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What is the perfect broker match for millennials and the younger generation?

It’s a good question and the answer largely depends on individual preferences and expectations. Nevertheless, based on our research and customer feedback, we see a clear trend emerging.

While fees are as important as for any other client group (no surprise here), millennials by and large place a lot of emphasis on the usability and features of the mobile platform.

Whether a broker offers convenient customer service solutions in a hands-on, fast manner also carries a lot of weight with millenials.

One last thing we've taken into account is the overall feel of the broker's services. From account opening to product selection, we tried to balance all the details in a comprehensive criteria system. With that in mind, we tested 81 quality online brokers with real accounts. In the end, 5 brokers made it to the top list, all of which we highly recommend to you. And now, without further ado…

The best brokers for millennials in 2021 are:

  1. Robinhood is the winner. Free US stock and ETF trading. Great mobile and web trading platforms. Fast and fully digital account opening.
  2. Trading 212 came in second. Real stocks and ETFs are commission-free. Quick and easy account opening. Great trading platforms.
  3. Merrill Edge rounds out the top three. Low trading fees. Easy and seamless account opening. Strong parent company.
  4. TD Ameritrade, numero quattro. Low trading fees (free stock and ETF trading). Superb desktop trading platform. Great customer support.
  5. Freetrade just made it to the list in fifth place. Free stock and ETF trading. Easy and fast account opening. Great mobile trading platform.
Best brokers for millennials in 2021
Robinhood Trading 212 Merrill Edge TD Ameritrade Freetrade
Accepts clients from US Globally US US, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Canada (through TD Direct Investing) UK
Info US zero-fee discount broker Global CFD and forex broker US discount broker US-based stockbroker UK discount broker
Additional award Best free stock trading platform Best broker for beginners
Mobile platform score 5.0 stars 4.9 stars 4.8 stars 4.8 stars 4.7 stars
Fee score 4.9 stars 3.4 stars 4.4 stars 4.3 stars 5.0 stars

All 5 brokers are considered safe. They are regulated by at least one top-tier financial regulator.

For a tailored recommendation, check out our broker finder tool. If you enter the name of your country, it will show only the relevant brokers.


So how did we come up with the list of best brokers for millenials?

First, we selected 81 quality online brokers, then tested them with real accounts. We evaluated their trading platforms, took a thorough look at their mobile platform (hard to imagine but some brokers still don't have one) as well as their fees. Lastly, we checked the overall score as it incorporates many aspects of the broker's services in one comprehensive criteria (like withdrawals, safety, account opening). We went deep, so you don't have to.

And now, let's see the best brokers for millennials, one by one, starting with the winner, Robinhood.

Robinhood Logo

#1 Best brokers for millennials
Robinhood

4.0

Robinhood is a US-based, zero-fee discount broker established in 2013. The company is regulated by top-tier financial authorities, such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Besides the brokerage service, Robinhood also introduced Cash Management to help clients earn interest on uninvested funds. Click here for more details on this great and unique service.

BrokerChooser is committed to bringing high transparency and clarity to its customers, including brokers and partners. BrokerChooser's Advertiser Disclosure.

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

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#1 Robinhood
Mobile trading platform
5.0

The Robinhood mobile platform is one of the best we've tested. It is safe, well designed and user-friendly.
Pros Cons
User-friendly None
Two-step (safer) login
Good search function

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#1 Robinhood
Fees
4.9

Trading US stocks and ETFs is free at Robinhood. The broker doesn't charge an inactivity or withdrawal fee.
Pros Cons
Commission-free US stock and ETF trading None
No fee for deposit or withdrawal
Transparent fee structure
Robinhood trading fees
Robinhood Trading 212 Merrill Edge TD Ameritrade Freetrade
US stock $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock - $0.0 - - $0.0
EURUSD benchmark fee - $26.0 - $7.0 -
US stock index options $0.0 - $6.5 $6.5 -
Robinhood non-trading fees
Robinhood Trading 212 Merrill Edge TD Ameritrade Freetrade
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#1 Robinhood
Verdict

The biggest argument in favor of Robinhood is its appealing fee structure. US stock trading is commission-free and there is no withdrawal or inactivity fee. Robinhood clients can trade on awesome and user-friendly mobile and web trading platforms. The account opening is easy, fast and fully digital.

Robinhood has some drawbacks though. Most of the products you can trade are limited to the US market. Customer support is weak; you can only reach them via e-mail and it can take some time to get an answer. The broker provides educational articles but little else to guide you in the world of trading.

If you want to trade US stocks for free and are looking for an easy-to-use platform, Robinhood is your best choice.

