Which stock broker are you using and why?

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optimist5
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Which stock broker are you using and why?

Post by optimist5 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:11 am

I was wondering what brokerage firm are you guys using and why.

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White Coat Investor
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Post by White Coat Investor » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:38 am

None because I don't buy stocks or ETFs. I have helped some who do using the charles schwab interface. It was quick and intuitive to learn. Trades seemed to go through without issues. Price was $8.95 a trade. I hear Wells Fargo gives out lots of free trades. People say good things about Fidelity as well. Vanguard is fine if most of your business is there already and convenience is important to you, but service can be lacking.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

pochax
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Post by pochax » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:45 am

i use sogotrade to buy ETFs in taxable.
Pros: $3 commission for online trades. very fast processing of trades
Cons: no IRAs available (only taxable brokerage), research tools minimal
i use TradeKing for my Roth IRA.
once my wachovia accounts become wells fargo i should qualify for a WellsTrade account with free trades so i will likely switch when that happens.

neverknow
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Post by neverknow » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:50 am

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Last edited by neverknow on Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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DartThrower
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Post by DartThrower » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:01 am

I wonder how many of us have never had a broker. I have been investing in stock / bond / money market mutual funds for 25 years and it never occurred to me that I needed one. In fact, I have never owned an individual stock or ETF in my life.
A Boglehead can stay the course longer than the market can stay irrational.

livesoft
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Post by livesoft » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:52 am

Wells Fargo because I get EVERYTHING for free:
1. Free trades
2. Free checking
3. Free online bill pay
4. Free ATM withdrawals
5. Free kids accounts
6. Free trades of mutual funds INCLUDING Vanguard mutual funds
7. Instantaneous transfers of money from checking to brokerage
8. Built-in specific identification of shares for selling
9. Built-in tracking of capital gains and losses
10. The best 1099B downloads in TT not only with Date sold and Sales proceeds, but also Date acquired and Cost basis.
11. No fees on IRAs
12. Superb executions on trades
13. Less expensive than even Vanguard
14. Did I say everything was free? Free! FREE!

Cons:
1. No real-time Level II streaming quotes. I use TDAmeritrade for that.

GammaPoint
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Post by GammaPoint » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:03 pm

I've never traded a stock or ETF, although I have some stock given to me held at Fidelity.

When my taxable portfolio becomes a little larger I plan on getting a WF account for all the great benefits that livesoft mentions.

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Swamproot
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Post by Swamproot » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:21 pm

I use OptionsHouse, but just for the $2.95 stock trades, not the options. which I know very little about. I try to implement a Total Market etf strategy in my taxable account, even though I really slice and dice up my IRAs.

I started at Sharebuilder, but didn't like the fact that their $4 trades were only for "whatever we can buy it for on Tuesdays", and real time trades were almost $10. I like that they were acquired by ING, and now you can fund your brokerage account from your ING accounts the same day (assuming you have one). But $10 for real time trades is just too steep for me. There are some less volatile things I might still buy there on a $4 Tuesday trade.

I moved to Zecco because they gave free trades for a $2500 balance. Just as I had invested around $2400 they bumped that up by a factor of 10, so I determined that I would not do business with a Bait and Switcher and figured that if I had 25K to put into a brokerage account and wanted free trades, I would do it, as others suggest, at Wells Fargo.

OptionsHouse seems like a good value to me for someone who doesn't have much saved up yet. With 2.95 trades you can keep your commissions below 1% (an arbitrary maximum I've set for myself) with just a $300 investment.

Sam I Am
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Post by Sam I Am » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:30 pm

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Chuck
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Post by Chuck » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:13 pm

Like Swamproot, I went with Options House for the $2.95 trades, but also the free MaxIt. (Like gainskeeper, keeps track of all your tax lots.) I also dabble with options, mostly because the government shut down online poker, so that's my gambling outlet. Options trades are very cheap at Options House.

