Reviewed: Best Trading Platforms

ADVERTISEMENT

With hundreds of providers active in the online space, choosing the right free trading platform for your needs is no easy feat.

For example, not only does the platform need to have a great reputation and support your chosen financial market – but it also needs to offer competitive fees and top-notch customer support. You also need to consider metrics surrounding trading tools and features, educational resources, and chart reading indicators.

To help point you in the right direction, below you will find a selection of the very best trading platforms of 2021.

eToro – Overall Best Trading Platform 2021
eToro LogoUpon researching hundreds of online providers, we found that eToro is the one of the best trading platforms to consider in 2021. First and foremost, the broker is perfect if you are just starting out in the world of online trading. This is because the platform is really simple to use and it supports small stakes.
For example, the minimum deposit is just $200 and you trade from $25 upwards. In terms of what assets you can trade, eToro supports several asset classes. This covers 2,400 stocks across 17 different markets. For example, you can buy shares in companies based in the US, Canada, UK, Hong Kong, and heaps of European exchanges.

eToro also allows you to access over 250 ETFs and 16 cryptocurrencies. If you’re looking to for a commodity trading platform, eToro supports everything from gold and silver to oil and natural gas. And of course, eToro also offers a huge forex trading facility. Most importantly, each and every financial market at eToro can be traded on a commission-free basis. You don’t need to pay any ongoing fees either, so eToro is a great trading platform for those seeking a low-cost provider.

An additional reason why eToro makes the number one spot on our list as the best trading platform for beginners is that it offers passive investing tools. For example, through its CopyPortfolio feature, you can benefit from a professionally-managed investment strategy. This means that the team at eToro will buy and sell assets on your behalf.

There are many strategies to choose from, such as a focus on tech stocks, cryptocurrencies – eToro is actually our best recommended bitcoin trading platform. You then have the eToro Copy Trading tool. This is where you will select a seasoned trader that you like the look of, and then copy all of their ongoing trades.

For example, if the trader allocates 3% of the portfolio into Apple stocks and 2% into IBM, your portfolio will do the same. When it comes to the fundamentals, eToro allows you to deposit funds with a debit card, credit card, bank wire, or an e-wallet like Paypal and Skrill. The trading platform is regulated by the FCA (UK), CySEC (Cyprus), and ASIC (Australia), which illustrates that it takes client safety seriously. For those in the US, eToro is registered with FINRA.

eToro fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Free
Forex trading fee Spread, 2.1 pips for GBP/USD
Crypto trading fee Spread, 0.75% for Bitcoin
Inactivity fee $10 a month after one year
Withdrawal fee $5
What we like:

Super user-friendly trading platform
Buy stocks without paying any commission or share dealing charges
2,400+ stocks and 250+ ETFs listed on 17 international markets
Trade cryptocurrencies, commodities, and forex
Deposit funds with a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or bank account
Ability to copy the trades of other users
Regulated by the FCA, CySEC, ASIC and registered with FINRA
What we don’t like:

Not suitable for advanced traders that like to perform technical analysis
Visit eToro
Your capital is at risk.

CedarFX – Global Trading Platform with Zero Commission
CedarFX is our pick for the best trading platform available in the US and beyond. This is a relatively new broker, but it has the perfect combination of great asset diversity, low fees, and some fantastic trading features.
For starters, CedarFX offers everything from stocks and forex to commodities, futures, and indices. As it’s a CFD trading platform, you can easily trade all of these instruments without having to own the underlying assets. So, you can trade just about any instrument you like on CedarFX.

One of the benefit of trading CFDs on this platform is that you can trade with leverage of up 1:500, which is super high. The minimum contract size is also just 0.01. Another great thing about this broker is that it doesn’t charge any commissions whatsoever. The main trading fee to consider is the spread, but spreads are kept super low at CedarFX.

