Best Online Brokers for Stocks in 2020

The current economic situation is a scary and uncertain time for many people. If you are one of the luckier people who have a source of income and are able to save and invest at this time, you might benefit from investing in the stock market.

There are many different options that an individual can go with if they’re new to investing, to the point where it may get overwhelming. But remember, too many options is a good thing. Intense competition in online brokerage has driven stock trading commissions lower, even down to 0 in some situations, and better user experiences for the customer — that’s you!

Keep reading as we go over some options for beginners to start investing in the stock market.


Robinhood saw a flood of new sign-ups during the coronavirus stock market volatility, simply because it’s so easy to use and understand for a beginner. The app makes it easy to track and trade on the go.

Best For: Buying fractional shares, ease of use

Minimum Account Balance: $0

Trading Fees: $0 on Stocks, ETFs, and Options. Trading on margin requires a Robinhood Gold subscription at $5 per month

Current Promotion: Up to $500 in free stocks for referrals

Charles Schwab Brokerage

Charles Schwab is beginner-friendly and offers low risk through the $0 account minimum. For advanced active traders, there are $0 commissions for stocks and options. Schwab also offers market research for investors who want to make data-driven decisions on its sophisticated trading platform.

Beginner investors will appreciate the company’s $0 account minimum, while the $0 commission for stocks, options, and exchange-traded funds will appeal to active traders. Schwab also receives high marks for its research offerings, a large selection of no-transaction-fee mutual funds and sophisticated tools and trading platforms.

Best For: Extensive research and large fund selection

Minimum Account Balance: $0

Trading Fees: $0 on Stocks, ETFs, and Options

Current Promotion: $100 bonus for a new account over $1000


E*TRADE is one of the first and most popular online brokerages. There is a wealth of information available to investors that choose to go with E*TRADE, along with educational resources, tools, and multiple platforms.

In February 2020, Morgan Stanley announced a $13 billion deal to purchase E*TRADE by the end of this year.

Best For: Frequent traders

Minimum Account Balance: No minimum initial deposit is required to open this account. However, the account must be funded within 30 days to remain open.

Trading Fees: $0 on Stocks, ETFs, and Options

Current Promotion: Up to $2,500 in bonus cash

Robo-advisors, yes or no?

The term robo-advisors doesn’t sound like it would be very beginner-friendly, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, robo-advisors actually make investing cheaper, easier, and faster. An account with a robo-advisors takes only a few minutes to set up: you will be asked questions about your current situation and goals (to help the robo-advisor pick a risk level for you based on an algorithm) and fund the account. And…that’s it! As long as you make regular contributions and make saving a priority, you will be on your way to becoming a successful investor. Robo-advisors like Wealthfront will even automatically transfer money from your checking or savings account on any schedule you pick so that you don’t have to worry about a thing. Other robo-advisors like Betterment will allow you to invest within an IRA or 401(k).

Best For: Easy, automated investing with low management fees

Minimum Account Balance: $500 for Wealthfront

Trading Fees: $0

Current Promotions: $5,000 managed for free with referrals

This list should get you started on your investing journey. If you are looking for more details, check out all of our recommended resources on brokerage investing!

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Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links where I may receive a small commission at no cost to you if you choose to purchase a plan from a link on this page. However, these are merely the tools I personally have used myself and fully recommend when it comes to investing in your professional development.

Helping aspiring and first-time leaders unleash their full potential. CEO of Career Meets World.

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