Slide Show | November 2014

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Best Online Brokers

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Investing through an online broker is a slam dunk: It's easy and fees are reasonable. The hard part is zeroing in on the broker that's right for you. We surveyed 10 firms* and analyzed each in seven broad areas. Overall scores depend heavily on how much weight you assign each category. We weighted the categories based on what our readers consider vital: investment choices, 25%; tools, 20%; Web site and mobile functionality, 15% each; commissions and fees, and research 10% each; and advisory services, 5%.

Ultimately, you should decide what you consider most important and choose a broker accordingly. The best broker for you may not be the one that tops the charts. Your choice may boil down to the kind of investor you are. Active traders and new investors, for example, have very different needs and would likely prefer the services of different firms.

Take a look at our reviews of the following ten brokers to see which is the best fit for you.

*To be included, firms had to offer online trading of stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and bonds. That eliminated firms such as T. Rowe Price, among others, that offer bond trading only through a representative. Vanguard opted not to participate, as did Interactive Brokers. The latter is in the middle of beefing up its mutual fund offerings and asked to be excused from this year's survey.

Best Online Brokers
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