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January 2018
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Online Brokers

Below is a free review of online brokers using their own marketing material.  The purpose of this review is to illustrate to Alphas Edge independent investors the variety of online brokers.


E Trade – An online broker of stocks, options, futures, mutual funds, ETFs, Bonds, Fixed income and global trading that claims;

“Industry leader: An online and trading pioneer, innovation for over 25 years, over 4.5 million accounts worldwide, and industry leading complete protection guarantee. “

“Innovative Solutions: stocks, options, futures, mutual funds, ETFs, Bonds, Fixed income and global trading, powerful trading platforms, E*TRADE Mobile Pro. “

“Value & Ease: Integrated account management, easy to use investing tools, industry leading trading tools, low pricing & margin rates, high-yield savings from E*TRADE Bank.” 

“Guidance & Insights: Retirement tools & planning, free independent research, investing education & seminars, commentary & insights, personalized guidance and investor resource center.”


Firstrade – An online broker that specializes in broad range of investments  that claims;

Reasons to choose Firstrade; 10,000 mutual funds, account is protected up to $150 million dollars, Second Execution Guarantee, $6.95 flat rate for online orders, low margin rates, No Minimum Deposit, No Fee IRAs, Free Dividend Reinvestment, Exceptional Customer Service, Real-Time Portfolio Tracker, Free S&P Stock Reports and 5 Star Recommendations, Bonds & CDs Online, No Inactivity or Account Maintenance Fees, Level I and II Streaming Quotes,


Fidelity – An online broker that specializes in broad range of investments  that claims;

“Professional Guidance:   One-on-one consultations at no charge.   Help for every stage of life, from starting out, to building wealth, to living in retirement.  A consistent investing approach to help you develop and manage your strategy.  Planning tools and resources to help you make smarter investment choices.”

“Broad Range of Investments:   More highly rated funds.  Solutions for retirement, college, insurance, cash management, and more.   FDIC-insured CDs and a wide range of money market products.  Managed portfolios for retirement and tax-sensitive investments.”

“World-Class Service:  Hassle-free account opening—we can help you take care of the paperwork.  Rollover specialists to make bringing your 401(k) to Fidelity easier.  Specialized services for active trading and wealth management.   Easy access to your accounts via and Fidelity Anywhere®.”

“Leadership:  60 years of experience through all types of markets.   #1 retirement provider.  #1 provider of workplace investing plans.  #1 online broker as rated by Kiplinger’s magazine.  One of the widest selections of mutual funds available.”

“Money Management Expertise:  More than 1000 investment professionals in 25 countries.  Global research covering 95% of companies in the MSCI World Index.  One of the world’s largest fixed-income teams.”

“Low Pricing, Great Value:  Competitive pricing.   No account fees, including IRAs.  Free investment help.  No ATM fees.  Trade for as low as $8–with powerful trading tools.”



FolioInvesting – An online broker that specializes in Folio (A portfolio of stocks, ETFs, and Mutual funds you buy, sell or customize in a single transaction) investing that claims;

“Ready-to-Go Folios:  We have over 100 specially designed investment portfolios, what we call Ready-to-Go Folios to get you started. Each is built around a particular investing strategy — such as a market sector, investing style, geographic region, or retirement-focus — like our Target Date Folios. Every Ready-to-Go Folio has an overview of the securities in the investment portfolio as well as how they are selected and updated.  We revise and rebalance Ready-to-Go Folios periodically and we send you email alerts each time. You can act on these updates or not. When was the last time a mutual fund manager kept you in the loop? Compare Folios to mutual funds.”

“Build Your Own Folios:  We’ve made building your own Folios as simple as our Ready-to-Go Folios are to pick. Give each investment portfolio a name and add one stock or up to 100 stocks, ETFs or mutual funds to each. Build your own investment portfolio if you have your own stock picks, an investment strategy you like, or you’re following a blog, newsletter, forum, investment club or anything else.”

“Customize Your Folio:  With one click, you can allocate your dollars equally across all of the holdings in your investment portfolio, use market cap weightings, or customize each security weighting. We’ll make sure it all adds up.”


Forex– An online broker that specializes in currencies and spot metals that claims;

“Trade currencies and spot metals:   Dealing spreads are as low as 1-2 pips on the most widely traded currency pairs. As always, you pay no commissions at, only the bid/offer spread. Our prices are quoted in more precise 0.1 pip increments to help you take advantage of smaller price movements. Learn more about our pricing.”

