I was reading a recent post by Dividend Mantra titled, The Golden Age of Financial Independence, wherein he mentioned how inexpensive it is to invest in stocks & ETFs, and it reminded me about a recent conversation with my mother-in-law.   While my mother-in-law is an amazing, grandmother, mother and mother-in-law, she is one of those people who chronically believes that the the past was always better and the future of the world is completely doomed.  This usually leads to some pretty good conversations since I truly believe that the world will be just fine long after I am dead, and the past just wasn’t as amazing as you remember it.  Like DM, I believe right now, it has never been more inexpensive for people to get invested in the broad market, but I couldn’t help myself looking up just how much less it costs.

Recent Historical Costs of Trading Stocks

I couldn’t believe how hard it was to find a history on the topic!  Plenty of comments and forum posts of people remembering triple digit costs to trade stocks, but nothing concrete until I found two Business Insider Articles which embed the following chart, but fail to link to the study/report:

Average Commission per Share on NYSEPretty frustrating that I couldn’t find a satisfying answer, however, I think the graph proves DM’s point that it is cheaper than ever to invest in either individual equities or even the broad market through ETFs.  If I had to make an uneducated guess that the cost would even be lower when you take into account free broad based ETFs that a lot of discount brokers off.