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Best online brokers for long-term investing

Interactive Brokers Logo
1st place
Interactive Brokers
Zacks Trade Logo
2nd place
Zacks Trade
DEGIRO Logo
3rd place
DEGIRO

To help you to find the best online brokers for long-term investing in 2022, we went ahead and did the research for you. First, we looked at the 103 quality online brokers we cover, then we checked and compared their fees, products, trading platforms, deposit and withdrawal conditions and more. We dug deep, so you won't have to.

And now, let's see the winners!

Our top 5 picks for the best online brokers for long-term investing in 2022:

  1. Interactive Brokers is the winner. Low trading fees. Wide range of products. Many great research tools.
  2. Zacks Trade takes second place. Low fees. Extensive stock and ETF selection. Great customer service.
  3. DEGIRO rounds out the top three. One of the lowest fees on the market. Regulated by top-tier authorities. Easy-to-use web and mobile platform.
  4. Ally Invest came in fourth. Low trading and non-trading fees. Easy and fully digital account opening. Great education.
  5. Fineco Bank just made it to the list, in fifth place. Low non-trading fees. Great mobile trading platform. Rock-solid background.
Best online brokers for long-term investing
Broker Description Overall score Minimum deposit Other awards
#1 Interactive Brokers International broker providing all asset classes 4.9 $0 Best online broker
#2 Zacks Trade US discount broker 4.4 $0
#3 DEGIRO German-Dutch discount broker 4.9 $0 Best discount broker
#4 Ally Invest US stockbroker 4.6 $0
#5 Fineco Bank Italian bank 4.5 $0

All of these brokers are considered safe, as they are all regulated by top-tier financial authorities.

What makes a good online broker for long-term investing? First, they need to offer fair fees for stock and ETF trading, while mutual fund and bond fees are also relevant. Second, the inactivity fee shouldn't be high. Finally, we rated it as a positive if the broker provides a wide range of products to trade.

All that is easy to list, but hard to figure out. That's why we are testing brokers along close to 500 criteria, using real accounts and real money.

Not sure which broker is best for you? For a tailored recommendation, check out our broker finder tool. Just select your country and it will narrow down the list of brokers to those that are available where you live. Want more details? Compare brokers with our in-depth comparison tool.

Important note: some of the brokers offer CFD products. These are complex and very risky, thus not suitable for everyone. You can easily lose all of your invested money. If you have no idea what a CFD is, start with these CFD trading tips.

For long-term investors, it is probably a better option to buy stocks directly rather than via CFDs.

And now, let's see the best brokers for long-term investing one by one, starting with the winner, Interactive Brokers.

Interactive Brokers Logo

#1 Best online broker for investors
Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers, one of the biggest US-based discount brokers, was founded in 1977. 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).

Given that the broker has licenses from multiple top-tier regulators, Interactive Brokers is considered safe. The fact that it has a long track record and publicly disclosed financials while being listed on a stock exchange all point to IB being a safe service provider.

Interactive Brokers recently launched a new app for global stock trading: read our review of IBKR GlobalTrader.

In addition, Interactive Brokers also has an app you can use for ESG investing: read our review of IMPACT by Interactive Brokers.

Recommended for traders looking for broad market access 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

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 fees
Interactive Brokers Zacks Trade DEGIRO Ally Invest Fineco Bank
Stock and ETF fee scores 4.8 stars 4.5 stars 4.8 stars 5.0 stars 4.4 stars
Mutual fund fee scores 2.9 stars 1.1 stars 4.3 stars 3.6 stars 5.0 stars
Bond fee scores 4.8 stars 4.5 stars 5.0 stars 4.5 stars 4.9 stars
US stock fee* $1.0 $1.0 $0.6 $0.0 $4.0
German stock fee* $3.6 $14.4 $5.3 - $4.7
UK stock fee* $4.2 $16.8 $3.2 - $4.1
Inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee

*Commissions for opening/closing a $2,000 stock/ETF position

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#1 Interactive Brokers
Markets and products
5.0

At Interactive Brokers, you have access to an extremely wide range of markets and all product types are available.
Interactive Brokers stock, ETF, bond and mutual funds selection
Interactive Brokers Zacks Trade DEGIRO Ally Invest Fineco Bank
Stock markets (#) 83 78 31 5 13
ETFs (#) 13,000 13,000 5,400 2,300 5,500
Fund providers (#) 400 260 64 600 5
Bonds (#) 1,065,000 60,000 649 221,000 5,600

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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 both for advanced traders and for everyday investors who want to have access to many stock markets.

