Best Brokers For Bonds
Investors trade bonds for profit by capitalizing on changes in government or corporate bond values. This guide features our pick of the best bond trading brokers, selected after thorough review, comparison, and ranking.
Best Brokers For Bonds 2023
Based on our assessment, these are the 5 best bond trading accounts:
Top 3 Broker Comparison
|Interactive Brokers||IG Group||Firstrade|
|Regulators||SEC, FCA, IIROC, SFC||FCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA||SEC, FINRA|
#1 - Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers is a leading global brokerage that provides access to a comprehensive offering of stocks as well as forex, futures, metals, bonds and cryptos. The firm has over 40 years experience in the online trading industry and is heavily regulated by SEC, FCA, IIROC, and SFC. Traders use the proprietary Trader Workstation and can access powerful tools and data feeds as well as comprehensive educational resources.
"Serious traders seeking a regulated broker with unparalleled access to stock markets should look at IB. Their range of stocks can't be beaten."- DayTrading Review Team
- Instruments: CFD, Forex, Stocks, Crypto, Futures, Options, Commodities
- Regulator: SEC, FCA, IIROC, SFC
- Platforms: AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral
- Min. Deposit: $0
- Min. Trade: $100
- Leverage: 1:50
- Direct market access, including to the FTSE 100 index, the CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX 40
- You have a reliable real-time market data feed, that rarely goes offline
- Diverse payment options and account currencies
- Mediocre customer support
- Accessing products like CFDs is not straightforward compared to competitors
- Platform and web interface are complex and difficult for beginners to pick up
#2 - IG Group
IG is an award-winning broker that has an excellent reputation globally. The brand-US offers spread betting, CFD and forex trading across a comprehensive suite of markets. IG is also multi-regulated, provides a great trading app and has 50 years experience.
"IG offers a superb all-round package. Beginners will appreciate the user-friendly web platform and secure trading environment while established investors will rate the 17,000+ markets and top-tier market research."- DayTrading Review Team
- Instruments: CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Futures, Options, Crypto, Spread Betting
- Regulator: FCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA
- Platforms: MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
- Min. Deposit: $0
- Min. Trade: 0.01 Lots
- Leverage: 1:30 (Retail), 1:250 (Pro)
- Share dealing and ISAs are available for longer term investing
- IG is an LSE-listed company with a transparent financial history and a great track record
- Opening an account takes less than 5 minutes
- No copy trading platform
- Inactivity charge
#3 - Firstrade
Firstrade is a US-headquartered discount broker-dealer with authorization from the SEC. The company is also a member of FINRA/SIPC. With welcome bonuses, powerful tools and apps, plus commission-free trading, Firstrade Securities is a popular online brokerage. It is also quick and easy to open a new account.
"We recommend Firstrade for beginner investors looking to trade US stocks with no commissions. There is a wealth of free education plus premium-quality research and trading ideas from Morningstar, Briefing.com, Zacks and Benzinga."- DayTrading Review Team
- Instruments: Stocks, ETFs, Options, Mutual Funds, Bonds, Cryptos, Fixed
- Regulator: SEC, FINRA
- Platforms: Own
- Min. Deposit: $0
- Min. Trade: $1
- SIPC member
- Multiple customer support options
- Accepts US traders
- No forex or futures trading
- No demo/paper trading account
- No 24/7 customer support
#4 - Zacks Trade
Zacks Trade is a FINRA-regulated US broker offering trading on stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, bonds and more through a proprietary terminal. The broker is geared toward active traders and offers very affordable fees on most assets as well as an app and a vast amount of market data.
"Zacks Trade will suit active day traders with experience using powerful platforms. Fees and margin rates are low while the market research is excellent."- DayTrading Review Team
- Instruments: Stocks, Crypto, Options
- Regulator: FINRA
- Platforms: Own
- Min. Deposit: $2500
- Min. Trade: $3
- Demo account
- 20+ account denominations
- Regulated by FINRA with access to the Securities Investor Protection Corporation
- High minimum requirement of $2,500
- Shortcomings regarding platform loading times and technical glitches
- No MT4 or MT5 platform integration
#5 - Just2Trade
Just2Trade is a reliable multi-regulated broker registered with FINRA, NFA and CySEC. The company has 155,000 clients from 130 countries and stands out for its huge suite of instruments and additional features, including a social network, robo advisors and a funded trader programme.
"Traders seeking a multi-asset broker with an exceptional range of 35,000+ assets, market-leading software and low trading fees should consider Just2Trade. The Try2BFunded program will also appeal to users seeking funded trading accounts."- DayTrading Review Team
- Instruments: Stocks, ADRs, ETFs, Futures, Options, Commodities, Bonds
- Regulator: CySEC, NFA, FINRA, Bank of Russia
- Platforms: MT4, MT5, TradingCentral
- Min. Deposit: $100
- Min. Trade: 0.01 Lots
- Leverage: 1:20
- Competitive fee schedule and high-quality trade executions
- STP/ECN broker with fast execution speeds
- The list of 35,000+ instruments is more than almost any other broker
- Few standard educational resources compared to other brokers
- Research tools such as stock screeners require third-party applications
- Cryptocurrency is only available in Asia
Comparing Bond Brokers
To find the best bond brokers, we evaluate firms across several categories:
The Number Of Bonds
Top brokers offer a range of bonds, sometimes thousands, helping investors build diverse portfolios.
