Best Stock Brokers
Here you can find out which online brokers we have rated as our best stock brokers. The trading brokers research team have spent thousands of hours analysing and testing hundreds of online stock brokers and published unbiased detailed stock broker reviews with ratings based on our findings.
Our best stock brokers list can save traders time as we have included all of the most important information that should be considered before trading online with a stock broker. By including all of the top stock brokers in one place, we make it quick and easy for traders to identify some of the best stock brokerages according to their individual online trading needs.
Each online broker that has made it into our best stock brokers list has done so due to a number of different factors including but not limited to the fact that they have strict regulation from respected regulators and are well established within the online stock brokerage industry. They should also offer a wide range of global stocks for trading online with a choice of the best trading platforms, low stock fees, superior execution speeds, flexible leverage, selection of trading tools, excellent customer support and more.
Top 5 Stock Brokers
ASIC, BVI, CBI, FFAJ, FSA, FSCA
Min $100 Deposit
FCA, CFTC, NFA, BaFin, FINMA, ASIC, FMA, MAS, FSA, FSCA, DFSA, JFSA, METI, MAFF
Min $250 Deposit
ASIC, FCA, DFSA, SCB, CySEC, BaFin, CMA
Min $200 Deposit
ASIC, CySEC, IFSC
Min $5 Deposit
Trading brokers have selected these brokerage firms as our best stock brokers due to the fact that they have passed our strict online broker reviews and been awarded a top stock broker rating. Our thorough broker research concluded that these stock brokers are regulated by some of the most respected financial regulatory authorities whilst being well respected within the online brokerage industry, providing online stock trading services to traders across the globe.
AvaTrade make it into our best stock brokers list, offering online trading on over 75+ stock CFDS with ultra-low spreads and a range of powerful yet easy to use trading platforms that are compatible across desktop, web and mobile devices (iOS/Android). You can trade long or short on popular global stocks such as Adidas, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Tesla, Walt Disney and many more.
They don’t just offer individual stock trading either, there is a large variety of additional CFD trading instruments including forex, commodities, indices, ETFs, bonds and cryptos such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Neo, EOS and IOTA.
AvaTrade Platforms & Tools
AvaTrade offer online stock trading via user friendly and intuitive trading platforms. You can choose between the popular MetaTrader 4 platform from MetaQuotes or the proprietary AvaTradeGO platform. The platforms are compatible with desktop, web and mobile devices for trading stocks whilst on the go.
In addition to intuitive and flexible platforms for a smooth trading experience, clients also have a vast array of trading tools to choose from. This includes a range of stock market analysis tools, automated trading solutions and Autochartist which can help to identify potential trade opportunities.
AvaTrade Research & Education
AvaTrade have an abundance of free educational materials to help you get the best out of your online stock trading. This includes trading guides, tutorials, webinars and more.
There are useful trading tools which can help with trading decisions including stock market analysis from the AvaTrade experts and an economic calendar to help you stay up to date with the latest stock market news.
AvaTrade are an innovative broker that frequently introduce new and unique technologies. This includes the trading academy “Sharp Trader” and the social trading platform “DupliTrade” where stock traders can share analysis and copy trades.
These resources show that the broker wants to help traders improve their skills and knowledge in order for them to be able to make more informed decisions.
AvaTrade Trading Accounts
The AvaTrade standard account requires a modest deposit of $100 to get started and gives you full access to all of the stock trading instruments and brokerage services. This includes all platforms, tools, resources and industry leading trading environment.
If you would first like to practice your stock trading strategies, the broker also offers demo accounts which allow you to trade stocks online with virtual funds until you feel confident enough to open a real account.
AvaTrade cater to Muslim traders by offering swap free accounts that comply with Sharia law. There are also MAM accounts for money managers and investors along with professional accounts for those who qualify.
AvaTrade Account Funding
You can fund your AvaTrade broker account via numerous convenient options which include credit and debit cards, bank transfer and online payment processors that include Paypal, Skrill, NETELLER and WebMoney.
AvaTrade Customer Service
AvaTrade have an excellent customer service team that are available around the clock to answer any of your general, technical or account related questions. The brokers multilingual support team can be contacted in a variety of ways including phone, chat and email. They are prompt, polite and efficient in their responses with all traders treated the same no matter how big or small your stock portfolio is.
