How to Find the Right Online Broker for You

Choosing an online broker might seem simple on the surface but deep down it’s a complex process. You don't want to go for someone who doesn't have the right credentials or someone who has little or no understanding of how the market works -- or even someone who doesn't share the same belief with you.

Regardless of your doubts, you're going to need a broker to help you buy and sell stocks, except you have a terminal patched straight into an exchange, then, of course, you're excused.

There are now more broker options to choose from than ever before since a lot of people are now opting for investment.

Everything has been made easier and safer through the internet, but finding the right online broker might still be very challenging if you're not certain of what you want.

Here are 4 tips to help find the right online broker for you:

1. Variety of investment options

You'll recognise the right online broker to go for by the number of assets he offers you to invest in, be it exchange-traded funds, stocks, real estate investment trust, bonds and even the US government Treasury securities.

Even if you're not willing to invest much at the moment, consider the possibility of you spreading your wings in the future and expanding your investment wings so you'll definitely be needing a broker who has a vast vision and can provide you with lots of options to choose from.

2. Be at alert

Some brokers charge an inactivity fee if you don't meet a certain number of trades monthly or yearly.

This might not be too good for you if you're a beginner investor, so look for brokers that are in line with your trading style and needs; those that offer the precise investment you want and at a very affordable rate.

Also, look for an online broker that can offer you a little more understanding about investment. Could be in form of a video tutorial on their website, or in designated seminars, and some of them even offer these services freely.

Beware of online brokers who want to extort you of every dime you own by placing a cost on every single feature they offer you, be it a trading platform or even for research because before you know it, the cost will add up so quickly you'll be unable to believe.

On the brighter side, not all online brokers that charge higher-than-average commissions are trying to extort you, some of them really do have good quality services to provide such as a high-quality trading platform like BrokerNotes.

3. Third-party referrals

Get opinions from people who have invested with the firm or are currently investing with them before signing up with any online broker.

Regardless of how perfect or convincing their advertisements come off to be, it's best you make your findings properly as there might be some issues beneath which are not easily detected by casual observers.

Also, don't rely too much on whatever information you get from investment broker comparison sites as most often than not, they are paid to paint the brokers really well to deceive the customers.

It's easy to spot sites like this because of how superficial they are about the information they give out, they report everything good and never put a finger on the ugly sides.

4. Quality customer support

You can't know everything about investments, and it could get really ugly and confusing for beginner investors. The only place to turn to might be customer support.

Before choosing an online broker, be sure they have available and quality customer service. Be sure they are available in various mediums such as live chat, email support or even direct phone conversations.

If you really want to go to the extreme, you can opt for one with a nearby physical location.

Don't choose an online broker on popularity basis; choose a firm that will be exactly right for you and your needs.


Jimmy Rohampton is a freelance writer, blogger and business consultant from Southwest London. He travels the world and helps people master blogging and online marketing at Think you're interesting and he should know you? Say "Hi" to him at

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