If you are relatively new to the stock market, you may already be aware there aren’t many definitive road signs or absolute tips to get you started off in the right direction.
Consequently, newbie investors tend to find themselves in over their head at the beginning of their stock market “adventure,” and may even be scared away by some of the terminology and contradictory recommendations tossed their way from the news, friends, family, and work associates.
Get Some Help
Because it can be challenging to break into the world of stock trading (not necessarily financially, but emotionally), working with a stockbroker or financial advisor can be one of the wisest decisions that you make – particularly in the beginning. A qualified (licensed), professional broker has the experience to patiently communicate the investment “language” and help you make informed decisions.
The Right Broker
While looking for the best stockbroker to help you on your way, there are some preliminary considerations you’ll need to take into account.
Among the most important when choosing a broker is his/her history, how long the individual has been in business, education (and at what college), and specific degrees and certifications.
When you are interviewing potential brokers, ask questions regarding how much time he/she sets aside for clients, how much of a retainer is required, what are the commission rates, and whether this person will be available via the phone, email, or instant messaging when needed.
Chances are you can gain a very good idea of the individual’s communication style before you become a customer. Anyone who, for example, dodges your calls and emails prior to having their hands on your money will almost surely do the same after your money’s in their hands.
Family and Friends
If you don’t know where to begin your search, knowledgeable family members and friends can be great resources. (The notion of “knowledgeable” should include your assessment of that person’s own investment success over a period of years – not just theoretical knowledge from watching headline news.)
In many cases, these individuals can offer recommendations and even answer many of your questions regarding commissions, fees and personal attention before you contact any financial advisor they may recommend.
Perhaps one of the most important things you should look for in a financial advisor is someone you feel comfortable talking to – especially considering that this person is going to have control over a large portion of your cash.
If you don’t feel comfortable with someone – if something about the person just doesn’t seem right, regardless of their qualifications – you should go to someone else for guidance. Often your “gut reaction” is correct.
The fact is that finding the right (i.e. honest, knowledgeable, reliable, available, successful) financial advisor or stockbroker to handle your cash can be a huge weight off your shoulders – and very lucrative to boot.