5 Best Online Stock Trading Platforms for Beginners

There’s no better time than the present to get into the stock market. However, investing can seem a little daunting to beginners–but investing and financial trading doesn’t have to be a scary experience. In fact, with the right tools, you may find that entering the stock market is far easier than you initially imagined.

Best Online Stock Trading Platforms for Beginners

If you’re a newcomer to the stock market, where do you even begin? With finding the right tools, of course. We’ve rounded up some of the best online stock trading platforms for beginners. We find the following to be great options for their ease of use, available tools, and educational content that newcomers will appreciate.

1. TD Ameritrade

There’s a reason TD Ameritrade has been called the “Best Broker for Beginners” and “Best Broker for Investment Education.” Those with limited knowledge of the stock market will appreciate the wealth of educational and research tools available, including up-to-date news and expert analyst opinions. Even better, those on tighter budgets can enter the market with greater ease thanks to the $0 commission fee per trade along with the $0 account minimum.

You can also make use of TD Ameritrade’s mobile app to help you trade in real time and manage your portfolio on the go.

2. Merrill Edge

When it comes to customer service, Merrill Edge pulls ahead of most competitors. After all, it’s tough to beat a platform that offers 24/7 technical support and trading assistance. If those perks alone don’t have you sold, perhaps the $0 fee per stock trade and $0 account minimum will. 

Those who are current Bank of America members may benefit the most, though. Not only does their Preferred Rewards program offer top-notch perks, but Merrill Edge integrates banking and financial trading information well across platforms, allowing Bank of America members a near-seamless experience when it comes to managing their finances.


E*TRADE is a big name in the business, and for good reason. Beginners will appreciate the straightforward nature of the base E*TRADE mobile app, along with the $0 account minimums and no stock-trading fees. Don’t just take our word for it, though; this app was rated the #1 online broker mobile app by Kiplinger. For those who want greater customization options, the Power E*TRADE mobile app is also worth exploring.

While you won’t be able to trade bonds with the mobile app, you’ll still have access to plenty of other financial assets worth trading, such as mutual funds and ETFs. Throw in the fact that the app is highly rated in terms of user friendliness and research tools available, and you’ll see why this app is trusted by beginners and long-time pros alike.

4. Robinhood

Robinhood is the app that’s been making headlines for its use by Redditors to drive up the prices of GameStop (and other companies’) stocks in response to hedge fund short selling. While the app has also received criticism for placing limits on certain stocks in response to this event, Robinhood is now easing up on those restrictions.

So, why should you choose Robinhood?

Well, there are plenty of reasons people have flocked to this app. For starters, there is a $0 account minimum, $0 commissions per trade, and new account owners can expect a one-new-stock promotion. Besides these perks, Robinhood also offers its users the ability to trade in real time with plenty of tools to manage their portfolios from the convenience of smartphones. When it comes to first-time trading on a budget, Robinhood is a great option to explore.

The largest drawbacks to this platform are the limited research tools offered and the fact that you are limited to stock trading. Again, however, for beginners looking for a straightforward trading platform, Robinhood does the job well.

5. Ally Invest

If you want to combine banking and trading, Ally may be the way to go, especially if you’re on a budget and are already a member of Ally Bank. While Ally may not offer as much as its competitors, what it does offer is fairly solid. With easy-to-understand educational and research materials, it’s easy for current Ally members to make a leap from just banking to investing. Throw in the fact that certain advisory services are available for smaller accounts, and you’ll see why many are turning to Ally Invest.

Disclaimer: this article should not be used as financial advice.

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