One of the most important decisions you can make when you begin developing a financial portfolio is choosing the right broker to help you invest your money wisely. There are plenty of brokerage services in St. Paul which can make this task seem rather overwhelming. If you’re new to investing, here are some tips to help you find a brokerage service that will help you cultivate wealth and give you financial peace of mind.
Choose a Full-Service Broker
There are plenty of a la carte services available, but working with a full-service brokerage firm will help you get your feet wet. Novice investors lack know-how and confidence. As you begin to understand the market and the best ways to invest your money, you may want to venture out on your own and save a little cash. In the meantime, take advantage of the expertise and knowledge that full-service brokers offer.
Choose a Brokerage Service with a Reputation for Reliability
Start-ups can be found in every industry. While newly formed brokerage firms may offer incredible discounts on their fees to get investors to their sites, their customer service and overall experience may not be well honed. If you’ve never invested a penny in anything beyond a savings account, you need a service that has been in the business a long time and has a reputation for handling their clients’ money with care and precision.
Choose a Broker Who Also Has a Stone and Mortar Location
No one can argue how easily accessible the Internet has made investing. Many investors, novice and pros, rely on the internet to help them make last minute trades and stay up to date on the latest financial trends. While technology is great, you may not always be in front of a computer screen. And, let’s be real for a moment, you can’t talk to a computer screen. Sometimes you need a live person to guide you through the investment process.
Strictly online brokerage services may not be your best bet. Instead, search for a service that offers both ease of technology and personal service. Having an actual go-to broker is invaluable.
Look beyond the Broker’s Commission Rate
Many novice investors choose to invest their money without any professional help because they don’t want to pay commissions. While this is not the best financial strategy, neither is selecting a broker based on his or her fees. Sure, you don’t want to end up spending half the money you earn on fees, but paying less isn’t always going to yield you a high return on your investment either. When considering a broker’s fees, read the fine print carefully. Often lower fees are not included with over-the-phone transactions, options, or limit orders.
Make Sure the Minimum Investment Requirements Fit Your Financial Situation
Sometimes low-fee brokerage services require a hefty minimum investment. The average novice investor rarely has $10,000 or more to invest. In most cases, many individuals want to start off slow, investing less than $500. Do your research to find services that are willing to work with small investment budgets.
Online brokerage services should be accessible by phone at reasonable hours. Ideally, you want to find a firm that has customer service reps available 24 hours day, 7 days a week who are able to answer questions about cash outs, problems with your account, etc. While you may not be able to speak with a broker 24/7, you should be able to have help accessing your account whenever you need it. Following these tips should help you find brokerage services in St. Paul that are reasonably priced and helpful getting you to your financial goals.