The Largest Brokerage Firms in 2022

By:  Lyle Daly | Updated Dec. 29, 2021

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
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Charles Schwab continues to sit at the top of the list of largest brokerage firms. It leads the major online stock brokers with over $7.6 trillion in assets under management (AUM). In addition, its number of clients has shot up by 127% over the last year after finishing the acquisition of TD Ameritrade.

After a rollercoaster of a year where the COVID-19 pandemic sent securities prices tumbling, stock brokers saw significant growth in 2021. The market recovery resulted in major increases in broker assets and client numbers.

It’s not just the biggest stock brokers that have been successful. Robinhood is extremely popular for its modern design and for pioneering no-commission trading, and Coinbase rode the success of the crypto market to massive gains.

(Editor's note: we realize Coinbase isn't a brokerage firm, but its amazing growth numbers are worth mentioning here to show the increasing popularity of cryptocurrency investing.)

Keep reading for all the most recent stock broker data and industry trends.

Key findings

  • Charles Schwab is the largest brokerage firm with over $7.6 trillion in assets under management (AUM).
  • Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has seen its AUM grow 608% over the last year, significantly more than any stock broker.
  • Robinhood also had a successful year, going from $19 million in assets in 2020 to $81 million in 2021, an increase of 311%.
  • With 73 million users, Coinbase reported over twice as many clients as any stock broker.
  • Charles Schwab’s number of clients grew the most of any brokerage firm (127%) from September 2020 to 2021.
  • Vanguard reported about $7.2 trillion in assets under management and over 30 million users as of January 31, 2021.

The largest brokerage firms by assets and users

Some brokers posted record numbers in 2021 while others had more muted gains. Here's the asset and client data for several of the biggest brokerage firms and the crypto exchange Coinbase.

Assets under management

A stock broker’s assets under management (AUM) is the total amount of client assets it has. This is a good way of comparing the size of different brokers.

The numbers below are each broker’s AUM in September of 2020 and 2021, with one exception. Robinhood’s numbers are from March of 2020 and 2021, because those are what it provided in its IPO filing.

Bar chart of brokerage firms and Coinbase listed by assets under management, showing Charles Schwab with a significant lead at $7.6 trillion.
Platform Assets under management 2020 (trillions) Assets under management 2021 (trillions) Change
Charles Schwab $4.395 $7.614 73%
Fidelity $3.500 $4.228 21%
Bank of America/Merrill Lynch $3.067 $3.693 20%
J.P. Morgan $2.564 $3.00 17%
Robinhood $0.19 $0.81 321%*
Coinbase $0.36 $0.255 608%
Ally Invest $0.11 $0.16 42%*
Data source: Investor relations documents and SEC filings. Note: Assets for Ally Invest and Robinhood are rounded, but yearly change was calculated using the original, unrounded numbers.

The old guard still has a dominant market share, but Robinhood and Coinbase have seen explosive growth over the last year.

Coinbase, for example, grew its assets under management by 608% from September 2020 to 2021. That was over five times as much as any of the traditional stock brokers. However, Coinbase is also dependent on the volatile crypto market. If cryptocurrency slows down or declines in value, it will have a considerable impact on the crypto exchange.

Robinhood reported growth of 311% from March 2020 to 2021 in its IPO filing. This stock broker also offers crypto, and its crypto assets grew from $480 million to $11.6 billion. But the broker isn't reliant on crypto, as its equities also grew from $13.5 billion to $65 billion.

Despite their success, both platforms have a long way to go to catch up to more established brokers, all of which reported over $1.5 trillion in assets under management.

Client accounts

Not all brokers release their exact client numbers. Here are the most recent numbers for the ones that did:

Bar chart showing stock brokerage firms and Coinbase ranked by clients in 2021, with Coinbase significantly higher than any brokerage firms with over 73 million.
Platform Number of accounts in 2020 Number of accounts in 2021 Change
Coinbase 39,000,000 73,000,000 87%
Charles Schwab 14,393,000 32,675,000 127%
Fidelity 25,122,000 30,900,000 23%
Robinhood 7,200,000 18,000,000 150%
Ally Invest 445,000 503,000 13%
Data source: Investor relations documents, SEC filings, and Pensions & Investments.

Cryptocurrency is extremely popular. Case in point, Coinbase, which has 73 million accounts. Thanks to substantial growth in clients over the last year, Charles Schwab came in second with over 32.5 million.

