Investing in stocks has become increasingly accessible, thanks to online brokerage platforms that cater to both novice and experienced investors. Still, each platform offers unique features, benefits, and drawbacks that have specific upside and downside. It’s important to assess which one is best for you depending on your portfolio size, investing strategy, experience level and more. While platforms like Robinhood, Webull and SoFi are tilted towards trading and gamification of investments, we believe the platforms below are quality custodians for those interested in stock investing, which is the art of growing one’s wealth over time.  

When choosing an online stock investing brokerage platform, do-it-yourself stock investors and beginners often look for ease of use, educational resources, reasonable fees and strong customer support. For more guidance on how to complete other strategy-focused steps before choosing a brokerage, read this article and sign up for our top-rated stock investing Newsletter.

Key Considerations for Beginners

  • Ease of Use: Schwab is known for their user-friendly interface.
  • Educational Resources: Schwab and Fidelity offer extensive educational resources for those who are new to investing.
  • Costs and Fees: Many platforms now offer zero-commission trades for stocks and ETFs.
  • Client Support: Platforms like Charles Schwab and Fidelity are known for their high-quality client service departments.
  • Investment Options: The custodians in our list offer a wide range of investment options, including equities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds and bonds.

Now we will explore the pros and cons of these top stock investing platforms to help you decide which one suits you and your goals.

1. Benefits of a Charles Schwab Account

  • Features: Zero-commission trades, extensive educational resources, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios for robo-advising, $0 ATM fees worldwide
  • Pros: Unmatched customer service, broad range of investment products, strong educational tools.
  • Cons: Platform can be complex for beginners, fees for some services.

2. Benefits of a Fidelity Account

  • Features: Zero-commission trades on most stocks, bonds and options, extensive research tools, robust privacy and security policies.
  • Pros: Helpful customer support, a full range of investment choices, clients can open a standalone HSA account, the mobile app is intuitive
  • Cons: The website can be difficult to navigate, 1% fee on non-USD debit card transactions

3. Benefits of an E*TRADE Account

  • Features: Comprehensive trading tools, educational resources, mobile app.
  • Pros: Easy-to-use platform, extensive research and learning resources, no transaction commissions for stocks and ETFs.
  • Cons: Some mutual funds and bonds have transaction fees, customer service can be slow during peak times.

Selecting the right custodian for your investments depends on your individual needs and preferences. Factors like high-quality client service and a full range of investment choices should help you maximize the impact of your growing nest egg going.


Kovitz Investment Group Partners, LLC (“Kovitz”) is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This report should only be considered as a tool in any investment decision and should not be used by itself to make investment decisions. Opinions expressed are only our current opinions or our opinions on the posting date. Any graphs, data, or information in this publication are considered reliably sourced, but no representation is made that it is accurate or complete and should not be relied upon as such. This information is subject to change without notice at any time, based on market and other conditions. Past performance is not indicative of future results, which may vary.