However, what really sets CedarFX apart from other online trading platforms is its unique green initiative. For every lot traded on the platform, CedarFX plants ten trees, and it’s planted over 115,212 trees so far! In a world in which climate change is a hugely concerning issue, what better way to do your bit than by having trees planted for every trade you make?

There’s also the option to go for an Eco Account. Whereas the standard account has zero commissions, the Eco Account trades $1 commission for each trade. CedarFX matches the commission and donates all funds to Ecologi, an organization dedicated to various carbon reduction projects around the world.

Back to the trading side of things, trading on CedarFX takes place via the MT4 platform, so you’ll have access to a fantastic variety of trading tools. You can even use the CedarFX MT4 demo account to try the platform out before you deposit any funds. This broker has also won the Best Trade Executions award from the 2020 Forex Awards.

CedarFX is also a good choice if you’re looking for fast payouts, as all withdrawals are processed within 24 hours. If you ever need support, CedarFX offers a 24/7 customer service live chat. Finally, CedarFX is also a very safe and secure trading platform, so you can trade in confidence.

Read our CedarFX review to learn more.

CedarFX fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Variable spread
Forex trading fee Spread, 1.1 pips for GBP/USD
Crypto trading fee Spread, 125.8 pips for Bitcoin
Inactivity fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free
What we like:

Plants trees for every lot traded
Zero commission on all instruments and low spreads
Great asset diversity
Up to 1:500 leverage
Fast withdrawals
Extremely fast trade execution
$10 minimum deposit
What we don’t like:

Only offers CFDs
Visit CedarFX
Your capital is at risk.

Robinhood – Best Trading Platform for Buying US Stocks
Robinhood app
If you’re based in the US, then there is every chance that you have heard of Robinhood. Launched in 2013, this online trading platform is now home to over 10 million clients. Primarily, investors in the US use Robinhood to buy stocks in a simple and cost-effective way.
In fact – and much like eToro, Robinhood allows you to buy stocks on a commission-free basis. In total, the platform offers more than 5,000 stocks – most of which are US-listed. This covers both primary exchanges – the NYSE and NASDAQ.

Additionally, Robinhood also offers in the region of 250 non-US stocks. However, if international shares are what you are after, other trading platforms in the space have a much larger portfolio of companies. Nevertheless, Robinhood is also worth considering if you are looking to invest in ETFs or cryptocurrencies or looking for a penny stock trading platform due to its user-friendly layout.

Furthermore, the platform is also home to a popular stock options trading facility. This is perfect for those of you looking to access the US stock markets in a more sophisticated way. Once again, the aforementioned asset classes can be accessed on a commission-free basis. When it comes to funding your Robinhood account, this free trading platform only accepts US bank transfers.

Depending on your chosen account type, your deposit might be processed instantly. For example, if you are on the free account, the first $1,000 of your chosen deposit amount will be credited instantly, and the rest might take an extra couple of days. Either way, there is no minimum deposit amount at Robinhood, which is great if you want to trade with small amounts.

We should also note that a lot of users opt to trade on the Robinhood app. Available on both iOS and Android devices, this gives you access to the very same account features as you will find on the main website. Finally, as a US-based broker, Robinhood is heavily regulated. This includes the authorization from both FINRA and the SEC.

Robinhood fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Free
Forex trading fee N/A
Crypto trading fee Free
Inactivity fee No inactivity fee
Withdrawal fee No withdrawal fee
What we like:

Hugely popular trading platform in the US
Buy over 5,000 US-listed stocks
ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and stock options also supported
Does not charge any commissions
No minimum deposit in place
Very simple to use and ideal for newbies
Heavily regulated in the US
What we don’t like:

Only 250-ish international stocks offered
No debit/credit card or e-wallet deposits
Visit Robinhood
Your capital is at risk.

Libertex – Low-Cost CFD Trading Platform with ZERO Spreads
Libertex is a CFD trading platform that is popular with UK traders that seek low fees and commissions. At the forefront of this is the platform’s zero spread offering. This means that irrespective of which asset you decide to trade, there is no gap between the buy and sell price, making it the best CFD trading platform around.

