In 2011, the lowest stock broker fees are found at OptionsHouse. Just $3.95 per stock trade is the cheapest price I could find of any of the online discount stock brokers.
As you can see buy their name, they specialize in trading options which are different than stocks. Beginners won't want to get involved with options until they learned a lot about the basics of stocks and the market. However, just because they specialize in options doesn't mean that they don't have a great platform for regular stock trading.
With OptionsHouse, your money is protected by SIPC just like it would be for any other online discount broker. They have an A- Rating from the BBB and they have won several awards from Barron's as well. In short, your money is safe with OptionsHouse even though they give you the cheapest stock trades.
At $3.95 per stock trade, you are getting a price that is less than half of what several of the more famous online brokers charge like E*Trade, Schwab, and TD Ameritrade. You are also getting a much better price than brokers like Scottrade ($7) and Firstrade ($6.95).
If you are looking for the cheapest stock trades online, OptionsHouse is the place to go. I personally don't use them because I have used E*Trade for years and I don't want to go through the hassle of switching. I usually don't make more than 10 trades per year though so my extra cost is not too great. However, if I were an active trader I would seriously think about switching because the money I could save with the cheaper trades from OptionsHouse would be significant.