If you want to invest in stocks, you will need the services of a reliable broker. You may choose from several broking agencies. While some people think that one service provider is as good as the other, this is not right.
It is not very easy to find the right broker. Before you commence your search, it is recommended you make a list of your requirements. Here are ten things you must consider when you search for the right broker.
- Charges and costs
Broking agencies levy certain charges and commissions. It is important you understand these clearly to make an informed decision. Reducing your cost is important but don’t overstress at this point. Working with a reliable broker will be beneficial in the long-term. Furthermore, most brokers offer different plans for intra-day traders and other investors. You must understand these plans and choose the one that most appropriately suits your personal needs.
In addition to costs related to trading, the broker may levy other charges like demat account charges and annual maintenance fees. It is important you clearly understand all these as it increases your effective cost of investment and returns.
- Different investment options
You may want to invest in different products such as mutual funds, fixed deposits, exchange-traded funds, equities, debt, and others. It is important you choose a broker that offers all these investment products as it is more convenient and less cumbersome to manage. Furthermore, you must comprehend the costs associated with different investment avenues prior to making your final choice.
- Minimum number of trades
You must read all the terms and conditions to understand these clearly. Ensure the document has no clauses that require a certain number of minimum trades. Furthermore, if the broker includes this clause, you must understand the penalty in case you fail to make the minimum number of trades. Full-service brokers offer a demat, trading, and bank accounts (known as a 3-in-1 account). In such instances, the service provider may levy certain minimum balance norm in your bank account. Get this clarified before you sign on the dotted line.
- Customer servicing
Working with an agency that offers reliable and quality customer services is important. This may be easily understood by reading comments, feedback, and reviews offered by other users. You may also read forums and independent review sites that help you make the right decision.
- Research reports
Most full-service brokerage firms offer excellent research with a qualified and experienced team. You will have access to research reports that provide detailed analysis to help you make investment decisions about which stocks to invest in and how to invest in the share marketwisely.
- Local office
If you do not like only online services, it is important you find a broker that has a local office in your close vicinity. Furthermore, you may prefer placing orders in the share market through a phone or in person. Ensure such facilities are offered by your chosen broking agency. Furthermore, you must understand the cost of availing these facilities.
In most instances, you may invest in shares online through the broker’s website. You must work with a broker that has no downtime of its website to ensure you are able to invest in real-time. Furthermore, the user interface must be easy to understand and simple to use to maximize your benefits.
If you are new to stock investing, you may not immediately require a margin account. Nonetheless, it is important to understand the guidelines related to these for the future. Generally, the minimum balance requirements for margin accounts are higher than regular accounts. Furthermore, you must gain clarity on the interest levied by the broking agency on margin trades.
- Withdrawal rules
Some brokers may levy certain charges in case you want to withdraw from your account. They may also disallow withdrawal if the balance amount reduces to below the minimum. You must clearly understand all the rules that guide your account before making the decision.
- Type of broker
Brokers may either be full-service or discount service providers. The former type of broker offers several more services when compared to the latter. However, their charges may be slightly more. Nonetheless, choosing a full-service broker is recommended. This is because such service providers complete much of the legwork on your behalf. Furthermore, you receive personalized services with individual recommendations and research support.
There are several options available when you search for brokers. Considering the aforementioned factors will help you make the right choice. However, it is important you clearly understand how to buy shares online before you choose the broker. This will avoid any misconceptions and make stock market investing smooth and profitable.