Stocks & Commodities V. 23:8 (84-89): Traders’ Resource: Brokerages by Technical Analysis, Inc.
Self-directed traders, as STOCKS & COMMODITIES
readers usually are, have more choices than ever in
their ongoing search for speed, pricing efficiency, and
good accounting when it comes to brokerages. First,
you have to find a brokerage that handles your tradable;
full-service brokerages dealing with equities, options, futures, bonds, mutual funds, foreign exchange, and cash goods are usually full-priced as well. A little scouting, however, will get you a brokerage targeted on your market of interest.
After that, your first question these days might be, “How fast can I execute an order?” Look for whether the brokerage offers direct access to automated exchange trading systems, market makers, and electronic
communications networks (ECNs). If not, check to see if there is at least the capability of placing orders online through the Internet. Absent that, you’re relegated to old-fashioned phone calls.
With the presence of freely available company information over the Internet, retail brokerage research is less valuable than it ever has been. Nevertheless, if you’re in less intensively studied but highly commercial
markets such as futures, a brokerage’s ability to provide market statistics, hedging activity reports, and other commercial information may be critical to your trading and investing decisions.
Finally, don’t forget the security of your money. Inquire about a brokerage’s clearing operations, and if you’re in equities, about Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC) coverage.
Only highlights of product information are given here. For more complete information, see the Traders’ Resource area at our website, www.Traders.com.