Tips for Choosing a Stock Broker - dummies

By Paul Mladjenovic

Before you choose a stock broker, you need to analyze your personal investing style, and then you can proceed to finding the kind of broker that fits your needs. It’s almost like choosing shoes; if you don’t know your size, you can’t get a proper fit (and you can be in for a really uncomfortable future).

When it’s time to choose a broker, keep the following points in mind:

  • Match your investment style with a brokerage firm that charges the least amount of money for the services you’re likely to use most frequently.
  • Compare all the costs of buying, selling, and holding stocks and other securities through a broker. Don’t compare only commissions; compare other costs, too, like margin interest and other service charges.
  • Use broker comparison services available in financial publications such as Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and Barron’s (and, of course, their websites) as well as online sources.

Finding brokers is easy. They’re listed in the Yellow Pages (or on directory sites like Superpages.com), in many investment publications, and on many financial websites. Start your search with the major brokerage firms.