AvaTrade has one of the widest range of regulators we have seen from any online stock broker. They are regulated by 6 respected regulatory authorities that span across 5 continents. The brokers regulators include ASIC, BVI, CBI, FFAJ, FSA and FSCA.
Such stringent regulation can give you the peace of mind that you are trading stocks with a broker who must follow strict rules and regulations that are put in place to protect investors. This can give your account protection in the unlikely event things were to go wrong.
As an established online brokerage and huge global brand, we are proud to include AvaTrade in our list of best stock brokers. They have won multiple brokerage awards, including for their best in class customer service team which provides multilingual live support along with a dedicated account manager.
In addition to a huge range of stocks and other trading instruments, AvaTrade also offer traders a selection of educational materials, innovative trading tools and daily updates to help expand their understanding of various financial markets and to improve their online trading skills.
With AvaTrade you can trade with confidence knowing that they are regulated in an impressive 6 jurisdictions. To find out more about this broker and why we consider them one of our best stock brokers, you can read our detailed AvaTrade Review.
|75+ stock CFDS for trading long or short||No US clients|
|Other asset classes offered||No variable spread accounts|
|User friendly trading platforms|
|Innovative trading tools|
|Excellent customer service|
|Flexible account funding options|
|Award winning stock broker|
Founded in 1974, IG are an absolute juggernaut in the online brokerage world. They are by far one of the biggest online brokers and easily make it into out best stock brokers. This is evident for the numerous awards that they have been honored with over the years for their brokerage services.
We consider them to be a top choice for stock traders located in the USA especially considering they are one of the few stock brokers who actually facilitate clients in the USA.
IG provide access to over 12,000 markets with low margins and competitive commission on a wide range of popular global stocks. You can trade more than 8000 international share CFDs with this broker. Go long or short on a wide range of popular UK, US and international stocks.
In addition to stocks trading, they have other markets you can trade online including forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies, bonds, precious metals, energies and more.
In addition to one of the largest product ranges we have seen from any online broker, IG provides have a generous selection of powerful trading platforms, advanced trading tools, and educational materials.
IG have industry leading trading conditions that includes competitive trading fees, tight spreads and reliable trade execution speeds. The broker sources prices from multiple venues to make sure that they give you the best prices available.
IG Platforms & Tools
IG have trading platforms for desktop, web and mobile devices. You can enjoy seamless trading with the browser-based platform and mobile/tablet apps for trading whilst on the go.
IG clients can choose from an excellent range of advanced yet easy to use trading platforms, including their proprietary trading platform, ProRealTime (PRT), L2 Dealer, and the popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform.
IG also have a vast array of additional trading tools to support traders with their daily activities. Some of the trading tools provided include trading alerts, trading signals, Autochartist, PIA-First, and automated trading tools.
When it comes to platform diversity, features, functionality and usability, we certinaly consider IG to be one of the best stock brokers we have researched.
IG Research & Education
Not only do IG have excellent trading platforms and tools, they have an absolute plethora of educational and research resources. There is something for traders of all different experience levels and trading styles. Whatever your stock trading background, chances are that you will find something to further improve your skills and knowledge of the stock market.
There is the IG Academy which includes interactive courses, videos, webinars, seminars, trading guides, trading strategy and glossary. The IG Academy App can be used for learning whilst on the go.
IG Trading Accounts
IG have trading accounts with different features and requirements to suit the demands of a wide variety of traders and investors. You can open an account with a minimum deposit of $250. The primary difference between each of the account types are the features offered along with the fees.
The account types offered by IG are as follows:
- IG Trading Account
- IG Professional Account
- IG Options Trading Account
- IG Turbo24 Trading Account
- Limited Risk Account
- Share Dealing Account
- Swap-free Account
- Exchange Account (NADEX)
- Islam-friendly Swap-free Account on request
- Demo Practice Accounts
IG Account Funding
IG offer clients a choice of convenient account funding options for making quick deposits and withdrawals. You can fund your brokerage account to trade stocks online via bank wire, credit or debit card, and online payment processors inlcuding PayPal.
IG Customer Service
The broker’s customer support team can be contacted from Saturday 8 a.m. to Friday 10 p.m via email, phone, and online chat.
