Choosing the best trading platform starts with thinking about what you’re looking for. Most online brokerages have eliminated their commissions and have built multiple trading platforms to appeal to both beginner and advanced traders. Despite so many similarities, we’ve found differences in investment offerings, research, usability, and pricing. Because researching the best trading platform for yourself can be an overwhelming task, we’ve put in the hours to present you with the best trading platforms in the industry.

Best trading platforms for 2024:

TD Ameritrade

1. TD Ameritrade

Best Trading Platform Overall
  • Account minimum: $0
  • Stock trades: $0
  • Options: $0.65 per contract
Rating  5.0

Why we like TD Ameritrade:

TD Ameritrade is a powerhouse when it comes to trading. One of its most noteworthy features is its’ multiple trading platforms: the TD Ameritrade web and mobile platform or the professional-level thinkorswim platform. All investors have access to free research and stellar customer service. There’s also a wide range of investment offerings, from low-cost mutual funds to advanced products, like forex and futures trading. While there’s no direct access to crypto, TD Ameritrade offers crypto coin trusts over-the-counter, and qualified clients can trade Bitcoin futures.

While TD Ameritrade’s most well-known feature, the thinkorswim platform, makes this stock trading platform a solid fit for advanced traders, it’s the breadth and depth of education that makes it well-suited for beginners too. To ensure that investors have the best experience possible, there’s a ton of support including in-person support via live events, virtual workshops, courses, and webcasts.

TD Ameritrade Pros and Cons


  • Large investment selection
  • Strong customer support
  • Free research
  • Robust trading platform


  • No fractional shares
  • Less competitive margin rates

2. Fidelity

Best Trading Platform for Beginners
  • Account minimum: $0
  • Stock trades: $0
  • Options trades: $0.65 per contract

Why we like Fidelity:

As one of the largest trading platforms in the U.S., Fidelity serves a variety of customers — from beginner retirement investors to advanced day traders. Fidelity’s broad selection of tools and high-level research offers active stock traders the resources they need to make informed decisions. There’s also an increased focus on execution quality and cash management to improve returns.

Overall, Fidelity is a low-cost, user-friendly trading platform with robust features that make it a solid fit for all kinds of stock traders. It offers standard investment products, but if you’re interested in crypto, futures, or commodities trading, Fidelity is lacking there.

Fidelity Pros and Cons


  • Trade execution
  • Robust research offerings
  • Fractional shares
  • Low costs


  • No crypto, commodities, or futures trading
  • Broker-assisted trading fees are on the high side
  • Only available for residents in the U.S.
Interactive Brokers

3. Interactive Brokers

Best Trading Platform for Advanced Traders
  • Account minimum: $0
  • Stock trades: IBKR Lite: $0/share; IBKR Pro: $0.005/share minimum $1 and maximum 1% of trade value, volume discount available
  • Options trades: $0.65 per contract with $1 minimum, volume discount available
Rating  5.0

Why we like Interactive Brokers:

With a powerful suite of trading tools and global access to a wide range of investment products, it’s no wonder Interactive Brokers is widely considered the best trading platform for advanced traders. Interactive Brokers, aka IBKR, offers trading for stocks, options, futures, metals, forex, fractional shares, and bonds. It even offers direct exposure to cryptocurrency with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.

As far as its trading platform, there are two options: Client Portal and Trader Workstation, and clients using both IBKR Lite and Pro have access to both at no additional charge. Interactive Brokers is also known for extensive research offerings, both free and subscription-based.

Interactive Brokers Pros and Cons


  • Robust trading platforms
  • Wide range of tradable securities
  • Extensive research offerings
  • Low trading costs


  • Can be a little intimidating to less experienced investors
  • IBKR Pro’s pricing makes it difficult to quickly identify costs
Tasty Works

4. Tastyworks

Best Options Trading Platform
  • Account minimum: $0
  • Stock trades: $0
  • Options trades: $1 per contract on the buy and $0 on the sell, but commissions are capped at $10 per leg
Rating 3.5

Why we like Tastyworks:

Tastyworks is designed specifically for options traders, and it was built by the founders of TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim platform, meaning it’s designed with functionality capable of advanced trading strategies. Tastyworks even produces eight hours of live, original programming every day to help guide you along your investment journey. The smart design, customizable features, sophisticated tools, and low fees are why it’s known as the best trading platform for options.

It’s important to remember that tastyworks is geared specifically towards advanced and active options traders. The result is a steep learning curve for new traders and lacking offerings if you want more than options.

