The Best Investing Sites for Beginners

03/09/2015 04:49 pm ET | Updated Aug 30, 2016

Investing can be tricky for beginners. To many, all the trading options look like an alphabet soup, from ETFs to IRAs, so it's no wonder that most people are scared off from investing. These leaves them out of a key tool for financial help.

So what is someone new to investing to do? Don't be scared off. Most investment companies out there are more than willing to help out their customers when it comes to investing for the first time. The smartest thing to do is keep it simple, which is why online investing can be a great way for beginner investors to start out.

Which Are the Best Investing Sites for Beginners?

When it comes to investing, strategy matters. For first-time investors, that strategy includes choosing an online trading site that makes trading easy and gives them the help and support they need.

The best investing sites for beginners:

  • Provide educational tools
  • Offer features that simplify the trading process
  • Give real-time support through chat, phone and email communications

Here are three of the best online trading sites for beginners based on our research:

Best Investing Site Overall: Optionshouse

With its affordable cost, no minimum investment requirements and savvy online tools, Optionshouse offers the best investing option for beginning investors. Specifically for beginners, Optionshouse offers user training to help familiarize users with both Optionshouse and investing in general. It also offers investor education tools to help beginners learn the ins and outs of investing.

In addition to all of its tools specifically for beginners, Optionshouse also offers a Simulated Trading tool that allows you to simulate trades without using actual money, so you can get a feel for how trading works and which trades you might want to make. Optionshouse also offers automated trading, for those

Options house is also one of the most affordable trading sites, offering stock and options trades for just $4.95 each, which is the lowest trading price we've seen. Optionshouse also doesn't have a minimum deposit requirement, so you can start trading for next to nothing. Here is a good breakdown of Optionshouse and everything it offers.

Easiest Investing Site: Wealthfront

Wealthfront is the optimal site for anyone who doesn't want to do the heavy lifting of investing. The premise of Wealthfront is that you invest the amount of money you want, answer a few questions about your goals and how much risk you are willing to take, and they will invest the money for you using an algorithm that makes smart investments based on your personal data.

Wealthfront's involvement doesn't end there. It will keep an eye on your investments and make necessary adjustments when the markets shift or certain stocks start to drop. The also have an excellent customer service team that can answer all of your questions. In addition to long-term investing, Betterment also offers a variety of IRAs you can sign up for. It also offers tax-efficient investing, which means it is trading in the most tax efficient way for you.

Another great plus for beginners is that Wealthfront only requires a small minimum deposit, $500, so you can start with a fairly small amount. The fees are a small percentage of whatever you invest, just 0.25%, no matter how much you invest. Here is a good comparison between Wealthfront and another automated service, Betterment.

Best Investing Site Website/App: TradeKing

TradeKing offers easy-to-use trading tools and a comprehensive selection of online trading tools that are perfect for anyone who is a beginner at trading. TradeKing's reputation for top-notch customer service makes it a smart choice for first-time investors.

TradeKing's platform offers the best tools when it comes to trading. It offers an options pricing calculator, a profitability calculator, a stocks and ETF screener, and a profit and loss calculator, among other tools. It also offers a plethora of research and charts to help you pick the best investments.

TradeKing is also one of the most affordable trading sites, offering stock and options trades for just $4.95 each, which is the lowest trading price we've seen. TradeKing also doesn't have a minimum deposit requirement, so you can start trading for next to nothing. Here is a good breakdown of all the costs connected with TradeKing.

Best Investing Site for Idea Investing: Motif Investing

Motif Investing is named after the investing option is works with the most: motifs. Motifs are basically investing in an idea. If you like the idea of renewable energy, but don't know enough about the businesses that work on renewable energy, you can just invest in a "Renewable Energy" motif, which groups up to 30 stocks together for more diversified trading.

Most investors will invest in motifs that are already created, or created by fellow investors, but you can also create your own motif if you can't find one you are interested in. Once you've selected your motif, Motif Investing will give you a breakdown of the stock involved in the motif and allow you to pick the percentage you want o allocate to each business. Of course, Motif will help you out along the way and make suggestions if you aren't sure where to invest.

Motif Investing also does individual stock trading as well as IRAs. Each motif is $9.99 per trade, which is a deal since most individual stocks cost $5 and up. Individual stock trades at Motif cost $4.95 per trade. Here's a more detailed breakdown of what Motif offers, including up to $150 for your first 5 trades.

There's no such thing as a risk-free investment, and no one can predict with certainty where the Dow will be in a year. Beginning investors can minimize their risk by trading on sites that offer outstanding customer support, intuitive platforms and comprehensive educational resources to make trading easy and profitable.

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