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How To Choose The Best Full Service Stock Brokerage Firm

By Jason Markum

I used to love hunting down stock market investments. Finding “gems” was something that I just loved to do. It’s not easy finding a stock to invest in that will go up in value over time…and I soon found that out the hard way! Almost all of my investments have failed in some way or another over the years.

I finally decided that I needed to stop doing my own stock research and get myself a good full service stock brokerage company to help point me in the right direction. The fact of the matter is that most ordinary people are not good at making investment decisions, especially decisions about the stock market. We simply don’t have the necessary training needed to make a good run at stock market investing!

One option that an ordinary investor has is to hire a professional investment adviser The problem is, professional investment advisers usually won’t take on a new client unless they have at least $200,000 to invest; and that’s a minimum amount. Most of the time you won’t be taken seriously unless you have at least $1 million or more.

I don’t about you but I don’t have $1 million or more, so for me the best route is to hire a full-service brokerage firm. I find that most people don’t know what one of these companies are or what you can expect to get as far service goes so I thought I’d write a little article today to explain how to choose a good full-service stockbroker.

Here are a few basic questions that you can ask your stockbroker in order to determine just how well you will work with them and how good they are at their job.

First ask them how long they’ve been a stockbroker. As far as Wall Street goes, experience matters and the longer your stockbroker has been in the industry, the better off you are. Try to stay away from stockbrokers that are fairly new to their job and by that I mean have only worked for less than five years in the industry.

Next ask them how long they have worked for the specific firm. Stockbrokers that hop from firm to firm are a clear indicator that they may not be as professional as you want them to be. Good stockbrokers stay at firms because the firms pay to keep them. On the other hand, bad stockbrokers quickly get the boot.

Next ask them what types of clients they have. Are they the same income level as you, and do they have the same general amount of money to invest as you? This is important because you want to deal with a stockbroker that works at your level. If they’re focused on people with much more money, then your account may tend to get swept under the mat.

Next ask them if they specialize in any one area. Some stockbrokers focused only on growth stocks while others focus only on income related stocks and finally some focus on small cap stocks or emerging markets stocks. Knowing which area of focus your stockbroker is interested in can be very important.

Finally ask them what their attitude is towards risk. The stock market is all about risk and if you have a stockbroker that takes on too much risk for your appetite to handle, you may want to look elsewhere. On the other hand a stockbroker that doesn’t take enough risks may be equally dangerous.

So there you have several ways to determine how to pick a good full-service stockbroker.

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