Can you Buy Mutual Funds through a Discount Broker?
Once upon a time, discount brokerages did not offer mutual funds as an investment alternative, but that is changing. The selection of mutual funds at brokerages can differ widely. If you have a particular mutual fund family that you are set on using, make sure that the brokerage you are selecting offers that family of funds.
No-load mutual funds can be purchased directly from mutual fund companies, so unless you are a mutual fund trading addict, the availability of thousands of mutual funds in one location probably should not affect which broker you choose. While you may purchase some no-load mutual funds from discount brokers without paying a transaction fee, some brokers do charge a fee for funds -- so be sure to check on this before making a purchase.
Beyond equity mutual funds, there are a number of other investment vehicles that you may wish to use. All the brokerages will offer the stocks on the major exchanges. However, if you are somebody interested in risking your hard-earned money on over-the-counter (OTC) bulletin board stocks, you will have to see which brokerages offer them.
Other choices such as options, government bonds, corporate bonds, and the like are not available through every brokerage. Determine what you expect you will need. We are fans of just plain old stocks, especially if you are young and act accordingly.