By Ben Jones
Whether you’re an experienced trader or exploring the investing hype for the first time, online brokerages have revolutionized the way people buy stocks. With this change in process, however, comes a change in payment. Fees are no longer limited to the flat rate brokers take from each stock bought. If you select a broker carefully, you won’t end up paying any of these. But failure to research could cost you a lot. Read below for find out the 3 most commonly overlooked online investing fees.
1. Inactivity Fee
If you have an account open with an online brokerage that you haven’t used recently, you could end up literally paying the price for it. Some brokerages have a limited amount of time you can go without making a trade. If you fail to trade within that time period, it could end up costing you up to $200. If you’re ready to put your money where your mouth is and start trading, just make sure it’s actually going towards buying some stocks.
2. Paper Statement Fees
I know, I know…the only person you’re still getting letters from is your grandmother who’s convinced the internet is a passing fad. If you’re online trading, however, granny might not be the only one cluttering your mailbox. Certain brokerages will send monthly paper statements detailing the trades you’ve made.
You can opt for a free, online statement with many brokerages, but failure to do this could end up costing you up to $48 a year. But, sometimes, paper statements are an important way to make sure you’re investments are protected. I hope grandma is sending you enough birthday money to cover it.
3. Account Closing Fees
So you gave the trading game a solid-go, but don’t think it’s for you. No worries, just go ahead a close your account. But before you leave, remember to drop off that account closing fee of up to $75. You read that right. Some online brokers will charge you a fee for closing or transferring your account to another broker. It is completely possible to avoid these fees; a bit of research will find you a broker that fit your financial needs.
Ben Jones is a contributor at Benzinga, a Detroit-based financial media outlet, where he covers educational content in online stock trading, forex, and futures.