Best Online Brokerages

If you're contemplating trading securities online, or if you already do online trading but want to compare the service you're getting with the rest of the players, this survey will be of interest. Money Magazine sent seven brokers out into the Internet with pockets full of money and the assignment to buy stocks from 24 Web brokers. Life doesn't get much tougher than this.

The brokers came back with their reports, rating the brokerage companies on the basis of four different types of investors: mainstream investors, wealth investors, frequent traders, and beginners.

Hundreds of factors were considered in the assessment, all of which fit into five major areas:

  • Customer service
  • Products and tools
  • Ease of use
  • System responsiveness
  • Cost

The top ten finishers, ranked from first to tenth, are:

  1. Fidelity
  2. Merrill Lynch
  3. Charles Schwab
  4. NDB
  5. CSFBDirect
  6. Ameritrade
  7. TD Waterhouse
  8. E-Trade
  9. Datek Online
  10. Muriel Siebert

Complete results of the survey are available on the Money Magazine Web site, and also in the June 2001 print issue of the magazine.