With so many brokerages out there, both physical and online, it is difficult these days to determine the best brokerage to use when you start investing. We decided to make it easier by giving you a rundown of our top 6 brokerages.

As we have mentioned before, we highly recommend Scottrade for beginners because:

 

it has no set-up, maintenance or annual fees (unlike some other brokerage companies),  its fee for each transaction is only $7.00, and  it gives you access to individual stock reports from the rating agency Standard & Poors.

 

Personally, I prefer TD Ameritrade because it offers free dividend reinvestment for all stocks (Scottrade limits it to the FRIP program as shown below) and the free dollar-cost averaging for a large range of mutual/index funds.

 

Comparison of 6 Brokerages

Scottrade TD Ameritrade E*Trade Fidelity Schwab ShareBuilder
Minimum Deposit Individual $500.00 $0.00 $500.00 $2,500.00 $1,000.00 $0.00
Retirement $500.00 $0.00 $0.00 $2,500.00 $1,000.00 $0.00
Online Commission $7.00 $9.99 $9.99 $7.95 $8.95 $6.95
Margin Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dollar-Cost Averaging Yes ($2 per trade) Yes Yes Destiny No Yes (Most $4 per trade)
Dividend Reinvestment FRIP Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Account Mgmt Online Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mobile Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Offices Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No

 

Do you have a different favorite brokerage firm? Let us know in the comments!