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Best brokers for beginners in the United States in 2019

Jun 2019
Top 2 brokers for American beginners
Robinhood
tastyworks

To find the best online brokers for beginners in the United States, we went ahead and did the research for you. We made interviews with newbies, without any trading experience. We tested 56 brokers and 4 made it to the top. They confirmed these top 4. And now without further ado...

The best online brokers for beginners in the United States are:

  1. Robinhood is the winner. Commission-free US stock trading. Great mobile and web trading platforms. Fast and fully digital account opening.
  2. tastyworks is the runner-up. Low options trading fees. Great education materials. Very good customer service.
  3. Charles Schwab is placed number three. Outstanding research. Low fees. Great customer service.
  4. Chase You Invest is number four. Low trading fees. Fast and fully digital account opening. Strong parent company.
Best brokers for beginners in the United States
Broker Info Best in
#1 Robinhood US zero-fee discount broker Best for beginners
#2 tastyworks US options and stockbroker Best for options
#3 Charles Schwab US discount broker Best research
#4 Chase You Invest US-based discount broker

All 4 brokers are considered safe. They are regulated by top-tier financial regulators.

What makes a good broker for beginners? Two things above all: keep it simple and guide the client. The trading platform needs to be clean, and understandable. Fair fees are also important (learn more about brokerage fee here). Have great educational tools, like a demo account, provide webinars or courses. It must be easy to open an account and deposit.

Easy to list, but hard to figure it out. We are testing brokers along with ~100 criteria with real accounts and real money. We know what's up.

Not sure which broker? For a tailored recommendation, check out the broker finder tool. You can enter your country and it will show only the relevant brokers. Want more details? Compare brokers with this detailed comparison table.

And now, let's see the best online brokers for beginners in the United States one by one. Starting with the winner, Robinhood.

#1 Best broker for beginners
Robinhood

4.1 4 stars

Best for beginners

Robinhood logo

Robinhood is a US zero-fee or discount broker established in 2013. If you don't know what discount broker means, read this overview about the best discount brokers in 2018.

Robinhood is considered safe because it is supervised by FINRA, the US regulator and provides a maximum of $500,000 investor protection including a $250,000 limit for cash.

Recommended for beginners and buy and hold investors focusing on the us stock market

Pros
  • Commission-free US stock trading
  • Great mobile and web trading platforms
  • Fast and fully digital account opening
Cons
  • Available only for US and Australian clients
  • Weak customer support
  • Limited product portfolio

Visit broker

#1 Robinhood
Web trading platform 5 stars

Robinhood provides a well-designed and user-friendly web trading platform.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Clear fee report
  • Looks appealing
Cons
  • Customizability is missing
Best brokers for beginners - Robinhood trading platform
Robinhood trading platforms
Robinhood tastyworks Charles Schwab Chase You Invest
Web platform score 5 stars 4 stars 4 stars 3 stars
Mobile platform score 5 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
Desktop platform score - 4 stars 4 stars -

More Visit broker

#1 Robinhood
Fees 4 stars

US stock trading is free at Robinhood. There are no inactivity fee and withdrawal fees. On the flip side, Robinhood has really high commission for non-US stocks.
Pros
  • No withdrawal fee
  • No inactivity fee
  • Commission-free US stock trading
Cons
  • High financing rate
  • High trading fees of non-US stocks
Robinhood fees
Robinhood tastyworks Charles Schwab Chase You Invest
Apple benchmark fee $0.0 $5.2 $10.1 $6.1
Vodafone benchmark fee $100.0 - - -
EURUSD benchmark fee - - - -

All spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position sizes: $2k for stocks, and $20k for FX

More Visit broker

#1 Robinhood
Education 0 stars

Robinhood does not provide education tools or a demo account.
Pros
None
Cons
  • No demo account
  • No trading platform tutorial videos
  • No educational videos

More Visit broker

#1 Robinhood
Account opening 5 stars

Robinhood account opening is seamless and fully digital. Your account will be opened within a day. On the flip side, the account opening is only available for US and Australian clients.
Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Fully digital account opening
  • No minimum deposit
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • It is only availalbe for the US and the Australian clients
Robinhood minimum deposit and time to open an account
Robinhood tastyworks Charles Schwab Chase You Invest
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0 $0
Time to open account 1 day 1-3 days 1 day 1 day