IG have a big support team with the knowledge to answer all of your stock trading questions. Whether you have a general, technical or account related questions, the team are available and happy to provide top class support. The brokers multilingual support can be reached via email, phone, and online chat. They are available from Saturday 8 a.m. to Friday 10 p.m.
The IG Group is strictly regulated in multiple jurisdictions and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Along with AvaTrade, they have one of the most impressive list of regulators we have seen from any of the stock brokers that we have reviewed.
This emphasises the size of IG and can help to give investors that peace of mind they are using a stock broker which can be trusted and must adhere to strict rules and regulations.
IG is a brokerage brand used by many affiliates of the IG Group in different parts of the world, so they are regulated by financial authorities in many countries, including:
- The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK
- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association (NFA) in the US
- Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) in Germany
- Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in Switzerland
- Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)
- Financial Markets Authority (FMA) in New Zealand
- Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
- Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA)
- Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) of South Africa
- Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)
IG Review Summary
After reviewing and comparing hundreds of stock broker over thousands of hours, IG easily made it into our list of the best stock brokers. They have a huge range of stock instruments available to trade online via some of the best trading platforms with a vast array of trading tools to improve efficiency.
In addition to this, the broker has an abundance of educational materials, great selection of account types, support for multiple account funding methods, regulation in multiple jurisdictions and excellent customer service.
IG are one of the few brokers we have reviewed that offer online stock trading to US clients and have also won multiple awards for their brokerage services.
You can read our detailed IG Review to find out more about them and see why we consider them as one of our best stock brokers.
|Strict regulation in multiple jurisdictions||Could offer more online payment processors for account funding|
|Advanced trading platforms & trader tools||$250 minimum deposit|
|Extensive range of over 16,000+ trading instruments|
|Tight spreads, low fees & reliable execution speeds|
|IG academy & stock market analysis|
|Large choice of account types|
|Various account funding options|
|Facilitates residents in the USA|
|Numerous brokerage awards|
|Excellent multilingual support|
Pepperstone make it into our best stock brokers list. They are one of the most popular online brokers for many reasons. The Pepperstone Razor account offers some of the best trading conditions available to retail traders with superior trade execution speeds, tight spreads and competitively low commission fees.
Pepperstone offer over 80+ trading instruments across global markets including forex, CFDs and cryptocurrencies. There is 60+ top-quality stocks on offer, including Facebook, Boeing, IBM and Exxon. These assets are available to trade via flexible, powerful and user-friendly online trading platforms for desktop and mobile devices.
Traders can access a wide range of companies, such as Apple, Alphabet, Tesla and Alibaba, and take advantage of reporting season with after-market trading hours. They are one of the few stock brokers offering extended market hours on US equities. This includes when earnings are typically released so that you can take a position before the next day’s open.
Pepperstone have also won multiple online broker awards over the years, including awards for customer service, client satisfaction, value for money and more.
Pepperstone Platforms & Tools
Pepperstone offer online stock trading via the powerful and intuitive MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platform for desktop and mobile. MT5 is for traders who need advanced financial trading functions and superior tools for analysis. For those new to MetaTrader, MT5 is one of the easiest platforms to understand.
To add stock CFDs to your trading portfolio, you can open a Pepperstone MT5 account and select stock CFDs from your market watch window. This will display real time price quotes of all the stocks which you can then trade on the user-friendly platform.
The platform has an abundance of useful trading tools built in which you can use to conduct in-depth analysis of all the stocks that you wish to trade. There is an economic calendar so you can keep up to date with the latest news that can move the stock market. The broker also offers clients the excellent AutoChartist technical analysis tool free of charge.
The MT5 platform has many technical indicators and drawing objects to help spot stock trading opportunities on charts that you can view in different styles and timeframes. Whatever your trading strategy, the platform can be customised to suit your individual stock trading needs.
Pepperstone Research & Education
In addition to industry leading trading platforms and tools, Pepperstone supply client with a variety of educational materials to help increase your trading knowledge and skills thus ensuring they are supporting traders in making informed decisions. There is a range of stock trading guides, webinars and thorough market analysis.
Pepperstone Trading Accounts
The Pepperstone brokerage accounts give you access to some of the best trading technology that is commercially available to retail and institutional clients. This includes deep liquidity pools and interbank pricing which helps to ensure that the broker can process large trading volumes with minimal slippage at the best possible prices.
