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Yearly Review of Stock Brokers

2016 Online Broker Review


Fellow Investors,

2016 has arrived, and with it comes the sixth annual StockBrokers.com review.

The process of conducting the annual broker review begins in August each year and continues for six months, ultimately wrapping up with publication in February. Over this period, hundreds of hours are spent testing broker platforms, websites, tools, and customer support. It’s a journey.

Taking the time to dive deep, way beyond the marketing fluff and pretty homepages is what puts StockBrokers.com’s annual Broker Review head and shoulders above similar reviews by other publications. As investors and traders ourselves, we can relate to all of your requirements and queries; furthermore, thanks to our industry prowess, we understand where true value lies.

Looking at this year’s 2016 Review, there were 295 variables, a record over last year’s 272, spread across 10 categories (no other publication, print or web, eclipses even 100 total variables). One of these categories, Order Execution, is new and we are extremely pleased to incorporate it, thanks to the help of the KOR Group.

As far as participation goes, 13 brokers volunteered to subject themselves to our thorough assessment. Compared to last year, SogoTrade was a newcomer, MB Trading was acquired by TradeKing, optionsXpress was reviewed as one broker under parent Charles Schwab, and Interactive Brokers bowed out as a participant.

In total, StockBrokers.com now offers over 30,000 words of research available across the site.

To narrow down to a broker best suited to you, start with the “Best in Class” category lists below where you can see recommended brokers based on the aspects that matter most to you. Then, head over to the comparison tool and compare several of the recommended brokers side by side. Star ratings, commission rates, and popular functionality are all included.

To finalize your choice, read a full-length review and explore the details of the customer experience. Confidence in navigating the markets starts with confidence in where your portfolio is being held and the tools you use to trade.

Since our inception back in 2011, StockBrokers.com has helped over two million investors research and compare online brokers. In 2016, our goal is simple: to help you find the right broker for your personal needs.

Here’s to us as investors and our success in 2016,

Signature

Blain Reinkensmeyer
Co-Founder & Head of Research
StockBrokers.com

2016 Individual Broker Reviews

Each individual broker was assessed on 295 unique variables. Full length reviews for each broker can be found on their respective review pages:

Industry Awards

Each year there are online brokers that stand out for going above and beyond. Our broker Industry Awards recognize these brokers for their hard work and dedication in the past year.

#1 Broker Innovation: Charles Schwab (Schwab Intelligent Portfolios)

#1 International Trading: Fidelity Investments

#1 Banking Services: Merrill Edge

#1 Tablet App: TD Ameritrade

#1 Smartphone App: ETRADE

#1 Desktop Platform: TD Ameritrade thinkorswim

#1 Web Based Platform: OptionsHouse

#1 Platform Technology: TradeStation

#1 Client Dashboard: Charles Schwab Trade Source

#1 Overall Client Experience: Scottrade

#1 Retirement Services: Charles Schwab

#1 Trader Community: TD Ameritrade

#1 New Tool: TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader In-App Chat Support

#1 Portfolio Builder: Capital One Investing PortfolioBuilder

#1 Phone Support: Merrill Edge

#1 Email Support: Fidelity Investments

#1 Live Chat Support: Merrill Edge

2016 Rankings

Self Directed Investing (Overall)

How we scored: Brokers were assessed in eight different categories with the following weightings: "Commissions & Fees" (15.5%),"Offering of Investments" (15.5%), "Platforms & Tools" (15.5%), "Research" (15.5%), "Customer Service" (10%), "Mobile Trading" (10%), "Ease-of-Use" (10%), "Education" (6%), Order Execution (2%), and Banking (0%). It is important to note that behind each category star rating is a numerical score, so while some brokers may have similar star ratings, total points earned for that category likely vary. With all of the category weighted scores calculated, a formula is then applied to determine the overall star rating.

The chart below can be sorted by both category and least/greatest ratings. Please click on any column header area to re-sort.

  Commissions & Fees Offering of Investments Platform & Tools Research Customer Service Mobile Trading Ease of Use Education Order Execution Banking Overall Rating
Fidelity Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star
TD Ameritrade Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star
ETRADE Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star
Charles Schwab Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star
Merrill Edge Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star
TradeKing Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star
OptionsHouse Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star
Scottrade Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star
Firstrade Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star
TradeStation Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star
Capital One Investing Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star
SogoTrade Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star
Lightspeed Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star Star
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