The Best Online Stock Brokers for Beginners

by Bonnie Conrad

Choosing an online discount broker over a full service firm can save you a lot of money on commissions, but choosing the right broker is important. As a beginning investor, you probably have a lot of questions, and selecting an online broker with the resources to answer those questions will help you get the most out of your investments.


Scottrade is a good choice for the beginning investor, both in terms of price and in terms of resources. With a Scottrade account, you can trade stocks for just $7 per transaction, much less than a full service firm and less than many competing online brokers as well. In addition to those low fees and online services, Scottrade maintains a number of local offices throughout the country, where new investors can discuss their investment goals with a professional investment adviser. The availability of local resources can help the beginning investor get off to the best start and gain the confidence needed to invest for both long- and short-term goals.

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade can be a good choice for the first-time investor, since the firm offers a number of extras designed to make getting started easier. In addition to its brokerage services and inexpensive stock trades, TD Ameritrade offers access to a wide variety of mutual funds, including many that are well suited to new investors. The firm also has an online banking arm, so new investors to do all their saving and investing under one roof. TD Ameritrade also maintains offices in many large cities for investors who want to discuss their investment goals in person.


E_Trade offers investors access to mutual funds and online bank accounts in addition to low fees on stock transactions. The availability of mutual funds, certificates of deposit, money market accounts and other extras makes E_Trade an excellent choice for the beginning investors. The firm also maintains offices throughout the country to serve investors who prefer to discuss their goals directly with an adviser.