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To help you to find the best discount brokers in 2021 for citizens in Pakistan, we went ahead and did the research for you. So what did we focus on? Fees, fees, and fees. We don't like them and surely you don't either. Checking carefully, we uncovered all the hidden fees. After testing 93 brokers for fees and checking what markets and products they offer, 4 made it to the top. And now, without further ado...

The top 4 picks for the best discount brokers for Pakistani citizens in 2021:

  1. Interactive Brokers is the best discount broker in Pakistan in 2021. Low trading fees, average non-trading fee, free stock and ETF trading for US customers.
  2. TradeStation Global takes second place. Low trading and average non-trading fees.
  3. Zacks Trade rounds out the top three. Low trading and non-trading fees, high fund fees.
  4. Saxo Bank, numero quattro. Average trading and non-trading fees, low forex fees.
Best discount brokers in 2021 for Pakistani citizens
Broker Info Fees score
#1 Interactive Brokers US discount broker 4.2 stars
#2 TradeStation Global UK-based global stockbroker 3.9 stars
#3 Zacks Trade US discount broker 4.2 stars
#4 Saxo Bank Danish investment bank 3.3 stars

What makes a good discount broker? Well, did we mention low fees? This holds for commissions, financing rates, and, let's not forget, non-trading fees like inactivity or withdrawal fees. The table above gives you a good hint; the scores include all fees, with 5.0 being the best. Besides low fees, a good discount broker should also offer access to a lot of markets and products. All brokers in our list offer real stocks, but we also looked into whether you can trade bonds, currencies and options.

These features may sound obvious and easy to list, but they're hard to figure out. We are testing brokers based on more than 300 criteria with real accounts and real money. We know what's up.

For a tailored recommendation, check out our broker finder tool. Just enter your country, and it will show you only the relevant brokers. Want more details? Compare brokers with this detailed comparison table.

And now, let's see the best discount brokers for Pakistani citizens in 2021 one by one, starting with the winner, Interactive Brokers.

Interactive Brokers Logo

#1 Best discount broker
Interactive Brokers

4.9

Interactive Brokers review summary

 

Interactive Brokers was founded in 1978 and is one of the biggest US-based discount brokers. The broker is regulated by several financial authorities globally, including top-tier ones like the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

As it has licenses from multiple top-tier regulators, Interactive Brokers is considered safe. Having a long track record and publicly disclosed financials while being listed on a stock exchange are also great signs for its safety.

Our overall Interactive Brokers rating

Compare this broker to the best Interactive Brokers alternative here.

Recommended for traders looking for low fees and a professional trading environment

Pros Cons
Low trading fees Complicated account opening process
Wide range of products Complex desktop trading platform
Many great research tools Understaffed customer service

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#1 Interactive Brokers
Fees
4.2

Interactive Brokers has low trading fees and the best margin rates in the industry. For US clients, stock and ETF trading is free if they choose the Lite plan.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees None
Free stock and ETF trading for US clients
Low margin rates
Interactive Brokers trading fees
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
US stock $1.0 $1.5 $1.0 $10.0
UK stock $4.2 $2.4 $16.8 $11.2
EURUSD benchmark fee $10.7 $10.7 - $7.8
S&P 500 index CFD fee $2.8 $3.8 - $1.4
US Treasury bond $5.0 $7.5 $5.5 $96.0
US stock index options $6.5 $15.0 $7.8 $30.0
Mutual fund $15.0 $25.0 $27.5 $0.0
Interactive Brokers non-trading fees
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
Account fee No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0

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#1 Interactive Brokers
Markets and products
5.0

Through Interactive Brokers, you can access an extremely wide range of markets, and all product types are available.
Interactive Brokers markets and products
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
Stocks Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETFs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes No Yes
Funds Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bonds Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes No Yes
CFDs Yes Yes No Yes
Crypto Yes Yes No Yes

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#1 Interactive Brokers
Account opening
3.4

IB's account opening process is fully digital and the required minimum deposit is low. On the negative side, the process is complicated, and account verification takes relatively long.
Pros Cons
Fully digital Not user-friendly
No minimum deposit for most account types Confusing messages throughout the process
Interactive Brokers minimum deposit and time to open an account
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
Minimum deposit $0 $1,000 $0 $2,000
Time to open account 1-3 days 1 day >3 days >3 days

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#1 Interactive Brokers
Deposit and withdrawal
3.5

Interactive Brokers offers many account base currency options and one free withdrawal per month. The main drawback is that you can only use bank transfer.
Pros Cons
No deposit fee Credit/Debit card not available
Several account base currencies
First withdrawal each month free
Interactive Brokers withdrawal fee and options
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No No No No
Electronic wallets No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0

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#1 Interactive Brokers
Verdict

Interactive Brokers is one of the biggest US-based discount brokers, regulated by several top-tier regulators globally. We recommend this broker mainly for advanced traders.

