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Best places to buy stocks: Beginners Guide on Stock Investment

Best places to buy stocks

Are you thinking of adding stocks to your investment portfolio? Well, an excellent place to start is choosing a suitable broker. When searching for a qualified broker, you want to look out for a broker that offers lower fees, supports plenty of markets and, above all, allows investors to buy fractional shares. 

In today’s guide on where to buy stocks in 2022, we have compiled a list of the best brokers you can currently do business with. Read on as we give you a detailed review of each broker. 

To make things a little easier for you, here is a quick overview of where you can easily buy stocks from the comfort of your home. 

  • Etoro.com: Is the best and most famous broker to buy stocks from in 2020
  • Webull: This broker is popular for allowing investors to buy fractional shares
  • Interactive brokers: This broker is known to offer investors access to thousands of stocks
  • Schwab: This broker charges $0 commissions on ETFs, US-based stocks and Options
  • SoFi: Known to be user-friendly and charges 0% commission on US stocks
  • Fidelity: Allows investors to buy US stocks for $1 per trade
  • Ally Invest: Impressive mobile app for buying stocks
  • E*TRADE: A secure and good broker, especially for long-term stock investment 
  • TD Ameritrade: This broker is the best platform for seasoned brokers
  • Robinhood: Best online stock broker for newbies.

Buying stocks: How to select a stock broker

When shopping for a great place to buy stocks in the US, most people look out for a platform that offers super low fees and the ability to purchase fractional shares. What this simply means is a broker that allows you to invest a few dollars in some of the leading shares listed on their platform. That said, you also need to factor in other important metrics like access to top-rated customer service and support for international shares. 

Considering these factors, we have compiled a list of the ten best online stock brokers for 2022. 

eToro

After reviewing over 50 online brokers, we found eToro to be the overall best place to buy stocks in the US. We love eToro because it is SEC-regulated and FINRA-registered. Thanks to this, investors have access to thousands of leading stocks from various exchanges and markets. 

Top Recommended Platforms

MIN. DEPOSIT

$50

EXCL. OFFER

USER RATING

9.8

4.9/5

78% of retail investor accounts lose money trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

MIN. DEPOSIT

$100

EXCL. OFFER

USER RATING

9.7

4.8/5

Trading forex or CFDs on margin involves a high degree of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. There is a possibility that you may suffer a loss equal to or greater than your entire investment.

MIN. DEPOSIT

$250

EXCL. OFFER

USER RATING

9.6

4.5/5

CFDs are complex instruments and involve a high risk of losing money quickly because of the leverage effect. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Besides providing investors with an opportunity to invest in stocks listed on NASDAQ and NYSE, eToro also makes it possible to invest in international companies based in the Middle East, Europe, UK, Asia and more. The icing on the cake is that regardless of whether you’re investing in US-based stocks or companies overseas, eToro doesn’t charge a single penny in trading commission. 

With an exciting array of impressive portfolios, eToro makes it super easy to invest in dividend-paying stocks, cannabis stocks, blockchain stocks, metaverse stocks and more. And all this is done with just a click of a button. 

Another thing we love about eToro is their competitive spreads. Additionally, the platform supports fractional share investment from as low as $10. With this option, you can invest in top companies like Rivian, Google, Facebook, Tesla and more. And yes, you don’t have to risk thousands of dollars to do this. Also, this option makes it easier for investors to diversify, especially those on a budget. 

Where eToro stands out for us is the fact that they offer copy trading services. Thanks to their copy trading service, investors can choose from a pool of seasoned stock traders and mirror their positions. Let’s assume, for instance, you invested $2000, and your preferred trader only risks 10% of his capital on IBM stocks, which means that $200 worth of shares of IBM will be added to your portfolio. 

Another brilliant feature available on this platform is smart portfolios, which are professionally managed. This remarkable feature makes it possible for investors to passively invest in specific sectors and markets. By particular sectors, we mean tech or renewable energy. 

When signing up for an account on eToro, setting up an active account takes less than 5 minutes. And, yes, you can fund with as little as $10 to get started. With this option, you can add the best penny stocks or the best cheap stocks to your investment portfolio without breaking the bank. 

Let us also quickly add that the company doesn’t charge transaction fees when funding your eToro account in USD. This is also true for all supported deposit methods. With eToro, you can buy stocks using credit cards, e-wallets, debit cards, bank wire and ACH. 

