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Choosing the Broker That is Right for You and Your Money

Dec 30, 2007
In order to ensure overall positive achievement with stock trading, it is highly important that a stockbroker is chosen to help you achieve your investment goals. A stockbroker is a professional person who acts as an agent to aid investors in the buying and selling of stocks. Basically, a stockbroker acts as your financial counselor, advising you as to which stock to purchase or sell in order to meet your financial goals.

Choosing a stockbroker should not be a chore but rather an adventure to find someone who fits your personality as well as someone who you feel can help you to make the correct investments that fit your needs. Although there is not one set way in which to choose the best broker for you, there are four distinct categories of stockbrokers that will help you in this decision making process.

1. The Discount/Online Broker

The discount/online broker is basically an order taker, either via the Internet or telephone. When contacted by phone, you will discover that this type of broker is not interested in general conversation, but rather gets right down to business by taking your stock trading orders. This type of broker does not offer any advice about the stock you are interested in purchasing, he or she simply takes your stock order, offering assistance with only the order taking process. Therefore, you must know exactly what stock you wish to purchase and when to sell it in order to reap the financial benefits of that certain stock.

When dealing with this type of broker, since all they do is take your stock order, it is probably easier to simply correspond via the Internet through email to ensure that you have a record of your order to prevent any misunderstandings that could occur. This type of investor/broker interaction is strictly business.

2. The Discount/Online Broker with Assistance

The discount/online broker with assistance is basically the same as the broker mentioned above with the added bonus of offering the investor some expertise in stock trading. They may also offer to send you their monthly newsletter, which contains information about stock trading that might prove to be helpful. These brokers are not only there to take your stock order, but to provide a limited amount of assistance when you have questions that you would like answered.

3. The Full Service Broker

The full service broker seeks to meet all the needs of their clients, by first forming a trusting relationship with them and then, providing honest service about stock trading. This broker takes the time to sit down with you, the investor, to take a detailed financial assessment of your personal situation in order to accurately recommend investment possibilities and stocks that will directly meet your needs.

After reviewing your financial assessment, the full service broker will create a custom investment plan for you to review and approve. Once you have reviewed the plan and worked with your full service broker to adjust it, your broker will take that information and complete the investments that you would like to participate in.

Periodically, the full service broker will schedule a meeting with you to discuss the progress of your investment(s) and together you will decide where to go from there. Because the full service broker assists you in the whole investing process, from start to finish, this type of broker is wonderful to use if you are the type of person who would like to invest in stocks, but does not want to put forth the effort to learn more about stock trading.

4. The Money Manager

The money manager is a broker who handles significant investment portfolios. Therefore, the investor must have a large lump sum to invest in order to work with a money manager broker. Because money managers become the sole individual working with your money, they will invest your money as well as manage your portfolio for a certain percentage of your earnings through your investments. Basically, this broker is taking your money and investing it for you, so, in essence, you have no say as to where your money is invested. The money manager's main goal is profit for themselves because the more money they make for you, the investor, the more money they make for themselves.

Whatever type of broker you choose to use, make sure that they are reliable sources and not a scam artist waiting to take your money. Make sure that you are totally comfortable with your broker before you invest one dime of your money to ensure that you are not taken advantage of.
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