Once you have decided on an online broker you will need to set up your stock account with them.
Before you call you will want to gather up any papers you may need. For example, if you are transferring a 401k from a place of previous employment to start your account, you will want to have one of your statements handy. They will need information from it to walk you through a transfer request form.
Or if you are starting it by mailing them a check, or wiring funds from your checking account, they will need the account number and bank routing code. Same deal if you intend for them to make regular deposits from your checking account into your stock account. So one way or another, you need to have your checkbook out.
Once you’ve gathered all of this information, then give them a call and have them walk you through the process.
Here’s a big clue for you. They should be very helpful with this process. If they are not, then politely end the phone conversation and pick another discount broker.
My experience with TDAmeritrade, as well as some of my friends, has been quite satisfactory. So if none of the other brokers seem to help out, you might call them.
Discount Broker Web Sites
Here are links to the discount brokers mentioned earlier in the chapter.