ShareBuilder Review

Capital One Investing Brokerage Account Review

Capital One Investing ShareBuilder brokerage account - low cost automatic investment plans, great banking services but limited trading technology

Capital One Investing/ShareBuilder Review 2015: Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit

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

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs
Sharebuilder minimum deposit to open account $0
FeesSharebuilder fees

Capital One Investing/ShareBuilder Website/Trading Platform/Tools

Capital One Investing review

Company Pros

  • 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)

Company Cons

  • $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 Review Summary

At one time a stand-alone trading platform, Sharebuilder had more recently been linked to the online savings and checking services provide by ING Direct. In 2012, however, ING’s online banking services were acquired by Capital One, and the Sharebuilder trading platform is now provided as a service of the Capital One bank. Other than some superficial changes, the underlying site and trading platform have remained essentially unaltered.

The services available through Capital One Sharebuilder include the convenient Automatic Investing plan that allows account holders to make relatively low cost purchases ($4 per trade) of stocks and ETFs. The Automatic Investment plan is a great option for long term investors or traders that are just entering the market and only have a small amount of capital to work with.

The research tools for identifying stocks, ETFs, and other financial instruments for potential investment are adequate but no stronger than what is available on freely elsewhere online. There is a useful stock screening tool with filters for investment ratings from several services, as well as other criteria such as share price, dividend yields, or market fundamentals. It is possible to see real time quotes in the actual order entry tool, but only if you specifically request it through a separate form online. Real time quotes appear to be a basic feature available through most other online brokerages, so this limitation is a downside, especially from the point of view of an active trader.

Capital One Sharebuilder’s services do seem to be geared toward a more passive investment style, with the low-cost Automatic Investing trades and the somewhat restricted access to real time market quotes. Whatever your level of activity, the trading tool itself is no impediment to investing, as it does provide real time quote information and, if you are setting up an options trade, provides options quotes as well right in the same window.

To get access to the more advanced trading features such as options trading or for permission to trade on margin, Capital One brokerage account holders have to submit an application through their online account. There are actually two levels of options trading that have to be requested in sequence, with the first level providing access to more limited options (covered calls, buy/write, and unwind) and the second level giving users the ability to buy and sell calls and puts without holding a position in the underlying asset.

Capital One Sharebuilder offers some other services that they claim are unique, such as Express Funding. The idea there is that you don’t actually have to have the funds already transferred into your Sharebuilder account, but can instead include a (pending) funds transfer instruction as part of the order entry. At an extra $6.95 per transaction (doubling the base trading fee), it’s hard to see what is so earth-shattering about this service. Funds transfers into your Sharebuilder trading account are otherwise free and fast or even instantaneous if you move funds in from your Capital One 360 account. As long as you anticipate your need for funds at least a day or two in advance it seems unlikely that the Express Funding service will be of much use.

Capital One acquired from ING its hugely popular online banking products that offer some of the highest rates in the U.S.:

Capital One brokerage does not have IRA setup or annual IRA fees. However, it did not make it onto our Best IRA Brokers list.

There are better brokerages for beginner investors than Capital One Investing that offer vibrant online communities where users can ask questions, learn from more experienced traders and even get investment ideas. Check out our Best Brokers for Beginners recommendations.

If you are looking to invest money automatically or dollar-cost-average your investments, then Capital One brokerage account is a good choice. For everybody else there are better options: make sure to check out our Online Broker Reviews.

Capital One Investing Reviewed by Brokerage Review on . Rating: 3

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