An online broker is basically a person or entity that facilitates the buying and selling of a security over an electronic network.  The transactions are normally accomplished through the broker’s trading platform.

This is opposed to the traditional way of placing orders via a phone call.

Online brokers only started to have more popularity in the mid-to-late 1990s, facilitated by the development of high performance computers and speedy internet connections.

In this article, we’re going to tackle some of the most important factors  Finance Brokerage Education Module you should consider when you’re choosing an online broker.

Money to Spend

Most of the online brokers have a $1000 or more premium account balance requirement. If you’d like to start with less, you need to scout around for brokers that mandate very minimal or no account minimum.

The more money you have at your disposal, the more diversification you can easily achieve.

Investment Goals

The investment goals of an average investor may range from safety to income growth to retirement savings to tax reduction to other similar or not so similar at all goals.

You need to come up with a Finance Brokerage Trendline Scaling decision with which online broker best suits your investment goals.

Degree of Guidance

If you are still a rookie trader, you might trade infrequently but you need to have good educational resources to walk your through the maze of investing. A full-service broker may be of great help for such a situation.

However, experienced and successful investors tend to do well with discount brokers.

Execution Speed

Stocks moves can be very volatile and speedy. So a platform that allows for fast execution of trades is important for making profits. It pays really well to check out how fast a particular broker’s website launches, even when it’s during peak hours.

Commissions and fees

A very careful analysis of commissions and other fees associated with brokers is very essential for cutting down on your trading costs.  Most of the time, brokers charge a low commission and advertise themselves to be the cheapest option available. However, they load up all the charges on to the other fees. Therefore, you really need to have a thorough analysis of the commissions as well as the other fees is a must.

Customer Service

Discount brokers, in order to cut overheads, may not provide excellent or even good enough customer service.  Seek out online brokers that offer customer service round the clock and not only during business hours. Analyze the different forms of support that’s available, such as live chat, telephone support, and email, among other things.

Promotions and Bonuses

Even though promotions could make you root for one online broker, it’s very important to take a look at the bigger picture. The benefits of a huge promotional offer may be totally offset by higher commissions and fees.

Risks

The speed that’s related with trading online can also work to your disadvantage, since it can lead to overenthusiastic traders to make expensive mistakes. This risk can be mitigated to some extent by setting up safeguards, like placing stop loss orders or limit orders.

The lack of handholding could really be trouble for many traders, especially when building a portfolio or rebalancing.

There are also some worries over security, since online transactions can expose you to account hack risks. Technical glitches can also result in paying higher than you have intended or clocking in excess losses.