One of the most important investment decisions you will make has nothing to do with which stock, bond or mutual fund you buy. We're talking about selecting a broker. Hopefully the information in this tutorial will assist you in your search.

Let's recap:
  • Brokers are the people who handle customer orders to buy and sell securities.
  • Don't forget that a broker is a salesperson.
  • Minimum balances required to open an account range from thousands of dollars to nothing at all.
  • All brokerages charge commissions to execute orders. This fee varies widely depending on the type of brokerage.
  • Look out for hidden fees for transactions like the transfer of assets or inactivity.
  • Full-service brokers offer much more, but they're expensive.
  • Discount brokers don't offer the extras, but they're affordable.
  • Online brokerages have changed the industry by lowering costs and blurring the line between discount and full-service.
  • The type of brokerage you require depends on your investing style.
  • It's possible to check the background of all brokers and firms.
  • The type of account you need depends on the type of securities you want to hold.
  • There are many ways to execute an equity order.





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