How Do I Choose an Online Broker?

For investment purchases like stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and more in the financial markets, an online broker will be necessary. Teenvestors typically look for brokers with low or no minimum investment balance requirements and offering multiple trading options.

Additionally, make sure the broker offers retirement accounts such as traditional or Roth IRAs.

Customer Service

Though we hope our trading goes smoothly, sometimes issues do arise. That is why you need an online broker with excellent customer support – one who will quickly respond to queries and assist with any issues that may arise, quickly execute orders at competitive prices, and help ensure you receive top deals for all transactions.

Trading Platforms

Selecting an online brokerage depends on your investment goals, trading style and financial experience. In addition, it is important to take into account account options available and any possible service or trading fees. It is also a good idea to ensure your broker is registered with both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), using search tools like Investment Adviser Public Disclosure from SEC or BrokerCheck from FINRA; SIPC membership provides protection in case they go out of business.

Another key consideration is your trading platform. A great platform should be easy-to-use and intuitive for newcomers to the market, offering fast search functionality so you can quickly locate answers to any questions that arise, while enabling you to customize screeners in order to easily locate stocks and ETFs to trade.

Once again, take the time to understand how different order types operate on each platform. Some platforms allow you to place limit orders that automatically execute at the best possible price, while others may provide advanced features such as multi-contingent and one-cancels-the-other orders (OCO orders). As a beginner investor, make sure your brokerage offers paper trading so that you can hone your strategies prior to investing real money.

Customer support is also of vital importance; it will serve as your go-to if any issue arises with your account or you require any other assistance. A reliable online broker should offer phone support during regular trading hours as well as a help page where customers can pose questions and receive assistance.

Finally, when considering brokers, make sure that the minimum deposit requirements match up with your budget and needs. Some have low minimum deposit amounts while others require larger sums in order to open an account. Beginners may benefit from finding online brokers offering free accounts without minimum deposits; otherwise make sure that any minimum deposits offered fit within this budget.


Finding an online broker depends on several key considerations, including your investing goals, learning style and risk tolerance. Furthermore, it is crucial that you check whether they provide a minimum investment amount as well as funding options – some brokers require large initial deposits which could prove challenging for newcomers while others may charge fees per trade with lower commission rates but higher per-trade fees than competitors. Finally, customer support reliability must also be factored into this decision process.

Considerations should also be given to the types of accounts available through brokers, such as IRAs, Roth IRAs, custodial accounts for children and 529 college savings plans. It’s wise to inquire as to the fees or interest charges associated with opening and maintaining such accounts before selecting your broker.

Be wary of any fees your broker charges when trading stocks and exchange-traded funds. While some brokers charge only a low trading commission fee, others may assess additional costs such as mutual funds, options trading and premium features – some brokers charge a flat annual fee while others make their money by charging a percentage of your overall portfolio value each year.

Beginners should use a discount brokerage that charges very low commission rates for stock and ETF transactions (the kind typically made by beginners). Be wary of affiliate websites offering brokerage services with only superficial information and glowing reviews; such sites aren’t reliable sources of advice, making it easy to identify them due to their marketing tactics.

Consider how you will access technical support when needed. Some brokers will have dedicated phone lines, email support and chat systems for technical issues; additionally, many online brokers provide searchable FAQ sections covering frequently asked questions.


Financial markets can be unpredictable, but the best online brokers help you make the most of them. They offer trading platforms, investment options, market research tools, beginner education tools, customer service options and customer care at an unbeatably competitive rate – and do it all without charging commission on stock and ETF trades!

Additionally, when searching for an online broker it’s important to ensure they offer 24/7 customer support – even though you might not need them often! And finally, are they allowing easy transfers of funds in and out of your account quickly and conveniently?

Finally, it’s essential that your broker employs advanced security measures to protect both your account and personal information. Hackers are out there looking for opportunities to steal your hard-earned cash – make sure that any broker you select has a strong history in this regard.