Nowadays, online brokerage houses offer an array
of inexpensive services and eagerly await your business.
Youll probably never see their office or personally
meet their staff.
- Toni Turner, author of
A Beginners Guide to Day Trading Online
Online investing offers a convenient, inexpensive way for
an experienced investor to manage his or her portfolio.
Services: Real-time quotes, research, investment information
and tools, online trading, touch-tone trading, Web site account
access, check-writing privileges, and margin loans.
Products: Full selection of traded securities and
Payment: The lowest trading fees available, typically
as low as $8.00, but there are now options available for free
Benefits: The Internet allows you to research your
investments with more ease and thoroughness than was previously
possible. Plus, the electronic trading system provides an
inexpensive alternative for making real-time trades with just
the click of a mouse.
Disadvantages: No direct access to a licensed broker
who can offer advice and make recommendations for your personal
In her book, A Beginners Guide to Day Trading Online,
Toni Turner offers the following suggestions for what to look
for in an internet brokerage:
- A Web site that is accessible and easy to navigate without
a lot of slow, cumbersome graphics.
- A well-organized trading screen with built-in safety guards
to prevent data entry errors.
- Access to real time quotes--current stock prices displayed
on the screen.
- A quick confirmation system.
- Current portfolio updates and account balances.
- Alternate ways of reaching a real broker--most importantly
- Low margin rates--be sure to shop around.
- A low--or no--minimum dollar amount to open an account.
- The ability to conduct buy or sell stops, which instructs
the system to buy or sell a specific security automatically
when it hits a predetermined price.