Blog : Complete Discount Broker Rankings and Review

by Peter Leeds on May 15th, 2014

The Peter Leeds team reviewed every discount broker.  After eliminating what we felt to be the worst ones, we were left with 22.

We phoned each of the brokers, e-mailed them, reviewed their policies and commission rates, compared their response times, and more...  You will not find a more comprehensive report on the discount brokers anywhere.

Depending on what you are looking for in a broker, this report will help you find the discount broker which is best for your needs.  
**  No fees or compensation was paid by any of the brokers, nor would it have been accepted.  Learn More >>>
The reviewed discount brokers:
 charles scwab  eoptionETradefidelity firstradeinteractive brokerslightspeed tradinglivevollowtradesmerrill edgeoptions houseoptionsxpressscottradeshare buildersogotradespeed trader td ameritradetrade king trading blocktrading directt rowe pricezions direct

While the commission rates of various brokers can vary significantly, we found the average cost per trade was about $7.25.

For many brokers, the fees are also dependent on the price of the shares being traded, the type of underlying security, the frequency of trades made, the size of an investor's portfolio, etc...
Some of The Most Expensive:
 td ameritrade ETradetrading direct
Some of the Least Expensive:
 eoption trade king

Extra Fees to Trade Penny Stocks:

Be warned that many brokers will hit you with extras charges or a higher commission rate to trade penny stocks.  
While 26% of them do not treat penny stocks any differently than other shares, 74% of them do.  

sogotrademerrill edgetrading directinteractive brokerst rowe price

Money Required to Open an Account:

The amount initially required to open an account varied from zero to $35,000.  If you are living in an alley behind a dumpster, you'll probably be leaning towards the cheaper initial amounts.  If you are a billionaire, I'm sure just about any of these initial account requirements would be fine.
No Minimum Requirement:
options house share builder td ameritradesogotrade
The Greatest Amount Needed to Open an Account:
livevol interactive brokerslightspeed tradingtrading block

On the Phone:

We ranked all the discount brokers on two on-phone categories:  professionalism and helpfulness.  By combining these criteria, we were able to ascertain which of the brokers stood out, and which were obviously in the wrong business.
The Best:
optionsxpress lowtrades td ameritrade
Not So Great:
lightspeed trading trading directscottrade

E-Mail Wait Times:

How long does it take to reply to an e-mail?  For some of these discount brokers, we had to give up after 7 days!
The fastest (Less than 2 minutes):
speed trader sogotrade
One Week and Still No Response:
 charles scwab optionsxpresst rowe price

E-Mail Helpfulness and Professionalism:
Some of the brokers were excellent in their e-mail responses.  However, many were not good at all, while even more never bothered to reply.
The Best:
scottrade  td ameritradetrade king
The Worst:
t rowe price livevoltrading block

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