Part of a solid financial plan is to make sure you build your savings. Many choose to put their money in their local bank or credit union. But to save for the future and to stay ahead of inflation, many turn to investments as an answer. If you have never invested before, here are some steps on finding and opening your first brokerage account.
First, a brokerage account is a place where you can hold assets like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc. These assets have the potential to earn a lot more than money deposited in an ordinary savings account. These accounts by nature carry with them some risk, which is why they are a better option for long-term savings.
An online broker can assist you buying and selling securities, and can do so efficiently and often times at a bargain. But before you choose a broker, there are several things you want to examine to find the best fit for you:
- Commissions – The amount the broker charge for the buying and selling of securities
- Account Fees – Charges that can be incurred for things such as inactivity and opening or closing an account
- Support – The intangibles the broker offers, such as quick response to questions, research offered to customers, etc.
- Account Minimums – The amount you need to start investing with the broker
While there is no perfect broker, there generally is one that is the best fit for you and your situation. Do your own research, and don’t hesitate to contact your financial professional with all investment-related questions.