When I was ready to invest and looking around at different advisory companies, a few colleagues recommended Vanguard. I chose to work with them due to their low investment threshold (the fund I first bought into required a $3,000 deposit) and the reasonable fees. They also offer a lot of products like options and foreign securities that piqued my interest. Their online reports and investor information are some of the best in the business, in my opinion. Fees for trades are about $20 or so and they did give me my first 25 trades for $7. Their mutual funds are free.