Investing 
1
comments

OptionsHouse Free Stock Trades Promotion

OptionsHouse is offering 100 commission free trades for new accounts with promotion code FREE100. You must deposit at least $3,000 within 45 days and the 100 free trades expire after 60 days of funding. This offer expires December 31st, 2009.

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 Business 
37
comments

Zecco Affiliates Can’t Criticize Zecco

Bargaineering.com relies on a mixture of advertising and affiliate marketing to generate income. Part of the affiliate marketing piece is that we get paid when someone signs up for accounts, such as a trading account with Zecco.com (not everything, just some things). A lot of personal finance bloggers pay the bills and generate income this way. Until about a month ago, no company has tried to influence my opinion until Zecco.

About a month ago, Zecco’s affiliate manager notified me that I would no longer be compensated for leads sent to Zecco because I had negative reviews about them on Bargaineering.com. I was told that I had to “remove any negative reviews of Zecco and [I] can resume promoting and sending orders.” They phrased it in a way that seemed like I was unfairly picking on them, so I said I’d take a look if they told me which posts they found to be negative.

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 Investing 
13
comments

TradeMONSTER Review

TradeMONSTERTradeMONSTER is a relatively new online discount broker in an industry that hasn’t seen a new entrant in a few years. I believe TradeMonster’s strategy is to offer relatively low pricing (not rock bottom) and a powerful suite of browser-based analysis tools. TradeMonster is owned by optionMonster, a financial media company that publishes market news and commentary on options and stock trading. If you’ve ever watched CNBC then you’ll recognize a bunch of the faces behind optionMonster (Jon ‘DRJ’ Najarian and Guy Adami are on Fast Money).

The aspect of TradeMonster that really jumped out at me is the first thing I’m going to review – paper trading.

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 Investing 
5
comments

Cheap Stock Trades at Discount Stock Brokers

I’m not sure how much it costs to execute a stock trade but it doesn’t appear to be all that much. When I first opened up my first brokerage account, it was with Vanguard. Vanguard has two main types of investor accounts, one where you invest in their family of mutual funds and one where you can invest in stocks, bonds, ETFs, etc. When I opened up my Roth IRA as a teenager, I did it with Vanguard and paid a then staggering $20 a trade. Twenty bucks! Nowadays, you can buy and sell a stock twice with TradeKing and still have twenty cents left over to get some Bazooka Bubble Gum. That’s a cheap stock trade right there.

So what defines cheap? Ultimately it comes down the dollar amount because you’d have a difficult time arguing that $12.99 is cheaper than $4.95. However, I think that just looking at the cost of the stock trade may be a mistake. Certain brokers charge you less but they offer you less in terms of tools, service, or both. Sometimes you have to review all the factors to make your decision.

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 Investing 
10
comments

TradeKing vs. Zecco: Discount Broker Comparison

When Zecco first appeared on the discount broker scene, everyone celebrated their $0 stock trade commissions. I know it caught my attention, there are very few things that beat free. Even when reports of customer service woes rolled in, I still thought their offer was the best of the bunch. If you are paying $0 per stock trade, you can’t expect them to have an army of customer service reps there to answer your every call. You get what you pay for and you pay nothing.

Then I learned about TradeKing, which charges $4.95 a trade. $4.95 isn’t free but it’s certainly cheaper than E*Trade, where I was paying $9.99 a trade. Not only were the trades cheap, but TradeKing had been winning best customer service awards and best discount broker awards for years. So when Zecco stopped offering no-strings attached free trades, I knew we needed to compare the two straight up to get a better idea of which one was tops.

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 Investing 
5
comments

TradeKing $50 Promotion: National Friends Day!

National Friendship Day Logo

This promotion has ended but… TradeKing has a new Refer a Friend Offer for $100. Click the link to learn more or email me and I’ll refer you.

Did you know that National Friendship Day was August 3nd? Since 1935, Congress declared the first Sunday in August to be National Friendship Day.

I didn’t, but that’s because my friends never told me! (I just lobbed a softball, someone crush it out of the park already…)

Well, my friends at TradeKing (har har, I think they just like my money) just sent me an email telling me about a promotion where if you refer a friend to TradeKing, both of you get $50.

Here are the important details of the $50 referral promotion:

  • It must be a new account opened between July 31st and August 31st,
  • The referred friend has to fund their account with at least $1,000 within 30 days,
  • The referred friend has to execute at least one trade (trades are $4.95 a piece) within 180 days of opening the account,
  • The funds must remain in the account for at least 180 days.

Is this a good deal? If you don’t have a TradeKing account and have been thinking about it, now’s a good time to do it. If you just want the money, trades are $4.95 a piece so you’re talking a round-trip cost of $9.90, plus your trade is at risk in the market, for a promo of $40.10 on a $1,000 six-month deposit (puts the interest APY, if you like to think in those terms, at ~8%+ APY).

Want in? Shoot me an email with this contact form and I’ll send you a referral. (or directly email me at: if you can't see this, use the contact form)


 Investing 
28
comments

Beware Broker Transfer Out Fees

My wife’s Roth IRA currently sits at a TD Ameritrade account, where it’s been sitting for the last three or four years. With the majority of it in cash, mostly because we lost track of the account, we want to invest it in our retirement investment of choice, an index fund. Our index fund of choice happens to be the Vanguard 500 Index Fund because most of our retirement funds are with Vanguard. Vanguard does not have the cheapest index fund, I believe that title now resides with Fidelity’s Spartan 500 index. Paying the extra 0.08% seems reasonable considering we can manage it all in one place.

The only downside about this entire process is that TD Ameritrade has a $75 outbound full account transfer fee. :( Fortunately Vanguard does not charge you to transfer in an IRA (to my knowledge, no one does).

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 Investing 
17
comments

Smart Money 2009 Best Online Brokers

Another year, another Smart Money broker survey! We’ve been reviewing SmartMoney’s best broker series for several years now (here’s 2008) and it’s always valuable to see how the different brokers fare from year to year. In the 2009 broker survey, we didn’t see too much change compared to 2008.

Unlike last year, which featured a merging of the discount and full service broker lists (in which TradeKing lost a #1 ranking they enjoyed for several years), they didn’t make any big changes to the way they analyzed the brokers. (here’s the list if you want to take a peek)

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