“Quality executions:  Our mission is to provide you a fair, efficient trading environment, which means quoting competitive spreads and ensuring quality executions. Our customer base represents traders from over 140 countries, and the firm trades nearly $200 billion per month with its customers and trading partners.* Top 10 reasons currency traders choose”

“Powerful trading tools:  Spot and seize potential market opportunities with our forex trading platform. We designed our tools to make it easy to put your trading strategy into action with advanced order management tools, a choice of robust charting packages, and auto execution tools.”

“24-hour access to licensed representatives:  Reach our knowledgeable, Series 3 registered reps 24-hours a day during market hours and on Saturdays from 9am-5pm ET. Get answers quickly by phone, email or chat.”

“Forex training and education:  Whether you need ideas for a new strategy, to brush up on platform tools, or just to learn our platform for the first time, we have the resources you need at Open a free forex practice account to test your knowledge with no risk or obligation, attend a webinar, or check our schedule for a forex workshop in your area. “

“Market research you can count on:  Our experienced research team provides robust market analysis you won’t find anywhere else, from real-time commentary to essential daily and weekly reports that summarize key market developments with an insightful perspective. More about our forex research offering.”

“System stability and reliability:  Our technology infrastructure is designed to support a 24-hour trading environment with 100% uptime. We subject our systems to rigorous testing and maintain multiple connections through internet backbones to assure connectivity for our clients around the globe. “

“Successful firm with solid financials: is a division of GAIN Capital Group, LLC, a pioneer in the online foreign exchange industry. The firm is well-capitalized, with an experienced management team and strong corporate governance. GAIN’s majority shareholders are five well-known U.S. venture capital and private equity firms with over $35 billion in combined assets. More awards & accolades.”



Interactive Brokers– An online broker that specializes in Stocks, Bonds, Futures, Mutual Funds, Options that claims;

 “Successful traders and investors understand that superior technology and low trading costs hold the key to greater returns. Our clients benefit from electronic market access to stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds on over 80 market destinations worldwide, best price execution, ultra low commissions, high interest earned and low financing costs. Interactive Brokers Group and its affiliates hold $4.4 billion in equity capital. Click on a link below to enter our customer focused websites to learn more about our services.”

“Individuals:  Single and linked trading accounts for individuals and small business.”

“Institutions: Prime broker and execution services for advisors, brokers, funds, and proprietary groups.”

“IB Worldwide:  IB Canada, UK, Japan and international language websites.”

“Investors Relations: Information for stockholders of Interactive Brokers Groups, Inc.”



Lightspeed – An online broker that specializes in Equity, Options and Futures that claims;


“Ninjas have nunchucks; traders Lightspeed”

“Lightspeed advantage: Price, Platform, Tools”

“Pricing Schedule and FeesOne more unfair advantage we provide our customers is competitive pricing. That’s why we’ve developed a competitive pricing structure that requires no minimums on a per trade basis. “

Trading Platformequities, options, and futures executions through the use of Lightspeed Trader, our low-latency, feature-rich direct market access trading system. Lightspeed Trader has become an industry-leading trading platform used by many successful professional retail traders, trading groups, and hedge funds. Our cutting-edge, low-latency technology, combined with our professional customer service, gives traders the edge they need to succeed.  See Lightspeed Trader in action.”

Data Latency is the delay between input being processed and the corresponding output.  Low latency means that the delay between order and order execution is minimal.


Marsco– An online broker that specializes in Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, Options that claims;

 “Since our inception in 1986, our business is built around the belief that its not enough to simply meet your expectations. Our goal is to exceed them. When you open an account with Marsco, you can expect responsive attention to your inquiries – along with leading edge technology necessary for trade executions and portfolio information. In addition, constructing and updating a user friendly site is an area of major focus for us. We believe that our responsive service and user friendly technology, combined with one of the lowest commission structures in the industry today, offers today’s investor a truly exceptional value.   As you can see from our Fees and Rates schedule, our commissions are substantially below those offered by conventional discount brokers. We constantly strive to offer amongst the industry’s lowest rates for online trading and broker assisted trading – without imposing an assortment of restrictions and minimums. The following are account highlights:, $3.95 ONLINE STOCK TRADES FOR MARKET OR LIMIT ORDERS, NO TRADING MINIMUM FOR $3.95 RATE, NO INACTIVITY FEE, NO SHARE LIMITS”

“Invest in thousands of publicly-traded securities including: Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, Options.  We also offer other account features such as check writing and electronic funds transfer for convenient access to your funds or loan balances.”

