When choosing the best online broker and trading platform, what do you need to consider first and foremost? Is it security? Fees? Platform Feature perhaps? Of course, all these need to be considered but more importantly, you need to consider them in relation to your needs. A finance broker platform may have awesome features, reasonable fees, and great security but if those features do not suit your needs, then it isn’t the best for you. Click here for more information. (Image Credit: Carlos Muza/Unsplash)
Below, we outline how you can go about assessing your needs to find the best online broker and trading platform.
Know Your Needs
As mentioned above, take a few minutes to consider what you want from a finance broker online service. The answers will vary from person to person but it is best to consider where you are at your trading journey.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you an active or passive investor?
- How educated are you in trading?
- What types of trades do you want to do?
- What you investing for?
This is your chance to be really honest with yourself and there is no right and wrong answer.
Start Narrowing Your Options
Having answers to the questions above should help narrow your choices. Do note that depending on your answers, some platforms will have features and services that are more important than others. However, you want to make sure your choices are reputable. Below are basic features for reputable platforms.
- Is the stockbroker a member SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corp)?
- Is it a member of FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority)?
- Does it offer savings accounts or any other deposit products? If so, are these covered by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp)?
These certifications are there to offer you security and protection and are worth checking out. These should be displayed prominently on the website or at least very easily searchable.
A few other points you will want to consider include:
- Will the company offer any insurance in case it goes under? If a company is a member of the SIPC then they will definitely have insurance for their users.
- Does the company provide fraud protection? If they do, check what you need to do to be considered for reimbursement in case this happens.
- What are other customers saying? Check the reviews on the ones you are considering. Check different review sites for the most accurate representation.
- What security measures to they provide? You may want to check on how they encrypt your private information and if they provide 2-factor auth.
Consider their Fees
In trading, you have to part with money to make money and this includes the fees charged by these finance broker platforms. Right off the bat, you need to look for answers to the following questions:
- Does the service offer a trading platform as part of a free service?
- Is there a deposit minimum?
- What are the monthly/annual fees and can they be waived?
These are just some questions to ask yourself when looking for the best trading platform. We also recommend signing up for free trials to get a true feel of the platform.