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Cheapest online broker

Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 8:35 am
by tc101
I hardly ever trade individual stocks, but I would like to do a little experimental trading with small amounts of money.

What is the cheapest online broker you know of?

I can do $2 stock trades at Vanguard, because I have a certain amount of money there. I may just keep my trading there, but if there is somewhere else that I could open an account with just a few thousand dollars and get cheaper trades I would like to know about it.

Re: Cheapest online broker

Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 9:10 am
by Rob5TCP
For $2 a trade, it's not worth the time, unless your planning a huge amount of trades.
Even 10 trades a month, would only save you $240 over the course of a year (assuming you might find trades for free)
Those that are free may make it up by steering trades to a particular exchange (that might be less
price friendly).

Re: Cheapest online broker

Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 9:12 am
by xerty24
It's not worth switching to beat $2 trades for the commissions. Depending on what you're doing, you may discover that VBS's trade execution is somewhere between poor and awful, although this may not matter to you. Good luck beating the market!

Re: Cheapest online broker

Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 9:20 am
by livesoft
WellsTrade is the cheapest if you meet their criteria. Everything is FREE including buying Vanguard mutual funds and Vanguard ETFs and everything else.

Re: Cheapest online broker

Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 10:25 am
by tc101
WellsTrade is the cheapest if you meet their criteria. Everything is FREE including buying Vanguard mutual funds and Vanguard ETFs and everything else.
So how does WellsTrade make a profit?

Re: Cheapest online broker

Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 10:36 am
by livesoft
I think WT makes a profit from the advisor-side of things which do not apply to me. And by charging you $90+ to close your account. And of course all discount brokers pay you nothing on your cash sweep account while they invest your money in something that makes them billions.

Some folks might say by poor execution such as increasing the spread to fill your order, but I have gotten great executions at WT including prices better than the published best price of the day. There are lots of threads on the WellsFargo PMA package with free trades at WT. Some folks don't like them; some folks do. I like them a lot, but that's an old story on this forum.

Re: Cheapest online broker

Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 12:46 pm
by hlfo718
Stay away from Interactive brokers, you need to seek their approval to cancel the account!

Re: Cheapest online broker

Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 1:06 pm
by wwross
hlfo718 wrote:Stay away from Interactive brokers, you need to seek their approval to cancel the account!
Can you explain this? If for example, I have an account with TDAmeritrade, I have to get their permission to cancel it? I never had that issue when I got rid of my Fidelity Account a few years ago.

Re: Cheapest online broker

Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 2:41 pm
by mahkceb88
Merrill Edge has 30 free trades if you have a qualifying account ---> $25,000 in Bank of America checking, savings, cds, or in merrill edge investment accounts. If you are only looking to do a bit of individual trading here and there and have the 25,000 to put in the BOA account they are offering $100 for new customers right now. Could use that to add to your investment account

Re: Cheapest online broker

Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 3:38 pm
by BYUvol
wwross wrote:
hlfo718 wrote:Stay away from Interactive brokers, you need to seek their approval to cancel the account!
Can you explain this? If for example, I have an account with TDAmeritrade, I have to get their permission to cancel it? I never had that issue when I got rid of my Fidelity Account a few years ago.
"Interactive Brokers" is an online brokerage with low costs (think its like 10 cents per share). http://individuals.interactivebrokers.com/en/main.php

I have never dealt with them before, but when I transferred my funds from Sharebuilder to Vanguard, Sharebuilder required a medallion signature guarantee, and sent me a message on my account asking if I really really wanted to leave, and that I could get 10 free trades if I stay. I would liken this behavior to "getting their permission" to transfer my assets.

*edit* It's 17 cents per 100 shares, just looked it up.

Re: Cheapest online broker

Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 4:25 pm
by wwross
BYUvol wrote:
wwross wrote:
hlfo718 wrote:Stay away from Interactive brokers, you need to seek their approval to cancel the account!
Can you explain this? If for example, I have an account with TDAmeritrade, I have to get their permission to cancel it? I never had that issue when I got rid of my Fidelity Account a few years ago.
"Interactive Brokers" is an online brokerage with low costs (think its like 10 cents per share). http://individuals.interactivebrokers.com/en/main.php

I have never dealt with them before, but when I transferred my funds from Sharebuilder to Vanguard, Sharebuilder required a medallion signature guarantee, and sent me a message on my account asking if I really really wanted to leave, and that I could get 10 free trades if I stay. I would liken this behavior to "getting their permission" to transfer my assets.

*edit* It's 17 cents per 100 shares, just looked it up.
Thanks very much!

Re: Cheapest online broker

Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 4:33 pm
by tludwig23
tc101 wrote:
WellsTrade is the cheapest if you meet their criteria. Everything is FREE including buying Vanguard mutual funds and Vanguard ETFs and everything else.
So how does WellsTrade make a profit?
Volume.

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/ ... ank/229045