best brokerage firm for beginners

Best online stock brokerage firm for beginners in 2017




Best Broker for Beginners Overview


TD Ameritrade offers a variety of financial services that many first-time investors will find helpful. With the availability of customer service 24 hours a day and user-friendly trading tools, investors who are new to the game will find a lot of assistance here.


Pricing and Account Minimums


TD Ameritrade's schedule of fees and commissions is very straightforward. Stock and ETF trades placed on-line cost $6.95. Using the broker's automated phone system carries a $34.99 fee. Placing a trade with a live broker is also possible, and costs $44.99. Options are an extra $0.75 per contract.

New investors might be interested in trading bonds and other fixed-income securities, since these financial instruments have a history of greater price stability. TD Ameritrade provides its clients both corporate and government debt to trade. The firm is compensated through the bid-ask spread on most fixed-income products. Purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds at auction are $25.

Accounts with this broker have no minimum opening balance requirement, and there are no account maintenance fees or annual fees. This is a great opportunity for novice investors. New customers can open an account and try out the website and trading tools before depositing a dime.


Website and Trading Tools


TD Ameritrade has an easy-to-use website with a lot of great tools. Users can contact customer service, research possible trades, or plan for retirement. Navigation is simple and trouble-free. Order entry is a quick and easy using the broker's useful SnapTicket at the bottom of the browser.

Traders who don't want to use the website can choose from several platforms, all of which are free to use. First is Trade Architect, a Java-based system launched from the web site. Also available is thinkorswim, which is a desktop program. There are no frequent trader requirements, so beginners can practice these platforms without paying anything extra.


Best stock brokerage firm for beginners


The thinkorswim platform has a "support/chat" button that users can click on to contact customer service, which is available from 6 am to 6 pm CST. Chat rooms are available for investors to discuss trading ideas, which could be helpful to beginners.

Thinkorswim also lets traders share a chart using Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, and MyTrade.

A valuable tool that TD Ameritrade offers is paperMoney, a practice platform within thinkorswim that lets investors simulate trading with a virtual currency. Customers who want to learn how to trade stocks and other securities can practice trading them before depositing actual money. Advanced order types are also available in paperMoney, allowing users to test out complex order strategies before using them in real trades. Furthermore, novice investors who aren't familiar with technical analysis or charting tools can practice them using this important tool.


Best online brokerage firm for beginners


Learning Materials


New investors will find good educational sources at TD Ameritrade. The broker's clients have access to securities reports from good-quality analysts such as Credit Suisse, TheStreet.com, and Morningstar. The reports are provided free of charge.

Videos and articles are available on the educational section of the firm's website covering a wide variety of investment topics. Beginners will find resources on stocks, bonds, options, mutual funds, and even forex and futures. Everything an investor needs to get started trading is covered in these materials.

The firm also provides its clients with Investools, which offers financial classes for beginners. Customers have access to live online workshops and interactive coaching webcasts. TD Ameritrade customers receive a discount when they enroll with the service.


Mutual Funds and ETF's


Novice investors will benefit from TD Ameritrade's wide selection of commission-free mutual and exchange-traded funds. The broker has over 100 commission-free ETF's available for trading. Several important sectors are included, such as world bond and small cap growth.

The firm's mutual fund offerings include more than 2,000 funds with no transaction fee and no load. Several categories of mutual funds are available, such as municipal bonds and emerging markets.


Customer Service


TD Ameritrade representatives can be contacted by phone, e-mail, or fax. Phone service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If new investors have questions, they can call in any time of the day. Service is also available certain hours of the day in Cantonese, Mandarin, and Spanish.

The firm has more than 100 brick-and-mortar locations across America for investors who need some personal financial guidance. These locations could prove beneficial for novice traders who are trying to learn the ropes in the investment world.


Promotions


Customers who open a TD Ameritrade account with at least $3,000 are eligible for commission-free trades. There is a maximum of 500 trades, which must be executed within 2 months of account opening. Free trades are an excellent way for beginners to practice trading. Promotion offer link: Join TD Ameritrade. Trade free for 60 days + Get up to $600.


Recap


TD Ameritrade is a widely-used broker that offers many features new investors can benefit from. Especially valuable is the firm's commission-free funds, first-class customer service, excellent trading tools, valuable educational resources, and a current promotion for free trades. It's a great time to get started.


TD Ameritrade Promotion Offer


Join TD Ameritrade. Trade free for 60 days + Get up to $600.




This article was updated on 2/10/2017.





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