List of ETF Brokers January 2021

Compare 20 brokers which is best for you

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Buying ETFs with brokers

If you ask where to buy ETFs, you may have made up your mind and start investing, and that's awesome. However, that doesn't stop there. There are things you should consider when you are choosing the ETF that suits your needs.

Thus, before we dig into where you can buy an ETF, let's take a look first at the things you should consider before doing so.

Let's get started!

Things to consider in choosing and buying ETF

Before choosing and buying ETFs, you should take some time to understand and consider the following factors. It will help you narrow down your options to find the best broker that suits your preference.

Administrative expenses

Administrative expenses are what we call expense ratios. Basically, the lower the costs, the better. The reason is that these expenses cut into your profit.

For passively managed funds, the asset-weighted average expense ratio was 0.15%. Thus, you may use this as a point to consider. Some popular ETFs have much lower expenses than that, so dig deeper and go for something below.


Of course, commissions also cut down the profit since it applies to every transaction. The lower the commissions, the higher the possible profit you can gain.

The good thing is that commissions are virtually non-existent in major online brokers these days. Still, it's a good reason to check this one first.


The volume shows how many shares have traded hands over a certain period. The higher volumes mean, the more popular a particular fund is.


In choosing an ETF, you should also look for the top holdings in the fund. It simply means the individual companies where the fund gets invested.


Although past performance may not indicate possible future returns, it's still handy to compare similar funds' performance.

Trading Prices

ETFs work like stocks. Thus, you'll be able to see current prices. It will also give you an idea of how many shares you can purchase.

By looking at these six factors, you can narrow down your choices in an effective manner.

Now, let's get into seeking out the best options that are ideal for you to invest your assets.

Best online brokers where you can buy ETF

Finding the perfect broker depends mostly on preference. Thus, a particular broker may be ideal for one but may not be the same for another.

The list below gives you an option divided for those who want to be a hands-on or a hands-off investor.

Here's a rundown of online brokers where you can start your ETF investment endeavor.

If you're a hands-on investor, your best options would be the following:

  • Merrill Edge
  • TD Ameritrade
  • Firstrade
  • You Invest by J.P. Morgan
  • Vanguard
  • Ally Invest
  • Fidelity
  • Charles Schwab

You should consider the online brokers above if you're someone who likes to do things independently.

Thus, if you want to pick your ETFs and build a portfolio from scratch, your best bet would be going for an online broker.

However, if you're a hands-off investor, your ideal options would be the following:

  • Wealthfront
  • SoFi Automated Investing
  • Ellevest

If you're someone who's starting and needs some assistance in building an ETF portfolio, it would be best to have a Robo-advisor for you.

If you have no idea what it is, Robo-advisors are digital platforms providing automated, algorithm-driven financial planning services with little to no human supervision.

It should give you a lot of offers such as:

  • Easy account setup
  • Robust goal planning
  • Account services
  • Portfolio management
  • Security features
  • Attentive Customer Service
  • Comprehensive Education
  • Low fees

Thus, if you find yourself in dire need of assistance, you can opt for the Robo-advisors to do the work for you.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right broker is a significant factor in one's investment. Of course, all investments carry risk, and ETFs are no exception. However, with ETFs structure, the risk involved is drastically lower than other investments.

Further, although a significant percentage of investment lies in the market's condition, it still makes a whole lot of difference when you go for a broker that suits your preference.

Have some questions?

A couple answers that may help you

Like nearly everything in the trading world, fees vary from case to case. Usually, the commissions on ETFs range between $10 and $20, meaning you’ll be charged that much every time you buy or sell shares. But here’s a thing – it isn’t hard to find a commission-free ETF. Almost every fund company/brokerage firm offers at least some of those, most often their own proprietary funds. That means it’s smart to look for what you want at the brokerage firm where you have your account because you’ll probably save not a little amount of money then. In some cases, however, buying commission-free ETFs doesn’t make sense. For example, this applies to when the brokerage firm where you hold your account charges commissions or trading fees in general.

Best Broker

Looking for “the best ETF broker” is a tough task because it isn’t easy to say what makes a broke the best one. Hence, you have to ask yourself – are you looking for an overall good and trustful broker, or are you seeking someone who specifies in, for example, technology and health care? Giving all potential traders a definite answer isn’t possible, but if you’re a beginner, we can recommend TD Ameritrade. Speaking in general, we also can’t miss Vanguard Group and Charles Schwab. Both of those are generally considered the overall best and most investor-friendly brokers out there, and choosing them isn’t a shot in the dark. It still is best to do at least some research on your own, though, since we can’t know what you’re specifically looking for.

Creating your account (registration)

So you’ve now chosen your broker, you also have some idea about what ETFs you’re going to buy, but that still isn’t everything – before you start investing, you’ll need to create a brokerage account. And regardless of how scary that may sound, it is easy! Even though the specifics depend on what broker you’ve chosen, at least with the most well-known ones, like Vanguard Group or Charles Schwab, it’ll be about the same things you know from, for example, creating an account on Facebook. For instance, those are selecting the right account for your region, confirming you’re older than 18 years, filling your name and email, or creating a nickname and a password.


Should I worry my broker will scam me? Well, even though the ETF trading world is large, and falling into the hands of scammers can happen, if you choose some from the trustworthy brokers, there’s no need to be scared. Regarding the security of trading ETFs, it also is important to point out that ETFs are by far the safest way to invest in the capital market. So if you’re worried about losing your money by simply making a bad investment, you don’t really need to be. Not even that means you CAN’T lose some money, though, so don’t EVER drop your guard completely.

How to invest?

Are you an absolute novice in the trading world, or are you explicitly lost in ETFs trading? No need to worry; this isn’t as hard as it may seem! For starting to trade ETFs, you don’t need to do anything besides having a brokerage account. Then you only have to choose the right ETF for you. You have to consider how soon you’ll need the money you want to invest if you’re looking for companies with specific characteristics and maybe also the administrative expenses. Found just the right ETF for you? Cool, now you only need to place your trade and let your money work for you.

Minimum investment

It never is early to start investing, especially talking about ETFs, so don’t think this is just for the millionaires. Obviously, the more you can invest, the better. But that doesn’t mean you should stop paying attention if you have only a few hundreds of dollars ready because there is usually no required minimum investment! For example, with Vanguard, you’re only limited by the smallest price for one share (may be as little as about $50). And with Charles Schwab, you can even open your brokerage account without paying anything at all. Your actual investing will be then again limited only by the actual prices of the shares you’re buying.