Brokers and Online Trading: The Costs
Opening an Account
Every brokerage has different terms and conditions for opening an account. There is a wide range of minimum deposits, varying anywhere from $500 to $2,500. Make sure you read the fine print beforehand. There is nothing more irritating than spending the time to fill out application forms only to discover you don't have enough money to open an account.
So, you're not loaded? Don't worry, more and more online brokerages don't require a minimum deposit at all.
Another option for those with small bank accounts is a dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP). A DRIP allows you to circumvent brokers by buying stocks directly from the companies that offer them.
Commissions and Fees
Every brokerage charges a different price (called the commission) to trade. The price is usually indicative of the service, so cheaper isn't always better.
- The dirt-cheap brokers who charge $5 to $15 per trade get the job done. Prices are going down all the time and quality is getting better, but don't expect great support or perks.
- The mid-priced discount brokers typically charge anywhere from $15 to $30 per trade. These brokers generally offer better customer support and additional services.
- Expensive brokers come with high costs. In some cases you can expect to spend upwards of $100 to $200 per trade. These brokers are known as full-service, and we'll discuss them in greater detail in the next section.
The Hidden Fees
In general, the financial industry is excellent at hiding fees and charges under a layer of jargon. Beyond the commissions per trade, look for the following:
Brokers and Online Trading: Full Service Or Discount?
An announcement by an investor who holds a security that he or ...
A company that owns or controls two or more banks. Mutlibank ...
A type of strategy regarding a put option, which is a contract ...
To maximize potential returns for certain levels of risk (while ...
A u-shaped pattern that develops when an option’s implied volatility ...
Nadex stands for the North American Derivatives Exchange, a regulated ...
The best way to answer this question is to provide a simple illustration of what happens when a company increases the number ...
Stock prices move up and down every minute due to fluctuations in supply and demand. If more people want to buy a particular ...
When trading is done for the day on a recognized exchange, all stocks are priced at close. The price that is quoted at the ...
Whether for research purposes, bookkeeping or even general interest in historical performance, this is a question that many ...