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Published January 10, 2023

You deserve the best in investing

With so many financial services companies out there, it can be tough to find the best one for your needs. To help determine which ones meet your needs, Bankrate reviewed dozens of the major online players – including brokers, robo-advisors, cryptocurrency exchanges and financial apps – using an objective scoring system to measure the qualities that matter most to individual investors. Then we chose the top performers across categories such as best overall broker, best for retirement investing and best robo-advisor.

How we picked these investment firms

  • Bankrate evaluated these firms on a variety of cost factors, such as commissions, management fees, account fees, expense ratios, funding fees and more.
  • We looked carefully at numerous account features such as trading capabilities, portfolio management, research, tools and other key aspects of the services.
  • We also examined several factors that affect the consumer experience such as mobile apps, customer support and investor education.

Best broker overall

Charles Schwab logo

Charles Schwab

Learn more in our Bankrate review
Highlights Low overall costs Customer support Research and education

Charles Schwab brings it all to customers, whether they’re beginners or advanced investors. Extensive research and a solid education form the cornerstone at Schwab, and it’s enhanced by knowledgeable customer support, more than 4,000 mutual funds without a transaction fee and, of course, no commissions on stocks or ETFs.

A strong trading platform appeals to volume traders, while the ability to buy fractional shares helps newer investors put all their money to work. Plus, Schwab regularly offers one of the best sign-on bonuses in the industry.

  • Robust trading platform for beginners and experts
  • Extensive research and education
  • Top-notch customer support

Best broker for beginner investors

Fidelity Investments logo

Fidelity Investments

Learn more in our Bankrate review
Highlights Research and education Low trading costs and fees Fractional shares

Many investors will appreciate what Fidelity Investments has to offer, but beginners may find it particularly appealing. Low trading costs will help make sure your portfolio isn’t eaten up by commissions and other fees, and Fidelity’s extensive research and education offering will help you stay informed.

For those starting out small, the broker offers Stocks by the Slice, which lets you buy fractional shares in stocks that new investors might not otherwise be able to afford. On top of all that, Fidelity offers nearly 3,400 mutual funds with no transaction fees.

  • Deep offering of educational materials and tools for new investors
  • No account fees, thousands of no-transaction-fee (NTF) funds, and there’s no minimum to open an account
  • Strong customer service: 24/7 availability by phone, plus live chat, email and virtual assistant

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Best broker for advanced traders

TD Ameritrade Logo

TD Ameritrade

Learn more in our Bankrate review
Highlights Low trading costs Strong trading platforms Wide range of securities

TD Ameritrade brings a trifecta of goodness to advanced traders: a wide range of securities that can be traded at low cost on the broker’s strong trading platforms, including the highly regarded thinkorswim platform in web, desktop and mobile versions. Add on strong research that includes well-built-out stock and fund pages with plenty of third-party research, and you have a broker that should appeal to advanced traders.

TD Ameritrade, which was purchased a few years ago by Charles Schwab, will be integrated with that broker over the course of 2023, and the thinkorswim platform is coming along, too.

  • Robust trading platforms, including the mobile app
  • Strong research, with comprehensive stock pages and third-party reports
  • Wide range of tradable securities, including less common categories such as futures and forex

Best broker for research and tools

TD Ameritrade Logo

TD Ameritrade

Learn more in our Bankrate review
Highlights Strong research offering Educational resources Robust trading platform

TD Ameritrade outclassed the competition when it came to research and tools, bringing among the most detailed stock and fund pages and the deepest educational offerings. Research on individual stocks and funds provided in-depth news, analysis and third-party reports, while the education component provided a range of access, including articles and videos, to get clients up to speed.

Top these features off with highly capable trading platforms, including the thinkorswim platform in three versions, including a mobile app, and you have the best broker for research and tools.

