Regularly investing in stocks is one of the most important life decisions that one can make. From saving for retirement to saving for larger expenses down the road, investing can help make your goals a reality.
But, while “you should invest in stocks” is one of the most given pieces of advice, it comes with several hurdles along the way that can leave people saying, “I’ll figure that to figure out next weekend” for a long time.
The first of such hurdles comes before you can even purchase a stock, and that is choosing the right platform for making your trades.
This is vital for investors as every platform will come with its pros and cons. The first thing you will likely want to know is about fees. Unlike a half-decade ago, Robinhood (HOOD) is now just one of the many feeless platforms out there.
Since fees likely won’t enter into your decision-making process you will likely want to focus on finding one that has an easy-to-use layout, access to ALL of the stocks you want, and plenty of other features, like a well-maintained Learning Center, good support team, access to cryptos, or perhaps that they do regular webinars for their investors.
I’ll skip getting into layout, as that is personal preference, and get right into access. The stocks, and cryptos, that you have access to should be a cornerstone of your decision-making process.
If you are into the high-risk, high-reward lifestyle of penny stock traders, then you’ll want to avoid platforms like SoFi and Robinhood, as neither of those two firms currently allows users to invest in a lot of the so-called "penny stocks" stocks that trade on OTC (over the counter) markets.
If the access is there and the layout meets your expectations, then start checking out for some other features.
Since you are likely just getting started, keep in mind that you are a beginner at this stage. So webinars about advanced investing topics might not be that important to you at this point in time. Still though, you're getting a tool, and you're going to want to know how to use it, so some support in that regard is a good thing to look for. Plus, later on down the road, you might wish you had access to those kinds of things, so don’t let today’s needs limit tomorrow’s ability to get more out of your account. It won’t be impossible to transfer your holdings to another broker, but you probably would prefer to not have to do that.
Now that you know where you want an account, it's time to get signed up, enter your bank information, and start trading.
But, the job’s not done there and the hard part actually begins now.
Finding and picking the right stock is a tall order as time horizon, ethical beliefs, dividend yield, and so much more all go into the decision making. Further, appetite for risk can influence the investor's preference for value or growth stocks, while the strength of the overall economy can have you choosing between cyclical and defensive stocks.
This is why so many investors choose to enlist the help of an additional service to help them make their trades. New tools and perspectives are important for those trying to maximize their returns. InvestorsObservers proprietary Stock and Crypto Ranking system, robust Elite Options Service, and simplified screeners are powerful tools for investors of all experience levels, helping them to compare stocks like never before while Members-Only Workshops and timely news keep you up to date.