Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

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Quest2Invest
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Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by Quest2Invest » Tue May 19, 2020 7:37 pm

Currently I use Merill Edge but find its user interface to be outdated, slow and has weak educational/investing tools. However, I do enjoy the benefits from Preferred Rewards and like that I'm able to view all my accounts (BofA checking, CMA Brokerage, IRA and Roth IRA) all in one place.

I'm probably going to stay with Merill Edge but I'm also considering opening up a new brokerage account for a better user experience to analyze and research stocks. Any recommendations or suggestions?

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David Jay
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by David Jay » Tue May 19, 2020 7:43 pm

Quest2Invest wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:37 pm
Currently I use Merill Edge but find its user interface to be outdated, slow and has weak educational/investing tools. However, I do enjoy the benefits from Preferred Rewards and like that I'm able to view all my accounts (BofA checking, CMA Brokerage, IRA and Roth IRA) all in one place.

I'm probably going to stay with Merill Edge but I'm also considering opening up a new brokerage account for a better user experience to analyze and research stocks. Any recommendations or suggestions?
You may be in the wrong place for recommendations for stock research and analysis tools. That is rather un-Bogle like.

Boglehead Philosophy here: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Boglehe ... philosophy
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

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Quest2Invest
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by Quest2Invest » Tue May 19, 2020 7:58 pm

Sorry looks like I posted to the wrong forum.

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Quest2Invest
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Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by Quest2Invest » Tue May 19, 2020 7:59 pm

[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek]

EDIT: Sorry posted to the wrong forum earlier.

Currently I use Merill Edge but find its user interface to be outdated, slow and has weak educational/investing tools. However, I do enjoy the benefits from Preferred Rewards and like that I'm able to view all my accounts (BofA checking, CMA Brokerage, IRA and Roth IRA) all in one place.

I'm probably going to stay with Merill Edge but I'm also considering opening up a new brokerage account for a better user experience to analyze and research stocks. Any recommendations or suggestions?

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David Jay
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by David Jay » Tue May 19, 2020 8:14 pm

Quest2Invest wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:58 pm
Sorry looks like I posted to the wrong forum.
I am sure some folks here spend time researching and analyzing individual stocks, but it is kind of like going to an F-150 meet-up to get suggestions for your new Mustang build. There is some crossover and you might get some useful hints, but a Mustang convention will get you a lot more input.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by decapod10 » Tue May 19, 2020 8:16 pm

What sort of research are you looking for? I think most info you would want for long term trading you can find on various internet sites rather than your brokerage. Price charts, P/E ratios, etc. If you're doing day trading maybe requirements are different since you need more rapid information, though I'm not sure you'll find a lot of day traders here.

As a disclaimer, I don't actually do much stock research so I don't have many specific recommendations. I've used Vanguard , Fidelity, ME, as well as eTrade and Ameritrade back in the old days, they're all the same to me in terms of functionality.

bling
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by bling » Tue May 19, 2020 8:16 pm

have you tried using their software and not the website?

fallingeggs
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by fallingeggs » Tue May 19, 2020 8:18 pm

For what it is worth, whatever comes out of the Schwab / TD merger should be awesome. Schwab has already been very well rounded. And ThinkOrSwim is heavy in the day trading space. Not that I would suggest doing that per the above. Just an observation.

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Quest2Invest
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by Quest2Invest » Tue May 19, 2020 8:29 pm

decapod10 wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:16 pm
What sort of research are you looking for? I think most info you would want for long term trading you can find on various internet sites rather than your brokerage. Price charts, P/E ratios, etc. If you're doing day trading maybe requirements are different since you need more rapid information, though I'm not sure you'll find a lot of day traders here.

As a disclaimer, I don't actually do much stock research so I don't have many specific recommendations. I've used Vanguard , Fidelity, ME, as well as eTrade and Ameritrade back in the old days, they're all the same to me in terms of functionality.
No, I'm definitely not day trading but occasionally like to use a brokerage's screeners, research reports and comparative analysis of a company's peers. Yes I understand and agree with what you're saying in terms of functionality. Thank you for your input.

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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by LadyGeek » Tue May 19, 2020 8:37 pm

I merged Quest2Invest's duplicate posts into a single thread, which is in the Investing - Theory, News & General forum (general question).