Robinhood
Summary Robinhood is a US-based zero-commission broker. It is overseen by FINRA, a top-tier regulator.
Recommended for Beginners and buy-and-hold investors focusing on the US stock market
Mobile platform score 5.0 stars
Fees score 4.9 stars

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Trading 212 Logo

#2 Best brokers for millennials
Trading 212

4.3

Trading 212 is a global CFD and forex broker, but clients can also trade stocks and ETFs free of charge. The company was founded in 2004 and is now headquartered in London. Trading 212 is regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bulgarian Financial Supervision Commission (FSC). 

Trading 212 is considered safe as it is regulated by the top-tier FCA. 

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when 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.

Recommended for active cfd and fx traders and investors looking for intuitive trading platforms

#2 Trading 212
Mobile trading platform
4.9

Trading 212's mobile trading platform is user-friendly and well-designed, with great search, alert, and order functions.
Pros Cons
User-friendly None
Good search function
Price alerts

More
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

#2 Trading 212
Fees
3.4

Trading 212 has commission-free stocks and ETFs, and there are also no fees for deposit, withdrawal or inactivity. However, fees for forex trading are high.
Pros Cons
Free stock and ETF trading High forex fees
Low CFD fees High financing rate
No withdrawal and inactivity fee
Trading 212 trading fees
Robinhood Trading 212 Merrill Edge TD Ameritrade Freetrade
US stock $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock - $0.0 - - $0.0
EURUSD benchmark fee - $26.0 - $7.0 -
US stock index options $0.0 - $6.5 $6.5 -
Trading 212 non-trading fees
Robinhood Trading 212 Merrill Edge TD Ameritrade Freetrade
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

More
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

#2 Trading 212
Verdict

Trading 212 works as a CFD and forex broker regulated by multiple financial supervisory authorities.

On the plus side, Trading 212 offers commission-free stocks and ETFs, while CFD fees and non-trading fees are low as well. The account opening process is seamless and the trading platforms are user-friendly.

However, Trading 212 has a limited product portfolio, lacking popular asset classes such as bonds or options. We missed phone and live chat support, and found forex fees relatively high.

So is Trading 212 good? Trading 212 is a good choice for those interested in investing in equities or trading leveraged forex and CFD products, with the use of a great trading platform. As it offers a demo account, don't hesitate to give it a try.

Trading 212
Summary Trading 212 is a CFD and forex broker regulated by the UK FCA and Bulgarian FSC. In the UK and Germany, Trading212 offers commission-free stock and ETF trading as well.
Recommended for Active CFD and FX traders and investors looking for intuitive trading platforms
Mobile platform score 4.9 stars
Fees score 3.4 stars

More
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Merrill Edge Logo

#3 Best brokers for millennials
Merrill Edge

4.8

Merrill Edge is a US-based stockbroker founded in 2010 by Bank of America (BofA). BofA acquired Merrill Lynch during the 2008 financial crisis, and the rationale for launching Merrill Edge was to combine its online investing arm and Merrill Lynch's investment expertise. Merrill Edge offers US stocks, ETFs, options, and bonds. It is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Merrill Edge is considered safe because its parent company is a bank with a long track record and solid reputation, it discloses its financials, and is regulated by top-tier regulators. 

Recommended for investors and traders who looking for low fees, quick account opening, and simple platforms

#3 Merrill Edge
Mobile trading platform
4.8

The Merrill Edge mobile app, available for iPhone and Android devices, is easy to use and provides a safe and easy login. On the other hand, the search functions could be improved.
Pros Cons
User-friendly Poor search function
Two-step (safer) login
Touch/Face ID login

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#3 Merrill Edge
Fees
4.4

Merrill Edge has low trading and non-trading fees, including commission-free stock and ETF trades. On the other hand, financing/margin rates are quite high.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees High financing rate
Low non-trading fees
Low stock and ETF fees
Merrill Edge trading fees
Robinhood Trading 212 Merrill Edge TD Ameritrade Freetrade
US stock $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock - $0.0 - - $0.0
EURUSD benchmark fee - $26.0 - $7.0 -
US stock index options $0.0 - $6.5 $6.5 -
Merrill Edge non-trading fees
Robinhood Trading 212 Merrill Edge TD Ameritrade Freetrade
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#3 Merrill Edge
Verdict

Overall, Merrill Edge is a solid, easy to use trading platform created by Bank of America, one of the US's largest banks.

We rated Merrill Edge highly due to its low fees, easy process of account-opening, and safety. 

Some of the drawbacks include limited product offerings, research capabilities, and deposit/withdrawal options.

As trading and non-trading fees are generally low, the research tools are great and the account opening is seamless, feel free to try it.

 

Merrill Edge
Summary Merrill Edge is a US based broker owned by Bank of America (BofA). It is regulated by the top-tier SEC and Finra and BofA is listed on the NYSE.
Recommended for Investors and traders who looking for low fees, quick account opening, and simple platforms
Mobile platform score 4.8 stars
Fees score 4.4 stars

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TD Ameritrade Logo

#4 Best brokers for millennials
TD Ameritrade

4.9

TD Ameritrade was founded in 1975 and is one of the biggest US-based stockbrokers. It is regulated by top-tier authorities like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

TD Ameritrade is considered a safe broker since it has a long track record, is listed on a stock exchange, has a banking background, discloses its financials, and is overseen by top-tier regulators.

