Things to keep in mind when picking a stock broker

Markets in recent times have been a risky place, but those prudent enough to hire skilled stock brokers have been able to leverage the knowledge of financial professionals to make a killing. With the Dow Jones Index soaring above 20,000 for the first time this year, their gains have been more spectacular than those playing it safe in an index fund.

Want someone who is capable of getting results like that? By hiring stock brokers like Michael Briese, this goal is well within the realm of possibility.

With plenty of experience in finance, he has developed a rational and detached perspective which allows him to remain calm and make sound choices even during the worst stock market corrections.

Want a stock broker with this temperament? Keep in mind the following points when recruiting a stock broker, and you’ll be well on your way to better financial results.


1) Do they have their license?


Job one when hiring a stock broker is to ensure all potential candidates have an acceptable level of professional development backing up their claims.

Look to see if they have a license issued by FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), which is a federal body tasked with policing the conduct of companies in America’s financial industry.

If they managed to save the money required to pay their licensing fees, and they found the time necessary to study for the tests they took to gain their credentials, you can have a greater level of reassurance they will act competently on your behalf.


2) How much guidance do you need?


You might have the inside knowledge required to make wise investment decisions, but others are more than happy to focus on their family and hobbies while leaving complex financial decisions to the professionals.

If you count yourself among the latter, you will be best served by going with a full-service broker, as they have the sufficient level of knowledge needed to make profitable decisions you couldn’t possibly do on your own.

Well-studied in a specific market? You may want to use a discount broker, as you’ll save money on fees charged by full-service brokers.

Don’t be cheap if you lack financial literacy. Using a discount broker to save money may seem frugal to you, but you will end up torching far more cash than you end up saving in fees.


3) Shop around for a broker


Any broker worth their salt will sound like an awesome human being when you meet them for the first time. Of course, their fees are the lowest in town – why would you doubt your new best friend?


Chances are, they are telling you what you want to hear. If you want to hire the best and most cost-efficient professional possible, you need to talk to multiple brokers before committing to one.

When you do this, you’ll find the expertise they have when it comes to investing will vary widely. Expect the same with rates and commissions – this is something you’ll only find out when you talk to multiple providers.

Not only will you get a fuller picture of what’s out there, but you’ll also find that earlier brokers will be suddenly willing to lower what they said was an unbeatable rate.

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