Cheapest Brokers 2022 | Brokers With Low Fees
Comparing the cheapest brokers 2022 is no easy task; there are so many domestic and international brokerage firms, account types and fee structures to consider. This tutorial outlines the most important charges to look out for before explaining how to compare low-cost trading brokers. We’ve also compiled a list of the cheapest brokers with low fees and discount trading platforms.
Spreads & Commission
The two main ways that brokers generate income are through spreads and commissions. These essentially work as a per-trade cost. For example, a commission charge might be implemented as a flat fee, such as $0.50 per lot, or a percentage, like 0.1% of the trade value. Spreads, on the other hand, are charged by increasing the difference in the bid and ask prices of an asset, with the broker taking the difference once the position is closed.
Some discount firms may advertise themselves as the cheapest brokers with low fees because they offer ultra tight spreads, but they will often make up for them in other ways. For example, electronic communications network (ECN) brokers often offer minimal spreads but charge high commissions. Similarly, not all brokers charge commissions because they simply mark up the spreads.
Deposits & Withdrawals
Charges are also implemented by brokers for transactions, i.e. deposits and withdrawals. While this can sometimes just be to cover funds that the payment provider charge, brokers can also mark these up. Deposit and withdrawal fees will often vary slightly with different payment methods. These costs can sneak up on unwary traders, sometimes taking a large percentage of any money taken out of a trading account.
Swaps, or overnight fees, are often charged by brokers that are focused on day trading clients or short-term derivatives. Swaps go against Sharia law, so many brokers will offer Islamic swap-free accounts to facilitate halal trading. However, these charges are usually made up elsewhere in the fee model.
As well as charging clients for using their services, many online discount brokers will charge them for not. Accounts that are inactive for long periods of time (often at least a month) may incur additional charges. Inactivity fees can eat into any profits made by unwatchful investors who do not withdraw their capital or trade regularly. Be careful that the cheapest brokers with low fees don’t unexpectedly sting you for inactivity.
Forex and international brokers will often charge their clients for converting one currency to another. This fee is most often seen by clients opening accounts in a foreign country with a base currency they do not already own. Trading spot forex incurs these charges directly through commissions and spreads, although forex derivatives typically avoid this fee as no currency is actually converted.
Traders looking to take advantage of broker leverage through margin trading may see additional costs associated with the borrowing of the broker’s capital. This often comes by way of a small percentage fee on the amount borrowed for short-term trading. Taking out margin over longer periods of time, i.e. more than one day, can be charged an interest rate that is compounded daily.
Investing in spot stocks has recently become significantly cheaper. Not long ago, commissions for buying shares were a minimum of $10 at the cheapest stockbrokers. However, some cheap online discount brokers have recently sprung up with minimal trading fees, such as Robinhood and Freetrade. Other spot trading fees, like holding and closing charges, are also removed at these new-wave cheapest brokers.
Pros Of Using Brokers With Low Fees
The cheapest brokers allow traders to minimise the chunks of their gains that get taken away by brokers, markets and payment service providers. This means that there is a smaller margin for each trade to become successful, and any seriously successful trades become even more so.
With the constant development of online convenience and the number of blogs, forums, brokers and training centres constantly increasing, more and more free educational content is becoming available. This means that the premium educational content and courses that some more expensive brokers would charge for are no longer required, so traders can become effective at their enterprise even with the cheapest brokers and discounts.
Technical analysis is similarly becoming more easily accessible and advanced, with lots of free signals services and market breakdown blogs available online. Furthermore, the cheapest brokers with the lowest fees are now offering some high-end trading platform solutions, like MetaTrader 4 (MT4) or MetaTrader 5 (MT5), at no extra cost, which means that advanced market analysis and charting options are available.
Cons Of Using Brokers With Low Fees
Some of the cheapest brokers can seem almost too good to be true, and they sometimes are. The ability to offer high-end trading services for very little cost is difficult, so some companies use workarounds to get there and some simply lie, scamming their clients. Always ensure you research a broker’s regulatory status, licensing and customer reviews.
Fees are not always clear and some brokers will try to hide some of theirs to seem more competitive. The removal or reduction of obvious fees can just mean that they are not the broker’s main source of income and they are often replaced by some other form of charge.
Some of the extra services and features that might make your trading experience more enjoyable, like responsive, knowledgeable customer support, may not be provided by the cheapest brokers, as hiring a good team will mean money must be taken from elsewhere in the business model.
Comparing The Cheapest Brokers
In terms of pure cost, a comprehensive review of the entire pricing structure is the best way to find the cheapest brokers with low fees. These should, at minimum, include spreads and commissions, deposit and withdrawal charges and margin rates.
However, it is no good opening an account with the cheapest discount broker if they offer trading in one company share from half the world away, the full service should be considered. Beyond the asset list, you should take a look at trading platforms, customer service, leverage rates, regulation and demo accounts.
Top Brokers With Low Fees
Top tier trading platforms accompanied by wide market research, leading education material and reliable, well-rated customer service for all clients, TD Ameritrade offers it all for $0. The broker is regularly rated amongst the top overall brokers in 2022 and is one of the cheapest. Stock trading fees have been slashed from $6.95 to $0 and options contract charges are soon to be reduced to $0.65 per contract. However, penny stock trading still carries a flat-rate fee of $6.95.
Some TD Ameritrade withdrawal options can incur quite high charges, with wire transfers costing $25 a pop. That being said, inactivity and holding fees are not charged and there are often welcome bonuses that can offset some of the costs.
A top pick for professionals thanks to its institutional-grade desktop platform and low margin rates. The broker also appeals to newcomers with $0 trade commissions, a wide range of assets and a user-friendly interface. Interactive Brokers sits as one of the cheapest brokers with very tight spreads, commissions of $0.005 per unit and free withdrawals once a month. However, some US mutual funds have charges of $14.95 for investment.
TradeStation has a robust offering of trading platforms, account types and additional features. Trading can be done for $5 on stocks, options and futures. Generally targeted at professional traders, TradeStation is not one of the cheapest brokers for retail clients, with $5 commissions and large withdrawal fees.
Final Word On Cheapest Brokers
The cheapest brokers with low fees are not necessarily the best brokers, as with the discount versions of most goods and services. However, if you know what you are looking for and how to get around some of the shortcomings they may possess, they can be used to minimise trading losses and maximise profits. Be on the lookout for hidden fees and unregulated discount brokers to ensure you are not being scammed. See our list of brokers with low fees above to get started.
Who Are The Cheapest Online Trading Brokers?
Aside from those mentioned above, brokers such as Robinhood, Ally Invest and Tastyworks are notably cheap and popular platforms that are well-regulated and have a good range of stock, futures and forex trading services.
Who Are The Cheapest Forex Brokers?
Who Are The Cheapest Brokers With Low Fees For Day Trading?
How Do I Find The Cheapest Discount Brokers Near Me?
Not all discount brokers are licensed to provide their services everywhere in the world, so the cheapest brokers in the world may not be available to you. For example, a crypto broker regulated in Australia may not be able to provide its services to traders in India, Europe or South Africa. See our list above for the cheapest brokers in your area to get started today.
What Are The Cheapest Discount Crypto Brokers?
Cryptocurrency exchanges have slightly different fee structures from stock and forex brokers. Rather than charging spreads for currency conversions, exchanges will commission transactions. Coinbase is a top-rated trading platform with relatively low fees.