College students are often strapped for cash, but that doesn’t mean they can’t invest or start stock trading.
That said, it’s best to have some financial knowledge before stock trading or investing on your own. If you’re a college student looking to invest in the stock market, you’ll want to focus on getting a brokerage account from the best stock trading sites for students on the market now.
When evaluating these trading platforms, we’ve tried to balance the ones that are the most popular with the ones that are the most budget friendly – so you can make the most money possible.
In this article, we’re doing to review 4 of the top options:
- RobinHood Trading Platform Review
- Etrade Trading Platform Review
- Questrade Trading Platform Review
- TD Ameritrade Platform Review
- Often asked investing questions
RobinHood Trading Platform Review
This is one of the best stock trading sites for students. Especially if you own an iOS or Android device. The mobile interface is easy to use and make trades fast, which makes this best stock trading platform for college students perfect.
Things I like about Robinhood:
FREE – You can transfer up to $1000 per month in order to buy stocks, bonds, etc for free! (You’ll still be charged things like exchange fees by the brokerage firm but these are tiny amounts.)
This trading platform also offers FREE options trades (you’ll still be charged option exercise/assignment fees), FREE funding (although your bank might charge small wire fees), and FREE withdrawals to your bank account.
These no commission trade options make Robinhood ideal if you plan on investing small amounts regularly.
They also provide useful charts and graphs that make viewing your investments easy and accessible at any time.
Robinhood is easy to set up and only requires a valid US social security number.
Things I don’t like about Robinhood:
No web interface – You can’t access your account from a PC because there is no website to use. You need to log in through your mobile device or tablet, which means you’ll have to use your date if you’re not near wifi (Robinhood recommends users do their best to avoid data overage charges by connecting to wifi.)
One additional fee that you want to be aware of before setting up an account with Robinhood is the “monthly paper statement”. Costs range between $20 and $30. It doesn’t seem like a high price to pay for not having to print off every little thing from the internet, but if you’re used to using online banking, it can be a bit annoying because you have no way of knowing how much money you have left in your account because there’s no balance. It could force you into either withdrawing or transferring more money than necessary just so that your account doesn’t dip below zero.
One frustrating thing about this company is their wait time for deposits which can take anywhere from 2-5 business days.
We recommend this Robinhood trading platform for college students because it has no online broker fees. Even with a few of its drawbacks, we feel that Robinhood is an excellent best stock trading platform.
The next option to look at if you’re looking for the best online broker for college students is Etrade.
Etrade Trading Platform Review
Things I like about Etrade:
Innovative – Etrade was one of the first best online broker websites and continues to be a leader in the industry by introducing new tools and innovations such as paperMoney virtual simulation account, which accurately simulates best online broker trading by allowing users to practice best online broker investing with real market data.
Multiple accounts – Etrade offers best online broker accounts for both individual and joint investment that can be set up in less than 10 minutes.
FREE – You can start a new Etrade best stock trading platform free of charge, but you’ll have to pay standard stock best online broker commissions from $4.95/trade if you place more than 30 trades a quarter or make more than 600 equity trades a year.
Things I don’t like about Etrade:
Monthly service fee – If your account value falls below $2000, expect to get hit with an additional monthly service fee of $29-$99.
One advantage that Etrade has over Robinhood is that it has a web interface.
To access the web interface click on “Trade” in the top navigation bar and then select “Web Trading” at the bottom of the page.
Once logged in you’ll see a few icons such as MarketWatch, Alerts, Orders, Portfolio Ticker and News. Choose an Icon to explore one or more panels related to that feature or data set.
The next online trading platform to look at when searching for the best stock trading site for college students is Questrade.
Questrade Trading Platform Review
Questrade offers best online broker best stock trading and best online broker forex and best online broker options.
Things I like about Questrade:
Commodity trading – Questrade is still one of the best online broker sites to use when looking for a place to trade stock or any commodity trades (such as copper, gold, silver, oil etc)
Portfolio margin- Margin lets you borrow money from your brokerage firm in order to purchase more securities than you could afford on your own (i.e.). You can buy stocks on margin (if approved) so you don’t have to put up all the money needed to make a trade.
Alerts: You can easily set up alerts to monitor market changes or economic events, which is incredibly handy.
They also offer free ETF trades, free DRIPs, and $4.95 stock trades.
Questsrade is 100% Canadian owned and was built on trust driven principles including transparency, education and simplicity so investors not only understand the risks but also the rewards. They also introduced Canada’s first commission-free online trading platform as well as providing financing assistance with Quest Financial Inc.
Moving on, we will look at TD Ameritrade.
TD Ameritrade Trading Platform Review
TD Ameritrade is an online broker that provides advanced trading platforms for all of their clients. Their proprietary trading platform includes access to everything from stocks and ETFs, and options.
What I like about TD Ameritrade: TD Ameritrade has always been committed to providing clients with choice. Not long ago, they announced the introduction of Trade Architect, a new platform that offers traders the chance to use margin on 100+ product types! And while not everyone needs or wants this type of service– it’s great for investors who have limits with other brokers or have yet to explore some asset classes.
They have a good selection of ETFs to trade, they are one of the few brokers that offer commission-free purchase and hold trades.
In addition to that, their support is pretty good as well.
TD Ameritrade stands out against its competitors with ease of use, customization options that come at no cost, and effortlessly fine-tuned trading technology (Swing Trader Pro), among other things.
They also they offer an app if you want to trade on the go or simply monitor your account balance in real time.
What I don’t like about TD Ameritrade: The high commission rates on its trades, when compared to other low-cost competitors (like Etrade or Questrade). Also, TD Ameritrade imposes a $5 monthly fee if you hold less than $10,000 in assets with them. This means that even though they offer great customer service and technology support, if you have a smaller account (like most college students) these fees might become costly over time.
