I read on https://www.stockbrokers.com/guides/order-execution (mirror):

over 96% of retail investors pay at least $4.95 per trade.

However, the claim isn't supported by any reference. Is there any research/study/survey that confirms or infirms that claim?

The number isn't obvious to me as some decently large brokers such as Robinhood and Merrill Edge sometimes have no trade fees (specifically: on Robinhood, trades are always free; on Merrill Edge one has 30 free trades / months if one's account contains more than 50k USD).

For simplicity, we can assume that we only consider US stocks.

I have crossposted the question at:

  • I wouldn't be surprised. Robinhood is relatively new, $50k is a lot for a lot of people, and most or all the other big names do have fees at least that high.
    – Kevin
    Feb 19, 2018 at 20:45
  • 2
    Would a moderator please find the duplicate deleted question and maybe comment on why the question was deleted?
    – Ben Miller
    Feb 19, 2018 at 20:50
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    Note FWIW that the site in question is not a "real" site, and the article is not a "real" article; it's just one of those feeder- "comparison" sites that are built en masse for SEO reasons. (Note there are actually dozens of almost identical feeder sites with URLs being permutations of the words "brokerage" "trade" "comparison" etc.) While the issue is interesting, it's very unlikely the particular sentence has any bearing in reality, it's just an offhand "clickbait" marketing sentence the person made-up.
    – Fattie
    Feb 19, 2018 at 23:34
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    @FranckDernoncourt, why do you care about the answer to this question? (and enough to post it twice and crosspost on other sites) What is so interesting about it?
    – minou
    Feb 20, 2018 at 13:45
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    @FranckDernoncourt, ah, seems you could ask that directly. ;-)
    – minou
    Feb 22, 2018 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


Many brokers offer free trades.

There are a number who charge less than $4.95 per trade for retail traders (Ally, Interactive Brokers, tastyworks).

There are also less expensive brokers for those who trade in size - for example Lightspeed.

I'm ignoring no fee Robinhood since they are for the little guy and their routing procedures are questionable.

I have no clue what the market share of these is, in terms of percent of retail traders. What I would say is that if you trade frequently, lowering you commissions by 25-50% (whatever) can make a significant annual difference in dollars.

  • Not that it matters, but I would probably say this really in no way answers the question. The final paragraph is totally unrelated to the question. The first 4 paragraphs restate the question ("there are many brokers with many prices. Do over 96% pay $4.95?") Again, I for one don't mind - just sayin'
    – Fattie
    Feb 19, 2018 at 22:33
  • You are correct. My comment does not answer the question. I don't think that there is an answer. Do you think that Merrill Edge, TDAmeritrade, E*Trade, etc. publish how many executed trades were free or were charged a commission? Do you think that Interactive Brokers publishes how many free no commission exercises and assignments occurred? I would be surprised if any of them did. What I shared was that there are many brokers who charge less than $4.95 per. Is that > than or < than 4% of the general pop? I dunno and I think that number has no importance. Saving commission dollars does.. Feb 19, 2018 at 23:28
  • I absolutely do not know, Bob, good point. You know ....... "do they publish the stats...." one can imagine it's entirely possible due to SEC regulations and so on, they in fact do have to spill the beans on everything; maybe all the information is available somewhere.
    – Fattie
    Feb 19, 2018 at 23:32
  • Fattie: While I think that it's an exercise in futility, if you and I can find that info, we'll be trivial experts! Umm, I mean trivia experts :->) Feb 20, 2018 at 0:40

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