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Friday, October 12, 2012

Questions to ask before opening a new brokerage account

Brokerage accounts offer trading platforms and financial analysis tools
Overseas brokerage accounts are subject to different regulations

Opening a brokerage account is an important banking decision that affects individual finances and any financial commitment made to the account. Understanding how the account works and where one's individual responsibilities lie in regard to managing the account is necessary. Being properly informed of what brokerage accounts entail is instrumental in the choice to open one. Below are some questions worth considering before opening a new brokerage account.

What types of services are offered?

The types of services offered by brokerage accounts often surpass those of traditional banking. For example, some financial institutions offer spread betting, and full-service brokerage firms typically offer financial planning services as well. In other cases, premium services are only reserved for account holders with higher net worths. An alternative to this is to obtain the advice of a licensed securities professional on a per transaction basis via commission on services rendered.

Are the financial instruments worthwhile?

The range of financial instruments offered by various brokerage houses is staggering. Choosing the right financial institution is therefore, of paramount importance to the future of one's finances. This is because the financial products invested in influence potential yields, capital gains taxes, and opportunity cost. Carefully researching what an individual brokerage firm has to offer in addition to the advantages and disadvantages of a brokerage firm is key to making the right banking decision.

How well are the account assets protected?

Asset protection is something all investors should take seriously because of the potential consequences of not being fully aware of specific investment risks. For instance, assets held within a brokerage account are not necessarily insured, and not all account types are protected from creditors. Different assets and accounts have varying levels of security that investors would do well to understand prior to opening an account, and before engaging in transactions through that account.

Do available accounts suit specific financial goals?

Differing accounts are offered by various brokerage businesses. To illustrate, some brokerage firms offer individual retirement accounts and individual business accounts, but do not necessarily offer exotic financial instruments, whereas other firms make more unique financial products available including simulations such as a currency spread betting trial account, but do not necessarily provide those products through a wide range of accounts.

Which jurisdiction is the best choice?

Jurisdiction is a major factor when opening a new brokerage account. Since each jurisdiction is subject to the laws and regulations governing it, the impact on individual banking is noteworthy. For example, Panamanian corporate brokerage accounts are not taxed in the same way as an individual brokerage account located in the United States. Before opening a brokerage account with a large balance, investigating brokerage account jurisdiction options and advantages is potentially a time worthy pursuit.

Image license: US-PDGov

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