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I am in my sixties and have a structured retirement plan assets invested through advisors. I am content with that. I do however have some extra personal funds in stocks. I hold the certificates. When buying or selling it has cost me a lot of comissions. I want to sell some of my holdings by using online brokers but I am concerned about online security and safety of my funds with the online brokers. Can anyone tell me about their experience with such brokers and recommend some. What should I look out for? etc.,

your major on-line brokers are just as safe as regular brokers. in fact, many regular brokerages run on-line entities, such as Fidelity. remember that these brokers have to comply with the same basic rules as the regular ones.

you are smart to be concerned about safety and security. the best thing to do about these is to ask the on-line brokerage(s) you're interested in. a good one will be more than happy to answer questions about security, insurance, safety of your holdings, etc. you should check out these issues just as you would with *any* broker. most on-line sites will have PDF documents or other items you can download and look at to check on these issues.

as for on-line security, if the broker uses 128-bit SSL security for browsers(most do, and some won't let you go lower than that), you're pretty safe on-line. you still have to do your part (keeping passwords/PINs secret, etc.), but it's reliable. also keep in mind that some have 800 numbers for automated trades through touchtone phones and regular trades through a person. the commissions for these are usually higher, but they're still lower than the full service houses. you can use these methods if you feel safer with them.

personally, i've been using fidelity on-line for over a year now. yes, their commissions are higher that the barebones brokers, but i like the add-ons you get. plus, i have more access to more funds without paying transaction fees. fidelity also has one of the better up-time records.

you can also look at ameritrade, e-trade, schwab, etc., etc. i suggest going to any search engine and typing in "brokerage ratings." you'll get plenty of websites that can help you determine which one is best for you.

good luck!

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