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The Best ETF Platforms in 2023

Stephen Ngari
Stephen Ngari
27th Mar 2023
Disclosure

Investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) remains a lucrative option to participate in the stock market and diversify your portfolio. ETFs are associated with reduced risks and lower fees compared with other financial instruments.

This article shares the best ETF trading platforms to help you make an informed decision based on your preferences. We have indicated their pricing and unique features, and highlighted what each does.

Top 10 ETF Platforms

Sort By Label
Partner Name LabelLabelCTASecurity FeaturesMobile SupportCustomer SupportLaunch Date Disclaimer
eToro1eToro4.8Visit Websiteetoro.com2FA, BiometricsiOS, AndroidLive Chat2007This ad promotes virtual cryptocurrency investing within the EU (by eToro Europe Ltd. and eToro UK Ltd.) & USA (by eToro USA LLC) which is highly volatile, unregulated in most EU countries, does not fall under EU protections & is not supervised by the EU regulatory framework. Investments are subject to market risks, including the loss of principal.
Charles Schwab2Charles Schwab4.0Visit Websitewww.schwab.com/2FA, Pin Android, iOS, Web AppEmail, Telephone, Live Chat1971
Interactive Brokers3Interactive Brokers3.5Visit Websitewww.interactivebrokers.com/en/home.php2FA, Biometrics, Pin Android, iOSEmail, Telephone, Live Chat2007
TD Ameritrade4TD Ameritrade3.8Visit Websitewww.tdameritrade.com/2FA, Biometrics, Pin Android, iOS, Web AppEmail, Telephone, Live Chat1971
Fidelity Investment5Fidelity Investment3.8Visit Websitewww.fidelity.com/2FA, Biometrics, Pin Android, iOSTelephone, Dedicated Account Manager, Live Chat, Email1930
Merrill Edge6Merrill Edge3.3Visit Websitewww.merrilledge.com/2FA, Pin Android, iOSEmail, Telephone2010
e*trade7e*trade3.3Visit Websiteus.etrade.com/homePin , 2FAAndroid, iOSTelephone, Email1996
Robinhood8Robinhood3.0Visit Websiterobinhood.com2FA, Pin Android, iOS, Web AppLive Chat, Telephone, Email2013
Firstrade9Firstrade3.5Visit Websitewww.firstrade.com/2FA, Pin Android, iOSEmail, Telephone1997
Vanguard10Vanguard3.0Visit Websitewww.investor.vanguard.com/2FA, Pin Android, Web AppEmail, Telephone1983

The 10 Best ETF Platforms Compared

Here are the best platform to trade ETFs

RankPlatformMinimum DepositFees
1eToro$100% commission
2Charles Schwab$00% commission
3Interactive Brokers$00% commission
4TD Ameritrade$00% commission
5Fidelity Investment$00% commission. Activity assessment fee $0.01 to $0.03 per $1000 of principal
6Merill Edge$0Transaction fee of $0.01 to $0.03 per $1000 of principal
7E*trade$0$0
8Robinhood$00% commission
9Firstrade$0$0
10Vanguard$0$0

1. eToro - Best for Beginners

eToro is a leading social trading platform helping users harness the wisdom of an active community to make trades. You can invest long-term with a broad range of ETFs from different sectors, including technology and healthcare.

With the social trading and CopyTrader functionality, beginners can use portfolios of profitable and experienced traders. This entry-level opportunity helps you understand how to invest in ETFs and the strategies employed by profitable traders.

💸 Account minimum deposit$10
💰 ETF commission0%
💰 Withdrawal fees$5
💰 Inactivity fees$10 per month after one year of inactivity
KYC RequiredYes
🖥️ Demo AccountYes
💲 PriceFree
📈 Investment typesETFs, commodities, stocks, crypto, indices
📱 AppYes
Visit eToro

2. Charles Schwab - Best for Long-Term ETF Investment

Customers get two varieties of ETFs on the platform: Schwab-managed ETFs and third-party ETFs. The former allows you to invest in over 25 low-cost ETFs that can form the foundation of your portfolio.

