If you ask most people whether or not they are satisfied with their stock broker, you are bound to hear a few complaints. They all tend to be about the same kind of things. So let me discuss some of the issues that you may have to deal with if you open an account with a broker yourself.
First of all it is almost inevitable that your chosen broker will have some downtime at some point. Whilst most brokers will be online pretty much all day, there will always be occasions when you go to log in to your broker to buy or sell shares or maybe check your portfolio, and discover that you are unable to do so.
This can happen at any time, but it can happen quite a lot during really busy times of the day. For example when there is a major economic announcement or when there is a major piece of news that has a dramatic impact on the markets. When this happens everyone goes to log in and it can cause the whole system to crash.
So that’s one annoyance. Another is when you have found a great little company that you want to invest in, but your broker will not allow you to buy the quantity that you want. This is mainly the fault of the market makers, but it is the responsibility of your broker to try and make sure that a deal can go through. Some brokers will do everything they can, providing the size of the transaction is only slightly over the maximum allowed by the market makers, but others will simply reject your transaction outright.
You may also find that when you buy shares in smaller companies, the transaction does not go through straight away, as it would do normally. This is because when you invest in these small-cap stocks the transaction often has to be processed by a live dealer. So as a result the price of the shares can often change in the few minutes that this can take, so then you face the frustrating dilemma of deciding whether you still want to buy at this higher price, or whether you wish to now cancel the transaction.
Anyway the point is that stock brokers can be quite frustrating at times. Although they will generally do everything they can to help their customers, they do have certain problems at times. So I guess the lesson that you can learn here is that whichever broker you sign up with, you are always likely to face a few problems at some stage. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a perfect stock broker.
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