Consequently, this allows you to benefit from industry-leading quotes. Additionally, although Libertex charges a commission on each side of the trade, this is often very low. In fact, commissions often sit below 0.1% per order.

As a prime example, popular forex pair NZD/USD can be traded with a commission of just 0.012%. In terms of supported markets, Libertex offers CFDs on stocks, commodities, and currencies. As a CFD specialist, you can apply leverage on any trade of your choosing.

This falls in line with European trading limits, meaning you’ll be capped to 1:30 on major forex trading pairs and less on other instruments. All CFD markets at Libertex also come with the option of going long or short. This allows you to profit from both rising and falling markets. Libetex offers two trading platforms that you can choose from.

This includes Meta Trader 4 and its own platform that was built in-house. Both options can be accessed online or via a mobile app. In the case of a MT4 Trading Platform, this can be downloaded to your desktop device – which is the route you will need to take if you want to install an automated robot.

If you like the sound of Libertex, you can open an account in minutes. The minimum deposit is just £100 and you use a debit/credit card, bank account transfer, or an e-wallet. Once you have funded your account for the first time, all future deposits come at a minimum of just £10.

When it comes to safety, Libertex is regulated by leading EU license issuers CySEC. Plus, Libertex has been offering online trading and financial services since 1997. As such, the provider has an accomplished track record that now spans over two decades.

Libertex fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Commission. 0.034% for Amazon.
Forex trading fee Commission. 0.008% for GBP/USD.
Crypto trading fee Commission. 1.23% for Bitcoin.
Inactivity fee $5 a month after 180 days
Withdrawal fee Free
What we like:

Zero spread CFD trading
Very competitive commissions – starting from 0% upwards
Good educational resources
Long established broker
Compatible with MT4
Great choice of markets
What we don’t like:

CFDs only

Visit Libertex Now
83% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site.

TD Ameritrade – Best Trading Platform for Asset Diversity
TD ameritrade
While the likes of eToro and Robinhood are considered newbies in the trading platform space, TD Ameritrade is a US brokerage powerhouse that has been active since 1975. Put simply, if there is a financial market that you want to invest in, chances are, you’ll find it at TD Ameritrade.
For example, in the stock department alone you will find thousands of shares across both US and international marketplaces. This also includes the ability to invest in newly launched IPOs. If passive investing is what you are after, TD Ameritrade is home to over 11,000 funds. This is very impressive especially compared to other platforms available, you can see it more clearly in our TD Ameritrade vs Charles Schwab review.

This covers ETFs, index funds, and mutual funds – so there’s something to suit all financial goals. We also like the fact that TD Ameritrade offers access to the US bond market, alongside retirement-based financial products like annuities and tax-efficient portfolios.

Outside of the traditional asset space, TD Ameritrade also offers a day trading platform. This includes everything from forex and cryptocurrencies to commodities and futures. When it comes to fees, this will depend on the specific financial market that you plan to access.

For example, With that being said, if you are looking to focus on either stocks or ETFs – TD Ameritrade charges no commission whatsoever. Options are also competitive prices, with the trading platform charging just $0.65 per contract (with no exercise fee). In terms of getting started with this popular broker, TD Ameritrade can be accessed online or via its mobile app.

Either way, there is no minimum deposit in place and you can fund your account by executing a bank transfer. This is usually instantly processed by TD Ameritrade. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, TD Ameritrade is regulated by all relevant bodies in the US – so you should have no concerns regarding the safety of your money.

TD Ameritrade fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Free
Forex trading fee Spread. 1.2 pips average during peak hours.
Crypto trading fee N/A
Inactivity fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free for ACH, $25 for wire transfer
What we like:

Established US brokerage firm
Huge asset library that includes thousands of stocks and funds
Trade forex, futures, cryptocurrencies, and more
Commission-free trades on US stocks and ETFs
Fast bank transfer deposits
Strong regulatory standing
Great research materials
What we don’t like:

ADVERTISMENT

Best suited for experienced traders
No deposits via debit/credit card or e-wallet
Visit TD Ameritrade
Your capital is at risk.

