What you can expect from your broker as service?

When you open your trading account with your broker, you do go with some expectations in terms of service standards, execution skills, research, and advisory support. While that will depend on whether the broker is a discount broker or a full-service broker, there are some basic services that you can expect as a client from your broker. Let us look at 8 such services that you can get from your broker that can go a long way in enhancing your experience as a broking client.

Short term and long term market ideas

If you are trading with a full-service broker then insist on getting trading and investment ideas. These can be in the form of regular calls, morning reports, intraday reports, evening reports, etc. You may or may not follow all these ideas in totality but you must insist that your broker gives you a color of the market, trading levels for the key indices and ideas to trade or invest in markets. Most brokers also share the performance evaluation of past calls and trading ideas so that you can take an informed decision.

A solid online trading engine

Intraday trading is the direction that traders and investors are moving towards and hence a robust trading engine is a must. Ensure that the user interface (UI) is smart enough to meet your needs. Your broking platform must also offer seamless connectivity with Demat and the payment gateway. Ensure that your online engine gives you transparent and quick execution. 

How about a call-n-trade service for redundancy?

Machines are machines, after all, so even with the best of technology investments, machines can go awfully wrong. You don’t want to log into your trading terminal at 3 pm and realize that orders are not going through. Ensure that your broker is offering you a backup. Ideally, most brokers offer a backup call-n-trade facility wherein you can authenticate yourself and then place orders over the phone. This is a must when you are essentially an online trader and operating either on the PC or the mobile app.

Value-added analytics for portfolios and bad-times support

Even the smartest of players can end up on the wrong side in the stock markets. Either market may have become too volatile or there may be a structural shift in certain sectors or you may suddenly realize that your portfolio is running a large mark to market (MTM) loss. You don’t expect your broker to just wash his hands away. Prefer a broker who has the capacity and intent to give you portfolio analytics and also advise you on how to salvage your losses. This is what truly tests the broker’s mettle.

Not just broking but financial planning too

Trading in equities is never an isolated task done in a silo. It is linked to your risk appetite, your risk capacity and your long term financial plan. As well have your entire financial plan reside with your broker and get it monitored through them. This asset allocation is determined by your financial plan. Ideally, if your broker offers you holistic financial planning then it adds value to both of you. Nowadays, brokers are also offering AI and robotic solutions but make it a point to address the core need rather than get flattered by the use of technology.

Capital gains calculation and tax filing support

This is something most brokers provide online, else you must insist. An online portfolio enables you to look at your holdings, your historical profits and your current MTM in one single window. Most brokers enable automatic update of your transactions with Demat and the online portfolio. It is preferable if your broker provides you with the short term capital gains and long term capital gains statement with speculative income write-offs and carryforwards all dealt with separately. It not only makes your entire job easier but also makes your tax filing and other tax obligations simpler.

Best in class leverage for intraday trades and brokerage rates

You cannot expect your broker to provide all these services at zero cost. Just ensure that your broker provides brokerage rates that are competitive. This is more relevant in the case of intraday trading and options trading where the concomitant costs matter a lot. You must also insist that the broker provide you with best-in-class leverage in case of intraday trading and in futures and options subject to the extant rules. Leverage will help you get the most out of your margin money.

Finally, there is nothing like a personal touch; however online you may be

The more the business of broking gets automated it always adds value to have a human interface in the form of direct contact or a dedicated relationship manager. The relationship manager can be a one-stop contact point for all your needs. Also, the relationship manager can be like a guide who can red-flag concerns in the market and highlight opportunities to you. That makes it a dual role and extremely valuable at that.

Whether you are about to open a broking account or you already have a broking account, you must insist that your broker provides you the above services at the very minimum.