To be deemed the ‘Best Stock Broker’, a provider must meet several criteria. Whether you already have trading experience or are at the start of your currency trading journey, choosing a broker is an important process. In our stock broker comparison, we assess key criteria, such as fees, support and trading offers, and explain what to look for when selecting providers. Beside trading conditions and costs, we also take into account the current situations on the market – in order to identify the right stock brokers for you.
The most reputable brokers usually meet a certain standard of quality. To be able to obtain the best chance of success, you must pick a broker that you can trust and that you are comfortable with using. It is the same whether you are a new and inexperienced trader or whether you have many years of trading behind you. When reviewing stock brokers, we look at a variety of different criteria such as customer support, the platform, fees etc, we also take into account the current situation within the market to help you find the best stock trading site.
You can open a stock trading account for free with almost all brokers. However, of course, the brokers will charge for their services in other ways. They charge fees via spreads between price, real-time prices and add-ons to the trading platform. You can also be charged fees via deposits and withdrawals and payments each month.
We also should mention leverage, which is a vital part of trading, especially if you start with a smaller account size. Leverage allows you to hold a more significant position in the market than your account would usually allow. It essentially means you are trading with more money than is in your account. Some stock brokers stagger the leverage on invested capital. Particularly high leverage offers are more appealing for experienced traders. Please be aware that high leverage is not always beneficial.
All best stock brokers now offer a variety of stock trading account types which usually depend on your initial deposit amount. In most cases, these account types range from beginner to a VIP or Platinum account. A lot of the time, depending on which account type you choose, there will be different levels of customer support. Your broker may also differentiate your account type by the amount of volume you are trading. In nearly all cases, you will be able to upgrade your account as long as you meet the defined criteria.
Make sure you ask these questions when assessing different stock broker account types: What services do I get with each account? How do accounts differ? Are there any business offers?
Finding the perfect platform when choosing a broker to trade stocks is vital. It could give you that push over the line from being a successful stock trader to being an unprofitable one.
The best stock trading platforms have an intuitive user interface and allow for ease of operation.
In some instances, you may be able to use a specially developed software for your trading, although most brokers will also allow you to use existing platforms such as Meta Trader 4.
Being able to customise the platform layout is essential in helping you to keep your focus where you need it most. When looking at stock trading platforms, make sure to focus on the technical side. Look at the indicators they have available and trading systems they have on offer. Technical indicators will be critical to your successful strategy trading stocks. The more support the platform provides, the better you can focus on actual trading.
One feature that is prominent now is being able to trade while on the move. So, for this look for a broker that provides an app for smartphones and tablets. Make sure it is well-designed and easy to use. A clear structure with an overview of your current trades is particularly helpful.
When you land on the website, make sure you check that it is available in your language. Most stock brokers will have an English language website, while the majority will also offer an opportunity to select from several other languages. Understanding the details on the website is critical here. You don’t want to get caught out by language that you may not have adequately understood.
Something to look for here and one that will be able to give you an impression on the stock trading brokers as a whole is navigation around the website. Make sure it is easy to use, and you can navigate around it with ease. ‘One-click’ navigation is particularly popular as it allows you to view everything about the broker’s offer immediately.
Make sure they have everything covered, such as contact options, cost models and fees, offers, account types, terms of service, and information about the broker.
If possible browse their FAQ page as well.
Stock trading is never a smooth process, and so there will be problems along the way. These may be platform related or something to do with deposits or withdrawals. So, because of that, when evaluating a provider, we place great value on the contact options and the quality of customer service provided by the broker.
Nearly all top stock brokers nowadays will provide you with a live online chat function where you can reach customer services quickly. There will also be other methods of contacting them, such as via telephone, email, or an online contact form. All means of communication should be free of charge.
The majority of brokers have multilingual customer support teams and should be able to communicate with you in your chosen language. Make sure when speaking with them that you understand all of the details they may have explained to you. In addition to general support, some brokers provide a VIP service. Depending on your account or status, some providers may also provide you with a personal account manager.
When you first open your trading account, you will need to make an initial deposit, and you will also want to know how to withdraw money if needed, so, it is vital to consider the methods of doing so. Almost all reputable stock brokers will offer you the opportunity to deposit money via credit card, bank transfer or online payment methods. Card transactions are still the most popular way of paying money into a trading account, as it is uncomplicated and takes a short amount of time. Bank transfers are very secure, but processing the payments can usually take several days. As mentioned before, many brokers allow deposits via online payment services such as Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, for example. The advantages of these types of transactions are the speed of them.
There can also be fees associated with deposits and withdrawals, so it is essential to research and understand these before proceeding. Some stock brokers will place limits on deposits and withdrawals. So, you will need to be aware of them before making a transaction.
One last point to make here is that there may be a limit on the number of payments you make per month, anything over that limit and you may incur a fee. It is essential to make sure you research all the points above before opening an account to ensure a smooth process.
Some brokers will provide offers when opening up a new stock trading brokerage account. These could be offers on education or training. Make sure that you research the broker’s education and training beforehand to decide on if you should proceed.
It is not only new traders that can benefit from education, webinars, and tutorials, even the more experienced traders will also be able to take advantage of any education and training offered.
Some stock brokers also offer seminars, while others limit themselves to a blog with tips or even a trading academy. Offers such as an economic calendar or market analysis tools are also useful.
Regulation and deposit insurance are important issues, yet, they do not always guarantee you will get a reputable stock trading broker. There is still a risk that you could become victim to brokers not following regulations. However, you can be sure that regulated providers are licensed to offer their services on the market. Financial authorities that are responsible for the broker in that region do their best to conduct regular checks on their activities.
To confirm that a broker is regulated, you can look up the directory of the authority specified on the broker’s website and examine their licensing information. One thing you will need to do is to research the amount of deposit insurance your chosen broker offers. It will be assuring to know that you have protection in the event of bankruptcy, up to a certain amount. If you are worried about stock broker account fraud, there are a few checks that you may want to perform. In a provider comparison, you should make sure that the data transfer is always encrypted. By choosing a secure password, you can also contribute to your data security.
Financial press reports or articles regarding a stock broker that you are assessing can help evaluate their quality and trustworthiness. However, when it comes to forums, these can be less reliable. Like trading, the broker reviews in forums can be subject to many emotions. Traders that have lost a lot of money with that broker may be more inclined to leave negative comments. While someone who has done the opposite, and made a lot of money will write positive feedback that may skip out adverse facts.
Established brokers, with experience or brokers that have received awards such as the ‘Best Stock Trading Platform’ can be often seen in the press. So look out for them and read the information available, if they have received awards on numerous occasions, it will give you positive feedback on the broker.
Magazines and trading websites will subject brokers to a test and give annual titles and awards for stock trading. They will scrutinise platforms, broker support services and security on regular occasions. It is undoubtedly an excellent means of assessing a broker – you can usually find the awards listed on their website.