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So what can you do? Well, your best bet is to stop being a small investor and become a wealthy one. If that doesn't seem too possible in the near future, consider consolidating accounts. If you have $50,000 at one brokerage and $60,000 at another, you may benefit by bringing all your investments under one roof.

Another option? Just shop around a little more. There may well be another brokerage that serves your particular needs better. Pop into our Broker Center for lots of guidance on how to find a better brokerage, including our handy comparison table.

What can you do? How about not keeping excess cash at your brokerage. In the age of the Internet and the availability of electronic fund transfers between accounts, rarely is it necessary to keep your excess cash in your brokerage account's paltry cash sweep vehicle. Instead, keep that cash in a higher yield interest bearing account, such as ING or Emigrant Direct, and move it electronically to your broker when you want to buy securities. Your brokerage account should be for investments and not for savings. Besides, investors who sat in cash for the best 20 days of returns in the S&P500 between 12/31/75 and 12/31/03 missed 3.6% of average annual total returns.

Stay as invested as possible in your brokerage account. Keep your cash outside of your brokerage account and transfer it electronically when you need to.

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