And to make your investment journey a seamless one, we encourage you to download the eToro mobile app, which is available for Android and iOS devices. 

Pros of eToro

  • The best place to buy stocks online
  • The platform supports thousands of US and international stocks
  • Charges investors 0% commission on all stocks
  • Offers copy trading and smart portfolio services
  • Charges no fee on USD deposit
  • It is regulated by SEC
  • Has one of the most intuitive and responsive mobile app
  • eToro makes it possible to invest in NFTs with low fees
  • You can invest as little as $10 in leading stocks

Cons of eToro

  • eToro isn’t a great platform for high-volume trading

Webull

When looking for a reliable stockbroker you can do business with, Webull wouldn’t be such a bad option as the platform is rated among the best places to buy US-based and international stocks. Both newbies and experienced traders love this platform as it provides access to investment tools that cater for all skillset. 

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Newbies looking to invest in stocks will love the simple client interface that Webull offers. More importantly, the platform provides seamless access to trading tutorials and educational guides. On the flip side, experienced stock traders love Webull for the advanced charting features and technical indicators they offer. 

Regardless of your trading experience, Webull makes it possible for all investors to buy US-listed stocks with 0% commission. The best part is that Webull doesn’t have a minimum deposit requirement to meet before you can start investing on the platform. As a matter of fact, you can buy stocks for as low as $5 on this platform. We also love that Webull has a 0% commission for stock options like ETFs and cryptocurrencies. 

Suppose part of your long-term retirement plan includes investing in stocks. In that case, Webull is a reliable platform you can do business with, mainly because the broker offers access to a variety of low-cost IRAs. And yes, if you love trading on your smartphone, you’ll be happy to learn that Webull has a dedicated mobile app for Android and iOS devices. 

Pros of Webull

  • With Webull, there are no minimum deposits.
  • You can invest as low as $5 in your favourite stocks.

Cons of Webull

  • International stocks are only offered via ADRs
  • It does not currently support copy trading
  • The platform doesn’t support debit/credit cards or e-wallet 

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers kicked off operations in 1978. Today, it ranks among the largest trading platforms globally in terms of trading volume and clients’ accounts. With Interactive Brokers, investors have access to thousands of US and overseas stocks. 

Also, the platform doesn’t charge investors trading commissions for buying US stocks. On the flip side, you’d have to pay commission for overseas stock. Simply put, Interactive Brokers charge a premium for overseas stocks and the specific fee you’ll pay depends on the exchange. Besides stocks, the platform also caters to investors looking to invest in currencies, futures, bonds, options, mutual funds and more. 

For investors with experience trading stocks, you’ll be happy to learn that this broker offers access to an advanced trading platform packed with all the sophisticated features needed to give you an edge. These features include technical indicators, customisable workstations and powerful tools for high-frequency trading. And yes, newbies will find the standard client portal more than sufficient. 

Another thing we love about Interactive Brokers is that they allow investors to start with any amount, especially when they opt for a standard self-directed portfolio. And yes, Interactive Brokers doesn’t charge investors deposit fees. 

With Interactive Brokers, you have access to high-level research tools. For instance, with IBKR GlobalTrader, investors can screen suitable assets based on an interesting variety of metrics such as P/E rations. 

Pros of Interactive Brokers

  • This broker offers investors access to an advanced trading platform
  • The platform currently supports thousands of US and overseas stocks

Cons of Interactive Brokers

  • The platform charges a premium for buying international stocks
  • The platform isn’t generally suited for beginners
  • If you opt for specialist accounts, you’ll have to meet the high minimum deposit requirements set by the platform.

Schwab

Schwab is among the few us-based stock brokers offering 0% commission on US-listed stocks. Not just stocks, they also extend this to ETFs and other assets. What we love most about this platform is that they offer some of the lowest fees we have come across so far. 

Despite offering seamless access to plenty of international exchanges, keep in mind that additional fees apply. Another thing you’ll love about Schwab is its thematic stock list. For those who are new to this, it would interest you to know that Schwab’s thematic stock lists include a pre-made basket of stocks across 40 different niche markets, including blockchain, water sustainability, social networking and cyber security. 