I'm a bit more cost-averse than Swamproot. I only trade over $3000 at a time so that the commission is less than 0.1%. :)

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Swamproot
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Post by Swamproot » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:08 pm

Chuck wrote:...I'm a bit more cost-averse than Swamproot. I only trade over $3000 at a time so that the commission is less than 0.1%. :)
I just got out of a Simple IRA with American Funds where I felt "lucky" to get a 3.25% discount on the front-end load, so 1% was a vast improvement. But now, with the exception of my OH account, all my retirement accounts are at Vanguard, and I'm getting more "cost-averse" all the time. :-)

Now if only I can do something about my 401k....

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SecretAsianMan
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Post by SecretAsianMan » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:33 pm

Chuck wrote:mostly because the government shut down online poker
What gave you that idea? It's not quite as easy to play as it was 5 years ago, but it's still not difficult.

optimist5 wrote:I was wondering what brokerage firm are you guys using and why.
As for my broker, I have a good friend of mine from the old days who has an office downtown. He is great! He even calls me up every time he hears about a great deal on a stock so I can get in on the ground floor. You can't get that kind of service just anywhere! Plus, he takes me out for lunch to the nicest restaurant in town at least a couple times a year, and it's all on him!

He also doesn't just stick to boring old stocks and bonds like everyone else. He knows you have put money in the most complex investments in order to really stand out from the crowd and make real money. I just wish I was as smart as him so I could understand everything he puts my money in!

Now, I've never actually calculated my return on the investments I've made, but he says I'm doing great. I trust him because he obviously knows what he's doing. If he didn't, he surely wouldn't be able to afford that fancy office in the nicest building in town and all those expensive cars. My only complaint is that he takes a little too much time off, but I would too if I owned houses in both the Caribbean and Europe! *Sigh* That's probably just a pipe dream for me, though! You may not live in the same place I do, but I bet you can find someone almost as good in your town. Good luck!

:lol:

SAM

P.S. Although I don't currently have an online broker, Wells Fargo does seem to get good reviews around here for its free trades and adequate functionality.

RadAudit
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Post by RadAudit » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:43 pm

Edward Jones. I inherited the broker when the funds transferred during an estate settlement. Haven't talked to the guy in about a year. I plan to use him to replace municipal bonds as they mature. The first maturity date is about 10 years out.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The Calvary isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

tim1999
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Post by tim1999 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:00 pm

TD Ameritrade. I've used them for about 10 years now. Commissions and fees have always been cheap, and they've never called or sent mail to bug me about anything during that entire time.

retiredjg
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Post by retiredjg » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:03 pm

Don't use a broker. I buy Vanguard mutual funds at Vanguard. And the federal TSP.

Snowjob
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Post by Snowjob » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:05 pm

Brokerage - Interactive Brokers for sub 2% margin rates. sub 1% if you have enough money...


IRA / Checking Account @ Etrade.

Everything is free all fees are re embursed since they dont have the physical bank / atms around

Karamatsu
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Post by Karamatsu » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:41 pm

Although I've had accounts at other brokers, my primary one is Schwab. I've been with them for more than 20 years, and the reasons have evolved over time, as my trading has. When I was doing more in the way of fundamental analysis, I loved all the research information, and I still do, even though I don't trade individual stocks so much any more. But the main reason is just the reliable, high quality of their services and their excellent web site. I've never seen anything that compared. One thing I'd suggest to someone looking at brokers is that, in addition to checking out their service menus, spend some time reading their annual reports and see how they operate as businesses.

chuck h
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Post by chuck h » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:59 pm

Scottrade---$7 a trade for stocks and ETF's

KyleAAA
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Post by KyleAAA » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:00 pm

Tradeking. Just cause

hisairness
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Post by hisairness » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:08 pm

TD Ameritrade. I started at Datek, which became Ameritrade, which became TD Ameritrade. I like them for their low fees and friendly customer service (like neverknow stated earlier).

avalpert
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Post by avalpert » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:58 pm

I use thinkorswim (which has been bought by Ameritrade but still is its own business). They have cheap prices, great execution, great trading platforms (which most here probably don't care about) and have no fees for most services and have reimbursed fees other charged for me to move to them (including moving out of my ESPP provider which charges a fortune to trade and a fortune to transfer).

I currently have a taxable account, two traditional IRAs, two Roth IRAs and and an ESA with them - and the service is always great.

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grabiner
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Post by grabiner » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:31 pm

I use Vanguard for the convenience. I make about two trades per year (buying ETFs), so the commissions aren't a significant cost. Most of my holdings are still in Vanguard mutual funds, but I have the brokerage account for VSS to avoid the transaction fees and higher costs, and EWX because Vanguard doesn't have a small-cap emerging markets fund.
Wiki David Grabiner

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tetractys
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Post by tetractys » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:00 am

Nobody's mentioned Firstrade. I keep some ETFs there: No fees for IRAs. Commissions are $6.95. Dividend reinvestment is free. Customer service is good--usually one phone call and no holds. Trading is easy and the java real time system works fine.

One thing that I don't like is that there are no annual statements. Only monthly statements for months with activity are available.

I used to have Scottrade and was quite satisfied; but they don't have a dividend reinvestment program, and so I transfered to Firstrade.

Best regards, Tet
RESISTANCE IS FRUITFUL

denismurf
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Post by denismurf » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:54 am

Scottrade for equities because of $7/trade commission and existence of humans in numerous branch offices. Zions for bonds because of expertise and $10.95 commission per bond lot with no markups.

bpp
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Post by bpp » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:18 am

TD Ameritrade, originally TD Waterhouse, because they would let me open an account without having a US address.

Nikko Cordial, because they were the cheapest of the Big 3 (Nomura, Daiwa and Nikko).

smackfu
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Post by smackfu » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:55 am

Only thing I dislike about Scottrade:
Four easy ways to withdraw money from your account!

* Request a Check
* By Wire
* Check writing/Visa Debit Card
* Transfer a Scottrade account to another Scottrade account
Note that ETF is not one of those.

Tabulator
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Re:

Post by Tabulator » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:55 pm

Swamproot wrote:I started at Sharebuilder, but didn't like the fact that their $4 trades were only for "whatever we can buy it for on Tuesdays", and real time trades were almost $10. I like that they were acquired by ING, and now you can fund your brokerage account from your ING accounts the same day (assuming you have one). But $10 for real time trades is just too steep for me. There are some less volatile things I might still buy there on a $4 Tuesday trade.
Does ShareBuilder still work this way? The web site seems to indicate no.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Which stock broker are you using and why?

Post by White Coat Investor » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:11 pm

Since this thread has started I've used both TD Ameritrade, Schwab, and Fidelity. They're all fine and easy to use.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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BrandonBogle
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Re:

Post by BrandonBogle » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:23 pm

livesoft wrote:Wells Fargo because I get EVERYTHING for free:
1. Free trades
2. Free checking
3. Free online bill pay
4. Free ATM withdrawals
5. Free kids accounts
6. Free trades of mutual funds INCLUDING Vanguard mutual funds
7. Instantaneous transfers of money from checking to brokerage
8. Built-in specific identification of shares for selling
9. Built-in tracking of capital gains and losses
10. The best 1099B downloads in TT not only with Date sold and Sales proceeds, but also Date acquired and Cost basis.
11. No fees on IRAs
12. Superb executions on trades
13. Less expensive than even Vanguard
14. Did I say everything was free? Free! FREE!

Cons:
1. No real-time Level II streaming quotes. I use TDAmeritrade for that.
Don't forget for #6 they even have access to some Signal, Admiral, and Institutional shares for lower ERs without the balance requirements. I could go Admiral at Vanguard, but getting Institutional has even lower ERs! That said, I have a Vanguard MF account as well.

Default User BR
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Re: Which stock broker are you using and why?

Post by Default User BR » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:48 pm

EmergDoc wrote:Since this thread has started I've used both TD Ameritrade, Schwab, and Fidelity. They're all fine and easy to use.
Me too, plus ETrade and OptionsHouse. I've been quite the brokerage wh... er hustler of late.


Brian

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Rob5TCP
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Re: Which stock broker are you using and why?

Post by Rob5TCP » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:15 pm

Vanguard - I do about 2 trades a month. Yes, I would save $150+ a year going somewhere else. Still, it's relatively small amount
and trading is about 1-3% of my portfolio. Most of what I have at Vanguard are their funds and ETF's, and other funds where
Vanguard lacks (international bond fund - though is changing)

DualIncomeNoDebt
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Re: Which stock broker are you using and why?

