I'm starting out, and among all the mistakes I will invariably make, starting out with the wrong online broker is one I would rather avoid. I've been reading and following the market for over 2 years now, and have lurked on the message boards such as this one to learn as much as possible before jumping in the deep end. As this seems to me like one of the more sane and civil sites around, (that's the azz-kissin part) I've come here. I've noticed that threads that read, "I'm new. What broker should I go with?" generally go ignored. Here's my basic stats and needs. Any help you folks can offer will be appreciated. I wish you all obscene wealth. 1. Beginner, would like to practice with the setup using "paper trades". 2. Need simplicity. I'm not really a TA guy, I'm more news and fundementals. Decent historical and real time charts along with Level 2 and some news are fine. Would like to see the bids and orders stacked up. Free would be nice. Simple order entry needed. 3. Good interest on cash holdings and a decent margin rate and ratio would be great, but for right now at least, I would be very hesitant to use any margin. 4. A broker that can withold state and federal tax. 5. Secure within reason. Have a decent track record. 6. I will probably withdraw funds at least and usually once per month. I usually plan ahead far enough to where "instant" transfers won't be an issue. Checks would be fine. 7. I like small caps a lot, so orders over 2K shares will be the norm. 8. This is a wild guess, but I think I might make 20-30 trades a month. I can sit with my trades. My "style" will likely be short term, swing-type trades. I will RARELY "scalp" a trade. 9. I'm starting with about $15K. 10. I'm starting out only trading stocks. Options are farther out on the learning curve for now. 11. I'm transfering an old ESPP to the new broker. Any suggestions on how to make that smooth or work to my benefit? Hope that's enough and pertinent info. Thanks in advance for any help you all might lend me.