Online Broker Comparison

Below you will find a chart that I have produced to provide an Online Broker comparison. All of the prices shown are for "Stock Trades" unless otherwise noted. Additional Fees may apply for things such as OTCBB stocks (Pink Sheets) among other things. See each individual brokerage firms' website for current details.

Broker Minimum To Open Account Online Commissions Notes
$2,000 (Varies depending on current promotion. Please see site for details.) 0-149 trades/quarter: $9.99/trade
150+ trades/quarter: $7.99/trade
Power E*TRADE Pro trading platform at no cost if 30 or more trades per quarter with advanced charting
Fidelity $2,500.00 $7.95 Excellent Research Tools
Discounts available for Active Traders
Excellent Backtesting available
Interactive Brokers $10,000.00 $.005 per share
Minimum Commission $1.00
Maximum Commission: 0.5% of trade plus fees
See website for various commission examples
Many advanced capabilities available
Schwab $1,000.00 $8.95 $8.95 flat rate per trade regardless of account balance.
Scottrade $500.00 $7.00 Broker Assisted Trades: $27.00
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TD Ameritrade Amount varies depending on whether or not you are taking advantage of a promotion or not or whether a margin account is being applied for. $9.99 Broker Assisted Trades: $44.99
Additional Benefits for Upgraded "Apex" qualified accounts.
thinkorswim Amount varies depending on whether or not you are taking advantage of a promotion or not or whether a margin account is being applied for. $9.99 Typically regular ongoing promotions that vary from time to time. Check website for current offers.
TradeStation $5,000.00 First 500 shares $.01 per share, $.006 per share thereafter.
Or Flat Fees based on monthly trades:
1-9 Trades: $9.99/trade
10-29 Trades: $7.99/trade
30 or More: $6.99/trade
Additional Trading platform Fee of $99.95/month unless you trade 5000 or more shares in the previous month, then $0 Platform fee.
Excellent backtesting and trade automation capabilities.
None Broker Assisted Trades are $19.99 per trade.

Be sure to check each individual Brokers website for information that may have changed, for any updates, special promotions and complete fee schedules. All of the information shown in this online broker comparison has been taken from each brokers website.

I personally have used TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, Zecco and Interactive Brokers for my own trading accounts in the past and currently am using Fidelity Active Trader Pro for most of my trades. You should use the broker that you feel comfortable using their products and services. If you become unhappy at any time, you can always switch to another broker.

When doing an online broker comparison for yourself, it is a good idea to compare the costs on an annual basis based on the estimated number of trades you think you will be making. This could potentially save you a lot of money at the end of each year.

Also remember that cost should not be the only consideration. The capabilities available with each trading program should also be considered based on what you will be using.

This may not be a big concern to you if you are new to trading, but you should be aware that there are many options available. Most brokers have screenshots or DEMO's of their trading programs available for you to try.

Another thing to keep in mind when doing an online broker comparison is that if a broker has several commission plans to choose from, there is usually a difference in the speed of order execution as well. Be sure to check as a slower order exection time quite often will not make up for the initial cost savings.

Many brokers will also negotiate commission amounts based on the number of trades you make or match your current brokers fees if applicable, be sure to ask.

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