Moreover, it lets you combine market cap ETFs and fundamental index ETFs to build your portfolio.

Besides Schwab’s ETFs, you can access over 2,000 third-party ETFs from the US. These comprise an extensive selection of asset classes and fund companies, including over 110 Morningstar categories.

Customers can access ETF trading on a mobile phone. There are educational content, research, and screening tools to help clients make decisions easily.

💸 Account minimum deposit$0
💰 ETF Commission0%
KYC RequiredYes
🖥️ Demo AccountYes
💲 PriceFree
📈 Investment typesBonds, Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Indices, Options
📱 AppYes
Visit Charles Schwab

3. Interactive Brokers - Best for Flexible ETF Investment

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) customers can access up to 150 markets with the ability to fund their accounts in multiple currencies. It offers support for ETFs in options trading and short-selling.

IBKR Pro clients get reimbursement for commissions paid on ETF shares held for at least 30 days. This is through a commission rebate program that allows users to trade over 150 ETFs through partnerships with firms like WisdomTree and KraneShares.

The platform provides a suite of powerful technology and extensive educational content. The on-demand resources cater to novice and expert traders, helping them understand IBKR products, technology, services, and markets.

💸 Account minimum deposit$0
💰 Commission (IBKR Lite)$0
KYC RequiredYes
🖥️ Demo AccountYes
💲 PriceFree
📈 Investment typesStocks, ETFs, Forex, US Spot Gold, Crypto, Currencies, Indices, Futures, Options, Event contracts, Bonds
📱 AppYes
Visit Interactive Brokers

4. TD Ameritrade - Best Platform for ETF Trading

The TD Ameritrade platform aims to provide flexibility to all kinds of traders with tools and platforms tailored to efficient investing. You can trade ETFs by some of the most credible names in the industry on an intuitive web platform or utilize the more advanced thinkorswim platforms, depending on your preferences.

You can make smarter decisions with tools that provide comparisons, costs, and third-party analyst rankings for different ETF products. It’s also possible to leverage the historical data and forecasts from Morningstar and CFRA to help you trade more confidently.

The platform holds a comprehensive database of educational materials, including videos and webcasts. You can immerse yourself in courses of varying depths with topics ranging from ETF basics to risks associated with leveraging.

💸 Account minimum deposit$0
💰 ETFs commission$0
KYC RequiredYes
🖥️ Demo AccountYes
💲 PriceFree
📈 Investment typesETFs, Stocks, Options, Mutual funds, Forex, Crypto, Indices, Futures, Bonds
📱 AppYes
Visit TD Ameritrade

5. Fidelity Investments - Best for ETF Research

This provider features a robust line-up of active and passive ETFs including iShares, Fidelity, and other leading ETFs. Investors can select from the Fidelity active equity, stocks, sector, and nearly all other ETFs available in the US.

There are lots of educational materials and tools to help you make informed decisions. Fidelity’s proprietary ETF screener lets you target and compare ETFs to generate a selection that closely mirrors your investment preferences.

Fidelity Solo FidFolios is a unique product tailored to traders who want to create a custom index of ETFs. This product allows you to start investing with prebuilt models with an allowance starting from $1.

💸 Account minimum deposit$0
💰 ETF commission$0
💰 ETF activity assessment fee$0.01 to $0.03 per $1,000 of principal
💰 Fidelity Solo FidFolios fee$4.99/month
KYC RequiredYes
🖥️ Demo AccountYes
💲 PriceFree
📈 Investment typesMutual funds, ETFs, CDs, Options, Stocks, Bonds, Crypto
📱 AppYes
Visit Fidelity Investments

6. Merrill Edge - Best ETF Screeners

Merrill is a Bank of America company aiming to provide robust and connected experiences, especially for traders associated with its parent bank. Although the platform offers a limited selection of ETFs compared with its peers, customers enjoy highly functional tools for easy decision-making.

Customers can access Fund Story, an intuitive experience with actionable insight, and analyst ratings for ETFs. Additionally, Merrill Edge Select ETFs present a selection of funds curated in terms of costs, performance, and risks.

