Carnival of Personal Finance #146 – Online Broker Tips Edition

Welcome to the 146th Carnival of Personal Finance, Online Broker Tips Edition.

Being an investment blog I figured my theme should focus around trading in the stock market. Thus, this week I decided to provide 12 tips for helping you choose an online stock broker.

Editor’s Choice

1. Find Out Any Account Minimums. Every broker is different, and it is always good to know this information. For example, sometimes if you do not deposit enough funds then you are subject to higher fees and the like.

** Kyle from Amateur Asset Allocator presents Determine Your Risk Tolerance, and says, “Determining your risk tolerance is a vital step in devising your investment plan. Without a good idea of your willingness and ability to take risk, you may end up investing inappropriately and ultimately failing to meet your goals.” Editor’s Opinion: A very good read for any investor.

** Silicon Valley Blogger from The Digerati Life presents Don’t Get Scammed! Reduce The Risk of Identity Theft. Editor’s Opinion: I enjoyed this post as it was very detailed and explanatory. Anyone can benefit from this information.

** Faron Benoit from Financial Learn presents Ten Things Women Wish Men Knew About Money. Editor’s Opinion: This is more humorous to me, but perhaps some men will get some good advice out of this. Faron are you trying to give “hints” to your current or past significant others?! I feel your pain Faron, you must suffer.

** Finance Girl from Finance Gets Personal presents Debt as a Symptom of Sexual Addiction. Editor’s Opinion: Conspiracy theory? You decide.

** PT from Prime Time Money presents 5 Crazy Tax Write-Offs. Editor’s Opinion: The title says it all.


2. Look at Trade Commissions Carefully. Read the size 5 font at the bottom of the page, because typically there is a catch. Unless you see “flat rate commissions” you may think you are paying $3, but in reality it could be much more.

Frank Vertin from No Load Index Mutual Funds presents Buy an S&P 500 Index Fund with Low Costs, and says, “Most index funds do not really serve the financial interests of long-term, passive, buy-and-hold investors. Unnecessarily high index fund costs are the main culprit.”

Dividends4Life from Dividends4Life presents You Can’t Spend Earnings, and says, “You can’t spend earnings. At first glance, this probably seems like an odd statement, possibly even incorrect. However, it is not only correct, but an important investing axiom for any type of investor.”

Richard Rothschild from Best No Load Funds presents The Best Mutual Funds Have NO Sales Loads and NO 12b-1 Fees, and says, “Sales loads and other 12b1 fees just pay financial advisors to recommend more expensive mutual
funds and ETFs. There is no good evidence that investment sales loads and other 12b-1 sales fees charged to investors result in higher mutual fund and ETF performance. In fact, the opposite has repeatedly been shown to be true.”

Praveen from My Simple Trading System presents Bought Visa (V) This Morning, Part 2.

T Struck from Daily Money Tips presents How My Investment Strategy Has Changed Over 12 Years, and says, “I share how my investment strategy has progressed over the last 12 years. I also share my investment performance.”

Jon from The Money Mythos presents The blindfold and the buy and hold: Why market timing should not be dismissed.

FFB from Free From Broke presents Gates No Longer Richest and Why You Can’t Keep All Your Eggs in One Basket, and says, “Don’t keep all your investing eggs in one basket. You don’t know what market forces could reduce your investments.”

Dan from Everyday Finance presents Is Investing Like Gambling? A Rudimentary Question That Requires Further Inspection, and says, “Is Investing Like Gambling? The answer is more involved than it would seem…”

Ryan Suenaga from Uncommon Cents presents Stick to the Plan!, and says, “If you have an investing plan, stick to it!”

The Dividend Guy from The Dividend Guy presents Pension Fund Asset Allocations You Can Use, and says, “If you are researching what your portfolio’s asset allocation should be, a good place to start is by looking at the asset allocations of the large pension plans. These funds strive to set the right balance between risk and reward.”

Bob from Christian Finances presents The secret they don’t want you to know, and says, “The secret mutual fund companies and your broker don’t want you to know.”

Millionaire Mommy Next Door from Millionaire Mommy Next Door presents How I Make Money Following the Herd: The Trend is My Friend, and says, “Momentum investing is different than buy-and-hold because it exploits investor herding behavior. As a previous shepherd, I intuitively understand this concept. Rather than buy-and-hold the total market through all of its peaks and valleys, I baa-baa-baa my way to the bank.”

nickel from FiveCentNickel presents How to Manage Your Asset Allocation With Multiple Accounts.

