Here's a rundown of each of the six criteria in which the 13 brokers in our survey were ranked.
The emphasis here is on stock trading commissions, but fees for trading mutual funds are included along with fees for registered retirement accounts, inactivity fees and such.
The focus here is on the utility of a broker's website for trading stocks, although fund and bond trading is also considered.
Here, we've enlisted the help of consulting firm Phase 5, which has shared data culled from a survey in which 936 online brokerage clients were asked about how happy they were with the service they received. The survey was completed last month, which means investors had a chance to vent their frustrations over using broker websites on high-volume market days.
Includes stock and fund research as well as financial planning tools.
Looks at how good a broker is at telling clients how their accounts are performing.
Having a security guarantee that protects clients against fraud is a major aspect of this section, while other factors are overall website freshness and the presence of any communications designed to calm clients unsettled by market conditions.