Finding the best prices and lowest fees for investment services is very subjective. It all depends on the type of investor you are.
If you are a first time investor, you will probably want someone to hold you hand a little and help understand the intricacies of investing in the market. If you have some investing experience, you may prefer to use a self-service investment service. If you are very well practiced in investing and have done well in the markets, you may prefer to just use a investment banker or a brokerage service.
A Gentle Start to Investing
If you really want to get a good start in the marketâ€¦ and spend the least amount possible, you want to go with an investment service and start with some low or medium risk money market accounts. You have the greatest possibility of earning a return and having a positive investing experience. Many banks and credit unions have investment services on site or can lead you in the right direction. A credit union my allow another company to take up residence in their branches to provide investment help to their members. The plus side is some of these financial planners may not be commissioned, so they’re going to help you make the right choices for you and not for them.
‘Do It Yourself’ Investors
If youâ€™ve been investing for a while and feel you have a pretty good understanding of investing, then you may want to use a self-service investment service, such as E*Trade Financial or Sharebuilder. With a self-service investment company like ETrade or Sharebuilder, you could end up paying much less in fees, but take caution. This is not the option for a new investor. While ETrade and Sharebuilder offer many tools to help you, you could end up losing a lot of money while you try to figure out how to play in the investments market. Again, this is usually a better service for someone who has some knowledge of investing, likes to follow the market, knows how to buy and sell shares, and wants to save some money in investment fees.
Well Seasoned Investors
You have a history of making good money with your investments; you may just want to save yourself the hassle of closely watching everything thatâ€™s happening in the markets and hire a high-end, professional investment firm to handle your assets. Sometimes, itâ€™s worth the cost of paying someone to do it rightâ€¦ very right. These professional investment firms may charge too high fees for the first time investors, and thatâ€™s ok. Theyâ€™ll give the best investors to those with the highest assets, and thatâ€™s their business model. Companies like Schwab, Fidelity Investments, and the big banks like Bank of America and Wachovia have excellent investment services with seasoned investors for their biggest clients. They also have less seasoned investors, yet still quite talented investors, that work with the average client.
There are many great websites out there dedicated to educating you on the ins and outs of investing. Sites like The Motley Fool, InvestmentU, Forbes, and TheStreet all offer some extremely useful information for helping you with investments.