Kacper from presents Trend is your friend..

GBlogger from Can I Get Rich On A Salary presents Home Builder and Financial Stocks, Take Two, and says, “With several different sources suggesting home builder and financial stocks are on the rebound, is it time to buy?”

Madison DuPaix from MSN Smart Spending presents Grow your investments one snowflake at a time, and says, “Guest post at MSN Smart Spending.”

Bob McDonald from The Platinum Years Network presents An Alternative Investment You Should Know About, and says, “How do you profit when the market or any sector of the market is going down? Check out this article on UltraShort Funds!”


3. Consider Customer Service. Look at their prior recognitions. Bad customer service doesn’t help anyone long term.

tehnyit from Cheap as chips presents superannuation revisited, and says, “A reevaluation of my retirement savings that is triggered by the recent downturn in the stock markets.”

FrugalTrader from Million Dollar Journey presents Saving Strategy: Avoid Upgrading your Housing, and says, “A discussion of how upgrading your housing can be more expensive than you think.”

Foxie from Dreaming of Ferraris presents Personal Benefits of Saving, and says, “This is my reflection of a quote about saving money that talks about the personal attributes learned in the process of saving money.”

Matt from One Million and Beyond presents The Cost of Holiday Travel.

financialgal from presents Money-saving tips for new parents, and says, “Useful money-saving tips for newborn parents who are furnishing a nursery or stocking up on diapers.”


4. Research Their Trade Tools. A GOOD broker will offer outstanding trade tools for FREE with your account. If you have to pay $30 a month to get access to something another broker offers for free you are obviously not getting the best deal available.

bluntmoney from Blunt Money presents The high cost of inertia.

Seb from Pinching Copper presents Are you prepared for the recession?, and says, “With rising inflation and growing uncertainty in the job market, how can you prepare yourself if you or your spouse join the ranks of the unemployed?”

Rick from Increase Revenue, Decrease Cost presents Budgeting 101: Budgeting Theory, and says, “An appropriate budgeting model has the individual determining his/her required savings allocation, and subtracting that savings allocation from total income to build a base budget.”

Dawn from Frugal for Life presents Future Social Security Estimates, and says, “round my birthday each year I get my social security estimate for the future, it looks good but it is DEFINITELY not something I want to count on.”

Ryan Taylor from Millionaire Money Habits presents Less Tracking, More Spending, and says, “I’ve discovered that the less I track my spending, the more I find myself wasting money and exceeding my monthly budget. Rather than irregularly checking in on your budget, set a specific day and time each week to track your expenses, or find a program that will do it for you automatically.”


5. Research The Account Security Offered. Your broker should guarantee your funds up to $xxx,xxx with protection insurance. This means if their systems get hacked and your account is stolen you are refunded no questions asked.

debbie from American Entreprenuer presents Save Time With Online Continuing Education.

Andy from presents Are you prepared if you lose your job tommorow?, and says, “You get into work tomorrow and you are told that your position has been made redundant. Are you prepared for this scenario and its likely impacts on your financial security?”

Debbie from American Entreprenuership presents Need Debt Solutions? Run Business Like a Business Me, Inc.

squawkfox from squawkfox presents Toastmasters is Torture! So why do it?, and says, “Here are five reasons why becoming a better public speaker can help your finances!”

Shana from Smart Easy Money presents If You Build It, They Will Come.

Patrick from Cash Money Life presents Job Searching while Employed, and says, “it can be tricky to search for a job while you are already employed. Tipping your hand could spell disaster.”

Harrison from Finandom Dot Com presents How to Become a High Net Worth Individuals, and says, “Learn how to live without financial stress by becoming a high net worth individual. ”

Real Estate

6. Look Into The Site’s Speed. For more active traders this is important because placing trades should take milliseconds, not just seconds.

Dorian Wales from The Personal Financier presents How to Make Sure this is your Dream Home: 7 Practical Tips.

Pinyo from Moolanomy presents Real Estate Investing: Return On Investment and Leverage.

Four Pillars from Quest For Four Pillars presents Reasons Not To Trust Your Real Estate Agent.

