Discount Brokers

by Ron Haynes

After you’ve built up a 3 to 6 month emergency fund and you’re regularly putting aside money into a savings account, it may be time to consider investing – remember the saving vs investing distinction?  One holdup that many new investors fret over is which brokerage house is best. There are a lot of choices out there when deciding which brokerage firm to use for your investments. I personally use Scottrade and E*trade.

Scottrade Review

Scottrade houses my personal Roth IRA as well as another taxable account and there are a lot of reasons I use them. For one, their interface is ridiculously easy to navigate and for another, their fee structure makes investing a lot less taxing on my account. Fees can erode away your cash very quickly.

Scottrade

Top reasons to use Scottrade?

  • Only $500 to open an account.
  • Online trades are only $7.
  • No account maintenance or inactivity fees.
  • Over 400 brokerages nationwide incase you need to speak with someone in person or attend a seminar.
  • No-Fee IRAs! Also over 2,800 no transaction fee mutual funds!
  • Commission FREE exchange traded funds (ETFs)
  • CDs are available.
  • An incredible Knowledge Center with educational resources, interactive learning, and help/how-to. Scottrade customers have access to the Reference Notebook where they can save Knowledge Center content for quick reference.

E*Trade Review

E*Trade Financial was one of the first major online brokers and now has millions of customers in more than 40 countries worldwide. As one of the nation’s largest online brokerages, the company provides financial services that include retirement, trading, and investing. E*Trade accounts include: No-Fee Roth IRA, No-Fee Traditional IRA, and Rollover IRA accounts. Opening an account is quick and easy, and just takes a matter of minutes.

Top reasons to use E*Trade?

  • $9.99 or less stock trades.
  • 7,000+ mutual funds (1,000+ no–load, no–fee).
  • Dedicated 24/7 customer service teams.
  • Use Quick Transfer to transfer funds between E*Trade accounts in a heartbeat (even enroll external accounts) and move money to and from other financial institutions with just few clicks.
  • No mark ups on 30,000 bonds and fixed-income securities.
  • Target retirement date funds for easy hands-free investing.
  • FREE independent analyst research

MORE online brokerage options:

TradeKing

TradeKing is an online broker providing low flat trading fees with no minimum account requirements and no hidden fees. At TradeKing, you will pay just $4.95 a trade plus 65 cents per option contract. Period. They don’t have any account minimums or hidden fees and even charge the same price for broker-assisted trades. SmartMoney and Kiplinger’s both gave TradeKing’s Customer Service their very highest ratings in their latest broker surveys.

Zecco

Zecco offers free stock trades, powerful investment tools, excellent customer service, and a groundbreaking financial community. Get 10 free stock trades every month when you maintain a $25,000 balance or execute 25 trades each month. Otherwise, it’s just $4.50 per trade.

tradeMONSTER

tradeMONSTER™ is an innovative online brokerage that launched in 2008 and is geared towards stock and options traders. Differentiators of other online brokerage firms include a completely customizable trading platform, real-time streaming quotes and charts for accounts accounts including paperTRADE, one click order form from anywhere on the trading application and unique trading tools like spreadMAKER, Exit Plan, tradeLAB and strategySEEK. Their unique services are intended for the proactive investor who is looking for a disciplined approach and high value for a low price.

Whichever of these investing platforms you choose, the main key is to educate yourself on investing, trust your instincts, let go of emotions, and use solid research to make a decision.