Our analysis found that most bond brokers offer access to several types of bonds, including:
- Government Bonds – Generally deemed the safest, these are debt securities issued by governments to support public spending and obligations. Importantly, brokers may use different terms to describe government bonds. US bonds, for example, are often known as treasuries, while UK bonds are frequently called gilts, and debt instruments issued by the German government are known as bunds.
- Corporate Bonds – Riskier than government bonds, these debt instruments are used by companies to raise funds for various purposes, such as expansion. The quality and risk of corporate bonds vary depending on the creditworthiness of the firm. Investment-grade corporate bonds are usually safer but often come with lower yields, whilst junk bonds are riskier but tend to offer higher returns.
Also important is the vehicle you can use to speculate on bond values. For short-term speculation, contracts for difference (CFDs) and spread betting are popular, allowing users to speculate on prices without owning the underlying bond. For longer-term investing, you can buy bonds directly or deal in exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
- Interactive Investor offers a huge selection of products with over 10,000 bonds and gilts.
The Fees To Trade Bonds
The best bond brokers offer low fees with no hidden charges.
Our testing shows that many firms charge a transaction fee, known as a commission. Low-cost platforms charge commissions of <1% or <$10. Fees may also be shown as a spread, especially if you trade bond CFDs. Here, sub 1 point is competitive.
Importantly, we look for any volume discounts that can bring costs down. Our team also evaluate non-trading fees, which can take the form of account opening and maintenance fees, deposit and withdrawal charges, plus inactivity penalties.
- CMC Markets offers bonds with spreads as low as 1 point. We also rate that you can reduce spreads by up to 40% through the Alpha program.
The Minimum Investment
The top bond brokers offer an accessible minimum deposit, lowering the entry barrier.
Our research shows that many top bond brokers accept new traders with a minimum deposit of <$200. With that said, some firms have no minimum deposit, making them a good option for beginners.
Importantly, we balance a low minimum deposit with the quality of the investment tools and market research. We have found that sometimes it is worth investing more upfront to access higher-quality tools.
- OANDA has no minimum deposit and offers European, US and UK bonds with competitive conditions.
The Platforms And Tools
Our top-rated bond brokers offer easy-to-use platforms with excellent market research tools.
When we test bond brokers, we look for user-friendly platforms and apps that allow investors to analyze markets and manage trades. The best software will help you find bonds that align with your financial goals and risk appetite.
Our team also consider the availability of additional resources for bond traders, whether expert commentary on the maturity, yield, and quality of bonds, or tools to help investors calculate potential returns and fees.
- AvaTrade offers two sophisticated platforms for bonds with advanced charting software – MT4 and MT5.
The Broker’s Regulatory Status
We only recommend bond brokers that we trust.
Several factors impact the trust rating we assign brokers. The most important of which is whether the brokerage is regulated by a respected financial body. Investing through a tightly regulated bond broker will help protect you from scams and unfair practices.
Among the most respected regulators are the US National Futures Association (NFA), US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
Our team also factor in the reputation of the bond broker and look for signs of credibility, such as being listed on a stock exchange or part of a banking institution.
- IG is a trustworthy bond broker regulated by reputable bodies, including the NFA, CFTC and FCA.
What Is A Bond Broker?
A bond broker is an intermediary that provides a platform where you can buy, sell and speculate on bond values.
Our analysis shows that the best bond brokers offer a large number of bonds, a choice of investing vehicles, transparent fees with low commissions, and oversight from a trusted regulator.
Do I Need To Open An Investing Account To Buy Bonds?
To invest in bonds, you generally need to open an account with an online broker.
When you have completed the sign-up requirements and satisfied any minimum deposit requirements, you can purchase or trade bond instruments through the firm’s investing platform or mobile app.
Which Is The Best Bond Broker?
We have compiled a list of our best bond brokers. We considered several factors, including the number and type of bonds available, fees on bond instruments, the minimum investment, plus the quality of the platforms and tools.
Importantly, we also checked the broker’s regulatory credentials and reputation. Only bond brokers we trust make our rankings.
What Types Of Bonds Do Brokers Offer?
The types of bonds available to traders will vary between online brokers. However, top-rated brokers offer a selection of government, corporate, and fixed bonds, plus a choice of investment vehicles, such as CFDs, ETFs, and spread bets.
- AvaTrade - Bond Investing Conditions
- CMC Markets - Bond Investing Conditions
- Interactive Investor - Bond Investing Conditions
- IG - Bond Investing Conditions
- OANDA - Bond Investing Conditions
- How I Trade and Invest in Stocks and Bonds, Richard D. Wyckoff, 2006
- Fundamentals of The Bond Market, Esme Faerber, 2001
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