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Online Broker Comparison Chart

We've put this price comparison chart together, along with some specific recommendations, and any current special offers from these online brokers to help you choose which one is best for you. We've highlighted the six online brokers that we feel represent the best value to online traders. While each of them are outstanding brokers, there is likely to be one that suits your personal trading needs better than the other three. Once you've selected a firm that compliments your trading style, you can find more detailed information on the broker, and open an account by clicking on any of the links on this page.

An Online Broker Comparison for Stock and Options Trading
  tradeMONSTER OptionsHouse Zecco TradeKing Scottrade ChoiceTrade optionsXpress
Options Trading              
1 Contract $12.50 $5.00 $5.60 $5.60 $8.25 $5.55 $12.95
10 Contracts $12.50 $10.00 $11.45 $10.45 $19.50 $10.50 $12.95
50 Contracts $25.00 $16.00 $37.45 $16.45 $69.50 $32.50 $62.50
Exercise/Assignment $7.50 $5.00 $4.95 $9.95 / $4.95 $17.00 $25.00 $9.95
Futures Trading              
Futures Contract No No No No No No $2.99-$6.99/contract
Forex No No Yes No No No No
Stock Trading              
1,000 shares $7.50 $3.95 $4.95 $4.95 $7.00 $5.00 $9.95
Margin Interest Rates 1.25% - 3.50% 2.45% - 4.45% 3.75% - 7.75% 4.00% - 6.50% 5.25% - 7.75% 7.45% 4.00% - 6.25%
Other Multi-leg Trade Discount $10.00 Spread Trades $0 Trades Possible Great Customer Service Local Offices No Penny Stock Surcharge Spread Trade Discount

**All information included in this comparison was obtained from each broker's web site on May 28th, 2011. The information is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.**

Online Broker Recommendations

For Options Traders

If options trading makes up any significant portion of your trading activities, optionsXpress is your best choice. OptionsXpress was founded as the first online brokerage geared specifically towards options traders. Over the course of the last 10 years, other firms have joined in, but none have been able to match optionsXpress. As a matter of fact, Barron’s has rated them 4 stars every year for the last 9 years in a row!

For Those Who Trade Both Options and Stocks

If you trade both options and stocks in the same account, tradeMONSTER is the best choice for you. In addition to having a reasonable pricing structure and margin rates, tradeMONSTER has the best research tools and trading platform if you are an avid trader for both options and stocks.

For More Experienced and Active Stock Traders

If you are an experienced stock trader who also compliments their trading with some options and Forex trading, Zecco is your best choice. Zecco provides active and larger accounts with 10 free trades each month. Additionally, they are unique in that they offer foreign exchange currency trading along with their traditional brokerage services.

For Newer Traders and Those Who Trade Less Actively

If you're relatively new to online trading, or don't trade very actively, Scottrade is the best choice for you. As you can see from the comparison chart above, Scottrade tends to be higher in price than most of the other online brokers. However, they also provide a higher level of service and access to help from a broker. Scottrade is also unique in the fact that they have over 440 local branch offices. This extra level of professional support makes them the best choice for novice traders, and those who manage their investments in a style that wouldn't be considered "trading".

For Moderately Active Stock Traders with Some Trading Experience

If you feel that your experience and trading level fall somewhere in between what we described for Zecco and Scottrade, TradeKing will be your best choice. TradeKing is perfect if you have stepped into a more active trading style, but are still polishing your skills and need a decent level of customer service. TradeKing is probably the best "catch all" online broker out there. Most online traders would find them to be a great fit. If you transfer an existing account from another broker, will pay up to $150 of the transfer fees charged by your old broker. Watch TradeKing's video tour

Current Special Offers From Online Brokers

optionsXpress is Giving $100 to New Accounts


* You must open an account with at least $500 and execute at least 3 trades within the next 12 months to take advantage of the $100 from optionsXpress.



OptionsHouse is Offering 100 Commission Free Trades to New Accounts


* You must open an account with at least $3,000 to take advantage of the 100 free trade offer from OptionsHouse.
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Zecco Zap Trade - A Revolutionary New Trading Tool

Zecco Holdings

Zap Trade is a free Firefox plug-in that lets investors place stock trades and get real-time quotes while visiting popular investment and research websites. To learn more about Zap Trade, just click here: Zap Trade Review