Best Online Brokerages for TradingHere's a breakdown of some of the best online brokers for stock trading.TD Ameritrade - Best Overall Exclusive Offer: Trade free for 90 days + get up to $600 cash.Rated our #1 online broker Overall for 2017, TD Ameritrade charges $6.95 per trade and offers the largest varieties of trade tools through its desktop-based thinkorswim and web-based Trade Architect platforms. It also boasts Best in Class ratings for numerous other categories including Offering of Investments, Education, Research, and Customer Service, among others. Read more...Fidelity - ResearchFidelity Investments charges $4.95 per trade and received 4.5 out of 5 stars in our 2017 Review, including being awarded Best in Class for eleven categories and is our top recommendation for discount trading. They also took home #1 for Order Execution, Research, and Ease of Use. Take advantage of their investment advisor services at over 180 retail locations.Charles Schwab - RetirementCharles Schwab charges $4.95 per trade and was rated 4.5 Stars Overall alongside #1 for Retirement Services. Extensive research access along with consistent customer service, ample tools, and industry leading market reports makes for a great full-service brokerage. Read more...E*TRADE - Balanced OfferingETRADE, with its $6.95 stock trades, finished third overall with 4 stars in 2017. ETRADE Mobile is rated a best in class mobile trading app and the broker offers well-rounded access to quality research, trade tools, education, and more.Merrill Edge - Best Rewards ProgramFinishing fifth overall in 2017, Merrill Edge ($6.95 per trade) was awarded #1 for Banking Services thanks to its parent company Bank of America. Not limited to just BofA customers, Merrill Edge's Preferred Rewards program is excellent, offering $0 stock trades among other perks such as bonus rewards on credit cards and discounted mortgage rates.OptionsHouse - Best for OptionsAwarded 5 stars and #1 for Options Trading, OptionsHouse offers $4.95 flat fee stock trades and options trades are $4.95 + $0.50 per contract. For options trading, OptionsHouse's platform was awarded #1 Web Based Platform and provides industry leading options tools.TradeStation - Platform Technology Current Offer: Low Fees and Free Market Data. Trade with TradeStation.TradeStation's advanced trading platform has been awarded "Best Platform Technology" the past four years. For active traders, TradeStation comes packed full of tools and functionality. Trades are just $5 and users can even code their own apps using the broker's proprietary EasyLanguage programming language. Read more...Ally Invest - Ally BankingAlly Invest (previously TradeKing) provides $4.95 trades and is an easy choice for current customers of Ally who are looking to invest in the stock market. Like Merrill Edge and Capital One Investing, customers can easily manage their banking and brokerage accounts under one login.Capital One Investing - Automated Investing Current Offer: Get up to a $600 bonus when you fund your new account.Known for its automatic investment plan and easy to use website, Capital One Investing charges $6.95 per trade and is a good fit for casual investors alongside Capital One 360 customers. Using the ShareBuilder plan, discounted automatic monthly trades are only $4 each. Read more...Interactive Brokers - Professional Trading Current Offer: Trade on over 100 market centers in 24 countries.Designed for professional traders serious about their craft, Interactive Brokers only offers per-share pricing ($.005 per share with a $1 minimum per trade) and charges up to $20 per month between two minimum activity fees. Traders that can meet its $100,000 minimum deposit for margin trading are rewarded with an industry-leading commissions schedule, margin rates, and support for international trading. Read more...Choosing the Best Online BrokerageWhen looking for any new online broker it is important to make sure to meet your most important needs as an investor. Are low cost trade commissions most important? What about customer service, the trade platform, mobile trading, active trading, or a community to trade alongside? With many brokers specializing in different areas comparing all the possibilities is key.Here is a list of most important factors to keep in mind when selecting an online brokerage:Trading Costs - When trading stocks online, it is important to understand what the costs are to place the buy or sell order. Most online brokers charge a flat-rate to buy and sell. That said, other misc fees can come into play such as market data and direct routing fees if day trading. If investing in an retirement account, it is important to avoid choosing a broker that charges annual IRA fees.Trading Tools - One of the most common misconceptions newer investors have is that low trading costs are most important. This couldn't be further from the truth. Having access to a fully featured desktop-based or web-based trading platform can make a big difference, especially when conducting technical analysis.Investment Products - Are you only trading stocks online? Or, are you interested in ETFs, mutual funds, options, futures, and forex too? In the United States, there are different regulations required for brokers to support more complex asset classes. Beyond trading different assets classes, having access to online banking can be a popular offering as well as more advanced order types like conditional orders.Mobile Trading - Managing a stock brokerage account on the go is certainly important for traders who travel and frequently use their smartphone. While nearly all online brokerages offer mobile trading apps, not all are created equally. Features can vary dramatically.Customer Service - 24/7 support is important to some investors while others may just want to use online chat during regular market hours or receive an email back within one business day. Having access to quality customer support can really round out the client experience, especially during a market crises like a flash crash.Stock Analysis - Conducting fundamental research is critical to successful investing long term. SEC filings, short interest, corporate debt levels, earnings growth, and more are all examples of impactful criteria for performing fundamental investment research.Regulation - If you are using an stock broker based in the United States and regulated by US law, then they will be regulated by the SEC and be members of FINRA and SIPC. The easiest way to verify your online brokerage is regulated, scroll to the footer of their homepage and read their disclosures. Using the FINRA broker check tool is another easy to verify proper compliance.Banking Services - Online brokerage accounts are not limited to just stock trading. Instead, customers can take advantage of banking services offered by full-service brokerages (see list above for three great examples). Checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and more are offered by some online brokers with deposits up to $250,000 backed by the FDIC.Account Security - Fortunately, today investors do not have much to worry about when it comes to account security as long they choose a broker that is large, well known, and properly regulated. Reference our list above or below for a sampling. Every website should be secured with SSL encryption and client data should be stored in secured servers. Dual-factor authentication and Touch ID are other security protocols quickly growing in popularity.Order Execution - How your order is routed and executed is important to understand. Make no mistake, there is a wide variation between quality execution and poor execution. Unfortunately, most online stock traders can't tell the difference.International Trading - The US stock market is the most respected in the world for a reason. If you are living in the US and wanted to trade internationally, or are living abroad and want to trade stocks online with a US regulated brokerage, then it will be important to do your research beforehand and find a broker that supports your requirements.Best Trading ToolsBased on 58 different variables, here is a summary of the top five brokers for stock trading tools and trade platforms.TD Ameritrade - Scored 99%TradeStation - Scored 92%Fidelity - Scored 90%Charles Schwab - Scored 88%Interactive Brokers - Scored 86%Source: 11 Best Online Brokers | StockBrokers.com;"";""