Scottrade Review

3-star brokerage firm rating

Vanguard review

Vanguard vs Scottrade

Scottrade or Vanguard 2015: Account Pricing, Commissions, Fees


Vanguard Brokerage Services

  • Stocks and ETFs: $7
  • Stocks and ETFs broker assisted: $32
  • Stocks and ETFs interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system: $32
  • Options: $7 + $1.25 per contract
  • Mutual funds: $17
  • CDs, OTC Secondary Corporates, OTC Secondary Municipals, U.S. Treasury Bills, Notes, Bonds and STRIPS, New Corporate Offerings: subject to a markup or markdown
  • Listed Corporate Bonds: $35 + $3 per bond (minimum investment $1,000)
  • Unit Investment Trusts (UIT): $50 liquidation fee
  • Foreign Stocks Transferring In or Out: $60
  • Investment products: stocks, options, mutual funds, CDs, munis, U.S. Treasury, Canadian and foreign stocks, ETFs
  • Scottrade minimum deposit to open account: $2,500 ($0 for IRA accounts)
  • All Scottrade fees
  • Scottrade login, Scottrade promotions

  • Stocks and ETFs: $7 for the first 25 trades, $20 for subsequent trades for account with less than $50,000
  • $7 for account with $50,000–$500,000 invested in Vanguard products (Voyager Services)
  • $2 for account with $500,000–$1,000,000 invested in Vanguard products (Voyager Select Services)
  • Free for first 25 trades, $2 for subsequent trades for account with $1,000,000-$10,000,000 (Flagship Services)
  • Free for first 500 trades, $2 for subsequent trades for account with $10,000,000+ (Flagship Select Services)
  • Options: $20 + $1 per contract (Voyager: $7 + $1 per contract; Voyager Select and Flagship: $2 + $1 per contract)
  • Options for accounts with over $1 million: $8 + $1.50 per contract
  • Mutual funds: Vanguard mutual funds - free. All others - Standard: $35; Voyager® and Voyager Select®: $20; Flagship®, $8
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs): Purchase: $5 per $1,000, Minimum: $50. Sale: $35 per transaction
  • Commercial paper: $50 per transaction; minimum purchase: $100,000
  • U.S. Treasury: Commission-free
  • Mortgage-backed securities: $50 per transaction; GNMA minimum purchase: $25,000
  • Investment products: stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, CDs, foreign securities, insurance, commercial paper, ETFs
  • Vanguard minimum deposit to open account: $1,000
  • All Vanguard fees
  • Vanguard login, Vanguard promotions

Scottrade vs Vanguard Brokerage Services: Pros


Vanguard Brokerage Services

  • No inactivity, account maintenance or hidden fees
  • No-fee IRAs
  • 500+ local branches for in-person assistance
  • Great support for beginner investors with a massive number of educational resources
  • Good banking services: savings, CDs, money market and free checking accounts (free ATM withdrawals, VISA check card, and free first order of checks)
  • Free real-time streaming quotes
  • Flexible dividend reinvestment program (DRIP)
  • Large number of mutual funds available - over 14,500
  • Instant funds deposits

  • Low cost and good performance Vanguard mutual funds
  • Commission-free Vanguard ETFs
  • Free dollar-cost-averaging transactions for no-fee mutual funds; for transaction-fee mutual funds dollar-cost-averaging is $3 per transaction, with $100 minimum purchase
  • Free DRIP (dividend reinvestment plan)
  • No ACAT fee

Scottrade vs Vanguard Brokerage Services: Cons


Vanguard Brokerage Services

  • Outdated, cluttered website design
  • Additional 0.5% of the principal value commission for stocks under $1
  • No electronic withdrawals, but clients can use a debit card, checks, or ACH transfer from their bank
  • $25,000 account balance, or 9+ stock/option trades during the previous three months is required to use advanced trading platform (ScottradeELITE)
  • High $2,500 minimum to open regular brokerage account (but $0 for IRA)

  • High commissions for many investors
  • If account is not signed up for electronic statements and it's under $10,000, $20 annual account service fee is charged for each Vanguard fund
  • Annual IRA fees: $25 for SIMPLE IRA, $15 for 403(b)(7), $20 for Individual 401(k)/Roth 401(k) plans (waived if you go paperless or have $10,000 in your account), $20 for 529 plan
  • Poor trading and research tools
  • No pre-market trading and short after-hours trading: 4:15 pm - 6:00 pm EST, instead of 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST
  • Vanguard does not list all their fees on their website - they ask to call them for information on fees

Scottrade vs Vanguard Brokerage: Comparison Summary

Scottrade (Scottrade Review) provides much lower commissions on stocks and ETFs than Vanguard Brokerage (Vanguard Review): $7 per trade versus Vanguard's $20 per trade ($7 for the first 25 trades). Vanguard offers customers its own well-known family of low cost mutual funds, and charges $35 per transaction on all other mutual funds. With Scottrade investors are getting over 2,600 commission-free mutual funds, and could buy all others (including Vanguard funds) for just $17 per transaction.

Both companies don't impose IRA setup and annual IRA fees. Scottrade doesn't even have IRA termination fee, which most other online brokers charge, and it is rated as one of the Top Brokers for IRA. The firm is also in our list of Best Brokerages for Beginner Investors, offering tons of learning materials, easy-to-use trading tools, and helpful customer service.

Unlike Vanguard, Scottrade provides over 500 local branches where customers could step by and talk with a representative face-to-face.

Both brokerage firms don't have account inactivity fees and surcharges on large orders. However, Scottrade charges additional commission on stocks priced under $1 (penny stocks), and Vanguard has a $20 annual maintenance fee for regular accounts if balance is less than $50,000.

There are a lot of complaints from clients about Vanguard's hard-to-reach customer service and poorly designed trading tools.

Because of the lower commissions, which could save thousands of dollars over the years, as well as better customer service and trading tools, we strongly recommend Scottrade to most investors. Vanguard is excellent for customers wanting to invest mainly in Vanguard's own family of mutual funds and ETFs.

Scottrade Promotion - up to $2000

Scottrade Review
Vanguard Promotion - none
right now:

Vanguard review

Updated on 8/5/2015.

Please share us with your friends

Review discount online brokerage firms comparison: Scottrade or Vanguard? Differences between investment companies. Recommendation for stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds investors. Vanguard versus Scottrade for beginner investors, long term, individual retirement accounts, active/day traders. See what stock broker service is better, cheaper, offers lower fees, cost, rated higher and easier to use. Which broker should you choose?

Copyright ©2009-2016 All rights are reserved. has relationships with other companies. See Terms of Use.