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Tips for Finding the Right Online Trading Platform

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To find the right online trading platform you are going to have to ask yourself a lot of questions and do your due diligence as far as research goes. There are a lot of online trading platforms out there to choose from so make sure to compare as many options as possible to find just the right Goldilocks Effect that fits your needs best.

Look at commissions on the investments you will use the most. Look for brokers with a track record of reliability. Pay close attention to account minimums. Keep an eye out for account fees. Analyze the fine print in the pricing and execution. Take into consideration tools, education, and special features.

This article highlights a few things to look out for in making your final decision.

Know Which Financial Instrument You Wish to Trade

Prior to searching for the right broker, make sure you know your investment goals. Know for certain whether you will be trading stocks, forex, CFDs, cryptocurrencies, or options on online trading platforms. Ask yourself if you are hoping to invest in a few individual stocks? Then ask yourself if you are looking for a long-term retirement fund?

Afterward, ask yourself if you are interested in day trading or more advanced investment strategies, such as options? Keep in mind that different online brokers are optimized for different types of clients. Some specialize in long-term buy-and-hold novices.

Other online brokers deal primarily with very active and sophisticated day traders. Know your needs and you are well on your way to finding the right online trading platform.

Ask Yourself the Right Questions Before Moving Forward

Start by asking yourself if you are an active, passive, or novice investor?Do you want to be very involved and hands-on when executing day or swing trades? Is your ultimate goal to leave your current full-time job and become a full-time investor? Do you wish to find a few strong, solid investments that you can hold for a long time and allow to mature with little if any day-to-day interaction?

Determine if you are the type of investor that already knows what they want to do. Perhaps you just need a platform that makes it easy and quick to execute your trades. What kind of securities are you focused on? Will you be trading stocks, ETF’s, mutual funds, options, futures, fixed-income securities, or cryptocurrencies? Will you be involved in margin trading? Will you be doing extended hours trading? Will you be needing automated trading options or access to conditional orders?

Are you looking to establish a retirement fund? Will you be focusing on passive investments that will generate tax-free income in an individual retirement account or a 401(k)? Do you want to experiment and take risks by developing your own portfolio or do you want to hire a broker with a broad range of resources available to him or her that can help you identify opportunities that you would otherwise be unaware of as a novice investor?

Search for Customer Reviews Online and Open a Demo Account

Finding out what current online trading platform customers are saying in their reviews online about the broker. Make sure to search online for consumer reviews of the brokerage, using search words such as customer service, fraud protection, and insurance claim. If several people from different locations are all complaining about the same issues then a red flag warning should go off in your head and you should investigate the online trading platform further before moving forward.

As a trader, it is recommended that you always start with a free demo account. You can easily open a free demo account at find on to practice your trades with virtual money that simulates trading with real money.

Doing this will enable you to try out all the functions of the trading platform before committing to it. This is especially recommended for novice traders who would like to improve their trading skills and strategies prior to plunging into the market for real. Whether you are a pro or rookie trader, opening a demo account is always a good idea so that you can judge for yourself if you can live with the trading conditions or not.

Consider Tools, Training, and Special Features of the Online Trading Platform

If you’re new to investing, you would be well advised to look for a brokerage that offers subscribers free educational resources. Some online trading platforms offer customers easy to follow video tutorials, live webinars, glossaries, comprehensive how-to guides, and more, like an on-call customer support team, a live chat function, or clear, concise instructions on how to use advanced trading strategies like options if that’s what you are into trading.

For investors, without much investment money who wish to build a diversified portfolio, or are looking to set up a dollar-cost averaging strategy they should find an online trading platform that offers fractional shares as a feature. Fractional shares enable investors to purchase stock or ETFs by the dollar amount, rather than by the number of shares. For an extra fee, some online trading platforms also offer their active traders access to additional research and data.

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In the end, you should realize that before choosing an online broker you should consider fees, reliability, and trade execution as factors in making your decision. Stiff competition among all the online trading platforms available nowadays has some of them running special promotions offering increased services to the customer with lower fees to boot, which is nice for the online investor searching for bargains.

Finally, decide whether you are willing to pay higher trade commissions for a state-of-the-art platform or wish to choose a large financial platform to trade on for sake of its’ having big-name recognition. If neither of those options suit your budget or needs, you can always consider going with smaller brokers or less expensive online trading platforms to avoid paying extra for resources and tools you don’t need.

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