One step that every beginner must take is selecting a stock brokerage in order to trade stocks. They all provide the same core function – allow you to buy and sell stocks. But that is probably where the simplicity ends and the confusion begins. When searching for the right stock brokerage there are a few things you need to know to help you make the right choice. Here is our Guide to the Right Stock Brokerage.
Identify Your Trading Lifestyle
The first thing you should do is identify what type of trader you plan to be. Are you going to be sitting at a desk on a computer all day, everyday? Will you be on the go, executing trades while at your day job? Or will you be doing a little bit of both? The question may seem simple but the answer will help narrow your choice of brokerages.
Some brokerages have very extensive and easy to use desktop applications, but their mobile version is lacking. There are other brokerages that are more mobile-friendly but either completely lack a desktop application or it is sub-par. Either of these may not matter to you depending on the type of trading lifestyle you plan to live, but knowing is the first step to choosing the right one.
Commissions are No Joke
One of the most important pieces in identifying the right brokerage is the type of commission structure they have for the types of trades you plan to make. There are some brokerages that are commission free on common stock, but charge for options or OTC trades. Knowing the commission structure and the fees that will be levied upon you while trading is important because any amount of fee you have to pay is less profit in your pocket.
Reputation is Important
When you are exposing your financial safety to a company, it’s important to know that the company you are doing business with is reputable and trustworthy. There will always be the big, widely known names out there. But sometimes the bigger the company the less they care about smaller account holders. Conversely, the smaller firms often have more robust customer service departments and rewards type systems to help encourage referrals, but they also may have more known system glitches. Making sure you’re doing business with a well-known and reputable company is important.
Best Mobile-First Brokerage: WeBull
WeBull is a stock trading app that offers a commission-free trading platform for stocks or options. The mobile design and usability are incredibly user friendly and easy to use, and the desktop application is servicable. WeBull offers its users access to very easy to use charts and technical indicators, as well as charting tools to customize your charts views. In addition, WeBull offers margin accounts without a subscription (unlike Robinhood) and allows short selling. You can also paper trade using this platform.
The best part? If you use our affiliate link to sign up and transfer $100 or more into your account, WeBull will give you 2 free stocks valued between $2.50 and $1,400! Here is our affiliate link: CLICK HERE.
Best Desktop-First Brokerage: ETrade
ETrade is an established company with very strong reputation in the industry. With $0 commisions on stocks and ETFs, and small $0.65 per contact commission on options, ETrade is one of the best trading platforms out there. ETrade has a very strong desktop application and mulitple trading platform options. It sets itself apart and makes it easy for beginners, intermediate, or advanced traders. Whether you trade straight through their basic portal, utilize a customizable trade platform called Power Etrade, or you use their extremely robust platform ETrade Pro (requires monthly trading quantities) with access to hotkeys and other advanced features, ETrade can be customized to your skill level. Chartings is a breeze with Etrade Pro and Power Etrade and offers technical indicators and customizable charting.
The best part? If you use our affiliate link to sign up, you can earn up to $2,500 depending on your initial deposit amount. Here is our affiliate link: CLICK HERE.
Other Notable Brokerages:
Other brokerages that made the list but didn’t quite make it to the top are listed below. Make sure you do your research before making a decision.
- Mobile Only: Robinhood
- Desktop Friendly: Lightspeed (for more advanced traders)
- Desktop First, Good Mobile: TD Ameritrade
The Final Word
At the end of the day, the trading brokerage you use will either allow or restrict you from doing the things you want to do. It’s also a good idea to try out multiple brokers if you’re just starting out to find the one that works best for you. Each one has their pros and cons and small nuances that can really only be learned through using them. It’s also a good idea if you’re day trading to use two (or more) brokerage platforms. Doing so will provide you with more Day Trades while still avoiding the Pattern Day Trade rule.
Before you get started make sure you read our Quick Guide To Day Trading!
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