Stock traders from all around the globe can benefit from low cost trading, superior execution speeds and tight spreads. There are accounts to cater to each investment size and specific requirements. Professional stock traders can apply for the professional account which comes with some added benefits such as the ability to trade with higher leverage.
The minimum account size required by the broker is $200. You can choose between commission free accounts or opt for the Pepperstone Razor account that has some of the tightest spreads with a small commission charge.
You can choose to open a free demo trading account if you would like to practice trading stocks online until you feel confident enough to open a real account. They also have Islamic accounts for Muslim traders that are swap free and comply with Sharia law.
Pepperstone do offer Islamic accounts that comply with Sharia law and can cater to clients with significant trading volumes. If you are such a trader then Pepperstone has a vast amount of liquidity providers to help ensure that your large trading volume will be executed with minimal slippage and at the best possible prices.
With Pepperstone you can also quickly setup a free forex demo trading account to practice your trading strategies with virtual funds until you feel confident enough to open a real account.
Pepperstone Account Funding
Not only do Pepperstone have a variety of account types, they also have a generous selections of account funding options which can meet the needs of most traders. The funding methods include bank transfer, credit/debit card and convenient e-wallets such as Skrill, Neteller and UnionPay.
Pepperstone Customer Service
Another key reason we consider Pepperstone to be one of the best stock brokers is that they have an award-winning customer support team who you can reach 24 hours a day via phone, chat and email. The support team are multilingual and able to answer all of your general, technical and account related questions in a prompt, friendly and accurate manner.
Pepperstone are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). This strict regulation can give traders protection and peace of mind that they are using a safe and secure online broker who must follow strict rules and regulations in place to protect investors.
Pepperstone is a very well established and respected brokerage that has offered stock trading to a global clientele for many years. They can provide the average retail stock trader with institutional grade trading without the usual complexities that can be involved to implement such technology. The brokers fees, spreads and execution speeds are amongst the best in the industry.
In addition to some of the best stock trading conditions, clients also get free access to powerful trading platforms, tools, educational resources, market analysis, variety of account types, multiple funding options and award-winning support.
You can read our full Pepperstone Review to find out more as to why we have chosen them amongst our best stock brokers.
|Fast trade execution speeds||No US clients|
|Tight spreads||No fixed spread accounts|
|Low trading fees||$200 minimum deposit|
|Multiple trading instruments|
|Powerful trading platforms|
|Various accounts & funding options|
|Award winning broker|
XM Group are one of our best stock brokers for trading stocks online with low spreads, low fees and a no re-quote policy which ensures some of the best trade execution speeds possible.
They offer an impressive selection of over 700+ stock CFDs for trading short or long and more than 1,000+ trading instruments overall. In addition to stocks they also offer markets including forex, commodities, metals, energies, cryptocurrencies and more.
XM Group are considered a trusted global brokerage as they are regulated by some of the top regulatory authorities in multiple jurisdictions. They have been recognised as one of the best stock brokers having won multiple awards for their online brokerage services including for offering the best trading platforms which can be used on desktop, web and mobile devices (iOS/Android).
XM Group clients have access to an extensive range of research and educational resources including seminars, webinars, trading tools and in-depth market research. This can help you to improve your trading knowledge and skills. There are also daily live trading sessions from Monday to Friday where you can learn from professional traders.
XM Group Platforms & Tools
You can trade stocks online with XM Group via the MetaTrader 4/5 platforms for desktop, web and mobile. The web version can run directly in most modern web browsers without needing to download or install any additional software. The mobile version can run on iOS and Android devices which makes it a popular choice for those who want to trade stocks whilst on the go.
The free to download MetaTrader is widely regarded as being one of the most intuitive online trading platforms and is used by millions of traders all over the globe. It is user-friendly which makes it a common choice for beginners whilst there are enough advanced functionalities for the more experienced traders.
The platform is packed with features to help you with your daily stock trading activities. This includes a plethora of built-in tools to analyse real time prices of over 1,000+ stocks and manage your positions in a quick and easy manner.
XM Group Research & Education
In addition to some of the best stock trading platforms and useful trading tools, the broker also grants clients with an abundance of free educational materials. Amongst these you will find trading guides and video tutorials to help improve your trading knowledge and skills. They also offer detailed stock market analysis which can help to inspire potential trade opportunities.