“Marsco Investment Corporation is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC): Securities in your account are protected up to $500,000. For further information please visit  Our singular focus is to empower self-directed investors with the necessary tools to manage your portfolio while offering extremely low commission rates. We accomplish this by paying strict attention to our internal cost structure and maximizing our efficiency. With this combination of leading edge technology and low costs, why trade anywhere else!”



optionsXpress – An online broker that specializes in trading options, stocks, futures, mutual funds, bonds and more that claims;

“Built for Investors by Investors:  Trade with a brokerage firm built by investors just like you. From intuitive trade screens developed to save you time and simplify the order entry process, to innovative charts that make technical analysis a snap.”

“Trade All Products: in ONE AccountTrade options, stocks, futures, mutual funds, bonds and more in a SINGLE online account. That means one username, one password, one log in. Yep you heard us right. Learn more about all the products you can trade in one account at optionsXpress.“

“Educational:  From basic investing concepts to advanced trading strategies, take advantage of our wide array of webinars, tutorials and on-site events. Our Virtual Trade tool even lets you test your investing mettle in a realistic environment without putting any real money on the line.”

“Innovative and Powerful Tools Scanners: that comb the markets for ideas based on your investing criteria. Customizable charts that help you see the things that are most important to you. Up-to-the-minute news and research resources to keep you on top of the latest market developments. optionsXpress gives you more tools to help find your next great investment.”

“Straightforward fees:  Whether you’re trading stocks, options or futures, at optionsXpress you’ll find straightforward fees that buy you so much more than just a trade. Best of all, with no base rate, no additional charge for broker-assisted trades, and No Hidden Fees, you can rest assured that the price you see is the price you’ll pay.”

“We’re Dedicated to Serving You Better: Our licensed brokers are committed to finding the right answer quickly, so that investing online doesn’t mean investing alone. Take advantage of free broker-assisted trading and extended customer service hours to get the personal, knowledgeable help you need – right when you need it.”



Schwab– An online broker that specializes in personal relationship that claims;

“Welcome to Schwab. Here, you can enjoy a personal relationship with our investment professionals. We see investing from your perspective, and make recommendations based on actually listening to you and understanding your needs.”

“Experience ease and convenience—from opening your account to accessing top research. To all investors, we offer investment guidance and portfolio planning.”

“If you want us to manage your portfolio, we also offer investment management services. “

“Our goal is simple: to give you everything you need to do better.”

“Whether you want help managing your own portfolio or want us to manage it for you, we can meet your needs. Learn about a personal relationship.”

“No matter how you work with us, real guidance—not arbitrary opinions—can help you achieve the results you want. Learn more about fact-based guidance.”

“Enjoy the benefits of a full-service broker—without high prices or fees. Learn more about great value.”



Scottrade – An online broker that specializes in Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, Options that claims;

“Online trading easy and affordable:  $7 a trade, quality execution, low option commission, no inactivity fees or account maintenance fees, low margin rates, and just $500 to open account.”

“Outstanding support for every trader:  exceptional customer service, 419 local branch offices, experience, 25 million account protection, free user summits, and Scottrade online community.”

“Leading trading tools and research: Three customized trading platforms, wireless trading, Screening tools, real time account updates, free real time account balances, quality stock research, and complimentary DJI news.”

“A full line of investment products: No fee IRA, No transaction fee mutual fund, fixed income investment, ETFs / ESAs, options trading and stocks investment.”



ShareBuilder – An online broker that specializes in low cost, Stocks, Mutual Funds, Options that claims;

Main marketing is: “No account minimum.  No activation fee.  Select from our list of over 7,000 stocks and ETFs .  Schedule investments on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis .  Invest any dollar amount on Tuesdays exclusively online.”



TD Ameritrade– An online broker that specializes in Stocks and other investments that claims;

“Fair pricing: You may have come to expect that your commission price depends on the size of your account. Not here. You’ll get low, flat rate $9.99 commissions on every Internet equity trade, regardless of account balance or how many shares you buy. And you won’t be charged a maintenance fee. That’s our straightforward pricing. Clear and simple.”

“Independent research: We can help you make more informed investing decisions with powerful, independent market research from third-party industry leaders. And with powerful screening and charting tools at your fingertips you can find investments that meet your criteria, and efficiently track their progress.”

“Long Term investing: Find a wide range of practical solutions, portfolio analysis and guidance to help you create a path to your long-term goals. We’ll help you analyze and adjust your retirement strategy, get portfolio guidance, learn from our objective investment philosophy and more…all at a great value.”

