The 6 Best American Online Trading Apps in 2024
Online trading grows ever popular by the year. In 2023, over 150 million Americans traded online. Choosing the right trading platform is essential to success. This post reviews the 6 top American online trading apps for 2024.
The Rise of Online Trading Apps
Advancements in mobile technology fueled a surge in retail trading apps. Top providers like ETRADE, Robinhood, and Webull see millions of active monthly users. Intuitive design made self-directed trading easy for novices.
Lower barriers of entry also helped. Many top apps offer commission-free trades. This enabled those with limited capital to invest. Trading apps made markets accessible virtually anywhere, too.
Key Features To Consider in a Trading App
Many trading platforms exist today. When selecting one, consider these vital features:
- User Interface – An intuitive, clean interface improves ease of use. It keeps navigation simple while providing necessary data. It also ensures a smooth trading experience across desktop and mobile.
- Security – Stringent security protocols like encryption and multi-factor authentication are necessary. They help protect personal data and accounts from breaches.
- Real-time Data – Platforms should provide real-time streaming quotes and market data. Enables reacting swiftly to price changes when trading or managing positions.
- Trade Execution – Seamless order placement and fast trade execution are critical. They can mean the difference between profit and loss when volatility strikes.
- Costs – Account minimums, commission fees per trade, and margin rates all vary greatly across platforms. Compare costs closely to avoid cutting into profits.
- Customer Support – Timely issue resolution matters when trading. Around-the-clock customer service through various channels is vital.
- Tools & Research – Robust tools like screeners and advanced charts should be available. Educational resources are also helpful for new traders.
Top 6 American Online Trading Apps in 2024
After extensive research, these emerge as the six best US trading apps to use in 2024.
ETRADE, a long-time leader in retail stock trading, ETRADE offers a full suite of investment products, from stocks and ETFs to mutual funds.
- Complete range of securities and accounts on offer
- Great research, education, and trading tools
- Good customer service reputation
- Higher fees than some discount brokers
- Heavyweight desktop focus
Now owned by Charles Schwab after the 2020 acquisition, TD Ameritrade still operates a robust trading platform. Known for comprehensive research, tools, and education offerings.
- In-depth research, analytics, and screeners
- Leading educational materials
- Wide range of account types
- Margin rates above the industry average
- Prior customer service delays post-Schwab merger
The online brokerage arm of Bank of America, Merrill Edge, tops lists for investor education. Offers good value across trading, research, and banking integration.
- Strong investor learning resources
- Bank account integration
- Rewards benefits via Preferred Rewards
- Limited international trading options
- Fewer tools than some rivals
Thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade reigns among advanced trading platform offerings. Packed with tools, analytics, and customization suited to active traders.
- Incredibly robust analytics and charting
- Highly customizable workspace
- Excellent paper trading functionality
- Geared to seasoned active traders
- The steep learning curve for beginners
Robinhood pioneered easy access to fee-free investing for millennials starting in 2013. The streamlined app enables trading stocks, crypto, options, and more.
- Intuitive, mobility-first interface
- Commission and account minimum free
- Cryptocurrency trading option
- Light on research and tools
- Checkered track record on executions
- Poor recent PR troubles
The trading app offers zero minimum balances and zero commission fees. It is good for stock and options traders seeking a data-rich platform.
- Zero minimums and fee-free trades
- Advanced trading tools available
- Pre/Post market trading
- Limited customer service channels
- Required extra fees for margin trading access
How to Choose the Right Trading App for You
With many trading apps competing for your downloads in 2024, doing due diligence matters before picking your platform.
Assess your personal trading approach first. Will you trade stocks, options, cryptocurrency, or all? What volume of trades is expected monthly? These factors help determine the tools and features needed.
Next is budget. Compare minimum balances required and any trade commissions at apps considered. Costs subtract from eventual profits.
Match potential apps against your smartphone OS for seamless mobile access. Check for robust customer assistance and handle any issues.
Read initial user reviews but also observe app provider responses to criticism. Fledgling platforms are still smoothing out kinks, to temper expectations.
Most importantly, sign up and demo test top choices with paper money. Experience each interface and execution quality before funding the account.
Online trading enters the mainstream thanks to capable trading apps catering to first-timers and veterans alike. Selecting your platform wisely now is akin to traditional brokers of the past. Base choices per unique trading needs and style preferences.
Remember, no platform is perfect across the board. Read user reviews and raise concerns directly with customer service pre and post-sign-up. Demo test trading and tools first. Switch apps if something better comes along.