On the plus side, IB has low fees, a vast range of available markets and products, and diverse research tools

There are some drawbacks, though: we weren't satisfied with the level of customer service and the account opening process is complicated. The desktop platform is complex and hard to get a handle on, especially for beginners.

If you have experience navigating complex platforms and enjoy transparent, low-cost trading, Interactive Brokers could be a great fit for you.

Interactive Brokers
Summary Interactive Brokers is a US discount broker. It is listed on a stock exchange and regulated by several authorities, including top-tier ones like the FCA and the SEC.
Fees score 4.2 stars
Recommended for Traders looking for low fees and a professional trading environment

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TradeStation Global Logo

#2 Best discount broker
TradeStation Global

4.6

TradeStation Global is a brand of TradeStation International Ltd, which is based in the UK and is regulated by the top-tier Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

TradeStation Global is a combined product offered by Interactive Brokers (IB) and TradeStation for clients outside the EU/EEA. Here are its most important elements:

  • The account opening, deposit/withdrawal options, and available products are the same as at Interactive Brokers.
  • You can use both Interactive Brokers's and TradeStation's own desktop platform.
  • TradeStation Global charges its own fees, and offers its own customer support and educational tools.

Both Interactive Brokers and TradeStation are reputable brokers, regulated by top-tier financial authorities. While Interactive Brokers is listed on the NASDAQ, TradeStation itself is not: only TradeStation's parent company Monex is listed, on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Recommended for traders and investors looking for low fees and a wide selection of products

Pros Cons
Low stock and ETF fees Only bank transfer allowed for deposit and withdrawal
Wide range of products Complicated account opening
Fast customer service Limited education materials

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#2 TradeStation Global
Fees
3.9

TradeStation Global has low trading fees, especially for stocks and ETFs. There's no inactivity fee and the first withdrawal each month is free. However, mutual fund fees are high.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees High fund fees
Low non-trading fees
Low stock and ETF fees / Free stock trading
TradeStation Global trading fees
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
US stock $1.0 $1.5 $1.0 $10.0
UK stock $4.2 $2.4 $16.8 $11.2
EURUSD benchmark fee $10.7 $10.7 - $7.8
S&P 500 index CFD fee $2.8 $3.8 - $1.4
US Treasury bond $5.0 $7.5 $5.5 $96.0
US stock index options $6.5 $15.0 $7.8 $30.0
Mutual fund $15.0 $25.0 $27.5 $0.0
TradeStation Global non-trading fees
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
Account fee No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0

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#2 TradeStation Global
Markets and products
5.0

With TradeStation Global, you can access the same range of product types and exchanges as at Interactive Brokers. This selection is one of the widest among online brokers.
TradeStation Global markets and products
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
Stocks Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETFs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes No Yes
Funds Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bonds Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes No Yes
CFDs Yes Yes No Yes
Crypto Yes Yes No Yes

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#2 TradeStation Global
Account opening
2.8

TradeStation Global's account opening is fully digital and fast, but the process is complicated, and there's a high $1,000 minimum deposit required in order to use TSG's own desktop platform.
Pros Cons
Fast $1,000 minimum deposit required for desktop platform
Fully digital Not user-friendly
TradeStation Global minimum deposit and time to open an account
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
Minimum deposit $0 $1,000 $0 $2,000
Time to open account 1-3 days 1 day >3 days >3 days

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#2 TradeStation Global
Deposit and withdrawal
3.5

TradeStation Global offers many account base currency options and one free withdrawal per month. The main drawback is that you can only use bank transfer.
Pros Cons
No deposit fee Credit/Debit card not available
Several account base currencies
No charge for the first withdrawal each month.
TradeStation Global withdrawal fee and options
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No No No No
Electronic wallets No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0

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#2 TradeStation Global
Verdict

TradeStation Global has low stock/ETF fees, provides access to a lot of products and markets and has great customer support. The TradeStation Global desktop platform has great charting tools, plenty of indicators, highly customizable watchlists (Radar Screen) and a great programming tool (EasyLanguage).

