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How to choose an online broker?

Selecting an online broker is a huge step that may appear intimidating. However, there's no need to worry because we're here to help. This article will guide you on what factors to consider when choosing an online broker, and we'll also provide you with some of our top broker recommendations.

We at BrokerChooser only publish objective analyses based on live testing. Every recommendation is unbiased and based on first-hand experience: we open a live account anonymously at each broker, deposit real money and test every important feature.

BrokerChooser is not a brokerage firm. We publish objective analyses and broker recommendation based on live testing.

The essence:

  • Make sure the broker is available at your country
  • Think about what asset types you would like to trade
  • There are several great brokers, it is better to open an account at any of them, than not to open at all
  • You will find broker recommendations in this article

How to choose an online broker
What is a broker?

An online broker is a company that offers investors a platform where they can trade financial assets, like stocks, bonds, ETFs and options online.

Via the provided platform traders and investors can execute trades without a physical broker or financial advisor and are able to analyze their investments using several charting tools

How to choose an online broker
What to consider when choosing a broker?

There are several aspects to take into account, when choosing an online broker. Since it is an important decision it requires careful consideration.

First of all, before we jump into all the different factors, the most important is to check which broker is available at your country. You will have to verify your home address during registration, so you can only open an account at brokers that accept clients from your country. If you are unsure whether you can open an account at a specific broker, head over to our list of broker reviews and select your home country. You then will only be listed brokers that are avilable at your country of residence.

Once you are done with that, there are several other aspects to look at before opening a broker account. Below you can find what we consider to be the most important ones:


Regulation is among the most important factors. We, at BrokerChooser only recommend legit and regulated brokers. You should never trust online brokerages that do not hold a regulatory license.


Another important aspect is fees and commissions. Brokers offer different fees for different asset types trading. When choosing a broker, it can be useful to know in advance what kind of assets you would like to trade, so that you can choose a broker accordingly.

Markets and Products

You should also consider the available products at a broker. Not all brokers offer all range of investment products and some brokers provide for instance more stocks to trade than others. If you are not sure yet what assets you would like to trade, we would suggest choosing a broker with a wide range of products. 

Trading platforms

Once you have your broker account, you will conduct your trades on their trading platform. Executing your trades on a user-friendly platform makes the whole experience better. Several brokers offer demo accounts, so that you can try out their trading platform, before you deposit real money.

Deposit options

The most common deposit options are bank transfer, credit/debit card and electronic wallets. However, not all brokers provide all these options. Before opening an account, check if your preferred deposit option is available at the broker.

Customer support

During or even before your trading/investing career there will most certainly be times when you will require some help. Most of the times it is a great option to contact the broker's official customer support. And when you do, you expect the answers to be clear and adequate. A good customer service can save you a lot of time which you would spend looking after things you do not understand.

How to choose an online broker
Best brokers to choose

It's okay if you still don't know which broker to choose or even what your possibilities are. We took the time to research and analyze more than 100 online brokerages and created several lists of brokers we consider to be the bests. Here are a few examples:

Best online brokers

Best brokers for beginners

Best stock brokers

Best forex brokers

Best CFD brokers

How to choose an online broker

How do I know if an online broker is legitimate?

Trustworthy online brokers always hold at least one regulatory license, that they usually display on their websites. We, at BrokerChooser only recommend legit and regulated brokers. Check our broker reviews to see which regulators oversee specific brokers.

What should you look for in an online broker?

Here are some factors that you should check, when looking for an online broker:

  • Regulation
  • Fees and commissions
  • Available assets
  • Trading platforms
  • Deposit options
  • Customer support

Which broker is best for beginners?

To find the best broker for beginners check our article, where we recommend 5 brokers that are great for beginners.

How much money should you have before getting a broker?

There are several brokers that do not require a minimum deposit, which means that you can start trading with as little money as you wish. Some brokers require a minimum deposit though, these usually range between $50-$1000.

Author of this article

Tamás Gyuriczki

Author of this article

Tamás holds a BSc in Finance and Accounting at Corvinus University. Having joined BrokerChooser in 2021 he focuses on research of retail brokerages.

Tamás Gyuriczki

Junior Broker Analyst

Tamás holds a BSc in Finance and Accounting at Corvinus University. Having joined BrokerChooser in 2021 he focuses on research of retail brokerages.

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