That Brings Us to Another Very Important Point
All the little fees that you encounter when trading can really cut into the profit you make, and they can really add up and grow over time.
In terms of our review, we’ve helped narrow it down to 4 great trading platforms, now it’s up to you to do your homework and make a decision for which is going to be the best one for you.
All four are great choices, and you can’t go wrong with either of them when you’re looking to begin trading in the market.
Take some time, evaluate each broker and then make a decision and move forward.
Don’t get stuck at this point and descend into procrastination.
Now let’s look at a few other commonly asked questions.
What type of stock should you buy if your goal is option trading?
If the goal is strictly options trading for hedging or if you’re selling options, then you should buy large-cap stocks with limited volatility. The more stable the share price, the better chance you have of selling at a price close to what you bought it for. Advanced traders use options on ETFs (exchange traded funds) like VXF (VanEck Vectors Fallen Angel Bond ETF).
If there is increasing market volatility and you want to hedge your investment portfolio you can also use options to do this.
You can also make a directional trade by buying puts or calls, like we do inside The Empirical Collective.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make money buying options – our members make money doing this all the time.
Can college students invest in stocks & can you trade stocks as a student?
Yes they can, so long as they’re over 18 years of age and make the minimum requirements for opening a brokerage account. There are several options for college students to invest in stocks, even if they only have a few dollars to get started.
Getting into a habit of saving and investing a little bit of money at a time is an important part of financial responsibility.
As far as “can students trade stocks”, the answer is, “Yes.”
Where should I invest my money as a student?
The answer to this question really depends on what your investment goals are.
Stocks, bonds, and index funds in different industries can be great options for retirement savings or basic trading accounts because they systematically diversify your investments across various sectors.
These types of investments also do better when the market drops, since there’s always someone who’s buying (because they’re extremely liquid) which can help in economic downturns.
With that said, younger investors can afford to take some larger risks, because they have more time available to earn money than later in life. So it’s often a good time to take a few calculated risks, so you have a chance to earn higher returns.
How do I start investing as a student?
If you have a student savings account, you can use the money in that to invest.
If you don’t have a student savings account, but want to be able to take advantage of the tax benefits for retirement accounts that students often qualify for, look into establishing one.
Funds from your state’s 529 College Savings Plan can only be used to pay for qualifying expenses related to post-secondary education, so it is not possible to withdraw funds invested or accrued through this plan without penalty once these funds are enrolled in school online degree programs at any accredited institution. However, when it comes time for college graduation ceremonies and commencement exercises near the end of the academic year, parents with a child under their legal guardianship may convert these unallocated 52k9 funds into another 529 plan for use by the parent’s college student.
Another thing you can do, is you can apply for different student grants, bursaries and loans – even if you don’t need the money.
Then you can use the loans to pay for your school, while investing your cash.
What is a best book for beginner stock trading?
One of the best primers on trading options is written by Samuel Goldman, called “How to Make Big Money Fast Trading Options.”
He has also written a book called, “Day Trading Manifesto: The Simple Art of Creating Wealth” which is a great overview if you’re interested in day trading.
That said, with all of the time responsibilities that college students face, having to be on their computer all day in order to day trade may not be the best option for them.
Here are a few other tips to keep in mind as a Beginner
- Beginners should start by opening a self-directed brokerage account.
- Whichever online broker you choose, make sure you take whatever time is needed to figure out how to navigate the platform. It might seem obvious, but if you aren’t comfortable finding and using the different features of the trading platform, your investing and trading is going to suffer.
- Budget: Decide on a monthly amount you can afford to risk. Cut back on some of your other expenses if you have to.
- Develop an investing style such as buy and hold or short-term trading. This is one of the most often overlooked things when it comes to starting out. For most people, day trading is just too much to stay on top of. A swing trading style where you buy and hold or trade with a longer time frame is often the best.
Which stock trading tips for beginners will work best for college students in 2022?
The stock-picking approach that I advocate is to take the best stocks you can find and buy small amounts of them. If an investor has, say, $100 at the beginning of every month to invest in stocks, they should choose one excellent company and buy some of their shares.
This approach may not produce huge investment gains over time, but it is more likely than any other strategy to produce reliable investment stability in your retirement account.
When you’re investing a really small amount, it’s often best to choose good companies and hold them through thick and thin – even if their values crash temporarily during market corrections. Investing based on long term trends rather than short-term trends may mean higher risk but as a young investor, you have time to weather any storms that may come up.
With that said, you may want to consider a membership inside The Empirical Collective, as we have an exclusive portfolio where we look for companies who are positioned for BIG returns (10-1000x) using a 1-18 month time frame. Our team works tirelessly to uncover these diamonds in the rough that we feel are particularly well suited to take advantage of huge macroeconomic trends that are about to unfold.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
I hope you’ve found this quick review and our stock trading advice helpful.
For the majority of college students, the best course of action may be to invest in a mutual fund, or to follow along the trades of an advisor when they get started.
There is so much information out there that it can seem overwhelming.
But the best course of action is to just get started.
Go through our list of brokers, sign up for an online trading account and then start by picking a couple of stocks and investing.
You have to take personal control of your finance situation in order to develop a process to help improve your financial future.
That said, if you’re looking for some guidance on what or how you should begin trading, I highly recommend that you sign up for a membership inside The Empirical Collective and start getting our exclusive stock and option trade alerts.
With our extremely high trade win average and the returns our members make every year, we make beating the returns of hedge funds easy.
Best of luck in all your trading endeavors!