Robo advisors and index funds have become popular trading choices for beginners in particular. But the best online trading platforms for beginners may also work well for you, especially if you need expert human management for your investment portfolio.

Here are the best online trading platforms for beginners.

1. TD Ameritrade

Not only does TD Ameritrade have a strong online presence, but it also operates in no less than 360 locations across the US.

Needless to say, TD Ameritrade is a highly popular and trusted brand for online trading. The firm can carry out overnight trading for five days a week.

You can use real-time streaming data, integrated one-click trading, and customizable charts if you have trading knowledge.

They have plenty of educational tools available for those who would like to further their investing knowledge. The technical analysis and other investor educational tools provide access to over 400 studies that show what works for trading in real life.

The paperMoney tool lets you simulate your trade skills and knowledge in a virtual trading environment so that you can practice and reinforce your investor knowledge without committing actual money.

TD Ameritrade is a premier choice for beginner and advanced investors alike, thanks to its super low fees. ETFs, options and stocks cost zero dollars per trade.  


E*TRADE is rising fast in the world of options trading. In 2017, the brand acquired OptionsHouse, which was one of the leaders in the field. E*TRADE has improved upon the service offerings of OptionsHouse by adding in its own mix of services.

E*TRADE lets you hold a wide variety of investments in your account. Although E*TRADE is best known for options, the platform is also good for finding mutual funds since it gives you access to 9,000 available mutual funds. Out of these, 4,400 are no-load funds that do not have any transaction fees. You can also find a vast array of target-date mutual funds.

E*TRADE also charges some of the lowest fees in the industry. Per trade, mutual funds cost just under $20 while ETFs and stocks have zero fees. Options cost zero dollars per trade, but each contract costs $0.65

3. Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab is a major force to be reckoned with in the online trading world. In fact, the firm was responsible for introducing online brokerage way back in the 70s. While they are still full-service brokers, they have also added other services to their offerings.

Charles Schwab provides all financial services that Fidelity offers. However, when assets under management are accounted for, Charles Schwab is the bigger of the two. However, you should note that Fidelity is the leader in mutual funds.

Charles Schwab has many attractive features that make it a prime choice for new investors. Broker support and training tools are top class. Investment selection is comparable with that of Fidelity, while fees are also competitively low.

Investors can choose to invest in various investments and securities, including ETFs, mutual funds, options, bonds and stocks. Investment brokerage costs just under $5 per trade, which is fairly low. However, mutual funds cost more with $75 per trade.

The robo advisor platform is where Charles Schwab stands out. With the robo-advisor to manage your funds, there are no fees to be paid and also a wide range of choices. The smart robo-advisor can invest your cash in no less than twenty investment classes, including real estate and commodities.

Customer service at Charles Schwab is second to none. Investor’s Business Daily voted Charles Schwab as the number one in customer service for investors.

You can get research and stock ratings using the proprietary research tool of Charles Schwab.

4. Fidelity

Fidelity is one of the very best, if not the best, in the business. With a staggering $2.5 trillion worth of assets under management, Fidelity is one of the biggest brokerage firms worldwide. Although it started out with mutual funds, the firm has grown substantially since then. Mutual funds are still its strong suit. However, it is the topmost general brokerage service for numerous reasons.

Whether you are a new investor or an industry veteran, Fidelity offers plenty of choices to everyone. You can trade in any kind of investment you desire.

If you like mutual funds, then you are in luck, for Fidelity, known for its proficiency in this investment asset class. The Fidelity Contra Fund is worth over $100 billion and is one of the best performing funds in the industry.

Trading fees at Fidelity are also fairly low. ETFs, stocks and options cost just under $5 per trade. Hundreds of funds are free of cost, but those, not free cost just under $50 per trade.

5. Interactive Brokers

If you are interested in international level trading, then Interactive Brokers is one brokerage service that you need to look into. Thanks to its vast global reach that spans over 135 destinations worldwide. Interactive Brokers is a top choice if you want to trade globally without a fuss. Margin rates are also very low, which is a major plus point.

The desktop-based trading port lets you trade in all kinds of financial instruments that you can possibly imagine. If you want to trade via smartphone, you are in luck with this mobile app for on-the-go trading. You can now capitalize on trading opportunities that present themselves even when you are outside. However, one downside to the app is that you don’t have push notifications. Your email account can show you alerts.

There is also plenty of educational material in quizzes, articles, videos, webinars and courses.

Bottom Line

Now that you know of the best five best online trading platforms for beginners, you can start your investment journey and earn your way to riches and financial success.