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

There are some drawbacks, though. We weren't satisfied with the quaity of the customer service and the account opening process is complicated. Unlike the web and mobile platforms, 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 is 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.
Overall score 4.9
Recommended for Traders looking for broad market access and a professional trading environment

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Zacks Trade Logo

#2 Best online broker for investors
Zacks Trade

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. Unlike at Interactive Brokers, trading forex, CFDs and futures is not supported.
  • 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.

Since Zacks is more expensive than IB, why would anyone favor Zacks over Interactive Brokers? We found two possible reasons:

  • Zacks falls under SEC regulation and users have SIPC protection, no matter where they live
  • Zacks provides free broker-assisted trading

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 No futures and forex

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#2 Zacks Trade
Fees

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 fees
Interactive Brokers Zacks Trade DEGIRO Ally Invest Fineco Bank
Stock and ETF fee scores 4.8 stars 4.5 stars 4.8 stars 5.0 stars 4.4 stars
Mutual fund fee scores 2.9 stars 1.1 stars 4.3 stars 3.6 stars 5.0 stars
Bond fee scores 4.8 stars 4.5 stars 5.0 stars 4.5 stars 4.9 stars
US stock fee* $1.0 $1.0 $0.6 $0.0 $4.0
German stock fee* $3.6 $14.4 $5.3 - $4.7
UK stock fee* $4.2 $16.8 $3.2 - $4.1
Inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee

*Commissions for opening/closing a $2,000 stock/ETF position

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#2 Zacks Trade
Markets and products
3.5

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 stock, ETF, bond and mutual funds selection
Interactive Brokers Zacks Trade DEGIRO Ally Invest Fineco Bank
Stock markets (#) 83 78 31 5 13
ETFs (#) 13,000 13,000 5,400 2,300 5,500
Fund providers (#) 400 260 64 600 5
Bonds (#) 1,065,000 60,000 649 221,000 5,600

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#2 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. Unlike Interactive Brokers, Zacks doesn't support trading CFDs, futures and cryptos.

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).
Overall score 4.4
Recommended for Traders and investors looking for comprehensive research tools, a wide product selection and low fees

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DEGIRO Logo

#3 Best online broker for investors
DEGIRO

DEGIRO is a German-Dutch online discount broker. It was established in 2008 by former employees of another brokerage company in the Netherlands. DEGIRO merged with flatexDEGIRO Bank AG in early 2021, creating the biggest online execution-only broker in Europe with its own banking license.

Check out our DEGIRO review tailored to the needs of beginner investors and traders.

DEGIRO is regulated by top-tier financial authorities such as the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, or BaFin) in Germany.

Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.

Disclaimer for UK clients: Deemed authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The nature and extent of consumer protections may differ from those applicable to firms based in the UK. Details of the Temporary Permissions Regime, which allows EEA-based firms to operate in the UK for a limited period while seeking full authorisation, are available on the FCA's website.

Recommended for traders and investors looking for execution only

Pros Cons
One of the lowest fees on the market Forex not available
Regulated by top-tier authorities Limited research tools
Easy-to-use web and mobile platform No credit/debit card deposit

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#3 DEGIRO
Fees

DEGIRO has low trading fees for all asset classes. Non-trading fees are also low, as there are no inactivity or withdrawal fees. On the negative side, trading US options or futures will come with a €5 monthly fee. If you need currency conversion, a 0.25% fee will apply.
Pros Cons
Low fund fees €5 monthly fee for trading US derivatives (options and futures)
No inactivity fee 0.25% FX conversion fee
Low stock and ETF fees
DEGIRO fees
Interactive Brokers Zacks Trade DEGIRO Ally Invest Fineco Bank
Stock and ETF fee scores 4.8 stars 4.5 stars 4.8 stars 5.0 stars 4.4 stars
Mutual fund fee scores 2.9 stars 1.1 stars 4.3 stars 3.6 stars 5.0 stars
Bond fee scores 4.8 stars 4.5 stars 5.0 stars 4.5 stars 4.9 stars
US stock fee* $1.0 $1.0 $0.6 $0.0 $4.0
German stock fee* $3.6 $14.4 $5.3 - $4.7
UK stock fee* $4.2 $16.8 $3.2 - $4.1
Inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee

*Commissions for opening/closing a $2,000 stock/ETF position

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#3 DEGIRO
Markets and products
3.6

At DEGIRO, you can access many markets and trade a lot of different products. CFDs and forex are not available, though.
DEGIRO stock, ETF, bond and mutual funds selection
Interactive Brokers Zacks Trade DEGIRO Ally Invest Fineco Bank
Stock markets (#) 83 78 31 5 13
ETFs (#) 13,000 13,000 5,400 2,300 5,500
Fund providers (#) 400 260 64 600 5
Bonds (#) 1,065,000 60,000 649 221,000 5,600

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#3 DEGIRO
Verdict

DEGIRO is a good choice if you want a simple platform and don’t want to spend too much on fees.

