I use TD Ameritrade for this website’s portfolio but they aren’t the cheapest ($9.99) per trade and I understand that some beginners who have limited funds may want to find a cheaper broker. After all, if you open an account with just hundreds of dollars, the less you pay for each stock buy and sell transaction can be meaningful.
Here are two brokers that charge about half of what TD Ameritrade does and they have been around long enough to know that they are reputable and you should feel safe using them.
1) OptionsHouse – While the name suggests they specialize in offering a trading platform for options (something beginner investors shouldn’t buy) they do offer the cheapest flat rate charge for stock trades at $4.75. Each trade you make, no matter what the dollar value or number of shares involved, costs $4.75.
There is no minimum dollar requirement to open an account so they are great for any investor that is just starting out. Additionally, they have gotten good reviews in Barron’s and other financial publications so you should feel good about that. I have not personally used OptionsHouse but feel good about recommending them to you based on their multi year track record
2) TradeKing – This is another inexpensive option if you are looking for the cheapest online brokers. TradeKing charges $4.95 per trade and has been in business since 2005 when they got their start. They also have a good review in Barron’s magazine as well as other publications. They regularly get good marks for customer service which is always important to me.
Just like OptionsHouse, there is no minimum requirement for opening a new account. This makes TradeKing a top candidate for any beginner investor who is concerned about getting a low price for each trade but also wants safety and piece of mind knowing that their money is safe.