Tips for Researching Stock Broker Firms

Working with stock broker firms is a necessity to gain access to the stock market. When you are going to work with a broker, you want to make sure that you find the best one for you. Here are a few tips on how to research stock broker firms.

BrokerCheck

BrokerCheck is a service offered by FINRA. FINRA stands for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. This is an organization that acts as a regulatory agency for the stock market. They offer BrokerCheck as a way to investigate any broker that is authorized to trade stocks in the United States. If you are working with a legitimate broker, you should be able to find some information about him or her on BrokerCheck. You can find out information about individual brokers and about entire brokerage firms. They are going to provide you with a background report about each broker that you are inquiring about. The background report is also going to include detailed information that explains everything that you need to know about a broker. With this information, you should be able to get useful information about any broker that you want.

Interview

Before you choose a broker, you are going to want to interview several of them. Narrow your search down to two or three candidates. Once you have done this, you need to set up a time that you can meet with each broker. Ask the brokers detailed questions about their businesses and about what they can offer you. For example, you may want to ask them about their commission structures. Commissions are one aspect that you are going to want to make sure that you compare from one broker to the next. Some of them are going to have small fixed commissions. Others are going to charge you a certain percentage for each trade that you make. All of them are going to charge different amounts, and you need to make sure that you understand how their commissions work.

Broker Ratings

When you are researching stock broker firms, you are going to want to be sure to look at some of the many online reviews available. There are many websites out there that will allow you to provide a rating to brokers that you have worked with. Many customers will rate their brokers and leave comments about them as well. You will be able to access these websites and find out what other customers have to say about the brokers that you are checking out.

Central Registration Depository

The Central Registration Depository is a database that you can access that has detailed information about all brokers. You will be able to find out information about whether they are licensed in the states in which they do business. You will also be able to see if they have at any problems with regulatory agencies or any of the state governments.

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