Transaction costs are generally very low. In addition, the account opening process is fast.

On the other hand, as DEGIRO is an execution-only broker, its research tools are limited. We should also mention that it offers no forex trading, and most clients can only deposit and withdraw by bank transfer.

All in all, DEGIRO is a great online broker. There is no minimum deposit and no inactivity fee, so feel free to go ahead and give it a try.

DEGIRO
Summary DEGIRO is a discount broker that merged with flatexDEGIRO Bank AG and is supervised by the German financial regulator.
Overall score 4.9
Recommended for Traders and investors looking for execution only

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Ally Invest Logo

#4 Best online broker for investors
Ally Invest

Ally Invest is a US stockbroker regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Its parent company, Ally Financial Inc. dates back to 1911 when its predecessor, General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) was founded. Ally Financial Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has a banking subsidiary, Ally Bank.

Ally Invest is considered safe because it has a long track record and is regulated by top-tier financial authorities.

Recommended for investors and traders looking for low fees and focusing on the us market

Pros Cons
Low trading and non-trading fees You can trade only on US markets
Easy and fully digital account opening Forex trading is available through a separate account
Great education Lack of proper 2-step authentication

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#4 Ally Invest
Fees

Ally Invest has low trading fees and non-trading fees, including zero base commission on most stocks and ETFs. On the negative side, margin rates are quite high.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees Margin rates could be lower
Low non-trading fees
Zero commission on most stock and ETF trades
Ally Invest fees
Interactive Brokers Zacks Trade DEGIRO Ally Invest Fineco Bank
Stock and ETF fee scores 4.8 stars 4.5 stars 4.8 stars 5.0 stars 4.4 stars
Mutual fund fee scores 2.9 stars 1.1 stars 4.3 stars 3.6 stars 5.0 stars
Bond fee scores 4.8 stars 4.5 stars 5.0 stars 4.5 stars 4.9 stars
US stock fee* $1.0 $1.0 $0.6 $0.0 $4.0
German stock fee* $3.6 $14.4 $5.3 - $4.7
UK stock fee* $4.2 $16.8 $3.2 - $4.1
Inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee

*Commissions for opening/closing a $2,000 stock/ETF position

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#4 Ally Invest
Markets and products
2.5

At Ally Invest, you can trade various asset classes from stocks to options. On the negative side, it covers only the US market and futures trading is not available.
Ally Invest stock, ETF, bond and mutual funds selection
Interactive Brokers Zacks Trade DEGIRO Ally Invest Fineco Bank
Stock markets (#) 83 78 31 5 13
ETFs (#) 13,000 13,000 5,400 2,300 5,500
Fund providers (#) 400 260 64 600 5
Bonds (#) 1,065,000 60,000 649 221,000 5,600

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#4 Ally Invest
Verdict

Ally Invest is one of the biggest US stockbrokers and is overseen by top-tier regulators. Retail clients of Ally Bank will appreciate that its banking and brokerage platforms are very well integrated - so it's very easy to move cash between those accounts.

Ally Invest has low trading and non-trading fees and offers a good product range in the US. The account opening process is easy and fully digital. We also liked the high quality of its educational tools.

Ally Invest has some drawbacks though. You can trade only on US exchanges. Forex trading is available only through a separate Ally Forex account provided by GAIN Capital (Forex.com). Lastly, there is no option to turn on two-factor authentication for added security.

Still, as trading fees are low and no inactivity fee is charged, feel free to try Ally Invest.

Ally Invest
Summary Ally Invest is a US stockbroker, regulated by top-tier authorities the SEC and FINRA. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has a banking background.
Overall score 4.6
Recommended for Investors and traders looking for low fees and focusing on the US market

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Fineco Bank Logo

#5 Best online broker for investors
Fineco Bank

Fineco Bank is an Italian bank, founded in 1999. It is regulated by the Bank of Italy, the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (Consob), and also subject to limited regulation by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

Fineco Bank has a banking license, is listed on the Italian stock exchange (Borsa Italiana), and is a constituent of the STOXX Europe 600 stock index.

