Investing Advice

How much money do you need to open a brokerage account?

Although most traditional full-service brokerage houses such as Merrill Lynch, Dean Witter, and Paine-Webber, and giant "discount" brokers such as Fidelity and Charles Schwab require a $2,000 ($1,000 for IRA's) opening balance, I have located 10 brokers who will establish your account with no money - $0.00! This can be a standard interest-earning trading account or any kind of IRA.
Muriel Siebert
Bank One
CSFB Direct
Financial Cafe
First Trade
Harris Investors
My Discount Broker
National Discount Broker
Quick & Reilly
Web Street

Go on-line and check out their trading fees, services, and available research. When I last looked, M. Seibert's (800-stock-11) standard fee for an on-line trade was only $14.95, while Quick & Reilly's (800-634-6214) was $19.95, CSFB Direct's was $20.00 and Charles Schwab was an uncompetitive $29.95 plus a mysterious $3.00 fee.

The lowest prices offered by on-line brokers are $5.00 and up by ScotTrade, Datek, E*Trade, Ameritrade, and Brown & Co., which all set various minimum account balances. All of these on-line brokers have good research tools.

Other discount brokers include Fidelity (800-343-3548) and Vanguard brokerage (800-992-8327)

Not everyone should choose a discount broker. To get personalized service and someone to bounce ideas off, many investors feel that the $39 to $50 fee charged per trade by a full-service company of is a bargain.

Full service brokers will sit down with you to discuss your portfolio, and many have years of experience successfully advising their clients. The full-service broker also has every conceivable research tool available.

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Other Stock Market Basics Topics:

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  16. How much money do you need to open a brokerage account?
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  20. How much money do you need to open a brokerage account?

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