How Would u decide the best Broker for you

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by abbydabby, Jun 17, 2001.

  1. abbydabby


    I would like to say in dealing with some of the brokers in the past that it is very difficult to determine which is the best online broker that it will fits your needs.
    I tried several brokers in the past and kept some and closed some few accounts not to mention.
    some of the broker that I had used including" American expree,E trade,The financial Cafe', Scottrade, Interactive brokers, Trade scape, Tradeportal, TDwaterhouse,, to mention some.
    as I mention in the criteria in the post before there is some criteria that are suitable for some investers and not suitable for other.
    for example.
    1- Good records: I would say most online brokers that I had used keep good online records,In addtition to web based deplicate copies of ur statement so u can get them if ur original got lost, but some like interactive bokers " doesn't mail you any statement in order to reduce cost" another example Tradescape have generic online records doesn not duplicate your original statements.
    some brokers will charge you up to $2 per page to send a copy of statement.
    2- Fewer fees: I have noticed that some brokers uses clients account as an oppotunity to milk out every penny of your accout to the last drop.
    for example A-maintenance fee: broker love to charge you up to $ 15 to $20 a qt as maintenance fees unless u find out before u open an account.
    B- Account acceptance fees: I was suprised when The financial cafe' chrged me $25 account acceptance fees on my IRA. 'becaause I did't read the fees shecdule prior to opening an account'.
    C- DTC charge; some of them didn't charge any fees to DTC some stocks other might charge up to $20 a position
    DTC is an electronic overnight transferre of stock to another broker.
    and there is other fees like closing account fees . application fees and others.
    3- Lower comissions: I have read an article in the past that brokers cost to excute ur trade is about 1c, and other brokers make profit on ur trades by routing order flow to the ECN of their choice"in return to compensation by the ECN to the broker"
    some broker Like the financail cafe' will offer FREE market orders other like Interactive brokers cost you $1 per 100 shares,RJT $5, Scotrade $7 "Market" $12 "limit, or 9.99 on Datek"Datek Rebat to you some of your order flow for market orders"

    4- Free Nasdaq Level II software:
    some of the software I tried was Tradescape, Trdaportal, and onsite "I didn't see the free offer on onsite web site any more" other might charge you from $100-$300 a month for software. Datek claim that they only pass the nasdaq fees to you for Level II feeds.

    5- Glitch free software: I tried some the free software
    Onsite trading: nice sfotware fewer crashes, need lot of RAM spped to run lot of Data, for excamplle if u need to run 160 quote, 10 charts and other Info on the computer it might crash,the software run best with fewer applications.
    Trade portal: good software, limited # of chart 5 Max, I was able to run five charts,five levelII and five price tickers with no problem, but the software logs me out every 30 minute. I contacted cutomer support and they said it is my hardware" even though I didnt have the same problems with other softwares like " interactive brokers, RJT,and ABwatley"
    Trade scape: nice sofware, no market minder, one chart, one levelII, I like the ticker chaser" it alerts u to any unusual activities the market.
    Interactive broker: I had trouble to start the new TWS4, no log out, level one only low comissions.
    Abwatley: Loved their free Real tick III, Had to close my account when they started charging me $50 a month for the new software.

    6- friendly cutomer service:
    so far I haven't found a good cutomer cutomer sevice. ' you will be on hold forever, or they brush you off, or somtimes they don't know whats going on"can't answer your questons".

    7-Good reports:
    I have noticed an increasing trend of online brokers who E mail you the report in order to reduce costs. I still like it mailed to me if it all possible .

    8-fast excutions: I would say most of them if not all have problem excuting your order in heavy market conditions. and forget about calling them because the phone will be busy during that time.
    So I would like to say it doesn't matter if you pay 1c or $25 for comisions your order will be excuted in about the same speed " all they can do for you is to pass your order to the market maker and they will take care of the rest.

    8- choice of ECN:it will be nice to have choice to buy and sell or scalp on level II if u have choice of ECN routing.

    I would like to mention that broker offeres differnt range of services,and it depend on your trading habits, If you do 10 trades a day and do 1000 shares round trip it will be better for you to pay $17 in comissions and have fancy software like E signal for free, Down from that trading couple times a day with 100 shares a pop," better to use lower comissions like RJT,scottrade,interactivebrokes, in order to reduce cost.
    or if you like to dollar cost average and buy 50 shares at the time and keep them may be you better off with free market order or $1 per 100 shares comissions.

    Good luck for you all

  2. abbydabby


    Also I forgot to mention
    funding an account: some broker will clear your deposite as soon as they receive your fund, other make you wait from five days "tradeportal" to 10 days "interactive brokers"from the day they recieve the check "so it adds up to 15 days to 20 days"very bad
    also some brokers like interactive brokers WILL close your account if you don't fund it within 30 days.
    I like to use the nasdaq level II for free in tradeportal and take adcantage of the low comission in interactivebrokers,RJT and fininacial cafe'
    also Iike the feature of free check writing like the one offered by Datek"convenient for fast withdaw".
    good luck
  3. fast


    Found your post very interesting because I am just beginning to consider changing to a direct access broker. Never would have thought about some of the things you mentioned. Selecting a broker seems like a complex process. Thanks for you list.