XM Group Trading Accounts
In order to trade stocks online with XM Group, you can choose between a variety of brokerage accounts depending on your individual requirements. Every account will give you access to multiple trading instruments, platforms, tools and other resources.
XM Group offer the micro, standard, ultra-low and zero accounts. The primary difference between the account types are the spreads and commissions. The zero account will tend to have the tightest spreads with a low commission whereas the other accounts have no commission but a small spread mark-up. The account type that you opt for can depend on your particular stock trading strategy.
The brokers minimum account deposit starts from just $5 whilst the minimum position size is 0.01 lots. This makes them easily accessible to traders of all investment levels.
There is the option of a free demo trading account if you would like to practice trading stocks online and test out the brokers services in the process. XM Group can also provide swap free accounts that comply with Sharia law making them a Muslim friendly broker.
XM Group Account Funding
XM Group have a range of ways to fund your stock trading account. The broker accepts credit and debit card, wire transfers and online payment gateways that include Skrill, Neteller and UnionPay. There is likely to be a quick and convenient accounting funding method for stock traders around the globe.
XM Group Customer Service
The broker has a large team of over 450 employees and offer multilingual support 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. The friendly and knowledgeable customer service team can be reached via phone, live chat and email. From our experience, they are very prompt and polite with their responses.
They have clients in almost 200 countries who rely on the excellent customer support that the broker provides. This helps to reiterate XM Groups position as a globally renowned stock broker.
XM Group Regulation
XM Group is regulated by some of the most respected regulatory authorities including the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They are also regulated with the International Financial Services Commission of Belize (IFSC).
Strict regulation means that the broker must implement rules and procedures that are put in place to help protect investors. Most professionals would only ever consider a regulated brokerage such as XM Group due to the fact that you have more protection in the unlikely event that something was to go wrong.
XM Group Summary
XM Group are easily considered as one of our best stock brokers for numerous reasons. Primarily because they offer top class stock brokerage services to stock traders worldwide with low costs, tight spreads and deep liquidity pools for superior trade executions speeds. They have a very impressive range of over 1,000+ financial instruments available to trade.
You can trade stocks on powerful and intuitive platforms with an array of tools to assist you with your analysis of the stock market. The broker also supplies clients with educational materials and analysis to help you get the most out of your trading activities.
XM Group are a multi-regulated broker with a variety of different account types and convenient funding methods. The support team is available 24/5 with personal account managers available should you need require.
For the above reasons amongst many others which you can see within our detailed XM Group Review, we consider them to be one of the best stock brokers available to traders across the globe today.
|700+ stock CFDs||No US clients|
|Trade stocks short or long||No fixed spread accounts|
|Award winning trading platforms|
|Trading tools, educational resources & market analysis|
|Tight spreads, low fees & no-requotes policy|
|Various account types|
|Convenient account funding options|
|Min $5 deposit|
IC Markets make it into our best stock brokers list for offering online stock trading on over 100 large-cap Stocks CFDs across the ASX, NYSE and NASDAQ stock exchanges with superior execution and tight pricing exclusively on the IC Markets MetaTrader 5 platform.
IC Markets single stock CFD give traders the ability to trade the world’s most popular companies such as Apple, Facebook or BHP Billiton. You can access local and international shares of the world’s exchanges with IC Markets.
The broker has listed the most popular stocks across the Australian and US markets to give you the best trading opportunities. Alternatively, you can trade global macro themes with their special selection of US Exchange listed CFDs including a range of emerging markets Indices and popular such as the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners (GDX).
Stocks are available exclusively on the IC Markets MetaTrader 5 platform which offers advanced functionalities for both new and experienced traders who require world class execution and superior charting tools.
IC Markets Platforms & Tools
IC Markets provide online stock trading via the powerful and popular MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platform developed by MetaQuotes. MT5 is a multi-asset platform suitable for trading in the Forex, Stocks and Futures markets. Such versatility provides traders with a full selection of trading tools for an efficient and pleasurable trading experience on any financial market. It is freely available to IC Markets clients and is compatible with desktop and mobile devices.
MT5 implements advanced charting technology coupled with sophisticated order management tools that can help you to monitor and control your positions quickly and efficiently. The powerful platform is packed with an abundance of features that can help to deliver an exceptional trading experience.
