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Scottrade Review

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For years, I’ve heard good things about Scottrade (mostly from people defending Scottrade in this guest post) but never tried them. I mostly use E*Trade because of their high yield savings account and TradeKing because of their low commissions. Since I don’t have that much to invest, it doesn’t really benefit me to open up all these broker accounts just to put a few dollars here or there.

However, since Scottrade doesn’t have any account maintenance fees and a low minimum ($500), I thought I’d give them a look to see what the fuss was about.

Commissions

In terms of stock commissions, the rates are competitive but not the best. You’ll pay $7 for internet trades, $17 for phone system trades, and $27 for broker assisted trades. It’s not as cheap as TradeKing where it’s $4.95 for everything but it sure beats the larger brokers like TD Ameritrade or E*Trade, both of which are above $10.

Options commission are less competitive, with internet orders at $7 per trade plus $1.25 per contract. Option exercises and assignments will run you $17. By comparison, many of the best options brokers will charge you less. OptionsHouse will charge you a flat rate of $9.95 and TradeKing charges $4.95 per trade and $0.65 per contract.

One area they do excel in is in mutual funds, for no-load, no-transaction fee funds they will charge you nothing to buy and sell. For no-load funds not in the NTF program, the fee is $17 to buy or sell, cheaper than many other brokers (TD Ameritrade charges you $40!). So if you are looking to trade both, Scottrade’s favorable mutual fund commission structure might be good for you.

Fees

One of the nice things about Scottrade is that they are very inexpensive when it comes to fees. There are no:

  • Annual account maintenance
  • Inactive account
  • Transfer out/account closing
  • IRA termination
  • Online confirmations and statements
  • Dow Jones Real-Time News
  • Real-time streaming quotes and charts
  • Cost basis accounting
  • Incoming/Outgoing DRS (Direct Registration System)
  • DWAC (Direct Withdrawal at Custodian)

The two notable “no charge” services they offer are the Transfer out/account closing and the IRA termination fees (or lack thereof). Usually brokers will have transfer out fees to try to keep you from going to another broker. It’s refreshing to see them not charge you a fee to get your own money back!

Awards

For at least the last two years, J.D. Power and Associates has ranked Scottrade the “Highest in Investor Satisfaction with Self-Directed Services.” Outside of that, all of the other awards Scottrade boasts about are employer satisfaction related. While it’s great their employees are happy, it isn’t exactly relevant to us. :)

Click to Apply Today!

Have you used Scottrade? If so, what is your opinion of them?

{ 37 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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37 Responses to “Scottrade Review”

  1. Doug says:

    I too left Scott Trade. Their trading platform was clumsy. Timed out way too often. The final straw was when I tried to get some money from my IRA account. I had to submit a written form and then they rejected it saying the signatures didn’t match what they had in the file. I admit I do have arthritis in my hands and I told them this. They still refused. I transferred my accounts immediately and got my money. I’ve read these lame Scott Trade PR responses. They asked for my business back. Toooo Bad!! STAY AWAY FROM SCOTT TRADE OR BEWARE.

  2. Fenix says:

    I have liked scottrade so far, but no dividend reinvesting is a deal breaker for me. I am most likely going to transfer my account out.

  3. tom says:

    Customer service is horrendous. The website is awkward, poorly designed, and way more energy than it’s worth.

    I’ve just had the experience of realizing that during some system migration a couple years ago they wiped out the cost basis on old trades and expected users to go backfill old data. This resulted in a couple trades showing on my 1099 for tax year 2011 with a $0 cost basis, which terribly over reports the transaction as pure gain. This is nuts, and will likely cause a lot of people to pay taxes on gains that are not real. WTF.

    At one point I could not remember which password to enter to login and ended up being forced to call a human to reset it. Mind you that the national call center couldn’t help here, I had to call the local branch to do this (it was after local business hours so I had to wait a day).

    Everything with Scottrade was unnecessarily difficult. Maddening really.

  4. Anonymous says:

    etrade has the best platform. I have scotttrade, etrade and tdameritrade. I have to say etrade is the best.

  5. Daniel says:

    I have been using Scottrade for about one year now, platform seems to have everything that is necessary for a good trading experience. After first opening the account I received a call from customer service, they were friendly and helpful and offered to schedule an appointment to visit a nearby branch to discuss how to properly use website/platform. After the visit I was surprised by how much interest they showed in helping me to become as familiar with their services as possible. Here’s a code for 3 free trades at sign up in case anyone is interested: FDUK8950 Never Expires


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