(Thanks to the members who reported the post. One of the reasons is "Duplicate thread". Also, thanks for the link to the duplicate.)
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

decapod10
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by decapod10 » Tue May 19, 2020 8:53 pm

David Jay wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:14 pm
Quest2Invest wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:58 pm
Sorry looks like I posted to the wrong forum.
I am sure some folks here spend time researching and analyzing individual stocks, but it is kind of like going to an F-150 meet-up to get suggestions for your new Mustang build. There is some crossover and you might get some useful hints, but a Mustang convention will get you a lot more input.
F-150? That's pretty generous, I think of Bogleheads is more like a Toyota Corolla convention, lol.
Quest2Invest wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:29 pm
decapod10 wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:16 pm
What sort of research are you looking for? I think most info you would want for long term trading you can find on various internet sites rather than your brokerage. Price charts, P/E ratios, etc. If you're doing day trading maybe requirements are different since you need more rapid information, though I'm not sure you'll find a lot of day traders here.

As a disclaimer, I don't actually do much stock research so I don't have many specific recommendations. I've used Vanguard , Fidelity, ME, as well as eTrade and Ameritrade back in the old days, they're all the same to me in terms of functionality.
No, I'm definitely not day trading but occasionally like to use a brokerage's screeners, research reports and comparative analysis of a company's peers. Yes I understand and agree with what you're saying in terms of functionality. Thank you for your input.
My guess is between ME, Fidelity, and Vanguard, Fidelity will have the most of that sort of thing. Vanguard is mostly known for index fund investing. I haven't tried Schwab, but I could see Schwab also having things like that as well.

Here's a screenshot of the Fidelity stock screener if that helps:

Image

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David Jay
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by David Jay » Tue May 19, 2020 8:59 pm

decapod10 wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:53 pm
F-150? That's pretty generous, I think of Bogleheads is more like a Toyota Corolla convention, lol.
Broad based index fund based portfolios are work trucks. Not flashy, but they haul the load.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Tue May 19, 2020 9:22 pm

David Jay wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:59 pm
decapod10 wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:53 pm
F-150? That's pretty generous, I think of Bogleheads is more like a Toyota Corolla convention, lol.
Broad based index fund based portfolios are work trucks. Not flashy, but they haul the load.
In my hands the index funds have done a lot better job hauling the load than stock screeners.
Upton Sinclair: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."

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Quest2Invest
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by Quest2Invest » Wed May 20, 2020 2:46 am

bling wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:16 pm
have you tried using their software and not the website?
What software are you referring to?

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Quest2Invest
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by Quest2Invest » Wed May 20, 2020 2:47 am

LadyGeek wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:37 pm
I merged Quest2Invest's duplicate posts into a single thread, which is in the Investing - Theory, News & General forum (general question).

(Thanks to the members who reported the post. One of the reasons is "Duplicate thread". Also, thanks for the link to the duplicate.)
Thank you admin. Apologize for the duplicate entry.

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Quest2Invest
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by Quest2Invest » Wed May 20, 2020 2:49 am

fallingeggs wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:18 pm
For what it is worth, whatever comes out of the Schwab / TD merger should be awesome. Schwab has already been very well rounded. And ThinkOrSwim is heavy in the day trading space. Not that I would suggest doing that per the above. Just an observation.
Yes, I remember hearing a merger between the two. Understood, I'll look into it a bit more. thank you for the suggestion.

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Quest2Invest
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by Quest2Invest » Wed May 20, 2020 2:58 am


My guess is between ME, Fidelity, and Vanguard, Fidelity will have the most of that sort of thing. Vanguard is mostly known for index fund investing. I haven't tried Schwab, but I could see Schwab also having things like that as well.

Here's a screenshot of the Fidelity stock screener if that helps:

Image
Thanks decapod10 for the above screenshot. Those criteria screeners are exactly what I was looking for!
I like the fact that Fidelity also allows to invest in fractional shares.

bling
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by bling » Wed May 20, 2020 5:44 pm

Quest2Invest wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 2:46 am
bling wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:16 pm
have you tried using their software and not the website?
What software are you referring to?
https://www.merrilledge.com/dashboard

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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by LilyFleur » Wed May 20, 2020 5:58 pm

I'm not happy right now that at his once-a-year-free visit with an advisor at Fidelity, my friend was persuaded to buy an annuity.

I researched Schwab, Fidelity, and Vanguard, and based on that research decided on Schwab about three years ago. I've been happy, especially with their 24/7 customer service, as I am a night owl. I have done some research but not a lot. They have plenty of reports available above and beyond Morningstar.

Part of the reason I considered Schwab was because my walking partner, a CFP, told me that Schwab had great educational resources. I've also been to a few local seminars at Schwab.

rascott
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by rascott » Wed May 20, 2020 6:04 pm

TD Ameritrade would be my choice for what you are looking for.

I enjoy reading The Outlook each week, published by CFRA. A decent jumping off point for individual equity research.... free at TDA to access.

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Quest2Invest
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by Quest2Invest » Wed May 20, 2020 9:26 pm

LilyFleur wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 5:58 pm
I'm not happy right now that at his once-a-year-free visit with an advisor at Fidelity, my friend was persuaded to buy an annuity.

I researched Schwab, Fidelity, and Vanguard, and based on that research decided on Schwab about three years ago. I've been happy, especially with their 24/7 customer service, as I am a night owl. I have done some research but not a lot. They have plenty of reports available above and beyond Morningstar.

Part of the reason I considered Schwab was because my walking partner, a CFP, told me that Schwab had great educational resources. I've also been to a few local seminars at Schwab.
I've heard good things about Schwab also and as fallingeggs mentioned, the TD merger may add more depth to the firm.
Pretty awesome that they have 24/7 customer service. I remember I spent about 3 weeks to correct a IRA contribution with Merill Edge.

The fact they offer local seminars is also plus. Hmmm debating between Fidelity and Schwab right now.

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Quest2Invest
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by Quest2Invest » Wed May 20, 2020 9:28 pm

bling wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 5:44 pm
Quest2Invest wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 2:46 am
bling wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:16 pm
have you tried using their software and not the website?
What software are you referring to?
https://www.merrilledge.com/dashboard
I can see why this will be a great tool for day and option trading with technical analysis but not exactly what I'm looking for.

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Quest2Invest
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by Quest2Invest » Wed May 20, 2020 9:30 pm

rascott wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 6:04 pm
TD Ameritrade would be my choice for what you are looking for.

I enjoy reading The Outlook each week, published by CFRA. A decent jumping off point for individual equity research.... free at TDA to access.
Likewise, I dig the reports by analysts. I believe ME has CFRA reports as well, but don't think its weekly.

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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by cos » Wed May 20, 2020 9:52 pm

Quest2Invest wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:37 pm
I'm probably going to stay with Merill Edge but I'm also considering opening up a new brokerage account for a better user experience to analyze and research stocks. Any recommendations or suggestions?
M1 Finance might be worth a look.

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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by LilyFleur » Wed May 20, 2020 9:57 pm

Quest2Invest wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 9:26 pm
LilyFleur wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 5:58 pm
I'm not happy right now that at his once-a-year-free visit with an advisor at Fidelity, my friend was persuaded to buy an annuity.

I researched Schwab, Fidelity, and Vanguard, and based on that research decided on Schwab about three years ago. I've been happy, especially with their 24/7 customer service, as I am a night owl. I have done some research but not a lot. They have plenty of reports available above and beyond Morningstar.

Part of the reason I considered Schwab was because my walking partner, a CFP, told me that Schwab had great educational resources. I've also been to a few local seminars at Schwab.
I've heard good things about Schwab also and as fallingeggs mentioned, the TD merger may add more depth to the firm.
Pretty awesome that they have 24/7 customer service. I remember I spent about 3 weeks to correct a IRA contribution with Merill Edge.

The fact they offer local seminars is also plus. Hmmm debating between Fidelity and Schwab right now.
Also, no matter when I call, the person helping me speaks English like they were born here. I think the call centers are all in the U.S. and in fact my Schwab advisor told me he worked at a call center in Texas for a year as part of his training. (These details may not be precisely correct, but the jist of it is right.) I don't pay extra for advisory services, but my advisor helped me with a detailed plan when I switched over. Also, he sat with me and helped me fill out the paperwork to transfer an inherited IRA. The office is just ten minutes from my home. Recently I was anticipating a substantial check but didn't want to take it to the office, and customer service told me to call them, and they would lift the ceiling for checks temporarily so I could deposit it from home via the app. My son does everything on his Schwab app on his phone, but I like looking at the portal from my laptop. Good luck!!

rich126
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by rich126 » Wed May 20, 2020 10:19 pm

TD Ameritrade has the thinkorswim program which runs on windows and MacOS. You can get lost in it even if you don’t trade.

rascott
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by rascott » Wed May 20, 2020 11:33 pm

Quest2Invest wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 9:30 pm
rascott wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 6:04 pm
TD Ameritrade would be my choice for what you are looking for.

