Scottrade Online Stock Trading
In operation for over thirty years, Scottrade is an online trading service provider that believes in the speedy execution of trades. It's easy to understand webpages and explanations about the trading processes they offer make it an excellent place for starting traders and investors, as well as for more seasoned ones. The provider also offers a variety of mobile tools, which are vital in the world of online trading. The company also offers excellent levels of customer service, which traders will find refreshing.
The fees and charges are a little higher than some of its competitors, but its range of tools and resources are worth the price. Online trades start at just $7, which is lower than other industry leaders. Broker-assisted trades will cost you $32. With the wide range of services, you're almost guaranteed to find an investment that suits your tastes. New traders will feel more comfortable with the many educational tools, resources, and low priced trades, benefiting them by enabling them to get a feel for the world of trading before launching into it headfirst. Customers wanting to learn more about trading can also attend local events that focus on investor-education. The many online educational tools include videos, live webinars, and articles.
Being able to make trades in multiple ways is another benefit Scottrade offers its customers. In addition to online trading, customers can make broker-assisted trades, and trades through a touchtone phone system. By far, the least expensive method is trading online. All fees are clearly indicated for every type of transaction, and they do not charge for setting up the account, inactivity, and there are no annual maintenance fees.
The large number of available tools makes it easy for investors to get the information needed for informed trading. The tools are user-friendly, and they provide helpful research and analysis.
There are two platforms with applicable levels of tools for investors: one for non-professionals, and another one for professionals. The Scottrader Streaming Quotes platform is for non-professionals, and it offers real-time streaming quotes. There is no charge to access them, and this data is displayed directly on their website. Individual investments can be selected and displayed over variable time frames.
The ScottradeELITE platform provides market insight and powerful research speed, giving active traders the tools they need. This tool is downloadable and lets users look at information on any stock, mutual fund, or ETF. It collects information from chosen industries, market news, views of analysts, and international markets. Stocks can also be viewed by market, price performance, fundamentals or technical indicators, or by earnings or dividends.
Another excellent feature from Scottrade is the number of types of investments that are available. Investors can put their money into many investment products, including mutual funds, ETF's, stocks, individual retirement accounts, CDs, bonds, education, options, and margins. Investors just starting out may be attracted to the company's making IRAs available that have no account minimum.
Scottrade places a strong emphasis on customer service. This adds to the appeal of new investors who appreciate the personal assistance that is available to them. Personal help is available through the more than 500 local branches, which is more than any other competitor will have. Investors can also get phone support seven days a week. On weekdays, customer service is available from as early as 6 am to 1 am Eastern Time, and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm ET. Help can also be reached through email support and live chat.
Although some of Scottrade's features are excellent, such as having no minimum amount for its IRAs, it is as high as any competitor when it comes to the minimum deposit needed for making trades. In fact, it is ranked equal to the most expensive, when compared to E*TRADE, TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, and Fidelity. Both Scottrade and Fidelity require a minimum of $2,500, while TD Ameritrade has no minimum, E*TRADE's minimum is $500, and Charles Schwab's minimum is $1,000.
Professional traders, according to Scottrade, are those who can afford its $25,000 minimum balance. Traders also must trade consistently, having to make nine or more trades in the previous three months.
For some reason, Scottrade does not have a way to withdraw funds electronically. Customers can use a debit card, checks, or ACH transfer.
The company's cost of trades beats its competitors. While E*TRADE starts out a penny lower at $6.99, they have a range of $6.99 to $9.99, which means their overall average is going to be higher than Scottrade's $7 figure. Fidelity is the closest in cost, with a cost of $7.95 per trade. TD Ameritrade is the highest at $9.99.
If you want mutual funds, Scottrade offers an incredible 14,000 of them, which is more than most of its competitors. Only Charles Schwab offers more, with 14,500. Of these 14,000 at Scottrade, 2,600 of them have no transaction fee associated with them.
Scottrade also has its own bank. Customers can take advantage of the free checking if they have at least $500 in a brokerage account. It is FDIC insured and offers checking and savings accounts. There are no minimum balances, no setup fee, and no monthly account fee.
A program to reinvest dividends is called the Flexible Reinvestment Program (FRIP). This program enables investors to reinvest their dividends into any stocks or ETFs, and there is no commission fees involved. They can also do this whenever they want and they can also choose the percentage of dividends to invest.
Scottrade is rather generous to those who will open a new account with them. The new customer, as well as one who adds funds to their current account, will get up to an additional $2,000.
Verdict - Good
While there are a few cons to consider, on the whole this is a good choice of online trading services provider and is great for those who are new to trading.
Because of its proven longevity, Scottrade remains one of the best online trading websites around. Its ease of access, large amounts of training materials, and free IRAs and checking, will enable it to continue to be a favorite for a long time. It is an ideal site for newbies because of its excellent customer service, as well as for those who want to simply buy stocks and hold on to them, because they can do this without any inactivity fees.