Online Brokers: Ratings of Sources
Total of 13 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
Best and Worst Brokers of 2012
by J. Alex Tarquinio
Our AssessmentThis is the most detailed review we found, and the thorough research methods lend it a high degree of credibility. The review names the best and worst online broker in each of six categories, and it includes a chart that ranks the 10 brokers included in the survey and shows category ratings for each. The top five are, in order, Fidelity, Scottrade, TD Ameritrade, E*Trade and Charles Schwab. Commissions and fees reported here are for an investor who has at least $50,000 in a brokerage account and trades up to five times per month.
Cut the Cord
by Theresa W. Carey
Our AssessmentThe annual Barron's ranking of online brokers is a much-relied-upon source of information for investors of all types. For the 2012 rankings, Barron's rates the top 27 online brokers and summarizes the results in a table. This year, according to reviewer Theresa W. Carey, Barron's editors added a new rating category: mobile. She explains that most traders now use iPads or other mobile devices as well as, or instead of, PCs.
2012 Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study
by Editors of J.D. Power and Associates
Our AssessmentMore than 3,700 investors who make all of their investment decisions without an investment adviser responded to J.D. Power and Associates annual self-directed investor satisfaction survey in the spring of 2012. They rate firms' performance in six areas: interaction, account information, trading charges and fees, account offerings, information resources and problem resolution. Charles Schwab comes in first, but Vanguard, Scottrade and TD Ameritrade follow close behind and earn similar 5 PowerCircle ratings.
Where To Put Your Money
by Editors of Consumer Reports
Our AssessmentConsumerReports.org ranks nine discount and four full-service brokerage firms based on a 2011 survey of over 7,300 ConsumerReports.org subscribers who evaluated their dealings with the brokerages. Respondents rated brokers on customer service, website usability, financial advice and phone service.
The Best of the Online Brokers for 2011
by Elizabeth Ody
Our AssessmentKiplinger.com assesses 14 online brokerages based on outside research as well as staffers' personal experience in opening and using accounts at those houses surveyed. For 2011, Fidelity and TD Ameritrade tie for first place overall. There is no chart showing the overall rankings; rather, you scroll through a series of slides arranged in descending order (best to worst overall), with each slide showing a particular broker's ratings in certain areas.
2011 Readers' Choice Awards
by Editors of Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities
Our AssessmentSubscribers to this magazine are frequent traders who want electronic access to the best real-time data, technical analysis tools and trade execution tools. The Readers' Choice Awards are presented based on subscribers' votes for the best online brokers and trading services. For the third year in a row, Interactive Brokers is voted best stock brokerage, best futures brokerage and best forex (foreign currency trading) brokerage. TradeStation is first runner-up in all of those categories.
2012 Best Online Trading Service Comparisons and Reviews
by Editors of TopTenReviews.com
Our AssessmentTopTenReviews.com offers detailed reviews of 18 brokers, and it summarizes both ratings and data about the firms in a comparison chart. Ratings are based on other reviews as well as hands-on research. The comparison chart is thorough, but the information is a little old, and the 2012 rankings are almost identical to the 2011 rankings.
Online Broker Review 2012
by Blain Reinkensmeyer
Our AssessmentStockbrokers.com reviews 24 online brokers and rates each on seven factors, including commissions and fees, ease of use, customer service and investment offerings. The editors explain that the ratings are based on hands-on research. A section of the report focuses on each of the areas brokers are rated on; a comparison chart at the ends summarizes the ratings and ranks the brokers. Blain Reinkensmeyer owns this site as well as StockTradingToGo.com (discussed below), so there's some overlap in content; the comparison chart, for example, appears on both sites.
Better Trades Broker Reviews
by Robert Stammers
Our AssessmentFinancial Analyst Robert Stammers offers fairly short reviews of 12 online brokers. He does not rate or rank them, but he does suggest at the end of each review what type of investor would likely find that particular broker most useful. This site has not been updated recently; though a few reviews are from early 2010, many date back to 2008.
5 Top Online Stock Brokers
by Blain Reinkensmeyer
Our AssessmentBlain Reinkensmeyer lists the top five online brokers, looking at fees and other factors to assess their overall value to the investor. He refers to the ratings on his other site, Stockbrokers.com, to explain his picks, though the rankings are not identical. Reinkensmeyer also provides information on how to pick the best broker for your particular needs.
The Best Online Discount Brokers (Updated!)
Our AssessmentThis website is maintained by an anonymous "30-something year old" who is a self-taught in the areas of finance and financial management. In this article, originally written in 2008 but updated earlier this year, he reports the results of his request for readers to list their favorite online discount brokers. It is unclear how many readers responded or what number of votes each broker received. Very short write-ups provide a few details about the online brokers with the most votes. A number of readers' comments follow the article; the last is from November 2010.
Business Transaction Index for Brokerage Web Sites
by Editors of Keynote Systems Inc.
Our AssessmentKeynote Systems Inc., ranks online brokers weekly, based on response time for placing a stock order and the success rate of order completion. An archive lists results as far back as 2006. Fidelity and Charles Schwab most often lead in one or both categories. There is more variation in the success rate category, where TD Ameritrade, Merrill Edge, Trade, ThinkorSwim, ShareBuilder and others occasionally occupy the top spot.
by Contributors to Epinions.com
Our AssessmentEpinions.com allows site visitors to rate brokers. The only problem is that many reviews date back to 2000, and very few are more recent than 2008. Most brokers have few reviews; among nationally known brokers with 100 or more reviews, Fidelity, Charles Schwab, ShareBuilder and TD Ameritrade get the highest ratings. All brokers are subject to some complaints.