In North America you must b e 18 to open a brokerage account in your name. A parent can open a custodian account using your social security number and when you turn 18 the assets in the account can be moved to an account in your name.
The custodian must manage the account, it is illegal for the custodian to give access either to you or to another adult.
All major brokerage firms provide their clients with on-line services, including trading platforms, latest market & financial news and research. You need to select the site that is best for you Traders have requirements in a site, while investors have other requirements.
Although most sites are geared to general securities and commodities, however customers may have special needs for the types of products they trade, and the markets in which they trade. For example I use Fidelity for investing. Scottrade for equities trading and ThinkorSwim for option trading
It seems that the most popular firms for on-line investing/trading all of which provide excellent platforms and services are; Scottrade; Chas.Schwab; TDAmeritrade; Fidelity; E-Trade and Thinkorswim
Since your dad is already with E-Trade, you should have him open a custodian accunt for you.
A customer of a brokerage firm can always switch firms. The easiest way is to have the new firm complete ACATS form and in about 7 days the account is moved.
Most firms require a new account to have at least $500. You can start investing with this amount you will need more if you are going to trade.
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