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The Quick And Easy Guide To Choosing A Stock Broker

Jun 6, 2008
There are many types of brokerage services available. Even the average investor will use a broker to handle his stock market transactions. Some brokers will even give advice about which stocks to buy and sell based on their market trend research.

Obviously these tips are not free. In fact, full service brokers will charge the highest commission rate in the industry. Your choice of broker should depend upon your knowledge of the stock market and how regularly you trade.

Going to "discount brokers" will help you save on commission fees while still using a brokerage. The commission rates are so low because these brokers do not offer advice or analysis. Using a discount broker is perfect for investors that like to make their own trading decisions.

The cheapest brokerages will be online companies. Some of these operate exclusively online, so it helps them offer you lower rates. Some full-service and discount brokers even offer discounts for placing orders online. The process is the same, regardless of which broker you choose. The first step is opening an account. You need to be familiar with all the fine print and understand all the fees involved.

Typically, you are required to maintain a certain account balance, which varies from broker to broker. Some brokers charge when your account balance falls below the minimum. Others charge an annual maintenance fee regardless of the balance.

There are two types of brokerage accounts, and the one you choose depends upon your goals. "Cash accounts" offer no credit. So when you purchase stock, you are paying the full amount of the stock price. On the other hand, the "margin account" allows you to buy stock "on margin.

Margin fluctuates between brokers, but it always has to be protected by the value of the client's portfolio. Unfortunately, if the portfolio falls between a certain amount, the investor would have to add more funds or sell some stock. These margin accounts are desirable because they allow people to buy more stock with less cash. This creates great gains but unfortunately greater losses, as well. Obviously, these margin accounts can be extremely risky, so they are not recommended for inexperienced traders.

The broker that you choose depends on your needs as an investor. Specifically, it depends on if the investor wants to receive advice about stock to purchase and whether or not the investor is comfortable making trades on the Internet. If the investor is nervous about trading, going with a full-service broker would make it much easier. Otherwise, if you are technology savvy and have the knowledge and confidence in your stock trading, a discount broker will surely save you money.

Make sure to compare a few competitors after you choose. There can even be significant cost differences between the same type of broker. You also need to make some final decisions on your account. After you choose a brokerage type, it is important to shop competitors of a few brokerage firms. But first you need to gather some information to take them. You need to estimate how often you will be trading and how much cash you will deposit into your account. You also need to decide between a cash account and a margin account. Deciding on all of this information early will allow you to accurately compare competitor's pricing.
About the Author
Learn successful stock and Options Trading with our exclusive tips, tools, and techniques. Start Trading Stocks profitably with our no cost stock trading report for traders of all skill levels. Get your free copy at http://www.StockTradingReview.com today.
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