Let’s say you have gotten tired of investing in the money market and other low-risk, low-return investment vehicles. With the value of treasury bills crashing, your earnings are not so different from those obtainable from a savings account.
As such, you have decided that it is time to invest in the stock market.
You have your money set and you have your eyes set on a few undervalued stocks; but, how do you really start? If this is you, the one person that is going to help you attain your goals is a stockbroker.
Who is a stockbroker
A stockbroker is a person or firm that acts as a middleman between you and the stock market. Before an individual can identify as a stockbroker, he or she must have the relevant accreditation to facilitate the purchase and sale of stocks in the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Just the same way you carry out relevant research before opting for a bank to put your money in, it is important that you are sure your stockbroker has the required qualification to help you attain your goals.
Broadly, there are three kinds of stockbrokers and they are discount stockbrokers, full-service stockbrokers, and direct access stockbrokers. Here’s what unique about each of them:
3 Main Types of Stockbrokers You Should Know
- Discount stockbrokers
- Full-service stockbrokers
- Direct access stockbrokers
- Discount Stockbrokers
A discount broker is simply a stockbroker who carries out buy and sell orders. These individuals or firms only carry out trades on behalf of their clients. They do not offer financial advice, retirement plans, or other customized services offered by full-service brokers. Their agents do not have as much knowledge as those of full-service brokerage firms and they do not carry out special stock transactions like trading stocks that are not yet on the market. However, they offer low transaction fees per trade and permit zero account balances. What this means is that investors employing the services of discount brokerage firms have to carry out their own research by themselves.
- Full-Service Stockbrokers
If however, you want to enjoy the full extents of having a professional follow you on your investment journey, then a full-service stockbroker is your best bet. Full-service brokers offer specialized services in addition to carrying out trades on behalf of their clients. They are usually highly experienced and have access to up-to-date information on the stock market. Full-service brokers also offer access to deliverables, options, mutual funds, ETFs, as well as portfolio management. They help you stay on top of investment or financial news, analyze the stock market in detail, find profitable investment opportunities based on your investment objectives and risk threshold, evaluate financial reports, manage your investment portfolio to ensure the right mix of investments across industries, and offer accurate advice to aid your decision-making process.
In essence, full-service brokers offer a holistic experience of investing in financial markets and is best suited for investors who do not have the knowledge or the time to keep track of the stock market and who have sufficient funds.
- Direct Access Stockbrokers
The final kind of stockbrokers is those that were born out of the technology era. A direct access stockbroker is regarded as a specialized brokerage that allows investors or traders to place their buy or sell orders on an advanced trading platform. These platforms optimize speed and are primarily used by traders who want to capitalize on market movements. When using a trading platform, be sure to use one that is constantly upgraded so you can process transactions fast and access all investing information required on a real-time basis.
Investing in the stock market does not happen in isolation. The sooner you find the best stock broker or stockbroking firm for your investment needs, the sooner you can start making the most out of the vast opportunities available in the stock market.