New Year’s Resolutions are notorious for being kept … for about 6 days. But there are several resolutions worth keeping this new year. One of them really should be to set up an investment account with an online brokerage house.
Why set up an investment account with an online brokerage?
Most people struggle so mightily with just setting up a 3 to 6 month emergency fund that they can’t conceive of actually putting money aside into any type of investment. If you’re still working on that emergency fund, keep at it and maybe get some ideas of how to save more from 17 Sneaky Savings Strategies.
Discount brokerages exist today for two reasons:
- The Internet made them possible.
- People were sick and tired of the stranglehold that traditional brokerage houses held on their ability to invest in various markets.
Investing today is vastly different than investing was just 15 short years ago! You have the ability to research, the ability to buy just one share (in the old days you were required to buy 100 or more), the ability to execute trades on your schedule, and the ability to pay far less in commissions.
Why don’t more people invest with discount brokers?
One holdup that many new investors fret over is which brokerage house is best. There are a lot of choices out there when deciding which brokerage firm to use for your investments. I personally use Scottrade.
Scottrade houses my personal Roth IRA, a traditional IRA and a another taxable account and there are a lot of reasons I use them. For one, their interface is ridiculously easy to navigate and for another, their fee structure makes investing a lot less taxing on my account. Fees can erode away your cash very quickly but Scottrade keeps them in check very well.
A Scottrade account is very easy to fund (there are four ways to fund a Scottrade account), and if you want to roll over a 401k into an IRA Scottrade makes it very easy to do so. I recently changed jobs and needed to roll my company retirement account into a traditional IRA and the people at Scottrade made it very easy.
And that’s another great feature – with local offices and real people to talk to, Scottrade has an edge over other online discount brokers.
Top reasons to use Scottrade?
- Only $500 to open an account.
- Online trades are only $7.
- No account maintenance or inactivity fees.
- Over 400 brokerages nationwide in case you need to speak with someone in person or attend a seminar.
- No-Fee IRAs! Also over 2,800 no transaction fee mutual funds!
- CDs are available.
- An incredible Knowledge Center with educational resources, interactive learning, and help/how-to. Scottrade customers have access to the Reference Notebook where they can save Knowledge Center content for quick reference.
MORE online brokerage options:
TradeKing is an online broker providing low flat trading fees with no minimum account requirements and no hidden fees. At TradeKing, you will pay just $4.95 a trade plus 65 cents per option contract. Period. They don’t have any account minimums or hidden fees and even charge the same price for broker-assisted trades. SmartMoney and Kiplinger’s both gave TradeKing’s Customer Service their very highest ratings in their latest broker surveys.
- Low Flat Trading Fees with No Account Minimums
- No Hidden Fees
- Access Trading Tools and Advanced Research
Zecco offers free stock trades, powerful investment tools, excellent customer service, and a groundbreaking financial community. Get 10 free stock trades every month when you maintain a $25,000 balance or execute 25 trades each month. Otherwise, it’s just $4.50 per trade.
- Zecco offers free stock trades, powerful investment tools, excellent customer service, and a groundbreaking financial community.
- Your money is safe with Zecco
tradeMONSTER™ is an innovative online brokerage that launched in 2008 and is geared towards stock and options traders. Differentiators of other online brokerage firms include a completely customizable trading platform, real-time streaming quotes and charts for accounts accounts including paperTRADE, one click order form from anywhere on the trading application and unique trading tools like spreadMAKER, Exit Plan, tradeLAB and strategySEEK. Their unique services are intended for the proactive investor who is looking for a disciplined approach and high value for a low price.
- Brand New Powerful Trading Platform
- Competitive Pricing
- Innovative Trading Tools
- Low Transparent Commissions
Get started sooner rather than later
Whichever of these investing platforms you choose, the main key is to educate yourself on investing, trust your instincts, let go of emotions, and use solid research to make a decision.