Interactive Brokers – Best Trading Platform for Seasoned Investors
interactive brokers logo
In a similar nature to TD Ameritrade, Interactive Brokers is an established brokerage firm that has been offering trading services since the 1970s. The Interactive Brokers platform is arguably the best option on the table if you consider yourself a seasoned investor.
This is because it comes jam-packed with advanced trading tools and features. This covers valuable resources for performing both fundamental and technical research. In terms of assets, this top-rated trading platform covers thousands of financial instruments. In fact, this covers 135 markets in over 33 countries.

For example, you can buy stocks that are listed in North America, Europe, Asia, and more. The trading platform supports fractional ownership too, meaning you can purchase a ‘fraction’ of a stock. Index funds and ETFs are also supported for those of you looking to take a diversified approach to invest.

Additionally, if you are interested in taking a more sophisticated approach to trading, Interactive Brokers offers markets on futures, options, and forex. In terms of fees, the pricing structure employed by Interactive Brokers is a bit confusing at first glance. This is because there are different fees depending on your chosen asset and the account typer you sign up for.

With that said, if you are on the IBKR Lite account you choose to buy stocks or ETFs listed in the US, then you won’t pay any commission. If you like the sound of Interactive Brokers, this heavily regulated trading platform does not have a minimum account balance policy in place. You can easily deposit funds by transferring funds from your bank account.

Interactive Brokers fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Free
Forex trading fee Commission + spread. Commission is 0.08 to 0.20 basis points. 0.1 pip GBP/USD.
Crypto trading fee Commission. $15.01 per Bitcoin futures contract.
Inactivity fee $20 per month
Withdrawal fee Free
What we like:

Huge library of traditional stocks, index funds, and ETFs
Really advanced trading features and chart analysis tools
More than 135 markets across 33 countries
Trade CFDs, futures, options, forex, and more
No minimum deposit
Buy US-listed stocks and ETFs commission-free
What we don’t like:
Not suitable for newbie investors
Fee structure is a bit confusing
Visit Interactive Brokers
Your capital is at risk.

Plus500 – Best Online Broker Platform for Forex CFDs
Plus500 Logo
If you’re based in Australia and looking for the best forex trading platform in the market – Plus500 is well worth considering. This popular online platform gives you access to an abundance of currency pairs at super competitive fees.
This includes dozens of majors, minors, and exotics. Best of all, you can trade forex on Plus500 without paying any commission. In terms of spreads, the provider uses a dynamic system, albeit, this is usually very competitive on major pairs during standard market hours.

For example, Plus500 offers a best-rate spread of 0.01% on the likes of EUR/USD. Although this top-rated Australian trading platform is great for forex, the provider offers thousands of other markets. This includes lots of cryptocurrency CFDs, commodities like gold, oil, and natural gas, and heaps of stocks.

Supported stock CFD markets include Australia, South Africa, the US, the UK, Germany, France, and more. On top of offering low fees and a huge CFD asset library, Plus500 is also popular with traders that seek leverage. Although the platform comes packed with real-time pricing charts and several order types, Plus500 is a bit weak when it comes to technical analysis.

This could be problematic if you are an advanced day or swing trader, as there is no support for MT4, MT5, or any third-party platform for that matter. Nevertheless, Plus500 allows you to open an account in minutes. Once you upload your Australian ID – which is usually verified straight away, you only need to meet a minimum deposit of $100.

Supported payment methods at this top-rated trading platform include debit/credit cards, Paypal, and a bank transfer. There are no fees to deposit or withdraw funds on Plus500, nor are there any account fees. Finally, Plus500 is authorized by several authorities, including ASIC, the FCA, and MAS.

