Before you can invest in the stock market, you need to open an account with a broker. Thanks to technology, there are now many stockbrokers online. So, you do not have to worry about leaving your home and going to the office. Just sit still with your cup of coffee or tea, turn on your computer, and start investing. When you do a search online, you will find many stockbrokers that seem to offer the same service. The problem is that with all the brokers out there persuading you to sign up and make an investment, how do you identify the broker that can best suit your needs? Here are the standards or criteria to look for. Make sure that your broker passes this standard so that you will have the best investing or stock trading experience.
This is an important part to consider before you even deposit any money into your account. Make sure to check the deposit methods, as well as the methods for making a withdrawal. It is not uncommon to find brokers that offer more options when making a deposit but only have limited options for making a withdrawal. You would not want to have your money locked up in your account without any way to withdraw it into real cash.
A broker will usually require you to submit a copy of your identity documents before it even processes your withdrawal. Before you make a deposit, make sure that you know what these documents are and that you have them in your possession. Otherwise, you might not be able to withdraw your money. Also, take note how many days it will take for your broker to completely process your payment counted from the time when you make a request for withdrawal.
Minimum Deposit and Withdrawal Limit
Take note of the minimum deposit requires. There are brokers that require a minimum deposit of at least $250, while others may accept a very small deposit of only $25. You should also know the minimum and maximum withdrawal limit. A broker may also charge a small withdrawal fee, which is normal. However, if you intend to make multiple withdrawals in a week, then the withdrawal fee is something that you should pay attention to.
Your broker should provide you with a free demo account. This is a good way to get a feel of actual trading in a real-time stock market environment without risking any money. A demo account is also good to use to test your strategy. Do not worry; all well-established stockbrokers will provide you with a demo account.
Stockbrokers usually charge fees for trading. They often charge a trading fee, transaction fee, surcharges, and others. Although these fees are usually just a small amount, they can easily pile up quickly, especially if you make multiple trades in a short period of time. So, be sure to compare the different brokers that you find online and look for the one that offers the lowest fees.
Every online broker will provide you with a trading platform where you can buy and sell stocks with just a few clicks of a mouse. Your broker should provide you with a professionally designed platform with useful features. The best brokers will offer you a free data or information about the stock market in order to help you make the best investment decision. Your broker should also provide you with graphs and charts in case you want to use technical analysis.
Your broker should not restrict how you trade, as well as how much you can trade. Unfortunately, there are some brokers that will require you to first contact them before you buy a stock using the platform as if you need their permission for every investment that you make. Some brokers will even place a restriction as to the number of stocks that you can buy or sell. You should stay away from these brokers. You should only work with a broker that will allow you to make an investment on your own. It should also allow you to trade as many stocks as you want.
Reviews and Trust Rating
Of course, you need to work only with a broker that is trusted and reliable. Therefore, before you even sign up for an account with any broker, be sure to check the reviews given by other investors. An easy way to do this simply to use your favorite browser, key in the search bar the name of the broker, and simply add the word reviews. Hit the Enter key, and you will find a list of pages that will most probably have the reviews on your chosen broker. Take note not to limit yourself to only one review website. After all, it is not uncommon for brokers to hire freelance writers to come up with a positive write-up about the broker’s business.
Also, pay attention to the dates when the latest reviews were done. If the latest positive reviews were made about a year ago, then be cautious. After all, the management team and even the policy of a broker may change from time to time.
These days, most people access the Internet using their mobile phones. It is easier and simply more convenient. Your broker should also provide you with a platform that has a mobile feature. This means that you should be able to manage your account and make investments by simply using your mobile phone — and the process should be as convenient as you are when you use a desktop computer. Do not worry; brokers with a high rating always have a mobile feature. In fact, having a mobile feature is one of the reasons why people like certain brokers.
Take note of how you can contact the customer support team. Is there a number that you can call at any time? Also, check if the broker offers a live chat feature on the site. If the broker can only be contacted via e-mail, then test just how fast it can respond, and pay attention to how professional it handles your inquiry. A good way to do this is by sending a message to customer support asking for any substitute documents that you may submit when you make your first withdrawal request. Ideally, the customer support should be able to respond with an answer to your inquiry within 24 hours.