Invest Wisely

How to Choose the Best Online Trading Platform

by Megan Roth5 min read

When it comes to trading, there are a number of elements you must have in order to be successful. Obviously, you have to learn the market. You also have to learn as much as possible about your particular type of investing. However, it’s important that you give your platform its due as well. Without the right one, you’ll never reach your potential.

Picking the right one starts with understanding what it’s going to cost you. Upfront fees are one thing, but understand that you’ll probably also be paying commissions too. Will you be penalized if your account drops below a certain number? That’s also something to think about.

Once you have a list of platforms you can afford, it’s time to actually look at them in detail. All platforms are different, meaning some will provide you with nothing more than a way to find stocks and put in an order. For those who are new, a bit more “handholding” is prudent. Otherwise, you’re liable to lose a lot of money.

Take time to look into the reputation of a platform too. The longer a company has been around, the better. Even if you find a couple things that aren’t ideal or find a poor review or two, if a platform has made it many years in this business, there’s a reason why. Traders are very choosy about the platforms they use, so no lasting power is a product of luck. While a newer company may turn out to be a solid platform, it’s usually difficult to make that call if there isn’t a history to research (much like a stock).