On the other hand, the deposit and withdrawal process is not user-friendly and you can use only bank transfer. The account opening is complicated, and for full account verification to use the TSG desktop trading platform, a minimum deposit of $1,000 is required.

If you want access to IB's product range and an account with a slightly different fee structure, feel free to try TradeStation Global.

TradeStation Global
Summary TradeStation Global is an introducing broker of Interactive Brokers. This practically means that assets and cash are held with Interactive Brokers, but services like fees and customer support are provided by TradeStation Global. TradeStation Global is regulated by the top-tier UK FCA.
Fees score 3.9 stars
Recommended for Traders and investors looking for low fees and a wide selection of products

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Zacks Trade Logo

#3 Best discount broker
Zacks Trade

4.4

Zacks Trade is a US-based discount broker and a division of LBMZ Securities. LBMZ Securities was founded in 1978 and is regulated by the top-tier US financial authorities SEC and FINRA.

LBMZ Securities's clearing and execution services are provided through Interactive Brokers, a global stockbroker regulated by many top-tier financial authorities globally.

If you're familiar with the services of Interactive Brokers, you might notice that many of Zacks Trade's services are the same. To sum up:

  • Zacks Trade has its own, different fee structure, product selection, educational tools and customer support.
  • The account opening and deposit/withdrawal processes, trading platforms and research tools are the same as at Interactive Brokers.

Zacks Trade is considered safe because it has a long track record and is overseen by top-tier regulators. 

Recommended for traders and investors looking for comprehensive research tools, a wide product selection and low fees

Pros Cons
Low fees Complex desktop platform and research tools
Extensive stock and ETF selection Slow and complicated account opening
Great customer service Limited educational tools

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#3 Zacks Trade
Fees
4.2

Zacks Trade has low trading and non-trading fees. Its stock, ETF and bond trading fees are especially low, while mutual fund fees are quite high.
Pros Cons
Low stock and ETF fees / Free stock trading High fund fees
No withdrawal fee
No inactivity fee
Zacks Trade trading fees
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
US stock $1.0 $1.5 $1.0 $10.0
UK stock $4.2 $2.4 $16.8 $11.2
EURUSD benchmark fee $10.7 $10.7 - $7.8
S&P 500 index CFD fee $2.8 $3.8 - $1.4
US Treasury bond $5.0 $7.5 $5.5 $96.0
US stock index options $6.5 $15.0 $7.8 $30.0
Mutual fund $15.0 $25.0 $27.5 $0.0
Zacks Trade non-trading fees
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
Account fee No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0

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#3 Zacks Trade
Markets and products
3.8

Zacks Trade offers international stocks, ETFs and bonds, which is fairly unique for a US broker, as well as US funds and options. However, you cannot trade futures or forex.
Zacks Trade markets and products
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
Stocks Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETFs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes No Yes
Funds Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bonds Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes No Yes
CFDs Yes Yes No Yes
Crypto Yes Yes No Yes

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#3 Zacks Trade
Account opening
2.8

Zacks Trade has a fully digital account opening for clients all over the world, and there is no minimum deposit. On the negative side, we found the process slow and hard to navigate.
Pros Cons
Fully digital Slow
No minimum deposit Not user-friendly
Zacks Trade minimum deposit and time to open an account
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
Minimum deposit $0 $1,000 $0 $2,000
Time to open account 1-3 days 1 day >3 days >3 days

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#3 Zacks Trade
Deposit and withdrawal
3.5

Zacks Trade offers one free withdrawal per month for nearly all base currencies. However, you cannot use credit/debit cards or electronic wallets to deposit or withdraw funds.
Pros Cons
Free withdrawal Credit/Debit card not available
No deposit fee
Several account base currencies
Zacks Trade withdrawal fee and options
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No No No No
Electronic wallets No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0

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#3 Zacks Trade
Verdict

Zacks Trade is a great US discount broker. It is a division of LBMZ Securities, which is regulated by the SEC and FINRA.

On the plus side, Zacks Trade has low fees, outstanding stock and ETF selections and great customer service.

There are some drawbacks though, as its desktop trading platform and research tools are quite complex. The account opening is complicated and slow. Lastly, we missed some useful educational tools.

As Zacks Trade provides a demo account and doesn't require any minimum deposit, feel free to try it.

Zacks Trade
Summary Zacks Trade is a US discount broker that also allows international clients to open an account. Zacks Trade is a division of LBMZ Securities, which is regulated by SEC and FINRA. Customers are protected by the SIPC scheme, up to $500,000 (including a $250,000 limit for cash).
Fees score 4.2 stars
Recommended for Traders and investors looking for comprehensive research tools, a wide product selection and low fees

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Saxo Bank Logo

#4 Best discount broker
Saxo Bank

4.8

Saxo Bank, a Danish investment bank founded in 1992, provides online trading and investment services. The company is regulated by several financial authorities globally, including the Danish Financial Services Agency (FSA) and the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

Saxo Bank is a global service provider and its subsidiaries are present in the form of separate legal entities in different regions of the world. The services offered by the various entities may differ slightly, especially with respect to fees and product portfolios. In this review, we tested Saxo Bank UK.

Saxo Bank is considered safe because it has a long track record, a banking background and is regulated by top-tier financial authorities.

Recommended for investors and traders looking for a great trading platform and solid research

Pros Cons
Great trading platform High bond, options and futures fees
Outstanding research High minimum deposit
Broad product portfolio Lacks live chat and 24/7 availability

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#4 Saxo Bank
Fees
3.3

Saxo Bank has average trading and non-trading fees overall. Trading fees vary greatly between different asset classes.
Pros Cons
Low forex fees Inactivity fee
Low fund fees High bond, options and futures fees
No withdrawal fee
Saxo Bank trading fees
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
US stock $1.0 $1.5 $1.0 $10.0
UK stock $4.2 $2.4 $16.8 $11.2
EURUSD benchmark fee $10.7 $10.7 - $7.8
S&P 500 index CFD fee $2.8 $3.8 - $1.4
US Treasury bond $5.0 $7.5 $5.5 $96.0
US stock index options $6.5 $15.0 $7.8 $30.0
Mutual fund $15.0 $25.0 $27.5 $0.0
Saxo Bank non-trading fees
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
Account fee No No No No
Inactivity fee No No No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0

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#4 Saxo Bank
Markets and products
5.0

Saxo Bank's product portfolio covers all asset classes and a lot of markets globally. Mutual funds are the only areas where the selection could be improved.
Saxo Bank markets and products
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
Stocks Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETFs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes No Yes
Funds Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bonds Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes No Yes
CFDs Yes Yes No Yes
Crypto Yes Yes No Yes

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#4 Saxo Bank
Account opening
2.5

Saxo's account opening is fully digital, user-friendly and available in most countries. On the other hand, the minimum deposit is high in certain countries and account verification can take longer.
Pros Cons
Fully digital Minimum deposit is high in certain countries
User-friendly Slow account verification
Available in almost every country
Saxo Bank minimum deposit and time to open an account
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
Minimum deposit $0 $1,000 $0 $2,000
Time to open account 1-3 days 1 day >3 days >3 days

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#4 Saxo Bank
Deposit and withdrawal
4.8

Saxo provides multiple deposit and withdrawal options free of charge on a user-friendly interface.
Pros Cons
Credit/Debit card available Electronic wallets not available for deposit or withdrawal
Free withdrawal
No deposit fee
Saxo Bank withdrawal fee and options
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No No No No
Electronic wallets No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0

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#4 Saxo Bank
Verdict

Saxo Bank is a great broker, providing a complex and good service.

It offers a user-friendly and well-designed trading platform, backed by great research. The product portfolio covers all asset types and many international markets.

It has some drawbacks though. The fees for bonds, options and futures are high. There is also a high minimum deposit for certain countries. Lastly, there is no live chat or 24/7 customer support.

In general, Saxo Bank is one of the best online brokerage companies out there. By opening an account, you will get a broad, well-developed service constantly adapted to the needs of clients.

