Investing (US)

10 best trading platforms for beginner investors

Want to invest? Know that you'll need to trust your broker. So, we present to you the best trading platforms for beginner investors.

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by Thais Daou

Published on 09/23/2021

Learn the best trading platforms if you are a beginner investor

Check out the best trading platforms for beginner investors. Source: Unsplash
Check out the best trading platforms for beginner investors. Source: Unsplash

Do you know what are the best trading platforms for beginner investors? Well, if you want to start investing, you should. Because they ensure that you get off to a good start in the exciting world of investing.

To get results back from investments, and someday be a successful investor, you must understand a little about emotionally-driven financial behaviors. Because your emotions will always be present when you decide to buy something.

However, to be an excellent professional investor, your emotions must be observed carefully so that you don’t make an investment decision based on your anxiety and/or excitement. Be careful with rash decisions! But how can you make intelligent investment decisions then? As you will see below, choosing the best trading platform is part of the plan.

The best way to learn how to invest your money

Discover here some tips about the best way to learn how to invest your money. If you are a beginner, this is a guide to help you out.

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What is the definition of an investment platform?

We want to present to you the best trading platforms for beginner investors. Source: Unsplash
We want to present to you the best trading platforms for beginner investors. Source: Unsplash

Investment platforms are basically online systems run by brokerage companies and offered to those who want to invest. There’re many different types of investment products, so, inside a trading platform, one can usually find options like ETFs, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and much more.

Want to know everything there’s to know about them? You’ve come to the right place! There’re plenty of options out there, and each platform may fit best to a specific type of investor. So, pay attention to that as well.

What factors should you consider before selecting a trading platform?

Remember we mentioned the importance of non-emotionally-driven decision-making? Good! So, before selecting a platform, consider analyzing which tools each platform has to offer so you can make intelligent decisions. After all, knowing where to find credible information is essential, every step of the way.

When you’re new to the investor’s world, interpreting the figures and charts can be scary. But the good news is that these online systems are often very user-friendly, as well as offer good educational content.

Which platform is best for online trading? 10 options for you to start!

Discover the best trading platforms for beginner investors. Source: Unsplash
Discover the best trading platforms for beginner investors. Source: Unsplash

1. TD Ameritrade

Regarding investment products, you’ll have access to various stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, futures, forex, managed portfolios, cash management, bonds and CDs, and annuities. In turn, it’ll help you build a portfolio suited to your needs. In addition, you’ll pay no commissions on online stocks, ETFs, and options.

As for education, the company has an education center that is always up to date. Their support and research tools are also very good. Their main trading tools and platforms are (i) the web platforms, for all investors, (ii) the Tinkorswim®, for professional-level investors, (iii) the Desktop Thinkorswim®, a streamlined Tinkorswim®, and (iv) the mobile trading.

As a matter of fact, they’re a leader in mobile trading. They were named the best overall broker in the StockBrokers.com 2021 Online Broker Review. And it doesn’t stop there. TD Ameritrade is very qualified.

2. Fidelity

First, they offer good material on financial planning. Second, there are no account fees, commission trades, and account minimum. Third, their tools are easy-to-use tools and there’s a specialized team ready to assist. Moreover, they have a tool that shows your retirement score in less than a minute.

Talking more about education, there’re two options. You can be assisted by a robot advisor, or use the Through Fidelity® Wealth Services. With the latter, you’ll be assisted by a dedicated advisor. Comparing to peers, other highlights are (i) zero expense ratio index funds, (ii) lowest published margin rates, (iii) a wide range of wealth planning and management services tailored to your goals, and (iv) reps available 24/7.

3. Robinhood

They’re a commission-free investment platform. As a welcome bonus, you’ll get the first stock for free. Robinhood’s products include cash management, stocks, funds, options, and gold and crypto. Other benefits include you (i) being among the firsts public investors in upcoming IPOs, (ii) having no minimum account, and (iii) being able to request shares in new companies before they are traded.

Furthermore, you can (i) invest in stocks for as little as $1, (ii) choose how much you’ll invest, and have the amount converted from dollars to parts of a whole share, (iii) customize your investment portfolio with pieces of different companies and funds, and (iv) have access to the current share price. As for the education, they’re affordable, intuitive, and fun. And all available in a single app. Finally, you can set up customized news and notifications about your assets’ information.