MoneyKing from The Money Kings presents Real Estate Profits And Losses. Scenario 22: Your Tenant Is In JAIL! You’re In Hell., and says, “This article outlines a real life scenario in the real estate investing world that the Money Kings have had personal experience with: When your tenant goes to jail! You’re now losing income and have a vacant unit that you legally can’t re-rent until you formally evict.”

Dan Melson from Searchlight Crusade presents Steering: The Most Violated Law In Real Estate.

Kirsten from Simple Pound presents More than just a question of deposit, and says, “A post that highlights that buying a house is not just about putting down a deposit and locking in a mortgage at a low interest rate but that there are other considerations and costs that have to be accounted for. It’s UK-centred but the overall message is important for anyone contemplating such a large purchase”

Brooke from Dollar Frugal presents House Payment Made! 13 Months Left!.

Madison from My Dollar Plan presents Are You Considering a Refinance?.

Steve Faber from Debt Free presents A Glossary of Mortgage Terms, and says, “I’ve you’ve never gotten a mortgage, or you have and weren’t as involved in the process as you could have been, you should understand what these mortgage terms mean.”


7. Research Other Fees. Fees such as inactivity fees and transfer fees can get ugly over time. A good broker will have none to worry about.

Paula Wethington from Monroe on a Budget presents 10 ways to save with your tax refund.

Bryce from Save and Conquer presents The Art of Haggling, and says, “You can haggle on anything and everything. But haggling takes work and practice. Here are some methods that will get you the best price.”

A from Keeping the Reins Tight.. presents Get your baseball fix for cheap!, and says, “Opening day is upon us for America’s past time. I blogged about 5 different ways to watch a game for cheap / free.”

Aryn from Sound Money Matters presents 7 Things You Should Always Buy New, and says, “I’m a fan of buying used, but there are certain items you should always buy new. Underwear is an obvious one, but there are others.”

Chief Family Officer from Chief Family Officer presents Creative strategies for coping with rising costs – Part Three: Finding Time For Cost-Cutting Measures.

LJ from Mommy Gets PAID presents Friends and Money.

NCN from No Credit Needed presents How My New Diet Is Affecting My Waistline.


8. Look Into Provided Market Research. Besides trading tools market research is equally important. The way I see it is the bigger the broker, the better the free research offered is. This is another reason not to look at JUST trade commissions.

Fabio from Debt Free Hispanic presents Build Wealth with your Income, and says, “Hope to help motivate people towards building wealth. ”

Debt Freedom Fighter from Discover Debt Freedom presents How to Defeat Your Debt Once and For All.

FIRE Finance from FIRE Finance presents Three Quick Ways To Get Out of Debt!.

CindyS from Oh My Aching Debts presents 10 Steps to Take If You Can’t Pay Your Bills, and says, “A few steps that can help you keep good credit even when you can’t pay your bills.”

paidtwice from I’ve Paid For This Twice Already… presents A Practical Illustration of the Power of Snowflaking.

Lisa from Greener Pastures: Personal Finance presents The Dope on National Debt, and says, “Are you sitting down? The US National Debt is $9.5 trillion dollars… that’s about $1 million dollars per minute…”


9. Confirm Your Investment Options. Can you trade limit orders, conditional orders, stop orders, options, mutual funds, etfs, etc.? Everything should be available to you.

Dog from Dog Ate My Finances presents Domestic Partner Health Benefits, and says, “Just in time for tax time, a little known tax penalty for domestic partner benefits.”

Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck from Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck presents Three ways to know if you have a good tax preparer, and says, “If your tax preparer takes your documents, enters the information in the computer, and hands you a return, congratulations – you’ve just dramatically overpaid for clerical support. Here are three things good tax
preparers do to earn their fee. ”

Raymond from Money Blue Book – Personal Finance Blog presents Are eBay Sellers Required To Pay Income Tax On Sales?.

Frugal MoneyMan from Frugal MoneyMan presents Friend’s IRS Audit.


10. Don’t Forget Retirement Accounts. Having the option to open an IRA or any retirement account with the same broker you trade with can make for a nice convenience.

Raymond from Money Blue Book presents How To Avoid A Major 0% Balance Transfer Mistake.

NtJS from Not the Jet Set presents 1% Back. Is This Attractive?, and says, “Can someone please explain to me why people are so willing to sign up for these deals when the risk far outweighs the reward?”

