Investopedia's 2019 Best Online Brokers Awards

The top online brokers for every kind of investor, ranked by our experts

By Caleb Silver

We are excited to announce the winners of our 2019 Best Online Brokers Awards!

At Investopedia, our mission is to simplify complex finance, investing, and trading topics and give our readers the confidence they need to make financial decisions. Helping investors find the right tools and platforms to invest and trade is key to that mission. With so many options available, our team evaluated more than 70 online brokers, considering thousands of variables across trading technology, mobile capabilities, user interfaces, research tools, costs and fees. The result is the most comprehensive and up-to-date online broker reviews in the industry.

Our analysis of the online brokerage industry, discussing the major changes we saw during 2018 and what we expect going forward, is "The Year of the Reality Check."

We know that each investor has different needs in an online broker. We have ranked online brokers across 12 different categories so that you can find the broker that is best for you.

No matter where you are in your investing journey, these reviews will give you a clear view of your choices as you invest and trade in 2019. Here are our winners.

Best Overall Online Brokers

Our list of the top overall brokers represent the best-in-industry platforms that offer solutions for investors at all levels. They are ranked in order by their overall score.

Read our full review of the Best Overall Online Brokers here.

Best for Beginners

Winners for this category have excellent resources for those new to trading and investing. Their services include top-notch education and step-by-step guides.

Read our full review of the Best Brokers for Beginners here.

Best for Low Costs

With the growth of free trades, we expect 2019 will see a continued expansion of low-cost offerings. These are the best brokers for low costs.

Read our full review of the Best Brokers for Low Costs here.

Best Stock Trading Apps

Each year, mobile stock trading apps come closer to parity with desktop offerings. In this category, we rank brokers that are best for traders who are mobile first.

Read our full review of the Best Stock Trading Apps here.

Best for ETFs

ETFs have surged in popularity over the past decade. Winners in this category have broad ETF offerings, research, and portfolio tracking abilities.

Read our full review of the Best Brokers for ETFs here.

Best for Options Trading

Those looking to trade options generally need to make use of a variety of tools and charts to measure volatility and potential profitability. These brokers have the best tools for options traders.

Read our full review of the Best Brokers for Options Trading here.

Best for Penny Stocks

The highly speculative world of penny stocks requires platforms with fast order execution, excellent charting tools and ultra-competitive pricing. These brokers offer all three.

Read our full review of the Best Brokers for Penny Stocks here.

Best for Roth IRAs

Roth IRAs are widely used investment vehicles for retirement savings. These brokers have the best resources for building, managing and maintaining your Roth IRA assets.

Read our full review of the Best Brokers for Roth IRAs here.

Best for IRAs

Like Roth IRAs, IRAs are a common way to save for retirement. The following brokers offer the best resources for IRA investors, including research, portfolio analysis and educational content.

Read our full review of the Best Brokers for IRAs here.

Best for Day Trading

If you are day trading, you need low costs, quality trade executions and real-time streaming data. These brokers have all those attributes and more to make them the best for day traders.

Read our full review of the Best Brokers for Day Trading here.

Best for International Trading

This group of brokers provides customers the best access to international equities, derivatives and fixed income products.

Read our full review of the Best Brokers for International Trading here.

Best for Forex Trading

These forex brokers offer low fees (including spreads and commissions), clean trading platforms, forex education and currencies research.

Read our full review of the Best Brokers for Forex Trading here.

Best Web Trading Platforms

These brokers have built the best web-based trading experiences that rival the functionality of professional trading platforms.

Read our full review of the Best Web Trading Platforms here.

Why We Do It

Finding the right online broker that integrates your financial goals is more challenging than ever given the abundance of products available today. The explosion of new fintech companies and growth in the variety of simplified investments like ETFs and index funds can create a dizzying array of choices for the individual investor.

To make it easy we user-tested over 70 online brokers to identify which brokers offer the best solutions for investors in 2019. What we've created is a comprehensive set of reviews and rankings that will allow any investor to find the right broker for them.

To find out more about how we picked our top brokers, see our methodology.

Caleb Silver, Editor in Chief & Theresa W. Carey, Investopedia Brokerage and Investing Expert


Investopedia’s mission is to provide investors with unbiased, comprehensive reviews and ratings of online brokers. Our reviews are the result of six months of evaluating all aspects of an online broker’s platform, including the user experience, the quality of trade executions, the products available on their platforms, costs and fees, security, the mobile experience and customer service. We established a rating scale based on our criteria, collecting over 3,000 data points that we weighed into our star scoring system.

In addition, every broker we surveyed was required to fill out a 320-point survey about all aspects of their platform that we used in our testing. Many of the online brokers we evaluated provided us with in-person demonstrations of their platforms at our offices.

Our team of industry experts, led by Theresa W. Carey, conducted our reviews and developed this best-in-industry methodology for ranking online investing platforms for users at all levels. Click here to read our full methodology.

This article was originally published on Investopedia.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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