How to Choose an Online Broker

How to Choose an Online Broker


As an online trader one of the most important choices you will make throughout your trading career isn’t what stocks, bonds or shares to trade into but critical and vital key is which broker you will choose. There are so many companies out there today offering brokerage services to traders, online and in the traditional sense. It can be confusing and daunting when making your choice so here are some top tips to help you decide which one is best for you.

Things You Need to Consider

Don’t think that discount is always the best option. If you are just starting out in the trading world then consider a full-service broker who will help you as a trader build more knowledge of the markets and offer you advice as well as provide you with the confidence you need to make the trades happen. When you begin to gain experience then you can move on to doing more of the trades yourself and slowly release your ties with the broker.

Always check availability. It is vital that you check their working times and also when their site is active. During the high trading hours see how fast their site loads and make sure you can access everything swiftly because this is important when going long or short on trades. If there are technical problems and bugs then it probably isn’t the best one to use.

Look at the trading options available. Sometimes it isn’t always possible to get to the internet or sit in front of your PC. Depending on your specific needs it might be important that you can talk to your broker over the phone to complete trades or even through faxing. Also have in mind that using these extras with a broker will also cost more money so consider whether you really need them or not.

Check out the broker’s background. It is important that you research the broker just as much as you research the assets you are interested in. Check out what fellow traders have to say on your broker and look as client reviews and satisfaction rates. See their statistics and read through their strategies and experience. All of these points are extremely important when choosing an online broker.

Don’t think about the price. Although a lot of traders want to find the cheapest brokerage service around, sometimes this isn’t the best answer. Don’t forget it is the quality you are looking for. Paying more money in the long run could help you end up with better advice, better trades and overall a better broker. Check out the commission rates and fees they charge so you can understand exactly what you are paying for. Also as said above look at the prices and fees they charge for additional services which you might find helpful in the future.

Check what minimal deposit is required for joining. A lot of investors who are just starting out might not have a large sum of money to deposit and invest as initial capital. See what the minimal requirement is before signing up. Experienced traders won’t mind letting go of ten thousand dollars for example but the ones who are just starting out won’t be as easy-going to let go of so much money in one go.

Choose your asset wisely. Most brokers will give you a list of the markets and assets they deal with. Every broker is different and some trade in specific markets and others trade in all. Think about what type of product or stock you are looking to trade and then go from there. Every company will offer different services, think carefully before making a final choice.

Customer service is the most important thing to consider. When choosing a broker customer service is the top thing you need to consider when choosing a broker. It can be frustrating when you need help and you are put on hold for half an hour. Before you decide to open up an account with a broker try running a couple of test calls to customer service with a few questions to see what response you get.