4. Charles Schwab

They’re also commission-free! Concerning pricing, opening an account costs $25,000, and other fees are pretty low. Concerning products, they include stocks, options, ETFs, ADRs, and offshore mutual funds, where applicable.

As for the educational tools, they’re focused on non-US persons. Because Charles Schwab wants to teach about the US market through workshops and webinars. Furthermore, there’re investment advisors who enable you to work, grow and preserve your wealth. To open your account, apply for a Schwab One International account, prepare the documents and go through the opening process. Once the account is fully established, you can already start investing.

Charles Schwab Investing app full review

The Charles Schwab Investing app can be great to help you research your investments and trades. Keep reading our full review to know more!

5. E*TRADE

Their benefits include up to $3,000, $0 commission, and 4,400+ no-load, no-transaction-fee mutual funds. About pricing, you’ll be charged $1 for stocks, options, and ETFs, $0.65 for options contracts, 50¢ for 30+ trades per quarter, $1.50 for futures contracts, and $1 for bonds. Also, they usually offer welcome discounts.

You can automate your investments with core portfolios. They comprehend a range of products selected by a strategy team. Your portfolios can be updated whenever your needs change. On the other hand, you can choose from prebuilt portfolios of leading mutual funds or ETFs. They’re also selected by the E*TRADE’s investment team.

6. SoFi Active Investing

Regarding pricing, trade stocks and ETFs get charged $0 commission. Participate in upcoming IPOs, and acquire fractional shares with as little as $5. No account minimum is required!

SoFi also offers investment automation. If you choose to work with recurring products, it’ll be easy to schedule them. Moreover, by becoming a member, you’ll have unlimited access to certified financial planners. Their purpose is to help you get your money right. Not to mention the access to career programs. To start active investing with SoFi, get started with whatever amount you’re comfortable with.

7. J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing

Regarding commissions and fees, no minimum deposit will be asked to open an account. About pricing, you’ll get $0 stocks, ETFs, and options. Aside from $0 options, they ‘e as cheap as any brokerage you can find. Bottom line, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing’s focus is on members of the Chase Bank. So, in case you fit in this description, benefit from free trades. However, in case you’re seeking a more complete platform, try looking for others.

8. Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite

Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite offers unlimited, commission-free trading on stocks and funds of the United States. In addition, there’s no account minimum or inactivity fee, as well as low-cost access to foreign. This’s their main highlight. They believe that no investor, regardless of the level of experience, should pay for this service.

9. Ally Invest

Ally focus on hands-on investors. Its pricing includes no commission fee on stocks, options, and ETFs of the United States, a competitive contract fee of just 50¢ per option contract, and no account minimum. Regarding products, stocks, ETFs, and options are commission-free, and there are also bonds and mutual funds.

Educational tools include research and market analysis to support all types of investment strategies, and portfolios are recommended according to your needs. You can choose portfolios that are socially responsible, tax optimized, core-based, or income-based. Ally’s team will always keep it up to date according to your profile. To get started, you can begin with as little as $100.

10. Zacks Trade

Zacks Trade’s pricing is $1 for stocks and ETFs (1¢ per share), 75¢ for options contracts ($1 for 1st contract), and a margin rate of up to 3.56%. The company works globally, and more than 200 countries can trade on more than 91 international exchanges. So, you can stay connected 24/7.

As for education and apps, their versatile award-winning app is highly recommended. Their support tools are excellent as well, regardless of the level of experience of the investor. There’re many ways through which you can be assisted. Also, you can get complimentary broker-assisted trades.

If you’d like to use their platform, by switching to Zacks Trade, they pay your transfer fee of up to $150 on full account transfers of at least $5,000. It only takes minutes to fill out their reimbursement request and show proof of the transfer

Wanna know more about the best brokerage account of 2021 for staring your own investments easily? So, just keep reading our special post about it and find out!

smartphone in black background showing investment platform

15 best online brokerage accounts of 2021

Are you thinking of starting to invest or already an investor? We have come up with a list of the best online brokerage accounts!

About the author

Thais Daou

Thais Daou holds an undergraduate degree in Languages — Translating and Interpreting from the São Judas Tadeu University. She has been translating, proofreading, and transcribing financial documents, as well as documents from other fields, for five years. And now she begins a new chapter in her career, writing about financial solutions in a simplified way, with a desire to spread this knowledge, which is so important.

Reviewed by

Aline Barbosa

Senior Editor

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