Investors who choose to invest in Schwab’s thematic portfolio don’t have to worry about additional fees. As if that’s not enough, Schwab also has another remarkable feature called the Schwab Slices tool. Thanks to this brilliant feature, investors can buy fractional shares for as low as $5 in companies listed on the S&P. What this simply means is that with a capital of just $200, you can invest in 40 different stocks. How cool can that be?

Investors looking for an online stock broker that offers seamless access to high-level research and analysis tools will love Schwab. From getting daily market updates to access to quality podcasts on investment guides and more, Schwab has you covered. The icing on the cake is that the platform also offers investors tailor-made financial advice. Unfortunately, this comes at a premium and depends on the package you opt for.

Pros of Schwab

  • Thanks to supporting fractional share investments, investors can now invest as little as $5 in some of their favourite stocks.
  • If you’re interested in a broker that supports automated portfolios, you’ll love Schwab. 

Cons of Schwab

  • Unfortunately, fractional shares are only available on S&P companies
  • The platform isn’t quite suitable for newbies
  • You’ll incur higher fees for non-US-based stocks. 

Fidelity

Fidelity is the choice broker for investors on a budget, especially because they have a Slice tool feature which allows fractional share purchases from as low as $1. And yes, this also goes for all stocks listed on NASDAQ and NYSE. That said, if you’re looking to put some money in international stocks, keep in mind that you’ll incur additional fees. 

The cool thing with this broker is that they grant investors access to thousands of financial instruments besides stocks and shares. These financial instruments include the likes of ETFs, index funds, managed portfolios and fix rates bonds. 

And in terms of account types, there are quite a few options available to investors. 

 

Besides offering self-directed plans, Fidelity also offers retirement accounts across different IRAs. As an investor looking for a platform that provides real-time financial news and guidance, you’ll love Fidelity. From well-researched articles to investing ideas and insights published throughout the day. 

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What many investors love about Fidelity is that they allow investors set up price alerts and grant access to upcoming IPOs. 

Pros of Fidelity

  • Thanks to supporting fractional shares, investors can buy shares for as low as $1.
  • The platform supports thousands of financial instruments. 

 

Cons of Fidelity

  • Fidelity’s mobile app isn’t very intuitive for beginners
  • The high-level research tools available on the platform are best for professional traders
  • With financial planning accounts, investments incur high minimums. 

 

SoFi

SoFi is popular for having one of the most user-friendly platforms. This makes them the perfect destination for newbies looking to invest in stocks. What we love most about SoFi is that they make registration seamless, with users able to sign up for an account within minutes. Plus, there are no minimum deposit requirements to worry about. The cool part is that SoFi lets investors buy US-listed stocks for as low as $5. So for budget-conscious traders, SoFi is the perfect place to start investing in stocks. 

What excites us the most about this platform is that investors can buy stocks directly on the platform on a commission-free basis. Unfortunately, SoFi doesn’t allow investors to buy foreign stocks. This is a dealbreaker for investors looking to diversify their portfolios with international stocks. In addition to supporting US-listed stocks, the platform also supports other financial instruments like ETFs, cryptocurrencies and IPOs. 

With SoFI, investors can open an automated investing account. What we like about this option is that it is backed by AI. What this tool does is allow you to specify your long-term financial goal and risk tolerance. Once that’s in place, the AI software is activated to build a suitable portfolio for you. Another cool thing about SoFi is that it offers traditional Roth and SEP IRAs. 

 

Pros of SoFi

  • The platform is incredibly user-friendly. This makes it ideal for beginners
  • With SoFi, users enjoy 0% commission on US stocks. 

Cons of SoFi

  • The platform doesn’t currently support international stocks
  • SoFi is pretty basic for seasoned investors
  • IPO allocation is quite limited. 

Ally Invest

If you’re looking for a platform that lets you buy shares using your smartphone, you’ll love Ally Invest, especially because they have a sleek, and intuitive app that makes it easy for investors to buy stocks. And yes, their app is available both on Android and iOS. With Ally Invest, you can register a brokerage account within a few minutes. 

Besides not requiring users to make a minimum deposit, Ally Invest also doesn’t charge trading fees. Once your account is ready and fully approved, you can start investing in thousands of US-listed stocks on commission-free basis. Unfortunately, unlike other online stock brokers we have reviewed so far, Ally Invest doesn’t currently support fractional shares. 

