V.18:7 (94-97,104-105):Traders' Resource: Brokerages

V.18:7 (94-97,104-105):Traders' Resource: Brokerages
Item# \V18\C07\067RES.PDF
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Hardly anything has changed as much in the last year as the world of brokerages has. No longer is the best choice necessarily your buddy downtown, especially if you make your own decisions about where to put your money. 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.

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 first-generation electronic trading capability of E-mailing instructions to a central desk. Absent that, you’re relegated to oldfashioned phone calls.

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