A Fool reader recently asked, "I want to open a brokerage account, but the firms I called require between $1,000 and $5,000 up-front, just to open an account. What can I do if I don't have that kind of cash?"
Fortunately, many brokerages don't have minimums. Others have small ones, like $500. Also, minimums vary for different kinds of accounts. For an IRA account, for example, minimums tend to be considerably less (sometimes half as much or even less than that). Also, some brokerages may waive minimums or have very low amounts if you sign up to have funds automatically deposited regularly into your account. Take a little time to do some shopping around, because you might find a good deal.
To learn more about brokerages and possibly find a better brokerage for yourself, check out our Broker Center. (Did you know that some well-regarded brokerages are offering commissions as low as $5?) Some of the brokerages there feature no minimums.