It is a shame that their customer service is so questionable and that navigating certain aspects of the platform/website are so difficult because Interactive offers arguably the best and most reliable technology package of any of the retail brokers. Trader Workstation is a super impressive and customizable platform. Moreover, the various algo order types available to any sized retail investor are normally only found on high cost, institutional platforms like Trading Technologies. Costs are also among the lowest in the business. These pros do not overcome what we consider to be spotty customer service issues and a weak charting platform. If you are an advanced trader, we highly recommend Interactive Brokers. However, if you are just starting out we think TD will be easier to adjust to.
Whatever your feelings about Robinhood (this is likely inversely correlated to your age), we all should be thanking them (and their venture capital investors) for helping to really ignite the now ubiquitous movement towards commission free equity and ETF trading. But it wasn’t just costs which fueled its meteoric rise in popularity, particularly amongst the youngest investors. The designers and developers managed to put together a pretty impressive and easy to use app/platform. If you are purely stock, options or crypto trading for your own account, Robinhood is a solid choice. Especially considering that they pay some of the highest interest rates for cash deposits in the industry. They are also one of the few out there who offer completely commission free options trading.
I don’t have the trust in the platform, yet, to use it for larger accounts. But if you are starting out as an investor and are looking for the quickest learning curve, Robinhood might be the easiest of them all. Keep in mind that nothing is truly free. Robinhood makes money through various other methods such as selling your order flow. Unless you’re a high volume trader, you probably won’t notice much of an impact but they aren’t running the company for charity.
Absolutely love TradeStation and we have gone back and forth about making it our top overall pick. Their desktop trading platform is one of the best out there and their mobile app is really solid. We are always evaluating and may make this our top choice at some point down the road.