Stockbrokers uncovered: What you need to open a brokerage account

Julie Brownlee, Fsp Invest, 23 Apr. 2014

Tags: brokerage account, stock broker, stockbroker, opening a brokerage account, opening a stockbroker account, fica, how to open a brokerage account, how to open a stockbroker account

Before settling on a stockbroker, you need to check the fees they charge and the minimum amount required to open an account. Once you’ve whittled through the stockbrokers available and picked one that suits you, you need to open an account. So what do you need to open a brokerage account? Let’s take a closer look…

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Opening a stockbroker account is easy

You’ll be glad to hear that opening a brokerage account is a simple task.

You just need to contact the stockbroker you’ve chosen and request an application form. They can probably email it to you. Then you need to complete the form and return it to your stockbroker.

When completing the application form, you’ll have to pick the type of account you want. This is either an execution-only account (you tell your broker what to buy and sell) or a discretionary account (your broker makes the decisions, investing on your behalf).

Like banks, stockbrokers must adhere to the Financial Intermediary Control Act (FICA), Gareth Stokes in Fear, Greed and the Stock Market explains. This means that along with your completed application form, you have to give your broker some additional documents.

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What you need to give your stockbroker

Your stockbroker needs the following personal information from you:
  • Your full name;
  • Your date of birth;
  • Your ID number;
  • Your residential address; and
  • Your contact details, such as cell number and email address.
To validate your information, your stockbroker needs:
  • A copy of your ID book or passport;
  • Proof of your residential address (a rate or electricity bill will do);
  • Proof of your banking details; and
  • Proof of your income tax number (any correspondence from SARS should have this).
Once the stockbroker opens your account, the final step is transferring your trading funds into the broker’s account. You can do this by cheque or online transfer.

So there you have it, what you need to open a brokerage account.

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