reliable brokerage platform

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.
Post Reply
User avatar
Topic Author
Croissant
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:42 am

reliable brokerage platform

Post by Croissant »

in the market correction last thursday 9/3 Merrill Lynch crashed hard for a few hours and accounts were inaccessible. I've heard Vanguard also had a little hiccup. does anyone have a reliable brokerage platform to recommend? I looked at some that offers the best transfer bonus (Ally bank) but I'm not sure they'd fare better than Merrill Lynch in downtime.
visionfund dumpster fire = grade AAA entertainment
User avatar
Nate79
Posts: 6419
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: reliable brokerage platform

Post by Nate79 »

Croissant wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:07 pm in the market correction last thursday 9/3 Merrill Lynch crashed hard for a few hours and accounts were inaccessible. I've heard Vanguard also had a little hiccup. does anyone have a reliable brokerage platform to recommend? I looked at some that offers the best transfer bonus (Ally bank) but I'm not sure they'd fare better than Merrill Lynch in downtime.
So far I have found Schwab to be very reliable even in the huge volatile days.
User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 9112
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm
Location: outside the echo chamber

Re: reliable brokerage platform

Post by whodidntante »

I've used every major broker by now. The following have been solid during market hours in my experience. However, the plural of anecdote is not data.

Schwab
E*Trade
Interactive Brokers
bling
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:49 pm

Re: reliable brokerage platform

Post by bling »

Croissant wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:07 pm in the market correction last thursday 9/3 Merrill Lynch crashed hard for a few hours and accounts were inaccessible. I've heard Vanguard also had a little hiccup. does anyone have a reliable brokerage platform to recommend? I looked at some that offers the best transfer bonus (Ally bank) but I'm not sure they'd fare better than Merrill Lynch in downtime.
was only the website down, marketpro down (their software), or both?
bondsr4me
Posts: 1525
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:08 am

Re: reliable brokerage platform

Post by bondsr4me »

Schwab or Fidelity...they are both very reliable.
User avatar
Topic Author
Croissant
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:42 am

Re: reliable brokerage platform

Post by Croissant »

bling wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:09 am
Croissant wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:07 pm in the market correction last thursday 9/3 Merrill Lynch crashed hard for a few hours and accounts were inaccessible. I've heard Vanguard also had a little hiccup. does anyone have a reliable brokerage platform to recommend? I looked at some that offers the best transfer bonus (Ally bank) but I'm not sure they'd fare better than Merrill Lynch in downtime.
was only the website down, marketpro down (their software), or both?
website login was down for 2 hrs +, i don't use the software so i don't know.
visionfund dumpster fire = grade AAA entertainment
Ferdinand2014
Posts: 1689
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:49 pm

Re: reliable brokerage platform

Post by Ferdinand2014 »

Fidelity. I do not recall ever being unable to log in or execute a trade in 20 years with any of my accounts. However, all of my trades are buy only with mutual funds on auto-contribution. All of my transfers have been by check picture deposit and automatic EFT transfers.
Last edited by Ferdinand2014 on Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
“You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.“ — Warren Buffett
livesoft
Posts: 73338
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: reliable brokerage platform

Post by livesoft »

One might want a solid brokerage with fewer clients than the majors. I have brokerage accounts at Fidelity, Vanguard, TDAmeritrade, and WellsFargo all for more than 25 years. So far WellsFargo is the most solid and Vanguard the least.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
k b
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:43 pm

Re: reliable brokerage platform

Post by k b »

Unless you are day trading, why would this be an issue if your platform is otherwise satisfactory and their customer service acceptable?

Of course, you could have had a special situation on 9/3 and you might worry about a repeat of that situation. In that case, your worry might be appropriate. My point really is that a one-off situation should not force you into these decisions.
bling
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:49 pm

Re: reliable brokerage platform

Post by bling »

k b wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:20 am Unless you are day trading, why would this be an issue if your platform is otherwise satisfactory and their customer service acceptable?

