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Stock Trading Services – What to Look From an Online Discount Broker

Posted by Scarlett Dean

Picking out an IG Review online discount broker may seem like a very easy task. Look for the broker with the lowest commission prices and sign up for an account. But what stock trading services does this broker offer? Are there extra fees to have services added? Before opening up an account with an online broker, you need to make sure that they offer the services that you need.

While there are a ton of different stock trading services offered today by discount brokers, there are a few that you probably want to consider looking into. Below is a list of some of the more common services offered by various online discount brokers.

Test Trading Strategies
Does your discount broker offer any stock trading strategies that will test various simulations? This can be a very effective learning tool, especially for the novice investor. Several brokers will offer FREE stock trading services that will simulate various transactions.

When opening up an online account, verify the broker offers some type of simulation product. If you do not have a mentor to work with, then simulating different trade options is the next best thing and will save you a lot of money in the end.

Stock Watch Lists
Many brokers will offer a stock trading service that tracks the movements of securities on a predefined list. You simply log into your account, create a list of stocks to watch, set the criteria you are looking for and wait for notifications.

Most of the time your broker will send out an automated email signaling a stock has hit a certain threshold that you have set. For example, if you were interested in buying stock XYZ under $15, a service like this would sent out a communication that the share price has dropped below your threshold.

International Stock Trading
Are you planning to build a diversified global portfolio that includes international stocks? If you are, then you need to confirm that your online broker offers this type of stock trading service.

An alternative to purchasing international stocks directly is to invest in ETFs (exchange traded funds) or mutual funds that specialize in foreign securities. If this is something your interested, check out what types of services are offered from your online discount broker in this area.

Dividend Reinvestment
Do you invest in dividend paying stocks? If you are a high yield investor, then you probably should make sure that your broker offers dividend reinvestment stock trading services. A trader can identify where they would like dividends to be invested in with these types of services. The most popular option is to reinvest the dividend distributions directly back into additional shares of the stock.

Trade Stock Options
An advanced trading strategy, option stock trading services are another consideration when choosing your online discount broker. If you ever think you may want to explore the world of options trading, make sure your broker offers these types of services. Typically a broker will make you submit a special application to allow you buy and sell stock options.

Final Thoughts
As you can tell from the list above, there are plenty of stock trading services that can be offered by a stockbroker. Most of these services are FREE to an account holder, but may not always be available through every broker. An important part of learning the stock trading basics is to pick out the online broker that is the right fit for your trading needs.