Kimberly Palmer from Alpha Consumer presents Manipulating Your Credit Score, and says, “Don’t be fooled by credit score manipulation offers! ”

Credit Addict from presents What is a Secured Credit Card?.

RC from Think Your Way To Wealth presents No Credit Needed or Rewards Cards? Determine Your Personal Credit Card Usage Risk.

Money Management

11. Consider Banking Options. Brokers now offer everything from ATMs to checking accounts to home mortgages. What does your broker offer?

Pete from Bible Money Matters presents Small ways to save lots of money, and says, “small ways to save lots of money by cutting out unnecessary expenses.”

Jonathan from Master Your Card presents 5 Steps to a DIY LifeLock.

Mom from Wide Open Wallet presents Stretching vs. Saving.

The Financial Blogger from The Financial Blogger presents How To Create An Alternative Source Of Income Part 1, and says, “We currently both work on our $1,500 project in order give her the option of staying home and taking care of our children. We will need to create alternative sources of income in order to compensate for her salary. So this is where I am; trying to figure out the best way to create a durable and substantial source of income.”

Everything Finance from Everything Finance presents How to track business expenses during Start-Up phase.

Penny Nickel from Money and Values presents The Psychology of Happiness: We’re happier spending on others than ourselves.

Barb A. Ryan from Pasadena Financial Planner presents Your Family Financial Planning.

Ron from The Wisdom Journal presents The Key to Financial Success.

Debbie from American Consumer News presents Take the Necessary Steps to Save on Auto Insurance.

Nivek from Money Clipped presents The High Cost Of Dying In America.

Elizabeth from Go Green Travel Green presents Shades of Green Travel: Money.

Joe D from Know The Ledge presents 7 Smart Places To Put Your Bonus.

Hannah from The Penny Mine presents Can you Afford a Mortgage?.

Jamy from Seaykopitiam presents The Chinese save : The American spend..

mbhunter from Mighty Bargain Hunter presents Turn away spendthrift parents at your own peril, and says, “It’s tempting to say “good riddance” to parents who can’t manage their finances, but it may come back to haunt you …. even if it’s not your doing!”

The Happy Rock from The Happy Rock presents How Much House Can You Afford?, and says, “We often ask the wrong question before we spend money.”


12. Is International Trading Available? No point in opening an account with a broker when you live in a country where service is not provided.

Tushar from Everything Finance presents What are Hedge Funds ?.

Deamiter from Handling Finances presents The Credit Crisis Explained, and says, “An outline of what happened to cause the credit crisis.”

Finance Girl from Finance Gets Personal presents Charity Showers, and says, “This post is about incorporating charitable giving into bridal showers, baby showers and weddings.”

Broke Grad Student from Broke Grad Student presents Broke vs. Poor.

Enoch Ko from Enoch Ko’s Blog presents Pay yourself first, and says, “A discussion of the basic principles of personal finance and wealth accumulation.”

j2r from Journey 2 Retirement presents Can’t Grasp Credit Crisis? Join the Club – Another Rehash.

Guarav Bhola from Gimmie The Scoop presents GDP: Gross Domestic Product Fails as an Indicator of Economic Welfare, and says, “GDP: Gross Domestic Product Fails as an Indicator of Economic Welfare Part 2 GDP is Falsely Propagated as a Measure of Health and Wellness of a Society Posted by Gaurav Bhola, MSM, Managing Editor & Community Manager”

FMF from Free Money Finance presents Review: Kmart, and says, “What I think about Kmart.”

Anthoney Grigsby from presents Life Lock & Identity Theft.

Tejvan Pettinger from Simple Finance Blog presents 10 Tips for Financial Planning, and says, “10 simple steps to make your financial planning both workable and effective”

Rio from Get Financially Fit presents 5 Easy Steps to Improve your estate planning, and says, “Rio of Get Financially Fit, provides 5 easy steps to improve your estate planning”

Henry Stern, LUTCF, CBC from InsureBlog presents Accessing Healthcare: Part 2, and says, “SUMMARY: InsureBlog’s Henry Stern offers a true, first person account of his recent broken wrist, and how his insurance stacked up when it came to paying the claim.”

This concludes the 146th Edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance, 12 Tips For Choosing an Online Broker Edition. Thanks for reading!

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