Opening a Brokerage Account With Discount Brokers

What You Need to Know Before You Open a Brokerage Account

So, you want to open an investment brokerage account. What should you expect? And what are the requirements for opening an account with the bigger investment firms? What is the process like? In this article I will try to make things as easy as possible for you.

Most brokerage firms will require that you have an active checking or savings account that is at least two to three times the current minimum deposit amount for a regular checking or savings account. What are your investing goals and how far risk are you willing to take? If you don’t know what your investing goals are, it may be best to start off with a discount broker. Most discount brokers will require no money upfront and will handle everything from investor relations to investing in securities on your behalf.

Once you open an account with a discount broker-dealer, you will need to provide them with information regarding your current financial situation, such as current wages and income, recent bank statements, etc… Some brokers will require a three-year economic history, whereas others will not. Once this information is received, they will do the necessary calculations to determine your necessary investing portfolio. The type of investment instruments you invest in will determine the size of your portfolio. Some may require more cash upfront while others may not; it’s best to get an idea of what your broker-dealer requires from you before you start shopping around for accounts.

Some brokerage accounts also require you to maintain discretionary authority. This means that you are allowed to make financial decisions in regards to investments without interference from the broker. Your discretionary authority can include the ability to decide when to buy and sell stocks and other securities. Some brokers however, do not allow you to exercise this authority. If this is the case with your broker-dealer, you will want to make sure that they clearly outline their rules for discretionary authority in their brokerage accounts.

When you open a brokerage account with a discount broker-dealer, you may also be required to deposit an initial money deposit. This money deposit will be held in an uninvested cash account. It will serve as the account’s security until you decide to place the funds into an active investment portfolio. Some brokerage firms will allow you to withdraw all or part of your money at any time; others will have restrictions on this. If you are considering putting your money into an uninvested cash account, you should also research the terms of your brokerage firms’ policies regarding deposits and withdrawal.

Discount brokers have a couple of advantages over regular investment firms. They usually do not require you to place any cash as collateral, so you don’t need to worry about creditors chasing you down if you were to default on your payments. Because they have less risk, they have more opportunities to earn high interest rates on their behalf. Discount brokers typically have higher commission rates than more traditional investment firms. For more information, you can visit

Katherine E. Ackerman

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