By Ashley Richardson

Picking an online broker for your stock trades is a tricky business but can also make all the difference in the world. One commonality in the advertising these days is a multitude of tools and charts. Honestly, it seems that many of the charts are gimmicks that add no intrinsic value, rather just something to look at. Really? Heat mapping stocks? How does that help a long term investor? It just doesn’t.

It comes down to a few things that honestly do matter.

Fees: Plain and simple, the more you spend for a trade the less you make. Nothing could be more clear.

Is it simple: All of those heat mapping charts and other complex forms of data do nothing for an investor. At zenruption, we strongly believe that technicals are for a few pros and really don’t mean much. A successful long term investor finds values with growth opportunities in brands they respect. Heat mapping TJ Maxx won’t tell me anything, but knowing the changing face of the consumer tells me that TJX is the best stock in its comparative retail space. No number of charts and graphs can show that. All that is needed is a clean system that makes that trade easy.

Simple charts: No a long term investor doesn’t need a minute by minute chart of trades. None of us are trading that fast and we don’t have the capability to do so successfully. We are all about buying values and holding them. Give us simple charts that show long term changes and their implications.

Education Matters: Most of us have no clue what we are truly getting into. If a cat with a toy mouse can out trade most everyone on Wall Street, what could each of us do with some simple concepts and theory? None of us are concerned with just selling financial instruments in order to rack up fees (which is all Wall Street is). We want to know the basics and invest in strong companies for the long term. It is pretty similar to Craps in that we take the free odds that create a house advantage and avoid all of the junk in the middle of the board that has massive risk in relation to return.

Have Accessible Support: Things may often go bad or must be learned. You can’t always find what you need on website. Having a local office can be so very useful even if rarely needed. The ability to occasionally consult with a pro without spending a fortune can be a very alluring aspect of good online brokerages.

Mobile Trading: In the early days I would watch the market all day while at my full time job. It is good that they didn’t know I sold the stock short. Now the use of the company computer is no longer needed. A good app is key!

While this a good beginner list, it is all so overwhelming a times. You are learning to trade but still need access to good financial advice. In a country with a very short term investment ideal, knowing the hallmarks of value are very important.

A recent source that has been found is easy to understand and ranks the best online brokerages based on the fit to consumer need. To this end, I highly recommend checking out our partners, and the true pros, at

It can be intimidating at first but a little research and great platform can go a long way. Choosing brands you love and being willing to follow them through anything will create success.

Finding the brokerage that best fits your personal need can be one of the most beneficial first steps into the world of stocks.


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Ashley Richardson is our new business pro and our awesome Chief Marketing Officer. While being amongst the world’s worst drivers, we still hope she gets her new Subaru WRX STi soon. We will just not be on the road when she does. Some other terms we use for Ashley are, “kick ass mom”, “beautiful mind” and “Ms. Takes No Shit”. Can you tell we lover her?





Feature photo courtesy of Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license