The invention of the Internet has brought about many changes in the way that we conduct our lives and our personal business. We can pay our bills online, shop online, bank online, and even date online!
We can even buy and sell stocks online. Traders love having the ability to look at their accounts whenever they want to, and brokers like having the ability to take orders over the Internet, as opposed to the telephone.
Most brokers and brokerage houses now offer online trading to their clients. Another great thing about trading online is that fees and commissions are often lower. While online trading is great, there are some drawbacks.
If you are new to investing, having the ability to actually speak with a broker can be quite beneficial. If you aren’t stock market savvy, online trading may be a dangerous thing for you. If this is the case, make sure that you learn as much as you can about trading stocks before you start trading online.
You should also be aware that you don’t have a computer with Internet access attached to you. You won’t always have the ability to get online to make a trade. You need to be sure that you can call and speak with a broker if this is the case, using the online broker. This is true whether you are an advanced trader or a beginner.
It is also a good idea to go with an online brokerage company that has been around for a while. You won’t find one that has been in business for fifty years of course, but you can find a company that has been in business that long and now offers online trading.
Again, online trading is a beautiful thing – but it isn’t for everyone. Think carefully before you decide to do your trading online, and make sure that you really know what you are doing!
Choosing a Broker
Depending on the type of investing that you plan to do, you may need to hire a broker to handle your investments for you. Brokers work for brokerage houses and have the ability to buy and sell stock on the stock exchange. You may wonder if you really need a broker. The answer is yes. If you intend to buy or sell stocks on the stock exchange, you must have a broker.
Stockbrokers are required to pass two different tests in order to obtain their license. These tests are very difficult, and most brokers have a background in business or finance, with a Bachelors or Masters Degree.
It is very important to understand the difference between a broker and a stock market analyst. An analyst literally analyzes the stock market, and predicts what it will or will not do, or how specific stocks will perform. A stock broker is only there to follow your instructions to either buy or sell stock… not to analyze stocks.
Brokers earn their money from commissions on sales in most cases. When you instruct your broker to buy or sell a stock, they earn a set percentage of the transaction. Many brokers charge a flat ‘per transaction’ fee.
There are two types of brokers: Full service brokers and discount brokers. Full service brokers can usually offer more types of investments, may provide you with investment advice, and is usually paid in commissions.
Discount brokers typically do not offer any advice and do no research – they just do as you ask them to do, without all of the bells and whistles.
So, the biggest decision you must make when it come to brokers is whether you want a full service broker or a discount broker.
If you are new to investing, you may need to go with a full service broker to ensure that you are making wise investments. They can offer you the skill that you lack at this point. However, if you are already knowledgeable about the stock market, all you really need is a discount broker to make your trades for you.