Any of the well-known online discount brokerages can usually serve an investor well: TD Ameritrade, Scottrade, Schwab, Fidelity, E-trade, so on. They each will have areas where they outshine their peers. And they'll typically have their own list of transaction free exchange-traded funds and mutual funds. [Disclosure: I use Scottrade as primary custodian for client accounts with my advisory firm but am not affiliated with Scottrade and receive no compensation for endorsement.]
If you are looking to invest in stocks, please make sure that you are very prepared and understand the different types of risk, how to read about a company's financial condition, and how to diversify. If you aren't able to purchase at an absolute minimum 20-25 different individual stocks, you may be taking on excess risk without getting extra return in compensation, and might be better served investing in mutual funds (either regular open-end funds, or exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
If you are going to open an account to purchase individual stocks, make sure you find out if there is a minimum balance fee, and what the commission per trade is. Most of the major online discount brokerages will have a fee schedule on their website or that they can send you.
Please fee free to contact me if I can further assist.
Hi! I want to echo Chris’ and Larry’s advice and add one thought. It’s a good idea to take your own personality - in addition to fees! - into account when choosing a broker and/or financial advisor. If you are someone who routinely goes to big-box, national chain stores for your retail purchases as opposed to someone who shops local at downtown boutiques, the Saturday farmer’s market, or a neighborhood grocery store, you are probably going to prefer a large, nationally known broker over a local independent Registered Investment Advisor firm. Neither choice is wrong and both choices can result in awesome financial relationships, but recognizing your consumer personality before you commit is wise. Best wishes to you and thanks for writing!
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