💸 Account minimum deposit$0
💰 Transaction fee$0.01 to $0.03 per $1,000 of principal
💰 Commission0%
KYC RequiredYes
🖥️ Demo AccountNo
💲 PriceFree
📈 Investment typesStocks, Mutual Funds, ETFs, Fixed Income, Bonds, Annuities
📱 AppYes
Visit Merrill Edge

7. E*TRADE - Best for Low-Cost ETF Trading

E*TRADE is another online broker whose foundation in ETF trading rests on zero commission and research availability. Investors have 24x5 access to a select group of widely traded ETFs, allowing them to react to news around the clock.

The platform provides tools such as an ETF screener and a recurring investment feature to build portfolios. It has a knowledge section where you can conduct your research, consult analysis from experts or check out the curated All-star ETF list.

💸 Account minimum deposit$0
💰 Commission0%
KYC RequiredYes
🖥️ Demo AccountYes
💲 PriceFree
📈 Investment typesStocks, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Bonds, CDs, Futures
📱 AppYes
Visit E*TRADE

8. Robinhood - Best for ETF Trading on Mobile

Robinhood is an online broker enticing a new generation of investors by making trading simple and accessible. The mobile-centric platform allows you to enter and exit trades on the go.

You can access ETF-based educational materials, although the number of articles is limited. Tools are available to help you make informed decisions and monitor your portfolio.

💸 Account minimum deposit$0
💰 ETF Trading Fees$0
💰 Commission0%
KYC RequiredYes
🖥️ Demo AccountNo
💲 PriceFree
📈 Investment typesCryptocurrency, ETFs, Stocks, Options
📱 AppYes
Visit Robinhood

9. Firstrade - Best for Trading a Diverse Range of ETFs

Firstrade offers customers the ability to trade over 2,200 ETFs, inclusive of 1,100 ETFs by Morningstar. It boasts a broad list of ETF providers, totaling over 100. Some of the perks for investors are free ETF profiles, screening tools, and up to $100 in transfer rebates.

You can take advantage of the simple-to-use Firstrade app to fund your account, access research, manage your portfolio, and set up watchlists. However, learning resources are limited, with only simple guides available.

💸 Account minimum deposit$0
💰 Commission$0
KYC RequiredYes
🖥️ Demo AccountNo
💲 PriceFree
📈 Investment typesStock, ETFs, Options, Mutual funds, Crypto, fixed income
📱 AppYes
Visit Firstrade

10. Vanguard - Best for Active ETF Trading

Investors can start trading every Vanguard ETF and about 1,800 others from different companies with a minimum of $1. You can access core ETFs that comprise Vanguard’s four total market funds and other options, including ESG ETFs and short-term ETFs.

The platform entices traders with a history of well-performing ETFs, offering competitive long-term returns. It states that over the past 10 years, 80% of Vanguard ETFs beat the returns of their peer group averages.

💸 Account minimum deposit$0
💰 Commission$0
KYC RequiredYes
🖥️ Demo AccountNo
💲 PriceFree
📈 Investment typesShares, Forex, CDs, Bonds, Mutual Funds, ETFs
📱 AppYes
Visit Vanguard

How Do ETF Trading Platforms Work?

ETF trading platforms are online brokers that facilitate the buying and selling of ETFs. Traders can purchase ETFs directly or speculate on the underlying market's price with instruments like CFDs and spread betting.

You can trade an ETF that tracks commodities, stocks, sectors, indices, currencies, and many more.

How Much Money Do You Need to Get Started on an ETF Platform?

Before starting, look for platforms offering low or zero minimum deposits. The amount you invest will depend on your trading knowledge, financial goals, strategies, and platform.

It’s possible to start trading ETFs with less than $100. For instance, you will need a minimum of $10 to start trading ETFs on eToro, but fees and other charges apply.

Cheapest ETF trading platforms

Trading platforms employ different pricing structures depending on their economic model. However, most platforms now offer commission-free trading, and only the transaction fees may differ by small margins.

Here are some of the cheapest ETF trading platforms in the US.