Recommended for investors and traders looking for solid research and a well-equipped desktop trading platform

#4 TD Ameritrade
Mobile trading platform
4.8

The TD Ameritrade mobile trading platform is great. It is user-friendly and well-designed.
Pros Cons
User-friendly None
Two-step (safer) login
Good variety of order types

More

#4 TD Ameritrade
Fees
4.3

TD Ameritrade offers free stock and ETF trading, while forex, bond and options fees are also low. On the other hand, it charges high fees for mutual funds and futures.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees High fund fees
Low non-trading fees
Free stocks and ETFs
TD Ameritrade trading fees
Robinhood Trading 212 Merrill Edge TD Ameritrade Freetrade
US stock $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock - $0.0 - - $0.0
EURUSD benchmark fee - $26.0 - $7.0 -
US stock index options $0.0 - $6.5 $6.5 -
TD Ameritrade non-trading fees
Robinhood Trading 212 Merrill Edge TD Ameritrade Freetrade
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#4 TD Ameritrade
Verdict

TD Ameritrade is one of the biggest US online brokers. It charges no commission on stock and ETF trades.

Research and education are outstanding at TD Ameritrade, offering you many useful tools. The 'thinkorswim' desktop trading platform is one of the best on the marketCustomer service is great, you will get relevant answers within a short time.

TD Ameritrade has some drawbacks, though. It charges high financing (margin) rates, and it doesn't accept credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfers. Furthermore, the product portfolio covers only the US markets.

TD Ameritrade offers great education tools including a demo account, so we definitely recommend giving them a try.

TD Ameritrade
Summary TD Ameritrade is a US stockbroker regulated by top-tier authorities SEC and FINRA. The company is listed on NASDAQ and has a banking background as part of the TD Group.
Recommended for Investors and traders looking for solid research and a well-equipped desktop trading platform
Mobile platform score 4.8 stars
Fees score 4.3 stars

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Freetrade Logo

#5 Best brokers for millennials
Freetrade

4.4

Freetrade is a UK-based fintech startup providing commission-free stock trading, regulated by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The company was founded in 2016. 

Freetrade is considered safe because it is regulated by a top-tier regulator, the FCA.

Recommended for long-term investors on the hunt for low fees and focusing on the uk and us markets

#5 Freetrade
Mobile trading platform
4.7

Freetrade has a user-friendly and well-designed mobile trading platform, with an efficient search function. However, there are only two order types and you cannot set price alerts.
Pros Cons
User-friendly Limited order types
Two-step (safer) login No price alerts
Good search function

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#5 Freetrade
Fees
5.0

At Freetrade, you can trade stocks and ETFs free of charge. There are no account, inactivity or withdrawal fees.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees None
Low non-trading fees
Free stock and ETF trading
Freetrade trading fees
Robinhood Trading 212 Merrill Edge TD Ameritrade Freetrade
US stock $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock - $0.0 - - $0.0
EURUSD benchmark fee - $26.0 - $7.0 -
US stock index options $0.0 - $6.5 $6.5 -
Freetrade non-trading fees
Robinhood Trading 212 Merrill Edge TD Ameritrade Freetrade
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#5 Freetrade
Verdict

Freetrade's fees are great. Stock and ETF trades are free and there is no inactivity fee. Account opening is easy, fully digital and fast. You can use an awesome and user-friendly mobile trading platform.

Freetrade has some drawbacks, though: there are only US and UK stocks and ETFs available for trading. There aren't many research tools and you can't use credit/debit cards for transfers.

If you are looking for stock and ETF trading from the main UK and US exchanges for free and you prefer an easy-to-use mobile trading platform, Freetrade is a good choice.

Freetrade
Summary Freetrade is a UK fintech startup offering a wide selection of commission-free stocks. Freetrade is regulated by the FCA.
Recommended for Long-term investors on the hunt for low fees and focusing on the UK and US markets
Mobile platform score 4.7 stars
Fees score 5.0 stars

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Not sure which broker to choose? For a tailored recommendation, check out our broker finder tool. If you enter the name of your country, it will display only the relevant brokers. Want more details? Compare brokers with our in-depth comparison table.

Best trading platform for millennials in 2021 - Fee comparison included
How did we pick the best brokers for millennials?

Next to fees and the overall services of the broker, our most important criteria was the mobile platform.

