You are probably curious about how we came up with this list. Let’s go through a few points quickly. What is an online broker? Why do we think these brokers are safe? What are the most important factors when selecting the best online brokers?
Thirty years ago if you wanted to buy a stock, you had to pick up the phone and call your broker, who executed the transaction in return for a commission. Brokers were like in The Wolf of Wall Street movie. They were checking the stocks’ prices while holding a telephone and shouting. Everything changed after the internet appeared. Nowadays if you want to buy Apple shares, you open online an account, deposit money, and make the order through the brokers’ online platform. These brokers are online brokers. Online brokers help you buying and selling securities, like stocks. After making your order, the online broker executes it immediately. Everything is online.
Yes, they are considered safe. You can be sure none of them is a scam. They are regulated by top-tier regulators. Some of them are also listed on an exchange, and some have a banking background.
However, also brokerage companies can go down. Remember Lehman Brothers? In these cases, it is important to know what happens with your securities and cash. These are usually held in segregated accounts, so even in case of a broker bankruptcy, you are safe.
If everything goes very bad and for example, the broker steals your assets, then you have a last resort, the compensation fund of the country where the broker is regulated.