Brokerchooser blog - Futures


Best discount brokers in 2018

Best discount brokers in 2018
| Gergely Korpos Gergely Korpos

Choose the best discount broker, we did the research for you. We tested in-depth only quality online brokers available for European and US customers. We evaluated fees, funding, withdrawal, product portfolios, account opening, trading platforms and more.

As a result, we filtered out the online brokers with the lowest fees and the highest quality.  

Our top eight picks for the best discount brokers in 2018 are:

Broker Description From which regions you can open an account?
Interactive Brokers Leading discount broker from the US Worldwide
DEGIRO Upcoming Dutch discount broker Europe
tastyworks Upcoming US low commission option broker Europe, US, Latin America
Tradestation Large discount broker from the US Worldwide
Pepperstone Australian discount forex broker Worldwide except for the US
Oanda US discount forex broker Worldwide
eToro CFD broker specialized in social trading Worldwide except for the US
Markets.com Discount CFD broker Worldwide except for the US

Head to our country selector to get detailed info on which broker is available in your country.

We have created three online broker categories: discount stockbrokers, discount forex brokers and discount CFD brokers. The three groups substantially differ in several areas, like fee structure, so it makes sense to create the three peer groups. This categorization will also help you to easily find a cheap stockbroker, forex broker or CFD broker.

The best discount broker for beginners is DEGIRO. It has an easy-to-use trading platform and very low fees.

 

BEST DISCOUNT STOCKBROKERS

  Interactive Brokers DEGIRO tastyworks Tradestation
Fee structure ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★
Funding and withdrawal ★★ ★★★ ★★ ★★★
Account opening ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★
Product portfolio ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★ ★★★
Trading platform (web) ★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★
Overall rating 4.5 4.3 4.0 3.8

 

BEST DISCOUNT FOREX BROKERS

  Pepperstone Oanda
Fee structure ★★★★ ★★★★★
Funding and withdrawal ★★★★★ ★★★★
Account opening ★★★★★ ★★★★★
Product portfolio ★★ ★★
Trading platform (web) ★★★★★ ★★★★
Overall rating 4.3 4.1

 

BEST DISCOUNT CFD BROKERS

  Markets.com eToro
Fee structure ★★★★★ ★★★★
Funding and withdrawal ★★★★★ ★★★★
Account opening ★★★★★ ★★★★
Product portfolio
Trading platform (web) ★★★ ★★★
Overall rating 4.1 3.9

CFDs are complex and very risky products, thus not suitable for everyone. You can easily lose all of your invested money. Start by reading more about CFD trading if you don't have a clue what a CFD is. Just a short FYI for US customers: CFD trading is banned in the US.

Not sure which one to choose? For a personal broker recommendation, check out Brokerchooser's broker selection tool. You input your preferences and you get a personal recommendation fitting your needs.

Want to see more options? For comparing all the brokers, visit our comparison page.

What is a discount broker?

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

Discount brokers were appearing with the wider penetration of the internet and the online broker services. Brokerage companies started to provide their service online and fully automatized. This was the rise of the online trading platforms. An online trading platform is basically a website, where you can insert your own orders and you get only a customer support, no investment advice. 

The distance between the full-service brokers and discount brokers has been narrowing in the last 5-10 years. Discount brokers started to provide extra services as well, like research, while full-service brokers started to lower their fees.The full brokerage and wealth management industry is under a fee pressure thanks to the more and more cost-effective online broker companies.

Nowadays, the new discount brokers are the free-trade brokers. These provide commission-free trading and charge an extra fee for ancillary services, like after hour trading. The biggest free-trade online broker in the US is Robinhood. In the UK, Freetrade is planning to launch its trading app this year. Stay tuned, we will come out with a Robinhood and Freetrade broker reviews soon.


How to invest in Bitcoin, Bitcoin CFDs, Bitcoin ETNs or Bitcoin Futures

How to invest in Bitcoin, Bitcoin CFDs, Bitcoin ETNs or Bitcoin Futures
| Tibor Bedő Tibor Bedő

Did you know crypto exchanges are not the only way to get cryptos? They might not even be the best for you. They can be expensive and unsecure. In this article you will learn about crypto exchange alternatives and get introduced to established and regulated financial providers offering crypto investments.

At the end of the article you will know how to invest in Bitcoin, Bitcoin CFD, Bitcoin ETN or Bitcoin Futures.

How do we know this? We analyse financial institutions and help people to find the best stockbrokers. We understand brokerage and know the financial industry well. In the last months, readers asked us constantly how to invest in Bitcoins and cryptos. We looked into it, and compiled an easy to understand introduction.

As cryptos are extra risky, here is an extra risk warning. Only invest money in cryptos you are prepared to fully lose. Their price fluctuates like crazy. If my mom asked about Bitcoin, I would tell her not to touch it.

Still interested, ok, let’s get to it then. I reckon you want to buy Bitcoin from a cheap and secure source. Right? But what does this mean? Let’s break it down.

Buying Bitcoin means exchanging your Euro or Dollar to Bitcoin.

Cheap means depositing money to the exchange, doing the exchange and withdrawing your money doesn’t cost you a lot.

Secure is also important. When finance guys talk about security they mean:

  • The service provider is not a fraud, because it is
    • regulated, meaning they proved their capability to set up the business and run it.
    • audited, checked by an independent auditor
    • transparent, providing financial data, ownership, etc. to the public
  • The service provider can manage itself, because it has good
    • risk management (they are prepared to deliver when things go south)
    • operation (e.g. accessing the interface, giving orders, etc. work)
    • IT security from external attacks
  • Investors are compensated by the state if the service providers defaults. This is the so called investor protection. Note, you will not get compensated if your investment price drops. You will get compensated if your broker was a fraud or it defaulted.

It turns out, crypto exchanges are bad at both being cheap and secure. So, what are the alternatives? There are three other ways how to invest in Bitcoins, not known by many

  1. Going long in a Bitcoin CFDs, abbreviation for Contract for Differences
  2. Investing in passive funds, namely ETNs covering Bitcoins
  3. Going long on Bitcoin Futures

Let’s analyse them one by one. We will be fair with crypto exchanges and give them a run for their money. And to be fair, the alternatives are not perfect either. What should you do? As a step one, understand the differences. Here we go.