SmartMoney 2011 Broker Survey

InvestWhen I first started investing, I put a lot of stock into these broker rankings because I didn’t have any of my own experiences to draw upon. I didn’t know how I would use a broker, what features were important to me, and whether or not a deficiency really matter. Price was the number one factor, as is the case for a lot of investors.

Then, as I started to invest more and more, I realized that price wasn’t everything because I didn’t make a lot of trades. While it seems silly to pay $20 a trade when there are brokers offering trades for less than $5, it may make sense if the broker offers other features that you value. Nowadays, the differences in prices is much lower anyway and so the “other” factors, like customer service, fund offerings, and banking services become more important to me.

You have to review these rankings through your own rubric. There isn’t really a #1 broker for everyone, but there will be a #1 for you.

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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:
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Five Free Sharebuilder Trades Promotion Code HVC09NY

A few years ago I took advantage of a Sharebuilder promotion code that offered $50 to new accounts after your first trade. I opened an account, deposited $50, and purchased $50 worth of IYT, which is the iShares Dow Jones Transport. Average ETF. When I received the $50, I withdrew it, netting me $50 for a little bit of work. A few people did this several times but I only did it twice.

The downside of the strategy was that while scheduled trades cost only $4 at Sharebuilder, real time trades cost $9.95 (all sell orders are real time trades). My plan was to keep the shares for decades, to let it appreciate, and then sell it whenever I needed it. Today I learned about a promotion code, sent out on flyers, for five free trades at Sharebuilder with the promotion code HVC09NY.

The promotion code is for market trades only, limit trades still cost $9.95. I run a small risk of being hosed by the market but it does let me close things out cleanly. The code appears to give five trades on one account and only one per person, so I’m stuck with one Sharebuilder account.

If you’ve been waiting to exit a position and balked at the $9.95 commission, now is your opportunity to exit it for free. One step closer to simplifying our finances!


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?

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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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Exclusive Capital One Sharebuilder Promotion Bonus Code

Capital One Sharebuilder(Updated 10/5) If you’re looking for an exclusive Capital One Sharebuilder promotion code, you’ve come to the right place.

Capital One Sharebuilder is the buy-and-hold investor’s dream and we have some promotion codes that will help give you a head start. We have partnered with Capital One Sharebuilder to bring you an exclusive $25 promotion code that isn’t available anywhere else.

The exclusive code is: 25WO10

To use the Capital One Sharebuilder promotion code:

  • Click on the Apply Today! button,
  • You’ll be taken to an Capital One Sharebuilder page, click on the “Get started today” button.
  • On the next page, it says Account Type at the top, you’ll see a white box with the words “I’m responding to a promotion,” – check that box,
  • The page will reload and then a new box will appear – that’s where you enter in the code.

It sounds complicated but it’s pretty easy, it just takes a few words to explain it.

Do not open multiple accounts. You cannot get multiple bonuses for opening multiple accounts so don’t try to, readers have reported receiving this email:

“It has been noted that you recently opened multiple accounts with identical registration information.

We have restricted from activity all but the first of such identical accounts. ShareBuilder is closing these additional accounts under the provisions of Section 10 of the Account Agreement. Future identical accounts will be likewise restricted.

IMPORTANT: If you have already placed funds in your account, they will be returned to the bank of origin after the normal hold period. If you funded your account with a check, funds will be sent by check to the address of record on the account. If there were securities purchased, those trades will be cancelled.“

Terms & Conditions of the offer:

You must open a new account with ShareBuilder and deposit at least $25 to be eligible for this promotion. ShareBuilder will deposit a $25 bonus approximately 4-6 weeks after your first $25 deposit. The $25 bonus offer is available for Individual, Joint and Custodial accounts only. Offer not valid for IRAs or ESAs. The $25 bonus from ShareBuilder is not available for withdrawal for 90 days after it is awarded to your account. This offer is not valid with any other offers and is non-transferrable. Limit one ShareBuilder account bonus per unique customer or custodial beneficiary. ShareBuilder reserves the right to terminate this offer at any time and to refuse or recover any promotion award if ShareBuilder determines that it was obtained under wrongful or fraudulent circumstances, that inaccurate or incomplete information was provided in opening the account, or that any terms or ShareBuilder’s Account Agreement has been violated.


Sharebuilder Review

ShareBuilder - Welcome page Sharebuilder built its reputation buy having low commissions ($4 a trade) and completely buy-in into the dollar cost averaging mantra. Much like how you have regular retirement account contributions, Sharebuilder helps you cheaply buy into positions with individual companies (back then, ETFs didn’t exist) on a regular monthly schedule. They made a good name for themselves doing this in an era when trades cost at least twice that.

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5 Lesser Known Perks of Costco Membership

Costco SignEveryone knows about the cheap Costco gas and the wonderful Costco return policy (though on electronics it has certainly lost some of its teeth), but there are a lot of lesser known perks that members should try to take advantage of. Here are just five of them.

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