  • Research includes well-built-out pages for stocks and funds, including news and reports from high-quality third-party providers.
  • A wealth of education offerings, including articles, videos, webinars and more
  • The strong platforms, including thinkorswim, enable powerful trading

Best broker for retirement investing

Fidelity Investments logo

Fidelity Investments

Learn more in our Bankrate review
Highlights Broad offering of retirement accounts No account fees, low costs NTF mutual funds

If you’re investing for retirement, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding what you’re looking for at Fidelity Investments. The broker offers just about every retirement account you could want, ranging from traditional and Roth IRAs to SEP IRAs and solo 401(k)s. You’ll also get commission-free stock and ETF trades and can even invest in fractional shares if you’re starting with small amounts. Fidelity also offers more than 3,000 mutual funds with no transaction fees, making sure your returns aren’t eaten up by unnecessary costs.

  • Wide range of retirement accounts and planning tools, along with top-notch research and analysis
  • Commission-free trading of stocks and ETFs with access to fractional shares — and no account fees to worry about
  • Strong customer service: 24/7 availability by phone, plus live chat, email and virtual assistant

Best robo-advisor

Betterment logo


Learn more in our Bankrate review
Highlights Automatic rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting Low management fees and fund costs Human advisors available

Betterment has been a top robo-advisor for several years and is one of the largest that isn’t affiliated with a major bank or brokerage firm. The company offers investors an easy way to have their investment portfolio managed at a low cost, with two different plans available to meet your needs. Betterment even offers access to certified human advisors for those less-routine questions.

Customers are also well-served by its strong selection of investing tools to help set their financial goals, its solid educational components, a cash management account and a robust tax-loss harvesting plan.

  • Two feature-rich plans, including tax minimization, rebalancing and a human advisor option
  • Strong offering of low-cost funds and ability to invest in fractional shares
  • Solid goal-based investing tools and education

Best investing app

Wealthfront logo


Learn more in our Bankrate review
Highlights Sophisticated portfolio management Wide selection of investible funds Low management fees

Wealthfront offers huge capabilities in one easy-to-use investing app, including strong portfolio management, a wide selection of low-cost investments and premium features such as tax-loss harvesting. The robo will build you a customized portfolio, from core funds, socially responsible funds, cryptocurrency funds and others, while a capable cash management account, a robust planning tool and automated bill paying and management make Wealthfront a place for you to run your money life.

Yet for all this, it charges no more than other robo-advisors offering less.

  • Easy-to-use app that offers sophisticated portfolio management
  • Comprehensive app that can run your financial life with little additional support
  • This app also offers a robust cash management account, allowing you to do it all from one app

Best crypto exchange

Binance logo


Learn more in our Bankrate review
Highlights Low commissions Volume-based pricing Earn staking rewards

As the U.S. arm of the larger Binance organization, Binance.US offers some of the lowest commissions for trading cryptocurrency, perfect in a new industry that often marks up its prices. Binance offers volume-based pricing, with falling commissions as you trade more, and even offers discounted commissions that can be obtained without churning hundreds of thousands of dollars as well as no commissions on spot trading of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

If you’re thinking about getting into trading cryptocurrency, Binance.US should be your first look.

  • Low commissions with volume-based pricing discounts
  • Strong and growing selection of cryptocurrencies
  • No-fee staking rewards that are calculated daily and distributed monthly

Best mission-oriented investing service

Ellevest logo


Learn more in our Bankrate review
Highlights Built for women investors Social-impact investing options Reasonable monthly fee

Ellevest aims to serve women, a group that’s been traditionally underserved by financial companies, by factoring in their specific circumstances, such as career breaks and pay gaps, into their robo-advisor offering. Ellevest offers two levels of service all at a flat monthly fee, starting at just $5, plus there’s no minimum to get started.

You’ll get access to planning tools, education on investing and, for an additional fee, access to certified financial advisors. In reality, just about anyone can benefit from this mission-focused robo-advisor.

  • Focused mission on helping women (and anyone)
  • Strong educational tools and access to coaching
  • Reasonable management costs with a flat-fee pricing structure, which means your costs decline on a percentage basis as your portfolio grows