How To Open An Online Brokerage Account

How To Open An Online Brokerage Account

Online trading and investing in the right stocks in today’s world starts from an online brokerage account. This account helps traders choose the right kind of trade for their investments, provides access to different research tools, and helps them make an informed decision regarding their trade. If you are an aspiring investor or trader looking to open an online brokerage account, here is a complete guide to getting you started.

Choosing the right brokerage account

One of the primary factors to consider while choosing a brokerage account is your investment style – are you willing to monitor the regular movements in the market or set it and forget it?

Most investors who learn to trade hold ETFs, stocks, and mutual funds. Different self-directed online brokerage platforms provide the necessary tools and data for this investment. Other platforms allow you to invest fixed income and build a trading portfolio. You can also take the help of a robo advisor to get you started on choosing the right brokerage account.

Features and associated costs

brokerage platform

There is always a standard commission taken by a brokerage platform whenever a trader places even a small trade. However, after much discussion by almost all online brokerage platforms worldwide, equity trading fees were cut to zero after 2019. This means traders are now paying per-contract commissions ranging from $0.10 to $0.65 per contract. Most of these hidden fees increase also based on the features they offer. Suppose you are already paying the hidden fees and commission. In that case, you might look for brokerage sites that offer clear commission and pricing structures, along with tools and research materials necessary for trading.

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The application process

Once you shortlist an online broker based on your needs, you must set up an account.

Irrespective of the firm or type of trading, you should provide personal information like DB, name, security number, address, and other information to open an account. Most brokerage firms request this information to prevent malicious activities and money laundering. If you are uncomfortable in providing such information online, you can always take a printout and mail it to the person responsible.

Funding and investing

Before you begin to trade from your new brokerage account, you have to put cash into your account by linking it to your bank or providing debit or credit card details. Recently, some brokerage sites have also started introducing the option for cryptocurrency. When you link your account to the platform, there will be a deduction every month, using which you can fund your trades online. It is best to consider crypto options if you are skeptical of providing your bank details on the internet.

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