Best Online Stock Brokers for Beginners of April 2019

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When youre a beginner investor, the right brokerage account can be so much more than simply a platform for placing trades. It can help you build a solid investing foundation functioning as a teacher, advisor and investment analyst and serve as a lifelong portfolio co-pilot as your skills and strategy mature.

A stock broker is a person or an institution licensed to buy and sell stocks and other securities via the market exchanges. In decades past, the only way for individuals to invest directly in stocks was to hire a stock broker to place trades on their behalf. But what was once a clunky, costly transaction conducted via landline telephones now takes place online in seconds, for a fraction of what full-service brokers used to charge for the service. Today, most investors place their trades through an online brokerage account. (A little lost? Check out our explainers onbrokerage accountsandbuying stocks.)

: Best overall, for customer support & for no account minimum

: Best overall, for customer support & for mutual funds & ETFs

: Best for no account minimum & for education

NerdWallets top online brokers for beginners of April 2019Open account

Ally Invests robust trading platform and lineup of free research, charting, data and analytical tools make it a good choice for active traders. But its also appropriate for beginning investors who will appreciate that there is no account minimum and no annual fees.

Merrill Edge offers high-quality customer service, robust research and low fees. Customers of parent company Bank of America will love the seamless, thoughtful integration, with a single login to access both accounts.

Free trades for eligible Bank of America customers.

Minimum balance requirement for active-trading platform.

days of commission-free trades with qualifying deposit

TD Ameritrade makes up for higher-than-average trading commissions with better-than-average service, research and trading tools that will make everyone from beginner investors to active traders happy.

Want to compare more options? Here are our other category winners for best online brokers for beginners:

Need some background? Read our guide tohow the stock market works.

Unsure of how to build your portfolio? Learn more abouthow to invest in stocks.

Want instant diversification? Understand howinvesting in mutual fundsorindex funds can help.

Dont have thousands to invest just yet? See our suggestions onhow to get started with $500.

ReviewLow costsLow commissions, free tools and research

ReviewNo account minimum + EducationBreadth of research reports$6.95

ReviewOverall + Customer Support + No account minimum

ReviewEducationLarge selection; reasonable commissions and fees$6.95

ReviewOverall + Customer support + Mutual funds &

ETFsAmong largest selections of commission-free ETFs$4.95

Excellent information about the best brokers for beginning investors. Thank you.

Based on1,642 ratingsfrom actual NerdWallet users via ShopperApproved

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