Investing 
15
comments

2011 Kiplinger’s Best Online Brokers

Every year Kiplinger’s magazine puts out a survey of the best online brokers. Every year, I take a look at the list because I’m curious how the different brokers stack up. I’d like to know if anyone has made any big changes or improvements to their service, it might change my mind about who I do business with.

Usually the lists don’t change all that much. As you scan this year’s list, you’ll see the same ones near the top, the same ones near the middle, and the same ones near the end. The meat is in the article detailing the different categories (like commissions and fees, investment choices, etc.) because it adds a little color to an otherwise robotic list.

One important thing to remember as you peruse this list: the best online broker is the broker that satisfies all of your requirements. All the bells and whistles in the world don’t matter if they don’t offer exactly what you need. With so many brokers, many of which are inexpensive, you should be able to find your best broker, online or offline, if you’re diligent.

Let’s get to the list…

(Click to continue reading…)


 Investing 
14
comments

Smart Money 2010 Best Online Brokers

Smart MoneyEvery year, Smart Money takes an in-depth look at online brokers, from their trading platform to their customer service, and rates them based on their performance. They open up accounts and make trades, they call up customer service and pore through the reviews, and they share all of their experiences with you – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

One thing that does surprise me is how little the list changes each year. For yet another year, the top five are the same, though their order has changed a little, and the back of the list sees the same faces. You would think that these brokers would look at these problem spots and at least make some steps to address them.
(Click to continue reading…)


 Investing 
5
comments

How to Close a Sharebuilder Account

ShareBuilderAs I mentioned in my post about the Sharebuilder five free trades promotion code, I recently sold a small position in IYT in my Sharebuilder account. I opened it because I was taking advantage of a $50 Sharebuilder promotion code and not the account just another one of the million I’ve been closing recently.

Fortunately, Sharebuilder is part of ING Direct and ING Direct is easily the king of online banking when it comes to interfaces. Closing a sharebuilder account is really simple, just log in, click on the Account Profile tab:
(Click to continue reading…)


 Personal Finance 
30
comments

How To Organize Electronic Financial Documents

Document Storage!It’s always tricky remembering how long I should keep financial documents so recently I began cheating by electronically scanning all my documents to my hard drive. I was able to save all the documents I really didn’t need, but was apprehensive about shredding forever, and created electronic backups for the documents I knew I should keep. It was the best of both worlds.

The end result, though, was a collection of poorly organized files. To help me create a system, I began reading online. When the NY Times Bucks blog talked to Alicia Rockmore, co-founder of Buttoned Up, she recommended a year-based file system.

“Have one file for everything that is tax- or finance-related per year,” she said. Then, download electronic records available online to the files and scan in paper copies of other documents as well.


(Click to continue reading…)


 Personal Finance 
39
comments

How Long Should I Keep Financial Documents?

Document Storage!We recently purchased a sheet-fed scanner, the Fujitsu ScanSnap S300, to help organize our financial records and this purchase is easily one of the top ten I’ve made in my adult life. We went from having a few banker’s boxes of documents down to just a few in about a week. Using a sheet-fed scanner, versus a flat-bed scanner like a copier, can save you a ridiculous amount of time and the ScanSnap will save your document into a PDF. It’s a big pricey but definitely worth it if you’re looking to save things electronically.

One of the benefits of storing documents electronically is that it makes the “how long should I keep financial documents?” question a bit obsolete. Data storage is cheap so you can save documents forever, but I think it’s still important to know how long to keep documents because it gives you a better understanding of finances. Knowing why you should keep tax records for seven years gives you a better understanding of the tax process.

So how long should you keep financial documents? It depends.

(Click to continue reading…)


 Investing 
10
comments

Transferring Brokerage Assets from E*Trade to TradeKing

When I learned about E*Trade selling their banking business to Discover, I knew my days with them were numbered (I later learned that only bank accounts with no brokerage relationships were moving… but alas the ball was already rolling). Brokers are finding it increasingly difficult to differentiate themselves and when you can get good customer service at a cheaper cost elsewhere, even the pioneers are going to find their businesses suffering. Those who have been reading for a while may remember me mentioning my investments at E*Trade and how I’ve been doing any new investing with TradeKing. My original approach was to leave my assets at E*Trade until I sell them, but a recent offer changed my mind.

TradeKing has a promotion where they will reimburse new accounts, defined as opened in the last thirty days, up to $150 in transfer fees. My account is far older than that but I asked a CSR if they’d be willing to extend that offer to me and they agreed! (had they not agreed, I wouldn’t have transferred…) E*Trade has a $60 full account transfer fee, much less than the $150 reimbursement limit, that is paid using account assets. I’m not sure what would happen if I had $0 cash, but the simple solution was to transfer $60 into the account prior to initiating the transfer. If you plan on doing this, be sure you have the amount of the fee in cash or you might not like what the brokerage does on your behalf!

(Click to continue reading…)


 Investing 
34
comments

Your Take: How Do You Evaluate Brokers?

Charles SchwabCharles Schwab announced today that they would be charging a flat $8.95 per online equity trade regardless of the customer’s account size or the number of shares traded, down from $12.95. Schwab has been marketing itself as the broker of the average Joe, with their “Talk to Chuck” marketing, and moving to $8.95 a trade is certainly going in the right direction.

I’ve always thought of Schwab as a full-service broker along the lines of a TD Ameritrade, who charges $9.95 a stock trade, and less of a discount broker, like TradeKing ($4.95) or E*Trade ($12.99). As the lines between services that discount and “full-service” offer gets blurred, the only differences will come down to the commissions. Right?

(Click to continue reading…)


 Investing 
24
comments

Why Choose Sharebuilder?

Before investing in the stock market was opened to the masses with brokers offering cheap stock trades, Sharebuilder was the only one with a commission in the single digits. Four bucks was all it cost to buy a stock, as long as you were willing to schedule your purchase ahead of time (the following Tuesday). Real time trades cost you $9.95, which puts it on par with the more “expensive” discount brokers. Any sale of stock was considered a real time trade so the total round-trip commissions would cost you $13.95.

Since then, there are close to a dozen brokers offering stock trades for less than $10 a trade, buy or sell. The slight competitive advantage Sharebuilder once had was now gone and I’m wondering why anyone would choose Sharebuilder?

(Click to continue reading…)


Advertising Disclosure: Bargaineering may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website.
About | Contact Me | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Terms of Use | Press
Copyright © 2014 by www.Bargaineering.com. All rights reserved.