Optimising trades with the best online brokers
Top On-line Brokers
Trading tools, low fees, and top-tier insights. We compare and contrast the best online brokerage firms so that you can trade at your best. We review an ever increasing number of variables and compare by region to provide the key information to allow you to make an informed decisions for which online broker suits your needs.
The Increasing Adoption of Online Trading
Not so long ago, stock market trading was exclusive to those with high amounts of wealth and access to a registered broker. Online trading platforms have broken down this barrier and have made trading accessible to retail investors with smaller amounts of capital. The markets have now become possible to trade for anyone with access to a web browser or mobile. However, choosing the right online brokerage account is no easy decision to make. Factors such as trading tools, fees, and requirements to open account are all important considerations for traders to take into account. Balancing these along with comparing and contrasting between different brokers is no easy task. That’s why we have compiled a list of the top online brokers for you to consider before you venture into the world of online trading.
What are the best online brokers and why?
We compared and contrasted the best online brokers available to traders today. After our analysis, the three which made it to the top of our list were Interactive Brokers, Firstrade Securities, and TradeStation. The factors that made these companies the top considerations were the following:
- Regulated by stringent governmental bodies such as FINRA
- Highly competitive on fees
- Provide a wide variety of trading tools
- Provide access to a wide variety of markets
- Provide traders with small amounts of capital a fair opportunity to get involved in the markets
- Focus on educational tools
- Top tier customer service
- Accessible in a large number of countries globally
Interactive Brokers is one of the online trading brokers with the longest history of operating. The company was founded in 1977, far predating the rise in popularity of online trading. The company originated as a group of market makers trading on the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) and gradually developed into the largest electronic brokerage in terms of daily average revenue trades today. The company is now publicly listed after completing its IPO in 2007. The company complies with the rules of numerous regulatory bodies including the SEC, CFTC, and FINRA. The brokerage services are available in 31 countries globally. Interactive Brokers offers a wide variety of markets to clients which are typically expected from a high-quality online brokerage. This includes access to stocks, options, futures, forex, metals, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, and CFDs. Interactive Brokers also facilitates access to markets which are not traditionally accessible through online brokerages. This includes both hedge fund investing for accredited investors and asset management portfolios with a mix of both passive and active options. In terms of fees, Interactive Brokers prides itself in competing with major brokerages such as E-Trade, Charles Schwab, and TD Ameritrade by charging significantly lower commissions. The trading platforms provided by Interactive Brokers are available on the web, desktop, and mobile. The trading tools provided include technical analysis software, an order book, and an interface which makes it easy for traders to speculate in several markets at once. News flow can also be integrated with the platform so that traders can monitor ongoing developments that may affect their positions or provide opportunities. As well as provide trading tools across a wide variety of markets, Interactive Brokers has a big emphasis on providing educational resources to traders. There is a wide variety of webinars and courses that traders can access on the platform. Interactive Brokers is considered the top online broker by a variety of traders and professionals. It ticks a lot of the important considerations for traders including competitive fees, a trading platform with a wide variety of tools, and accessibility on a number of platforms.
Go Markets is a highly reputable provider of online CFD trading services. Founded in 2006, the company is based in Melbourne, Australia, and is owned by GO Markets Pty Ltd. It is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) under the AFSL No. 254963. Go Markets has built its reputation on reliability, compliance, excellent dedicated 24/5 client support, fast secure executions, and competitive and transparent pricing.
Operating since 1983, City Index is a broker that provides access to CFDs, forex, and spread betting. City Index is privately owned but is a subsidiary of the publicly listed Gain Capital which acquired it in 2014. Gain Capital provides online trading services to over 140 countries globally. Their services are mainly focused on forex and CFDs. City Index is just one segment of their overall service offering. Gain Capital is a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange and therefore has to comply with high standards of corporate governance and financial reporting which in turn extends itself to City Index. They are also regulated in eight jurisdictions worldwide. Some of the other brands owned by Gain Capital include forex.com and saltinvest.com. City Index itself is headquartered in London and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). City Index also has offices in Singapore, Dubai, and Australia.
First Prudential Markets (FP Markets) is an Australian brokerage firm founded relatively recently in 2005. The firm is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and is a private company. FP Markets also operates in the UK, Europe, and China and is regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in Europe and the UK. The European headquarters is located in the UK. There are also offices for FP Markets located in Beijing and Shanghai. The website is available in twelve different languages, catering for the major European regions that it operates in. The languages supported include Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Pro's and Con's
Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs.