How to buy stocks online for free?

Nowadays it is easier than ever to invest in stocks – lots of online platforms allow you to invest in mutual funds and ETFs without a minimum required sum and with no fees, making it an amazing option for most of us. However, if you’re looking for places where you can buy individual stocks for free, keep reading for a number of great platforms. For now, there’s only a handful of platforms where you can buy stocks without fees and commissions, but their number should grow in the next couple of years.

Use Robinhood to invest in stocks on your own

If you’re a new trader just starting out and making your first trades Robinhood is the perfect place to start. It is a free app that you can download to your phone and trade anytime you want absolutely for free. Yep, there are absolutely no fees and hidden charges that you often meet when trying to purchase stocks online. Since everything is free, you can buy and sell as many times as you want even if you are buying just a few shares – an ideal tool if you’re looking to save money on trading stocks. Of course, there’s a number of caveats, for instance, you won’t get much analytical info in the app and getting your tax forms is not as straightforward as with paid services, but hey, free is free.

M1 Finance – commission-free trading online

If you’re wondering how to buy stocks online, look no further – M1 Finance is an easy, straightforward trading platform where you can invest in stocks commission-free. Plus, they offer a unique feature – with M1 Finance you don’t need to buy a full share. You can go to their website, pick several stocks you would like to invest in and then add money to the account. Whatever the sum in your account is, that money will be distributed among the stocks you’ve picked even if it means buying fractions of stocks. M1 makes it incredibly easy to gradually build your investment portfolio from the ground up and if you ever have extra money you want to invest but no time to analyze the market and pick a stock, you can just add the money to your account in the matter of minutes and it will just go into the stocks you’ve already vetted earlier.

Vanguard – one of the best ways to buy stocks online

Many experts in the investing community consider Vanguard one of the best websites to buy stocks for both ammateur and seasoned investors. Vanguard provides a user-friendly website, great mutual funds and ETFs at competitive expense ratios that won’t break your bank. The only caveat used to be that you needed to buy Vanguard products in order to take advantage of those low fees, otherwise you would have to pay 7 to 20 dollars per trade in fees. However, a few months ago Vanguard rolled out a few feature that allows to you take advantage of almost 2,000 ETFs and mutual funds absolutely free, making it easier and cheaper to own stocks than ever before.
Fidelity – a broker that lets you invest for free

Fidelity is a great full-service online broker that provides unlimited investment options – no matter what type of an account or investment you need, they provide that option. Normally, you have to pay moderate fees for most of their services, but now, for a limited time they’re having a promotion, allowing you to make 300 trades in 2 years absolutely free. This is a great deal, as you get not only free trades, but also access to their helpful customer service, online and mobile investment platforms and dozens of locations around the US for when you need in-person assistance. Fidelity is really making it easy to start investing in stocks online without the financial burden. And once you’ve used up your 300 free trades, you can continue trading with Fidelity for only 4.95 dollars per trade.

Buy stocks (almost) for free with these companies

While the 4 investing platforms we’ve talked about above are truly 100% free, there is a huge number of brokers and companies that have some options for free trading and also offer bonuses for signing up and opening accounts.

TD Ameritrade

This platform has over a hundred of ETFs you can invest in with no commission and iShares funds with some of the lowest expense ratios in the industry. While this platform is not entirely free, you can still take advantage of their sweet sign up bonuses and develop a portfolio at very low cost.

Charles Schwab

If you’re looking for mutual funds and ETFs with absolutely no commission, consider Charles Schwab. You can take advantage of their free services, award-winning funds and great sign up bonuses at much lower thresholds than other companies, which will allow you to build a budget-friendly investment portfolio.

Whether you’re a newbie wondering “How can I buy stock?” or a seasoned investor looking to diversify and find the cheapest way to buy stocks, there are lots of websites and platforms you can use to build your portfolio for free. After all, fees and commissions are the reason many investors can’t outperform the market, and with our recommendations you don’t have to become one of them.

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Alexej Pikovsky

Passionate about investing in private and public companies and a successful track record across different industries and geographies. German Academic Foundation Scholar and Research Affiliate at the Centre for Global Finance and Technology at Imperial College London. Addicted to reading and sharing industry deep dives. Enjoy!