There are several options available for someone who wants to open a brokerage account.
-There are full service brokers that charge fees for managing your portfolio no matter how well your investments do since they are paid by how often you trade. They complete research and provide investment advice. They can be paid a salary and/or a commission.
-A second option is to use a Discount Broker that does not offer research and investment advice, they just get paid a commission for facilitating the transaction. You can choose to talk to a person or conduct your transactions On-Line.
-Another option is to use On-Line Brokers where they do not offer advice, they do not manage your portfolio, and they do not complete research. An On-Line broker will generally charge lower fees than the Discount Broker where you are dealing with a human being.