More Visit broker

#1 Robinhood
Deposit and withdrawal 3 stars

Robinhood deposit and withdrawal are very easy and user-friendly. On the flip side, you can only use bank transfer.
Pros
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
  • Instant deposit up to $1,000 per week
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card not available
  • Lengthy deposit if you don't use the instant deposit
Robinhood withdrawal fee and options
Robinhood tastyworks Charles Schwab Chase You Invest
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No No
Electronic wallets No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $45 $0 $0

More Visit broker

#1 Robinhood
Verdict

Robinhood fees are great. US stocks trading is commission-free, and there is no withdrawal or inactivity fee. Robinhood has awesome, user-friendly mobile and web trading platforms. The account opening is easy, fully digital, and fast.

Robinhood has some drawbacks though. It is available only for US and Australian clients. The customer support is poor, you can only reach them via e-mail and it takes time to get an answer. Most products you can trade with are just from the US market. 

If you want to trade with US stocks for free and prefer an easy-to-use platform, Robinhood is the best choice. 

Robinhood
Summary Robinhood is a US-based zero commission broker. It is regulated by FINRA, the top-tier US regulator.
Fees score 4 stars
Recommended for Beginners and buy and hold investors focusing on the US stock market

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#2 Best broker for beginners
tastyworks

4.5 5 stars

Best for options

tastyworks logo

tastyworks is a young, upcoming US broker focusing on options trading.

The people behind tastyworks are proven experts who built thinkorswim, now operated by TD Ameritrade.  tastyworks is privately owned, established in 2017 and headquartered in Chicago.

tastyworks is considered safe as it is regulated by a top-tier regulator, the US FINRA.

Recommended for price sensitive equity and option traders focusing on the us

Pros
  • Low options trading fees
  • Great education materials
  • Very good customer service
Cons
  • Only US options, futures, and stocks
  • Can be intimidating for beginners
  • Trading platforms have some bugs

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#2 tastyworks
Web trading platform 4 stars

Tastyworks web trading platform feels like entering the cockpit of a plane. It looks organized, but also complicated at first sight.
Pros
  • Clear fee report
  • Good search function
  • Great options trading panel with embedded strategies
Cons
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
  • Can be intimidating for beginners
Best brokers for beginners - tastyworks trading platform
tastyworks trading platforms
Robinhood tastyworks Charles Schwab Chase You Invest
Web platform score 5 stars 4 stars 4 stars 3 stars
Mobile platform score 5 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
Desktop platform score - 4 stars 4 stars -

More Visit broker

#2 tastyworks
Fees 4 stars

tastyworks has low trading fees and average non-trading fees. Its options fees are very low as well.
Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • No inactivity fee
  • Transparent fee structure
Cons
  • Withdrawal fee
  • High financing rate
tastyworks fees
Robinhood tastyworks Charles Schwab Chase You Invest
Apple benchmark fee $0.0 $5.2 $10.1 $6.1
Vodafone benchmark fee $100.0 - - -
EURUSD benchmark fee - - - -

All spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position sizes: $2k for stocks, and $20k for FX

More Visit broker

#2 tastyworks
Education 5 stars

tastyworks has superb educational materials on options trading. Great quality and very enjoyable. However, there is no demo account.
Pros
  • Educational videos
  • Easy to understand
  • Good production quality
Cons
  • No demo account
Best brokers for beginners - tastyworks education

More Visit broker

#2 tastyworks
Account opening 4 stars

tastyworks account opening is user-friendly and fully digital. You can open your account without a required minimum. On the flip side, it can be more days until your account is approved.
Pros
  • Fully digital account opening
  • No minimum deposit
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Can take 3 business days
tastyworks minimum deposit and time to open an account
Robinhood tastyworks Charles Schwab Chase You Invest
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0 $0
Time to open account 1 day 1-3 days 1 day 1 day

More Visit broker

#2 tastyworks
Deposit and withdrawal 2 stars

tastyworks deposit and withdrawal can be improved. The account can be opened only in USD. Also, non-US citizens can only use bank transfer, and there is high withdrawal fee.
Pros
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card not available
  • High withdrawal fee
  • Only one account base currency
tastyworks withdrawal fee and options
Robinhood tastyworks Charles Schwab Chase You Invest
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No No
Electronic wallets No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $45 $0 $0

More Visit broker

#2 tastyworks
Verdict

tastyworks is an excellent broker for options trading. It could be a bit complicated if you want to trade stocks only.  

tastyworks is a US broker, hence investor protection scheme is excellent. Options fees are very low, among the bests. Its trading platform is aimed at experienced options traders, it can be intimidating for starters.

