I don’t know if I have admitted this in the past, but investing is not exactly my forte. Don’t get me wrong, it is something I am definitely interested in but I just don’t have the liquid cash at this point to start “playing” the market. With debt to pay off and retirements to fund I just don’t have the money to start. I have always been curious about the world of day traders and stock brokers but I haven’t had the time or the money to get in the game. One of the things that drove my recent curiosity was reading “An American Hedge Fund.” Since then I have been wondering about online brokerage firms and trading. In doing my research I have come across several sites which allow you to, or assist you with, investing here are several of those that I have happened upon or heard of elsewhere. Which one is your favorite? Have you looked into some of the newer players like Trade Monster?
You get 10 free stock trades every month when you maintain a $25,000 balance or execute 25 trades each month. Otherwise, it’s just $4.50 per trade. There’s no catch! Plus, your money is safe with Zecco. Their fully licensed brokerage is a member of SIPC, covered by Lloyds of London insurance and secured through Verisign. Options are $4.50/trade + .50/contract.
For over 25 years, Scottrade has been a leader in the stock brokerage industry, offering premium service and deeply discounted commissions to investors. They offer trades for $7 with no account inactivity fees, and no maintance fees. You can trade options for the $7 fee plus $1.25 per contract for market limit orders. Requires at least $500 to open an account.
At TradeKing, you pay just $4.95 a trade plus 65 cents per option contract. Using TradeKing you gain access to their suite of tools, including MarketGrader Research Reports, Maxit Tax Manager, Probability Calculator, Stock and Options Screeners, and more. If nothing else they have a great learning center to help you get a better understanding of trading.
OptionsHouse.com is a new online broker with a professional-grade trading platform and flat-rate pricing for trading stocks and options. OptionsHouse is one of the largest options trading firms in the U.S. with $2.95 flat-rate stock trades, $9.95 flat-rate options trades, and $14.95 flat-rate spreads. They allow you to play with virtual money and virtually trade so you can practice investing and using their interface.
optionsXpress offers free educational resources, webinars and workshops to help you learn how to navigate the complex world of investing. The Virtual Trade tool allows you to practice trading stocks, options and futures in real-time without the risk of losing money. $14.95 per trade for first 9 trades, then $9.95.
eToro provides a visual forex software with the trading tools you need at the click of a button. The eToro Forex Platform provides online forex tutorials, trading guides, and a practice mode featuring live forex rates. You’ll also find additional assistance available in eToro’s lively online forex forum with public and private chats. eToro has a low $50 minimum opening deposit requirement that includes a free download of the eToro forex software when you open your account.
Costs $7.50 per trade. Additionally they Offer paper trades so you can practice trading without losing any money. They will also reimburse you up to $250 for any account transfer fees associated with moving to them. Trademonster provides a trading interface, the ability to perform professional grade analysis, and a help and learning center.
Morningstar is currently offering a 14 day free trial to their premium online service. While they aren’t an online brokerage they are renowned for their market research. The premium service gets you independent analyst research, Portfolio X-Ray®, investment picks, and much more. Even if you don’t want the full service you can sign up for their free account which will give you access to articles, videos, a portfolio manager, and other features.