In addition to some of the best stock trading platforms, IC Markets have partnered with technology companies in order to offer clients innovative tools including depth of Market (DOM), inbuilt spread monitoring, ladder trading, automated close of trades with custom order templates, and more.
IC Markets stock trading tools and apps can assist you with conducting in-depth market analysis and help to improve the overall trading experience. They have economic calendars for you to keep up to date with the latest stock market news, price alerts to notify you as required, technical indicators for identifying stock trends, market data, virtual private servers and much more.
IC Markets Research & Education
IC Markets clients get free access to a range of useful educational resources that includes trading guides and video tutorials for traders of all experience levels. These are geared towards supporting informed trading and cover a range of topics related to online stock trading such as how it operates, technical and fundamental analysis, market influences, trading platforms and more.
IC Markets Trading Accounts
You can open a brokerage account to trade stocks online with IC Markets from a deposit of $200. The account come with a generous 10 different funding currencies and flexible leverage. MT5 is available on both of the IC Markets account types: Raw Pricing and Standard.
The primary differences between the account types are the commissions and spreads that they have. The raw pricing account has tighter spreads with a small commission fee whereas the standard account has spread mark-ups but no commission fee. The account type that you opt for may depend on the assets that you wish to trade along with your trading strategies.
The ECN accounts offered by IC Markets can connect traders with over 50 liquidity providers (LP’s) which gives a deep pool of liquidity for superior pricing and trade execution speeds for traders of all different back grounds.
There is also an option to open a demo trading account with this broker and practice trading stocks online until you familiarise yourself with the platform and feel confident enough to open a real account. IC Markets offer Islamic swap free accounts that comply with Sharia law for Muslim traders.
IC Markets Account Funding
IC Markets have a selection of convenient methods for making deposits and withdrawals to and from your trading account including wire transfer, credit/debit card and online payment processors such as Neteller, PayPal and Skrill. Wherever you are in the world or whatever your preferred method, there is likely to be a funding option suitable for everyone.
IC Markets Customer Service
IC Markets have a multilingual support team on hand to answer all of your questions 24 hours a day 5 days a week, via phone, chat and email. We find them to always give prompt and accurate responses to all of the questions we have.
IC Markets Regulation
IC Markets is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). As an ASIC regulated entity, IC Markets is required to meet strict financial standards, including capital adequacy and audit requirements.
IC Markets acknowledges the importance of compliance with all relevant laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards. The broker is committed to having strict management discipline and first-class controls in their compliance environment.
IC Markets holds client money in client segregated trust accounts with Australian banks in Westpac and National Australia Bank (NAB). All client money is managed in accordance with the Australian Client Money Handling rules and held separately to IC Markets company funds. Client money is not used for any purpose other than to facilitate clients trading activity.
This strict regulation can help to give traders the peace of mind that you are using an online stock broker which must comply with strict regulatory requirements.
IC Markets Summary
IC Markets are one of the leading online stock brokers that have been providing stock brokerage services to clients all over the globe for many years. They are under strict regulation and have some of the best trading conditions available to retail and institutional traders alike. This includes tight spreads, low commissions and vast liquidity pools to ensure trades get filled with minimal slippage at the best possible prices.
The broker offers powerful and flexible trading platforms, trading tools, multiple account types, convenient account funding options, educational resources and excellent 24/5 support.
You can read our full IC Markets Review to explore in more detail why they are considered as one of our best stock brokers.
|Institutional grade liquidity||No US clients|
|True ECN model||No fixed spread accounts|
|Low fees, tight spreads & rapid execution speeds||$200 minimum deposit|
|Powerful trading platforms|
|Different account types|
|Various deposit & withdrawal options|
|Excellent 24/5 support|
How did Trading Brokers choose our best stock brokers?
Following on from our best stock brokers list, we will now look at what factors we deem are amongst the most important when you are looking for an online stock broker.
What makes a good stock broker?
Some of the key factors that you should consider when choosing an online stock brokerage include:
Stock broker regulation
One of the most important things to be aware of is if the stock broker is regulated in the jurisdictions in which they offer their online trading services to. Some of the most popular regulators to be aware of are the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
Not only is it vital to check that the broker is regulated, you should verify that the regulation is up to date by checking the brokers licenses number with the relevant regulator. Different regulators have a different set of rules and restrictions although most are put in place by the government to protect investors interests. Choosing an online stock broker that is regulated can give you account protection that you may not get with an unregulated offshore brokerage firm.
