5 Leading Online Brokers for Innovation in 2024

1 minutes reading time
Published 23 Aug 2023
Reviewed by: Kasper Karlsson
Updated 29 Apr 2024

The investment landscape is undergoing rapid transformation, fueled in part by innovative online brokers that are redefining the investing experience. As investors increasingly demand sophisticated, user-friendly platforms with cost-effective structures, these brokers are stepping up to the plate with groundbreaking features. Let's explore 5 of the leading online brokers that are at the forefront of innovation.

Robinhood

  • Unique Feature: Commission-Free Trading

Robinhood revolutionized the brokerage world by being the first platform ever to offer commission-free trades. This move not only reduces trading costs for investors but also makes financial markets more accessible to the everyday person. Their user-friendly mobile app provides an intuitive interface including real-time market data and a straightforward way to manage portfolios. Additionally, they've introduced the concept of fractional shares, allowing users to own a portion of a share rather than a whole one. This means that users can invest with as little as $1 even in companies like Amazon, which has a stock valued at $140 as of August 2023.

In just about a decade since its inception, these innovations and the user-friendly interface have enabled Robinhood to become one of the largest online brokers in the world, housing 10.8 million monthly active users as of Q2 2023.

RobinHood: The innovative and leading online broker
The mobile app view from RobinHood

Nordnet

  • Unique Feature: Shareville

Nordnet is a leading online broker and bank in the Nordics, primarily catering to retail investors in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Norway. One standout feature of Nordnet is its social investment network, Shareville. On this platform, users can follow and gain insights from other traders and investors, view real portfolios, track trades, and participate in discussions. Although social trading platforms like Shareville have become increasingly popular in recent years, Nordnet was ahead of the curve by launching this feature in 2014, a manifestation of their forward-thinking approach. Today, Shareville has over 200,000 members.

Nordnet was also the first bank ever to integrate the Quartr API, allowing them to distribute first-party data such as earnings calls, slide decks, and reports from over 9,000 public companies directly on its platform. This move further underscores Nordnet’s commitment to innovation and cements its position among the world’s leading online brokers for innovation.

Featuring the innovative and leading online broker, Nordnet
Nordnet's seamless integration to the Quartr API

DEGIRO

  • Unique Feature: Expansive Market Access

DEGIRO is a Netherlands-based online broker that has garnered significant attention in Europe due to its competitive pricing and expansive market access. Its growing popularity in Northern Europe stems from investors' desire to buy and trade stocks in foreign countries. Unlike many competitors who often provide access only to European and US exchanges, DEGIRO extends its reach to markets in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and other regions globally.

The company had over 2 million clients by 2022, marking a tenfold increase in its user base over the previous five years. This rapid growth positions DEGIRO as one of the fastest-growing online brokers in Europe and highlights the increasing eagerness of investors to diversify beyond their home countries.

Leading Brokers DEGIRO
DEGIRO has a broad market access offering

eToro

  • Unique Feature: Social Trading

eToro was founded in 2007 and is now one of the world's leading social trading platforms. With its roots in Tel Aviv, Israel, the platform has expanded to serve millions of users from over 140 countries. The company's mission is to make investing and trading accessible to anyone, anywhere, and reduce dependency on traditional financial institutions.

Similar to Nordnet's Shareville, eToro allows users to follow the trades of other investors. However, what differentiates eToro from Nordnet’s social trading platform is that eToro permits its clients to automatically copy entire portfolios of other investors on its platform. This means that when an investor you've chosen to copy opens a new position, you will automatically do the same, in proportion to the funds you've allocated for copying them. As a result, private investors can efficiently monetize the research they conduct for their personal holdings, in addition to the returns they potentially accumulate. This social trading feature is attractive to those who wish to learn from experienced investors or those who prefer a more hands-off investment approach.

Leading Brokers eToro
eToro's social trading feature

Interactive Brokers

  • Unique Feature: Extensive Offering of both Instruments and Markets

Interactive Brokers, a name synonymous with advanced trading tools and a wide array of offerings, grants investors and traders global access to assets like stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds, and funds. Spanning 150 financial markets in 33 countries, the platform supports trading in 27 different currencies, making it one of the most extensive trading platforms in terms of global reach and financial instruments.

Interactive Brokers' approach may draw parallels with DEGIRO, but what sets the platform apart is its unparalleled range of trading capabilities, encompassing almost every type of financial instrument available. This breadth in offerings has been instrumental in cementing its position as a leading broker. A testament to its industry dominance came in June 2023 when the newspaper Barron’s declared Interactive Brokers the premier online broker worldwide, following an online client survey weighing multiple aspects. This recognition not only highlights the company's triumphant trajectory but also its capabilities in matching its services to the evolving market demands.

Leading Brokers IBKR
Interactive Brokers offer a variety of tools and instruments on its platform

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