While stock brokers can be expensive it is worth thinking about hiring one. However, if you are new to the world of investing and find the terminology, expenses, fees, and process the least bit confusing it is best to utilize the services of a stock broker that is going to work with you every step of the way and explain the way things work at least for the first several trades you make. Stock brokers are paid through commissions that are earned every time you buy or sell a stock. For this reason they are great for advising you on which stocks to buy or sell though their main goal is to keep you buying and selling because they earn money on each transaction so be sure to take their advice, to some degree, with a grain of salt.
That being said a good stock broker can help you learn the ropes about trading stocks when you are just beginning in your investment efforts. Their advice and services can be invaluable and well worth every penny you pay them provided you find a broker that is going to work with you even though you are, presumably, going to be trading on a much smaller scale than some of their high dollar clients. In other words you want someone that is going to work with you even though you aren't likely to be their biggest client anytime in the near future unless they make some excellent decisions on your behalf.
Stock brokers can also provide excellent insight and invaluable advice on how to diversify your portfolio in order to minimize your risks as far as your investments go while building the foundation for a successful future trading in the market. More importantly a stock broker can help you identify diamonds in the stock business that may be disguised as lumps of coal. They have a great deal of experience in this business, even more education, and often times excellent gut instincts about what is coming next in a given stock.
This by no means indicates that the services or advice of stock brokers is somehow infallible. This isn't the case at all. Everyone makes mistakes but by following the advice of a stock broker you are much likely to make fewer mistakes than if you were going it alone because you can learn from past mistakes the brokers have made and hopefully avoid future mistakes of your own by taking their advice and guidance to heart.
If the high commissions of brick and mortar brokerages are hard to come by or sacrifice you may want to consider an online stock broker. While they often won't have the pedigree and credentials of some of the stock broker experts that can be found in many financial institutions on Wall Street they also do not charge commissions that match those pedigrees and can be invaluable in helping you make the most of your stock market investments. Learn when to take the advice that is given for what it is worth and use it to your advantage. Their advice can still help you much more than trying to muddle through the intricacies of investing and online trading on your own.
If you decide not to go with a stock broker you need to understand that you are doing so at your own risk. The roads of the stock market are difficult to navigate even for those that have some degree of experience and there are few roadmaps to help guide you along the way. A qualified and competent stock broker can be the difference between a successful investment future and a loosing your shirt on your first time out of the gate. Take advantage of the benefit that a stock broker can bring to the table until you are confident in your ability to navigate these waters on your own. They can help you grow your financial portfolio to meet your goals.