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Working with a Broker or Advisor

When working with a broker or advisor, remember that you are working with your money. Do your homework and take responsibility for your money. No one will watch it like you will.

Brokers and investment advisors offer specialized knowledge to help you in the investment process. However, if you do not need their services, you should not pay for them. Save money by using a discount-service broker or consider using no-load mutual funds if you feel comfortable making investment decisions yourself. Using alternatives to full-service brokers can greatly reduce your costs, especially because these alternatives may not charge transaction costs.

Keep transaction costs and taxes to a minimum. A percentage saved in cost is a percentage earned in return. Try to keep your trading to a minimum to reduce transaction costs and taxes. Likewise, if you buy mutual funds that have low turnover, you can reduce the amount of taxes you will have to pay each year due to mutual fund distributions. You may also be able to reduce costs by using index funds and applying a buy-and-hold strategy. Regarding bonds, you can work with a broker or buy direct. If you go through a broker or advisor, you will generally have to pay transactions costs.


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