Investing money is important whether you are saving for retirement or simply putting away some money aside. I would like to introduce you to investment firms as they can be a huge benefit to us who are considering investing.

The best investment firms can be found right here, on the Internet. They usually offer a number of services such as online management and access to your money at any time whether you are in Africa or in Asia.

Therefore, if you are saving money for retirement mostly through a workplace 401k, your choice of investment is not that rich in options. And trust me when I say this, but Wall Street investment companies know this and they are trying to exploit it the best way they can. They do it through channels of smart marketing aimed at different segments of potential customers.

First of all, you should ask some questions.

Do you offer 24/7 access to my account?

If they are considering themselves a serious player in the market, they should have more than decent online access, call centre, mobile application, whatever you like. If you are thinking about trading often, be sure to read the small print.

On the other hand, if they don’t have such a strong presence in the web space, a simple website could not fulfil your needs. You should always test a variety of website before committing your money long-term as moving money can become a pain later.

Do you do any banking?

Lots of investors have this style of money management. They usually invest with one company and bank with the other and that is fine, but if you are trading very often, you don’t want to move money that often from one financial institution to the other.

Then again, some banks simply lack when it comes to trading in the open market or some investment companies simply lack when it comes to the traditional banking.

Where do your friends invest their money?

You friends can be a real goldmine if you have the right approach. Say you travel quite often to your local country club and you have loads of rich friends which offer lots of experience (in most cases). Try to question them to learn their good and bad investments and learn from their mistakes.

Moreover, if they don’t want to talk about it, go for a drink or two, they should be a bit more talkative than. This is a “dark” tip.

Do you have an office or are you online based?

Most of the big investment firms have these big brick-and-mortar offices which carry only additional investment cost.

Some financial companies could have an address on Wall Street, but they are just online based. On the other hand, other companies are literally on every other corner.

A good thing would be to find a company that has a bit of both. Think of it as a balance.

What are the costs?

When you are discussing the cost of an investment firm, be very careful what you ask and what kind of answer you get.

You should ask questions like do they charge per trade, what are possible commissions, if any, do you have to pay annual or monthly account fees, etc.

In the long run, the cost will decimate your profit, so you should minimize them whenever possible.

What are the best investment firms?

Fidelity

Fidelity is an investment broker that offers a wide array of financial services, from retirement funds to individual investors’ IRAs and mutual funds. On the upside, they boast with relatively low expense ratios in the industry.

You should also take a look at Fidelity because they offer you instant, over the Internet access to your portfolio, so you can basically see and manage your money as you go.

They also offer some banking services such as money transfer between funds and institutions.

And if you are not a customer, fear not. There are still loads of financial news and information for you to process. They also offer helpful articles on different tax strategy, what type of mutual funds you should consider, etc.

Bogleheads

Bogleheads is a bit different. They are not your typical investment broker, they are more of a forum and they act as a community of investors who share their investment advice and wisdom on the principles of Jack Bogle. He is the author, founder and former CEO of the Vanguard Group.

If you ready any of his books, you should know that they are usually about putting money in the mutual fund and expecting a solid return on your investment.

Although the website has an outdated look, sometimes looks can be deceiving. The community is welcoming and it is offering a ton of information about finances and investments.

Vanguard

Vanguard Group is a big financial conglomerate and they offer investment services such as brokerage to individual investors and companies.

If you are a personal investor, you will love it here as the company offers 24/7 access to your retirement plans along with your employer, your personal mutual funds, ETFs, IRAs, bonds, stocks or any CDs you wish to or already hold with the company. Basically, it is packed with different features.

Their mobile app is also packed with different tools that will help you keep your eye on the money and perhaps even do any additional research on money management.

Even if you want to open a new IRA or even transfer an account from a different financial institution to Vanguard, the company does that for you without any additional hassle.

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade is one of the biggest investment brokers out there and they are packed with financial information and resources for people who are thirsty for any knowledge they might come by.

They also offer a wide array of investment choices, commission-free ETs, mutual funds, tons of video guides and online courses. Everything that is needed for a profitable future investor.

If you are simply looking to manage your money, they have a wealth management service as well as their customer support is solid and they have lots of brick-and-mortar stores, so they are easy to find.

Moreover, they have the web and mobile application which is very easy to use and you can keep your eye on the money at all times.

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