As there is no minimum deposit, no inactivity or monthly fee, and the account open is seamless, feel free to try it.

 

tastyworks
Summary Tastyworks is a young US options and stockbroker. It is regulated by FINRA, the top-tier US regulator.
Fees score 4 stars
Recommended for Price sensitive equity and option traders focusing on the US

More Visit broker

#3 Best broker for beginners
Charles Schwab

4.6 5 stars

Best research

Charles Schwab logo

Charles Schwab was founded in 1971 and it is one of the biggest US-based discount brokers. It is regulated by top-tier regulators, like the US SEC or the UK FCA.

Charles Schwab is considered safe because it has a long track record, is listed on a stock exchange, has a banking background, and is regulated by top-tier regulators.

Recommended for investors and traders looking for solid research, low fees, and great customer service

Pros
  • Outstanding research
  • Low fees
  • Great customer service
Cons
  • No credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfer
  • Only US markets covered
  • Not well-structured education

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#3 Charles Schwab
Web trading platform 4 stars

Charles Schab's web platform is simple and easy to use. Even beginners can easily navigate it. On the negative side, it lacks two-step login and customizability.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Clear fee report
  • Price alerts
Cons
  • No two-step (safer) login
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Best brokers for beginners - Charles Schwab trading platform
Charles Schwab trading platforms
Robinhood tastyworks Charles Schwab Chase You Invest
Web platform score 5 stars 4 stars 4 stars 3 stars
Mobile platform score 5 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
Desktop platform score - 4 stars 4 stars -

More Visit broker

#3 Charles Schwab
Fees 4 stars

Charles Schwab has low trading and non-trading fees. It even charges no commission for some ETFs, bonds, and mutual funds. On the negative side, the fees for mutual funds and the financing rates are high.
Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • No inactivity fee
  • Some ETFs, bonds, and mutual funds are free
Cons
  • High financing rate
  • High fees for mutual funds
Charles Schwab fees
Robinhood tastyworks Charles Schwab Chase You Invest
Apple benchmark fee $0.0 $5.2 $10.1 $6.1
Vodafone benchmark fee $100.0 - - -
EURUSD benchmark fee - - - -

All spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position sizes: $2k for stocks, and $20k for FX

More Visit broker

#3 Charles Schwab
Education 3 stars

Charles Schwab offers a bunch of videos and articles. The content has a high quality. However, a demo account is missing and the educational contents are not well-structured.
Pros
  • Trading platform tutorial
  • Educational videos
  • Good production quality
Cons
  • No demo account
  • Not well-structured
Best brokers for beginners - Charles Schwab education

More Visit broker

#3 Charles Schwab
Account opening 5 stars

Opening an account at Charles Schwab is easy, fast and fully digital. For US-clients there is no minimum deposit. However, if you open an account outside the US, there is a $25,000 minimum.
Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Fully digital account opening
  • No minimum deposit
Cons
  • For non-US clients $25,000 minimum
Charles Schwab minimum deposit and time to open an account
Robinhood tastyworks Charles Schwab Chase You Invest
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0 $0
Time to open account 1 day 1-3 days 1 day 1 day

More Visit broker

#3 Charles Schwab
Deposit and withdrawal 2 stars

Charles Schwab deposit and withdrawal can be improved. You can use only bank transfer, there is only USD as a base currency, and a high fee is charged for wire withdrawals. As a plus, there is no deposit fee and transferring money is easy and user-friendly.
Pros
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card not available
  • Only one account base currency
  • High fee for wire withdrawals
Charles Schwab withdrawal fee and options
Robinhood tastyworks Charles Schwab Chase You Invest
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No No
Electronic wallets No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $45 $0 $0

More Visit broker

#3 Charles Schwab
Verdict

Charles Schwab is one of the biggest discount US brokers regulated by top-tier regulators.

Its research is outstanding and covers many tools, including trading ideas and detailed fundamental data. It charges low trading and non-trading fees.  The customer service is great, you will get relevant answers within a short time.

