I don't. I've heard to manny horror stories about people hacking into accounts. The discount broker I use will take orders over the phone and the conversation is recorded. It's a little more expensive, but if one doesn't trade that much, so what. I heard Scott Trade has the lowest transaction fees for this type. I may be wrong. I'm sure they have websites that will give you the info you desire...
I use E-Trade, $12.99 per trade and you don't have to have a minimum balance in their bank. Just make 1 trade every quarter after the first year and you avoid the inactivity fee. Now as for making money, ha ha, that's another story.
I trade on line, my brother-inlaw and a friend each put up some cash and we started a little club. We trade through TD Waterhouse and have had no problems over the past five years. Just get a good understanding up front of the nomenclature that they use to describe differnt types of trades prior to setting up your account. I do use a broker for my personal accounts and that is not done on line.
Nailer....I pay $45 for a trade when I actually tell somebody the particulars. Online would be $10. Last year I did one trade. I sold a position to TDAmeritrade for $1 to take a loss. The commission on this trade was $1. I suspect other brokers have similar programs. Guess what Mr. Obama? I have a $3000 loss against ordinary income and a carryover loss for 2009. Jerbear hit the nail on the head. However, I am contemplating selling covered call options against positions where I am still ahead. If the option expires worthless, great! If it goes down, one can purchase a like number back and cancel the position. If the stock goes up, you lose the stock. However, the option premium is added to the sale price and if the holding period on the security was long term, the option premium is considered LT also.
I understand Scott Trade talking to a real person type trade is $27. You may want to verify that amount...
I have been with Ameritrade (which is now TDAmeritrade) since the dawn of internet trading. I have never had a security issue. Trades are 9.99 each. I have been completely satisfied with the service I receive.
Been using TD Ameritrade for years, the only time I ever lost money was when I was cruising on our boat and had a full service broker managed account--cost me 600K---I now do everything myself- if anything goes wrong all I do is look in the mirror. Just got a small check from a class action suit against Enron & Smith Barney. Don't trust anyone with your money but yourself. Its like going to the casino & paying someone to gamble with your money.
I have been using Schwab since the very early 90s. Had no trouble with them. I pay $9.95 a trade.
Looking back now, I wish I would never have opened an account though. Nothing Schwab did, it is just too easy to go click a couple of buttons and bam you have purchased a stock or something. I would watch the financial gurus on tv get excited and buy something worthless.
I have did far better investing in DRiPs from quality companies like: Exxon/Mobil, JNJ, P&G. Not enough to offset what I lost through my Schwab account though.
My Mom and Dad only put their money in CDs and real estate, they ended up with 2 commas. Had a perfect example in my life but I didn't follow it.