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Computerized Investing > Second Quarter 2012

Online Discount Brokers

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by Joe Lan, CFA

With the continued rise of online and mobile banking, online discount brokers are constantly evolving. Due to their low cost and relative ease of use, online discount brokers are usually the preferred avenue for buying and selling stocks, particularly among individual investors. Online discount brokers are all competitive when it comes to pricing, so they try to distinguish themselves through the various features they provide.

The most widely used online discount brokers all showed improvement over the past year in the services they provide. In this comparison, I take an in-depth look at the top five most popular online discount brokers among AAII members, sharing my thoughts based on a hands-on investigation and discussing their new areas and features. I also point out notable differences between these brokers, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each.

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