SEPT 1: What Does an Online Stock Trading Broker offer?

by David Jenyns on September 1, 2006

Is there a difference between the kinds of stock trades you can make with a brick and mortar broker versus an online stock trading broker? How do you know which online stock trading broker to choose?

It really depends on what services you are looking for because you can find almost everything online that you can find in the brick and mortar stock broker world. If you are interested in day trading, then you need to find a brokerage firm that specializes in day trading. Do your homework first though. On the other hand, if youíre looking to invest for the long-term, youíll want to find brokerage firms that specialize in long-term investing.

Retirement planning can be confusing at best. Some of the brick and mortar investment brokers that weíve been familiar with for years have websites that will allow you to buy and sell stocks, mutual funds and even set up IRAs. If you do go with a company youíve never heard of, do your homework. The reputable investment companies will list their full contact information, including telephone numbers and physical address.

Basically, the online stock trading broker offers the same services as the brick and mortar brokerage firm offers. You can learn a lot about online investing at msn.com, cnnmoney.com and smartmoney.com. If you have a question about an online stock trading broker, donít hesitate to ask. There are several online investing communities also that have message boards where people trade information about stocks and brokers.

You can also find college planning services through an online stock trading broker. Just as in the brick and mortar investing world, you can set up college funds that will make your money work for you instead of sitting in a savings account.

Your online stock trading broker may also offer banking services. Charles Schwab, who has been an icon in the investment world for many years, has a website that offers banking services as well as brokerage services. You should realize the differences between the two as banking services are FDIC insured up to a hundred thousand dollars and stock trading services of course arenít.

The internet offers a convenient alternative to the investment practices of yesterday. People who would never even have thought about walking into a brokerage firm now visit their websites daily and deposit hundred or thousands of dollars in accounts for which they donít so much as have a piece of paper. Do your homework and you will enjoy the convenience of investing in your pajamas.

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