A great tool for comparing online brokers can be found at StockBrokers. Read books Books provide a wealth of information and are inexpensive compared to the costs of classes, seminars, and educational DVDs sold across the web.
Here on the site we have a full list of 20 great stock trading books for investors to consider. Read articles Articles are a fantastic resource for education.
Our free Stock Education page here on StockTrader. Recommended websites for investment education are investopedia. Find a mentor A mentor could be a family member, a friend, a past or current professor, co-worker, or any individual that has a fundamental understanding of the stock market.
A good mentor is willing to answer questions, provide help, recommend useful resources, and keep spirits up when the market gets tough.
All successful investors of the past and present have had mentors during their early days. Forums can be another source for question and answer. Two recommendations include Elite Trader and Trade2Win. Just be careful of who you listen to. The vast majority of participants are not professional traders, let alone profitable traders.
Heed advice from forums with a heavy dose of salt and do not, under any circumstance, follow trade recommendations. Study the greats Learning about the greatest investors of years past will provide perspective, inspiration, and appreciation for the game which is the stock market. One of my favorite book series is the Market Wizards by Jack Schwager. Read and follow the market News sites such as Yahoo Finance and Google Finance serve as a great resource for new investors.
For in depth coverage, look no further than the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. By monitoring the markets each day and reading headline stories investors can expose themselves to trends, 3rd party analysis, not to mention economic concepts and general business. Pulling quotes and observing fundamental data can also serve as another good source of exposure.
Beware though, over time you may find that a lot of the investing shows on TV are more of a distraction and are overall full of junk recommendations. This is a natural evolution; you are not alone! Consider paid subscriptions Paying for research and analysis can be both educational and useful.
Some investors may find watching or observing market professionals to be more beneficial than trying to apply newly learned lessons themselves. There are a slew of paid subscription sites available across the web, the key is in finding the right ones for you. View a list of the services I use use myself. Two well-respected services include Investors. Go to seminars, take classes Seminars can provide valuable insight into the overall market and specific investment types.
Fidelity is best known for its value driven customer experience. Beyond cost and ease of use, Fidelity also finished 1 for research tools. OptionsHouse has been rated the 1 platform for Options Trading the past seven years. Merrill Edge is the online broker of Bank of America and is available to all investors, regardless if they are a current BofA customer.
Like TD Ameritrade and ETRADE, Merrill Edge is well-rounded; however, it has a huge advantage over all other brokers thanks to its Preferred Rewards program where customers can earn free trades, credit cards bonus cash back, priority customer service, and more.
I have personally been using the program since it launched in With its competitive commission rates for stocks and options trading, investors who have previous market experience will find themselves right at home. However, unless you are already an Ally customer, you will find that there are better offerings available. Having the best stock broker to serve individual needs is very important for any investor. For example, cheap trades most often come at the expense of less research tools and a more simplified trade platform.
Consider these 12 key factors to help compare all stock brokers and ultimately find the best broker to suite your needs. Trade Commissions What does it cost to buy shares of stock?
Does the fee change based on the type of order or size of order? To keep it simple, look for brokers that offer flat-fee trades, ie charging a flat rate regardless of the type, price of the stock, or size of the order. Customer Service When picking up the phone or emailing a broker, is a well trained customer service representative ready to assist?
How any investor is treated as a client is more important to some than others. Trading Tools Trading successfully is a lot easier when investors have great tools at their disposal. A top stock broker should offer access to a wide variety of trade tools to help make the most of each and every trade. From real-time streaming quotes to last sale tickers, quality stock scanners, mobile trading apps, and level II quotes to name a few. Strong tools are essential for active investors.
Account Minimums Some brokers allow you to open an account with no minimum deposit while others may require several thousand dollars. Also know that some brokers require higher minimums to gain access to premium platforms, functionality, and personalized support.
Market Research A good online broker will provide a variety of market research tools. The rule of thumb here is simple: