As we do each year, we have carried out a comprehensive review of our methodology and updated our broker reviews this year as well. The result is a new and improved ranking list of the 57 brokers we have reviewed, as well as our latest selections for the best brokers in various categories. Below, we thought we’d give you some key insights into the major current trends we see on the market and a glimpse under the hood of our updated scoring process.
Brokerchooser Awards for 2020
Definitely the biggest change and market-moving development right now is the shift toward commission-free trading in the US. Starting from October, most of the major brokers in the US have cut their equity and ETF commissions to zero in a race to attract more customers, following in the footsteps of pioneers like Robinhood, which has always offered free stock and ETF trades. In a related move, some market consolidation has also started with Charles Schwab acquiring TD Ameritrade.
The zero-commission frenzy has not yet hit the European market, however. Some reduction in fees is taking place, but only a handful of brokers have gone all-in on cutting their commissions. Competition though is expected to tighten in the coming year, with Robinhood likely to enter the EU market and putting pressure on brokers to lower their fees further, so this is the trend we are most looking forward to in 2020.
There are some other trends we are seeing on the global brokerage market as well. For one, more and more brokers are securing licenses from regulators in order to lay the groundwork for their global expansion plans. Brokers also increasingly focus on getting licenses from top-tier regulators, such as the FCA in the UK. Another trend on the technical side is an increasing number of brokers coming out with mobile-optimized, “mobile first” solutions and platforms.
On our side at Brokerchooser, we have also gone through significant changes and expansion compared to last year. Building up our resources and coverage, the number of our broker reviews has tripled over the year, as we now have 57 reviews compared to 19 a year ago, and during our annual update we collected more than 15,000 data points. This means we now have a much more global database of the market, which in turn allows us to find the best solutions for clients from all around the world. Our geographical coverage has expanded greatly, as we have many more reviews of US brokers, including most major players; plus we have added even more brokers from the UK, and now also offer reviews of Canadian and Indian providers, among others.
Brokerchooser Awards for 2020
So how is our scoring methodology different this year? In general, we have collected much wider and more in-depth data on brokers and their services, making our scoring more precise and better reflecting the differences between brokers. As an example, we considered in our fee scores many more asset types than previously (e.g. besides stock, forex and mutual funds we also score bonds, options, CFDs and the cost of margin trading), and also more products within different asset categories (e.g. we looked at five currency pairs, not just two as before). We also slightly adjusted the weights of the different scoring criteria, to better align them with the field of interest of our visitors. The end result is that our fee scores now better represent the fee structures that clients actually trade with. In improving our methodology, we took into account visitor behavior on our site, feedback from our broker partners, as well as our own know-how and experience.
But fees are only half the story. In our experience, more and more clients value safe and smooth account opening and funding, so these sections received a higher weight in our scoring. Clients are also open to trying new investment forms and services, so we gave more weight to these in our scoring as well. For example, we took a closer look at cryptocurrency selections, social trading options, available order types, and convenience features such as biometric login or the use of e-wallets, among others.
Safety remains a key concern when selecting a broker, so we made improvements to our scoring model in this area as well. Our investor protection score now better reflects what clients a broker serves and whether they are all covered by a top-tier regulator. Some other aspects we took into consideration this year include how transparent a broker’s available information is and what model they operate in (e.g. stock or CFD broker).
All of these changes are taking place along a comprehensive new design for our broker review and content pages. We believe that the new look makes it easier to find what you are looking for and take away the key messages at a glance, while also providing a better user experience.
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Brokerchooser Awards for 2020
Best for 2020
So without further ado, let’s see what our new and revised scoring methodology has brought and which brokers and services will have the privilege of wearing our “best” badges for 2020, until our next update a year from now. The envelopes, please!
For 2020, the Brokerchooser Awards go to:
|Best online broker||Interactive Brokers|
|Best discount broker||DEGIRO|
|Best broker for stock trading||DEGIRO|
|Best forex broker||Saxo Bank|
|Best discount forex broker||Fusion Markets|
|Best broker for funds||Firstrade|
|Best broker for bonds||Fidelity|
|Best CFD broker||XTB|
|Best broker for cryptos||eToro|
|Best broker for options||TD Ameritrade|
|Best broker for futures||Interactive Brokers|
|Best broker for beginners||Robinhood|
|Best broker for millennials||Revolut|
|Best broker for buy and hold||TradeStation Global|
|Best broker for day trading||Interactive Brokers|
|Best web trading platform||Saxo Bank|
|Best mobile trading platform||Oanda|
|Best app for stock trading||Robinhood|
|Best desktop trading platform||TD Ameritrade|
|Best broker for research||Saxo Bank|
|Best broker for API trading||Oanda|
|Best social trading||eToro|
|Best digital bank||Revolut|
We hope you enjoy our new look and find our updated reviews, lists and comparisons a useful tool for finding the best broker to fit your personal needs. If you have any questions or comments, or are missing the review of a broker you would really like to see, feel free to drop us a line and we will do our best to add it to our coverage.
Now is the time to act, head over right now to our broker selection tool and find the best broker for you!