, we’ve listed no-commission online brokers with strong mobile trading platforms and desktop trading capabilities below. We’ve included the finest online brokers for instructional tools (including webinars, video tutorials, and in-person seminars) and on-call chat or phone support for those making their first investment.
Regulated and trusted across the globe, IG offers traders the ultimate package of excellent trading and research tools, industry-leading education, comprehensive market research, and an extensive list of tradeable products. This fantastic all-round experience makes IG the best overall broker in 2023.
- Trust: Founded in 1974, IG is publicly traded (LON: IGG) and regulated in eight Tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for forex and CFDs trading. All jurisdictions considered, we ranked IG as the most trusted forex and CFDs broker for our 2023 Annual Awards.
- Commissions: IG uses its size to provide traders with consistent pricing across the board — regardless of the product you trade — and shines for its active trader pricing available through its Forex Direct accounts.
- Forex trading platforms: While IG also offers MetaTrader and premium MT4 add-ons from FX Blue, only 76 tradeable instruments are available. There’s no question; IG’s flagship platform is the better choice between the two, and offers an extensive range of tradeable markets.
For traders who can afford the steep $2,000 minimum deposit (GBP 500 for the U.K.), Saxo Bank offers fair pricing, excellent trading platforms, phenomenal research, reliable customer service, and over 60,000 instruments to trade.
- Trust: Founded in 1992, Saxo Bank operates multiple regulated banks and is licensed in seven Tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for trading forex and CFDs.
- Commissions: Saxo Bank provides traders with excellent all-around pricing. For active traders (and those with large account balances), Saxo Bank offers competitive pricing in its Platinum and VIP accounts, which require a $200,000 and $1 million balance, respectively.
- Forex trading platforms: The entire Saxo Bank client experience is absolutely brilliant. Alongside access to 60,000 tradeable instruments, Saxo Bank’s flagship SaxoTraderGo platform is terrific, and includes everything traders require to navigate the market. Saxo Bank also offers third-party platforms such as TradingView, the globally popular platform with advanced charting capabilities.
Interactive Brokers is a highly trusted multi-asset broker with an extensive offering of tradeable global markets. It delivers competitive fees and high-quality research and education, as well as a modern, institutional-grade trading platform suite.
- Trust: Founded in 1977, Interactive Brokers is publicly traded (NASDAQ: IBKR) and regulated in nine Tier-1 jurisdictions. Interactive Brokers is well-capitalized with USD 373.8 billion of ending client equity and USD 10.01 billion of equity capital.
- Commissions: Interactive Brokers offers competitive pricing, aggregating prices from 17 of the world’s largest interbank forex dealers. Instead of marking up spreads, Interactive Brokers charges a commission per trade, which ranges from $16 to $40 per million round turn ($8 to $20 per side).
- Forex trading platforms:Interactive Brokers stands out for its trading platforms, which include its flagship desktop software – Trader Workstation (TWS) – and mobile trading app – IBKR Mobile – both of which provide access to advanced trading tools and global financial markets (including forex and CFDs).
Fidelity stands as the best overall online broker platform because it provides a wide range of investment choices, low margin rates and commission-free trades for stocks, options, ETFs, bonds and mutual funds.
Fidelity offers many different ways to invest, from self-directed brokerage accounts for those who want to manage their own portfolios to an affordable robo-advisor — Fidelity Go — for investors who prefer hands-off investing. Those interested in holding larger portfolios and a more diverse investing strategy can also choose from two different wealth management plans assisted by personal investment advisors.
Fidelity doesn’t charge account fees or require a minimum deposit for opening any of its brokerage accounts. In addition, it offers some of the lowest margin rates. Margin rates are the cost brokers charge to investors with margin accounts — a type of account that lets you borrow money from the brokerage to buy shares. These rates can vary widely from one broker to another.
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Fidelity features a wide variety of investment products, including domestic and international stocks, precious metals, cryptocurrencies, and dollar-based investing through fractional shares. It’s also one of the few brokers that offer mutual funds with a zero-expense ratio. Fidelity’s robo-advisor also stands out from its competitors. There’s no minimum amount required to open an account and no advisory fees, trading fees or rebalancing fees for account balances under $25,000.
There is, however, a 0.35% annual advisory fee for accounts with balances over $25,000. While this is somewhat higher than what robo-advisors like Betterment and Wealthfront charge, with Fidelity you get advisory services, including financial planning and coaching.
Betterment is our choice for hands-off investors because it features an easy way to configure automated investing based on target goals and tax-loss harvesting capabilities. Betterment is another robo-advisor that makes it easy to set it and forget it with your investments. The company uses cutting-edge technology guided by the help of financial advisors in order to help secure the maximum return based on your risk tolerance, investment timeline, and other factors.
Betterment may not be ideal for investors who want to actively trade stocks, but it is a great choice for more cautious, beginner or hands-off investors. Upon opening an account you can pick an upfront tax-smart investing strategy that runs on autopilot, and keeps you informed with projections of potential returns.
Other account features include automatic rebalancing of your portfolio and reinvestment of dividends. You can also set up recurring deposits and earn cash back when you pay with the Betterment Visa Debit Card.
Accounts with balances of $100,000 or more can be upgraded to Betterment Premium, which offer unlimited access to financial guidance from a Certified Financial Planner®. Do note, however, that you have to pay an additional 0.15% management fee.
