We are a generation of fast-paced technology and quick transactions. The transition from searching for reports in the systematic manner in the library for hours to saying “hello google” has been quite rapid. The financial market is not unknown to this changing attitude as well. Since the world saw an immense growth in the online system especially during the year of 2020, the online game changers have been the online stock brokers. Launched during the last decade and evolving in their functionality, they have their fair share in the market. What’s in it for you is that this particular decision could be the difference between an exciting source of income or a frustrating disappointment. While there is no magic trick to make quick profits, there is a still a way to set yourself a way to succeed. First, let us understand who these online stock brokers are and how they make a difference.
Who are the Online Stock Brokers? How are they different from the traditional brokers?
In plain terms, an online stock brokers is the one that interfaces with customers over the Internet instead of face-to-face. They work same as the middlemen like the traditional brokers but operate online but the work ability is quicker and efficient. They have a faster processing of trades and have greater control to execute any function. It is also convenient for you as you can place orders, check quotes and make changes from anywhere you want to. It is far easier now than ever to open an online brokerage account. Some of the common example are Zerodha, Upstox, Angel Broking, IIFL, etc.
The steps you need to know to choose your perfect online broker
There are several steps attached to choosing the right online broker which requires some due diligence to get the most for your money and investment:
Step 1: List down what you need
Before diving into this pool of brokers you must analyse where you stand in terms of your experience. As a rookie, you will be looking for basic education resources, easy practices to trade, support staff and other methods to check the level of the platform but as an experienced investor, you might want to look at the condition of order options, the fixed-income securities and ability to trade derivatives, mutual funds and others. You need to be honest with yourself and keep refining your goals as you will face further questions in your journey. Some questions you might have to answer yourself are:
Once you are clear with the solutions of these questions, you’ll yourself be able to distinguish between the platforms.
Step 2: Negation works well
Remember when in the MCQs, you didn’t know an answer so you removed the ones which seemed far-fetched and came down to 2 out of 4. Similarly, you can narrow down the brokers based on the services you are looking for. One should check out if the brokerage firm a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FIRA), and offers checking or saving accounts covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). You should also question on their insurance policy, protection against fraud and the reviews of their current customers. Some other points to look at are:
Step 3: Figure out the Fees
A clear idea should be there in your mind when you have to pay a higher or a lower price for the same features on different platforms. Also, you would like to lose as little of your investment returns as possible to accounting fees and trading commissions. There are several charges attached so note these ones to compare and consider:
Step 4: The Platform is the Master
The access of online brokers requires everyone to have a fast processing interface which provides easy accessibility and have variety of tools. One must analyse all the platforms, their tools, their packages, features and how the trade is taken place on those platforms. Some questions you might ask yourself here are:
Step 5: Education Component
Consider yourself who wants to inquire and know about certain terms, will you keep on switching between tabs or want them altogether at one place? User-friendly is one thing but to search the broker’s platform to know about the educational offerings, the source of the information, the accessibility of the information, and the beginner’s guide to investing.
Step 6: The Ease of depositing and Withdrawing Funds
To transact is to deposit and withdraw and you should compare the modes through which you can deposit your money, the duration for your deposited funds to settle, the regular checks of the funds, the duration for your sale of investments to settle and the ease to withdraw funds.
Step 7: Customer Service
Till this point, you might have made your choice but if you still not there, you might consider during and after services of the online broker. See if they are easily available around the clock or not is there any reporting system if you are into any troubles or an automated number for general queries.
Should you prefer them in the long run?
With the progress, there lies some insecurities as well. To trust, it needs care and you need to be careful to avoid any scammers out there. There are many online broking platforms out there but you must be aware not to get trapped in the web of low price or additional features. Check the authenticity because it’s your money after all.
Since we know all about the online broking system and how to select the best one for us, what are you waiting for? It is time for you to select the best of the best and invest in the company of your profitable choice. Keep refining your market knowledge with legal, financial and daily news where you get to learn through which you earn. For any further doubts or queries, if your online stock broker is not able to provide it, you know the right place to come to.