There is also the exposure afforded to a wide variety of different markets and industries.
We realize, of course, that some readers who stumble upon this article may only just know what ETF stands for.
But don’t worry, there is no shame in that. The critical thing to know about ETFs as a collection of securities is that you do not just invest in the first one you see. Your investment will ride on some critical factors which you need to get right before you make a decision. Factors like the quality of shares in the fund, the value of information that you possess, and not least the broker whose services you are depending on to make it all work.
You cannot directly invest in an ETF. Only your broker can do that. And the broker factor is what we will be focusing on most in this piece because it is so important to get right. Signing up with bad broker could at best give you marginal returns even if the ETF itself performs decently, and that would be a huge disappointment.
And so, we have prepared a list of things you should pay careful attention to before selecting your broker. So let us jump right in.
How To Choose The Best ETF Broker
Choosing the best ETF Broker is not easy. You have to take a few aspects into consideration. Here are some important things to look at:
1. Go through their selection of products
It is a given that your broker ought to be able to handle investments in ETFs in the first place.
But knowing that alone is not enough. Your broker should also have plenty of available investment alternatives. You know your broker is a good one if you can tick off ETFs, options, municipal bonds, CDs and precious metals on its investment portfolio.
Of course, if your broker happens to be significantly more limited than that, you could open an account with other firms that offer the options that are lacking. However, it is always preferable to have just one broker handling your investments.
2. Read the fine print on the pricing
Pricing may not be everything but it certainly counts for a heck of a lot anyway. As a trader you need to be fully aware – not just in the moment but also in the grand scheme of things – how much it costs to execute trades. The fine print is what informs you of the costs associated with broker commissions.
However, it is not the only source. You can also read up on third-party reviews.
3. Understand how they behave at peak trading hours
Every investment contains some element of risk and the level of risk is a major determining factor in the level of volatility in a market.
So naturally, most investors will look to shift the markets at around the same time, and make purchases when prices are low and sell their equities when prices soar. However, whenever the volume of a market is at its peak level, it causes brokers to slow down their trade executions unless they are reliant on some advanced trading technology.
For traders, it is a good idea to visit a specific broker’s website at different hours of the day see how consistently operations are run, especially during peak hours.
With a broker, ease of access is another key factor to consider. Many brokers now offer multiple ways to access their platform. Aside from your desktop at home, you can also log in on your mobile device.
However, it would be ideal for you to have alternative means of access at your disposal such as over the phone broker deals, email orders, and touch-tone telephone trades etc.
Apart from the factors described above, be sure to also look for the fundamental criteria that any broker should fulfil such as user-friendliness, good customer service, and plenty of informative articles, charts, analysis, and tutorials.
All this adds up to make your work as a trader much easier and more efficient.