Help With Choosing An Online Stock Broker

If you are new to stock trading then you may be having trouble choosing an online stock broker. This quite common as the different services and offerings from different online stock brokers make for an overall confusing experience.

However, once you know what to look for in an online stock broker you will have no trouble choosing the right one for you.

Why Use an Online Stock Broker in the First Place?

For decades people have been using brick and mortar or phone brokers to do their trading, so why use an online broker?

There are three main reasons why people are opting for online brokers over their traditional ones: price, speed and convenience. With an online broker you can execute orders in real time from your home with some of the cheapest brokering fees in the industry.

Comparing Commissions

Since the costs is one of the main factors why most people go for an online broker it makes sense to compare the brokerage fees first. Brokerage fees typically range from very cheap for a basic execution broker to expensive for a fully featured broker. 

Your decision on what is best for you depends on how often you want to be trading and how many other features you need. If you plan on day trading while doing your own research through another tool then you will want the cheapest brokering fees possible.

If, however, you plan on making a long term investment and only buying and selling every few years or so it is better to opt for a fully featured broker with much higher fees per transaction.

Minimum Initial Deposits

Some brokers require and initial minimum deposit and this can range from anywhere between $500 to $10,000 or more. If you are trading for the first time then you may want to choose the broker with a small or no initial deposit requirement.

Additional Features

Some brokers offer extra features such as research software and data and online tools for you to measure various analytic about each share you are interested in.

If you are considering day-trading and do not already have your own software planned out then this may be a good choice for you. 

Trading Advice

Fully-featured and long-term brokers have specialist that can help you pick the right shares to achieve your financial goals.

Advised trading options are absolutely recommended for people considering making a long term investment for their retirement or children.

Local Offices

If you want some face-to-face time with your broker then you are going to be more severely restricted in your choices. Many online brokers exist only online and do not have any customer-facing offices for you to visit.

Check the brokers websites, send them an email or search for brokers in your area that have an online option available to you. If you live in a smaller town then this is likely not going to be an option for you but if you live in a city then you should have plenty of local brokers to compare.