October 2, 2012

Best online trading platform

Several people have asked me my opinion on the best online trading platform for
investing. There are several platforms available, such as, Sharebuilder, OptionsXpress, Charles Schwab, etc. To be honest, I think the answer depends on your preference. I've tried my hand at all 3 above and in my opinion, Sharebuilder is the best. Mostly because Sharebuilder offers very user friendly, hold your hand, taking baby steps learning approach in teaching users on how to use its platform.

Nevertheless, it is a basic investment platform, and once I mastered Sharebuilder, I wanted more complexity because there are so many different strategies in making money with online trading that Sharebuilder didn't offer. Plus, Sharebuilder limits you to mostly stocks, and doesn't give much option for bonds, currency trading, mutual funds, etc.

I thought I found my answer in OptionsXpress - which offers pretty much all of the exotic transactions above including futures trading. But it became pricey over time and sometimes I feel that it offered me almost too much information - and it eventually became confusing! Charles Schwab is the most cost effective and is definitely a good runner-up.

But I think Sharebuilder is the most user-friendly and not overly expensive, which is why I give them the nod as the best online trading platform.

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