If you are new to the world of investing, it can be hard to get started. The arcane terms used by stock brokers and mutual fund companies can be quite intimidating, and it can seem as though there is simply too much to learn. Fortunately, there are resources available to help new investors get started. Opening an account at a discount broker like Scottrade can be an excellent way to begin.
Look for a Local Office
Opening an account with an online broker can help you save money on trades, but there are times that investors will want to meet with a broker or adviser face-to-face. Scottrade maintains a number of branch offices around the country, making it easy for new investors to meet and talk with investment professionals in person. With an office in nearly every state, new investors should find it relatively easy to find an office within reasonable driving distance. A full map of Scottrade branch offices can be found by visiting Scottrade.com.
Meet With an Adviser
If you are just getting started with Scottrade and there is a branch office in your area, try to meet with an investment adviser during the first couple of months. If you are a new investor, you will want to sit down and discuss your financial goals before making any trading decisions. The financial professional you meet with may be able to guide you toward suitable investments.
Once your account has been established and you are comfortable making your own trades, buying and selling stocks with Scottrade is easy. Simply log on to your account, and click the "Trade" tab. Enter the ticker symbol of the stock you wish to buy or sell, along with the quantity. If you do not know the ticker symbol there is a handy lookup tool right on the page. You also can specify whether the order is a market order to be filled at the prevailing price or a limit order that will be triggered only if a specific price threshold is reached. The system automatically calculates the cost of the purchase or the proceeds of the sale and gives you a chance to confirm or cancel the transaction. After the transaction has been completed, you will receive an email, a mailed confirmation or both depending on how you set up your notification preferences. Best of all, you pay only $7 per trade no matter how much stock you buy or sell.