- Bargaineering - http://www.bargaineering.com/articles -

Kiplinger’s Best Discount Brokers

In the latest issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, they rated a dozen discount brokers on a variety of factors including commission, research & tools, fees, investment options, “easy of use,” and customer service. The results were pretty close to the results of Smart Money’s 2008 ranking of the best discount brokers [3].

Kiplinger’s Best Discount Brokers

  1. Fidelity
  2. Charles Schwab
  3. Muriel Siebert
  4. TradeKing [4]
  5. E*Trade [5]
  6. OptionsHouse
  7. TD Ameritrade
  8. WellsTrade
  9. Firstrade
  10. OptionsXpress [6]
  11. Zecco [7]
  12. Scottrade [8]

VS. Smart Money 2008 Best Discount Brokers

Smart Money’s best were:

  1. E*Trade [5]
  2. Fidelity
  3. TradeKing [4]
  4. TD Ameritrade
  5. Charles Schwab

Looking solely at these two rankings, Fidelity did the best scoring a 1st and 2nd across the two lists. Charles Schwab, TradeKing, and E*trade also remained consistently in the Top 5. The only real difference is in the ranking of TD Ameritrade and Muriel Siebert, though that could be in how they factor in commissions. Kiplinger’s doesn’t seem to care as much at Muriel Siebert is almost 3x as expensive as TradeKing.

Many of the scores confirmed the results found in Smart Money’s ranking, such as TradeKing [9] scoring 5 out of 5 in customer service (pretty impressive considering their low $4.95 a trade commission). Smart Money’s winner, E*Trade [10], took fifth place in the Kiplinger’s listing of the best discount brokers.

It’s not that surprising that Zecco [11] was listed so far back, they seem to have a problem shedding the negative aspects of “discount,” unlike other brokers, and continue to rate pretty poorly against their peers. I was surprised to see Scottrade dead last considering they rated rated the highest in investor satisfaction by JD Power & Associates [12] but I suppose you have take all rankings with a grain of salt.