When we compare client numbers with AUM, we can also see that traditional brokers tend to have much wealthier clients. Even knowing this, each broker’s average assets per client may surprise you:

Bar chart of stock brokerage firms and Coinbase by average assets per client, with Charles Schwab and Fidelity having notably more than others.
Broker Average assets per client
Charles Schwab $233,022
Fidelity $136,828
Ally Invest $32,386
Robinhood $4,576
Coinbase $3,493
Data source: Investor relations documents, SEC filings, and author's calculations.

Here's more information on each of the brokers we've covered and Vanguard, another popular investing platform.

Charles Schwab

  • Assets under management: $7.614 trillion
  • Clients: 32.675 million

Founded in 1971, Charles Schwab introduced the concept of the low-cost brokerage and has risen to be the largest stock brokerage firm around. It offers a variety of financial products and services, including stock trading, individual retirement accounts, and banking.

Charles Schwab is most famous as a full-service brokerage. It has a high-quality web platform and app with quite a few investment options. This broker grew considerably last year, in large part because it finalized the acquisition of TD Ameritrade, a popular online broker. In addition to investment services, Charles Schwab has a very popular checking account product that offers unlimited ATM fee rebates worldwide and no foreign transaction fees.

Learn more: Charles Schwab Review

Fidelity

  • Assets under management: $4.228 trillion
  • Clients: 30.9 million

Fidelity is a full-service broker that has a wide selection of mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs). Other notable features of this broker are access to international markets and fractional share investing. Since its founding in 1946, Fidelity has grown to become the largest provider of 401(k) retirement savings plans in the United States.

Learn more: Fidelity Review

Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

  • Assets under management: $3.693 trillion
  • Merrill Lynch assets: $3.108 trillion
  • Bank of America Private Bank assets: $584 billion

Bank of America is a financial services company offering banking, credit cards, loans, and investment products. In 2009, Bank of America acquired investment company Merrill Lynch.

Merrill Lynch serves as the main brokerage option through Bank of America. Clients have the option of Merrill Edge for self-directed investing and Merrill Guided Investing for professional guidance. For clients with substantial funds ($10 million or more), Bank of America also offers Bank of America Private Bank.

Learn more: Merrill Edge Review

J.P. Morgan

  • Assets under management: $3 trillion

J.P. Morgan is the full-service brokerage offered by Chase. Clients can open a self-directed brokerage account to trade on their own, work with a dedicated advisor, or invest using a robo-advisor. The broker offers zero-commission trading and a $0 minimum on self-directed accounts (automated accounts have a $500 minimum).

Learn more: J.P. Morgan Review

Ally Invest

  • Assets under management: $16 billion
  • Clients: 503,300

Ally Invest is the trading platform offered by Ally Financial. It originally became popular as a discount brokerage option, and it now offers commission-free trading to match its major competitors. This broker provides self-directed accounts, IRAs, and robo portfolio services.

Learn more: Ally Invest Review

Robinhood

  • Assets under management: $81 billion
  • Clients: 18 million
  • Monthly transacting users: 17.7 million

Although it hasn't been around long, Robinhood has had a huge impact on the investment industry. It was founded in 2013 and made waves for offering zero-commission trading. That may have seemed like a gimmick at the time, but at this point, it has become the industry norm. Robinhood also made waves in January 2018 when it started listing cryptocurrency.

Robinhood isn't a full-service broker, as it only offers individual accounts. There aren't any other account types -- such as retirement accounts -- available. Despite lacking some features compared to the major brokers, Robinhood is an extremely popular trading platform, especially among younger investors.

Learn more: Robinhood Review

Vanguard

  • Assets under management: About $7.2 trillion
  • Clients: Over 30 million

Vanguard is one of the most popular full-service stock brokerages for investing in mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs). It wasn't included in the earlier data sets because the asset and client information it provides aren't as detailed as what other brokers offer.

The numbers above were reported by Vanguard as of Jan. 31, 2021. Although investors primarily use it for index fund investing and not for everyday stock trading, it manages more assets and has more clients than most of its competitors.

Learn more: Vanguard Review

Coinbase

  • Assets under management: $255 billion
  • Clients: 73 million
  • Monthly transacting users: 7.4 million

Coinbase is the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. Unlike the other companies on this list, it doesn't offer any stock trading and instead deals exclusively with the growing crypto market. This crypto exchange was founded in 2012 and went public in 2021.

Although Coinbase has a very large user base, it has a much lower number of users who make transactions on a monthly basis. Per its most recent numbers, just a little over 10% of its total clients are monthly transacting users.

Learn more: Coinbase Review

Methodology

Average assets per broker were calculated by dividing each broker’s assets under management by its number of clients.

Sources

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

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