ProviderFeeGet Started
🥇 eToro0% commissionGet started with eToro
🥈 TD Ameritrade0% commissionGet started with TD Ameritrade
🥉 Vanguard0% commissionGet started with Vanguard

Pros and Cons of Using ETF Trading Platforms

Trading ETFs has recently become popular due to their ability to diversify portfolios and many emerging interesting sectors. Here are the pros and cons of using online platforms to trade ETFs.

Pros
Convenience – Customers can buy, sell, manage, and track their ETF investments online in different markets.
Lower Costs – Online brokerages offer better fees compared with traditional brokerages.
Transparency – It’s possible to track your ETF investment online in real time.
Better Market Access – Apart from the US, many platforms offer access to other global markets, including the UK and European markets.
Cons
Prone to Technical Issues – Platforms may experience outages or glitches due to volatile markets or security breaches.
Possibility to Overtrade – Due to the ease of access, traders can use instruments like CFDs which, can lead to over-exposure and overtrading.

Are ETF Trading Platforms Safe?

Legitimate trading platforms in the US are licensed and regulated by FINRA. However, there are many platforms on the internet trying to scam traders, usually with the promise of lofty returns.

Here are some of the measures that secure platforms employ:

  • Regulatory compliance

  • Data encryption

  • Fund segregation and insurance

  • Account protection through two-factor authentication (2FA)

  • Solid reputation

Traders can rely on platforms like Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments because they have solid reputations with many years of experience in offering trading services.

Can I Use ETF Trading Platforms on All Devices?

It's possible to use an ETF platform across multiple devices. For example, many platforms allow you to access your trading account on mobile (Android and iOS), tablets, web, and desktop.

Platforms like eToro and Robinhood have underscored the need for trading apps that eliminate complexities due to their target market. You can comfortably use the app to buy, sell, and monitor your ETF investments anytime.

What Trading Software Is Used on the Best ETF Trading Platforms?

Trading platforms have long relied on MetaTrader4 (MT4) for reliable performance. It's considered the best due to its responsiveness and extensive technical analysis capabilities.

Additionally, a charting tool like TradingView also leads with comprehensive charting capabilities, financial instruments, and a friendly interface.

Most top trading platforms like Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade use their proprietary software for better control and tailor-made functionalities. However, some like Oanda, still retain the use of MT4.

What Other Assets Can I Trade on an ETF Trading Platform?

You can trade many assets, including stocks, commodities, and options on platforms that support ETFs. Here are the best platforms you can use to trade these assets.

Trade Stocks and Shares
Trade Derivatives
Trade Cryptocurrencies
Trade Commodities
Trade Forex

Trading Strategies

There are many different ways that you can trade ETFs, from automating your trading to making intraday trades. Different platforms are best for different strategies, depending on the tools and features they offer. Find out which ones below.

Auto Trade
Best Social and Copy Trading Platforms for Beginners
Day Trading

Can You Use Trading Platforms Everywhere in the World?

The availability of a trading platform in a jurisdiction will depend on the regulations. Here are some platforms in selected countries globally.

CountryBest Trading Platform
AustraliaIC Markets
CanadaQuestrade
EuropeInteractive Brokers
IndiaZerodha KITE
IrelandIG Trading platform
New ZealandInteractive Brokers
SingaporeSaxo
South AfricaAvaTrade
UKeToro

How Do I Choose the Best ETF Trading Platform?

Before registering on an ETF trading platform, here are the key factors to consider:

  • Platform security including standard and advanced measures

  • Customer service

  • Extensive selection of ETFs

  • Low commission and fees for trading ETFs

  • User-friendly trading experience

  • Access to international ETFs from the UK and European markets

  • Authorisation from the FINRA

FAQs

How do beginners buy ETFs?
Can I invest in ETFs without a broker?
Who is the best ETF provider?
What online trading platforms have commission-free Vanguard ETFs?
What are the best trading Platforms like Robinhood?
Is Vanguard or Fidelity better for ETFs?
Author Bio
Stephen Ngari
Stephen Ngari
Stephen is a seasoned crypto and fintech specialist with industry experience. Having worked in tech, helping people send money globally and rollout solutions, he understands the impact that tech like blockchain brings to real world issues. He is passionate about crypto, writing and basketball.