Anyone who reads my blog knows how much I emphasize the importance of long-term, buy and hold investing.When I first started investing, I used a discount brokerage. This was before the days of all of the online brokers now offered today. At first, I didn’t jump to one of these brokerage’s simply because they were new and didn’t offer a lot of services. Today, that is a different story. There are plenty of options when it comes to investing – so many it can be overwhelming.
I jumped around many of these, so I know the good, the bad, and the ugly of many. Here are the ones I personally recommend:
Sharebuilder: I personally use their automatic investing service. They offer you codes for free trades. A quick search over the internet will yield more free codes. Some will work, others will not. When I run out, I pause my plan until I get a handful more codes. You can read my Sharebuilder review for a complete analysis.
Betterment: These guys have it all figured out. Low fees and simple portfolios so that you are diversified from the start. I love these guys! If you click on the link and open a new account, you get a $25 bonus. You can read my full Betterment review as well for an analysis.
Trade King: I know that not everyone is a fan of buy and hold investing. While 100% of my investing for the long-term is based on a buy and hold plan, I too have a “play” account that I trade in. For this, I use Trade King. They have super low commissions on trades and on options as well.
Prosper: Prosper is a “peer-to-peer” lending service. What is this? It allows people like you and me to get loans to help pay down debt or to start a business. The borrowers are people like you and me as well. After you sign up, you search for loans that need funding and invest you money. You don’t fund 100%, you fund a percentage along with others. As the borrower makes monthly payments, you get a portion of your money back plus interest. I used to do this, but then my state stopped allowing me to invest. Otherwise, I would still be all over this. If you’re a little unsure, know that there is a bank that acts as an intermediary and there are collection agencies to help you should the borrower default. (I never experienced this in my three-plus years investing. The site claims that over 85% of loans are repaid.)