Of course, you could have had a special situation on 9/3 and you might worry about a repeat of that situation. In that case, your worry might be appropriate. My point really is that a one-off situation should not force you into these decisions.
confidence goes a long way.

back in feb/mar for the previous crash, i also experienced problems with merrill. i was doing a tax loss harvest, and after putting in my sell order, i didn't get a confirmation of success/failure, it just disappeared. i tried again (i think we all know where this is going...), and low and behold i have a big fat negative balance after market close. 1+ hour later waiting on the phone they fixed it by making an after-market trade for me (to the new fund i wanted), and credited me the difference. all in all, not a pleasant experience.
k b
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:43 pm

Re: reliable brokerage platform

Post by k b »

Okay. Looks like the Merrill platform isn't great? (OP also uses Merrill).

I agree that confidence is key. I was just saying that a one-day outage shouldn't make a big difference to someone with a BH-portfolio, unless there is a special circumstance.
bling
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:49 pm

Re: reliable brokerage platform

Post by bling »

k b wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:30 pm Okay. Looks like the Merrill platform isn't great? (OP also uses Merrill).

I agree that confidence is key. I was just saying that a one-day outage shouldn't make a big difference to someone with a BH-portfolio, unless there is a special circumstance.
of course not, you gotta look at the bigger picture. BoA+merrill offers the best credit card program in the business so it's worth having them for that. however, it doesn't hurt to diversify your brokerages as well.
arf30
Posts: 738
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:55 am

Re: reliable brokerage platform

Post by arf30 »

Interactive Brokers, Schwab, Fidelity are rock solid (as much as it gets in the financial industry). Vanguard, Merrill, Chase, etc are fine for passive investing when you don't mind the occasional outage now and then.
AlohaJoe
Posts: 5532
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:00 pm
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

Re: reliable brokerage platform

Post by AlohaJoe »

arf30 wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:04 pm Interactive Brokers, Schwab, Fidelity are rock solid (as much as it gets in the financial industry).
Interactive Brokers, Fidelity, and Schwab all had outages in February, March, and April. As did TDAmeritrade.

Here's just one of the many news stories about it: https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/02/ ... ic-as.aspx

It was hardly the first time for any of them, either.
User avatar
abuss368
Posts: 21584
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Where the water is warm, the drinks are cold, and I don't know the names of the players!
Contact:

Re: reliable brokerage platform

Post by abuss368 »

I am surprised I am not seeing more posts about Vanguard’s brokerage.
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
BuddyJet
Posts: 609
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:56 pm

Re: reliable brokerage platform

Post by BuddyJet »

All online systems crash occasionally. Reliability for me is which ones can I get a person on the phone when things get weird.

While I’ve never had to call in an emergency, Fidelity has been great if I needed to call in for something I couldn’t seem to do on the web.
People say nothing is impossible. I do nothing all day.
User avatar
SmileyFace
Posts: 5703
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:11 am

Re: reliable brokerage platform

Post by SmileyFace »

bondsr4me wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:13 am Schwab or Fidelity...they are both very reliable.
+1 - both solid from a reliability standpoint. FWIW they were also ranked #1 (Fidelity) and #2 (Schwab) by Kiplinger's recently:
https://www.kiplinger.com/investing/wea ... okers-2020
User avatar
Topic Author
Croissant
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:42 am

Re: reliable brokerage platform

Post by Croissant »

thanks for all the tips. i checked down detector history and it looks like in terms of reliability interactive brokers > charles > fidelity/merrill. TD ameritrade looks to be the worst.
i don't day trade but i do feel if a platform has my business they need to perform as expected. altho after doing some digging it seems the standard platforms all have outages from time to time..

this is what I used btw to look at down time. for what its worth Merrill did get on the phone with me pretty fast the one time i mistakenly bought 1000 shares instead of 1000$ worth of that stock :sharebeer
https://downdetector.com/status/merrill-lynch/
visionfund dumpster fire = grade AAA entertainment
Post Reply