At the time of our review, Fineco Bank accepted customers from the UK and Italy only. The service is slightly different for UK and Italian customers, e.g. fees are different. In this review, we tested the company's UK services, but we'll highlight all relevant information for Italian customers as well.

Fineco Bank is considered safe because it has a long track record, is listed on a stock exchange, has a banking background, and discloses its financials transparently.

Recommended for traders and investors looking for a great trading platform and a broker with a solid background

Pros Cons
Low non-trading fees Only bank transfer for deposit
Great mobile trading platform Limited educational tools
Rock-solid background Poor charting tools

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#5 Fineco Bank
Fees

Fineco Bank has low stock and ETF fees, and no inactivity or withdrawal fees. However, forex fees are high, and holding positions overnight (i.e. financing rates) are also expensive.
Pros Cons
Low non-trading fees High forex and options fees
Low stock and ETF fees / Free stock trading High fees for CFD overnight positions
Low fund fees
Fineco Bank fees
Interactive Brokers Zacks Trade DEGIRO Ally Invest Fineco Bank
Stock and ETF fee scores 4.8 stars 4.5 stars 4.8 stars 5.0 stars 4.4 stars
Mutual fund fee scores 2.9 stars 1.1 stars 4.3 stars 3.6 stars 5.0 stars
Bond fee scores 4.8 stars 4.5 stars 5.0 stars 4.5 stars 4.9 stars
US stock fee* $1.0 $1.0 $0.6 $0.0 $4.0
German stock fee* $3.6 $14.4 $5.3 - $4.7
UK stock fee* $4.2 $16.8 $3.2 - $4.1
Inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee No inactivity fee

*Commissions for opening/closing a $2,000 stock/ETF position

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#5 Fineco Bank
Markets and products
3.8

Fineco Bank has a wide product portfolio; from real stocks to CFDs, you can trade many asset classes. However, its selection of mutual funds and certain derivatives is limited.
Fineco Bank stock, ETF, bond and mutual funds selection
Interactive Brokers Zacks Trade DEGIRO Ally Invest Fineco Bank
Stock markets (#) 83 78 31 5 13
ETFs (#) 13,000 13,000 5,400 2,300 5,500
Fund providers (#) 400 260 64 600 5
Bonds (#) 1,065,000 60,000 649 221,000 5,600

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#5 Fineco Bank
Verdict

Fineco Bank is a great service provider for trading and investing. It has a solid background as a bank, and its status is further strengthened by its listing on the Borsa Italiana. It is also a constituent of the Stoxx Europe 600 stock index.

Fineco Bank has low non-trading fees: there is no fee for inactivity, deposit or withdrawal. We also liked Fineco's mobile trading platform because of its user-friendliness.

However, Fineco Bank's deposit options, educational material and charting tools are limited.

As you can trade many products at a low cost and no inactivity fee is charged, feel free to give Fineco Bank's brokerage service a try.

Fineco Bank
Summary Fineco Bank is an Italian stockbroker and bank, regulated by the Bank of Italy, Consob, and subject to limited regulation by the top-tier FCA and PRA. Fineco is listed on the Borsa Italiana and is included in the STOXX Europe 600 stock index.
Overall score 4.5
Recommended for Traders and investors looking for a great trading platform and a broker with a solid background

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Best online brokers for long-term investing in 2022
Bottom line

You've seen the details, now let's zoom out. Here are once again the best online brokers for long-term investing:

Best online brokers for long-term investing
Interactive Brokers Zacks Trade DEGIRO Ally Invest Fineco Bank
Overall score 4.9 4.4 4.9 4.6 4.5
Award Best online broker Best discount broker
Stock fee class Low Low Low Low Low
Fund fee class Average High Low Low Low
Bond fee class Low Low Low Low Low
Markets and products score 5.0 stars 3.5 stars 3.6 stars 2.5 stars 3.8 stars
Account opening score 3.2 stars 2.5 stars 5.0 stars 4.2 stars 4.2 stars
Deposit and withdrawal score 3.0 stars 3.5 stars 3.3 stars 2.6 stars 3.3 stars
Web platform score 4.0 stars 4.0 stars 4.0 stars 3.5 stars 4.3 stars
Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker

Interactive Brokers is our winner, the best online broker for long-term investing. Low trading fees. Wide range of products. Many great research tools.

All the other brokers in the top five are considered great choices as well. Pick any of them and take the next step in your investment journey. Let us know what you think in the comment section.

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