Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Gotta Pay to Trade

Only you know what is important to you as an investor -- how often you trade, what level of customer service meets your needs. Only you can decide what investments are right for you and how often -- and by what means -- you need to check up on your little darlings.

Online brokerages come in three general flavors:

  • Super-cheap brokers that charge from $4 to $12 per trade. These are best used by those who plan on trading very frequently, but satisfactory for buy-and-hold investors as well.
  • Mid-priced brokers that charge between $12 and $20 per trade. These brokers justify slightly higher prices with more well-known brand names, and possibly additional services.
  • High-priced brokers that charge more than $20 per trade, typically around $29.95 per trade. (They think $30 trades sound too high, so they knock off a nickel -- but we're not fooled.)

As with many things in life, cheaper is not always better. We know you've probably figured that out, but the price per trade at a discount broker may also indicate the level of customer service that comes with it.

Still, pay attention to costs, since all those fees are what can whittle away at your stunning portfolio returns. You can get a good idea of what we find important as far as additional fees are concerned in this comparison chart of our broker sponsors. Beyond the trading commissions, you'll find that brokerages may charge other fees, including:

  • fees for transferring assets into the account
  • fees for closing an account
  • IRA custodian fees
  • wire transfer fees
  • account inactivity fees
  • annual fees
  • fees for not maintaining a minimum balance

Again, know thyself, investor, and you won't end up paying for services you don't need.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 499770, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/24/2016 10:54:32 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,232.03 86.32 0.48%
S&P 500 2,149.64 8.48 0.40%
NASD 5,301.13 43.73 0.83%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes