Largest Stock Brokerage Firms by AUM

Leading stock brokerage firms in the United States by assets under management

In 2019, Charles Schwab followed the model set by Robinhood, offering commission-free trades on stocks and ETFs. It wasn’t long until the rest of the industry followed suit. Now you have commission-free trading accounts available with many large brokerages, including Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, and more.

There are dozens of stock brokerage houses in the United States. But five largest brokerages (Fidelity Investments, Vanguard, Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and Etrade) stand out because of their name, offerings, their total amount of client assets, and the number of clients they serve.

As of 2021, the largest stock brokerage firm in the United States was Fidelity, with around 10.4 trillion U.S. dollars in assets under management (AUM). If the firm were a country, Fidelity would be the third largest in the world by GDP. With more than 35 million customers across nine countries, it's not surprising that Fidelity is among the biggest brokerage firms in the nation. Fidelity is also one of the largest 401(k) providers in the U.S., managing more than 22,000 employee benefit plans with more than 32 million participants. It also supports 13,000 other financial institutions by letting them leverage the company's platform of investment and technology solutions.

Coming in only a few trillion dollars shy of Fidelity, Vanguard has over $7.2 trillion in total assets under management and 30 million active brokerage accounts in about 170 countries. Vanguard boasts the nation's oldest balanced mutual fund, the Vanguard Wellington Fund (ticker: VWELX), which was founded in 1929. It currently provides around 209 U.S. funds and 232 additional funds to non-U.S. markets with an average expense ratio of 0.09%.

In a strong third place, Charles Schwab has over $7.4 trillion in total assets under management. It also has a large custodial client base with 32.1 million securities accounts (including international users).

TD Ameritrade has over $1.32 trillion in total assets under management and 12 million active brokerage accounts.

Although substantially smaller than the top four largest broker-dealers in this list, E*Trade has close to $420 billion in total customer assets and serves around 6 million brokerage accounts.

All five brokerages rank among the largest in the United States comprises the top in terms of customers and assets. Each has its own unique strengths, but you could open an account at any of them and be quite successful. However, a firm with a lower AUM is not necessarily of lower quality or less trustworthy. To be safe, be sure to check the FINRA's BrokerCheck website to find out if a firm you are interested in has made any missteps. Some other brokerages that are not necessarily a worse choice: Interactive Brokers ($363 billion) Merrill Edge ($230 billion), Ally Invest ($178 billion), Robinhood ($100 billion), Firstrade ($70 billion), Webull ($40 billion), etc.

In addition to our top five popular discount brokers for 2021, we reviewed eight others: Interactive Brokers, Merrill Edge, Firstrade, Ally Invest, TradeStation, Webull, Robinhood, and SoFi. To dive deeper, read our reviews.

Post a Comment