4.5-star brokerage firm rating

Sharebuilder Review

TradeKing vs ShareBuilder

ShareBuilder vs TradeKing 2015: Account Pricing, Commissions, Fees


Capital One ShareBuilder

  • Stocks and ETFs: $4.95
  • Options: $4.95 + $0.65 per contract
  • Short options valued at 5 cents or less, can be bought to close these positions for no charge (commission free)
  • Mutual funds: $9.95
  • Bonds: $1 per bond with $10 minimum, $250 maximum
  • Treasuries: commission-free
  • Certificates of Deposit (CDs): $24.95
  • Investments: stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, CDs, forex, treasuries, ETFs
  • TradeKing minimum deposit to open account: $0 for cash account, $2,000 for margin account
  • All TradeKing fees

  • Stocks and ETFs: $6.95
  • Stocks and ETFs phone trades: $19.95
  • Options: $6.95 per online trade + $0.75 per contract
  • Mutual funds: $19.95
  • Automatic Investments (stocks, mutual funds and ETFs): $3.95
  • Investment products: stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs
  • Sharebuilder minimum deposit to open account: $0
  • All Sharebuilder fees

TradeKing vs ShareBuilder: Pros


Capital One ShareBuilder

  • Great commissions
  • No minimums, or maintenance or hidden fees
  • Free real-time quotes
  • Top-rated customer service
  • Low margin rates
  • Best online investor community
  • Fee-free IRAs
  • Free DRIPs (dividend reinvestment plans)
  • Extensive educational resources
  • Low cost professional portfolio management

  • Low-cost automatic investing plan
  • Free dividend and capital gains reinvestment
  • No-fee IRA accounts
  • No inactivity or maintenance fees
  • Ability to buy fractions of a stock
  • $0 to open cash account, $2,000 for margin account
  • Good banking services provided by parent company Capital One (Capital One 360 promotions)

TradeKing vs ShareBuilder: Cons


Capital One ShareBuilder

  • Additional $0.01 per share on the entire order for stocks priced at less than $2
  • $50 annual inactivity fee if BOTH apply to an account(s):
    • Combined account value of the household account(s) is less than $2,500
    • No commission-charged trades have been executed in the account(s) during the last 12 months
  • Shorter after-hours trading: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST, instead of 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST

  • $0.007 per share surcharge on real-time trades on penny stocks (subject to a maximum of 15% of the principal amount of the trade, but no less than the base commission)
  • Customers can't specify at what price investments with Automatic Investing plan are bought or sold
  • Poor research choices
  • No extended hours trading
  • Very basic trading tools
  • Customer service complaints (and no chat feature)
  • Terrible trade executions
  • $49.95 fee on any no-load, no-transaction fee mutual fund held less than 90 days

Capital One Investing/ShareBuilder vs TradeKing: Comparison Summary

Capital One Investing/ShareBuilder (ShareBuilder Review) is known for its automatic investing plans, which allow investors to take advantage of dollar-cost-averaging by arranging to have a set amount invested daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly. The firm also offers a rare feature of buying fractional shares, which could be beneficial to those investors looking to invest in very high-priced stocks, like Berkshire Hathaway. To place a regular stock trade, clients will have to pay a $6.95 commission. Coupled with sub-par trading tools and slow executions, absence of pre-market and after-hours trading, it makes ShareBuilder a terrible choice for real-time trading.

TradeKing (TradeKing Review) is ranked among Top Brokerage Firms in 2015. The firm received lots of awards: 5-star rating in Customer Service and Trading Tools in Barron's Broker Survey; Best in Customer Service in Smart Money Magazine brokers review; overall #1 Discount Broker for two years in a row, according to Barron's.

TradeKing is much friendlier brokerage for new investors, offering lots of learning materials and helpful online user community where novices can ask questions, learn from more experienced traders and get investment ideas.

Capital One Investing ShareBuilder and TradeKing don't have IRA setup or annual IRA fees, and the latter is our recommended brokerage for an IRA.

In summary: if you want to automatically dollar-cost-average your investments over the period of time - go with ShareBuilder. For everything else TradeKing is by far better brokerage firm.

TradeKing Promotion - get up to $1,000
cash bonus:

ShareBuilder Promotion - none
right now:

Sharebuilder Review

This article was updated on 8/5/2015.

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