Thursday, August 04, 2005

Finding A Brokerage Firm

There are many online brokerages but don’t just pick the one with the cheapest commissions. You must read the fine print and see if the services offered are enough to make you happy. Also many advertise dirt cheap commissions requiring you to trade frequently to get a discount on the commission. Some brokerages charge extra for trading more than a 1,000 shares. Check the pricing. Everyone wants the best deal but if you don’t trade often and you trade over $1,000 per transaction then a $7 commission vs. a $10 or $5 commission should not make a difference in which brokerage firm you choose.
I am with Ameritrade Izone ($5 Internet trades) but they don’t have telephone customer service or local offices. I only need the minimum bells and whistles. Some like a little extra.

Below are just a few names to check out and research. Check message boards to see how satisfied people are with each firm.
Also check out Consumer Search Which has links to articles reviewing brokerage firms:

Ameritrade ($10.99 Equity) ($10.99 + $0.75 Per Options Contract)
Ameritrade Izone ($5) ($8 + $1.75)
Brownco ($5 Market/$10 Limit) (10 Contract $20 Market/$25 Limit)
Choicetrade ($5) (99 Cents: $2.97 min.) (Can “test drive” a demo account)
Etrade ($14.99 for <5)
Firsttrade ($6.95) ($6.95+$1.25)
HarrisDirect ($19.95) ($25 + $1.75)
Schwab ($9.95-19.95) (9.95-19.95 + 0.95) **Read Pricing Terms
Scottrade ($7) ($7+1.25)
Sharebuilder ($4 Tuesday Trade***: $15.95 for Real Time Trades)
TD Waterhouse ($17.95) ($17.95+$1.75)


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