Don’t make the mistake of thinking that “discount brokers” are too good to be true – there are some legitimate discount brokerage account offers available on the internet. The reason why the pricing is so low is because they provide traders with the tools and educational resources they need to make the trading decisions themselves. You won’t get an actual broker making decisions for you, rather you get the tools and information you need for making the decisions yourself.
These types of platforms are come in a few different varieties. Some are available as Windows platforms, some as Apple apps, some as Android apps, and some are available across on internet device platforms. If you’re new to investing, stick with a program that is geared towards beginners – especially one that doesn’t charge any inactivity fees. Since you’re starting out and inexperienced, you probably won’t be making purchases or sales every single day, so it would not be fair for you to have to pay any penalty fee for inactivity.
On the other end, you don’t want to get carried away with buying stocks, either. Don’t just read the “picks” and “recommendations” of experts and robo-advisors and think “that does sound like a good deal”. Even if it is a good pick, you’ll still want to do research on the company and that particular stock. For beginners, it’s a good idea to make a few trades in different markets to be versatile, but don’t get too excited about any particular investment.
But then, you might not be a complete beginner. If you’re a more experienced and active trader, it also makes sense to use a discount brokerage account. You might not even need to use as many of the educational tools if you are confident in your knowledge and skill level. Look for a platform that has good reviews by active, high-volume traders.
More Considerations for a Discount Brokerage Account
Another important consideration is customer support. As helpful as the tools, robo-advisors, tutorials, etc. can be, there will still likely be some instances when you require an actual human being to guide you and answer your questions. Choose a platform that has phone support and live chat. Email isn’t enough – unless it is your preferred method of communication. Still, in the event that there is an emergency situation and you need answers and assistance FAST – you should be able to get it.
There are a lot of discount brokerage account programs and platforms to choose from, and Zacks Trade is one of the better ones. It offers numerous browser-based solutions, smartphone apps, tablet apps, and more. The fees are very, very minimal and customer service is great. All Zacks Trade customers get access to their very own “Client Portal” console, which allows for the placement and management of trades, account settings, permissions, access of documents, and more.