Save on Taxes and Build Wealth. How to Buy Stocks. Buying stocks in 4 steps. Get the best broker recommendation for you by selecting your preferences. Investors who trade individual stocks and advanced securities like options are looking for exposure to specific companies or trading strategies. Mutual funds and ETFs are typically best suited to investing for long-term goals that are at least 5 years away, like retirement, a far-off home purchase or college. Some brokers have minimum deposit requirements, while others may require a minimum balance to access certain advanced features or trading platforms. If a broker is offering a new account promotion, there may be a minimum initial deposit requirement to qualify. Those who trade monthly or yearly will want a well-rounded broker with a user-friendly interface, helpful customer support and competitive pricing. If that sounds too hands-off for you and you want to manage your own investments , choose a self-directed account at an online broker. Breadth of research from other providers and own offering. in cash bonus with a qualifying deposit. days of commission-free trades with a qualifying deposit. amount of assets managed for free.