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Recommendations on low-cost / online stock brokerages?

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by Brian C. Stradale, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    3,603
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Anybody use online or otherwise low-cost stock trading?
    Any issues with it? Happy with a particular brokerage?
    Advanatages or disadvantages to look for?

    (Why do I ask?

    I've been using a standard brokerage for years, with negotiated lower rates on stock trades. And, though a tad expensive, it was not a big deal as I was long-term investing... and the broker provided plenty of services for that.

    Now I am considering doing some very active short-term investing... and the traditional brokerage costs start to look daunting in that situation. So, I am looking at alternatives.)

    Thanks.
     
  2. Lawrence Coppari

    Lawrence Coppari Formula 3

    Apr 29, 2002
    1,840
    Kingsport, TN
    Full Name:
    Lawrence A. Coppari
    I've been using USAA for about 10 years. Online stock trades cost me $8. I've been satisfied with them but they are not the least expensive. The $8 is for a frequent trader. Option trades are more expensive.
     
  3. GuardsRed

    GuardsRed Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
    129
    Alexandria, VA
    Full Name:
    Sam
    Scottrade...$7, option, naked and covered, bonds, free transaction on mutuals, research, real time trade data and charts...very nice.
     
  4. stokpro

    stokpro F1 Rookie
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Jun 25, 2003
    4,244
    Himalayas
    I have a traditional brokerage account (Smith Barney) for L/T holdings and a Harris Direct (formerly CSFB Direct) account for short-term plays. I've been happy with Harris so far. Don't get suckered into the whole cheap commission rates b/c often those are for market orders only and you don't have control over whether they sell you an equity directly from their own inventory. For instance, XYZ stock is trading at $10, you place a market order for 100 shares with commission of say $7, total cost to you should be $1,007, but it's not likely... why? B/c they sold you 100 shares from their own inventory and charged you $7.50/share, now you're paying the $7 comm. fee plus $50 premium for the same stock. Instead of making only $7 off you, they make $57. I only place limit orders using my online account. I've had Schwab in the past, but they tend to charge higher account maintenance fees, but typically will not sell from their inventory if they can help it. Acutally, I used to place market orders via Schwab and never had a problem... usually ended up paying less than the last ASK price. No experience with Etrade, but have heard good things as well. Good luck!
     
  5. stokpro

    stokpro F1 Rookie
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Jun 25, 2003
    4,244
    Himalayas

    Who are the 'cougs? Go HUSKIES!! Woof!
     
  6. TigerAce

    TigerAce Formula 3

    May 29, 2003
    1,793
    Dallas, TX
    Full Name:
    Yoshi Ace
    Stockpro, did you go UW? I stayed in McMahon while I was there in 1983. Back then, Cougars were more of party school. Or is it still. Now I am in TX, I do miss a view of Seattle sometime.

    Oh my main question is who are you recommending even for traditional trading?

    Yoshi Ace
     
  7. Hubert888

    Hubert888 F1 Veteran
    BANNED

    May 14, 2003
    5,377
    Manhattan & LA
    Full Name:
    Hubert
    I think the cheapest out there is Brown and Co. I think 5000 share orders for $5 or something like that.
     
  8. ty (360mode)

    ty (360mode) Formula Junior

    Sep 25, 2002
    807
    Houston
    Full Name:
    Tim
    EXECUTION! do a search online and find out who ranked tops w/ respect to execution. that is what matters much much more than commissions.

    i used to work for one of the largest mutual fund companies and we had to fight this battle all the time with s/h, regulators, etc... all they would look at is cents per share we paid to execute trades and wouldn't focus on the big picture - price we paid for each share!
     
  9. V-10 Nut

    V-10 Nut Rookie

    Dec 1, 2003
    45
    Missouri
    Full Name:
    Steve
    I've had an Ameritrade account for some time now and while not the cheapest, their execution is excellent, their online procedures are very straightforward and the statements easy to read.
     
  10. stokpro

    stokpro F1 Rookie
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Jun 25, 2003
    4,244
    Himalayas
    Yoshi,

    I am certainly a HUSKY! McMahon... that place has changed quite a bit. Did they have "clusters" in McMahon when you were there? Wazzu is still known as a party school -- after all, there's nothing else to do out in Pullman except drink, tip cows, drink some more, and share STDs.

    I recommend Smith Barney for traditional account.
     
  11. Challenge

    Challenge Formula 3

    Sep 27, 2002
    1,492
    PA
    Full Name:
    Kevin
    You mean $0.50/share, not $7.50/share right? $7.50/share @ 100sh would be $750.00. If the stock was trading at $10, I'd buy as much at $7.50/share as I could!

    Seriously, all you're saying is if they act as a dealer on the transaction (market-maker) then they slip an extra 50 cents into the spread so the you pay more to cover the "cheap" commission?
     
  12. stokpro

    stokpro F1 Rookie
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Jun 25, 2003
    4,244
    Himalayas

    shoot, i meant $10.50/share not $7.50/share.
     
  13. TigerAce

    TigerAce Formula 3

    May 29, 2003
    1,793
    Dallas, TX
    Full Name:
    Yoshi Ace
    Thanks Ty.

    Stockpro,
    Cow tipping!!!!! Very first thing I was dare to do at my 1st night out on American high school when I was 15. Snipe hunting, too!!!

    I don't know what you mean by clusters??? You mean they re-modeled the place or you mean people living there.

    STD, LOL. Brings back all memories of college days.

    BTW THANKS for your advise, too.
     
  14. stokpro

    stokpro F1 Rookie
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Jun 25, 2003
    4,244
    Himalayas
    Yoshi,

    Clusters... they put (cluster) four people together to share a communal bathroom and living space with separate sleeping quarters. I was back on campus two weeks ago to sit on a business school panel and the place has changed dramatically. The new Law School is very nice.
     
  15. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    3,603
    Dallas, TX, USA
    That would seem to be NASD-prohibited behavior.
    In general, profiting off the spread between a client's
    order and where the market really is would allow
    brokers to make ridiculous amounts of money off
    such "hidden commissions" (better termed "theft").

    But that does make me wonder how that is monitored
    and enforced. And if there's not a reliable way to
    monitor such behavior, then that would eliminate all
    but the big-name, long-lived brokers.

    Hmmm...
     
  16. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    3,603
    Dallas, TX, USA
    That seems like reasonable advice... but I cannot find any objective (or otherwise) rankings of broker execution. Or of brokers on any criteria... even price and basic features. Any pointers?
     
  17. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    3,603
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Anybody used Wells Fargo for low-cost trading?
    Anybody used Wells Fargo for traditional brokerage services?

    They've treated me real good on the banking side, and I just realized they have some interesting alternatives on the brokerage side.


    (I'm also still interested in the mentioned "Execution Ratings", if anyone has links or references.)
     
  18. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2001
    5,029
    Northeast
    Full Name:
    Tim
    If you decide to go with scottrade, i have a referal number that will earm ae 3 free trades if you use it when signing up. :)
     
  19. ntol

    ntol Karting

    Dec 19, 2003
    129
    Clemmons, NC
    Full Name:
    Neil
    i have been using Ameritrade for about 4 years and love it. $10.99 a trade, they let you trade pinksheets with the same cost.
     
  20. racedecknc

    racedecknc Karting

    Nov 24, 2003
    198
    Winston Salem
    Full Name:
    Ed
    Ameritrade is running a special at the moment with the first 25 trades free. Can't beat it.

    Ed
     

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