Stock broker trading platforms
There are a variety of different stock trading platforms available for trading stocks online. Some brokers will offer their own in house developed proprietary stock trading platforms whilst others will have licensed platforms such as the popular MetaTrader platform. It is imperative to choose a stock broker that either offers a stock trading platform which you are already familiar with or a platform that has an intuitive user interface so that it is easy to use.
It would also be worth considering if all of the trading instruments that you wish to have in your trading portfolio are offered through the platform. You should make sure that it will be compatible with the devices you wish to use it on. Some online traders will need mobile stock trading platforms for trading on the go. If this is the case, ensure there is a version of the platform that is compatible with your mobile device.
Finally, the best stock brokers will usually provide video and tutorial guides to help new traders learn how to use the trading platforms available to them.
Online stock brokers will usually offer a range of individual stocks and stock indices for trading online. If you have any particular stock instruments in mind that you wish to include within your trading portfolio then you should ensure that it is offered by the broker. Some brokers will offer more instruments than others, thus it could be a good idea to consider if you wish to diversify in the future what other stocks and markets (forex, cryptos, commodities, etc) they provide.
Stock broker commissions
When trading stocks online through a stock trading platform, you may be required to pay commission fees for taking, maintaining and exiting your positions. Stock trading commission fees will need to be factored into your overall money management and trading strategy, along with other online trading costs.
You should clarify all of the applicable commission charges and compare brokers to see which will save you the most in stock trading fees over the long term. It is worth noting that some online stock brokers will offer commission free trading but compensate for this by having other additional costs such as monthly fees for using their stock trading platforms or spread mark-ups.
Stock broker spreads
Most online stock brokers will charge a spread when you place trades on their stock trading platforms. The spread is the difference between the buy and sell price of the underlying asset that is being bought or sold. It is important to consider the cost of spreads in your trading strategy, especially if day trading stocks as the spreads can quickly add up.
Some stock brokers will get their spreads direct from liquidity providers (LPs) without any interference. Usually, the deeper and more diverse the brokers liquidity pools are, the tighter the spreads will be. Other online stock brokers act as market makers and will take the opposite side of your trade instead of putting it directly through to the LPs. This particular type of “dealing desk” stock broker will usually add a mark up to spreads in order to cover costs.
Stock broker leverage
Online stock brokerages will usually offer leveraged trading on stocks CFDs. Leverage basically enables you to enter a position larger than your account would be capable of opening without it. Whilst this can seem like an attractive proposition, trading leveraged stocks also increases risk. E.g. If your stock broker account has $5,000 of equity available and 1:5 leverage, you would be able to take a position size of $25,000 (5,000 x 5 = 25,000). You should opt for a leverage that you feel comfortable with as each stock trader will have a different risk appetite.
Stock broker order types
Stock trading platforms should support a variety of different order types. Order types include market execution (instant), pending orders, limit orders, trailing stops, break evens, etc. If your online stock trading strategy requires specific order types, ensure that the broker you are considering supports these order types via their stock trading platforms.
Stock broker trading tools & educational resources
Some of the best stock brokers will have an abundance of trading tools and educational resources to help traders of all experience levels with the efficiency of their online trading and to increase their overall stock trading knowledge. It is in the best interest of the brokers to offer the tools that will enable you to be successful and to keep using their online trading services.
Beginners may wish to check that there are educational guides which can familiarise them with stock market whereas the intermediate to advanced traders may require specialist trading tools for conducting thorough market analysis. These tools can include technical indicators, economic reports, sentiment analysis, trading calculators and more. If you require any specific tools or would find them beneficial, check that they are offered to traders by the stock broker and if they are free or come at an additional cost.
Stock broker funding methods
You will find that different stock brokers will have different methods of making deposits and withdrawals from your online brokerage account. Whilst most will provide bank transfer and debit/credit cards, others will have online payment processor options such as Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, etc. Check that they have an account funding option that is convenient to you along with the costs to make deposits and withdrawals, if any.
