I have been on an investing kick lately, so decided to review some of my favorite online brokerages. This is our Scottrade review. I’ve had an account with Scottrade for a few years, so here is an overview of their service and what you get when you have an account. Scottrade is one of the most successful online investment brokerage firms ever. It has been around for 35 years, and combines efficiency, convenience, and low transaction fees all in one platform.
Scottrade is one of the leading investment brokerage firms in the market today, offering a full line of investment products, as well as top-notch market research, and investor education programs.Scottrade is one of the leading investment brokerage firms in the market today! Click To Tweet
Founded in 1980, the company is one of the best represented in the investment universe when it comes to physical branches. They have more than 500 of them, which is fairly unique even among large investment brokerage firms.
How Does Scottrade Work?
Scottrade offers the full range of account types:
[list_item icon=”entypo-check”]Joint and individual accounts.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”entypo-check”]Banking products, including checking and savings accounts, money market accounts and certificates of deposit.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”entypo-check”]Retirement accounts, including traditional, Roth and rollover IRAs, as well as small business SIMPLE and SEP IRAs (for up to 25 employees).[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”entypo-check”]Custodial and guardianship accounts, including Coverdell ESA’s and conservatorships.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”entypo-check”]Trust accounts (testamentary and non-testamentary) as well as Keogh / 401(k) / Money Purchase / Profit Sharing / Pension Plan.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”entypo-check”]Business accounts – including those for sole proprietorships, partnerships and limited partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs) and corporations.[/list_item]
Along with a wide range of accounts you can have, Scottrade offers a full range of investment products to suite your needs. Currently they offer:
[list_item icon=”entypo-check”]Retirement and IRAs[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”entypo-check”]Margin Trading[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”entypo-check”]Mutual Funds[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”entypo-check”]Coverdell ESAs[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”entypo-check”]Foreign Investments[/list_item]
The range of account types that they offer can be especially appealing if you are a small business person. Not only do they offer business accounts for various types of business formations, but they also offer a full range of retirement programs. For example, you can start out with a basic IRA, and then move up to a SEP IRA or a 401(k) plan as your company grows, and you hire more employees. And you can do it all through the very same investment brokerage firm that you started out with.
On investment level, one of the best aspects of working with Scottrade is that it’s an investment platform that can easily be customized to suit your own needs. This is important because no matter how good a platform is, it may not work for you if it isn’t specifically set up for your own personal operating style. The Scottrade web platform allows you to rearrange the home page, and even to delete any features that you find to be either unimportant or distracting.
You can make transactions through simple point-and-click. And not only make trades, but you can also conduct any necessary research with the click of your mouse. Speaking of research, Scottrade is one of the industry leaders in this category. They offer a large volume of information and trading tools that will help you to grow as a trader the more that you use the platform.
Virtually all investment brokerage platforms work in a similar way, however Scottrade has a broad assortment of tools and features that make it one of the better platforms around. There are a lot of features for Scottrade’s platform, which is why they are consistently rated as one of the best online brokerages.
Scottrade has more than 500 local branches and they’re spread pretty evenly throughout the US. In the event you needed to meet with a live person, you can almost certainly do so, no matter where you live.
Scottrade has online, email and phone support available. That last one shouldn’t be underestimated. Some new online investment platforms, anxious to completely streamline operations into a web-only application, offer customers no phone access. Scottrade also offers Chinese language customer service.
Scottrade began operations (as Scottsdale Securities at first), in 1980. That gives them a lot more experience in the investment business than most of the investment brokers and web platforms that are around today. Their intuitive investment platform provides a wide range of information in order for you to make the best decisions based on your goals and needs.
Trade stocks from more then 20 countries
Scottrade allows you to trade foreign stocks, providing customers the ability to trade international equities alongside domestic equities via one central account. Most trades are just $7 – the same rate they charge on domestic stock trades.
Mobile trading and mobile websites
All the features of the online website are also available on your iPhone, iPad and Android phones. You can even pay bills on your mobile platform with the Online Bill Pay tool.
Scottrade has recently updated their trading platform to allow you to create up to three different trading home pages with up to 23 tables of information on each page. This allows you to create the trading platform just for you, customized to your interest and goals.
Quick Quotes and Portfolio Review Tool
Both powered by Morningstar, they can help you select the right investments and the right investment mix for your portfolio. Pre-defined asset allocation models let you compare current and targeted investments, view investment allocation across market segments and identify opportunities.
This platform is designed with active traders in mind. This is a tool that help you analyze price movements, identify and measure trend strength and react to market shifts as they occur.
Scottrade Knowledge Center
This provides you with a wealth of investment education, that includes webinars, online resources, and even in-person events at local branch offices. This includes training in how to maximize your use of the Scottrade trading platform and all the resources it has available.
Free Online Trades when you refer a friend to Scottrade
Both you and your friend can earn three free online trades as a result of you referring the friend to Scottrade. The Scottrade Referral Program is designed to reward existing customers for introducing the many benefits of Scottrade to new customers.
$100 Transfer Fee reimbursement
If you currently have money with another broker – one who will charge you a termination fee to close out your account – Scottrade is currently offering to reimburse you for those exit fees, up to $100, if you transfer at least $10,000 from that account into a new Scottrade account.
Up to $2,000 Cash Back Bonus
If you want to try out Scottrade, they are currently offering a tiered cash back bonus for new accounts. Currently, you get $100 cash back if you deposit $50,000 to $99,999. This goes all the way up to $1,000,000 where they offer $2,000 cash back.
If you have an individual, joint, trust, traditional IRA or roth IRA with Scottrade, then you are eligible for a Scottrade Bank account. These are FDIC insured up to $250,000. With this type of bank account, you can do quick transfers to your Scottrade trading account, which enables you to trade even faster. Outside transfers into Scottrade can take days, so this is one of the fastest ways to trade. You get online bill pay and other benefits of traditional banks. Scottrade Bank is considered an online bank, so there are no brick and mortar locations.
Related: Check out my Motif Investing Review
There’s a lot of good news on the pricing front with Scottrade. To start, there are no account maintenance fees, and no inactivity fees. And the trading fees are on the lower end of the online range:
- Stocks – $7 per trade ($32 for phone or broker assisted trades)
- Options – $7 per trade, plus $1.25 per contract ($32 + $1.25 per contract for phone or broker assisted trades)
- ETF’s – $7 per trade ($32 for phone or broker assisted trades)
Mutual funds have three pricing levels:
- No-Load, No Transaction Fee (NTF) Funds – No fees!
- No-Load Funds (not in NTF program) – $17 to buy, sell or exchange
- Load Funds – No fee to buy, $17 to sell or exchange
The combination of low cost trades, generous information and educational tools, and easy to use trading features, make Scottrade well worth checking out, especially if you’re a serious do-it-yourself investor. Check out Scottrade if you want to have your investments in a quality program with good customer service and pricing.
What do you think about Scottrade? Is it a brokerage you have used or would use?
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