Post by DualIncomeNoDebt » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:33 pm

Vanguard brokerage service and Fidelity. Two individual, taxable brokerage accounts. If I did lots of trading I could save money elsewhere. I never have done lots of trading. Read this site, sold a bunch of individual stocks, and now do even less, and am much happier for it. If you feel the need, Fidelity is quite good, especially their product offerings on both the equity and bond side. Fidelity even allows you to participate in the new issue market, esp. for municipals, which is quite nice (ultra low and fixed fees due to muni bond rules, no competing with bond vigilantes, etc.).

gpburdell
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Re: Which stock broker are you using and why?

Post by gpburdell » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:49 pm

Fidelity. They have the best user interface, tools, reporting, etc that I have seen compared to Vanguard and Schwab. Also, if you live in a major metropolitan area; there is a good chance Fidelity even has a local branch if you need one. If you day trade or just starting out then Fidelity may not be a good choice as they aren't the cheapest. Though, once you have a decent sized portfolio and buying/selling large amounts at a time; the the fees don't matter as much.

Also, now that Capital One has finally taken over ING direct; I'm even moving my primary checking/billpay to Fidelity as well.

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roymeo
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Re: Which stock broker are you using and why?

Post by roymeo » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:01 pm

Only brokers I've ever used were the ones that company stock picked for me. Good luck!
The sewer system is a form of welfare state. | -- "Libra", Don DeLillo

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pjstack
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Re: Which stock broker are you using and why?

Post by pjstack » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:45 pm

None, but I did use Charles Schwab when I sold two inherited stock certificates. I now have no need for a broker.
pjstack

ukgaz
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Re: Which stock broker are you using and why?

Post by ukgaz » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:15 pm

I use OptionsXpress for my IRA and taxable account. I signed up with them originally due to the great reviews. I love their layout and very happy with them so far

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ruralavalon
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Re: Which stock broker are you using and why?

Post by ruralavalon » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:55 pm

Vanguard Brokerage Service. We use them only for the individual bonds we hold. I like having everything on one single statement, and of our all other holdings are Vanguard mutual funds held in IRAs at Vanguard.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

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dbc47
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Re: Which stock broker are you using and why?

Post by dbc47 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:14 pm

I use Vanguard brokerage service. I get 25 free trades per year, which is plenty for what little trading I do. Their service doesn't have lots of flashing lights or any other fancy stuff, but it is nice to have everything in one place. :happy

bawr
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Re: Which stock broker are you using and why?

Post by bawr » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:01 am

Interactive Brokers.

They are in a class by themselves in terms of breadth of investment products, platform features, international investing, cost, and risk management tools.

carolinaman
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Re: Which stock broker are you using and why?

Post by carolinaman » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:35 am

I use Fidelity and Vanguard. Fidelity provides better service and has a better online interface that is more intuitive and integrated (all funds, etfs and individual securities are in one list). Also can meet in person with my Fidelity rep whenever I want and attend seminars at local office. Vanguard has great funds and low expenses but their service is not at same level as Fidelity

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Taylor Larimore
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The simple way.

Post by Taylor Larimore » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:44 am

Optimist:
I was wondering what brokerage firm are you guys using and why.
We closed our Vanguard brokerage account many years ago. All our mutual funds are now held directly with Vanguard.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

rec7
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Re: Which stock broker are you using and why?

Post by rec7 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:05 am

What is the best broker for buying secondary treasury bonds?

dickenjb
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Re: Which stock broker are you using and why?

Post by dickenjb » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:26 am

I use Vanguard Brokerage because they give me 25 free trades a year. This is typically 24 more than I need.

For execution of employee stock options I use Fidelity. Bacause I have to. $29 a trade. Usually 1 a year.

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Re: Which stock broker are you using and why?

Post by sschullo » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:46 am

Vanguard brokerage. Use it to make distributions for retirement or to rebalance. Don't trade. I only have one stock that Ill not sell, 60 shares of 3M, that I inherited from mother, when she worked there in the 50s, 60s and 70s.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

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