Another thing we don’t like about Ally Invest is that investors cannot invest in shares listed on foreign exchange. Plus, they don’t currently support investing in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Dogecoin

While the platform current support mutual funds and bonds, these investment options are not offered on a commission-free basis. Plus, they offer margin trading facilities which require that investors have a minimum balance of $2,000.

Pros of Ally Invest

  • Ally Invest is user-friendly and ideal for beginners
  • The platform currently offers a 0% commission on US-listed stocks. 

Cons of Ally Invest

  • Limited IPO allocation
  • The platform isn’t so sophisticated for professional investors
  • It doesn’t currently support international stocks. 

 

E*TRADE

Long-term investors looking for an online broker that lets them build a robust portfolio for their retirement will love E*TRADE. What is so unique about this popular online broker is that they provide seamless access to Rollover, Roth and Traditional IRAs. if you’re not particularly sure about the IRA you should opt for E*TRADE will provide you with tons of guidance. 

Besides offering investors retirement accounts, the platform also supports self-directed plans and core portfolios. What we like about the core portfolio option is that it allows investors to invest in a 100% passive manner. However, investors have to specify their financial goals when choosing this plan. Also, keep in mind that the core portfolio plan offered by E*TRADE requires a minimum deposit of $500 and attracts an annual fee of 0.30%. 

The exciting thing about the self-directed plans offered by this platform is that you don’t have to worry about minimum deposits and annual fees. 

As per trading fees, E*TRADE doesn’t currently charge commissions on US-listed stocks. Unfortunately, the platform doesn’t currently support fractional shares, whether for ETFs or US-listed stocks. Setting up an E*TRADE account takes only a couple of minutes. And you can fund your account using ACH or bank wire. 

Pros of E*TRADE

  • Offers a brilliant selection of retirement accounts. 
  • No minimum deposit is required. Plus, setting up an account takes only a few minutes. 

Cons of E*TRADE

  • This online broker doesn’t currently support fractional shares
  • There are limited options in terms of supported instruments.
  • For pre-built portfolios, investors are required to make a minimum deposit of $500. 

TD Ameritrade

For professional investors searching for high-level stock trading tools, you’ll love everything that TD Ameritrade offers. And just so you know, the popular Thinkorswim platform is a subsidiary of TD Ameritrade. The platform offers all the tools required to trade stocks in a professional setting. 

From customizable chart screens to technical indicators to market scanning tools and more, TD Ameritrade provides you with everything you’ll need to test-drive your trading strategies. Another interesting thing about the Thinkorswim platform is that it is accessible online or via downloadable desktop software. Additionally, TD Ameritrade has a dedicated mobile app for Android and iOS. 

In terms of pricing, TD Ameritrade is another remarkable platform that offers commission-free trades for US-listed stocks, options and ETFs. Besides stocks, TD Ameritrade also supports other instruments like forex, mutual funds, cryptocurrency and margin facilities. 

Another remarkable thing about TD Ameritrade is that they offer in-person assistance and financial guidance in over 175 branches. 

 

Pros of TD Ameritrade

  • The platform provides access to a highly sophisticated Thinkorswim trading suite
  • The platform is a top destination for seasoned traders

Cons of TD Ameritrade 

  • TD Ameritrade doesn’t currently support fractional shares
  • The platform offers commission-free access to only US-listed stocks
  • The platform is too complicated for beginners. 
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Robinhood 

Are you a complete novice looking to start buying shares online? Well, you might want to check out Robinhood. This platform has been dubbed the best stock broker for beginners by professionals. Thanks to its intuitive online and mobile platform, Robinhood makes it easy for investors to sign up for an account. The icing on the cake is that Robinhood allows traders to buy stocks for as low as $1. 

Another interesting thing about the Robinhood platform is that you don’t need to meet a minimum deposit requirement. And yes, all US-listed stocks on Robinhood are offered commission-free. Whether you’re trading ETFs, cryptocurrencies, options or other financial instruments, rest assured that you won’t pay commissions. As per deposits, Robinhood currently supports ACH, checks and domestic bank wires. 