Stock broker customer service
No matter how experienced the stock trader is, at some point they will need quick and efficient customer support for technical or general questions. Check what options are available to contact customer support along with the hours they are available and office locations. If you are located in Europe, you would ideally want them to have a European office or provide support 24 hours day if they are located outside of the EU. Ensure that support is available in your language and the different ways to contact them are suitable for your needs. The best stock brokers will usually offer online chat which can be more convenient to some traders rather than trying to reach them via telephone or email.
What is an online stock broker?
An online stock broker acts as the intermediary between you the trader and the exchange where the stocks are traded. Most brokers will not just offer online stock trading but also other trading instruments such as forex, commodities, metals, energies, cryptocurrencies, bonds, options, ETFs and more. Online stock brokers enable traders around the world to buy and sell stocks of global companies directly from the stock trading platforms they provide that run on desktop, web and mobile devices. This makes online stock trading easily accessible to anyone. You just need an online stock brokerage account with a broker of your choice and to download their stock trading platform. Once you have opened an account, you can add funds to it using a choice of convenient funding options and speculate on if stock prices will go up or down by analysing charts, placing and managing trades via the stock trading platforms.
What are stocks?
In simplest terms, stocks are an investment within a company. The stock of a company is made up of all the shares from which the ownership is divided between shareholders. Investors can buy and sell shares of a particular company to speculate in the price fluctuation of the stock. A single share of the stock represents fractional ownership of the corporation in proportion to the total number of shares. A person that holds shares of stocks is called a shareholder. The total value of a companies issued stocks is known as market capitalisation. The price of a share can change depending on economic factors, company performance and investor sentiment. When a company goes public and offers its stock for the first time, this is referred to as an initial public offering (IPO). Companies will often sell shares in their business in order to raise capital for growth, expansion or to clear debt. Any company profits can be shared between stockholders through the issuing of a dividend or they can use profits to reinvest. Stocks that frequently issue dividends are called income stocks whereas companies who reinvest profits are called growth stocks. Some of the most popular stocks trade online include Adidas, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Nike, Netflix, NVIDIA, Tesla, Vodafone, Uber, Walt Disney, etc.
What are CFD stocks?
Most online stock brokerages will offer trading on stock CFDs. A contract for difference (CFD) is a popular form of online trading that enables the investor to speculate on the rising or falling prices of a particular global financial market without actually owning the underlying asset. Some of the popular online CFD trading markets include stocks, forex, indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies and more.
What is CFD stock trading?
When you trade CFDs, you are not buying or selling the underlying asset (for example a physical share, gold bar, diamond, currency pair, etc), Instead you are buying or selling a chosen number of units for a particular financial instrument to speculate on the price, depending on whether you think prices will go up or down. For example, if you think the price of a particular stock CFD may increase, then you may consider buying units in that stocks CFD. For every point that the price of the instrument moves in your favour, you will make a gain. For every point the price moves against you, you will make a loss. You can choose to set an upper or lower price level (stop loss & take profit) in which to close the CFD trade or exit manually. Amongst the benefits of online stock CFD trading are that brokerages will offer leveraged trading and you can go short (sell) if you think prices will go down or go long (buy) if you think prices will rise. Overall, CFD stock trading is much more accessible to anyone who has a trading account with an online stock broker. You can read in more detail about CFD trading on our best CFD brokers page.
How much money do I need to start trading stocks online?
You can start trading stocks online with just $1 depending on the minimum deposit that your chosen online stock brokerage requires. Due to the risks involved with trading stocks online or any other trading instruments, you should only ever trade with what you can afford and feel comfortable with as there are no guarantees in trading online.
Can you make money trading stocks online?
Successful online stock trading can take years of practice. Stock trading requires immense dedication, patience and discipline. According to our thousands of hours of in-depth research across hundreds of online stock brokers, most online stock traders actually lose money.
How to open an online stock trading account?
Simply choose an online stock broker, follow the trading account opening process and you will be able to start trading stocks online through one of their stock trading platforms.
Need help choosing from the best stock brokers?
If you are still unsure which is the best stock broker for you then you can use our free online broker comparison tool to quickly compare online brokers based on regulations, minimum deposit, leverage, spreads, commissions, funding options and more. You can also read our broker reviews and choose from our best brokers, best trading platforms, best copy trading platforms, best social trading platforms and best trading apps. If you would like to look for the best trading brokers in a particular country, we have pages dedicated to our best brokers USA, best brokers UK, best brokers Australia, best brokers South Africa and best brokers Canada.
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