Plus500 fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Spread. 23.51 pips for Amazon.
Forex trading fee Variable spreads
Crypto trading fee Spread. 4.11% for Bitcoin.
Inactivity fee £10 per month after three months
Withdrawal fee Free
What we like:

A commission-free trading policy
Thousands of CFD markets
Tight spreads
In-house trading platform, available on web browsers and mobile phones
Plenty of features including risk management tool, price alerts, and trader’s sentiment tool
Heavily regulated including a license by ASIC
What we don’t like:
No social trading tools
CFDs only
Visit Plus500 Now
72% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

IG – Best Trading Platform for Forex
While much of the focus thus far has been on traditional assets like stocks and ETFs, some of you might be looking for the best trading platform for forex. If so, it’s well worth checking out IG. Put simply, this trusted online trading platform offers a huge forex department that covers over 80 currency pairs.

It goes without saying that this covers all major and minor pairs – such as EUR/USD, GBP/USD, and AUD/NZD. However, IG also gives you access to a wider selection of exotic currency pairs, too. This includes pairs that contain the Russian ruble, Indian rupee, Philippine peso, Brazilian real, and more.

On top of offering a diverse number of forex markets, you will also find that IG is competitively priced. For example, you can trade major forex pairs from just 0.8 pips. As all forex trading fees at IG are built into the spread, there are no commissions to be made aware of.

In terms of the trading platform itself, IG gives you two options. If you consider yourself somewhat of a newbie, then you might be best suited for the native trading platform built by IG. This can be accessed online or via the IG app. Or, if you’re a fan of third-party platform MT4, this is fully compatible with IG.

This means you’ll have access to heaps of technical indicators and the ability to deploy an automated forex trading robot. IG is also worth considering if you are looking to trade forex on margin. In fact, major forex pairs on the trading platform require a margin of just 2%, which equates to leverage of 50x.

If you want to get started with IG, the minimum deposit is $250. You can choose from a debit card payment or bank transfer. Finally, although IG is an international brokerage firm with its headquarters in the UK, it is authorized and licensed by all relevant bodies in the US. As such, Americans can trade forex at IG in a safe, secure, and heavily regulated environment.

IG fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Commission. 2 cents per share for US stocks, 0.10% for UK and EU stocks.
Forex trading fee Spread. 1.4 pips for GBP/USD.
Crypto trading fee Spread. 36 pips for Bitcoin.
Inactivity fee £12 a month after 24 months.
Withdrawal fee Free
What we like:

Best trading platform for forex
More than 80 currency pairs offered
Spreads start at just 0.8 pips and no commissions charged
Trade on the IG website or via the app
MT4 is supported
More than four decades in the brokerage space
Easily fund your account with a debit card or bank transfer
What we don’t like:
A minimum deposit of $250
No traditional stocks or ETFs for US traders
Visit IG
Your capital is at risk.

Fidelity – Best Trading Platform for Long-Term Investors
fidelity reviewIf you are looking to create a long-term investment plan from the comfort of your home, Fidelity could be the best trading platform on the table. This is because it offers a significant number of traditional markets and investment strategies.
For example, you can buy and trade stocks from 25 different countries – which subsequently allows you to build a highly diversified, international portfolio of equities. The platform also gives you access to US-listed IPOs. If you’re more of a passive investor,

Fidelity offers thousands of ETFs, mutual funds, and fixed-income bonds, making it a great option if you’re searching for a good ETF trading platform. Fidelity is also great if you’re planning to set up a nest egg for your golden years. This is because it offers everything from annuities and IRAs to life insurance and retirement plans. We also like Fidelity for its comprehensive news and research facility.

For example, you can read market insights, sign up for news alerts, and access real-time quotes. For those of you with little knowledge of the financial markets, there is also the Fidelity Learning Center. When it comes to fees, stocks, ETFs, and options listed in the US can be traded commission-free, which is great.

There are no trading fees on Fidelity mutual funds either, as long as you keep hold of your investment for at least 60 days. If not, you’ll be charged $49.95 to exit your position. If opting to trade with margin, fees are also competitive at 4% upwards. Irrespective of which asset class you plan to trade, Fidelity does have a minimum account balance policy in place.

