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Online Brokers

If you're going to buy and sell stocks, you'll first need to pick a broker. Using online brokers to buy and sell stocks has become the norm for individual investors. And in our opinion, the benefits far outweigh those of using a traditional broker: online brokers are much less expensive, easy to use, and you can buy or sell exactly when you want using the exact parameters you define. To help you choose a broker, we've reviewed a few of the major brokers and the pros and cons of each.

There are many good online brokers, so in your interest and ours, we have narrowed the list to only a few brokers. Please note that we have an affiliation with Zecco.com and ETrade.com, which means that if you sign up for an account at either site through SmartStockResearch.com, you can help us earn a commission so we can keep our website going.

  • * offers the lowest cost per trade that we have been able to find and the only broker that we have found that actually offers a number of free trades per month. The only catch is that you have to keep a minimum amount of $25,000 in your account or make at least 25 trades per month. It is only $4.50 per trade otherwise, which is still the lowest per trade amount we have been able to find online. Zecco's focus isn't necessarily to provide the same types of trading tools that some of the other brokers have, but that really doesn't matter to us because we are in the business of investing, not trading.

  • ETrade.com* is another one of the most popular brokers. Their cost per trade is somewhat pricier than Zecco.com, but they offer somewhat more advanced analysis and research tools. However, although some of the tools can help you analyze certain aspects of a company, many of the tools ETrade offers are geared toward traders and not investors.

  • Fidelity.com is another major online broker. In addition to brokerage services, Fidelity offers advisory services to individual investors and runs a number of its own mutual funds. If you invest in mutual funds, Fidelity may be the broker for you, since they offer a number of commission-free mutual funds. Additionally, they have recently lowered their per-trade cost to $7.95 for stocks.

*ETrade and Zecco are both SmartStockResearch.com affiliates.

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