If you opt for a standard account on Robinhood, keep in mind that only the first $1000 will be processed instantly. For higher instant deposits, we suggest you opt for Robinhood’s gold account option. This account type will cost you an extra $5 per month and will grant you additional access to margin trading tools. And just to add, Robinhood doesn’t currently offer access to international exchanges. 

Pros of Robinhood

  • Robinhood is a brilliant option for first-time traders looking to invest in stocks. 
  • The platform doesn’t charge commission for US-listed stocks, ETFs or cryptocurrencies. 

Cons of Robinhood

  • Investors can only trade international shares via ADRs
  • The platform is missing passive investment tools
  • Standard accounts can only process deposits up to $1,000

 

Things you should consider when buying stocks

Before you even start buying stocks, there are some things you’ll need to consider before opening a brokerage account. Knowing these factors will ensure you opt for the best broker that is committed to seeing you succeed. Here, check out some of the most important considerations to make: 

Regulation

When choosing where to buy stocks, especially in the US, Regulation is an important metric you don’t want to joke with. Thankfully, all ten brokers we have reviewed so far are registered with FINRA and regulated by the SEC. To this end, you’re sure you are investing in a secure and safe environment when you opt for any of these brokers. 

Supported stocks

All ten brokers listed in our guide grant users access to thousands of US-listed stocks. Notwithstanding, only brokers like Fidelity, eToro and Interactive Brokers allow investors to invest in overseas stocks. 

For us, eToro stands out, especially because the platform offers 0% commission access to international stocks. Plus, the platform grants you access to the best oil stocks on the market. This is pretty useful, especially when you consider that most investors focus their attention on the current cost of living crisis and the increase in fossil fuel prices. 

Minimum deposit

While some brokers we have reviewed so far require a high minimum deposit, others let you start your investment journey with just a few dollars. With this option, you don’t need to break the bank before you can start investing in stocks online. 

Fractional shares

Many of the online brokers featured in today’s guide let you buy fractional shares. What this simply means is that you don’t need to have over $3000 to invest in Amazon shares. With platforms like eToro, you can invest as little as $10 in Amazon stock. Also, using a platform like eToro will let you buy portions of the stocks from companies like Tesla and GameStop. 

Fees

All brokers highlighted in today’s guide allow you to buy US-listed stocks at 0% commission. To this end, the only fee you need to worry about is the spread. For those new to this, it will interest you to know that the spread is simply the difference between the bid and ask price of a stock. 

Another thing you want to consider is the non-trading fees that come with deposits and withdrawals, especially for margin trading, specialist accounts and non-US assets. 

Trading tools

Professional investors will likely opt for a stock broker that provides access to sophisticated trading tools like screens, technical indicators, customizable charts and high-frequency orders. 

On the flip side, newbies and time-starved investors will love passive trading tools. A platform like eToro offers smart portfolios and copy trading tools. With Fidelity, you get managed investment accounts. 

Demo accounts

This is a brilliant tool for newbies and seasoned traders. So when looking at a broker, you want to make sure they provide these options. With a broker that supports demo trading, you can gauge your trading strategies in a risk-free environment. Just to add, a platform like eToro has the best demo trading feature on the market. 

Mobile app

All the brokers reviewed in today’s post allow investors to buy stocks via their dedicated mobile app, available for both Android and iOS devices. These apps are designed in such a way that they connect to your main account. Thanks to this, you can trade your favourite stocks directly from your smartphone. 

But before you start using these apps, test to confirm that they are correctly optimized and user-friendly. 

Payment methods

Many of the online stock brokers featured in today’s guide allow investors to make deposits via bank wire, checks and ACH. And with brokers like eToro, you can make deposits using Paypal, a credit or a debit card. 

Customer service

Before you decide which platform to use, make sure you consider their customer service. The best online stock brokers offer both live chat and telephone support. Brokers like TD Ameritrade have taken things up a notch by offering support via one of their physical branches.

Conclusion

Today’s guide has featured everything you need to know before investing in the stock market. We have also taken some time to cover some of the best places you can invest in stocks right now, including the type of stocks they offer and the fees they charge. 

If you’re ready to give stocks a try, we suggest you open an account in one of the brokers featured in today’s post. It will only take a few minutes to get that done. Some of the brokers listed in today’s post currently support thousands of US-listed stocks as well as international stocks. And guess what, they charge 0% commission too. 

 

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