Online option stock trading company for beginners
OptionsHouse has been rated the 1 platform for Options Trading the past seven years. Merrill Edge is the online broker of Bank of America and is available to all investors, regardless if they are a current BofA customer.
Like TD Ameritrade and ETRADE, Merrill Edge is well-rounded; however, it has a huge advantage over all other brokers thanks to its Preferred Rewards program where customers can earn free trades, credit cards bonus cash back, priority customer service, and more.
I have personally been using the program since it launched in With its competitive commission rates for stocks and options trading, investors who have previous market experience will find themselves right at home. However, unless you are already an Ally customer, you will find that there are better offerings available.
Having the best stock broker to serve individual needs is very important for any investor. For example, cheap trades most often come at the expense of less research tools and a more simplified trade platform. Consider these 12 key factors to help compare all stock brokers and ultimately find the best broker to suite your needs.
Trade Commissions What does it cost to buy shares of stock? Does the fee change based on the type of order or size of order? To keep it simple, look for brokers that offer flat-fee trades, ie charging a flat rate regardless of the type, price of the stock, or size of the order. Customer Service When picking up the phone or emailing a broker, is a well trained customer service representative ready to assist?
How any investor is treated as a client is more important to some than others. Trading Tools Trading successfully is a lot easier when investors have great tools at their disposal. A top stock broker should offer access to a wide variety of trade tools to help make the most of each and every trade. Choosing a suitable online broker when you are relatively new to options trading is somewhat of a different process to choosing a broker when you have plenty of relevant experience. Equally, choosing a broker to use when you are planning on only making small trades is different to choosing a broker if you are planning on making larger trades.
While we recognize that not all beginners will be small traders, and not all small traders will be beginners, we believe that there are certain brokers that are particularly suitable for traders that fall into either of these categories. This is because many of the factors that need to be considered are the same. As well as our recommendations for suitable brokers listed above, we have also provided some information on which factors you should be taking into account when deciding which broker to use.
Options traders all have slightly different sets of circumstances and slightly different requirements and ultimately a lot is down to personal choice. A broker that is a good choice for one trader may not necessarily be a good choice for another trader. As such, we would never recommend just one single broker to a broad audience, but would rather provide our readers with a range of suggestions and offer advice on how to select the most suitable.
This is why we have classified our recommendations into a number of different categories. When choosing a broker you need to think carefully about which aspects of a broker you need to be taking into consideration. For beginners and those looking to make relatively small trades, we believe that the following factors are particularly important and it's these that we suggest you look carefully at when deciding which online options broker to select. Traditionally, brokers could easily be placed in one of two categories; they were either full service or discount.
The advent of online brokers has made it somewhat more difficult to distinguish between the two as there tends to be a lot more flexibility in the services offered. Strictly speaking, a full service broker is one that will provide you with professional advice and guidance in addition to transacting your orders for you while a discount broker will simply carry out your orders as instructed.
For more details on this particular aspect of brokers, please visit Full Service Brokers vs. These days a number of brokers can effectively be placed in either, or both, of the categories as they offer a choice of service to their customers.
What you must decide is whether you want the additional services that are on offer, such as receiving expert advice on potential trades and investments, or whether you prefer to have a broker that simply acts upon your instructions. Just like a bank account, stock brokers also make a portion of their profits off miscellaneous fees. There is no reason why you should pay an annual fee to have an retirement account.
If managing your own portfolio is not of interest, all full-service brokers offer optional advisory services as well. Furthermore, robo-advisors such as Betterment are growing in popularity. Once again, the experience at larger established brokers is going to be superior to smaller brokers.
Banking Larger online brokers offer banking and other financial services. This goes beyond money market accounts and CDs. Checking accounts, mortgages, debit cards, and credit cards can also be offered. The leader in this space is, hands down, Bank of America Merrill Edge. Account Security Because of the web today, all online brokers invest heavily into account security. Just like shopping online and choosing a trustworthy website to purchase from, the best bet is to choose a well-known, established broker for your portfolio.
To understand Order Execution, read this guide. International Trading For investors in the United States this is not a problem but for investors living outside the US, when comparing brokers it is important to make sure they offer service in your country.
If you need help deciding which broker to choose or have a broker specific question please feel free to email me and I will be happy to help. To view star ratings, summaries, screenshots, and more for these brokers, see our stock broker comparison tool. This took many dozens of hours to put together so I appreciate your support!