Do you know the Top 5 Best Free Trading Platforms for 2023? Free stock trading has grown in popularity over the previous few years. The majority of new traders desire to use free stock trading to obtain hands-on trading experience and to evaluate trading platforms. Not every trading platform is completely free. While the majority of brokers claim to offer free trading platforms, they often include various hidden fees. Only a few trading platforms live up to their claims and offer no-cost trading. Selecting the best free trading platforms from the over 3000 available online might be challenging for inexperienced traders.
5 Best Trading Platforms for 2023
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Interactive Brokers is one of the most experienced stock brokers in the world. It offers free trading on stocks, ETFs, and options via its IBKR Lite account, launched in 2019. Interactive Brokers would also facilitate investing in mutual funds and fixed-income instruments via IBKR Lite membership. The users of IBKR Lite would also get access to a pool of 26,000 funds worldwide. Interactive Brokers is the best trading platform for users who want to invest in ETFs because its mutual fund’s replicator helps to quickly identify low-cost ETFs. This stockbroker operates in 33 countries and covers 135 markets across the world.
If you don’t have experience in investing or trading, you may seek the help of automated portfolio management services offered by Interactive Brokers. The advisor team would help beginners to build a superior portfolio of assets based on their risk tolerance and monitor it for an asset-based management fee of 0.12% per annum.
Users may opt for an IBKR Pro account to do advanced trading activities. With the Pro account, users would get access to smart order routers, several tradable securities, and low-margin rates.
Interactive Broker’s margin lending rates are the lowest in the industry. Its margin interest rate for debt amount up to $25,000 is 1.59%. If the debt amount exceeds $3.5 million, the margin interest rate goes down to 0.86%.
A subsidiary of Morgan Stanley, E*Trade Financial is one of the top-rated trading platforms for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, futures contracts, and other fixed-income investments. E*Trade is not just a commission-free trading platform but a library of educational resources and trading tools. Novice traders appreciate the features such as a user-friendly trading platform, a $0 minimum deposit, $0 commissions on trading, and educational content.
E*Trade has two trading platforms which include E*Trade Web and Power E*Trade. Both these trading platforms are available for free to all customers. The customers of E*trade can do trading on mobile apps like E*Trade Mobile and Power E*Trade; both these applications are available on Android and iOS. The customer support of E*Trade financial is better than its peers. It offers email, chat, and telephonic support 24*7.
E*Trade is the perfect trading platform for active traders as it offers 100 technical charts, 30 drawing tools, real-time streaming of data, free real-time quotes, and market commentary.
E*Trade would also run several promotions just like Ally Invest. E*Trade offers a cash bonus of $50 on a minimum deposit of $10,000 to the trading account. The cash bonus can go up to $3,000 for a cash deposit higher than $1.5 million. However, this promotion applies only when users deposit the money within 60 days of account opening.
The margin lending rate on E*Trade is 8.95% on the amount up to $10,000. However, the lending rate goes down to 5.45% when the debt amount exceeds $1 million.
The U.S based discount broker, Webull offers commission-free trading of stocks, ETFs, and options to customers. This trading platform also offers fractional stocks, cryptocurrencies, and retirement account. The key features of WeBull are free real-time quotes, accessibility to multi-platform, extended hours of trading, 24×7 online customer support, and zero commission.
Webull does not charge any commission on stocks, ETFs, and options trading, whilst its competitors charge anywhere between $0.5 and $0.65 per contract on options trading. Users, however, are expected to pay the regulatory fees on every transaction. Most beginning traders want to deposit the lowest possible amount to the trading platform to learn the trading. With the $0 minimum deposit, Webull has become a favorite stock broker for beginning investors. However, the traders need to main a minimum balance of $2000 to do margin trading with Webull.
The margin lending rates vary based on the size of the margin loan. Webull charges the margin interest for only the leveraged positions overnight. The annual margin interest rate at Webull ranges from 3.99% to 6.99%.
- The annual margin interest on the debit balance higher than $3 million is 3.99%
- The annual margin interest on the debit balance up to $25,000 is 6.99%
Robinhood has revolutionized the concept of free stock trading by offering commission-free trades on instruments such as stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies. With its user-friendly web and mobile trading platforms, Robinhood facilitates trading in over 5000 individual stocks and ETFs. In addition to trading services, Robinhood also offers a cash management account that earns up to 0.30% annual percentage yield on idle cash. Robinhood gives free access to charts, expert ratings, statistical reports to its users.
As of December 2020, Robinhood charges a margin interest rate of 2.5% on the margin debt. To access the margin trading facility, users need to upgrade to Robinhood Gold account. As per the industry’s standards, the users need to maintain $2000 in the account to avail margin trading. Robinhood is a highly preferred trading platform as it offers $1.25 million in insurance from Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
A few other attractive additional features of Robinhood are:
- Fractional trading
- Dividend reinvestment through Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIPs)
- A wide range of educational content
- One free promo stock worth between $3 and $225
The customer support of Robinhood is not user-friendly when compared to other trading platforms. However, all simple doubts related to account opening, commissions, and costs have been clarified on Robinhood’s website.
TD Ameritrade is a low-cost trading platform suitable for both beginners and experienced traders. It offers a $0 minimum deposit and facilitates trading in stocks, ETFs, and options. An investor can also get access to over 700 mutual funds with the lowest possible expense ratio of 0.5% on Ameritrade’s trading platform.
Ameritrade also offers several free research tools and high-quality education on stock trading. The customer service of Ameritrade is top-notch because the service executives are always available across all the 300 branches for online, telephonic, and in-person support. It has two trading platforms which include Ameritrade Web and Thinkorswim.
Most novice investors like TD Ameritrade because of its virtual trading simulator. This simulator provides $100,000 practice money along with access to the margin account. Inexperienced traders can utilize this opportunity to gain trading experience and test the platform before committing real money.
The margin lending rates of TD Ameritrade are a bit higher when compared to its peers. Ameritrade’s margin interest rate for the debt amount up to $10,000 is 9.5%. If the debt amount exceeds $0.25 million, the margin interest rate goes down to 7.5%. Traders can speak to customer care to reduce the margin interest rate further if the debt amount exceeds $0.5 million.
The only shortcoming of Ameritrade is that it does not offer fractional investing. Fractional investing would have helped beginners become the shareholders of fundamentally strong companies trading above $1000, with a minimum investment.
Ally Invest is one of the user-friendly trading platforms that facilitate commission-free trading. This trading platform is suitable for both novice and experienced traders who want to trade on U.S based stocks, ETFs, and options. The features like automated portfolio management, a large pool of technical indicators, and accessibility to 11,200 no-transaction-fee mutual funds make Ally Invest the best free trading platform in 2021.
Ally Invest runs several promotions to attract new traders. For instance, it offers a cash bonus of $100 on a minimum deposit of $10,000 to the trading account. The cash bonus can go up to $3,000 for a cash deposit higher than $2 million.
The margin lending rates of Ally Invest are competitive for the investors who use large amounts of margin. Its margin lending rate is 7.75% for the amount up to $10,000. If the amount exceeds $1 million, the lending rate falls to 3.25%.
The browser-based trading platform of Ally Invest has several capabilities including real-time streaming of data and a custom dashboard. Ally Invest also has mobile trading apps which include Ally Mobile and Ally Forex. It offers 117 charting indicators, 36 drawing tools, and 21 field-watchlist to help traders enjoy a seamless trading experience. The customer service of Ally Invest is moderate. It offers 24×5 support on emails, chats, and telephone.