Tastyworks Pros and Cons


  • Built-in options trading tools
  • Strong educational content
  • Customizable trading experience


  • Limited investments
  • Lacking screeners and research
  • May be overwhelming if you’re new to options trading

5. Charles Schwab

Best Trading Platform for Customer Service
  • Account minimum: $0
  • Stock trades: $0
  • Options trades: $0.65 per contract
Rating 5.0

Why we like Charles Schwab:

Charles Schwab is a leader among online brokerages, and they were one of the first major brokerages to eliminate fees on stock and ETF trades. Schwab’s wide range of platforms is designed to meet the needs of a variety of customers, from passive retirement investors to active traders. What makes them the best trading platform for customer service are their deep resources, live support via phone and chat, free access to news and research, and in-person support Monday through Friday at Schwab’s retail branch network.

Investors will find well-rounded offerings at Schwab, like stocks, bonds, fractional shares, mutual funds, ETFs, options, and futures. There’s no direct access to cryptocurrency, but Schwab offers crypto-based products, like Bitcoin futures.

Charles Schwab Pros and Cons


  • Stellar customer support
  • Extensive research
  • Large selection of investment offerings


  • No direct crypto exposure
  • Little interest on cash sweep

Comparing the Best Trading Platforms



Account Minimum


TD Ameritrade

Best Trading Platform Overall


$0 commission on stock trades; $0.65/contract for options


Best Trading Platform for Beginners


$0 commission on stock trades; $0.65/contract for options

Interactive Brokers

Best Trading Platform for Advanced Traders


IBKR Lite: $0/share; IBKR Pro: $0.005/share minimum $1 and maximum 1% of trade value, volume discount available; $0.65 per contract with $1 minimum, volume discount available


Best Trading Platform for Options


$0 commission on stock trades; $1 per contract on the buy and $0 on the sell, but commissions are capped at $10 per leg

Charles Schwab

Best Trading Platform for Customer Service


$0 commission on stock trades; $0.65/contract for options

Other Trading Platforms

In addition to our five picks for the best trading platform of 2024, there are still plenty of other great choices for investors.

Here are 5 more trading platforms to explore in 2024:

  • M1 Finance: M1 Finance offers investors a unique combination of automated investing tools and customizable portfolios. It also has banking features that easily integrate with its investment products.
  • SoFi: Originally known for student loan refinancing products, SoFi has expanded into investment products. One major perk is that SoFi frequently offers customers discounts or promotions on other banking or loan products.
  • TradeStation: TradeStation is an excellent pick for active traders, and it offers commission-free stock, ETF, and options trade.
  • Robinhood: Robinhood started the movement toward eliminating commissions, and investors everywhere will be forever grateful. Its trading platform takes a simple approach and offers four investment products: stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency.
  • Webull: Webull takes a mobile-first approach to its trading platform, and active investors can expect a wide range of tools.

How Should You Choose a Trading Platform?

Choosing an online brokerage starts with thinking about your needs and goals as an investor. There’s a wide range of investment products and account types, so you need to think about what you want out of the experience. Most new investors can’t go wrong with TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, or Charles Schwab. These three online brokerages have options for beginners to advanced traders, intuitive trading platforms, and strong customer service.

What Is the Most Profitable Trading Platform?

No trading platform can claim to be the most profitable, and we can’t say which one is the most profitable either — there are just too many variables. To make the most money investing, the best trading platform will offer strong research, have an intuitive platform, and have low fees.

What’s the Difference Between Investing and Trading?

Investing is generally seen as a long-term approach where investors focus more on a buy-and-hold strategy. Trading typically refers to a more active approach where investors employ short-term strategies and advanced trades to maximize their returns on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

What Is an Online Brokerage Account?

An online brokerage is what investors and traders use to purchase tradable securities like stocks, bonds, ETFs, options, forex, futures, cryptocurrency, and more. Online brokerages utilize technology to bring advanced tools into an investor’s home or on their phone.

How Much Money Do You Need to Start Investing?

With the introduction of fractional shares and micro-investing apps, you can start investing with $5 or less. Fractional shares are when you invest in a portion of a stock or ETF instead of purchasing the whole share. This lowers the barrier to entry for new investors, but it also means there’s less cash drag on your account.

Can You Lose Money in a Brokerage Account?

Yes, you can definitely lose money in a brokerage account. Just because you’re investing with a reputable trading platform doesn’t mean that you can’t lose money. The stock market takes wild swings up and down over the course of the day and year, and you will see your investments move up and down over time. The best way to protect yourself is to diversify your investments and focus on the long-term.

The Final Word on the Best Trading Platforms

The best thing you can do as an investor is to think about what you want out of your trading platform. There are dozens of choices right now, and they’d all be happy to have you as a new customer.

Again, your choices for the best trading platform are:

  • Best overall trading platform: TD Ameritrade
  • Best trading platform for beginners: Fidelity
  • Best trading platform for active traders: Interactive Brokers
  • Best options trading platform: tastyworks
  • Best trading platform for customer service: Charles Schwab