It has some drawbacks though. It doesn't provide credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfers. The product portfolio covers only US markets. Lastly, the educational tools are not well-structured. 

As the research tools are great, the account opening is seamless, and no inactivity fee is charged, feel free to try it.

Charles Schwab
Summary Charles Schwab is a US discount broker, regulated by top-tier regulators, the SEC and FINRA. The company is listed on NYSE and holds a banking license.
Fees score 4 stars
Recommended for Investors and traders looking for solid research, low fees, and great customer service

More Visit broker

#4 Best broker for beginners
Chase You Invest

4.5 5 stars

Chase You Invest logo

Chase You Invest is a discount brokerage service released in 2018 by J.P. Morgan. The parent company, J.P. Morgan is a US investment bank and is also listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Chase You Invest is considered safe because the parent company, J.P. Morgan has a long track record, is listed on stock exchange, has a banking background, and is regulated by top-tier regulators.

Recommended for beginners and buy and hold investors focusing on the us stock market

Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • Fast and fully digital account opening
  • Strong parent company
Cons
  • Available only for US clients
  • Limited product portfolio
  • Basic research tools

Visit broker

#4 Chase You Invest
Web trading platform 3 stars

Chase You Invest has a mediocre web trading platform. It is very easy-to-use and has a great search function. However, it misses important features, like two-step authentication, clear fee report and price alerts.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Good search function
  • Looks appealing
Cons
  • No clear fee report available
  • No two-step (safer) login
  • No price alerts
Best brokers for beginners - Chase You Invest trading platform
Chase You Invest trading platforms
Robinhood tastyworks Charles Schwab Chase You Invest
Web platform score 5 stars 4 stars 4 stars 3 stars
Mobile platform score 5 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
Desktop platform score - 4 stars 4 stars -

More Visit broker

#4 Chase You Invest
Fees 5 stars

Chase You Invest has low trading fees and low non-trading fees. It offers 100 commission-free trades for US-based stock and ETF trades in the first year after the account opening. You can also trade with mutual funds for free.
Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • Low non-trading fees
  • No withdrawal fee
Cons
None
Chase You Invest fees
Robinhood tastyworks Charles Schwab Chase You Invest
Apple benchmark fee $0.0 $5.2 $10.1 $6.1
Vodafone benchmark fee $100.0 - - -
EURUSD benchmark fee - - - -

All spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position sizes: $2k for stocks, and $20k for FX

More Visit broker

#4 Chase You Invest
Education 3 stars

Chase You Invest's education section offers a bunch of videos and articles. The content has high quality and is easy to navigate. On the negative side, the demo account and the platform tutorial videos are missing.
Pros
  • Educational videos
  • Easy to understand
  • Good production quality
Cons
  • No demo account
  • No trading platform tutorial videos
Best brokers for beginners - Chase You Invest education

More Visit broker

#4 Chase You Invest
Account opening 5 stars

Account opening at Chase You Invest is seamless and fully digital. Your account will be opened within a day. On the flip side, the account opening is available only for US clients.
Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Fully digital account opening
  • No minimum deposit
Cons
  • It is available only for US clients
Chase You Invest minimum deposit and time to open an account
Robinhood tastyworks Charles Schwab Chase You Invest
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0 $0
Time to open account 1 day 1-3 days 1 day 1 day

More Visit broker

#4 Chase You Invest
Deposit and withdrawal 2 stars

Chase You Invest deposit and withdrawal can be improved. You can use only bank transfer and there is a high fee for wire withdrawals if you are a non-Chase client. As a plus, there is no deposit fee and transferring money is easy and user-friendly.
Pros
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card not available
  • Only one account base currency
  • High fee for wire withdrawal for non-Chase clients
Chase You Invest withdrawal fee and options
Robinhood tastyworks Charles Schwab Chase You Invest
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No No
Electronic wallets No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $45 $0 $0

More Visit broker

#4 Chase You Invest
Verdict

Chase You Invest fees are great. You can trade with mutual funds for free and new clients have 100 commission-free trades for US-based stock and ETF in the first year. The account opening is easy, fully digital, and fast. J.P. Morgan is Chase You Invest's strong parent company. It has a banking background and listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Chase You Invest has some drawbacks though. It is available only for US clients. The product portfolio is limited, covering only US markets and the stock, ETF, bond, and fund asset classes. Lastly, the research tools are basic. 

