which online broker is best?
December 28, 2005 12:26 AM   Subscribe

Opinions on the best online online brokerage out there right now? I want to buy some stocks and do a little trading for myself away from my retirement account which is handled by a professional. Hard to pick between the big boys (e-trade, scottrade, etc.) or maybe there's a better option I'm not aware of. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
posted by BillBishop to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd like to repeat BillBishop's question but slanted for the UK.
posted by Hogshead at 3:51 AM on December 28, 2005

I've been relatively happy with TD Waterhouse but they've just been bought by Ameritrade so I'm interested in what others think as well. When I opened my acct many years ago I was receiveing 6% interest on my Waterhouse brokerage acct. Now it hovers around 1%. Anyone have any accounts that offer a higher interest?
posted by any major dude at 6:06 AM on December 28, 2005

E*Trade's account maintenance fees are $40 per quarter unless you do a trade that quarter or have a $10,000 balance. If you don't trade very often, it's not a good broker.
posted by smackfu at 6:39 AM on December 28, 2005

I have tried Schwab, TD Waterhouse, and ScotTrade. I like Schwab, but I'm probably moving it all to ScotTrade. $7 trades, decent tools, and a good attitude.
posted by mumeishi at 7:28 AM on December 28, 2005

I'll second Scottrade. Cheap trades, very helpful if you need help.
posted by Ferrari328 at 7:46 AM on December 28, 2005

I followed Datek into Ameritrade. Their online system is terrific. Great quote tools, fast execution, real time updates to your account. I'm still astonished at brokerages that don't show you how much cash you have until the end of the day. I'm not a day trader, but the bits should be up to the minute, not just the day.
posted by Nelson at 9:13 AM on December 28, 2005

Consumer Reports Money Advisor rated online brokers in their September 2005 issue. The top five brokers were: Firstrade (www.firstrade.com), Trading Direct (www.tradingdirect.com), BrownCo (www.brownco.com), Barry Murphy (www.barrymurphy.com), and Scottrade (www.scottrade.com). See the issue for the full report. Ameritrade and E-Trade received overall ratings of fair.
posted by AlexanderBanning at 9:25 AM on December 28, 2005

At $7 flat fee per trade and no inactivity fees, Scottrade gets you the most for your money. Definitely recommended over other brokerages with trade/activity fees that will cut into your margins.
posted by superfem at 10:11 AM on December 28, 2005

I use Scottrade and have been satisfied. If you are looking for rock-bottom pricing, however, check out Marsco and Ameritrade iZone, which are both $5 a trade. iZone has a $5,000 minimum but if you don't have $5,000, you probably shouldn't bother trying to buy and sell indvidual stocks anyway. MarsCo has a $2,500 minimum. I have not used either of these extremely discounted brokers.
posted by kindall at 10:37 AM on December 28, 2005

I have been a very satisfied Scottrade customer for about 5 years now. I would highly recommend them. But recently they had a SNAFU with their e-checks deposits; in that the company they hired out to handle processing the e-checks which i use to deposit into my acount bi-monthly, had their database compromised by a hacker (the official explanation). But they handled the situation to my satisfaction and I closed and re-opened my checking account (just as I would if i had my checkbook stolen) and still use them. I assume moving forward that they will be more vigilant with this sort of thing. So Scottrade is my recommendation.
posted by iurodivii at 6:00 AM on December 29, 2005

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