When you run a Google search for "Online Stock Investing" here is what you find on the first page: Sponsored links - Scottrade, TradeMonster, IngDirect; Top 10 - TDAmeritrade, Sharebuilder, E*Trade, SogoTrade, Schwab; Ads - Forex, Firstrade, Fidelity, Zecco. To recap, there are a minimum of 12 online stock trading firms that you can choose from and this is from the first page! Now that you know the different names of all the firms that are out there, you need to compare their positives and negatives. Once you pick a firm, you will be depositing funds there so make sure that you know everything about it before beginning.
To compare online stock investing , you will need to know what the characteristics are of these types of businesses. When you rate them, you may weigh each characteristic differently than another characteristic. For this reason, it makes it very difficult for me to crown one firm as the best because you probably will have a difference of opinion to how I rank them.
What do I look for in an internet stock broker? Here are some key traits to focus on.
1. Cost - When I talk about cost, I am talking about trading fees, or commissions, and also "hidden" fees. These are the fees that you don't see when you sign up. These fees will be in the terms and conditions so make sure you read everything first. Try to find the cheapest online stock trading firm, but also the most transparent one. Do not go with the firm that is hiding fees just to get you to sign up with them.
2. Customer Service and/or Support - All online stock investing firms will say that they are #1 in customer service. See for yourself. Check each firm's reputation for customer service and satisfaction. These third party companies like J.D. Powers and Smart Money will rank companies for service and satisfaction every year. Pick up a magazine and search the internet for customer service feedback.
3. Research and Advice - This trait is very important. You want to be able to research a stock without having to go far. You also want your online stock investing to have charts available so you can see the tendency of your stock. If you are going to be investing your money with these firms, they better give you some feedback or at least some type of technology to help you make the best decision for your money.
When you are through comparing these internet stock brokers, you will be satisfied that the company you choose will be the best one that suits your needs and gives you the best value.