While some companies offer what they claim is “free online stock trading,” no company can ever realistically offer a product for free, unless they are a non-profit organization with a stated goal to help bad stock traders learn how to trade better. And because no such organizations exist, you will have to trade with a company that charges you fees, whether it is explicitly or implicitly.
Companies that offer “free online stock trading” are generally offering free access to a members-only online stock trading site, which will allow you to use a range of stock trading analysis tools; it will also usually give you access to dozens of free stock tips from different sources, often including relevant newspaper clippings about publicly-owned companies.
If you opt for a “free online stock trading” company that gives you a free membership, that site will likely generate revenue by selling ad space or by charging commissions on trades. This means that your stock trading experience may be significantly inhibited by pop-ups, flashy ads, and biased information; or it may mean that you will have to pay excessive fees every time you make a trade.
On the other hand, some “free online stock trading” companies charge membership fees, but do not charge for trades. If you plan to make a lot of small stock trades each month, then you should consider opting for one of these companies, which will charge you each month, but wont require you to pay fees when you trade. However, on the other hand, if you plan to make few large trades, then you should consider selecting one of the online stock trading companies that will charge you per trade, rather than per month.
Keep in mind that there is no best solution to this problem for every person. The best solution for one trader may be completely different for you. This is why is it is crucial to inspect each deal in terms of what it will offer you personally as a trader.