“Easy to use tools: Spot and seize potential market opportunities with our powerful online trading tools. Monitor the markets and manage data easily to put your trading strategy into action. We make it convenient with our state-of-the-art trading and market tools. Get the real-time market information you want to help you make more informed trading decisions.”

 “Stability: While much has changed in the past 30 years, our commitment to providing clients with a secure investing experience remains the same. That starts with our efforts to keep your account protected the minute you sign up. It continues with our Asset Protection Guarantee and extensive Security Center with information about additional safeguards. Asset Protection Guarantee.”

“Knowledgeable Support: No matter where you are or what level of support you need, we’re here. Online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Over the phone for your convenience. Or one-on-one, for personal service at one of our nationwide TD AMERITRADE branches. Find a branch near you.”



thinkorswim – An online broker that specializes in Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, Options that claims;

“The risk of loss in trading securities, options, futures and forex can be substantial. Customers must consider all relevant risk factors, including their own personal financial situation, before trading. Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. See the Options Disclosure Document: Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options. A copy can be requested from Scott Garland, Compliance Officer, at 773-435-3270 or at 600 W. Chicago Ave., #100, Chicago, IL 60654-2597 or by email at Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk, as well as its own unique risk factors. Please read the following risk disclosure before considering the trading of this product: Forex Risk Disclosure. thinkorswim is compensated through a portion of the forex dealing spread. Funds deposited into an account with a broker-dealer for investment in any currency, or which are the proceeds of a currency position, or any currency in an account with a broker-dealer, are not protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).”

“thinkorswim, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of TD AMERITRADE Holding Corporation.”


Trade Monster– An online broker that specializes in Trade Stocks, Options, ETFs, Mutual Funds and Bonds that claims;

“Powerful Product: Our innovative application, designed by real traders, is elegantly simple to use (Real-time, Customizable, and Charts & Tools).”

“Educational Resources: A helpful library of instructional courses and articles comes with every account (Strategic, Credible and Relevant).”

 “Professional Service: Our licensed service professionals are well versed and ready to help (Experienced, Licensed and Trained).”

“Superior Value: We offer competitive prices, the latest technology, and a full suite of trading tools (Low Costs, No Hidden Fees and Comprehensive).”



TradeKing– An online broker that specializes in Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, Options that claims;

“We have fair and simple pricing: At TradeKing, you will pay just $4.95 a trade plus 65 cents per option contract. Period. We don’t have any account minimums or hidden fees. We even charge the same price for broker-assisted trades. We think you will agree our low commissions are pretty amazing. But what’s really amazing is everything you get for the price.”

“Our customer service is rated the best: Sometimes it seems great customer service is a thing of the past. But not at TradeKing. We offer short hold times, fast email responses and instant online broker chat. Whatever you need from us, we’ll make it easy to get. No wonder SmartMoney and Kiplinger’s both gave our Customer Service their very highest ratings in their latest broker surveys.”

 “To make the right trades, you need the right tools: When you open your account, you’ll get instant access to our award-winning suite of powerful research and trading tools, like MarketGrader Research Reports, our Maxit Tax Manager, Probability Calculator, Profit and Loss Calculator, Stock and Option Screeners, Technical Analysis Tools and much, much more. It’s all free to every client, with no minimum balances or minimum number of trades.”

“Our innovative Trader Network: At TradeKing, you don’t have to trade alone. You can watch and interact with fellow traders and pros. You can share experiences, ideas and strategies. See what others are trading and how they are performing. You can even gather insights and analysis from the pros.”

“Accounts are secure and protected up to $25 million: Our website uses industry-leading encryption technology to ensure a safe and secure web experience. And, with SIPC protection plus additional third-party insurance, you can sleep easy at night, knowing your assets are safe and sound with us up to the tune of $25 million.”



TradeStation– An online broker that specializes in Stocks, Options, Futures and Forex that claims;

“2009 Futures Symposium: Live trading and analysis from industry experts.  Presented by TradeStation and CME Group.”

“Low Commissions: $6.99 per stock trade or choose per-share commissions starting at $0.01 a share.

 “New Tools: See what you could be doing if you had TradeStation.”



Zecco– An online broker that specializes in Stocks, Options, and Forex that claims;         

“We offer free stock trades, powerful tools, great customer service, and a groundbreaking financial community … among other things.”

“Get 10 free stock trades every month when you maintain a $25,000 balance or execute 25 trades each month. Otherwise it’s just $4.50 per trade. Check out our complete pricing plan”