Scottrade Review: Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit
|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|
|Investments|| 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)|
|Promotion and login links||Scottrade login, Scottrade promotions
We start our 2016 Scottrade review with investing costs: the company offers flat rate, $7 per trade commission on stocks and ETFs priced over $1. The broker
provides over 2,600 no transaction fee (NTF) mutual funds, which allows mutual fund investors to invest commission-free. Mutual funds not in NTF program
are only $17 to buy or sell.
Scottrade made account opening process easy and painless. We clicked their promotion link - Get up to $2000 when you open new account or add funds to existing account.
and completed application forms in less than 10 minutes. Thanks to electronic signatures there are no forms to print and mail. After setting up
security questions and consenting to few standard agreements, we were free to login and explore the website. The next day we got a phone call
from customer service asking if we had any questions - this is always a nice touch.
The Scottrade Money Direct feature allows customers to instantly transfer cash directly from their bank. At the moment this is rare among brokers, where in some cases clients need to wait for weeks before deposited funds appear
in their brokerage account. Minimum to open is $2,500 for a regular brokerage account and $0 for an IRA.
Scottrade Review: Website/Trading Platform/Tools
Scottrade’s website is pretty simple. It looks like it hasn't been updated in several years. Nevertheless, there is a useful trade ticket at the bottom of the browser
that hides in the left side. Clicking on the arrow icon expands the tool to the right. It displays important indices, which can be customized. The trade ticket can
display price information for stocks, ETF's, and mutual funds. Trades can be placed for stocks, options, and ETF's. For stocks and ETF's, the tool shows the day's
bid-ask spread, the 52-week high and low, and volume. Clicking on 'Quick Trade' increases the size of the trade ticket so that an order can be placed. Some advanced
orders are available, including stop limit on quote and trailing stop on quote. The trade ticket can also be detached from the website into a discrete window.
Good screeners for ETF's, mutual funds, fixed-income, and stocks are on the Scottrade site. Reports from independent third parties are available for fixed-income
products and stocks. Order placement for fixed-income securities takes place on a simple web page.
For traders who want more than the website, the broker offers Scottrader Streaming Quotes. This is a Java-based platform. It is launched from the website. The software
has some essential features, such as order entry, market news, and charting. The platform is fairly simple and easy to learn. A search function shows market movers for
the day. These are sorted by criteria such as volume and percent gain. The platform comes with no frequent trader requirement.
The broker's most sophisticated trading system is ScottradeELITE. This is a desktop program. It has some important drawing tools and over 50 technical indicators. Any
window within the platform can be detached to be displayed full-screen. The broker does require at least 9 stock or option trades in a rolling 90-day period, or a
$25,000 account balance, to use the software.
At Scottrade, customers can trade on Android devices, mobile web, iPhone, and iPad. The app has a menu icon in the upper-left of the device. Tapping on the icon shows the many features that are available. Users can search for options, transfer funds from an external account into Scottrade (but not vice versa), pay bills, sign up for alerts, place an order, and look over position and account data. There is also a branch locator in the menu so traders can find the nearest Scottrade location.
Scottrade Review: Pros
- 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
Scottrade Review: Cons
- 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)
- $2,500 minimum to open a regular brokerage account (but $0 for IRA)
Scottrade Review Summary
Scottrade is one of the veterans of the discount online investing - a solid, well-established company that has been around for over 30 years.
The firm offers $7 flat rate online stock and ETF trades (with the exception of penny stocks) and $17 rate on mutual fund transactions -
these are the lowest commissions among large brokerage houses. The broker keeps customers happy by charging very few fees: there are no fees for things
like IRAs, large orders, extended-hours trading, account maintenance, or inactivity.
We would love to see Scottrade cancel conditions for using advanced trading platform, and improve its website design, options trading tools and options
pricing. Also, the absence of electronic fund withdrawals is puzzling; though withdrawals can be done using a debit card, checks, and via ACH initiated
from other financial institutions.
Scottrade created their unique version of dividend reinvestment program (DRIP). They call it FRIP (Flexible Reinvestment Program) and the difference
with regular DRIP is that clients can reinvest dividends commission-free not just into stocks or ETFs that paid the dividends but into any stocks or
ETFs. Users can change their FRIP selections and percentage allocation to each security at any time.
Scottrade has an FDIC-insured bank that offers checking and savings accounts with the standard insurance of $250,000. The checking account
has no setup fee, no minimum balance, and no monthly account fee. It comes with free checks and a debit MasterCard. In order to open a
Scottrade bank account, clients must have at least $500 in a Scottrade brokerage account.
Thanks to live webinars and events, tons of learning materials, and very helpful customer service, Scottrade is an excellent choice for beginners.
Clients that invest in mutual funds get over 2,600 commission-free (NTF) mutual funds to choose from, while long-term, "buy and hold" investors have
no account inactivity charges to worry about. Completely no fee retirement accounts make Scottrade one of the
Best Companies for an IRA.
Scottrade is a stable, seasoned brokerage firm with a good reputation, which makes it very appealing to anyone who would not trust their money to
newer companies, but also doesn't want to pay high commissions with other established brokerage houses. The ability to visit a local branch and
talk with someone face-to-face can be very valuable, too. Because of everything mentioned above, we ranked Scottrade among the
top brokerage firms in 2016.
Get up to $2000 when you open new account or add funds to existing account.
Reviewed by Brokerage-Review.com on
Reviewed by Editor and 70+ Scottrade customers.