I enjoy reading The Outlook each week, published by CFRA. A decent jumping off point for individual equity research.... free at TDA to access.
Likewise, I dig the reports by analysts. I believe ME has CFRA reports as well, but don't think its weekly.
ME has the links to CFRA analyst reports as they are released, which is good if you are following one stock.

'The Outlook' is a weekly newsletter by S&P /CFRA (about 6 pages) that has broad market commentary... then deeper focus on individual sectors and also individual companies.

I think it's likely a $200/yr subscription cost, but TDA provides it free. I still try to read it most weeks.... takes 15 mins to read through and is a great synopsis. I keep a small account with TDA just to access their reports.

Here's a list of them

https://research.tdameritrade.com/grid/ ... eports.asp

I don't do a lot with individual stocks these days, but did have decent success following their picks. My issue with individual stocks is the time requirement to stay up with them. It's not just about deciding when to buy... but much more importantly when to dump. Life gets in the way, and then you come back to find things have changed and your big winner has turned into a big loser.

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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by IndexCore » Thu May 21, 2020 12:27 am

LilyFleur wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 5:58 pm
I'm not happy right now that at his once-a-year-free visit with an advisor at Fidelity, my friend was persuaded to buy an annuity.
Have your friend act quickly and cancel it, presumably in writing so they have a record:

https://finance.zacks.com/grace-period- ... -7053.html
"Your annuity contract takes effect on the day that you sign the contract. In most states, you can generally get a refund and cancel the contract at any point during the 10 days immediately following the purchase date."

They can then get opinions not from commissioned salespeople. The person selling the annuity to your friend almost certainly received a percentage of your friend's money for the sale. But your friend needs to act quickly before the time runs out... people have really strong regrets about these things when they become savvy about investing.

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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Thu May 21, 2020 7:47 am

OP, I’m surprised to hear you say that you’re not happy with the research at BAML. As far as I know they are the only retail brokerage that offers institutional-quality equity research reports. The same reports written by the research analysts that ask questions on earnings calls.

Not only that, BAML just won “Top Global Research Firm” from Institutional Investor.

https://www.institutionalinvestor.com/r ... 1/Overview

Are you sure you’re looking in the right place? This is the link (once you are logged in):

https://olui2.fs.ml.com/RIResearchRepor ... MLHub.aspx

I find most brokerages to be similar in features, institutional-quality equity research is why I’ve moved to Merrill.

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LilyFleur
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by LilyFleur » Fri May 22, 2020 7:08 pm

IndexCore wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 12:27 am
LilyFleur wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 5:58 pm
I'm not happy right now that at his once-a-year-free visit with an advisor at Fidelity, my friend was persuaded to buy an annuity.
Have your friend act quickly and cancel it, presumably in writing so they have a record:

https://finance.zacks.com/grace-period- ... -7053.html
"Your annuity contract takes effect on the day that you sign the contract. In most states, you can generally get a refund and cancel the contract at any point during the 10 days immediately following the purchase date."

They can then get opinions not from commissioned salespeople. The person selling the annuity to your friend almost certainly received a percentage of your friend's money for the sale. But your friend needs to act quickly before the time runs out... people have really strong regrets about these things when they become savvy about investing.
He is past the time limit, but it is good to know! Thank you.

_Soundwave_
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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by _Soundwave_ » Fri May 22, 2020 7:19 pm

I like Schwab. Far better APP and website than vanguard. 24/7 customer service is amazing.

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Re: Best Overall Online Brokerage Account

Post by bondsr4me » Fri May 22, 2020 7:43 pm

_Soundwave_ wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 7:19 pm
I like Schwab. Far better APP and website than vanguard. 24/7 customer service is amazing.
I like Schwab’t StreetSmartEdge and website.
Their iPad app needs improving. The watchlist screen needs improving.

Fidelity’s ActiveTraderPro and website are OK too.
Their iPad app is pretty good; especially for watchlist streaming info.

For desktop, I prefer CS SSE; curious to see what they do once they finish TDAmeritrad acquisition.
TDA’s ThinkorSwim platform is pretty comprehensive; not for the faint of heart for sure.

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