The online broker and the trading platform can easily make or break your success in online trading. It greatly influences both your comfort and performance as a trader or investor.
7 important criteria for mobile platforms
1. User-friendliness A user-friendly and well-equipped trading platform will significantly increase your trading comfort.
2. Safe login Two-step authentication during login can protect you from unauthorized persons accessing your trading account.
3. Search function Searching to buy Apple or Amazon shares? On some trading platforms, it’s not a simple task. Check how easily you can use this feature.
4. Order types Order types are crucial for risk management. Providing stop orders is a must, while conditional orders are nice to have.
5. Price alerts and notifications Want to be up to date about price movements or the execution of your orders? Easy-to-set price alerts and notifications definitely help.
6. Fee and portfolio reports Portfolio reports help you keep track of your trading performance. As the fees you pay to the broker are not always transparent, even though this is an important factor in your success, fee reports are very handy.
7. Research tools It is rare for a broker to provide research tools for both technical and fundamental analysis. Check what research tools the broker supports.

If you would like to dig a bit deeper ...

Fees were another important criteria when selecting the best brokers for millennials. Younger generations want commission-free access to the biggest markets, like US stock trading in general.

Comparing broker fees

If your primary focus is only fees, we recommend that you check out our article on the best discount brokers.

What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.

You can compare below the trading fees of the 5 featured brokers for the biggest stock markets, the most popular currency pairs and CFDs, as well as some non-trading fees.

Best brokers for millennials in 2021 - Trading fees
Robinhood Trading 212 Merrill Edge TD Ameritrade Freetrade
US stock $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock - $0.0 - - $0.0
German stock - $0.0 - - -
US stock index options $0.0 - $6.5 $6.5 -
EURUSD benchmark fee - $26.0 - $7.0 -
GBPUSD benchmark fee - $20.3 - $5.2 -
S&P 500 index CFD fee - $4.1 - - -

There can be huge differences between trading fees even if you want to do a simple US stock trade. To see how charges at different brokers stack up against each other, check out our ultimate comparison table.

Visit comparison table

Let’s take a look at non-trading fees as well.

Best brokers for millennials in 2021 - Non-trading fees
Robinhood Trading 212 Merrill Edge TD Ameritrade Freetrade
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

Keep in mind - safety

We recommend only quality brokers, so you can be sure that none of the listed online brokers are scams. To be on the safe side, we check roughly 20 safety-related criteria, such as regulation, investor protection amount, and the transparency of the broker's financials. All the brokers you find on BrokerChooser are regulated by at least one top-tier financial authority.

However, financial companies can still go bust. Remember the collapse of Lehman Brothers? In such cases, it is important to know what happens with the securities, cash and derivative/leveraged positions in your account.

In a worst case scenario, for example if the broker commits fraud or just simply cannot pay you, you have a last resort – the investor protection of the country where the broker is regulated.

The investor protection amount differs from country to country, it is worth checking it before you open an account.

Best trading platform for young people - Investor protection and regulation
Robinhood Trading 212 Merrill Edge TD Ameritrade Freetrade
Investor protection amount $500,000 (securities up to $500,000, cash up to $250,000) £85,000 for clients under FCA, while up to 90% of clients' funds but at max €20,000 protection amount under FSC Bulgaria $500,000 (securities up to $500,000, cash up to $250,000) $500,000 (securities up to $500,000, cash up to $250,000) £85,000
Country of regulation USA UK, Bulgaria USA USA UK
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Best trading platform for millennials in 2021 - Fee comparison included
Bottom line

Now that you have seen the details, let's zoom out. Here are the best brokers for millennials in 2021:

Best brokers for millenials in 2021
Robinhood Trading 212 Merrill Edge TD Ameritrade Freetrade
Broker intro US zero-fee discount broker Global CFD and forex broker US discount broker US-based stockbroker UK discount broker
Mobile platform score 5.0 stars 4.9 stars 4.8 stars 4.8 stars 4.7 stars
Overall score 4.0 4.3 4.8 4.9 4.4
Award Best free stock trading platform Best broker for beginners
Fees score 4.9 stars 3.4 stars 4.4 stars 4.3 stars 5.0 stars
Customer service score 1.5 stars 1.0 stars 4.5 stars 4.0 stars 3.8 stars
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We consider all of these brokers a great choice. Pick the winner or any runners-up and take the next step in your investment journey. Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Still unsure? Use our broker finder tool to find the best broker for you or learn more about investing your money.

Author of this article

András Iván

Author of this article

Andras has over 4 years of experience analysing and trading equities and bonds. He believes that active trading and a more passive investing approach both have merits and everyone can find a strategy that fits their needs. He's eager to help identify the characteristics of specific brokers, so the best match can be found for each client.

András Iván

Broker Analyst

Andras has over 4 years of experience analysing and trading equities and bonds. He believes that active trading and a more passive investing approach both have merits and everyone can find a strategy that fits their needs. He's eager to help identify the characteristics of specific brokers, so the best match can be found for each client.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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