The Globe and Mail

4 stars based on 71 reviews

Published by Blain Reinkensmeyer on February 18th, No matter how your portfolio was invested, as long as it was long and not sitting in cash, you had a very good year.

Whether or not this excessive optimism will falter in as the stimulus high slowly fades away is to be seen, but for now, despite a shaky January, the market continues to maintain its long-term uptrend. The brokerage industry also felt the positive market. Online broker account reviews 2014 were up across the board, as retail investors online broker account reviews 2014 in droves and billions in fresh assets poured into the market.

The positive atmosphere yielded online broker account reviews 2014 appreciation for the stocks of the four publicly traded brokers: Looking at the industry on the whole, investors should feel good, as we saw improvements across the board. Online broker account reviews 2014 saw numerous brokers enhance their platforms and tools, specifically focusing on options trading. Lastly, advancements in mobile are clear to see as what were once highlight features — for example, watch list to web syncing — are now standard among the majority.

Seeing the industry evolve and make positive changes is what online broker account reviews 2014 clamor for. Our yearly review is designed to serve two goals: Less the brokers themselves, we are the toughest critics. Our grading criteria, which includes several hundred variables, sorts through the fluff to identify the true leaders. With more thanreads the past two years, I am proud of what we have online broker account reviews 2014.

This year, we had one new broker join, Merrill Edge, and one broker drop out, Cobra Trading, resulting in once again 17 total brokers participating. Instead of the review being contained all on one page, our updated research and results are spread throughout the site.

Each individual broker was assessed on unique variables. Full length reviews for each broker can be found on their respective review pages: Detailed analysis for each category is also included: Each year there are online brokers that stand out for going above and beyond. Our broker Industry Awards recognize these brokers for their hard work and dedication in the past year.

Brokers were assessed in eight different categories with the following weightings: It is important to note that behind each category star rating is a numerical score, so while some brokers may have similar star ratings, total points earned for that category likely vary.

With all of the category weighted scores calculated, a formula is then applied to determine the overall star rating. Please click on any column header area to re-sort. Fellow Investors, was one bulls will remember for quite some time and bears are still trying to forget.

Interactive Brokers 1 Banking Services: Merrill Edge 1 Online Banking Services: ShareBuilder 1 iPad App: TD Ameritrade 1 Smartphone App: TradeStation 1 Client Dashboard: Scottrade 1 Retirement Services: Charles Schwab 1 Trader Community: TradeKing 1 Trade Ticket: Self Directed Investing Overall How we scored:

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Choosing the best online brokerage can be like finding a needle in a haystack. There are many to choose from — hundreds, if not thousands.

If you are new to investing in the stock market or want to move to a different online broker this can be overwhelming. I get asked on a regular basis who is the best when it comes to online brokerages.

My answer is almost always the same — what are you looking for and what are your needs? The answer to those questions will help narrow down what brokers to consider. The first is for the traditional brokerages where you do it yourself. The second section is for robo-advisors, those that help manage your investments.

Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you choose to open an account the site will receive a small commission as compensation.

This will not affect your pricing or anything else. Thank you for your support of the site. Overwhelmed by which is the best online brokerage to choose?

Click here to contact me. Are you a DIY investor? Do you like to manage your own investments without oversight from someone else? A traditional online broker is for you. Here are some of the best traditional online brokerages. Many know them for their talking baby commercials that have been running on TV for the last several years. Behind the clever ads is a solid online brokerage to house your investments. Thanks to their merger with Zecco in they now offer Forex trading.

In addition to that, they have added social media and forums to their site, which offers considerable real time support from their representatives as well as other real time traders. If you consider yourself a buy and hold kind of investor, then TradeStation is likely not going to be for you due to the steep learning curve required to use their platform. TradeStation has been in business for more than 30 years and is regularly recognized as having the best online platform for frequent traders and platform technology.

Vanguard is the preeminent online brokerage. Why is Vanguard so well regarded? They hate fees and they have a long-term view to investing. The two ideals, together, are vital to have when you invest. Vanguard specializes in low-cost index funds, which helps you keep pace with the stock market — not chase gains. This may not be sexy or exciting, though investing in the stock market should be neither. Admittedly, Vanguard is not for everyone.

Check out my Vanguard review to learn more about what they have to offer. Do you want a hands off approach to investing? Robo-advisors offer such service, for a fraction of the cost of a traditional financial advisor. Here are some of the best automated retirement programs. If you consider yourself a beginner investor who either lacks the time or desire to manage your investments, but know you need to start investing, then Betterment might be a good option for you. Betterment allows you to set up a direct transfer from your bank account, in the frequency of your choosing, and then lets you decide how to invest your money.

They handle the rebalancing; they handle the management. They have very minimal fees to manage the investment for you and as a result take care of all the heavy lifting related to investing so you can do other things. Blooom focuses on your k plan and nothing else. The best part is Blooom offers this for free. What I like about Personal Capital is their ability to make life simpler to manage.

You see, Personal Capital is like Mint with a twist of investing thrown in for good measure. This allows you to view all of your financial accounts in one location. You choose which accounts to link, and I use mine strictly for my investments. Since I invest with multiple brokerages this makes managing them much simpler. Personal Capital has a great tool, which analyzes investment expenses, as well as a k analyzer. Wealthsimple works much like Betterment. Wealthsimple began in Canada and is now in the States offering an investment solution for investors.

If you consider yourself a beginner investor who either lacks the time or desire to manage your investments, but know you need to start investing, then Wealthsimple may be a good fit for you.

Wealthsimple likes to make investing as simple as possible. Wealthsimple provides a wide array of accounts, from taxable to retirement and Trusts. They also offer a free portfolio review of any accounts you transfer in, as well as for external accounts.

If you like to make your investments socially responsible, Wealthsimple is the leader in the space for Socially Responsible Investing. Check out our Wealthsimple review to see how they can help with your investing needs. Sign up for our newsletter and get our Financial Freedom E-Book free!