Fidelity fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Free
Forex trading fee N/A
Crypto trading fee N/A
Inactivity fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free
What we like:

Great selection of long-term investment products
Access US-listed stocks, ETFs, and options commission-free
Covers thousands of markets in 25 different countries
Excellent reputation and heavily regulated
No minimum account balance
Top-rated research and educational materials
Advanced analysis tools available for seasoned pros
What we don’t like:
Account opening process can be slow
No debit card deposits/withdrawals
Visit Fidelity
Your capital is at risk.

Charles Schwaab – Best Free Trading Platform App
Although Charles Schwaab is considered an ‘old-school’ brokerage firm, it actually offers one of the best free trading platform apps in the space. This starts at the very offset with advanced security controls that strive to keep you and your Charles Schwab account safe.
For example, you can choose to only accept account logins through fingerprint or face ID, alongside a preset passcode. In terms of tradable markets, Charles Schwab offers a huge number of financial instruments. This includes each and every stock that is publicly-listed in the US – plus OTC (Over-the-Counter) shares and IPOs.

The free trading platform also supported fractional ownership, meaning that you can buy shares from just $5 via the Schwab Stock Slice feature. International stocks at the platform are facilitated via American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) and foreign ordinaries. Outside of the stock department, this top-rated trading platform also allows you to invest in ETFs, index funds, mutual funds, bonds, and more.

Again, this can all be accessed with ease via the Charles Schwab mobile app. Much like the other trading platforms we have discussed today, Charles Schwab allows you to buy US-listed stocks and ETFs without paying any commission. Plus, there are no minimum deposits or ongoing account fees. If you’re a seasoned trader, Charles Schwab is also a great option.

This is because you will have access to several platforms – some of which comes jam-packed with advanced technical indicators, chart drawing tools, and market insights. When it comes to research, Charles Schwab has integrated its trading platform with 14 top-rated providers. This includes the likes of Thompson Reuters, Moody’s, and Morningstar.

Charles Schwab fees

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Free
Forex trading fee N/A
Crypto trading fee N/A
Inactivity fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free
What we like:

Trusted US-based trading platform
Top-rated investment app available on iOS and Android
$0 commission on stocks and ETFs
All US stocks covered, plus heaps of international shares
Industry-leading research facilities
3 trading platforms to choose from
No account fee or minimum deposit
What we don’t like:
Mutual funds cost $49.95 per investment
High margin trading fees
Visit Charles Schwab
Your capital is at risk.

Capital.com – Best Online Broker for AI Trading
new capital.com logo
Capital.com is a relatively new trading platform that has been making waves in the market. To start with, this app offers over 3,000 instruments, including a great variety of stock CFDs. This includes over 3118 shares and 85 cryptocurrencies, which is a great amount, so you can trade companies from all over the world. It also offers ETFs, indices, commodities, and forex.
This online trading broker is also very cheap, with no commissions and low spreads. Another plus is that Capital.com offers spread betting as well as CFDs, meaning any earnings you make from spread betting are tax-free.

Perhaps the best thing about this stock app is its excellent trading tools and features. It has an innovative AI-powered trading platform with personalised trading insights, tech indicators, analytic tools, and advanced charts, and it also has excellent educational resources, including webinars.

Capital.com is licensed by the FCA, so it’s a very secure trading platform. Although it doesn’t offer PayPal, it does offer some great alternative payment methods, including Apple Pay, Sofort, and Trustly.

Capital.com fees

Low spreads
Over 3,000 shares
Spread betting
AI trading platform
What we don’t like:
Can’t own stocks

Fee Amount
Stock trading fee Spread. 1.83 pips for Amazon.
Forex trading fee Spread. 0.8 pips for GBP/USD.
Crypto trading fee Spread. 100 pips for Bitcoin/USD.
Inactivity fee Free
Withdrawal fee Free
What we like:

ADVERTISEMENT