How to Choose your Online Stockbroker
Despite the Internet the number of people actually actively involved in online stock trading is relatively low and, given the carnage in the stockmarkets over 2008, I suspect it has got lower.
So what should you look for in an online stockbroker?
First and foremost of course honesty and reliable software.
My online stockbroker at the moment is TDWaterhouse, but I can't recommend them and will soon be changing.
Any online stockbroker must provide you with the resources needed to make educated decisions allowing you to allow you to trade stocks online with a minimum of aggravation. These resources include real–time charts, real-time prices, educational materials, streaming news, etc...
I suggest you apply the following criteria when deciding which online stockbroker or online stock trading site to use.
Fees/Commissions – Make sure the fees are low ! Read the small print. Try and avoid stock brokers that charge 'inactivity fees'.
Support – Customer support must be excellent and of course honest. They must be there to sort out problems not to cover up their mistakes. Test them out before signing up by phoning their support service with an imaginary problem.
Investments Offered – make sure any online stockbroker offers a variety of investments, stocks, mutual funds, options, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and fixed income investments.
Trading/Investment Features – Practical tools such as educational resources and real–time news, charts and quotes.
Security – Security is paramount - a secure website, fraud protection and a Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) membership are necessities.
User friendliness – The site must be easy and intuitive to use and offer online training.
As I said above, as I no longer have confidence in my current online stockbroker TDWaterhouse I am in the process of looking for a new one.
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