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Simplify With a Brokerage Account

Can a brokerage account simplify your life as an investor?

Brokerage accounts used to make investing in the stock market expensive and intimidating, but not anymore.

J.J. Montanaro, a certified financial planner practitioner with USAA, says newer brokerage accounts are geared toward simplifying life for investors.

A brokerage account is an investment account that holds stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investments all in one account. Often, they're opened with as little as a few hundred dollars and transaction costs have dropped drastically over the years. While a brokerage firm may charge a fee, or commission on purchases, many offer a number of free stock trades just for opening an account.

A brokerage account can simplify investing by letting you manage your money efficiently. You can make trades online, on your own schedule. Many accounts allow you to place trades from your mobile device. Automatic monthly deposits from checking or savings can help you stay on track to meet your goals.

Brokerage accounts often offer services to help you make investment decisions: stock-screening tools, e-mail alerts about your stocks, and expert research.

Online brokerage accounts offer as much independence or assistance as you need. Some investors check their account daily to make trades, while others set long-term goals and only make adjustments on a quarterly or yearly basis.

-- Courtesy of USAA

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