Saxo Bank
Summary Saxo Bank is a Danish investment bank. It is regulated by more than 10 financial authorities, including the top-tier UK FCA.
Fees score 3.3 stars
Recommended for Investors and traders looking for a great trading platform and solid research

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Best discount brokers
What makes a good discount broker?

You are probably curious how we came up with this list. To get a better understanding, let's discuss the following three points:

  1. What is a discount brokerage?
  2. Why do we think these brokers are safe?
  3. What were the most important factors when we picked the best discount brokers?

What is a discount broker?

A discount broker is a brokerage company that executes your buy and sell orders at a low trading fee. Discount brokers can afford to charge lower fees, since, unlike full-service brokers, they usually don't provide extra services like research, personal investment advice, tax planning or robo-advisory.

Discount brokers first appeared along with the rise of online broker services. Many brokerage companies started to provide their service online and fully automated via online trading platforms. An online trading platform is basically a website where you can insert your own orders, and while you get customer support, the broker offers no investment advice.

The difference between full-service brokers and discount brokers has blurred somewhat in recent years. Discount brokers started to offer extra services as well, like research; while full-service brokers started to lower their fees. The traditional brokerage and wealth management industry is under fee pressure from increasingly cost-effective online broker companies.

Many US brokers have slashed their fees to zero and now promote commission-free trading , following in the footsteps of brokers such as Robinhood. Drawbacks for some of these commission-free brokers include the limited number of assets you can trade (for example, bonds are less likely to be offered), so some investors and traders still prefer traditional discount brokers, where order execution also tends to be better compared with zero-commission brokers.

Are these brokers safe?

These brokers are all considered safe.. They are regulated by at least one top-tier authority. We at BrokerChooser distinguish between mid-tier and top-tier regulators, based on various factors with the most important being the investor protection amount. It is very unlikely that you will run into severe problems, and even if you do, you are protected by a top-tier regulator.

How did BrokerChooser pick the best discount brokers?

We tested brokers based on more than 300 criteria, with a real account and real money. When we selected the best discount brokers, the primary selection criteria were fees. Importantly, we only included brokers where you can trade real stocks. This means that we excluded brokers where stocks were only offered through CFDs.

We calculated the rankings based on trading fees for all asset classes, such as stock fees; as well as fees not related to trading, such as withdrawal fees. We also assigned a higher score to brokers that offer a wide range of asset classes, because providing low fees in more than one asset class is not an easy job. Note that our maxium score is 5.0 and the minimum is 1.0.

Lastly, we incorporated additional criteria to measure the overall quality of the broker: if the account opening process, customer service and other aspects of the broker are high quality, they all boosted the overall score.

Best discount brokers
Bottom line

You saw the details, now let's zoom out. Here are the best discount brokers in 2021 for citizens in Pakistan:

Best discount brokers in 2021 for Pakistani citizens
Interactive Brokers TradeStation Global Zacks Trade Saxo Bank
Fees score 4.2 stars 3.9 stars 4.2 stars 3.3 stars
Stock and ETF fee scores 4.8 stars 4.8 stars 4.6 stars 3.5 stars
Markets and products score 5.0 stars 5.0 stars 3.8 stars 5.0 stars
Account opening score 3.4 stars 2.8 stars 2.8 stars 2.5 stars
Deposit and withdrawal score 3.5 stars 3.5 stars 3.5 stars 4.8 stars
Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker

Interactive Brokers is our winner, the best discount broker in Pakistan in 2021. Low trading fees, average non-trading fee, free stock and ETF trading for US customers.

All of these brokers are considered a great choice. Pick the winner or any runner-up, and save a lot of money on fees. Let us know what you think in the comment section.

Still unsure? Check out our broker finder tool and find the best broker for you, or learn more about how to invest your money.

Author of this article

Gergely Korpos

Author of this article

Gergely is the co-founder and CPO of BrokerChooser. His aim is to make personal investing crystal clear for everybody. Gergely has 10 years of experience in the financial markets. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and equity portfolio manager.

Gergely Korpos

Co-founder, CPO

Gergely is the co-founder and CPO of BrokerChooser. His aim is to make personal investing crystal clear for everybody. Gergely has 10 years of experience in the financial markets. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and equity portfolio manager.

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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