In this article I am going to talk about a simple framework for people who do not want to get confused about enormous amount of information available on the internet about different brokerage firms and ever growing advertising efforts by all such firms. If you are just starting out to invest and are not really interested to spend days and days researching, continue reading and you will have a brokerage firm which you can just trust and concentrate on most important part which is actual trading J
Independent rankings for Brokerage Firms for Novice Investors
Let me start this discussion with a very simple question. What do you do when you see E*TRADE ad on TV while watching your favorite movie at night? Is that enough for you that make you feel comfortable opening an account with E*TRADE? The answer is a big No. All the firms are going to tell you that they are the best. But in order to really make a good decision, you have to compare the offers from different brokerage firms and do a little thinking and figure out what kind of brokerage firm you are looking for.
Analysts at CompareBroker have been researching about user experiences of lot of brokerage firms over the last year to come with a simple decision framework for novice or aspiring investors to pick the firm that is right for them. I am going to provide VERY basic and straightforward decision process for you.
We have basically chosen three categories to rate brokerage firms
Trading commissions and fees
The winning brokerage firm in this category is Options House with its ultra low rate of $2.95 a trade. The biggest loser in this category is E-trade with rates as high as $19.95 per trade on some trades and online activity. But mind you, E*TRADE is really good for high volume traders because of their speed and advance trading tools. If you are just starting out and looking for a cheap broker, I would say just go ahead and open an account with Options House.
Investment products and mutual funds
There is a two way tie between Options Xpress and E*TRADE for the winning brokerage firm. Both of them are known in the market for large numbers of offers available. The loser is definitely TradeKing in this case because of lower flexibility in investment options
Tradeking is a clear winner in this case. It has received Barron best brokerage firm in terms of customer service for last 3 years in row. The worst in this category is Zecco for large number of system issues in 2009.
These are just recommendation of the analysis done by analyst at our firm. We think you should make a decision based on your requirements of which brokerage firm to pick.
Refer your friends to OptionsHouse and get your choice of $150 or 30 commission-free trades.