From beginners to advanced traders looking for options trading, international exposure, and alternative investments, there is a brokerage firm for every investor across all levels of experience, income, and risk tolerance. Learn how brokers work and which ones are the best for you.

Investopedia Best Brokers and Trading Platforms

Investopedia / Alice Morgan

Best Brokers for 2024

Investopedia’s experts put 26 companies through a rigorous evaluation process to identify the best online brokerages for you. We collected over 2,314 data points and used our subject matter expertise to develop a process for finding the best brokers, focusing on costs, range of offerings, trading technology, and more.


Frequently Asked Questions
  • Are Brokerage Accounts FDIC-Insured?

    Brokerage accounts are not FDIC-insured like deposit accounts at banks. Instead, the money you have in a brokerage account may be insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). The SIPC doesn't insure you against losses resulting from market activity or fraud. The SIPC will reimburse investors for up to $500,000, including $250,000 in cash, in the event of a firm's insolvency. The SIPC only covers member firms.

  • Can I Open a Brokerage Account for My Child?

    Yes. Because minors are not eligible to open their own brokerage account, parents and guardians can open and manage a custodial account in a child's name. Funding options for custodial accounts include cash, stocks, and mutual fund transfers. The process of opening a custodial account involves providing personal and banking information and completing a series of forms online.

  • How Do You Open a Brokerage Account?

    Find the best brokerage firm and account that satisfies your investing style and needs. Then evaluate how a brokerage can help you manage risk. Apply for and set up the account and then fund the account. Before investing your money in the brokerage account, consider educating yourself about how stocks and other investments work (remember, investing always comes with the risk of losing your principal deposit).

  • What Is Brokerage Cash?

    Brokerage cash is a top-line cash total in your investing account. It's the cash amount before stripping out items like unsettled trades and collateral. Not all of your brokerage cash is immediately available for trading or withdrawing. That would be a bottom-line number which may be called buying power, cash available for withdrawal, or something similar. Cash in these accounts can be parked to collect interest, reinvested, or withdrawn for paying bills.

  • What’s the Difference Between a Taxable Brokerage and an IRA?

    Brokerage accounts are taxable investment accounts through which you can buy and sell stocks and other securities. IRAs are designed for retirement savers and allow tax-free or tax-deferred growth on the investments you hold in the account. Unlike brokerage accounts, IRAs have strict contribution limits, and withdrawals may trigger a penalty. Brokerage accounts and IRAs are taxed differently, which can be a deciding factor when choosing an account.

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