There are a lot of online stock brokers out there but one that stands out is Scottrade, which I find to be a great all around broker that caters to both new, beginning investors and those who are much more experienced.
What I like about Scottrade is that beyond the trading platform that it offers, they also have a comprehensive collection of educational material and free online resources for investing and trading. If you’re a new investor without much knowledge in the stock market, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that an online brokerage like Scottrade can, over time, provide you with a very good understanding of the trading process, as well as a high level of knowledge about the subject of investing.
Now if you’re already an experienced stock investor or trader, you’ll also be able to appreciate this discount broker for its more advanced online trading tools (they’ve got the ScottradeELITE Advanced Trading Platform and trading tools for options strategists, among other things). This broker is a great fit for investors of all experience levels.
Scottrade Review: Best Online Brokerage Features
Let’s take a closer look at Scottrade to see what features they offer:
1. They have low commissions. If you trade stocks online, you’ll get pretty good commission rates: it’s $7 a trade (for stocks priced over $1) for online transactions. You’ll be charged more if you trade over the phone or through one of their live brokers. But there are no fees to buy or sell no load, no transaction fee mutual funds — which is a great benefit for mutual fund holders. Other purchases (e.g. if you trade load funds) may lead to additional fees. Trading options online will cost you $7 + $1.25 per contract.
2. They have a number of tools to help the investor. The trading website has a stock screener that alerts you to investments that fit your strategy; it has real time quotes and charting, gain/loss tracking, interactive tutorials, and educational seminars. Their ScottradeELITE Advanced Trading Platform, available with a minimum account value of $25,000, allows you to track market momentum and detect potential trading opportunities in the market, and has unlimited customizable charts and other advanced tools for the active trader.
3. They’ve got top notch customer service. Scottrade has been recognized for having great customer service. They won the J.D. Power and Associate award in 2008 for “Highest in Investor Satisfaction with Self Directed Services.” They have more than 427 local branches, including three in my hometown! They have free monthly workshops to help you understand how to invest and/or trade, and also an online community, where you can discuss investment issues with fellow investors.
Good customer service is important to me, especially when large amounts of money are involved. You want to be confident that you’re using the online tools and platforms in an optimal way and that you aren’t going to make mistakes with managing your investments. I can appreciate those online stock brokers that take the extra step to provide you a lifeline through people who can answer your questions online, by phone, and in person.
4. It’s easy to get started and easy to switch! You can open an account either online or by mail. And you only need $500 to get started. If you already have an existing account elsewhere, Scottrade will refund you up to $100 to transfer your account with them.