Online brokers are not all the same.The well known online discount brokers such as eTrade and Scott Trade may or may not be suitable for you.
There are some factors to consider when looking for a broker to buy stocks on line.
Perhaps the most important factor for many investors for online stock trades is the cost of executing the trades. The less commissions you pay, may mean more capital with which to invest. However discounted fees may also mean less services may be available.
Access to trading tools
Some online brokerages sites only offer essential essential services, because it assumed that investors already have all the required resources. Other brokerages provide much more tools such as stock market monitors and tax liabilities software or access to breaking news that can affect the markets.
Full service brokers may offer much more. In fact they may offer some stock picking advice. Self service brokers may just offer the necessary tools and there are brokers that fall in between. You should decide how much service you would realistically need.
Some brokers emphasize faster execution of your trades which can be beneficial as you get the benefit of prices that are closer to the value to the stock that you are trading.The longer period between your order being placed and being filled can result in prices moving away from the noted value. Also it is important to note that in some instances the price quoted for online stocks may differ from the true market value.
If you have a question about your account, or about making a trade, you may wish to speak to a live person before or after you buy stocks online. Some others may prefer corresponding by email or instant messaging. Your preference can factor in the level of service that you need.
Given the the majority of financial transactions can now be handled electronically, some brokers only exist for the most part in cyberspace. Your online broker could be anywhere in the world. Other may still appreciate the ability to visit a branch office to take classes or fraternize with other investors.
All websites require maintenance, which may mean access to some areas may be limited. Some brokerages may focus on limiting downtimes, which may be important to you if you trade often.Site reliability is often reviewed by brokerage rating services.
Other services offered
Brokerage firms are not isolated. You may also be allowed to have a checking account or high-yield savings account, which offers the ease of funds transfer.
The site should be easy to use
Online brokers geared for new investors or infrequent traders are minimal. They may have as few buttons as possible.If you are a more active trader,you may require more advanced features such as automated trading set-up.
The type of online brokerage that you choose may depend on the type of online stock investor that are and will ultimately depend on the services that you may need.