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What Options Are Available When Choosing An Online Stock Broker?

May 15, 2008
Finding a broker that you can rely on and feel comfortable with is one of the basics of trading stocks. Sometimes you may need more that the bare minimums available at many online stock brokers.

All the work involved, the phone calls, the research, the money. It might just be easier to have an online stock broker. Someone you can e-mail or call when you need to do or need to know something. Someone that takes care of the headaches for you. Well now you can. With the growth of the web several companies have turned to the Internet to make a business as online stock brokers.

As a stock trader yourself you have several options available. Off hand there are at least 5 companies that are competing for your business right now, and all you have to do is choose one to make all the hassles of stock trading disappear. To make this decision easier, here's a breakdown of the what you need to look for in your online stock broker.

How much do they charge? This is your hard earned money, right? So, you need to make sure it is spent accordingly. You need to check with each of your prospective online stock brokers and see how much they charge per trade. Take TD Ameritrade for example, as of April 2008 they are charging $9.99 a trade with no additional fees. On the other hand ScotTrade is only charging $7, and at both of these companies you can actually pay less if you are an elite member of their trading site.

In addition you want to check their terms of services and other pricing costs, such as how much it costs to have an inactive account, how much they charge to actually speak to a broker and get their opinions on your trades, etc. Each company will also have a different minimum account balance to start an account. ScotTrade's is only $500 to get started with, while others might be 2-4 times more than that depending on the account you open.

Another thing you want to be sure of is the tools you have available to you for research, making decisions, accessibility to your money, and how you will receive customer service. Fortunately the top online stock broker companies all have high ranked customer service, so that shouldn't be difficult at all. All of them also offer a website that shows you all the tools you will have available to make your decisions, as well as any access you will have to brokers. Some of the companies also offer nationwide and even international branches that you can visit if you have issues with your accounts.

As for research you should be able to get great research information from all of the top companies. If you are an elite customer you will have even better research information which will enable you to make better decisions. There are third parties that offer unbiased research and this is available from most online stock brokers.

Although it may seem like there is a lot to think about in choosing your online stock broker, remember that in the end it will be much easier for you, as you will have your money in the hands of experts and you can be as hands on or off as you want.
About the Author
Find the latest Online Stock Broker info, free tools, and methods at Effective Stock Trading. Learn stock trading with our complimentary stock trading report. Get your free copy here http://www.EffectiveStockTrading.com now.
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