As the account opening is seamless, and Chase You Invest offers commission-free mutual funds and 100 commission-free stock and ETF trades, feel free to try it.

Chase You Invest
Summary Chase You Invest is a brokerage solution offered by J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (a J.P. Morgan affiliate), regulated by US top-tier regulators SEC and FINRA. J.P. Morgan is a NYSE listed company with banking background.
Fees score 5 stars
Recommended for Beginners and buy and hold investors focusing on the US stock market

More Visit broker

Best brokers for beginners
What makes a great broker for beginners

Now you know the best best brokers for beginners. Curious how we came up with this list? Let's go through two points. Are they safe? How did we compile the list?

Are these brokers safe?

Yes, they are considered safe. You can be sure none of them is a scam. They are regulated by top-tier regulators. Some of them are also listed on an exchange, and some have a banking background.

However, also brokerage companies can go down. Remember Lehman Brothers? In these cases, it is important to know what happens with your securities and cash. These are usually held in segregated accounts, so even in case of a broker bankruptcy, you are safe.

If everything goes very bad and for example, the broker steals your assets, then you have a last resort, the compensation fund of the country where the broker is regulated.

How did Brokerchooser pick the best brokers for beginners?

At Brokerchooser we test online brokers along ~100 criteria, with a real account and real money. Not to overwhelm you we list the five most important criteria for brokers for beginners:

5 most important criteria for the best brokers for beginners in 2019
1. Web trading platform A user-friendly and well-equipped trading platform can significantly increase your trading comfort.
2. Fees The overall cost of a typical trade can be 10-15 times higher at one broker compared to another. Worth to check the fees.
3. Education You are not familiar with concepts like spread or leverage? Good educational tools help you understand the basics of trading.
4. Account opening Some online brokers require a minimum to invest, others don't set a minimal first-time deposit. Check out what the best online brokers require.
5. Deposit and withdrawal Withdrawing money from your account can be 5 times longer and more expensive at one broker compared to another.

Best brokers for beginners
Start your learning

When you are a beginner the best way to start your journey is to learn.

Find below some very useful learning materials to start with.

If you are considering starting. Check our learning page, a lot of great materials. You can learn about the pros and cons of investing your money on your own or the difference between trading vs investing. Also go to the learn section if you want to figure out whether you can open a foreign account.

For beginner buy and hold investors we recommend to read the how to buy shares. Have a six-step approach on how to buy shares online.

For beginners who want to learn to trade, we can provide even more. Robert, a professional trader, wrote on how to become a trader. Most of the beginner traders start with forex. If you don't anything about this topic, start with the forex 101. The CFDs also have become very popular. They are very risky. Start learning about CFDs with this CFD greenhorn and continue with the pros and cons of CFD trading.

Cryptos were among the hottest topics in 2017. Also super risky. Tibor dug in into it and found out the safest ways to invest in Bitcoin. A very interesting read, highly recommended if you are considering cryptos.

When more experienced and starting to explore futures options, you should definitely check out Gery's article on the topic.

Best brokers for beginners
Bottom line

You saw the details, now let's zoom out. Here are the best brokers for beginners in the United States:

Best brokers for beginners in the United States
Robinhood tastyworks Charles Schwab Chase You Invest
Award Best for beginners Best for options Best research
Fees score 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 5 stars
Account opening score 5 stars 4 stars 5 stars 5 stars
Deposit and withdrawal score 3 stars 2 stars 2 stars 2 stars
Markets and products score 1 stars 1 stars 3 stars 2 stars
Web platform score 5 stars 4 stars 4 stars 3 stars
Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker

Robinhood is our winner, the best broker for beginners in the United States. Commission-free US stock trading. Great mobile and web trading platforms. Fast and fully digital account opening

All are considered safe, and a great choice. Pick the winner, or any runner-up and take the next step in your investment journey. Let us know what you think in the comment section.

Still unsure? Use the broker finder and find the best broker for you.

AUTHOR

Dan Sallai
Dan Sallai
CMO
My goal is to help people find our resourceful content when they need the most. I combine my 10+ years online marketing experience with the team's finance knowledge to reach that every day. On the side I'm paying bowling, tennis and enjoy spending great time with my children.
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