Betterment’s main drawback is that it charges a $4 monthly fee for accounts under $20,000. To switch this monthly fee for a 0.25% annual fee, like Wealthfront does, you have to set up recurring monthly deposits of $250 or reach a $20,000 balance across all your Betterment accounts.
TD Ameritrade’s free real-time data, simulated trading, charting and over 400,000 economic indicators makes it the best online trading platform for those who want educational resources to help them master investing basics.
TD Ameritrade is one of the largest online stock trading platforms, offering investment options that some other platforms don’t, including free Forex trading in 21 currencies. TD Ameritrade also allows you to purchase IPO stocks either on the primary market (if Ameritrade is part of the seller group) or on the secondary market.
Users can check all trading information and the company’s educational, research, and planning tools through TD Ameritrade’s web platform and mobile app. This includes the TD Ameritrade TV network, daily market commentary, and even social sentiment analysis from Twitter.
TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim platform allows investors to run simulations before actually putting money into a trade. It also lets them generate advanced charting and earnings analysis reports. You can also create watch lists and receive alerts that track the price, volume and position of stocks on your list. TD Ameritrade clients can trade all asset classes offered using the mobile app.
E*TRADE offers a wide array of investment options, an intuitive platform and access to educational materials, research tools and market analysis to help beginners make informed decisions. E*TRADE is a pioneer in online trading that provides a large variety of investment options, from simple online brokerage accounts designed for new investors to advanced investing and trading options for experienced traders.
The platform provides latest market news recaps, daily insights and a comprehensive online library to help newer investors understand key trading and investing concepts.
E*TRADE has over 9,000 mutual funds to invest in, over 4,000 of which are no-load, no-transaction-fee funds. E*TRADE also offers checking and savings accounts that allow you to transfer funds between all your accounts seamlessly.
There are $0 fees for online U.S. stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and options trades, making it easy for new investors to start building their portfolios. There are also managed portfolios with a flat 0.30% annual management fee for those who may need more guidance. Though E*TRADE’s individual brokerage accounts don’t have minimum balance requirements, its managed portfolios have a $500 minimum.
Charles Schwab’s wide selection of over 2,000 commission-free ETFs from multiple asset classes and fund companies makes it one of the best online trading platforms for ETF trades.
With Charles Schwab, investors can open a brokerage account without a required account minimum and enjoy zero-commission trades on online-listed stocks, ETFs, options, and mutual funds. The company also offers broker-assisted trades, and traditional, Roth and Rollover IRAs.
Through Schwab’s Global Account, you can trade stocks in 12 foreign markets and 7 local currencies without an account minimum. You also get access to international stock screeners, third-party research, and Schwab’s proprietary international equity ratings. Aside from self-directed trading options, Schwab also provides automated trading as well as investment planning with an expert advisor.
Self-directed investors can choose a vast variety of ETFs, including equity and non-equity ETFs from a range of fund companies in the United States. Some ETFs options include international ETFs, market-cap index ETFs, bond ETFs and currency ETFs. While all U.S. exchange-listed ETFs are commission-free, some operating fees may apply to some funds. These fees are typically disclosed in the prospectus.
Charles Schwab’s learning and education center provides investing insights, weekly market outlooks and answers to basic investing questions, such as how and when to invest. It also features multi-media resources, like podcasts, live programming and videos.
Webull’s in-depth analysis tools and integrated trading paper functions make it one of the best investment apps for active trading. Webull is a mobile app-based brokerage that offers commission-free stocks, ETFs, and other trading options. The platform offers advanced order types, charting, and tons of stock market research data for users to develop personalized investment strategies.
Webull also offers a notable trading simulator, which can be a great tool for beginners who want to practice strategies with virtual cash before risking their own money. Webull Paper Trading also provides real-time data, integrated charting tools and over 50 customizable technical indicators. The company even holds competitions with cash prizes to encourage new traders to practice.
In addition, Webull features a news feed, where you can check top market news, other user’s posts and corporate actions of stocks in your watchlist. You can also write posts, create polls and share insight with the Webull community.
Despite its in-depth analysis tools and educational resources, Webull can feel overwhelming for beginners, especially due to its advanced charting. However, traders can customize their dashboard display, including chart settings, and choose simpler reporting for both the Webull desktop platform and its mobile app.
Vanguard’s wide selection of low-cost mutual funds makes it the best option for investors looking to diversify their portfolios with index and actively-managed funds.
Vanguard manages one of the largest selections of low-cost mutual funds in the industry, offering a strong lineup of index funds and actively managed funds. It also offers stocks, ETFs, bonds, CDs and money markets.
Aside from individual and joint brokerage accounts, Vanguard offers retirement accounts and education savings accounts. It also has wealth management and multiple advisory services, including digital and personal advisors. However, these have account minimum requirements, ranging from $3,000 to $5 million.
Though Vanguard doesn’t have a minimum amount requirement to open an account, there are minimum investment requirements for some accounts. For instance, Vanguard Target Retirement Funds require a minimum of $1,000, whereas most actively managed funds have a $3,000 minimum.
Vanguard charges an $20 annual account service fee for each brokerage account, which can be waived in one of three ways: 1) if you have at least $1 million in qualifying assets, 2) if you sign up for electronic statements delivery or 3) if you have a trust account under an employee identification number or brokerage account enrolled in a Vanguard-affiliated advisory program.