Should You Get a New Brokerage Account Before the End of the Year?

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KEY POINTS

  • Your brokerage account should be easy to use and come with minimal fees.
  • If navigating the platform is difficult and you're being charged inordinate fees, consider switching.
  • It's a good idea to start off 2023 with a new brokerage account if it's time to switch.


It could end up being a good idea.

Investing in a brokerage account is a great way to grow long-term wealth. You can invest funds you don't need right away and, ideally, build yourself a solid nest egg for the future.

But it's important to house your investments in the right account. And if you're not happy with your brokerage account, it may be time to make a switch so you can kick off 2023 with an account that works better for you. If you're not sure whether it's time for a change, ask yourself these key questions.

1. Am I being charged a lot of fees?

Just as it's a good idea to find a checking account with minimal fees, so too is it a good idea to limit the fees you're paying in your brokerage account. Many brokerages these days have waived fees on individual stock trades. And a lot of brokerage accounts no longer impose fees for inactivity. If your brokerage is still charging you left and right, it may be time to make a change.

2. Is the platform easy to use?

Deciding which stocks to buy or sell can be tricky. But executing those trades once you've come to a decision shouldn't be. If you're still having trouble navigating your brokerage account's interface, or you find it to be the opposite of user-friendly, then it could be a good time to move over to an account that isn't a hassle to work with.

3. Can I buy all of the assets I'm interested in owning?

Some brokerage accounts allow investors to load up on cryptocurrency. If that's an asset you're interested in owning, and you want all of your assets in the same place, then it pays to find a brokerage that allows for it. If yours doesn't, you may want to get a new one.

4. Can I invest on a fractional basis?

You'll often hear that it's important to maintain a diversified portfolio. And fractional investing can help make that possible.

When you buy fractional shares of stock, you're buying a portion of a share rather than a full share. So, say there's a company you want to own whose shares are trading for $500 a pop. If you only have $250 to invest with, you may have the option to purchase one-half of a share -- that is, if your brokerage account offers fractional investing.

Many brokerage accounts these days do, in fact, make this option available to investors. If yours doesn't, it's a sign that it's behind the times -- and that you should strongly consider a change in the near term.

Investing should be something that's seamless for you, and it shouldn't cost you a ton of money in fees. If your brokerage account has been letting you down in either regard, then it could pay to swap it for a new one in the next few weeks. That way, you can start off the new year with a new account -- and an easier means of investing and growing your wealth.

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