Note: This is an archive of Investopedia’s 2019 Best Online Broker Awards, you can find the 2022 Best Online Broker here.
Our mission is to simplify complex financial information and decisions for our readers, giving them the confidence to manage every aspect of their financial life. Helping investors find the right tools and platforms to invest and trade is key to that mission. With so many options available, at the start of 2019 our team evaluated more than 70 online brokers, considering thousands of variables across trading technology, mobile capabilities, user interfaces, research tools, costs, and fees.
Once a year we hand out awards to showcase the brokers that have demonstrated excellence across 12 different categories that cover the different needs that investors and traders have.
Throughout the year we continually update the reviews and scores as brokers roll out changes to their offering. To the degree that those changes impact the overall ranking of brokers, we make those updates on the individual category pages so that you always have our up-to-date list of the best brokers. Once a year we re-evaluate both our methodology and the entire field of brokers before handing out our awards for the year.
Here are our winners in 2019.
Our list of the top overall brokers awards best-in-industry platforms that offer solutions for investors at all levels.
Best for Beginners
Winners for this category have excellent resources for those new to trading and investing. Their services include top-notch education and step-by-step guides.
Best Discount Brokers
With the growth of free trades, we expect 2019 will see a continued expansion of low-cost offerings. These are the best brokers for low costs.
Best Stock Trading Apps
Each year, mobile stock trading apps come closer to parity with desktop offerings. In this category, we rank brokers that are best for traders who are mobile first.
Best for ETFs
ETFs have surged in popularity over the past decade. Winners in this category have broad ETF offerings, research, and portfolio tracking abilities.
Best for Options Trading
Those looking to trade options generally need to make use of a variety of tools and charts to measure volatility and potential profitability. These brokers have the best tools for options traders.
Best for Penny Stocks
The highly speculative world of penny stocks requires platforms with fast order execution, excellent charting tools, and ultra-competitive pricing. These brokers offer all three.
Best for Roth IRAs
Roth IRAs are widely used investment vehicles for retirement savings. These brokers have the best resources for building, managing and maintaining your Roth IRA assets.
Best for IRAs
Like Roth IRAs, IRAs are a common way to save for retirement. The following brokers offer the best resources for IRA investors, including research, portfolio analysis, and educational content.
Best for Day Trading
If you are day trading, you need low costs, quality trade executions and real-time streaming data. These brokers have all those attributes and more to make them the best for day traders.
Best for International Trading
This group of brokers provides customers the best access to international equities, derivatives and fixed income products.
Best for Forex Trading
These forex brokers offer low fees (including spreads and commissions), clean trading platforms, forex education, and currencies research.
Best Online Trading Platforms
These brokers have built the best web-based trading experiences that rival the functionality of professional trading platforms.
Why We Do It
Finding the right online broker that integrates your financial goals is more challenging than ever given the abundance of products available today. The explosion of new fintech companies and growth in the variety of simplified investments like ETFs and index funds can create a dizzying array of choices for the individual investor.
To make it easy we user-tested over 70 online brokers to identify which brokers offer the best solutions for investors in 2019. What we’ve created is a comprehensive set of reviews and rankings that will allow any investor to find the right broker for them.
To find out more about how we picked our top brokers, see our methodology.